Gothic Novel –  Last Day Sect (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If the musical genre that went by the name of “goth” quickly got weighed down with pantomime pretensions, corny cliche and primary school theatrics until it disappeared into its own black hole, Gothic Novel is the perfect antidote to such silliness. Taking the general theme suggested by the title it is a collection of tales based around gothic literature, dark romance and moonlit encounters. Some might label such a device a concept album, but better perhaps to call it an album of concepts, especially given the collaborative and fluid nature of the music.

Last Day Sect are a trio of musicians who already boast a pretty impressive CV from working with everyone from Ian Hunter to Gallon Drunk but to properly realise their musical anthology of cryptic tales and mausoleum monologues a whole host on additional musical names have been brought on board.

The album wanders through some fairly Bowie-esque moments, not surprising considering that Reeves Gabrels and Mike Garson can be found amongst the players but also employs visceral electro-pop with Madeline, brooding, jazz meets punk-gothique vibes on the Poe-faced Black Candle, minimalist spoken word for Vathek and explores every other dark collision that such a Venn diagram might suggest.

It’s gothic music for the bookworm rather than the club poseur, the windswept romantic rather than the lonely cynic and it immediately begs one question. Why has it taken so long for this to happen?

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