With a stunning debut album full of melancholy and elegance last year, and an addictive cover of Depeche Mode’s “Photographic”, Brotherhood has already managed to convince many Darkwave – Gothic Rock connoisseurs. Expectations surrounding their new release, The Dark EP, were high. Let me tell you right away, that all expectations are not only fulfilled, they are surpassed. This is a short EP – only 4 songs, barely 19 minutes – but it is extremely intense. Brotherhood takes it from where they had left it with their album, going this time much deeper into darkness. The title of the EP is richly deserved indeed.
The first track, “Blood Runs Cold”, is an instant hit. It starts with a distorted guitar suffering over a catchy drum machine pattern, then gloomy synths set up the atmosphere. The verses are uncluttered and the rhythmic section provides a perfect support to Micke Lönngren’s deep sepulchral vocals. The chorus is instrumental only, with a simple yet beautiful riff. Layers of synths and guitar are added to the verses as the song goes, creating a comfortable cocoon where vocals gradually curl up. In the last minute, the intensity rises significantly until the epic ending.
“A heartbeat away” slightly reminds me of the early Escape with Romeo. This track is a beat less bleak than the rest of the EP, although lyrics are dark as fuck: “Death is just a heartbeat away”. With “Things I do at night”, Brotherhood takes us much deeper into darkness, straight to the vault where the undead hide out. The Damned’ “Phantasmagoria” album come to mind because of the creepy feel, but no vampire cloak here : this track is genuinely desperate. Dramatic synths and vocals from beyond the grave add up to the chilling atmosphere. As in “Blood Runs Cold”, no real chorus other than instrumental parts. The guitar riff is delightfully gloomy. I have to say I love this song.
If “Things I do at night” takes us to the grave, “Dead Inside” finishes to bury us. The structure of the song follows the same pattern. A poisonous bass opens for this track, followed by hypnotic drums and bloodcurdling altered vocals. It ends with a line repeated like a macabre invocation. You’ll be sorry it ends, because it’s short and because it’s amazing. But this release is so heavy and disturbing it would have been impossible to make a full album of such content. The Dark EP has left a deep impact on me from the first listen, and I’m sure it will grow on me and become a favorite. Play it loud!► by Guillaume Renard