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I Miss My Death - In Memories

I Miss My Death - DVD Review
In Memories

In Memories



DVD Info
9 tracks
Metal Scrap Records
mainly English lyrics
10/10 plus.


Different countries seem to favor certain kinds of music. They may cover many styles, but they often seem to do one style exceedingly well. The Dutch are known for Symphonic Metal. The Spanish provide some of the strongest operatic vocals. And the good ol’ US of A, well, we got rappers, the Beiber and cowboys singing about their lost cows, be still my heart. Well, IMO, no one does Gothic / Doom like the Ukrainians. I’ve covered a number of bands and know a lot more. But this is the best I’ve ever heard. Now there are different flavors within individual styles, no one does exactly the same thing across different bands. Well, I Miss My Death does beautiful Gothic / Doom, far and away the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. And this performance, which was actually performed in 2013 in Kiev, is beyond description. The material was written and recorded in 2013, the concert recorded at the end of that year. The CD with, I assume, studio versions of this material, was released in 2014. This DVD will be released by Ukrainian label Metal Scrap Records worldwide during this year. I’ve not heard the CD version so I cannot comment on it, but the music presented here is off the charts.

Gothic / Doom is a big style in Ukraine. The band has played at multiple Gothic / Doom festivals; Black Sea Metal Fest, Shadow Ball, Halloween Carnaval, Autumn Solitude Evening, Дети Ночи/Children of the Night, 54 тонны /54 tones. And the list of bands they perform with is interesting as well; Diary Of Dreams (Germany), Scryabin (Ukraine), Komy Vnyz (Ukraine), Holodne Sonce (Ukraine), Waves Under Water (Sweden), Fatum Aeternum (Israel), Five Times Defeat (Russia), Little Dead Bertha (Russia), The Fading (Israel) and others. Although the band only has one previous release, the band’s debut demo album "... At Her Funeral”, they are today listed as one of the three top Gothic bands in Ukraine.

The concert covered here was the introduction for the tracks found on In Memories CD. Along with the band, several solid violins were included as well as several exceptional back up vocalists. The band even sewed new clothing for the event, not something you typically get with a live performance. But, the band seems to do some interesting things beyond what we usually get with a musical entity. For instance, in 2011 lead vocalists Sergey and Elena celebrated their marriage with a Gothic wedding, and included a full concert, the first organized by the band. Now personally, I tend to stay away from weddings like a vampire avoids the stake, but a Gothic wedding with a concert thrown in, I’m on board. Probably wouldn’t have had to say much, the only Ukrainian my ex-Ukrainian wife taught me would be largely inappropriate for a wedding so I could just sit back, shut up and watch the fun.

Although IMMD has only two CDs released, this is their second DVD. And watching this performance, one can understand why they tend to favor a video / audio mix. They are a stage band, Elena is one of the most beautiful performers it has been my pleasure to view, and her stage presence takes a back seat to no one. And, with this performance, the band stocked the shelves with even more beautiful and talented women. Both violinists are females, lovely females as are the two backing vocalists. But, beyond the visuals, these are all solid musicians. Elena’s voice on the first two tracks, At the Dark Garden of the Vampire and Thirteen Autumns of my Solitude introduce us to one of the finest vocals the genre has ever produced. She’s a full operatic soprano; she yields nothing to the top voices in this style of music, from Tarja on down. But, with the third track The One (or as Elena introduces it, “Zaa Wan”) she is joined by striking blond Ukrainian vocalist Tatiana Milhailova in a tight black Gothic dress. It should be mentioned here that the tracks on Memories tend to be relatively long, there are only 9 tracks with well over 70 minutes of music, and they don’t spend much time talking to the crowd between tracks. So, you get multiple segments in most tracks. With The One, we begin with what could be considered a fairly upbeat sound, with Elena singing to the heavens. Lyrically we get:

Created by silence, you’re part of the skies / Immortal and forever free
Daughter of the Wisdom, the Master of Dreams / Come touch my soul and sing for me

The band, three guitars, keys and drums do a solid job of providing backup with the violins and backup vocals being plugged in where appropriate. But, when Tatiana joins the fray, we get an overwhelming symphony of female vocal, both have killer operatic sopranos. Midway through the song, Sergey joins the vocal presentation with a spoken word, the Doom in this song. Sergey mainly does growling but he gets some truly interesting spoken parts at times. Oh, he is one of the guitar players as well. On this one, if you include Elena, Tatiana and the two backup vocalists, I don’t think you will ever find 4 more solid female vocals anywhere.

