Sunday, March 4, 2012

Shadows in the Basement

Holland’s Shadows in the Basement impresses with their Swept Away EP demos. Dreamy, ambitious and dramatic best describe SITB’s music. Siddhartha Barnhoorn creates the sweeping, atmospheric music with a wide range of instruments along with Dennis Binnekade contributing vocals. Together they create a cinematic, expansive brand of rock not dissimilar to early 4AD bands such as Dead Can Dance with a touch of Peter Murphy style vocals. "Mesmerized" kicks off the EP as a pretty, broody piece enhanced with sweeping synths and effective builds throughout. Impressive, emotion laded vocals and some fine guitar work standout on this track. "Magic Vale" makes good use of some rarely used instruments in rock such as the Skakuhachi and Melodica in the intro of the track before morphing into a mid-tempo piece with some progressive style guitar tangents. Effective, open lyrics really drew this writer into the song. "Driftwood" begins with melodic guitar,crashing waves and a vocal reminiscent of Peter Murphy. As the song builds to the chorus a strong melody carries the song forward to a really pleasant, uplifting place. Nice use of dynamics on "Driftwood". Overall I was impressed with this set of demos as they present only a taste of the enlightening, dramatic style of SITB. I am looking forward to their full length LP.

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