I wanted to start my review of a new work of Adrian Hates by the words “new album is released” but it was shot off rather than released! This year, on March 14, the silence was broken by the shot that came from dark depths of the mysterious and still unknown soul of the ingenious creator.
It is more likely that if Elegies In Darkness came on the scene after such successful disks as Nigredo, Nekrolog 43 or If, then it would not be so fascinating. But things (or Herr Hates’ inspiration) were different. Melodies that have been released during the last five years were rythmical, middle tempo and nice but not so catchy as in old previous works. A compilation and acoustic songs which were released before and after Ego-X made us get used with this musical reality of DIARY OF DREAMS. After the announcement of a new Adrian’s project .com/Kill and similarly-named debut album released in pursuit of it I stopped thinking about anything new, tasty and striking… And here he crept up and took a shot.
Elegies In Darkness. It is brimmed with deep synthesized guitars, rich multilayer keyboards and only-Adrian-knows orchestrations that are flooded by their own many-sidedness. It is amazing, fresh, dark and deep. All these is the new album. And, sure enough, it is filled with grief.
Elegies in darkness. This phrase includes symbolism which is usual for Adrian Hates and which saturates each song and the whole disk. Conceptual cover design is embodied in the first song “Malum” that means “Evil” in Latin, provided that this is not a simple evil but the ancient evil. And like echo of this evil a black eyed maid is looking at us from the cover. Dry, dead but, incredible as it may seem, live thirsty tree which penetrates the maid. But she kills the tree by raising it. She is that tree which brought the evil in beautiful cover of the apple of discord to the world. And the other trees in the distance signify us, and all our life is a sad Elegy in the center of which we see a disappointed soul that see the darkness even under the sunlight… A detailed explanation of this interspersed with personal passions of protagonist Hates will be given by 12 songs, 12 Elegies about regret, wasted time, ephemeral love and inner fears. For someone there going to be 15 songs as it also was released a limited edition of 6-panel digipak with another cover, 32 pages booklet and three new tracks.
From a musical point of view we can divide the album into three intermittent parts similar to the real symphony: anxious and aggressive, dynamic and melancholic. From a stylistic point of view there are not only synth-goth but also dark electro and dark-wave as well as echoes of other genres. In some tracks you can find elements of ambient and industrial styles. Interestingly, DIARY OF DREAMS, especially in the case of the new disk, appeared to be more “natural” and less electronic as compared with other groups that follow similar direction. It concerns both music and vocal. It would be better to determine an individual style for the music of Adrian Hates, i.e. dark dream music. Only these words can describe the content of the new album.
In Elegies In Darkness each song is based on the contrast of couplets, refrains and wonderful instrumental solo. Estranged long-winded layer of melodies suddenly covers the squall of guitars and apocalyptic percussions, breaks and transforms the rhythm, and blows our sense perception. Being different and dissimilar the songs are in such strict sequence that does a world of good for them and produces effect of an entirety and unified large piece of music. The album looks matured and actualized. We feel deliberateness and we are sensible of each note, sound and word. Actually, this disk is a step forward in the creative work. It is a new stage of mastership and new talent edges.
Cool blooded “Malum” which opens the world of Elegies makes us understand from the first accords that there is no place for compromises here. It is not “Dead Letter” from Nigredo that excites the mind and not an outrageous “The Wedding” from If. There is a reason to compare them as these songs definitely have similar features. “Malum” is a first furious song in the armory of the group. It has interesting and unusual for DIARY OF DREAMS distortional and recitative refrain that has face of the Evil. After epic ending it throws us to the arms of “The Luxury Of Insanity” that is a bomb which explodes after each Adrian’s phrase and pulses with deep elastic rhythm. And this is one more surprise of Elegies as Herr Hates didn’t create such “actions” earlier. Increasing intensity, additional and overlapping music effects and orchestrations, cold vocal in couplets and very hot vocal in majestic and heavy refrains due to the presence of rhythm guitars, expression and explosiveness make “The Luxury Of Insanity” the leader and hit of the album.
“Stummkult” resembles angry and heated compilation of Nigredo old hits and shows us one more time that obscure and heavy sounds suits Adrian’s music.
In “Dogs Of War” we are charmed by concentric circles of guitar passages and luscious, catchy, power melody.
A romantic “A Day In December” reveals emotional stress of the creator and does not allow us to forget that besides conceptions and mythologies a lion’s share of lyrics and emotions is for love. It is needless to say that this love is unrequited love.
“A Dark Embrace” and “The Game” are the samples of the classic style of DIARY OF DREAMS. They have everything we love Adrian’s music for. However, there are new tones even here. Atmosphere of songs has more oppression, hopelessness and understatement.
“Dream Of A Ghost” surprises us by its inoffensiveness against the background of the rest of Elegies. Light and atmospheric, nearly a synth-pop ballade, it is suitable for relaxation at home and for dance floor. But Elegies will not allow long relaxation.
“Daemon”. The name is self-explanatory. Yes, yes, it is a continuation of the theme originated in “Malum”. Psychoacoustic influence of this song is close to the state of trance. With the beginning as in horror film soundtrack the song take us to the world of weird ritual dance. Amazingly complicated and chilling electronic orchestrations, nearly magical rhythm, active and aggressive guitars, strictness of the German language and cold blooded vocal – cannot we love this Elegy to bits for all these?
“House Of Odds” and “The Battle” are congenial with “Daemon” but from a musical point of view they interfere with different edges of electronic guitar sounds of DIARY OF DREAMS. Following one after another these three songs represent the trilogy that precedes the slowest and saddest Elegy of the album “Die Gassen Der Stadt”.
“Mythology Of Violence” with its middle tempo and anxious rhythm, which is a visiting card of Adrian Hates’ songs, opens limited part of the disc. Next is one more example of the classic sounding of DIARY OF DREAMS – “An Empty House”.
After listening of all the songs we hear the final “Remedy Mine”. It is so elegant and beautiful! And we cannot but compare it with the legendary “She And Her Darkness”. Only in “Remedy Mine” everything is darker: Adrian’s voice became deeper, the words are more desperate, tonality is lower, the percussions are strong, guitars are louder, keyboard instrument themes are more epic. Right atmosphere, for example, at home, in the evening, with lighted candles, create the impression that this song is not just a final song of the album but an anthem of desperation of the lyrical hero who wrote all Elegies.
So what we can say about a new music piece of DIARY OF DREAMS which is equally filled with recognizable music features and totally unexpected melody variations? It is clear that Elegies In Darkness is the heaviest, darkest, most guitar and musically richest album of DIARY OF DREAMS. And as an epilogue for the abovementioned we say that this album is one of the best.