Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Happiest Days of My Life – David Galas [#567]

First post in a year and with it, our last visit to a David Galas album (unless he releases another album before I reach Z). Happiest Days is Galas’ difficult second album with anger, gloom and despondency key elements at play.

Smouldering gloomy guitar work coupled with a flavour of the conceptualisation of returning from war; shocked and horrified by the sights witnessed. Dark places. Dark wave.  Again, Galas pulls it off. It is a vast difference from Cataclysm and you can hear the developing themes that would later appear in Ghosts of California. 

I’d like to thank David Galas for this and all his solo albums to date. Thank you for making such life changing and affirming music at the right time. Your work has been a stretcher bearer for me on many occasions and  I guess you’ll never know how much it means to me and others. Please don’t give up on your amazing talent.

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Goth Box – Various Artists [#540]

R-427454-1292370992.jpegHad I started this project at “G” back in 2012, at this point we would be at Gothic Compilation Vol 342. But rather than shed even more readership, I opted to weed out those compilations and reduced them to  the selection that follows.

Today’s album, four volumes, G, O, T and H. In a box. Goth Box. Genius. Made up of four volumes, it is a showcase compilation of gothic artists from Europe featuring artists such as Inkubus Sukkubus, Big Electric Cat, Bauhaus, Mephisto Waltz, Lycia, Love is Colder Than Death and Black Tape for a Blue Girl.

I really like this compilation. It scares me like all good goth music should, in that I’m not entirely sure what it is I like about it all. It’s a compilation that I dip into for a bit, then quickly dip out of. The arrangement features gothic music from most of the goth subgenres including cybergoth, fluffy goth and neoclassical goth across the decades. There’s something for every wanna be goth, though there are exceptions and omissions that I, personally, would have included had I been compiling the compilation.

The compilation is massive, coming in at a whopping sixty tracks long and would make the perfect gift for any wannabe goth or moody teenager looking to discover their own identity.  Rather than list the tracks and artists featured,I’ve opted to let you discover the album yourself through the wonders of Amazon. 

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Ghosts of California – David Galas [#521]

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I love every second of this album and, as my wife will testify, I must have listened to something from it every day since I bought it in 2011. This is David Galas’ third solo outing, which, in my opinion, is probably his finest.

The dark brooding of Galas’ first solo album The Catacylsm has matured in the moody bath of The Happiest Days of My Life (his second) and emerged as a dark and haunting anthemic opus.

While The Happiest Days of My Life was initially a little hard to ingest I took well to Ghosts. From the opening gambit (a recording of air traffic controllers during 9/11 segueing into the atmospheric Sect VIII) to an acoustic version of The Last Days of War my favourite track from The Happiest Days of My Life, every second has been carefully thought out and produced to an excellent standard.

My only regret is that this album hasn’t had the recognition it deserves.  Few of my friends have heard it, even fewer care, and yet I do truly believe that despite all my attempts to encourage others to listen to it, if they really gave it a try, they too might get the same enjoyment as I did. I just hope that through this Music Project I might encourage a few others.

 

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Fifth Sun – Lycia [#467]

Lycia_-_Fifth_SunTechnically an EP but notable as Lycia is the band that David Galas plays for when he’s not doing his solo stuff. Only this album is from a time when David was out doing his own thing and Tara and Mike were continuing Lycia without David.

Galas’ absence is audible in this release (though an extra few tracks featuring Galas are on the later re-release) and Tara’s vocals make a noticeable change from previous releases (see/hear The Burning Circle then Dust).

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Cold – Lycia [#286]

Cold+LyciaCold – Lycia

Galas, VanFlower and VanPortfleet reunite once more for another album to follow the successful Burning Circle and Then Dust

Again, very haunting sounds. I really wish I had this album in the period 1993-1997, I can imagine enjoying this with my old Goth friends over some idle chat about esoteric nonsense.

Dark darkness prevails. Haunting melodies, ethereal female vocals and distinctive Galas sounds blend together to make an excellent album, sadly often over looked by many.

Galas left the band briefly following this album. It’s clear that the Lycia sound was evolving at this stage but I’m glad he did leave because Galas then went off to do some excellent solo work and enrich his own distinctive style. News recently on Galas’ Facebook revealed that he has reunited with Lycia once more and is working on a new album with them.

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The Cataclysm – David Galas [#253]

The+Cataclysm+coverThe Cataclysm – David Galas

Possibly one of the most remarkable yet uncelebrated albums I have ever had the pleasure of listening to is Cataclysm by David Galas. I have to say that in my personal all time top ten favourite albums, this ranks in the top 5.

Galas, previously with Lycia, released a number of albums between 2007 and 2011 and Cataclysm was the first of his solo releases. I came across the album in 2008 and it changed my life.

Primarily my interest was due to an incorrect review on a website which described the album as “a miserable concept album about Chernobyl”. This was, of course, total bollocks but it didn’t stop me listening to the atmospheric sounds, gloomy lyrics and melancholy melodies while mentally visualising images from an illustrative Chernobyl based film which could pass as it’s music video. Of course, there is no such actual video and it certainly isn’t anything to do with Chernobyl, but a visual backdrop like that would make a fantastic accompanying video to the album.

Galas has a very unique style. His work is instantly recognisable and his musical talent makes most of his contemporaries look like amateurs. Sadly Galas has moved away from his solo career and back into group work. This is mainly due to his own personal reasons but I can’t help feeling disappointed that he was only able to squeeze out three albums.

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The Burning Circle and Then Dust – Lycia (#233)

Lycia_The_Burning_Circle_and_then_DustThe Burning Circle and Then Dust – Lycia

When I first discovered Lycia, I was unaware that there was a member of the band whose solo work would be so influential to me in my later years. Bassist and keyboard player David Galas (who features quite a few times in this project), vocalist Tara Vanflower and guitarist Mike VanPortfleet gloom their way through just under 2 hours of haunting dark wave in this, the fifth album by the band.

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