Here are the reviews so far for our debut CD release "Dyonisis". Click on the link below to jump to the specific review:
By Mick Mercer
It’s always a question of balance as to whether a band sounds great or good, positive but muffled, overtly abrasive, subdued or distant. In the case of Dyonisis with two vocalists and two musicians it all works perfectly. Tom Chaffer’s discreet programming and lightly uppity rock guitars with the Goth sensitivity flits through and across the velveteen undulations of Marcus Cave’s bass. On top of that the innocent strumpets Lou Welsby and Nel Cave charm your socks off. If you’re not wearing any you will develop an urge to put some on just to see if I’m right. A confusing band, they’re almost the opposite of everything bad I say about Goth Metal, having those windswept ballad ideas, but there’s also folky sweetness, melodic cuteness, and many uplifting moments.
‘Hunter’ is a stellar opener, the vocals haunting but upright, for this is no fey landscape. The bass mooches happily’ other instruments flecked through the mix and the quality of the vocals matches the silky minimalism, so that they all float serenely towards a shapely and subtle pop chorus. ‘Reaching’ has a tranquil way to ask its emotional questions with a soft musical haze dented by the demanding, harmonious vocals, and rising rock palpitations as it drifts to a close. The deeper, tougher ‘Xact’ comes on like aching ethereal on steroids, which has to be a good thing, and if it’s also got that left-field Fleetwood Mac thing going on that’s not a crime, especially not with a hint of greatness already evident in the singing.
‘Winter’ thickens and has some twittering rocky guitar touches so it’s possible they’ll have to reassess their stance at some point as to what audience they’re aiming for, rather than get lost in the void of bands who appeal to all potentially, but lose out on a strong appeal in one scene, which is always the way to build yourself up for greater exposure later. It’s their duffest song, if that’s any help. ‘Pretty At A Distance’ has the folky historical touch with the dual vocals dominating, wavering and hanging in the air. More than an unusual diversion, this is actually unusual, the vocals churchy and maudlin, but with a piercing edge and succinct, demure finish.
‘Step Away’ is more in rock’s routine musical vernacular, the gently frilly guitar touches a bit bland, but vocal charm certainly wins through, and the slower, sad ‘Remember Me’ exhibits a relaxed, simple beauty. ‘Distance’ is a bittersweet mini-epic, the feeling flowing through the plaintive misery, and then we hit more extended rock during ‘Rainy Day’ which finally redeems itself after a fairly sluggish midway spell.
Leaving aside their identity problem, whereby they dip twitchy toes into several genres without breaking the surface of one, this is a fantastic record, and how they proceed and develop is going to be intriguing. It doesn’t matter which genre mentioned appeals to you, you can get such a lot out of this, a sure sign of immense quality to come.
I am not the first Country Gentleman astride a horse who has had his attention caught by the buxom charms of a comely wench. Never mind that my residence is distinctly urban, nor that my position is not aboard a herbivorous quadruped. Equally I do not wish to cast aspersions on the reputation of singer Nel, who takes centre stage on the photograph that adorns the back of this album. For sake of fairness I should point out the rest of the band look pretty hot too.
This is the debut album by Sheffield four-piece Dyonisis. They use a double-female vocal attack from lead singer Nel and Louisa, the latter also plays piano. Tom and Marcus take care of guitar/programming and bass respectively. Together they stir up maelstroms of sound. "Hunter" has the sort of beats and subtle electronics of Switchblade Symphony, yet the guitars sound more like Collide. Operatic vocals soar, which blend with the more traditional pop vocals. There's an urgency and tension to the music that draws the listener in. This sort of sound is more usually associated with US bands. Meanwhile 'underwater' guitars usher in "Reaching". The pace is contemplative, yet never turgid. Then around the three-minute mark a surge of guitars enters the fray, taking the song to another level. This sort of dynamics is perfect for those that like the idea of a roller-coaster, but find the physicality of the ride too disturbing.
