Another day, another new (to me) band – this time Sweden’s gothic metal merchants Beseech. This is a band who’ve just come back from a bit of a break – almost ten years off, in fact. Original guitarist Klas Bohlin called it a day back in 2003, but the band got back together in 2012 with Bohlin shifting to vocal duties alongside the other original guitarist Robert Vintervind. The band reckon they’ve captured the sound they had back in 2002 on Souls Highway, but added a modern twist.
Well, I don’t know that album to compare the progression, so you’ll have to make do with my witterings based on this individual release! The lyrics throughout are written by Bohlin which he describes as:
A theme of stories from a desolated borderland, where we live in symbiosis with the darkness and the light. Constantly we want to be reminded of our good deeds and bright memories, while we are silent about the diseases, tragedies and losses.
He’s joined on vocal duties by Angelina Sahlgren Söder, though Bohlin himself does the lion’s share. Söder seems often used just for background or harmonies but when she does come to the fore, she’s definitely worth listening to. The two voices really work well together, mixing in with the guitars and bass. “Bloodline Fever” is the first track where this really becomes evident, especially in the driving final third.
Gothic metal often gets a bit of a maligned reputation, with many claiming it’s all image over substance but those people are forgetting behemoths like Type O Negative. Beseech aren’t the same kind of creature, owing more to the likes of Tuomas Holopainen or Andrew Eldritch than Pete Steele. A mix of the gothic and symphonic in places gives them a very interesting and involving sound with the songs smothering you and rocking you in more than one sense of the word.
While they make use of some effects, I don’t spot any credit for a keyboard player so I assume these are just samples of guitar pedal jiggery-pokery. It all adds to the “feel” of the album, though, and it fits beautifully. It’s also nice to hear something that’s both goth-y and uplifting. The title track, while somewhat morose in tone also manages to somehow lift the spirits. With a strangely country-music lilt to the opening guitar notes, it settles into a wonderfully enrapturing dark ballad.
Other tracks to pay particular attention to are “Highwayman”, “One Last Call” and “Darksome” although plucking just those three out is a challenge and I’ve gone for them mainly as they’re about as different from each other as I can select from this album.
My Darkness, Darkness is an easy listen for someone who likes to feel joyful about being slightly miserable. There isn’t a song on here that I wish wasn’t included, though there are some which are better than others. Though I don’t have the older material, I’m definitely interested in checking it out having heard this. And that’s got to be a good sign.