BATZZ in the belfry | Sparks Fly Upward

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United States - California - SF

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Rock: Goth New Age: Ambient Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Sparks Fly Upward

by BATZZ in the belfry

Described as "an ethereal mixture of darkwave and electro," "thumping drumbeats followed by cavernous vocals," and "euphonious guitar and warm, subdued keyboards."
Genre: Rock: Goth
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Radiance
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2:32 $0.99
2. Speak
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3:58 $0.99
3. Fade to Grey
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5:48 $0.99
4. O Holy Night
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5:25 $0.99
5. Come and Die
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4:59 $0.99
6. Once Darkness
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3:56 $0.99
7. Trusting
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3:36 $0.99
8. Praying Hard
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5:28 $0.99
9. Soon
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3:35 $0.99
10. War of Roses
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3:14 $0.99
11. Dream
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5:35 $0.99
12. Knowing God
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5:17 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
BATZZ in the belfry: based in the San Francisco East Bay Area. In early 2003, Nelson began writing and recording under the name BATZZ in the belfry. Marc would soon add his contribution on some songs, later Araina and Deena in the summer of 2003, and Rick in early 2004.

Described as "an ethereal mixture of darkwave and electro," "thumping drumbeats followed by cavernous vocals," "euphonious guitar and warm, subdued keyboards," BATZZ in the belfry draws from a number of influences, but unashamedly delivers music in the traditions of goth, darkwave and ethereal.

In 2004, BATZZ in the belfry released an independent 7-song CD, which despite its modest production, drew favorable reviews from the likes of Mick Mercer (StarVox Music Zine), Automata Magazine, and Chain D.L.K. Their music has been played on radio shows and in nightclubs in various parts of the world.

This small buzz garnered an invitation from Cold Fusion Music to include BATZZ in the belfry in their 2005 goth/industrial compilation CD "Lunar Eclipse," along with notable bands like The Last Dance and Virgin Black.

In 2007, BATZZ in the belfry released their first full-length CD titled "Sparks Fly Upward." Displaying a broader range of styles and arrangements, the record shows the musical progression of the band, while staying true to the goth/darkwave style. Even critics that had grown tired of goth music had this to say: "It is hard to be original in the genre, but it's quite something when at least you can get personal, and that is what Batzz have done. Beautiful gothic music, just short enough not to bore me or anybody and offering you a good time with some deep vocals and almost unusually fast-paced and (dare I say?) even ever so slightly happy solar progressions. Very beautiful indeed." (Chain D.L.K.: Review of “Come and Die” by Marc 'the MEMORY Man' Urselli-Schaerer)

Jumping in at the tail end of the recording of "Sparks Fly Upward" was Tim, who contributed additional keyboards and drum programming. As BATZZ in the belfry continue to collaborate and explore creative musical arrangements and songwriting, watch for them to bring more beautiful music to fans of goth and ethereal.

BATZZ in the belfry:

Nelson ~ bass, vocals, keyboards, guitar, drum programming

Guests on selected tracks:

Araina ~ violin
Deena ~ keyboards
Marc ~ drums
Rick ~ guitar
Tim ~ keyboards, drum programming


Reviews


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Balaam's Miracle's Gothic and Industrial Pages

Great new album by BATZZ in the belfry.
Of course you have heard of BATZZ in the Belfry, it may even be your most favorite band ever. If it is, then here's great news for you: BATZZ has a brand-spanking-new album out by the title "Sparks Fly Upward".


Did i say new album? I mean debut album because the songs you have come to know and love was "just" a demo. A demo which was released late 2003. Has it been that long? Yes, it has, but i can guarantee you that it has been well worth the wait because over the last 3 years, our winged friends have not only been writing new songs, they have also been perfecting their sound which has become richer than before.


Musically this album is exactly what you'd expect from BATZZ, dark atmospheres with deep and warm vocals, heavily reverberating drums, topped off with guitars and hints of synths. Still the album does harbour some pleasant surprizes.
The album almost completely consists of new material but for those that have been hunting down every single track of BATZZ in the Belfry, two of the tracks should be familiar as they have been released earlier.
Although in some tracks a comparison of individual elements can be made to other bands (and i will for the sake of this review), at no point will BATZZ give the impression that they tried to emulate those bands. BATZZ as a whole does not sound like any other band, no matter what comparisons are being made.


