From its most extreme metal components to its softer, synthier underbelly, the Gothic genre has a real habit of polarising fans into camps. One such band who lean on the rockier side are De Arma, the Anglo-Swedish duo who have released their sophomore album ‘Strayed in Shadows’.
If you are expecting an album to sound like ‘Dance of December Souls’ or ‘Icon’, then you may as well look away now as ‘Strayed in Shadows’ whack out the synths and the electronics to create an album of decent quality Gothic rock that harks to a late 90’s and early 2000’s Gothic sound. We’re not talking something that drags in elements of industrial though; tracks such as ‘Funeral in My Brain’, ‘City Vultures’ and ‘Pain of the Past’ have all the appeal of Paradise Lost from this era as well as touching on bands such as Fen, Agalloch and Novembre whilst also reaching into the likes of Alcest and Lantlôs.
Yet, ‘Strayed in Shadows’ is a nostalgic album, it’s fun to listen to whilst it’s on and it is enjoyable, but quite a number of songs are just a tad too long and it can’t be helped thinking that this album would have benefited from just being shorter. Ultimately, there are a lot of good ideas here and De Arma continue to chip away and mould their sound to fit who they are They may not have reached that point yet, it is an improvement on the last album, and it will be interesting to see what the next one sounds like
"a lot of good ideas here and De Arma continue to chip away and mould their sound"
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