Sunday, September 29, 2013

In August: Good Music From Norway

Those of you who are regular readers of The Gothic Embrace may recall a recent post I published entitled, Mira: The Empress of Darkness. Mira, also known as Miramariann, is a very compelling Gothic model living in Norway whose fashion style and overall demeanor closely resembles my original vision for a character I'd created and made central to a few of my earlier short stories. Since publishing that post between mid and late August, I've been keeping up with Miramariann's ongoing activities through Facebook. After all, my philosophy is that when meaningful connections are made between people of like mind, staying in touch is usually beneficial for all involved. In the case of what I'm about to discuss here, I can honestly say that I have once again, benefited from our acquaintance.

A few days ago, I found a video that Mira had just posted in which she and  her "darkling" had taken part. Since she is no doubt, my favorite Gothic model, and since I was curious about her taste in music, I put the video on right away. By the time the song had progressed beyond the first few bars I was already having trouble containing myself. "Oh my God!" I said to myself. (explicative) "Damn!" (another explicative) "This is really (explicative) good!"  In other words, I already loved the song on the first listening---and that's exciting.

Categorizing music can be a tricky affair, but I would refer to the type performed by In August as female-fronted metal, something that in and of itself, adds an interesting dynamic to a musical genre, which until fairly recently, was male dominated. The group's current lineup includes Lady August doing the vocals, Kjell providing the guitar work, Tom playing bass and Morten on the drums. On the song, 1000 Words, which is the title track of the video, friend and guest musician Roger Wollan provided the piano work . The band formed about a year ago as the result of friends regularly playing together and others, as Lady August puts it, "because of common interest in both metal and music with strong melodies."

Though not the first song the group has recorded, 1000 Words is the first video it has produced. In my opinion, In August chose wisely in starting off with this one because, while maintaining some metal influences, it is a bit slower than the group's other songs, very melodic and showcases not only Lady August's impressive vocal abilities, but the band's understanding of rock n' roll fundamentals. I cannot say how very refreshing it was for me to hear an already captivating song segue into a really good lead guitar solo. In my opinion, this is a technique that rarely fails to please but is one too often missing in today's metal, a musical genre still dominated by that instrument. 
While the chords and tonalities found in 1000 Words do not strike me as particularly Gothic, the video itself keeps reverting back to dark imagery containing flashes of Mira and her partner; this, as well as visions of a man in a top hat serenading his lover in the dark with his violin. I'm not sure if the violin segments feature Mira and her friend or not, but this is imagery that I always find both romantic and compelling nevertheless.  

In August recorded three other songs this past January. These include Frozen Fear, Dad, and You'll Never Know. While these are a bit heavier than 1000 Words, they do maintain melodic quality, interesting tonalities, chord structure and more high-quality guitar work. For the time being however, you'll have to either visit iTunes or Spotify in order to hear them. 

Although the band is still somewhat in flux as it is looking for a rhythm guitarist, it is a testimony to the group's creativity to know that its members write, record and produce all of the material themselves. Additionally, In August has begun playing gigs in their native country and is looking to the future by beginning work on some new songs for an upcoming album; this, with hopes that other doors may open, thereby opening the possibility of performances abroad. 

All in all, these folks are doing quite well for a group that has only been in existence for a year or so. All I can say is keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to hearing more from you in the future. Oh! And Lady August, I love your hat!    

Here's their video entitled, 1000 Words. This video and accompanying photos appear with the permission of Lady August and the band, In August. 


In August's Official Website


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