If you love Goth Rock and love all things spooky and horror related which I can say with a fairly certain degree of faith that you do, then chances are you’ll have heard and seen the promo to “Vampira – The Ballad of Malia” from Ashes Fallen. An upbeat, fun and downright shit-kicking Surf Goth Rock ode to the late horror hostess, pioneer and all round “creepy girl” icon Maila Nurmi. If you haven’t checked that out yet however I suggest that you do so now before you read on….
Now then as I said, if you love Gothic rock and appreciate a good horror icon then you can’t have failed to thorougly enjoy that as much as I did (and continue to do) A standout track for it’s iconic subject matter and shit-kicking riffage it most definitely is. That being said, as great as it is it’s actually not the only standout song on “A Fleeting Melody out of a Fading Dream” far from it. The album which was released on June 4th 2021 opens with the fantastic “Stand Your Ground” where we get the lyric and titular album title which set the tone for the next 9 standout tracks beautifully. Searing Guitars that are are a masterclass in muscianship. Chugging driving Bass. Cryogenically cold Synths and Vocals that boast blistering attittude and charming charisma in turns.
Homages aside it’s not all 50’s style gothabilly tongue in cheek though, there are numerous deeper more poignant moments and social statements peppered throughout the record especially on both “We Belong Nowhere” & “Bear Witness” which are damning satirical indicments on the corruption of capitlaism. Lyrically and musically mature ” A Fleeting Melody out of a Fading Dream” is a band at the top of their game.
It conjures everything you would expect of a great, if not classic Goth Rock record: Darkness and beauty. Attitude and anxiety. Tongue in cheek spookiness married perfectly to on the ball social comentary. What it doesn’t conjure ithough is perhaps one of it’s strongest points for me … and that’s the “sound” of anyone else; I don’t really hear the “Sisters” or “Bauhaus” or the “Neph” although I have to add that having some quality Sax on a Goth Record again did indeed make me think of Gary Whisker but in name only not style.
Mastered by the omnipresent Gordon Young – (Dream Theatre, Children on Stun to name a few) so you know the sound is impeccable. No muddy basslines. No vocals lost in translation, no note is left behind and everything is crystal clear and present where it should be.
To put it simply. If you’re looking for something that fits snugly into the familiar skinny jeans and pointy shoes of Goth Rock but is also refreshingly original and new in it’s own right, then Ashes Fallen and “A Fleeting Melody out of a Fading Dream” are for you.
Ashes Fallen are:
James Perry: lead vocals, guitar, bass guitar
Michelle Perry: keyboard, percussion, vocals, art direction
Jason Shaw: guitar
Produced by Ashes Fallen
Recorded and mixed by James Perry; mix assistance by Gordon Young and Eric K.
Mastered by Gordon Young
Images by Michelle Perry