The Cutting Edge Of Modern Goth Rock.
Guillotine Dream, the Goth loving Death Metallers that took “Marian” by the Sisters – covered it and made it even more Goth than it ever was. Not that Von would ever admit that it was a Goth track in the 1st place of course.
Described to me as a ‘Fucking Monster’ by the band themselves, “Demigods” is indeed an immense drum heavy Lovecraftian beast with drummer “Mapk” providing percussive timings that change on a sixpence & more double kick than you can shake a tentacled cephalopod at. All perfectly matched to the melodious, driving and doom-laden bass lines of “Lake“. Layered on top of this pecussive backbone are the intense effect laden guitars of guitarist & lead vocalist “Arc” which in turns could wake the dead one moment then lull them back into eternal ethereal slumber the next. Capped of with his cavernous, almost cadaverous in places, rasping vocal which is both perturbing and soothing in its baritone gravel. Sold yet? You should be!
Previous release 2020’s “Damaged & Damned” was a frenetic Goth/Death-Rock stomper that we at BVA had penned as one of the records of the year. The 3 west country gents have done it again and if anything, have surpassed D & D. “Demigods” is a more mature record, as one might expect from their tertiary foray into Gothic Rock. You can hear the growth as a genre band and as a force to be reckoned with, within it. It’s rich in multiple dark layers of Gothic goodness reminiscent again of that classic 80’s sound we all love but with their own finely honed harder edge. Their sound, like a wave sheened wonder blade that takes no prisoners – just heads.
Yes, you could say that there’s more than a hint of early Fields of the Nephilim in there, which let’s be honest there is, and that’s also no bad thing. It’s reminiscent yes but it’s heavier and dirtier and GD have put their own unique sound and long musical experience into it and not in the fan divisive way McCoy himself took The Nephilim for a time.
No this is still very much the Gothic Rock we know and love, just in its natural and raw unrefined state. That’s not to say that ‘Demigods’ is not a slick production because it is. It’s well produced & mastered, like hand beaten phonic steel it’s tempered to perfection to allow the raw musical energy and emotion of the band to shine through… as “Mapk” explains below they “write from the heart”… And it shows! “Demigods” is a modern Gothic Rock with a massisive capital fucking R, masterpiece.
I’ll keep to my usual tack of not going through every song and potentailly ruining the discoveries of a virginal listen however it must be remarked upon that each track flows beautifully one into another; in good traditional form the 1st track of the album “Disengage” is a quick instrumental prelude to the main event. The rest then spills out into the very soul of the listener, transporting you (and me both) to other and darker realms. Favourite tracks are hard to choose as it’s all good and like I said; flows so well one to another but “Wild Winds Call” to which there is a BVA “Fan” made video below and “Blades Fall” affectionally sub-titled “Smells like Guillotine Spirit” stand out for me.
Without a shadow of a doubt and to paraphrase the band; It is Indeed an absolute fucking musical behemoth and if you are a Gothic Rock fan, a music fan or if you just have fucking ears come to that then you need this record in your life. I may well be biased as every single release has put me in my musical happy place. I’ve loved everything that GD have put out to date and have been lucky enough to get to know the guys a wee bit too and you couldn’t ask to support some nicer more humbly talented chaps. If that’s bias? Well? I don’t give a musical…
Now get out there and buy this beast. https://guillotinedream.bandcamp.com/album/demigods-2
A Quick Chat
Drummer Mapk was also a very decent chap and kind enough to answer a few fan questions that we sent his way regarding the album:
BVA: You’re all in other bands together and have been playing in various bands for decades that are a bit heavier than GD. What was it that made you want to form a separate, specifically Gothic Rock Band?
MH: “The Goth idea was something Arc and I spawned whilst jamming in a music shop window in 2016.. We recruited Lake straight away. Yes we’ve all been and some are still in the death metal band , My Silent Wake.. We all have varied music tastes, but 80’s inspired goth is something we all love.”
BVA: Before this record and due to the ‘Vid you hadn’t all been in the same room since the recording of “Damaged & Damned” in 2019. How did that affect the writing process and eventual recording?
MH: “We actually used WhatsApp to send riffs, ideas and lyrics to each other. It’s true, lockdown occurred a week after we recorded D&D. We recorded demigods a week after the unlocking. Arc and I had a 2 hour rehearsal at my flat the day before recording. Lake joined us a day later...”
BVA: This is the 3rd full album, the 5th studio release. Like most of the others I believe Demigogds was also recorded live in the studio, what is it you feel you gain as a band or give fans by recording this way?
MH: “We generally get recording done quickly, because of a very tight budget.. We do this for love, not profit..“
BVA: It has the feel, at least to me of a concept record with each track as I’ve mentioned flowing effortlessly one into another. Was this something that was planned? Was there much thought into the track listing in this way?
MH: “We all decided on the running order.. We start with first, then last vote on the in between..“
BVA: You’ve stated yourselves that the album is a bit of a Monster, we can definitely hear why but what is it about this record that makes you so proud of it personally?
MH: “I personally love this record, because the drums really come through and we all contributed to the lyrics… We write from the heart.”
BVA: Appreciate Covid has had its virulent way with the live scene in the last few years but we’ve sadly not seen you performing live at all recently. Is getting out on the road something you’re aiming to do? You certainly deserve a spot at Whitby say or any of the major Goth calendar events. Is not gigging affecting the records presence?
MH: “No we haven’t played since November 2019 . We’d love to play live in 2022, the scene is non existent down south, so any bands that want us to open, pm us. Yes we’d love to play any goth festivals and Whitby would be most welcome.. We’ve never been invited though!!!”
BVA: Who are some of your current favourites out on the scene, is there anyone you’d like to be on a bill with?
MH: “I personally love 1919 and Then Comes Silence, alongside The Glass House Museum. We’d love to play with the Fields of the Nephilim of course too ( BVA: I’m sure we’d all LOVE to see & hear that!!!) or any other established goth band really.”
BVA: And lastly. What’s next for Guillotine Dream?
MH: “Next for us is a compilation coming out next year.. This’ll include the sold out eps that we haven’t even got.. It’ll encompass all of our best bits over the last 5 years.. We’re also hoping to play live and meet up with other bands, in the same boat.. All the best Mapk.”
And there we have it, if you’ve got this far and read the lot then really should definitley go and buy the album if you havn’t already or if you have, then don’t forget winter is coming & a GD woolly beanie would be just the thing to keep those all important music receptors warm so here’s that link again. The only way we keep bands of this calibre producing the music we love, is to support them… https://guillotinedream.bandcamp.com/album/demigods-2