Surprisingly upbeat and lush, Principe Valiente charges the storm front with absolute demure and charisma. The first song is a sunrise of effervescence as The Son I’ll Never Be draws you from beneath 6 feet of soft soil. Fernando Honorato’s heavenly vocals envelopes the ears with wall to wall reverb; it’s as if Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance fronted a shoegaze interpretation of Belong.
Choirs of Blessed Youth is the second full length album (released by Afmusic) from this Swedish post-punk/shoegaze band. For a band to invoke such beauty they sure pack plenty of energy and excitement! Take Me With You, the first single, demonstrates this observation quite lovely with it’s catchy chorus and dense guitar/keyboard work. The next stop is She Never Returned, a song that gradually laments of lost love and falling slow motion into the ocean backwards.
The Dream is thick, creamy and beautifully accompanied by string arrangements, perfectly encapsulating the essence of the song title. What I love most about the ethereal approach is how the encompassing sounds draws out the imagination and with a bit of the listener’s effort, can see reflection to their own lives; exquisitely dreamy.
The energy picks back up with Wasted Time, a resurgence of blaring drums, shrieking guitars and heavy chorus bass line. The Fighting so far seems to be my favorite track, perhaps because the vocals remind me so much of Dead Can Dance (which is definitely not a bad thing). This blend of vocal delivery and shoegaze/post-punk style were simply meant to be; a fascinating union that I suspect will take the band to even greater heights.
Curiously, the title track is the shortest on the album, an ambient piece with no vocals or clues. Perhaps Choirs of the Blessed Youth is a reflection of space and our own small insignificance if one were to take into account the portrait of the cosmos on the front cover. After this brief intermission, the eighth track Fiction draws intrigue into longing and blissful optimism. Dying to Feel Alive switches gears to a catchy Post-punk foray with unmistakeable guitar chorus (courtesy of Jimmy Ottosson) that is sure to have you dancing. Temporary Man keeps the rock pace flowing with epic proportions. Finally the album concludes with Flower in You, a sombre resolution that serenades the senses with deep optimism but still attaining its dark undertone.
Principe Valiente is a four piece featuring Fernando Honorato on Bass/Vocals, Jimmy Ottosson – Guitars, Rebecka Johansson – Keyboards and Joakim Janthe on drums. This band would interest fans of dark shoegaze with a bit of post-punk flair. Choirs of the Blessed Youth is absolutely worth your time for a listen. ► by Dj Detra