Jul 2014 22

Diary of Dreams - Elegies in DarknessDiary of Dreams
Category: Goth / Darkwave / Industrial
Album: Elegies in Darkness
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Offering little more than what we’ve come to expect from Diary of Dreams, this latest album may signal a loss of creative energy from the longstanding darkwave act.


Spearheaded for over 20 years by Adrian Hates as an outlet for his musical and artistic vision, inspired by “beauty in ugliness” and with a healthy dose of gothic and expressionist art, Diary of Dreams unleashes its latest opus in the form of Elegies in Darkness. Ever blending classical atmosphere and various other elements with a familiar brand of danceable darkwave and goth rock, this eleventh album in the project’s oeuvre does little to deviate from the path set forth by its predecessors. While this does speak to Hates’ sense of consistency with his signature style, it does lend an air of disappointment as Elegies in Darkness offers very little that we haven’t already heard from Diary of Dreams.

As a rising synth arpeggio and distant pounds of percussion signal the approaching storm of “Malum,” Hate’s voice alternating between a distorted growl in the chorus and his familiar baritone croon amid clashing metallic scrapes of guitar and drums, the album wastes no time as the song establishes the rhythm for what is to come. Throughout Elegies in Darkness, all the hallmarks of Diary of Dreams’ sound are present, from the dark atmospheres driven by somber piano, classical synthesized arpeggios, grunts of guttural guitar, and pounding industrial beats, coming together to create a gloomy yet rhythmic backdrop for Hates’ harrowing lyrical tales. Such can be said of tracks like “StummKult,” “A Dark Embrace,” “Gassen der Stadt,” or “Mythology of Violence,” the songs moving freely and at languid paces that allow each element ample time to build up… but to what? Unfortunately, the results are rather sedated with each song going nowhere pretty fast. Songs like “The Battle” and “The Dogs of War” are interesting in their eschewing of the viciousness or violence that their titles would suggest, both relying on sullen ambient moods and despairing lyrics, though once again, the music loses its drive very quickly, and even more danceable fare like “Luxury of Insanity” or “An Empty House” simply fail to hold attention beyond the first two minutes. Arguably, “The Game” is the only track in this writer’s mind that works the formula quite well with an almost dark ‘80s vibe to its melody and progression that wastes little time and doesn’t wallow too long in its murkiness.

There is little to behold on Elegies in Darkness that hasn’t already been done to much greater and more profound effect on past Diary of Dreams albums, which begs the question of Adrian Hates is running out of creative steam after two decades indulging in artistic bleakness. Indeed, each song is well crafted and well produced, but there is an inherent formula to the act’s sound and style that has reached a rather tepid and stagnant point, making Elegies in Darkness a less than satisfying listen, perhaps even for longtime fans. Whether this is merely a lark before a more focused and refined creative endeavor or simply going through the motions, only time will tell.
Track list:

  1. Malum
  2. Luxury of Insanity
  3. StummKult
  4. The Dogs of War
  5. A Day in December
  6. A Dark Embrace
  7. The Game
  8. Dream of a Ghost
  9. Daemon
  10. House of Odds
  11. The Battle
  12. Gassen der Stadt
  13. Mythology of Violence
  14. An Empty House
  15. Remedy Mine

Diary of Dreams Website http://www.diaryofdreams.de
Diary of Dreams MySpace http://www.myspace.com/diaryofdreams
Diary of Dreams Facebook https://www.facebook.com/officialdiaryofdreams
Diary of Dreams Twitter http://twitter.com/DIARYOFDREAMS
Accession Records Website http://www.accession-records.de
Accession Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/accessionrecords
Accession Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/accessionrecords
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Accession Records Store (Standard Edition)
Accession Records Store (Limited Edition)
Storming the Base CD
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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