Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Jade – Flowing Tears [#646]

Album cover of Jade by Flowing Tears (2000)During the great internet download free for all of the mid to late noughties, I occasionally obtained rogue MP3s that I would review at my leisure then try to locate the artist. Often they would have been uploaded by some fan who hadn’t tagged the file correctly or they were really obscure acts that nobody seemed to know. Frequently I forgot to make a note of where I got the file from or find it again.

Two such files were ones which appeared to have had the artist tagged as Flowing Tears and Withered Flowers. They were dark.  Euro Goth with poorly pronounced English and a wistfully moribund tone. Sounded great. Sadly, in those days, the internet was relatively still in its infancy which meant that a lot of the knowledge out there today was still in people’s heads and not accessible via the likes of Wikipedia or Stegzy’s Music Project.

Of course, the reason I couldn’t find anything was partially because the files turned out to be unreleased songs by the band who later became Flowing Tears (dropping the Withered Flowers suffix). A further hurdle was that for some reason many music channels in the UK looked unfavourably on continental European bands and often searches on Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music (or iTunes as it was then) and the like resulted in nothing. Which is partially why many people turned to piracy.

Recently though, it has got better. Apple Music is a lot better than it was way back when, and even Google/Youtube has improved. As a result, and partially why the Music Project was put on its second hiatus, I was able to add two Flowing Tears albums, and many other new artists and albums, to my Apple Music library.

Jade is the first release for the band under the Flowing Tears name and was released in 2000. At this point the band had changed its line up to feature Stefanie Duchêne as its lead singer replacing guitarist Manfred Bersin’s lead vocals, assumidly so he could go back to playing his guitar.

The familiar sounds created by the band in their release, Swansongs (released under their original name) are evident in Jade if not more evolved. Indeed, Jade seems like a natural shift towards what sound the band became. Its still never going to be a mainstream sound in the UK and its likely that few people in the UK or US have even heard of the band, but if you like the sounds of bands like Scream Silence or Nightwish, I suggest you give Flowing Tears a go, if you haven’t done so already. You might be similarly enamoured.

 

 

More information see: Amazon or Apple Music

 

Comments Off on Jade – Flowing Tears [#646]

Into Temptation: The Best of Gothic Rock — Various Artists [#637]

intotemptationThere are as many compilations claiming to be the best of gothic rock entitled Into Temptation as there are compilations claiming to be the best of gothic rock. Confusing really as this isn’t really what I’d call Gothic Rock, it’s what I’d call Scandinavian symphonic rock fronted by tight-fitting low cleavaged black catsuit wearing busty sirens in a wind tunnel aimed at appealing to frustrated teenage males with big hair and middle-aged balding forty-somethings trying to recapture their lost youth.

When the much talked about Great Internet MP3 Download Free-for-All of the mid to late noughties hit, I was trying to develop my musical tastes in the dark elven forests of gothdom. As long-term readers may remember, one of the many tactics I use to discover music is to download compilations to figure out which bands I like the sound of.

One of the first compilations I downloaded was called Into Temptation. It had some really good songs on it from bands like Nightwish, Within Temptation and Ayreon. Sadly, I lost the first version due to file and disk corruption and, despite repeated attempts, was unable to locate the version I had. But with acts like Nightwish, Within Temptation, Ayreon, Sirenia, The Gathering, Lacuna Coil AND Tristania….it will do.

Complete tracklisting for this compilation:

1 –Within Temptation – Ice Queen
2 – After Forever – My Pledge Of Allegiance #1 (The Sealed Fate
3 –Nightwish – Ever Dream
4 – The Gathering – In Motion #1
5 – Tristania – Wormwood
6 – AyreonMy House On Mars
7 –Within Temptation – Our Farewell
8 – Ambeon – Cold Metal
9 –Lacuna Coil – Senzafine
10 –After Forever – Emphasis
11–Trail Of Tears – Driven Through The Ruins
12 – Sirenia – Meridian
13 – Beseech – Between The Lines
14 – Therion – O Fortuna

And if that list doesn’t get you running for the Kleenex you’re obviously listening to the wrong genre.

Comments Off on Into Temptation: The Best of Gothic Rock — Various Artists [#637]

Fairy World 3- Various Artists [#454]

Unknown-2A sampler compilation of a variety of European artists which I received for free when buying some forgettable obscure music during the end of my exploration of the European Darkfolk genre.

Nothing memorable and apart from Collection d’Arnell Andrea appearing, I’ve never heard of any of the other artists.

Disappointing.

