Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Subterfuge - Reflect << Rewind (2013)

Reflect << Rewind

Subterfuge from Australia is a band which has been creating Traditional Gothic Rock of excellence since the early 90’s. This is a fantastic anthology; it is a real source of listening pleasure for everybody who loves Gothic Rock. This band haven´t so much releases back in the day: They only have a Self-titled demo tape (1993), and the EP “Darkland Awakening” (1994). And they appeared in different important compilation albums back in the 90’s; but in the New Millennium…they appeared in other compilation albums too. Some of those compilations were released by Strobelight Records, and this record label is the one which brings up this brilliant collection. "Reflect << Rewind" includes 16 tracks, ten of these songs are unreleased stuff (unreleased songs, different mixes, and demo tracks) The good thing here is the fact that newcomers will be discovering to this “hidden” treasure; and long-time fans will have a great release with lots of different versions of the songs, and the demo-tracks as well. This is the definitive collection of the music created by Subterfuge.

After the intro (properly entitled) as “Resurrect”, we are in front of the first taste of pure Gothic Rock executed with majesty: “Hand In Hand” is a Top song in this musical style, awesome guitar work, the rhythm section has aplomb; the bas lines sounds pretty clear and their rhythm will take over your senses. The voice has a very distinctive sound and style, and the melody is pretty catchy. Perfectly balanced track; and this is only the beginning. “Darkland Awakening” is another track which comes with the finest crafting. The rhythm is strong, and you will feel it like your own heartbeats, the guitars are subtle in the verse; and everything goes to a climax in the chorus. The proper use of some keyboards and shynts , enrich the sound of this song big time. “Six Before Down” is mid tempo; the track is very solid and displays attitude, self confidence, and this one transmits the feeling of their passion for making music. This song is a little bit more Rock-oriented (in the traditional Gothic Rock way) and has lots of keyboards.”Curses” is my personal classic song of this band; it appeared in some compilation albums in 1998 and 2004. And it has a pure traditional sound at its finest, with the proper level of intensity and emotion, and it has great rhythm with awesome transitions: Perfection! “Pre dawn hours” is quite sober and elegant, with lots of emotion in the voice. The keyboards have the leading part here. “The Judas In Me” takes us back to the very fluent Gothic Rock sound of Subterfuge, adorned with shynts and keys. A prayer for the kindred” is guitar driven, with faster rhythm and pretty catchy bass lines. This song has great transitions and it is vertiginous. “The Crystal Sky” is introspective and takes you to a cathedral of shadows, this song is pretty atmospheric. “Haborim” will make you move; is a pretty exciting track with awesome melody. The fine sound of the keyboards creates a great contrast with the faster rhythm, and the dynamism of the transitions.”Only the Righteous” is slow, but it has aplomb, density, and nostalgic feeling. The following track is a different, (and pretty good) mix of the superb “The Judas In Me”. And finally we have four Demo-tracks, and they are very interesting bonus stuff. Have to say that this is not exactly the demo from 1993: Only the original demo version of “Jordana” is featured here. You can find the other songs from that demo in this record, but they are different versions. These demo tracks are also stuff of the highest level.

Well, Subterfuge has come with an awesome collection of songs, and definitely they deserve a (well earned) place besides the great ones of the Gothic Rock from the 90’s; and this wonderful release is the definitive proof. This gem is a total must have.

Daniel Olvera