Love is Colder than Death – Eclipse

Love is Colder than Death has been around for a few years now. In the early 90’s they released albums on the now defunct Hyperium label, which was known for its neo-classical and ‘heavenly voices’ music. In the last years LICTD hasn’t been too productive, partly caused by their high perfectionism. After 1995 only “Atopos” appeared, in 1999. Now, three years later, a new album follows, their fifth full-lenght in total. It has been released on the band’s new, own label In Deyagora Music. When I recently saw the band at the Wave Gotik Treffen I was impressed by the three singers and the nice video images in the background. It was only a little disappointing that much of the musical accompaniment was not played live.

When you hear “Eclipse” you hear immediately that we are not dealing with a beginning band. Everything sounds skilfully executed and carefully polished, and the production is flawless and very clear. Besides this craftmanship the album is very enjoyable because of the nice songs and atmosphere. The main ingredients of LICTD are the impressive vocal performances, both male and female, and the ritual percussion. An obvious comparison is Dead Can Dance, and indeed the music on “Eclipse” reminds me often of the work of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry for instance on a track like ‘Song of Faith’.

The overall mood is a little oriental and exotic. Both acoustic and synthetic instruments have been used on this album. Two songs use lyrics from William Blake, and ‘Humming bird’ is based on an old medieval pilgrim tune. I very much like the first song, ‘Wannabi’, with a very strong uptempo ritual character, which is really inviting you to join. Also nice is ‘Ideals and pains’, one of the most folky songs, lead by acoustic guitar. ‘Holy Thursday’ has a pleasing exotic arrangement,taking you to Turkish regions. Absolutely stunning is ‘Point of a bounday line’, which starts as a bombastic classical hymn in the vein of Stoa, after which a tranquil song develops with very beautiful male singing. Another fine piece is ‘First light in the dawn’, lead by ritual chanting by multiple voices.

A mature and personal album, of very high quality. Very pleasant and relaxing to listen to, and recommended for fans of Dead can Dance. “Eclipse” offers a varied mixture of western and exotic influences and both traditional and modern ingredients. LICTD sounds lighter than ever, and conveys a spiritual feeling. Perhaps at times everything sounds a bit too smooth, but that’s a minor criticism. Especially the vocal performances are very good. I hope that LICTD will deliver another fine album in a few years time.

artist: Love is Colder than Death
label: In Deyagora Music
details: 10 tracks, 45 min. [idm 001]