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It’s a bit hard to know where to place this release, and at first I wondered if it was really for Hard Wired to review – it’s a bit mainstream AOR.
But after successive listens, I’ve decided that this album does deserve a review on our humble pages.
Kooper Kain can best be described as a Dark Rock come AOR band, sounding as if David Bowie was singing for U2, this is a professional release, and is very listenable.
Guitar based, thoughtful and dark rock is the order of the day here. It’s inoffensive, very slick, and very well engineered. These boys know their stuff.
There are 18 tracks on here, and believe it or not, they all sound different. This is a rare feat for any band, but KK have managed to balance the album and track order in such a way that you ca put it on and forget about it… just let the music wash over you. Not once have I wanted to skip onto the next track, I’ve been happy to follow the path of the music, leading me on from one track to the next without any problems. While this is a guitar based album, the guitars do not take centre stage. They almost sit on the sidelines – always there, but not in your face. This helps to build and craft the sound for each track. Nice!
The lyrics behind the music are passionate, and convey a sense of emotion throughout the album – that Bowie-esque voice helps too. The male vocals seem to glide over the sound, not shouting or never once offensive, the music/vocal combination here has been well crafted.
Okay, the pace changes occasionally, and this change is no more apparent then the switch between the tracks “Tonal” – a moody and laid back affair, and “Alien” – a much more upbeat number, faster paced, and dynamic. Surely this is a dance floor – filler?
So if it’s this good, are there any gripes with the album? Well, only one – it takes a while to get into. I did not find this instantly accessible at all, and it’s taken many listens to get me this far. But if you stick with it, this album will reward you time and again.
As if this album had not highlighted their talent enough, the last two tracks, “Goodnight Lustmord” and “The Cowboy Vampire”, are truly dark ambient numbers – instrumental and emotional. Very well put together pieces, and this makes KK deserving of a bow from their fans. Talented, professional and gifted. Thanks lads


The easiest way to describe their musical style is a combination of 80’s Rock and New Wave combined with modern Gothic Rock influences. The vocals have definite similarities to Simple Minds, while the pounding and heavy drums coupled with dark guitars and bass bring out that excellent Gothic Rock sound. The musical compositions are quite unique in many ways, but manage to maintain a catchy and interesting style.

With the release of this debut work, this group is well on their way to a positive musical career. Be sure to check them out and listen to selections on Gothic Paradise radio.
Turning Cities To Salt – Review

I was completely unfamiliar with this group before this album came out. I decided to give it a try and I’ve never turned back and don’t have any regrets. Being a child of the 80’s, the influences of Simple Minds obviously stood out in my mind, but then I heard the guitars and unique percussion rhythms driving the music and fell in love with the Gothic Rock style that permeates each track. It’s nice to be able to hear a group once in a while that is able to combine these styles in such a way that provide a nice hook, something to captivate the listener, even if it’s not a dance-floor album or layered with beautiful ethereal vocals. In fact, I think the solid and powerful vocals on this album provide the dynamic foundation that is needed to capture the audience. From the deep bass tones to the high falsetto that he’s not afraid to use, the vocals are strong, unwavering, never showing any hesitation.

With that as an introduction, I think the best way to explain and relate this album is to break down a couple of highlights on the album. While the introductory track “Icy Stars” is solid and enjoyable, with a dicy beat that brings to life the deep vocals and background grinding guitars, it’s really the dynamic and anthem-like qualities of “Sentence Now” that kick it all off and set the stage for the strengths of this group. This is one of the few “easy” dance tracks on the album, where the beat is a beat more standard and accessible, but like I’ve already tried to explain, it’s the solid foundation of the strong vocals on a bed of guitars, bass and the solid beat that bring it together into a real masterpiece. “Moonlight Kiss” is another of these types of tracks that are a little more moving and latch onto the Gothic Rock style. The grinding guitars come a little more into the foreground on this piece, adding a little bit more of an edge. “Too Far Gone” is another with almost identical riffs grinding away, but still enjoyable in the same ways.

I think the key to really enjoying this album is to sit back somewhere and listen to it in it’s entirety from beginning to end. I also think this is an added plus that you don’t have to go through and pick out favorite tracks and skip the rest, and so I enjoy listening to albums best this way. When I’ve done this it all comes together so well, the strong vocals and nice catchy hooks. The mix of mid-tempo and down-tempo tracks with ballad-like qualities add an extra perspective on the entire work as a whole. Even the Dark Ambient pieces on the end which comprise the last two tracks are an added bonus, especially for diverse tastes that can really enjoy these atmospheric pieces.

With 18 tracks total, there is definitely plenty to enjoy on this debut album. I think people that can appreciate a dynamic vocal range backed by music with a solid Gothic edge can really enjoy this work.

Rating: 4.5/5


"Turning Cities To Salt" released May 2004
"Something Collides Inside" released July 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


kooper kain presents the rebirth of show.
The band lavishes its songs with polished production
a wide-screen romanticism and a sense of high drama.
imagine Simple Minds hooked on Cult-like histrionics
and big beats. kooper kain is unique in their
epic presentation of dark high fashion electro rock.
while maintaining elements of familar musical
flavours. influences include Simple Minds, David Bowie
Faith No More and Depeche Mode.