The Dark EP
If you still haven't heard about Brotherhood's refined Goth Rock, you're definitely missing out something relevant. Stefan Eriksson and Micke Lönngren cross this genre's realm, pushing its boundaries into an original derivative, further more poignant and expressive. The Swedish draw inspiration from the eighties' style guidelines, but they also explore the Synth's emotive nature. Therefore, Brotherhood's songs appear completely recognizable through their elegant mixture of harmony and rhythm. Their acclaimed "Turn the Gold to Chrome" (Best Debut Album in 2012 according to the Virus G users) was yet a good evidence of that. An exciting cover version of Depeche Mode's "Photographic" followed in December that year, and now the duo is back with a four track EP that is rightly entitled "The Dark" (CD release is scheduled for 13 September, 2013). Lyrically placed in some point between grief and the efforts to overcome it, the new material sounds even more melancholy and dark than the previous one. Somber bass lines make up the tune's backbone and twirling around it, weeping synths and melodic guitars provide an evocative and mournful atmosphere. Micke's clean, slightly torn vocal stylings, increase the tracks' depth still further, while the electronic hooks keep the balance right. The opener "Blood Runs Cold" brings together all these commonalities, besides an extra dose of heart-breaking epic is featured, making this song one of the mini-album highlights. Wailing guitar figures throw the following "A Heartbeat Away", sending shivers down your spine. Sweeping keyboards join them seconds after, resulting in an intro that leaves a deep impression on the listener. Then, the rhythmical section takes the song by storm, setting a groovy pace. Voices and melodies are hand in hand throughout this track, providing an inspiring, misty-eyed stare over nostalgic terrains. Coming with Shoegaze-like distortions, "Things I do at Night" slows down the tempo again. Its suffling rhythms drill subconscious while preparing the ground for the gripping melodies, which build a haunting soundscape around the basis. Cunning vocal games (featuring some evilish effects) glide above the structure, carrying with them a sinister vibe. "/... It's just some things, You're crying / It's just some things, You're lying / It's just some things, We do / Blood... /". Next "Dead Inside" follows that obscure trail, starting with ominous bass chords. As the track moves forward, some assertive riffs and gloomy piano patterns blend with the magnetizing core and some drama is injected to the piece. In its last third, the tune leads into an intense, hypnotic chorus-lament that lasts in memory. So it ends "The Dark" EP, leaving an indelible imprint on the listener's heart and mind. That is, after all, the differential quality of Brotherhood's music. The Swedish know how to express the very soul of Goth Rock through distinctive bass-driven soundscapes which are shroud in a silky darkness of their own.
Review by Billyphobia