This Midnight Stream - Cinematic

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Sound Vortex Recording
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 44:36:00

This Midnight Stream doesn't waste any time in getting started, as a brassy Celtic fanfare opens "Fallen Angel." Carole Edwards has a sonorous voice, the kind of voice we are hearing more and more in progressive metal, and specifically from the artists on the Dark Symphonies label. "Fallen Angel" isn't as gloomy sonically, as this track is a lively rhythm to it... I wouldn't say Edwards is singing cheerfully about being the "fallen angel," but she certainly isn't monotone or dreary. She has a wonderful voice. The title of the album is Cinematic, and it is a fitting title. The pieces are vivid enough to evoke imagery, even if the colours used tend toward the dark.

But, don't make assumptions about This Midnight Steam based on that - because the very next track takes you somewhere else, and not just because Robb Earls handles lead vocals here. Now, never in a million years would you say they sound like Rush (at least not here, but later...), but on "Black And Blue" Earls does sound like the deep throated voice rapping on "Roll The Bones," only Earls is singing rather than rapping. Having never really been into goth rock, my familiarity with the genre is passing, at best. But, in writing this review, I realized that I've absorbed more than I knew. I suppose some of the Dark Symphonies stuff would qualify as goth metal. Though I'm digressing, I bring this up, because this sounds like what little goth I was hearing in the 80s. And yet, neither this particular track, "Black And Blue," nor the album itself sound dated. It's arty in a way, and comes under a progressive banner for that... even if on the outer edges. Sounds like I'm trying to fit an oval peg in in a round hole, I suppose...

"The Way Inside" mixes things up again. It's atmospheric with bubbling percussion, soar guitar lines -- not like Gilmour and yet it is a bit Pink Floyd-like. And yet, once past that initial passage, we get child like vocals singing "fly." Not for any particular reason - that is, any particular track -- but I thought of both The Gathering and of The Church... Siouxie And The Banshees also come to mind, too. And yet this latter mention is more an impression, as I'm really only consciously familiar with one track "Cities In Dust." Interestingly, though, that one track is a very apt comparison, I think. That they cover the Bauhaus' "She's In Parties" well tell you much, too, if you are at all goth inclined.

Yes, and then you have to think about a Sheryl Crow/Edie Brickell/Anneke van Giersbergen hybrid vocally on the sparse, acoustic and shimmering "Esther."

"Midnight Stream" is a diverse sounding track, dark and light... moody as anything. Here Earls sounds a bit like Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett, as he does again on "Where Does The Time Go." I'm sure it's just a coincidence that both bands have "midnight" in their names, however, which didn't strike me right away. Anyway, on "Midnight Stream" we get dark, swirling keys, crashing cymbals ... and lots of little bits of interesting percussive stuff here and there, effects... I also thought of "Revolution Is At Hand" by Sailor Free (a band that released on album so far as I know) ... Earls is takes the lead on "Down To The Bone" as well, another dark, gloomy track. Again we can mention Pink Floyd, from The Wall period, Edwards vocals giving it all a different character. Actually, I'm not fond of her "aye-e-aye"'s here, as they seem a bit out of character with the rest of the track. "Where Does The Time Go" is very gloomy and dreary, bass being the lead instrument (other that a strange chirp that appears about every five seconds).

The 80s will really come to mind with the erotic "Dream Love." It's a techno-dance like track, a bit like Berlin actually, even down to Edwards sounding a bit like Terri Nunn. "Head" is another dark piece that begins in a manner that might have been on an early 80s Rush album, until Edwards begins singing. That would be deep voiced guitars, bass, and keys in a wall of epic sound. This is one of my favourites here, maybe because of the highly dramatic opening.

The album ends with a remix of "Midnight Stream" (the "Dorsey Dance Version"). Pulsing drum beat and a harsh sound effect that crosses back and forth over it... dance is definitely no misnomer. I've not really been big on dance music, per se, but I like the way this one sounds... there are some musical moments that are hard to describe, but make the thumping loop quite interesting.

Even if, like me, goth hasn't been your thing, I think you'll like This Midnight Stream anyway... certainly the tracks with Carole Edwards on lead vocals and the music, if nothing else. Recommended.

Fallen Angel (3:40) / Black And Blue (3:49) / The Way Inside (5:40) / Esther (3:52) / Midnight Stream (4:40) / Down To The Bone (4:58) / Dream Love (3:04) / Head (3:58) / Where Does The Time Go (3:49) / She's In Parties (4:03) / Midnight Stream (Dorsey Dance Version) (5:33)

Carole Edwards - vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards
Robb Earls - vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming

Additional musicians:

Derek Greene - drums (8)
Tim Lorsch - violins (1, 2)
Kirby Shelstad - tabla and tamboura (4)

Cinematic (2001)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: August 11th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1125
Language: english


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