This 10-track disc by Canadian goth-rock sextet The Birthday Massacre represents their sixth release. It lives up to the hopes of those who have come to expect gorgeous, dark-themed female vocals by lead singer Chibi, delicious minor-key melodies and symphonic elements realized through heavy, down-tuned bass and guitar as well as synthetic accompaniment.
From the opening track, “Divide,” with Chibi’s ultra-sweet vocals and menacing, drone-like bass background, to the all-instrumental concluding track, “Trinity,” the theme is dreamy, hallucinatory and ethereal. Occasional hissing, menacing male spoken word interjections are set against her luscious singing. The flow is generally upbeat, with a few ventures into more complex, syncopated rhythms. The title-track “Superstition” slows the tempo down to a pace that is just shy of depressing, giving the entire ensemble a chance to be heard and for soloists to sound off alongside a blend of synthetic effects.
Fans and newcomers to The Birthday Massacre will enjoy poetic narratives, the seductive if somewhat vampiric propositions, the allegorical portrayals of such phenomena as the ocean, rain, the so-called coming of age and the mysterious “other side.” Above all, they will find themselves drawn into succulent melodies and mesmerizing rhythms that have been the signature sound of this band from their earliest appearance on the dark-music scene.
In A Word: Stygian