1. Sinferno/2. Endless Nights/3. Ikarus/4. Krank/5. Die My phobia/6. Grau im licht/7. SinnFlut/8. HomeSick/9. Schuldig!/10. the Hunted/11. mitGift/12. Schwarz

Release Date: October 16, 2015
Accession Records

…or else an album that will send chills up your spine with every note for 64 minutes

Grau_im_lichtMy personal opinion is that there can be as many music genres as there are people on this planet. There is a myriad of emotions that are generated to each one of us when listening to good music and especially when watching an engaging performer on stage. I have found that, darkwave music has a ‘hard to beat’ empowering effect. Listening to good darkwave music makes me think that the things that are hard to achieve in life, are possible and it makes me remember that the most important thing to have in life is determination. I made this introduction because in short, this is exactly what I feel each time I listen to an album by Diary of Dreams and especially when I listen to ‘Grau Im Licht’. This is the 12th album of the band which, since 1994 (release of first album ‘Cholymelan’) has been synonymous to darkwave music. The heart and soul of the band, takes the form of a strong and engaging performer, Adrian Hates. Throughout the years  Gaun:A is playing powerful melodies on the electric guitar, while various guest musicians usually join the band on stage and provide backing vocals in some of the songs.In this album Dejan Nikolic is behind the drums and Flex at the bass.

…is this the moment to feel motivated when you try to survive me?… (lyrics from the song: ‘the Hunted’)

The band has consistently produced darkwave music of the greatest quality, has offered dynamic live performances in big festivals and has released albums whose dark enveloping atmosphere has spread all over us, as an invisible veil, for the last 21 years .  This ‘veil’ is not tightly woven in order not to restrict ‘our view’. It is a sort of malleable fabric that takes the form that we give to it as we listen to the music whose rhythm it follows. There are songs of the band throughout the years, that make it shape like a comforting embrace, other songs give to it the form of a circling vulture above our heads and there are those songs that wrap it around our vindicating fists. When it takes the form of a face veil it is only to handle our ‘flood of tears’ as the lyrics of the songs touch some very sensitive chords in our psyches. This is not a confining veil but our own all beloved shadow. The one that some people dread but is a rather close companion to those who perceive darkness in life as a valuable and hard phase with many shades.

…try no more all is lost play your game and take a last chance…’ (lyrics from the song: ‘the Hunted’)

An album by Diary of Dreams never disappoints the fans of the band and this almost always guarantees that we listen to songs by the band in the clubs’ dancefloors. ‘Grau Im Licht’ which will be released by the band’s own record label, Accession Records on October 16, 2016 is an album that will stay with us for a long time. Coming just a year after ‘Elegies in Darkness’ which was a completely different album in terms of atmosphere and rhythms, ‘Grau Im Licht’ is probably the most mature album of the band to date. The music combines the richness of sound, the different styles and powerful emotions that have been a characteristic of the band’s sound for so many years and it gives to all of these elements new colours and new intensities. ‘Grau Im Licht’ is an affirmation of resilience in the darkwave scene that seems to have been through a period of stillness…

An album that simulates the awe of watching a gothic cathedral…

Sinferno the first track of this album is a song whose energy can only be compared to the revolting voice of a determined demonstrator. Adrian Hates shouts ‘Hey’ amidst harsh guitars which flirt with metal rock throughout this album. Be sure that unexpectedly high levels of adrenaline will start flowing through your system. The operatic backing vocals that we heard in the first of the 8 (so far) snippets that have been released by Adrian Hates, don’t do justice to the majestic feeling of grandeur that one has by listening to this song. SinnFlut utilizes similar operatic backing vocals. Sometimes it feels that the highest point of volume can’t ensure the full appreciation of the sound of this album. I think this is the point when one realizes that this is an album for the clubs and its full potential can only be unveiled there or during a live performance. ‘Endless nights’ blends harsh guitars with a persisting, yet motivating minimal in nature rhythm in the synthesizer that feels like a racing heartbeat.

…In silence you scream at the voice in my head. Relive every dream that you meant to forget…’ (lyrics from the song: Endless nights)

The album has an almost cinematic feel throughout, as the harsh guitar and the noisy backgrounds are delicately making room for the synths (between 3.09-3.24 in ‘Endless Nights‘) to be highlighted in the foreground or vice versa (notice the alternations that happen throughout ‘Endless Nights’). This has been done in the same way in which glimpses of an upcoming violent scene are strategically placed within a well worked fragmented horror film. Viewers get to see snapshots of a later scene early in the film and this is exactly how I perceived each and every alteration that is happening within each song in this album (i.e. from 2.26-2.53 in Ikarus).

