"Intoxicated" Reviews


Here are the reviews so far for our "Blue Shift EP". Click on the link below to jump to the specific review:

Review By Mick Mercer
Review By True Cult Heavy Metal
Review By Ravenheart Music
Review By Firestorm Promotions
Review By Dark Entries
Review By Femme Metal
Review By True Cult Heavy Metal
Review By Midnight Calling
Review By Reflections Of Darkness
Review By Cack Blabbath
Review By EGL Magazine
Review By Rhythm & Booze
Review By Penny Black Music


Review By Mick Mercer

From Mick Mercer:

Taking up pretty much where the delightful debut left off this record pitches you into a deliciously stylish sound laying in wait for the emotionally susceptible, so you sink, then submerge in a quite adorable fashion, as ‘We Are…’ does the rockily inclined ethereal thing, with unexpected space and clarity and a sudden stop. Having entered their space you know you’re in for a highly accomplished display, but there’s also great elegance and eloquent depth to encounter.

‘Of The Fear’ has surprising power in between the sumptuous vocals and sighing sounds in the background, vocals and guitar surging into the chorus, then tapering off into a warbley dark staggered spiral. Lighter with beautiful strings ‘Inside Out’ is mesmerising with the subtle vibration on the vocals and the slow, steady push of the song’s energy, and not for the first time you’ll be thinking this is like a tougher sister to some of Kate Bush’s music, circa ‘Hounds Of Love’, if that helps you picture it. Genuinely evocative and impressive on just that level.

‘Arachne’s Song’ seems gloomier, brooding softly but if you read the lyrics you’ll be impressed by the imagery, and appreciate how bright flecks peep out through the murky swishing with the dwindling repetitive ending a joy as it rotates into some historical splendour. Seedy bass sets ‘Eve’s Song’ on an ominous course, and it inches forwards menacingly, the vocals calmly decisive, the guitar grimly flourished, with ghostly accompaniment from violinist Matt Howden (www.matthowden.com), the overall effect a bruising slow motion storm. ‘Smart Mouth’ then moves towards some of the rough buoyancy the debut album exhibited, where the main effect of this album is a fuller darker sound, and the change offers more versatility as this swings around gaily until the tough chorus, and they do this sharper style every bit as convincingly as the magically moping. Then they do something else.

‘Oxygen’ is laying just down there, almost out of your eyeline, or earline, creeping along dainty and crushed, with an aching chorus and some stellar piano subtlety, so well done I didn’t even mind the mini guitar acrobatics. The rocky ‘Flown’ has plenty of slow burn suspense, with the similarly supine ‘Dead To Me’ a spectacular but discreetly dowdy song, which seems spread out and beaten thin, but the more you play it the larger it looms. The initially demure and relaxed ‘Ashes’ reveals itself as a crestfallen winsome oddity, floating and then descending, without any strong rise apart from some glowing guitar. ‘Lunatic’ then takes us out with some extended doomy moodiness, although you can also see it as a steely determination.

It’s an absorbing, frequently fascinating record, in that it has the same attractions as the more obviously striking debut, but much more complexity within, as the denser character starts to expand. Exciting stuff!

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Review By True Cult Heavy Metal

From True Cult Heavy Metal:

Arising from the city of steel otherwise known as Sheffield, Gothic Metal quartet Dyonisis deliver their sophomore album in a unique style, in the form of melodramatic musical compositions and heavenly female voices, Dyonisis are another prime example of unsigned pure musical genius.

Following the same musical style as Tainted Grace from Hampshire, Dyonisis offer it all on their second album ‘intoxicated’. The sort of Gothic Metal you would find at a Disney event like the finale at Epcot due to its striking power through vocalization and musical structure, signaling an oncoming, English Gothic Metal is on the up-rise.

Reviewer: Rhys Stevenson

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Review By Ravenheart Music

From Ravenheart Music:

Dyonisis featuring Nel on lead vox with additional vocals from Louisa, hail from the north of England. However, Nel I understand originally comes from a small riverside town not too far from Ravenheart HQ.

