Drift Into Black – Dead Suns Under the Forever Moon
Date: October 12, 2018
It seems this “retro movement” is still gaining momentum. Here’s a pretty new name on the scene, yet sounding like it is 40 years old. Or 5 years old, depending on who you ask.
Drift Into Black is a US based one-man band claiming the Metal/Rock style. I can’t quite agree with the genre classification, as it seems that Craig Rossi (the one man in the “one-man band”) leaves a lot to the free interpretation of the listener there. Apart of that, it is important to mention that “Dead Suns Under the Forever Moon” is the second release by the band, following the EP released last year. There is a good number of session musicians that took part in the recording of the album itself, so that Craig avoided the usual traps of programming instruments himself. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite avoid every mistake one-man bands are known for. So let’s see what is hidden behind the cover painting that does seem striking, to say the least. Well, except the band logo that looks like it was taken from an arcade video game from the ‘80s.
The first name that comes to mind is Ghost. Or is it Ghost B.C? Nevermind, the fact is that Drift Into Black resembles the work of the famed (not really sure why) Swedes, the difference there being the fact that the American act has more of a “doomy” feeling to their music. Strike one (baseball analogy very much intended) would be the vocals. In trying to sound like Papa Whateverhisnameisrightnow, Craig managed to pull off something that sounds somewhere between Ghost and Placebo, which has its moments, but most often sounds too weak for my taste. Then again, I’m not a big fan of Papa’s vocals either, so don’t take this remark too firmly. On the other hand, there are even some “grungy” vocal passages which do sound very good.
While on the subject of vocals, I didn’t get lyrics in the promotional package, but it is explained that “Dead Suns Under the Forever Moon” has a concept that sounds very much uncommon, which makes me even more sorry I don’t have a chance to read the words that accompany this album.
I have mentioned above the musical side of Drift Into Black. What I wrote before is nearly all one needs in order to evaluate his or hers interest in this release. Yet, I would like to elaborate a bit. This album is not so much keyboard driven as it has become a custom with all these retro bands. Guitar riffs have a lead role on this album, and that is a good thing. The problem is the fact that there are not nearly enough “catchy” riffs here to make this release stick to your brains. Not to mention some memorable chorus. It all fades away soon after the album ends, and that is exactly what I meant when I wrote about the “one-man band traps”. The eerie atmosphere is captured perfectly, especially with the help of the background keyboard/organ, and that is pretty much everything that stays with you for a while longer.
It seems to me that Ghost and the likes do get a lot of attention these days, so there is probably a “slot” opened for Drift Into Black as well. This is just simply not my kind of music. You try it. I’m always up for those angry e-mails that say I’m a musical ignorant.