Published on Monday, 21 May 2012 14:28
Band: Monica Richards (Infrawarrior)
Album title: Naiades
Release date: 20 January 2012
Label: Danse Macabre
North American artist Monica Richards is without doubt one of those special personages in goth scene that has occupied many dark hearts and since her beginnings in 80's with bands like Hate From Ignorance, Madhouse, Strange Boutique and much more famous Faith And The Muse remains as an icon of gothic music. Since 2006 we can see her also as a solo artist and Naiades is her second album done on her own, with help of some extraordinary guest that she gathered for performance of many different instruments. Naiades, released earlier this year is absolutely one of the best albums released so far in 2012, incorporating that special seductive and hypnotic energy that only rare artists can provoke, yet with a full dose of freshness. Let me try to explain what's going on here...
The title of the album Naiades reveals us that we will be immersed deeply into all kind of waters and exploring it's endless phenomenons as Naiades is the name from Greek mythology for nymphs who have the task of guarding all appearing waters. Not only the title of this album, but also the beautiful artwork is based on this thematics. Monica Richards music is a bewitching trip, if you just let your mind go with it's flow, once you are in the middle of raging ocean and on the next moment staring at a beautiful creak stream somewhere in the fantasy land or summoning the old forgotten gods somewhere at the lake beach in front of a big fire, just let your imagination go it's way as soon as the album opens with it's intro "Naiades". Later on, when the music progresses we can dive into some songs that bring in mind those, obviously gothic rock Faith And The Muse moments, but also distorted death rock use of guitars and rhytms similar to those in Mephisto Waltz or Christian Death in songs like "Pride", "Armistice" and "Tail Of Two". The vocal part is amazing, somehow catchy, but always mystical, seducing and vulnerable dark, just take a listen to beautiful "Endbegin" where some Dead Can Dance influences drop in, also in melancholic and dark "Alaric", with whispered vocals and female chants in the background, everything taken on with amazing percussions, forming a sonic pearl. Even ritualistic kind of song like "Scylla & Charybdis" with use of sole percussions, vocals and polyphonic chants doesn't lose anything of attractiveness. Monica can sing in a way like Lisa Gerrard does on some segments, again on others like Kate Bush or Tori Amos, but, yet remaining distinct from those artists. The album leads the listener with a dynamic flow, different song structures collapse into one wonderful adventure where neoclassical elements, world music, tribal tones and dark neofolk converge with goth/death rock into an amazing work of art. I found my best track among twelve inside the melancholic and ghastly atmospheres of "Lureinlay", where beauty of piano meets nice violins and violas, wrapped by emotional and enchanting voice.
Naiades, what to add more..., albums like this should be a joy for every fan of quality dark music. It's always nice to see artists who are around for so many years and they still have the power, will and ideas to create albums which can be counted among those classics of the genre. Monica Richards is not only a muse of faith, but absolutely also a muse of the whole dark music world.
Review written by: T.V.