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"Mick Mercer Review"

With Goth records we don’t often ask or expect much, hoping for some sweetly romantic, sour atmospheres, with guitars ferreting about in the mix, and some unexpected twists behind thoughtful, passionate vocals. Maybe the odd sign that the band is genuinely individual in an enchanting way. That’s not asking much is it? We then get disappointed time after time, with hoary old clichés, or pre-formed slabs of Industrial riffing, or identikit, ultimately pointless programming.

It is wonderful to encounter something like this then, which is a truly fine debut from a band who need next to exhale some more, letting out anger, drawing tension in, thereby pulling at the mood shapes they already do well. If I was the sort to give albums ratings out of ten this would find itself surprised to be awarded an eight, but I don’t, so that’s not happening. For now we can arch eyebrows over the deliberately crackly snatch of ‘Lakme’ serving as their ‘Prelude’ and fall into the darkly swirling ‘Destroy’ with its thumping synth cycle which is impressively moody. Vocals are rising ethereal swoons and the song buzzes and twists, both dignified and comforting around the elaborately dreamy words, enjoying their becoming union with the tune. It even has a funny little synth ending which is cute. They’re like a less dramatic Opera Macabre, with a nod back to The Shroud. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?

The weird battling rhythm of ‘Tell Me’, indistinct guitar and ringing, compressed synth stay sketchy in the background with wispy yet lyrically demanding singing and if you’re looking at the picture and thinking hmm, electro Goth, you’re be wrong. The guitar and vocals cling to Goth deportment nicely throughout, and the synth is often neutral and integral, not just bobbling along as the pacesetter. A repetitive song it gradually builds in power and clarity, while some of the other songs tend to tail off, or fail to get out of second gear. ‘Trinity’ is emptier and the tune drowsy but the vague tone is required for the romantic detachment inherent in the words. It floats by with an interesting arrangement, and just needs something to shake it up. Similarly, ‘Change’ is another song about a love lost which manages to bustle along very discreetly with a stealthy bass underflow, the percussion clattering more and it would have been good to see the song rise as resignation and dejection set in, moving to a fiery close, but they have yet to tackle advanced dynamics. ‘Beyond Dreams’ has a resonant bass hum between lightly imprisoned vocals and a brusque drum pattern. The guitar beetles away as the increasingly charming vocals unfold and this elegant melodic piece rolls out and off, the vocals and synth ebbing away, despondent.

It would be dull if the record then stayed like this throughout, with downbeat decorum matching the strictly maintain lyrical perspective of loss but ‘Undone’ mixes the fluttery with a sense of urgency, less in wounded repose, and they make the most of the guitar shading around the mottled collusion of distant rhythm and rotating vocal misery. ‘Winter World’ is still gloom central, the spindly guitar confidently obtrusive, the synth like heavy curtain through which the vocals peek. Although it gets your interest, it doesn’t really drag you anywhere special. ‘Dreams Torn Away’ has beautiful keyboards and a clearer design, ‘Distant Land’ is trim and mildly desolate, with the subtle variations continuing into the spoken intro of ‘Lost In Thought’ and its ambling sonorous sweetness. Then they close with their own take on ‘Lakme’ and while you can hardly go wrong - many know this as the BA advert if not the whole ‘Pearl Fishers’ thing - first you need the guts to try it, and the vision not to cock it up, both of which they have. Visionary guts, no less! They gently tweak it here and nudge it there and it’s in keeping with everything else they display on this record, with tact and depth, a precious lack of overstatement, and some wonderful songs. I’ve been playing it each day since it arrived and look forward to the next one because they’ll be itching to put on some moody, angsty weight, I’m sure.

