Dark Sanctuary – Exaudi Vocem Meam I

An album filled with highly romantic neo-classical music. Dark Sanctuary treats us to very elegant compositions, lovely ethereal female vocals and an atmosphere instantly reminding you of impressive gothic cathedrals.

If I compare Exaudi Vocem Meam РPart I to the other album I known of Dark Sanctuary, Royaume M̩lancolique, the band has grown considerably. But then again that album already dates from 1999, and the French band has released a few other albums in between. A good way to get familiar with their back catalogue is by listening to the compilation Thoughts: 9 years in the sanctuary on Projekt Records.

Dark Sanctuary started as a purely keyboard-based act, but in the course of time ‘real’ strings and percussion have been added, which gives their music more depth. The formula of this type of music is quite predictable, but Dark Sanctuary has released one of the better albums in the genre, with enough variation and moving moments.

A monumental hymn like ‘Elle et l’aube’ will appeal to fans of Stoa, while the slow and atmospheric ‘Dein kalter Stein’ makes me think of Lisa Gerrard, though the second half with the grave male vocals is more in a darkwave vein.

This is a recommended album for lovers of sacral, melancholic music. And the good news is that a sequel has been announced for 2006, as well as various concerts.

artist: Dark Sanctuary
label: Wounded Love Records
details: cd, 11 tracks, 2005 [WLR033]