Gossamer is an underground darkwave band, formed in autumn of 1995 in Columbus, Ohio, USA, known for music that defies genres as well as an ever changing lineup and sound. They are characterised by blending dance club rhythms with deep male vocals and shoegazing guitars.
Dark and Seductive, November 25, 2001
By Michael A. Ventarola "mavjb" (New Jersey)
The long anticipated Gossamer release is out, and the wait was worth every minute! For the first time, a full label release is available for those who have come to love their distinct and haunting sound from various compilation appearances and web based music sites such as MP3 and Riffage.
This band creates yet another chapter in the book of musical success stories. For about five years, they have had many lineup changes, false promises and abrupt transitions. Despite the numerous set backs, the core members were persistent and consistent. They maintained their integrity to their enduring quality and delivered music that earmarks this work as classic.
All of their songs were redone to give the fans an alternate version from what they have come to know and love from the online music services, and a NEW song was added in as well. It is hard to believe that this group could ever improve on their sound, but that they did and with this release, they show you what they are made of. Not since Jim Morrison, has one vocalist managed to exude so much sensuality with a recording, that one can almost envision the band causing spontaneous libidinous reactions all over the globe!
"Memoir" begins with the electronic, morose sound that we have been familiar with, however, Chris Gray pours the passion in double doses to sweep you off your feet into a wanderlust evening. With an improved sound quality, the song brings us on a magic carpet ride into a plush world laden with the dark eroticism.
"Sweetest Misery" opens with Gray sounding as if he is coming from an old time transistor radio from another era, blending the allurement of the past and present at once. The opening is much more macabre and contrasted from the DAM CD. There is a bit more of a trip hop element to it, but the mood remains true to the darkness and passion. There is an odd, pensive break in the middle of the song that should make DJ's happy during their nightly spins.
"Resurrection: resurrected:" Wipe out of your mind whatever you have heard of this song before and plug into the new version. It is more EBM focused but still dark, intense and driven. The rhythm pounds like a late night orgy of the mind that won't ever stop. Gray sings like a cogitative lover on the brink between desire and release. One can easily forecast a dance floor hit for this band with this track.
"Her Ghost" continues with the realm of adding more of the dark disposition than the initial DAM track. Layers of silk swirl around your mind to reel you in even deeper to the world of Gossamer. The song remains as effervescent as the original yet with the improved studio version, every little nuance comes to the foreground.
"Deceit & Betrayal" demonstrates some really great Spanish flavored acoustic guitar work by Brent Douglas that carries this song superbly, which makes it a fine example of a goth crossover for radio play.
"Hollow Eyes, Hollow Soul" has a more rock edge, somewhat like the original, however with the tweaked sound, elements of the song you may have missed from the DAM come to the foreground to create a bit more angst.
"Run" is another tune that was reconstructed. It was the first song this reviewer heard from this band on DJ Macross' In Perpetual Motion . . . that initially hooked me to their music. This CLASSIC is given a more dramatic opening and the vocal harmonies are absolutely exquisite. Plug in the headset and turn the volume UP!
"Entropy" moves away from the dark dance of some of the previous songs and brings Chris back to the realm of the injured poet in this ballad that could break the hardest heart.
"Sin Again" (with vocal assistance from Bethaney Fryer) A new song that was feverishly worked on for this release. The band recently placed this song on MP3 for the fans to hear, however, if you don't have a super whiz bang computer to play with, you haven't heard the full richness of the song the way it was meant to be listened to. You HAVE to hear the recorded version of this song to really appreciate its beauty and intensity.
"Shell Full of Sand" is the song that has been known to make grown men cry during Gossamer concerts. The new version will leave Kleenex up to their eyeballs in profits! It remains true to the original, however the full bodied musical effects and harmonies are more epicurean and mournful.
"Run (Wayne Hussey Mix)" is the song that helped catapult this band onto the lips of the music buying public when it was first featured on Cleopatra's "The Unquiet Grave Vol. 1" The sound quality on that compilation was good, however, this repressing is far superior.
It's really hard to be objective about a band whose work I have come to love and admire on a grand scale. No other band thus far has managed to create and maintain a more darkly sensuous atmosphere. When one thinks of typical gothic music, words and emotions related to macabre, spooky and gloomy usually come to mind. In some way, Gossamer incorporates all those essential qualities that makes a great goth record, but somehow Chris Gray weaves some type of invisible spell with his vocals to totally mesmerize the listener. He portrays a multitude of characters in the body of these songs that encapsulates the jilted lover, wounded poet and dark seducer. The songs are carried with so much introspection and feeling of depth, that it is as if we have been pushed inside his head and have become one with his emotional entanglements.
Band mates Aran, John and Michael seem to instinctively know how to wrap the music around the vocals to help layer the ambiance into poignant as well as dramatic moments. All of the members of Gossamer are able to make the transition from a dark dance tune to a brooding ballad without sacrificing the atmosphere or the sentiment on either style. This recording is highly recommended to old and new fans alike.