Title: Walking with Strangers
Band: The Birthday Massacre
Genre: Goth Rock
Release Date: 21st September
Label: Repo Records/Metropolis Records
The Canadian band THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE was formed in 2000.The first two albums 'Nothing & Nowhere' and 'Violet' were independently produced and recorded by the band. Meanwhile they obtained a large and loyal international fan base. Through their independent success with the first two albums, they were approached by the European label 'Repo Records' followed by 'Metropolis Records' .From that point on, the fan base constantly grew. During the winter months 06/07 the band has been busy with writing and producing the new album 'Walking with Strangers'. During the production the band was supported by the legendary producer/engineer Dave Oglivie.
Chibi - Vocals
M. Falcore - Lead Guitar
Rainbow - Rhythm Guitar, Sequencing
O.E. - Bass
Rhim - Drums
Owen - Keyboards
http://www.thebirthdaymassacre.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/thebirthdaymassacre
01. Kill the Lights - 3:56
'Kill the Lights' should already be familiar to many people as it's already online on MySpace for quite a long time now. This song has caught me immediately with its wonderful sounds and melodies and the guitar riffs are perfectly integrated into the song but are not too dominant in the mix. And I need to say that I really love Chibi’s voice.
02. Goodnight - 4:03
Without a beak we get to the next song which is really one of my favourites. At the beginning there's just this airy synth and you can hear the guitars slowly fading in before the drums kick in pushing the song forward. When the verses start there's this subliminal yet present gloom that resonates in the background while the vocals are performed quite restrained, what changes to a more powerful style as soon as the Chorus starts and the atmosphere increases.
03. Falling down - 4:12
A nice guitar riff leads us into the next song which will be celebrated during the forthcoming live shows for sure. The guitars are dominating the song this time and the synth sounds just play a minor part in it. But that’s not a problem for me because the boys really master their instruments well and it's fascinating to listen to that. The drumming on this song makes this song one o the hardest on the album.
04. Unfamiliar - 3:19
The beginning of this song with its dreamy melody and sounds reminds me a lot of the days when I was a little child, when the world was still all right for most of us. Then the drums kick in and different synth layers enter the arena and are pushing me back into the reality. Shortly after that Chibi start starts the verses with her lovely voice and accompanied by a distorted bass line. The symbiosis of the guitars and synths in this song is really amazing and you can really loose yourself in their depths.
05. Red Stars - 3:41
The song displays a certain punk-rock attitude. It starts right away with its heavy guitar riffs as well as the powerful and energetic drumming but the mood suddenly turns inside-out when Chibi’s angelic voice appears together with some synth layers and calm guitar chords. The atmosphere increases a lot in the chorus with lots of wide synth layers that suddenly appear.
06. Looking Glass - 4:26
'Looking Glass' is one of the more powerful tracks on the album. A song you really need to nod your head to. I can already imagine the band rocking the stage with this song as it is perfect for a live show. Heavy riffing, great vocals and melodies! What else do you need???
07. Science - 4:04
First it's only a ticking clock but soon we'll hear a sweet airy synth melody counter parted by a weird sounding drum construction that soon will give way to the pumping danceable drum beats and sometimes hard guitar riffs. The guitars are taking a leading role inside this song again. In the verses you can hear the lightly processed guitar while Chibi performs the vocals. There's also a great instrumental part in the song with a guitar solo and diversified drumming.
08. Remember me - 4:07
This is a very old song that was created during the time, when the band was working under their former name IMAGICKA and was updated for the new release. You can feel the melancholy in this song right from the start and the further the song develops the stronger this feeling gets and is blended with a certain feeling of wistfulness. This time the vocals are performed in a very high pitch which brings a nice diversion into the vocal part and it doesn't sound bad at all.
09. To die for - 5:05
'To die for' is one of those songs that catches you and touches you deep inside. Images come up inside your mind and the whole story of the song takes shape before your minds eye. The whole instrumentation of the song is very calm and gentle. The drumming is slow and the very wide synth layers as well as the beautifully performed chant will cause you goose bumps for sure.
10. Walking with strangers - 3:56
“Don't walk away with strangers”. That is something all parents teach their kids and today that is more important than ever. That just came into my mind and wanted to mention that even if it’s not the topic this song deals with. The story here seems to be a relationship where the male part seems to stand in the big shadow of his girlfriend and has the feeling she can't see him at all and that he needs to fight for her attention cause she seems to focus more on her own obviously far more exciting life.
11. Weekend - 3:53
This one is a slower yet powerful track with lots of nice melodies and an awesome vocal performance. Although the synths are very dominant in the chorus you can always clearly recognize the guitars.
12. Movie - 5:03
I loved that song right from the start and at the beginning it sounds a little bit like 'plainsong' from THE CURE which I really like by the way. It is a really emotional and very calm song with slow drumming and much layered sounds and atmospheres that will carry you away immediately. As if that isn't enough already the beautiful chant is accentuated by a violin or maybe a synth??? Who cares it sounds awesome.
'Walking with Strangers' is the next logical step for THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE. They took the essentials of their sound and refined and also added new sounds and facets to it. They took it to a new level so to say. The sound has become more transparent and has more depth than in previous releases. Chibi has expanded her capabilities as a singer and comes up with some nice surprises on the album. The span ranges from ballads to more powerful and rocking tracks but always with that unique atmosphere that only THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE are able to create. I'd also like to mention the beautiful artwork. The Style has a very childish approach but fits perfectly to the atmosphere of this release.