The guitars are brought to the fore for "Xact". This is atmospheric music, full of layers. The emotional intensity is high. The use of quiet/loud dynamics, plus loud FX-laden guitars and strong, yet vulnerable female vocals on "Winter" remind me of The Gathering when they covered Slowdive's "When The Sun Hits". There's a hint of Goth Metal, maybe Within Temptation, about "Winter" too. It's tempting to let yourself get washed away by the tide of guitar. Then "Pretty At A Distance" blindsides the listener. It's based around just Nel and Louisa's voices. It is spell binding – and shows that we don't have to give Dyonisis up to Kerrang! just yet. There are hints of This Ascension, Faith and The Muse and early Miranda Sex Garden.
Fans of ex-All About Eve guitarist Tim Bricheno will enjoy the soft rock guitar soloing during "Step Away". Elsewhere "Remember Me" passes in a melancholy fashion. I imagine the video featuring the band sitting by a stream, recalling loves lost and paths not taken. They would then wander around a castle, before retiring to the pub (this last bit would not necessarily be filmed). "Distance" features a fabulous whooshing noise and more guitars that echo and chime. Missing someone because they are far away is such a common human emotion that all can empathise. The gentle swells of oceans of Cure-like keyboards help the feelings flow. There are mixed emotions here though – and that all too human conflict keeps things interesting. When the ocean of guitars comes crashing in it leaves me feeling emotionally drained, but I feel catharsis, and most importantly I feel truly alive.
Then it's time for the final song "Rainy Day". I can't believe this album is nearly over already. While the subject matter suggested by the title might not sound the most instantly interesting the crunchy guitars keep the intrigue high. There's also some excellent bass during the quieter moments. The song builds and builds and more than justifies its seven minute plus running time. I'm particularly fond of the line: 'I wanted smiles, you gave me screams'. The guitars at this point sound like some of the quieter moments of Fields of The Nephilim's Elizium album. Not in a derivative way either, they just express an emotion, while preparing the listener for the turmoil to follow. When the guitars, bass and drums lock together for a thrilling rock out there's an element of early All About Eve. I'm never a fan of technical ability as an end in itself, but here it's used to express emotion and thrills on every listen.
There are elements of various genres to Dyonisis. The guitars are sometimes shoegazing, the beats sometimes trip-hop, the guitars sometimes metal/prog rock but each element is blended perfectly. The band aren't worried about fashions, so sound timeless. If Dyonisis can offer sustained momentum they deserve a large and devoted fan base. They deserve to be huge. I can't wait to see them live. I might leave the horse in the stable though...
Sheffield based DYONISIS are fronted by Nel Cave and Lou Welsby. This CD by Dyonisis is cool atmospheric rock, and I love it!. This is not really a CD to headbang too, but you could find yourself chilling out to it.
The CD has 9 tracks to take the listener on a journey throughout it's atmospheric soundscapes. The cool 'Hunter' kicks things off, followed by second one in, the equally cool 'Reaching'. 'Xact' carries on the good start.
Just listen to track 5..'Pretty At A Distance', the girls singing on their own..no instruments. Awesome stuff!
The CD continues in fine form, ending with the 10 minute epic 'Rainy Day'. This CD is yet further proof to me anyway, that there is some fine independent female fronted stuff out there, and they are British too.
Fine keyboard atmospherics, with some decent guitar work aswell. The band can be found at http://www.myspace.com/dyonisis.
I am going to give this an 8/10, a cracking self released effort!
Reviewer: Kirsty Bowen
Artur Chachlowski writes for the Polish edition of Metalhammer and runs the main Polish language web portal for progressive and symphonic rock music; www.mlwz.pl (mlwz = Maly Leksykon Wielkich Zespolow = "small lexicon of the Great Bands"). He has also been hosting the MLWZ radio show, Radio Alfa Kraków 102,4 FM every Wednesday between 8 and 10 pm Central European Time, for 11yrs.
This is a translation from the original Polish so apologies if some of the grammar isn't quite exact...
coming from nowhere, but they're playing really good music. "From
nowhere", as - even if they exist since 2005 - they're not signed
to any record label and their first CD was finally self-released not so
long time ago. It's not surprising then, that even if they're based in
Sheffield (in the heart of their fatherland), they're still deep underground.