There’s two parts to the release, I think there may be 2 DVDs, I’m not sure, I just got a long continuous running mpg file. Of course, the two parts may just be a result of the band taking a break in between since Elena performs the second part with her hair down and the backup vocalists get a lot more camera time. There’s no filler in this one, but beyond Zaa Wan, there are several other tracks that need to be discussed. The first is Silent Existence where we get a lot of the two back up vocalists and the violinists. Maybe not the purest Doom you’ll ever hear, but certainly one of the most entertaining tracks you’re going to hear. An overabundance of music, nothing more you could ask for.

I guess another thing to point out here is that, although this is clearly Gothic / Doom, it’s a brand not entirely consistent with other styles. Most Gothic / Doom of my acquaintance is pretty slow, pretty deliberate. You know, the kind of thing you heard at your Aunt Tilda’s funeral. Now, that can still be beautiful, it can still have a solid melodic quality. But, it ain’t traditionally bouncy. IMMD has a tendency to up the count, put a little more untraditional up beat metal into the tracks. Not all the way through, maybe, but they do kick out the jams on tracks like Thirteen Autumns at certain points, before returning to the funeral waltz. Silence Cries also follows this pattern. We begin with something that sounds almost more prog metal than Gothic or Doom, some solid guitar work over a pounding drum and soaring keys. But, the male growling kicks in and reminds us that this is G / D in all it’s desperation, even if the beat is a little on the fast side. But, at some point, the keyboard, and the growling begin to paint a picture of Gothic splendor that can only be associated with countries like Ukraine or Romania, especially in locations like Transylvania. This is what Eastern Europe has over everyone else, and no one does it better.

Earl Pale puts some focus on the violins and keys. This one more closely approximates what I would expect with traditional G / D. And nothing provides a more haunting sound than a solid violin. These two ladies clearly went beyond their high school orchestra with their training, this is high class classical material done by two exceptional artists.

In Memories is the title track. Again, a darkly delicious sound that begins with a keyboard drone. One of the strong points about this DVD is the stage presence of the band and we get some of that here. This is dark music, traditional G / D. Elena is a delight to watch, not just the fact that she is a physically stunning woman. Her motions on stage are hypnotic, it’s hard to take your eyes off her. But, the track moves to Mr. Krivovyaz, the growler over a wall of Gothic / Doom sound with pretty much everyone participating. But, even here, the beat jumps up eventually, we go to a hard pounding sound but one that would be hard to replicate with less talented musicians. Eventually, we return to the Doom with Elena providing a soprano hard to imagine. This one is a classic in oh so many ways. And the lyrics reinforce this excellence:

Slowly in pieces destroying my fate / Soul won’t stop searching the confident state
Slowly in memories madness has laid / Thoughts and the feelings away will be faded
Eyes crystallized and turning to dark / Speechless as sorrow with any spark
Sorrow of madness stopped the beat of my heart / Now I’m becoming its personal guard

One of the ways to rate a Femme Metal band is their ability to perform the “real” classics, especially Mozart. Well, we get Mozart here, the track is Lacrimosa. You can pretty much recognize the style, and Mozart was about as Gothic as it gets. It’s not easy stuff to do unless you have a classical female vocalist of the highest order, and we have that here. Elena handles the high notes with little effort. And, Sergey provides a death metal vocal that I suspect W. A. Mozart would have approved of.

The DVD concludes with While You Remember Me. The beauty here is near overwhelming. You can only do something like this with a highly trained vocal, anything less would be a disaster. Again, we get solid strings, the background vocals are put to work. But, this is Elena, doing what few female vocalists in this genre can do. And damn, does she look good doing it.

We don’t get an overwhelming number of great DVD releases in this genre, especially from bands we don’t expect to see it from. For me, Nightwish’s End of An Era has always been the high water mark. But, with this release, there’s clearly competition. Anyway you look at it, this is a classic. You can watch for the music, you can watch for the stage presence, or, you can just watch for the beautiful women. And that includes that hot brunette with the black dress in the front row of the audience who knows she’s a 10 and knows the cameraman knows it too. But, in the final analysis, this is just great music. I don’t go beyond 10/10 often, but, with this one you get perfection in the music, and a little beyond that with the video. That’s perfection plus.