Artist: Diary of Dreams
Genre: Electronic / Darkwave
Release Date: 24th February 2023
Label: Accession Records
After almost 30 years we open the 14th chapter of the DIARY OF DREAMS on February 24th with ‘Melancholin’. Exactly five years and three months after the release of the last chapter ‘hell in Eden’, the video release of ‘the Secret’ in January already gave a first foretaste of the upcoming album, which was extremely positively received by the fans. So far there has never been such a long break between two albums in the band’s history. According to Adrian Hates, ‘the Secret’ shows the kind of emotions that the new album was intended to convey, particularly in terms of lyrics and, to a certain extent, musically as well. That was exactly what was important to the mastermind behind DoD for a first acoustic sign of life after such a long silence, even if the song doesn’t cover the entire spectrum of the album, of course.
The second pre-release ‘viva la bestia’, which celebrated its video premiere on 10th February, should make the hearts of all “dreamers”, as DoD fans are affectionately called, beat faster. I wouldn’t exactly call myself a die-hard fan. But I must admit, that both songs touch me in a deep and special way. I feel the same about the entire album, which comes up with a love of detail and intensity that is difficult to describe. Even after listening several times, not all the secrets of the songs have revealed themselves to me yet. But that’s probably part of the fascination of a DoD album and this one in particular.
‘Melancholin’ grabs me from the first note of opener ‘Mein Werk aus Zement’, hugs me and doesn’t let go until ‘tränenklar’ gently drifts away. The unmistakable and undoubtedly unique sound of DIARY OF DREAMS is familiar and yet fresh, never unimaginative or even boring. I never felt the need to fast forward or even skip further. “Melancholy” of all colours, as the album’s accompanying text describes; sometimes spooky balladry, sometimes electronically danceable or with epic bombast, like the opener ‘Mein Werk aus Zement’. A powerful, somewhat menacing opening, with dramatic strings, relentlessly pounding drums, crashing guitars and an operatic choir, paired with Hates’ demanding and haunting voice, reminding a lot of ‘Nigredo’. It is already clear with what love of detail and complexity the album was produced. The song consists of 228 tracks, as Hates revealed in advance. It is actually impossible and still not necessary to name all the vocal lines, sounds and special effects. I refrain from interpreting the lyrics from the outset. For one thing, I’ve never been good at it. For the other, everyone will have their own associations and thoughts about it.
The aforementioned first single, ‘the Secret’, follows with less bombast and a little more electronics. The song starts rather calm with an emotional vocal line, but then picks up the pace. The danceable and almost hopeful-sounding chorus stands in contrast to the deep sadness of the lyrics and the emotional and highly haunting singing. It continues with the second pre-release ‘Viva la bestia’, which also starts relatively quietly until Hates “But the monster is me” is shouting out. Disturbing, harrowing, uniquely touching. An effect that is reinforced towards the end by using a female voice in the background and voice distortion. I won’t reveal the name of the female singer now, you will find out after the release…
‘Gedeih & Verderb’ with its dominant guitar riffs and driving drums should also be a pretty intense song live on stage. A cracker with fantastic German lyrics which is followed by the more electronic and very danceable ‘My distant light’ - almost comforting, like a hug and with a wonderful chorus. With whirring synth lines and driving drum sounds, ‘the Fatalist’ picks up the pace and would probably also do well on the dance floor. The beats turn the electro cracker into a powerful song that should also be celebrated live. Musically, the song stands in clear contrast to the very melodic and almost dreamy ‘All is fragile’. A wonderful ballad with a catchy refrain without getting cheesy.
Also ‘Beyond the void’ starts quite calm. Towards the chorus, however, DoD steps up a gear and the song develops an incredible amount of intensity and power with an 80s-tinged synth-hook that pierces deep into the heart and mind. With ‘Welt aus Porzellan’ and ‘tränenklar’ there are two German-language songs at the end that take us deeper into the dream. The more electronic number ‘Welt aus Porzellan’ puts its arms around you again almost comfortingly and, with the wonderful piano part at the end, forms the perfect transition to the calm piano chords of ‘tränenklar’. The intensity and heaviness of Hates’ vocals on the album’s final song is simply overwhelming. The synthesizers, which are only used selectively, almost seem as if the mind would rear up again and again before the spirit finally disappears. But music and vocals carry you almost hypnotically deeper and deeper into the dream and beyond the void. And just when one’s dived deep, you’re mercilessly torn out of your dream by Hates whispering “wake up”.
All in all, definitely not just a must have for all Dreamers. ‘Melancholin’ is impressively versatile, intense and grippingly atmospheric full of moving music and profound lyrics. So, there is no way around this album if you like dark electronic music that grabs you and touches you deeply. From ‘Mein Werk in Zement’ to ‘tränenklar’ the album takes one prisoner and ties all the senses. Dark yet somehow comforting, bursting with energy yet calming with a musical and textually depth that is admirable and electrifying. The album is available as a limited 10 panel digipak edition and as jewel case as well as download. A vinyl release is planned for a later time.
01. Mein Werk aus Zement
02. the Secret
03. Viva la bestia
04. Gedeih & Verderb
05. My distant light
06. the Fatalist
07. All is fragile
08. Beyond the void
09. Welt aus Porzellan
Adrian Hates – vocals / lyrics / music
Dejan Nikolic – drums
Hilger Tintel – guitar
Felix Wunderer – keyboard
https://www.diaryofdreams.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialdiaryofdreams
Total: 10 / 10