The main good thing to say about Dyonisis are the vocal parts. "Pretty at a distance" shows great vocal capabilities of Nel and Lou. Good stuff! Sometimes you can hear a little bit of Fleetwood Mac or All About Eve - we were even finding ourselves hearing The Gathering or The Cranberries in some parts. But these are just fragments, which together blends into a concept quite hard to define - from pop to almost opera or atmospheric rock. Music is melanholic, but goes into trip-hop and darker (and sometimes sweet) pop from time to time. Songs such as (the best in our opinion) "Rainy day" will take you to more epic landscapes. The temperature raises with every minute of this almost 10 minutes long song. And, to our biggest surprise, all the various bits are mixed together very well, cooperating with each other almost perfectly. Therefore, Dear Listener, please don't be surprised by finding out that unknown Dyonisis is a band which will thrill you by taking you to the world of beautiful, dreamy sounds.
Reviewer: Artur Chachlowski, www.mlwz.pl
Dyonisis are a female fronted Goth Rock band from Sheffield, England and they create some of the most euphoric and relaxing music that I have heard in a long time. This self-titled album - which appears to have been self-released - consists of 9 songs.
So, what separates Dyonisis from other Femme-Metal/Rock bands? The first major difference is the fact that they have not one, but two female vocalists. The twin vocals lead to some fantastic goosebump inducing moments - especially when coupled with the keyboards. Also, the guitar tone on this album takes me back to the various Classic Rock bands in my collection (have a listen to "Step Away").
At first I was a bit sceptical at the lack of a 'real' drummer, but the band seem to have done a rather good job without one. I don't know if this is by choice or through a lack of drummers in their part of the world. Either way, it makes me wonder what their gigs are like.
On this self-titled album Dyonisis have proved that Nightwish are not the be all and end all of female fronted rock. I'd recommend this album to those that like something to chill out to after a hard day doing whatever you do to pay the bills. Dyonisis - while having a relatively unique sound - have created a something that could be embraced by the mainstream. I can easily imagine their unmistakable melodies pouring through my stereo courtesy of some radio station or another. With any luck, this will be the CD that will help the band further their career.
Highlights from this album include it's opener "Hunter" which sets the scene beautifully, "Winter" that opens a great guitar led part and slightly different style of vocal, the blissfully haunting "Pretty At A Distance" and "Step Away".
From Lords Of Metal:
(Translation from Dutch to English, so forgive any 'pigin' qualities):
In 2005 Tom & Nel met the twosome Marcus & Lou, since this meeting this quartet is inseparable. From then on they started writing songs together, followed by the opportunity to do some live performances and the honour to be the support act of Emilie Autumn. Besides this the band had also some time to get into the studio to record their first studio-album (June 2007) even though they were unsigned at that time.
Dyonisis is liable to some influences outside the gothic metal. Hearing the song 'Hunter' I am immediately reminded of Madonna in the time of the album 'Ray Of Light', because of some bizarre electric sounds I have to think about Bjork and The Birthday Massacre, furthermore the singing of one of the female singers sounds like Dolores of the Irish band The Cranberries. Very often I have the tendency to categorize beginning band into one of the existing musical genres, because they are in a early stage of their career, getting their ideas or copying tricks from other bands. But this band is not at all a standard gothic metal band; this band is different. Because they gather their influences from outside the metal world, they create their own sound and they are unique in what they are doing. The voices of Nel and Lou perfectly go together; they frequently cross over and that creates a mysterious, Celtic atmosphere.
I do think this album is too sweet, I miss some challenge, because sometimes the songs are a bit too reserved. But I think this band knows what it wants; they convince me with their originality and it reminds you how music can give you that special feeling from time to time. I'm curious how they will develop in the future.
From: Femme Metal Webzine
DYONISIS hail from Sheffield, England. They feature not one, but two highly talented female singers in their ranks. The singers Lou Welsby and Nel Cave each add their own style and emotions to the proceedings. The band is completed by Tom Chaffer (guitars & programming) and Marcus Cave (bass). DYONISIS have just released their self-titled debut and it is an exercise in lush, ethereal soundscapes and a bit of the melancholy that really set it apart from many of the current crops of female fronted bands.