Let's go through the album one track at a time:


- Radiance : This instrumental opening track has been performed in the vein of late 19th century composers. Has a great dynamic but is still soothing.
- Speak : This track reminds me of Fields of the Nephilim without giving the impression that BATZZ really tried to sound like them. You've got to hear it before you'll understand what i mean.
- Fade to Grey : This is not a cover of the Visage classic, this is an original track by BATZZ containing some guitarwork that's reminiscent of Siouxsie and the Banshees (Kiss in the Dreamhouse era).
- O, Holy Night : This well-known song was previously released as a Christmas gift from the band to you. It can still be downloaded from their website. Seems to be remastered for the album.
- Come and Die : This song was also previously released, but in a very limited edition. Play this one very loud, but make sure you've got your headphones on for the best effect (we wouldn't want to anger the neighbors, do we?).
- Once Darkness : A second instrumental track to wind down after "Come and Die". Reminds a bit of Estraya though, but again - and i know i keep saying this - it does not sound as if they are trying to imitate them.
- Trusting : Musically, "Trusting" is a logical successor to the previous track. Down-tempo with a nocturnal kind of sound. I can find no better way of putting it.
- Praying Hard : Put your hands together, this is Praying Hard! That was the first thing i thought when the song started. Definitely the kind of song that you'd want the band to play if you saw them live (and the band seems to think so too).
- Soon : A down-tempo track, this is for the best part male singing accompanied by a piano. Later in the song, he is joined by strings. Gives a feeling of finally reached your destination, but that could also be because of the lyrics saying "Home at last"
- War of Roses : Acoustic guitar starts this track, but when you reach the chorus, you are suddenly immersed in a 80s new wave-like cascade of music. A wonderfully melancholic and powerful song!
- Dream : I've written a couple of descriptions for this track, but i can't seem to capture the quality and characteristics of this song in words. Even though this song by any definition has BATZZ' signature sound all over it, this is definitely one of the best ones i have heard so far.
- Knowing God : The closing track on the album is again a down-tempo song and rightfully so since it gives praise to God in a most beautiful but confronting way. "My heart, my soul. Nothing compares to this. A tortured crimson brow. From blows that were meant for me".


In spite of a slight hiss that is present in some of the tracks, this debut album is an improvement over an already near-perfect sounding demo. It shows the versatility and skill of the band members whilst leaving only slight hints of their musical influences.
The only thing that i really feel is lacking is a lyrics sheet, but that is made up in part by the lyrics being available on the band's website, though if that site were ever to disappear, where would we find the lyrics?


If you like quality Goth music with lyrics that you as a Christian can relate to, lyrics that stir and feeds the soul, then this album is definitely for you. Even if all the songs are not your style, you will find songs on this album that will make buying it worth every penny and you can quote me on that!

Chain D.L.K.

Review of "Come and Die": "...beautiful gothic music..."
It doesn't happen very often that CDs with just one song on them are released and it happens very rarely that I like gothic music that is sent my way, but it happened this time. Packaged in what looks like a Xmas card, this 3" mini CD (less space wasted) delivers the lyrics and music of "Come and Die". Some of you might know that I stopped reviewing goth/dark a while ago because everything sounds the same and is mostly crap or, when you are lucky, a good carbon copy of the old masters of the genre... Well, altough you still can hear the echo of the Sisters and the Nephilim (if you consider the drums, the Peter Steel-ish vocals and the nice string arrangements and songwriting) or even the Cure or Lycia (for the lush chorused guitars), Batzz's echo is actually a pleasant one, one that doesn't necessarily lack in personality. It is hard to be original in the genre, but it's quite something when at least you can get personal, and that is what Batzz have done. Beautiful gothic music, just short enough not to bore me or anybody and offering you a good time with some deep vocals and almost unusually fast-paced and (dare I say?) even ever so slightly happy solar progressions. Very beautiful indeed.

batzz

awesome cd highly reccommended
I bought this cd for "come and die" and was expecting the rest of the cd to suck. However, every track on this cd is awesome. I would highly recommend it to anyone.