by Nick Drivas
(Music journalist and author of the book “Release the Bats” about the Greek dark alternative scene)
1. X Corde Vita
2. Open Mindway
3. Balm Of Gilead (Venra)
5. Prey Red
This somewhat new band from Thessaloniki Greece has slowly attracted many people’s attention, including mine, these last few years. It’s been a while since we have heard a band playing straightforward gothic rock. Many might think that the genre is ancient history, for others it’s just a style that has remained to this day mainly by clone bands that don’t offer anything original. So by hearing their debut release, the mini-album “Introduction To A Dream”, I was thrilled to hear something that rang fascinating in my ears.
The album kicks off with “X Corde Vita” which from the first note grabs your attention. A bold dark guitar riff pierces the silence introducing us to Remain In Light’s guitar driven post punk, gothic signature sound. The band has all those quality elements from the 80’s underground scene presented here with a fresh modern twist. The track “Open Mindway” that follows is surely one of the albums standouts, due to its upbeat rhythm and memorable chorus. On “Balm Of Gilead (Venra)” were E.A Poe’s verses from “The Raven” are adapted perfectly in the lyrics, the band continues to venture in dark waters with Elder K’s vocals entwining with Iota’s giving it a nice melodic romanticism. Next we get a classic post punk number called “Longing” where Iota’s female vocals take the upper hand and reveals a different side of the band. The descent into the past continues with “Prey Red”, a dark tune that reminds us everything that we loved in years long gone by, sharp guitars, deep but grooving basses, thumping tribal drums with a metronomic edge and sounds of bells to give little extra eerie feel. The closing track “Salvation” is a bulk offering with brooding bass and vocals which retains an underlined power that drives the song on without it ever erupting.
Overall, what we get is a pleasurable listen. One that makes you just want to hear the whole album from the beginning again. It’s great what Remain In Light have managed to achieve, sounding classic without being trapped in clichés. I’m sure that with their sound, they will probably sound even better live. The bands core with Y (bass), Elder K (vocals), Constantine (synth bass), Ghoul (drums), Dok (guitar) and Iota (vocals) together with the contribution of former members Snow (guitar) and Savvas “Reverb” Georgiadis (drums), all with experience in previous bands, have created a piece of work that will be loved by all those that have been attracted over the years by other dark alternative acts. Until we get to hear the next offering from this band, listen to “Introduction To A Dream” without fear and “Walk through the sleet and the rain…”