ALBUM OBLIVION RELEASE: AUGUST 30, 1999 REVIEW: OCTOBER 8, 1999
"The Cycle" strikes me as being less. Less of everything that made Dreadful Shadows into what they've become today. One of the bands in the front-line of goth rock, that is.
To me, "The Cycle" sounds more like traditional rock, with hands of goth gently stroking it. It's still impressive, but not as mind-blowing as one could expect. Not after the single delight, the Tanita Tikaram cover "Twist in My Sobriety". The quintet still manages to compile a stack of strong material, but without obvious peaks. It kind of flows through me. All the time upholding my interest, but lacking the ability to make a lasting impression.
There's one song I keep returning to, another single, "Futility". This is an infectious, cool track with more of the Dreadful Shadows best. But the rest are good, but somewhat anonymous compositions. In other words, it's as hard to find gems as it is to find disasters. The edge, the ingredients luring you into want to hear the album over and over again, was lost somewhere along the line.
Often, the songs are traditionally built with calm, soothing verses being sung in gothic style by Sven Friedrich. There is pronounced change of pace as the refrains starts, but nothing shocks or sounds overwhelmingly fresh. At the same time I like what I hear. I'm just not that anxious to put "The Cycle" back in the CD player, when in fact I really should be. Confusing.