Artist: Golden Apes
Genre: Dark Wave / Post-Punk
Release Date: 25th November 2016
GOLDEN APES have long been a staple in the goth subculture, and even before the band's formation, lead singer Peer has been a beloved vocalist for many. It has been a pleasure watching them deliver and refine their immediately recognizable brand of melancholic goth rock over the years, and I could not be happier to review their newest offering. ‘Malus’ delivers on the GOLDEN APES unique refrains, sweeping epics, intimate acoustics, and funereal dirges.
For long-time fans, tracks like ‘Cedars of Salt’, ‘Halving Moons’, and ‘Malady’ will fulfil your love of the signature GOLDEN APES sound. Gritty guitars, militant drums, fantastical synths, and the deep languid yearning Peer imparts into his vocals, make for their weighty and emotional goth rock sound. Tracks such as ‘Verity’ and ‘Shadowplay’ deliver the type of dark upbeat ethereal wave sounds any goth would find impossible to resist beckoning them to the dancefloor. The intense emotional energy imparted into these tracks gives them complexity beyond simple dancefloor hits, and provide serious listeners a personal, even spiritual connection to the worlds created.
‘Malus’ had the potential to garner criticisms for lack of variety, and that would indeed have been the case if the musicians behind Golden Apes weren’t so adept at their craft. With hauntingly romantic tracks like ‘Drown’ (my personal favourite), intimate acoustic moments like ‘Correlation’, and other tracks like ‘Malus’ that incorporate tonalities of 80’s genre’s like glam and new wave, listeners will find the classic GOLDEN APES sound sprinkled with refreshingly new elements.
Unfortunately, this album comes at an especially contentious time, especially for Americans; I feel however, that this cultural backdrop makes the poignant and passionate tones even more likely to strike a personal chord. The catharsis provided by ‘Occams Razor’, or the salient effervescence of ‘Sermon in the Vale’, are sure to function as emotional outlets for many. Say what you will about Golden Apes, but they are nothing if not inveterate in their syncretism, and masters at traversing intractable matters of the heart.
I think long-time fans will be pleased with this new offering, and those looking for new music among the currently exploding post punk scene, will find this album strikes a chord with those who prefer their music on the pensive sombre side, and filled to bursting with meaningful, beautifully poetic lyrics. ‘Malus’ continues the legacy of Golden Apes, and I feel ‘Grinding Mills’ sums up my feelings about the album, and the band as a whole. “As long as stars will glow / As long as dark will grow / you are my homeland”
You can purchase ‘Malus’ from their shop, http://goldenapesmarket.bigcartel.com/product/mlvs or on Bandcamp.
01. Cedars of Salt
03. Halving Moons
06. Grinding Mills
08. Occam´s Razor
12. Sermon in the Vale
Peer Lebrecht – Vocals, Lyrics, Keyboards
Aris Zarakas – Guitars, Programing
Christian Lebrecht – Bass
Gunter Buechau – Keyboards
Dirk Wildenhues – Guitars
Total: 8 / 10