Not a great album perhaps, but quietly intoxicating and genuinely lovely. - Mick Mercer

"Backagain (in german)"

Mal wieder eine neue Band aus den USA auf einem neuen Label, das sich in der eher dunklen Musikszene einen Namen machen will. Zwei Damen und ein Herr wollen ihren Beitrag zum weiten Feld düsterer Musik abliefern und machen ihre Sache recht gut. Ihre Kombination aus Dark-Wave, Neo-Klassik, Gothic-Rock und einigen Death-Rock-Einflüssen ist zwar nichts aufregend Neues, aber doch solide. An Vorbilder wie Mors Syphilitica oder Faith And The Muse kommt RELIQUARY zwar nicht ran, vor allem nicht beim Gesang, aber das ist wohl auch kaum möglich. „Destroy“ ist gleich zum Anfang ein viel versprechender Hit, während „Change“ etwas unter der nicht optimalen Produktion leidet, insgesamt aber ist die Mischung aus rockigeren Songs und wavigeren, wie dem schönen „Beyond Dreams“ gut gelungen und dürfte Dark-Wave-Fans, die eine Mischung aus The Machine In The Garden, Lycia und This Ascension mit größerem Gothic-Rock-Einfluss mögen, problemlos zufrieden stellen. Besonders schön sind häufig die Gitarrenparts, die direkt aus den 80er Jahren stammen könnten. Ein solides Szene-Album, dem vielleicht noch ein bisschen die Eigenständigkeit fehlt, um an die Qualität von Veröffentlichungen auf Projekt Records oder Middle Pillar heran zu kommen. (A.P.)
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"Disdeinen review"

Gothic music seems to have been destined to cross genres. With roots in Punk and New Wave, the more recent generation of bands have incorporated elements from Industrial, EBM, and Electronica. So, one must ask... is there anything left to be done?

Fortunately, Reliquary's debut release "Winter World" answers in the affirmative. Incorporating a variety of musical influences, arguably the most impressive element are the vocals -- bordering on the operatic, they provide a wonderfully refined juxtaposition to the instrumental soundscape.

Many bands utilizing electronics tend to lean towards drum-and-base songs... suitable for club play, but not terribly varied in sound. Reliquary, on the other hand, manages to craft a simultaneously varied and yet minimal soundscape... rhythmic, ethereal, and melodic.

In terms of sound, it is quite easy to draw comparisons with bands such as Switchblade Symphony, Faith and the Muse, and Collide... Reliquary has borrowed some of the best elements of each and turned it into their own, creating a unique sound that is at once familiar and surprising. If you are looking for a new addition to your music collection, you cannot go wrong with this release. -


"Winter World"
(domestic release on Final Joy Records : June 2006)

"Winter World"
(European release on Black Rain Records : October 2006)

"Path of Hours"
(domestic release on Final Joy Records : release date TBA)

"A Compilation 2"
(2-cd compilation from Black Rain Records : February 2007)



Phoenix-based Reliquary has become a favorite in the goth music scene. Their influences span several genres, including goth rock, industrial, darkwave and classical. Bands that have helped mold their sound include Faith and The Muse, The Smiths, Qntal, Lacrimosa and Requiem in White. Because of their diverse influences and original sound, Reliquary appeals to and is enjoyed by a wide audience.

Reliquary consist of Kara on vocals, Loki on guitar, Suriel on bass and Jay on keyboards. Loki and Suriel provide the complex and driving background while Kara’s classically trained voice provides a beautiful melodic counterpoint that completes Reliquary’s sound. Expect to hear layer upon layer of synth, drums, and strings, along with intricate guitar work and vocal styles ranging from a hauntingly introspective whisper to classic opera.

Reliquary staked their claim within the goth scene opening for the likes of Faith and The Muse, Bella Morte, The Last Dance, and The Cruxshadows, in addition to headlining many of their own shows.

Reliquary’s current album, Winter World, indulges listeners in a rich symphonic experience. It has seen many successes, including frequent play by DJ’s in goth and darkwave clubs, and several outstanding reviews in popular publications such as Orkus and Zillo. Reliquary also reached #8 on the Italian alternative radio charts, leading to their invitation to play Wave Gothic Treffen in Germany, one of the largest annually held goth/darkwave festivals.

Reliquary is signed to Final Joy Records, based in Phoenix, AZ who has partnership with Black Rain Records in Germany. They are currently working on a new album with an anticipated release in early summer 2007, and are looking forward to sharing new dark and beautiful music with their fans.