May 2012 23

The Absolution - For the WickedThe Absolution
Category: Goth
Album: For the Wicked
Stars: 2
Blurb: A tepid collection of substandard goth rock that perhaps should have been released two decades ago.


Hailing originally from the Washington, DC goth scene of the late ‘80s, Nick Stewart has spent the better part of the last 20 years honing his songwriting craft to produce this, his debut album under the moniker of The Absolution. For the Wicked presents a collection of various singles released over the years to form a cornucopia of dark psychedelia and moping atmosphere, making for what should be a delicious helping of old fashioned gothic rock… at least, that would seem to be the idea. Unfortunately, in the case of this album, old fashioned equates to primitive and naïve as the songs exhibit a rather tepid quality of production and performance that is so devoid of polish and power that it makes for a daunting listen. One would think that spending so many years producing these songs that better equipment and sound could be achieved by now, but the rudimentary drum and bass sounds used throughout – particularly evident in the almost pop-like quality to the kicks on “Into the Light” – just reek of a demo produced in some aspiring teenager’s bedroom. Not that Stewart isn’t trying as songs like “Into Your Arms” and “Indiscretion” bear some subtle touches of almost tribal frills to enhance the percussion, but even those lack any real depth and sound obviously inorganic. As well the guitars have a distinctly punk edge, wrought with scratchy distortion and a hint of chorus to add atmosphere typical of the genre, but the overreliance on oppressive power chords with very little harmonic sensibility just makes for a perpetual wall of feedback and noise. This is especially so on songs like “Sacrifice,” where the bass and synths resonate with shimmering melody, but are too often drowned out by the droning distortion of the guitars. The songs are competently written, bearing all of the tropes of the genre with songs like “Submit to Me,” “Hands of the Clock,” and the title track sounding like they could easily have been culled from the likes of Bauhaus or early Ikon; a blessing and a curse as they are catchy and enjoyable enough, but do little to distinguish themselves above the standards of quintessential goth rock. As well, Stewart’s voice shows little range or diversity, often losing what melodic tonality he may have in a myriad of distortion and atonal shouting that might have passed for genuine emotional depth if not for their inherent dissonance. It’s a shame really that For the Wicked is barely a tolerable listen as there is a sense that the songs could have yielded something very special had greater attention been paid to the production and song craft. As it stands, Nick Stewart seems to have finally produced the garage goth rock album he always wanted two decades too late, making it outdated and ultimately bland by modern standards.
Track list:

  1. Body of Mine
  2. For the Wicked
  3. Hands of the Clock
  4. Indiscretion
  5. Into the Light
  6. Into Your Arms
  7. Let Yourself Go
  8. Sacrifice
  9. Stitch My Soul
  10. Submit to Me
  11. Prenez-Moi

The Absolution Website
The Absolution MySpace
The Absolution Facebook
Cool Daddy Media Website
Cool Daddy Media Facebook
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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