Roses Never Fade "s/t" CDPosted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 @ 6:55am » permalink
If you're unfamiliar, Roses Never Fade is an international project spearheaded by infamous Integrity frontman Dwid along with Thorsten Wilhelm from Vegas; with significant guitar contributions thus far having been delivered by former Pale Creation members Nick Brewer and Matt Shack, alongside appearances from Adami (acoustic guitar) and Stephanie VH (vocals, mbria piano). I first wrote about "Fade to Black" – their debut – a little over four years ago, when it was originally released by Rock Vegas. This is a revision of that post, seeing as the album was recently reissued by Belgian label Neuropa Records with the addition of the tracks from 2008's limited edition (and also out of print) "The Man They Want to Hang" 7" (Not to mention an unlisted bonus in the form of a partial cover of Scandal's "Goodbye to You"!?).
I'd guess that many narrowminded hardcore purists would scoff at this stuff, but I really dig this material all around, and still believe this outlet to be the strongest to have born Dwid's name outside of the almighty Integrity. The full-length offers 12 tracks in just under 40 minutes that walk the line between a dark, acoustic-based sound somewhat reminiscent of Integrity's sorely underrated "Heaven Inside Your Hell" (see "Don't Let the Hell Come Down", especially) and "apocalyptic folk" (or whatever the hell you want to call that Death in June-ish type of sound) flirtations. And the 7" is equally diverse, ranging from the almost spaghetti western-inflected title track to the unexpected expansion towards dense percussion, droning electric guitars, and Dwid's patented screams during "Rosa Italia" (which almost comes across as an experimental Pale Creation track with Dwid on vocals). Despite relying almost solely on acoustic guitars and whispered vocals, it's an intriguing listen where some tracks come across as more melodic while others feel further abstract and manipulated, and there's plenty of variety explored through assorted layering techniques and so on. I also enjoy the effectively stripped down rawness to aspects of the recording: There are a couple of little areas where you can hear things like chairs creaking or other subtle background noises resulting from mic'd acoustic guitar playing that are pretty curious. A number of the tracks simply demonstrate great fuckin' songwriting, too.
The layout stays very close to the original CD release, omitting straightforward lyrics in favor of an abstruse sort of short story (which does contain at least some of the lyrics) that proves Dwid is still a master of the written word, and certainly makes me regret that the book expanding on the "Seasons in the Size of Days" concept never materialized in the days of old.
It has been through an uncertain manner that my only device has turned to vice and fully enveloped my being. I no longer see, nor feel as others do. I have done my best to convince my fears that this is evolution, this transcends what others have grown too content with, but I still harbor reservations. It is never easy to turn revelation into reality, and even harder to digest the truth that you are not solely in control of your actions. The duality that exists and resists can never remain still, and only through careful and meticulous surgery can the disease be truly extracted. Slithering beneath the skin is where you will find the sins of all men. Spending most of my life haunted by this realization I appreciate the concealment that dark passion resides inside, the way to salvation is through extraction.
If you never grabbed these releases the first time around, now's your chance, so pick one up if you like what you hear: