Review of Faith and the Muse
Somewhere between the Cocteau Twins and the Cranes shines
Faith and the Muse. Ive been looking for a band who could meet my Dead
Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Cranes and My Bloody Valentine needs, and
Metropolis Records (thank God!) has re-released all three of Faith and the Muses
original recordings: Elyria, Annwyn, Beneath the Waves and
Evidence of Heaven.
I have a feeling Faith and the Muses William Faith (ex-Christian Death,
Mephisto Walz, Sex Gang Children and Shadow Project member) and Monica Richards
(ex-Strange Boutique member) have finally formed the band theyve always wanted to
be in. Their musical styles range from gothic/darkwave to ethereal/ambient to industrial and
classical. The classical I can do without, but bring on the dark!
Here is a brief review of their three albums:
- Elyria (1994 re-released 2001)
Elyria is a bit too experimental for me. I couldnt get a lock on any of the
songs, and they couldnt get a lock on me; however, the instrumentals are lovely.
The guitar work in Interlude: Annabell and Interlude:
Maleficio and Heal are enchanting, but thats about it for keepers.
The acoustics here remind me of the softer side of His Name is Alive. Epilogue:
Twilight is haunting. I keep seeing Nosferatu playing this by himself in the middle of his
church. Vervain is the one song that foreshadows what I believe the band is
striving for, and this force is finally displayed in Annwyn, Beneath the Waves.
- Annwyn, Beneath the Waves (1996 re-released 2001)
If you like those heavy guitar instrumentals sculpted by My Bloody Valentine,
youll love Annwyns title track, Apparition, and
The Hand of Man. If youve been mourning the end of the Dead Can
Dance, youll adore The Birds of Rhiannon and Cantus.
Fade and Remain is angelic, music Id love to die to. Monica Richards
voice is hypnotic. At a distance, when I blur from the majesty created by the songs, Im
reminded of either Siouxsie from the Banshees or Allison from the Cranes.
This is incredible, and I hope you check it out. All you ex-children of the night, come back. Come
back and listen once again to anthems from darkness. Youll be in a path of shadows so
bright youre blinded at times and shivering with joy.
Evidence of Heaven (1999 re-released 2001)
This album is worth buying for one song: Shattered in Aspect. Its incredible.
That piano sounds like a changeling is keying it, and Monicas voice is, truly, evidence of
heaven. Too bad they bring back that classical sound way too many times throughout the album.
Scars Flown Proud could be a global goth dance floor classic, but I get the sense
the bands holding back. Im not going to frag the album any more, so Ill
end it here.
In summary, the album to get from Faith and The Muse is definitely Annwyn,
Beneath the Waves. Lets hope their next album has a producer who can draw
out the very best the duo has to offer and leave the classical behind. I hope William Faiths
spoken word poetry and singing is done as a side project because it takes up way too much
time on the albums. Lets face it: the voice of the band is Monicas.
© 2002 Richard Van Camp
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