This is what makes this album so good that we kept listening to it for a whole morning non stop (and that was just the first day…)

12095303_10153480641706998_918258728967147889_oElectronic darkwave is rendered ‘heavy’ (i.e. ‘Sinferno’, ‘SinnFlut’) by employing something from the harshness of metal rock with the added twist of irresistible danceable rhythms. We noticed a different quality in the electronic parts of this album. Notice the melody in ‘Ikarus’ that starts after 2.26 in the foreground and continues until the end in the background; it feels as if a small electric current is traversing us. We notice the same quality in the electronic parts of the music in the background in ‘HomeSick’ and towards the end of Die my phobia. Krank and HomeSick bring back to us the familiar sound of the band from all their previous releases. This album is co-produced by the band and Daniel Myer (Haujobb, Architect) his contribution being evident in the details that make all the difference! It is not the first time that Daniel Myer has collaborated with the band as in the past he co-produced the songs ‘O Brother Sleep’ and ‘She’ in Freak Perfume and ‘Charma Sleeper’ in Nigredo. His contribution in ‘Grau Im Licht’ is more significant as we read that he produced the whole album together with the band. The secret in all collaborations (more so in music) is to actually combine the distinct elements of everyone so that the result is a unique composition of the best aspects that could never have happened in any other way. This is exactly what ‘Grau Im Licht’ has achieved; darkwave electro music carefully injected with elements of IDM and even EBM music. Both Adrian Hates and Daniel Myer have produced music of exceptional depth and quality for their respective bands so they know exactly which elements to highlight and how, in order to colourize the sound, achieve the intended atmosphere and heighten different emotions. When these two musicians work together one can only expect something unforgettable especially if you add the passionate performance of Adrian Hates to the mix .

…in every word in every man the beast is yours and mine to tame…‘ (lyrics from the song: ‘Endless Nights’)

If I had to compare this release to the previous ones, then I have to say that ‘Grau Im Licht’ is at least 5 steps ahead of ‘Nigredo’, louder, harsher, more dynamic, equally (if more) appealing conceptually and 10 times more danceable than anything the band has produced so far. ‘Nigredo’ had a fantastic booklet, which, for me, surpassed all the previous ones. The artwork of ‘Grau Im Licht’ is equally memorable as it is courtesy of the Spanish artist Damián Baena 12140060_10153477456526998_7433861704323720211_owho has created the portrait of Gaun:A and the haunting grey paintings that we see in the booklet. Adrian Hates has stated that he considers this graphic work to be amongst the most beautiful the band has ever produced!

…If you look at the world it feels as if there is only one sensible reaction, to become emotionally numb or withering, or to despair completely, War, destruction, fanaticism, egoism, suffering and mourning as far as the eye can see…’ (extract from a post by Adrian Hates on the official facebook page of the band, about ‘Grau im Licht‘)

…and yet we must admit that Diary of Dreams must have been inspired by something way bigger than desperation and negativity, and in turn they created music whose depth and quality provokes a feeling of grandeur and awe in the same way gothic cathedrals and medieval castles do. While achieving this,they have at the same time avoided, the ‘trap’ of sounding similar to their previous works. I have said before that the biggest ‘enemy’ of bands with a rich history in music is their own work. All the albums that the band has been offering to us for so many years contain songs of unique atmosphere and emotional strength. I strongly believe that the band has never so far produced such a complete album as ‘Grau Im Licht’ therefore it is safe to say that this is the best album of their career so far and exactly what the dark alternative scene worldwide needed at the moment!


This album is waiting for us around the corner with a surprise towards the end of it. It all starts with the song before last ‘mitGift’ which is replicating an agonizing yet invocative breath. I will leave it with you to find out as it is a unique experience to listen to the 9 minutes and 33 seconds long ‘Schwarz’ and the transition it makes in style after 5 minutes. I will just say that most of the albums tend to create an emotional whirlpool for their duration with the aim of sucking you in to this whirlpool when the album begins and throwing you out of it in the end. ‘Grau Im Licht’ does the opposite! Diary of Dreams fully appreciate their audience and their supporters by including a reference to all of us at the last page of the booklet which reads as follows: ‘

‘You who hold these words in your hands be assured these words are only here because you are…and as long as you are!

I can only say that if this album doesn’t find its place to the dance floors I really can’t imagine what will!In the meantime the band has announced a tour with Beauty of Gemina as the support band while a pre-listening party was organized on October 10, 2015 at the club Darkflower in Leipzig where attendees could enjoy Adrian Hates behind the decks and listen to the forthcoming album by the band.

‘Grau Im Licht’ is released tomorrow October 15, 2015 by the band’s own label Accession Records.In the meantime it is available for pre order from here: https://www.accession-records.de/osshop/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=777

Blaue Rosen box

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