The Crüxshadows – Dreamcypher ( 2007 )

 

Genre:

Darkwave/ Electronic

 

Website:

http://www.thecruxshadows.com/

 

 

 

Initially formed in Florida in 1992, The Crüxshadows is one of the most enduring acts of the darkwave scene from all over the world. During the years, the band has grown a lot, displaying constant signs of evolution with every new material, regardless if it was a full length album, a single or an EP. The group’s discography is a very vast one and it has registered great successes in landing tracks among the first positions of many charts. Although the lineup has changed over the years, the charismatic mastermind and lead singer Rouge remained the one constant and familiar element fans could rely on. As he declared in interviews, he was always motivated by the thought that music had the power to change the world and make people look deeper inside their souls.

“Dreamcypher” was released in 2007 and it quickly became the band’s best selling album up to date. For those who were familiar with the activity of The Crüxshadows, this did not come as a surprise, since the album is most certainly better than any other previous discs. Combining the fondness the band had for the classic 1980s synthpop/ new romantic sounds with very modern dance elements, “Dreamcypher” approaches perfection. The album consists of 14 mid-length tracks that feature the typical Crüxshadows catchy beats blended with a meaningful and inspirational message that lies behind the lyrics. Alluring keyboard sounds pair up with rythmic synth lines and guitars in order to create an ideal musical base for the essence of the band, which is the poetry hidden in the lyrics.

Most of the tracks on “Dreamcypher” are upbeat and worthy of their positions in dance charts, the most remarkable from this point of view being “Birthday” and “Sophia”, who would later become singles. Very well structured, the songs on this album tend to drift towards the mainstream when it comes to sound, but the highly emotional nature of the lyrics is the one that keeps The Crüxshadows well grounded into the gothic area. Revolving around the motto “Live. Love. Be. Believe.”, the verses are powerful, meant to penetrate into the heart of the listeners and give them something to think about. Even though they may explore dark feelings such as lost love, regret or fear, all of the songs hold a strongly positive note to them. The Crüxshadows brings hope, encourages braveness, teaches that any obstacle can be overcome and inspires anyone with a heart that’s open enough to listen. It almost seems like The Crüxshadows is a belief system of its own and the reason it has so much impact is the fact that it’s built around a great range of genuine human emotions, feelings that any listener has experienced at least once in their life. Imagine having your own thoughts reflected back at you through the words of someone you have never met, but who somehow understands what you’re going through and knows exactly what to say to make it better. This is the kind of experience provided by The Crüxshadows!

On the opposite side of the dance-oriented anthems that consist nearly half of “Dreamcypher” lay beautiful and heart-melting ballades such as “Memorare”, “Kisses 3” or “Sleepwalking”. What’s interesting about these songs is that, despite the fact that The Crüxshadows has never laid low when it comes to electronics, they still own a very particular atmospheric feel that is characteristic for darkwave acts. Also, some might argue that, generally, a heavily synthesized voice does not serve emotionally charged melodies well. In this case, Rouge’s voice is far from being cold and mechanical, the distortion effect giving it an otherwordly sound that matches perfectly with the musical background. And if you come to think about it, it makes sense that words of such wisdom and empathy would be delivered in a tone that is beyond humanly.

It’s quite difficult to favor one song over another, since “Dreamcypher” is so carefully created that it reaches the soul of listeners with every note. Still, “Eye of the Storm” and “Memorare” have to be acknowledged as masterpieces that really stand out and shine. The fact that they are substantially longer than other tracks on the album offers them an unfair advantage though, because they present the band with the opportunity of bringing more elements into the mixture, creating a hypnotizing, layered and addictive sound.

The Crüxshadows has never aimed at pleasing the critics, who consider their music too pop for the goth subculture and too underground to fit the mainstream, instead focusing on finding the perfect balance that would speak to the only “critics” that matter: the fans. With “Dreamcypher”, that balance has been undeniably reached. It is a strong, yet sentimental and passionate album, with songs that vary from slow to fast tempo and lyrics that cover a great spectrum of emotions in poetic words of stunning beauty. From beginning to end, “Dreamcypher” is a refined, sublime and enchanting musical piece that will stick to your heart and make you come back for another taste of  the Crüxshadows experience.

 

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~ by laurieind on September 6, 2011.

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