Comments Off on Fairy World 3- Various Artists [#454]

Eurovision Song Contest: Athens 2006 – Various Artists [#436]

For those not familiar with European traditions and culture, every year since 1956 European public broadcasters get together to find a song to unite Europe in culture.  In the UK, Eurovision is seen as a bit of a joke while the rest of the European Union see take it quite seriously. As a result it is often the case that the UK’s entry gets a low score while serious music producers across Europe are able to showcase a variety of talent which will never see the light in the UK because of inherent taught resistance to euro-culture, but will proliferate across more receptive mainland Europe.

Eurovision 2006 was possibly the most enjoyable Eurovision in the past 30 years.  2006 was the year that Goth and Rock culture broke onto the Eurovision stage with such ferocity that many returning countries in 2007 tried to mimic the whole scene too.

Unusually the contest started with quite sedate, run of the mill songs like:

Sense Tu Jenny (Andorra)

Je t’adore Kate Ryan (Belgium)

 

Other entries were more up beat such as Tornero (Romania)

and Congratulations Silvia Night (Iceland)

But while the tweeness of Switzerland’s Six4One’s If we all give a little was trying to capture the zeitgeist of peace and love arising from the conflict plagued noughties.

The shockingly bad UK entry, Daz Simpson and Teenage Life was like Timmy Mallet or Keith Harris trying to capture the gangsta culture.

But it was the winning entry, Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi (Finland) that resulted in the landslide victory that Eurovision needed to bring it back to centre stage.

 

Comments Off on Eurovision Song Contest: Athens 2006 – Various Artists [#436]

Couleurs Sur Paris – Nouvelle Vague [#313]

Couleurs sur Paris - Nouvelle Vague When I was at University the second time round I discovered that I had very similar music tastes to the majority of my tutors.

My journalism tutor liked the same and similar folk bands to me, my audiences and television production tutors enjoyed prog on a higher more enlightened plane than I and the guy who did a bit of lecturing while he was in training to be a teacher, Jason, liked quirky European bands and introduced me to the wonders of Nouvelle Vague.

My adventure with Nouvelle Vague began  listening to their sexy French cover version songs. They knitted a kind of aural sleaze with a cheeky faux-1960s swing style over modern songs like Visage’s Fade to Grey, Joy Division’s Love will Tear us Apart and The Clash’s Guns of Brixton. 

We’ve met Nouvelle Vague previously on the Music Project but I didn’t explain much about them. This album is unusual in that it is mostly French bands they are covering using their imitable style exquisitely. Short of a cover of Vanessa Paradis’ Jo le Taxi this gives French popular music the Nouvelle Vague treatment.

Comments Off on Couleurs Sur Paris – Nouvelle Vague [#313]

Consign to Oblivion – Epica [#303]

Consign to Oblivion - EpicaStaying in Europe; This time with big hair, symphonic orchestral choir backed operatic female singer led metal band Epica.

As with Nightwish, Edenbridge and Therion before it, Epica arrived in my life during a scour of Usenet for interesting new music based on them appearing on a compilation and by how much people protested about me playing the music.

Tight leather pants wearing flame headed Simone Simons compliments (in the loosest sense of the word) grunt vocalist and guitarist Mark Jansen in a band backed by choir and orchestra playing predominantly some variation of symphonic heavy metal akin to other European, Scandinavian and Dutch bands of the time.

For some (usually long haired youths with confidence issues, tattoos and bad facial hair) the presence of someone like Simons on posters, album covers and Youtube videos tends to  encourage popularity even if the majority of your music is shite. See Within Temptation for example. Sadly, in my case, it isn’t lack of tattoos and bad facial hair that puts me off, however it is age, sensibility and the loss of friends that has brought me to the point where I listen to this music and think: “WTF is this shite I’m listening to?”

Consign to Oblivion? Consign to the bin more like.

1 Comment »

Actual Fantasy – Ayreon [#54]


Ayreon_-_Actual_Fantasy
Actual Fantasy – Ayreon (1996)

The second Ayreon album in this project.

This is a really good album. I really wish the UK made more out of our European cousins music. There are some really good bands over there and had I been aware of Ayreon in 1996, I would probably have bought this album then.

Think hair. Lots of hair. Think synth. Lots of synth. Think rock guitar. Lots of rock guitar. Add a sprinkling of Jeff Wayne and you have Ayreon.

The album is like a compendium of short stories with each song telling a tale about some weirdness involving time travellers, computer zombies or fantasy worlds where books can kill.  If you like Jeff Wayne, prog or your songs to tell stories, then this is one artist you cannot afford to ignore in your life. The best song, in my opinion, is Abbey of Synn which has a catchy tune and a chorus that will lay ear worm eggs in your mind.

Comments Off on Actual Fantasy – Ayreon [#54]

%d bloggers like this: