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Whispers In Rage

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Album Review

What had been a lengthy and enjoyable career for the Last Dance in the Goth subculture turned unavoidably tragic, when the band's drummer Ivan Dominguez died unexpectedly on a European tour. Rebounding with confidence, and even a bit of wry humor, the now-trio came back with Whispers in Rage, a strong, commanding album. If the band works in a certain preset mode — the album's lack of relative variety grows a bit wearying towards the end — it also exploits the combination to the full, with an electro-metal take on the goth form that has only a few parallels in more popular music of the time. Guitarist Rick Joyce actually could really kick out some epic metal jams if he really wanted to, but aims for texture rather than wank, thankfully, while bassist Peter J. Gorritz gets out some agreeable growls (his work on "Frozen" hits the right note of driving threat). Jeff Diehm's high, sometimes crisp vocals find the right balance between being lost in the music and cutting through the mix, riding the drama-drenched opener "Nightmares" and "Laughing" with aplomb. The constant use of synths and synth bass to fill out the mix or set the arrangements, combined with the band's own skill at self-production, avoids clutter in favor of vast atmospheres; one could easily hear the band playing some huge venue somewhere with the punch of "Wonderlust." The inclusion of "51501," a demo included as a tribute to Dominguez, actually benefits through its calm, stripped-down arrangement. There's also a wry kick in a cover version of Oingo Boingo's "Dead Man's Party." It's actually the slowest and gloomiest song on the album, perhaps appropriately taking the quick pep of the original to another place, until a final charging time shift at the end.

Whispers In Rage, The Last Dance
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