Etoile Noire – The Breath of Khali

The Italian formation Etoile Noire is back with more energetic gothic rock, or “goth ‘n roll”, as they prefer to call it. Earlier I reviewed their “Sleeping black eyes” promo cd, which was quite decent. Now the band has released its first real album. ‘The Breath of Khali” contains 9 tracks, including a remix of the title track and a cover of the Christian Death classic ‘This is Heresy’. They found a well-known producer, Enzo Rizzo (Mano Negra, Manu Chao). The line-up of Etoile Noire is: Swaran Scott (voice, acoustic guitars), Kobra (electric guitar) and Ferruccio Milanesi (bass samplers).

The cd starts energetic with ‘The Breath of Khali’, an old-fashioned straightforward punky song. ‘Point of no return’ starts as a nice ballad, with sensitive vocals and a soft instrumental background, but turns into a dynamic rock song as the song progresses. ‘Eyelids covering mirrors’ is a nice midtempo melancholic song, with acoustic guitars and the beautiful violin sounds of Alfredo Notarloberti (Argine), a nice composition and perhaps my favourite song of the album. ‘Melt’ and ‘Sleeping Black Eyes’ are rather standard punk/rock songs, with quite some energy, but a little too simple for my taste. ‘Ascension’ is also a rocksong, but quite good and catchy, with an early 80’s atmosphere. ‘Fort of Sand’ brings us a more intimate mood, a very nice desperate ballad. Next is the instant recognizable song ‘This is Heresy’, convincingly covered by the Italians. The album is finished by a dynamic ‘club mix’ of the title track.
A solid debut release for Etoile Noire, worth checking out if you can appreciate dark rockmusic with a little nostalgic postpunkfeel.

artist: Etoile Noire
label: Nocturnal Music
details: 9 tracks, 48 minutes. date of release: October 4, 2002