'Hunter' starts things off and it is a great opener. The interplay between the two vocalists is nothing short of breathtaking. The harmonies between the two are very emotional and they keep the listener interested throughout. In fact, that is a real strength of the band. Next we have, 'Reaching', another melodic gem that keeps a nice pace going forward. 'Xact' starts of with a cool riff from Tom Chaffer and then really takes flight. Perhaps, the highlight here is the 3-minute track 'Pretty At A Distance.' This song features no music, just Lou and Nel's vocals acapella. The song has a very big feeling and the vocals have a choir-like feel to them. This is like nothing I have heard in quite some time and you have to give the high marks for trying something different - and it works! This song is nothing short of brilliant. 'Remember Me' is another favorite. It has a vibe that is very emotional and from the heart. Other highlights include: 'Winter,' 'Step Away' and 'Distance.' The 10-minute track 'Rainy Day' brings things to a close on an epic note. Despite it's length 'Rainy Day' never gets boring and it is a perfect way to end things. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the guitar work of Tom Chaffer. His playing is solid and he is the perfect fit for this band.
To pigeonhole this band as just another metal band would be wrong. There are various influences and styles on display here and that is the strength of DYONISIS. There music may not be easily digestible for some, but after a few listens, I was headed for the 'play' button once again. I can't say enough good things about them, I admire their originality and dedication. The bottom line is this, DYONISIS has a delivered an album of 9-songs and 46-minutes worth of avant-garde and ethereal music that was pleasing to these ears. I for one, can't wait to see what they do next.
From: TWF Magazine:
If you haven't already heard of Dyonisis then you have been missing a real treat. Hands down winners of the WGW 2007 October Battle of the bands, and deservedly so this 4 piece act are one of the hardest working bands in the independent scene. Their victory at the battle of the bands has earned them a well deserved place on the bill of WGW 2008.
The music of Dyonisis occasionally skirts with the pagan rock sound, but is primarily an example of what can be done with a bass, a guitar, some female vocal harmonies and a programmed back line that compliments the performance so well that it blends right in seamlessly. Fans of Dyonisis, myself included, have been waiting for this 9 track CD Album for a long time and I for one am not disappointed.
Influences are wide and varied from medieval plainsong (especially noticable in the beautifully haunting "Pretty at a Distance") to early Inkubus Sukkubus. Having said that, Dyonisis have an almost unique sound that is wholly their own and not derivative of any of their influences.
Incredibly demanding, the band will only accept the best performance that they can give and will only take the best performers that they can find, and it shows, they deliver first class sound delivered with aplomb and a level of skill that is just unobtainable by so many other acts.
The slow, melody driven and darkly maudlin sound of the band may not be to everyone's taste, and indeed I'm usually not overly fond of it when I've heard it attempted by less accomplished acts, but in this instance quality and experience really do tell.
Rich female lead vocals perfectly accompanied by a female backing vocal drive the listener along on an emotionally uplifting journey so that even when the lyrics are bleak and despairing, you become so lost in the sound that you feel a sense of fulfilment from having heard it. It is years since I've heard anyone be able to touch the listener so deeply.
Here we have a UK based band playing calmer Gothic Rock/Metal with a sort of epic/ambient touch, reminding a bit of IONA and a lot of the Dutch band REINCARNATUS. A song like the Acapella “Pretty at a distance” is perfectly suitable in the December month I am reviewing this disc, a sorta Christmas kinda tune, but also pure Medieaval sorta feeling you get when hearing this song.
The rest of the material rocks more, but in a laid-back kinda direction, a la IONA as said before. 9 songs are included and DYONISIS consists of 2 female vocalists and 2 male musicians and the music sounds very relaxing (just listen to the beautiful “Step away”, a must-have for fans of IONA, REINCARNATUS and also MOSTLY AUTUMN. Make sure to check out this band.
Points: 8.1 out of 10
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