Clan of Xymox
Album: Clan of Xymox
Recommended Song: Stumble and Fall
The album drew comparisons to Joy Division and the Cure and created a buzz in clubs. Reviewers in subsequent years have derided the album as dated and derivative, but accurately reflecting the emerging goth sound of the time, with "icy, throbbing keyboards; bummed-out vocals; chilly, robotic percussion; gloomy, ethereal guitars; and unusual, cryptic song titles".
In 1985, Melody Maker described it as "a nervous and brilliant record" from "guitar-splayed firefields of 'Cry in the Wind' and 'Stumble and Fall', and thrill(!) to the system clearing, bass bloodied '7th Time'... The range and depth of this mysterious record do not exclude arrogant electro dance anthems like 'Stranger' and 'A Day'; nor do Xymox avoid sentimentality as on 'No Human Can Drown'".
In the same year, Sounds called the album "a strange and wonderful debut from 4AD's first signing since Dead Can Dance. Particular favourite is 'A Day' which suggests so many places, colours feelings and despairs that it is totally awe inspiring".
Artist Name: Delerium
Recommended Song: Underwater
Unlike their original work, Poem (along with Semantic Spaces, and Karma) makes liberal use of outside vocalists, often in instrumental styles. Like Semantic Spaces, Poem relies on singers singing the same thing several times in a row, in many instances, to give the impression that the singers are instruments themselves. Often a single phrase, or a way of forming the words, is used several times. Or, a breathy lead-in is used.
The strong points of this album would be Innocente, Aria, and Fallen Icons. Each song is a gorgeous work in and of itself, but these three songs is a masterwork in and of itself.
Innocente features the voice of Leigh Nash, of Sixpence None the Richer fame. A christian vocalist, Leigh Nash has a type of power and feeling in her voice that is absent in most contemporary singers. Unlike the crystalline perfection heard in many an opera house, Nash has an ashy quality that is simply beautiful. The composition of the song seems to take three distinct stages, you can almost feel the shift (From the lead in, the beginning, and the end, which not-so-coincidentally define themselves in the lyrics).
The Comsat Angels
Recommended Song: As Above, So Below
One of the greatest bands of the 80s that still sounds great today all these years later. Stellar songwriting, lyrical visual imagery, and sophisticated musicianship. This is a band that haunts you with delicate melodies you can't stop humming but can blow your mind with their raw power at the same time. Fellows distinctive baritone voice carries you away instead of punishing you. His vocals on "Land" is a never-ending are earnest and enveloping as the band provides a pulsating and head-bopping beat. This LP is a different flavor than most other Comsat efforts other than the more-produced 7-Day Weekend. Land sounds more like a stripped-down demo compared to 7-Day Weekend. Though, I like the quiet nature of Land. It lets the melodies shine through. Land is the LP you play when you want to hum along...and you will hum...it's unavoidable in a good way.