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Clan of Xymox – Days of Black Album Review

Of all the old school dark wave acts Clan of Xymox continues to prove they still have it. When the album actually kicks into things, it does so with a smart bass line. The pop tinged skip to “Loneliness” that doesn’t sound all dark at first. The vocal melody is well thought out and adds just enough darkness to the rest of the song. The synths sound like they could have come from “Disintegration”. “Vixen in Disguise” works but is not their best work and would get filed under alright filler. There is more drive to “Leave Me Be” which melts into more of a introspective slink. At 55 years of age Ronny’s voice sounds great. In the lower register it still holds rich resonance and slides up into his more emotive whine. His vocals are what retains the band’s identity and brings life to these songs , though “Leave Me Be” is dark enough to satisfy my goth cravings. “Rain Will Wash Away” is more electronic based, to the point that it feels more like an interlude.

They go into more a traditional dark wave for  “Set You Free”. Not dialed in, but nothing new. There is a very emotional and Cure like vibe to “I Couldn’t Save You”. Reminding me the guitar tones on this album when they crop are are very nice. “What Goes Around” should get the dance floor of any good goth club writhing. The beat is not overbearing, but slinks in just the right way.;There is a more aggressive drive to “I Need to Be Alone”.  Not the album’s strongest song , but not bad either. The guitar continues to get amped up, this time in a darker more Sisters of Mercy like direction for “Loud and Clear”. There is a soft more electronic touch to “Your Kiss” which has drive , but not of the rock variety more synth wave.

While it feels like the second half of the album panders too closely to expectations , they do deliver what fans are looking with a few new twists and tweaks to their sound that don’t make this seem like it was plucked out of 1991. They do it better than most of their peers so I am not sure why some songs just connected with me more on the first half and more of the songs later in the album were just kinda “Ok, this works fade into the background” sort of things. Anyway if you are a hard core fan of the bands should be very pleased with this one. .

Review by Wil Cifer

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