A glorious return to form
Review by Paul Castles
Release date: Out Now
Having dropped off the radar a decade or so ago Beseech are back and with a very accomplished album. Originally formed in 1992 by some enthusiastic Gothenburg teenagers Beseech appeared to have been assigned to the bulging annals of Swedish metal history when farewells were exchanged about a decade later.
The final official wave over the shoulder came in the form of a double DVD release, The Drama Ends, the very title of which poignantly had more than just an air of finality about it. Amongst the many memories left behind was their inspired cover of the Abba classic ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’, well worth checking out!
But what do you know, a decade on and original members, Klas Bohlin (now on vocals) and Robert Vintervind (guitar) met up for a few jams. Former guitarist Manne Engström also returned to the fray and lo and behold the ball’s back in the park and Beseech are ready for another innings.
With the Beseech jigsaw steadily piecing itself back together, the goth metal favourites signed to Swedish label Despotz Records last year.
To heap further nostalgia around the reborn and reinvigorated Beseech, the band returned to one of their original haunts StudioMega/Fascination Street to record the album, My Darkness, Darkness.
Beseech are now with their third generation of singers but retain the traditional male/female mix. Firmly attached to the mic now is Bohlin, along with Angelina Sahlgren Söder whose background of performing on the stage certainly delivers a further theatrical flourish both visually as well as musically.
My Darkness, Darkness opens with ‘Beating Pulse’ and your heart is quickly pumped up by this captivating opener. It’s followed by ‘The Shimmering’ the title of which is neatly synchronized with the musical balance.
Having played the album several times over it finally dawned on me who Beseech have so much in common with, certainly in terms of their sound, and that’s fellow Swedes Katatonia, of whom I’ve always been a big fan.
Although lyrically dark and mournful, the music almost caresses the ears with its soft harmonies perfectly executed over a backdrop of exquisite musicianship.
By the time we get to ‘Bloodline Fever’ the gloves are off with a rasping dynamic intro. Bohlin’s gentle tones slow things down, nestled alongside the faint whispers from Angelina before a real firecracker of a chorus rips through like a thunderbolt as suddenly Beseech allow their natural exuberance and spirit to run free.
On ‘Mr Uninvited’ Bohlin is in full-on Nick Cave storytelling mode set over a gentle background beat, ‘hand in hand with sorrow’ neatly surmising the despair echoing through the tale, just slightly elevated by Angela’s additional lush lines.
While ‘Atmosphere’ is a willowy number that just floats across the surface, ‘Highwayman’ has a slightly meatier edge and in places has echoes of 80s goth giants The Sisters of Mercy.
The second half of the album is possibly not quite as instantly fulfilling as the earlier offerings but there’s certainly more than enough quality here to make us grateful to have the sultry Swedes back with us.
8 out of 10
- Beating Pulse
- The Shimmering
- Bloodline Fever
- Mr Uninvited
- My Darkness, Darkness
- The Ingredients
- One Last Call
- The Symbol