28th October 2016 – Self-released
02. Darkling Rooms
05. Man ov Fyre
06. Ghost Walk
The trees are shedding leaves, the nights are creeping in, and National Trust sites are starting to look spookier; it is the perfect time for goths. Goth fashions have had their time in the sun (lol) in 2016; now we need an appropriate soundtrack. As we head into actual winter and possibly nuclear winter, goth never seemed more relevant. Enter Guillotine Dream, and new record Lemuria.
Lemuria is six tracks of 80s-style goth rock. There’s a huge Fields Of The Nephilim ghost haunting them; Carl McCoy’s spectre is draped over them like…well, like Carl McCoy in a big sheet. There are also clear influences from other seminal acts like The Cult, though it’s Nephilim’s influence that’s most present in the vocals and the atmosphere.
There’s a folky element at work too, more subtle than the goth-rock elements found elsewhere. This is effectively evocative of ruined temples and haunted forests; all par for the goth course, but they’re a lot more subtle than a lot of their peers. The folk elements are evocative of a particularly English version of the countryside in a similar way to some of My Dying Bride‘s more pastoral outings. Guillotine Dream have managed this without sounding pompous or painfully twee; disarmingly difficult, as anyone who’s had to sit through particularly bad high-concept black metal will know first-hand.
There’s a clear focus on songwriting, particularly noticeable when they could so easily rely on atmosphere; for the EP it makes much more sense to focus on structured songs. “Leumuria” in particular is a banger with a solid riff backbone and plenty of spooky, folky atmosphere. It makes sense that it’d be the video release.
Lemuria unfortunately suffers from the general EP issue of only being a taster of what’s to come, and it wouldn’t be remiss to ask for a few more elements on a full-length; Their style would suit longer instrumentals or extended atmospheric tracks, all of which an album format would allow them. Guillotine Dream have proven their songwriting talent and it’d be grand to see this expanded upon; Lemuria will set them up for good things to come.
Guillotine Dream are firmly a product of their influences but have the benefit of these being pretty diverse and esoteric to start with. Goth has such a diverse history; what better way to celebrate the 1,606th anniversary of King Alaric’s sacking of Rome?