'Intoxicated' is their second full release, although not too long ago, they did release an EP (now sold out) of "musical waifs and strays!". I was quite taken by their debut offering that was reviewed 31st August 2007, and listening to that cd again just recently, kinda reminds me at times of a laid back Lahannya.

'Intoxicated' to be perfectly frank is another good release from this British band, offering 11 tracks of laid back synth infused gothic rock, with cool vocals and cool musicianship throughout. There is some good music by British artists coming my way at the moment, showcasing the strength of the underground British rock music movement, and Dyonisis is no exception.

Check them out at http://www.myspace.com/dyonisis and then purchase this album. It is ideal to listen to on a perfect summer's day while getting intoxicated :)

Rating: 8.5/10
Reviewer: Dave

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Review By Firestorm Promotions

From Firestorm Promotions:

Dyonisis are a quartet from Sheffield consisting of Nel Cave (Vocals), Louisa Welsby (Vocals), Tom Chaffer (Guitar) and Marcus Cave (Bass), describing themselves as "Ethereal Rock" it seems evident from the outset of Intoxicated have allowed themselves to evolve musically, even as far as to be labelled as "Gothic Metal".

The album opens with the shortest song on the album in the shape of "We Are" which turns out to be tied in with "Lunatic", both the final track and one of the more memorable songs; not least because of the prevailing synthesised music combined with the musicianship of Tom and Marcus being allowed to take centre stage for the first two minutes before the vocals begin.

It seems evident as early on as track #2 "Of The Fear" that Dyonisis have grown in confidence musically with this, their second album, with the vocals of Nel and Louisa sounding amongst the sharpest to date, perhaps most notably on "Smart Mouth", the heaviest sounding song of Intoxicated.

At times it proves hard to keep up with Dyonisis and the frequent tempo changes they bring as no sooner has "Smart Mouth" finished than things slow down again. Clearly they are unafraid to return to the roots of Dyonisis (their self-titled debut album) with such offerings as the Julee Cruise remisiscent song of "Oxygen".

All in all, a more than worthy offering from Dyonisis and definitely worth a listen if you like your Gothic Rock.

Rating: 7.5/10

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Review By Dark Entries

From Dark Entries (in Dutch):

The times when the UK music scene flooded the market with goth releases (remember Nightbreed Records) are long gone, making a British goth release about as rare as a cycling race without a moaning Tom Boonen.

But look, those who follow these pages can still discover some.

Recently, for instance, our colleague Kurt showed us the beautiful Legion, and now Dyonisis can be added to the list.

Dyonisis may be far from new, going on ten years now, yet they’ve only just gotten around to their second album.

“Intoxicated” is the sequel to the similarly named (and completely overlooked) debut from 2007, and the first thing to note is that the group has grown.

At the end of the CD a reviewer only has one problem (if it can be called a problem): is this gothmetal or dark wave?

Let’s stick to the British saying of “best of both worlds”. A track like “Of the fear” reminds one instantly of The Mission with metal guitars and female vocals, while a track such as “Dead to me” belongs to a record like “Treasure” by Cocteau Twins.

Granted, if you are truly looking for the most original sound at the moment than Dyonisis isn’t what you’re looking for, but those who want familiar sounds will surely be satisfied with this newest addition.

Matt Howden, perhaps better known as the force behind Sieben, cooperated with the band for “Eve’s song”.

This record will probably not cause stampedes to the music store, but if you are looking for quality music you know where to go...

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Review By Femme Metal

From Femme Metal:

I was a huge fan of the 2007 self-titled debut from the U.K.’s Dyonisis. That was followed up by the "Blue Shift" EP in 2008. Now the band has issued their second full-length titled "Intoxicated", which I was very excited to hear. I am happy to say that on their sophomore effort, Dyonisis has not disappointed, all of the elements are still in place that made their debut such an interesting and unpredictable ride, while the band has still managed to progress. Dyonisis are still fronted by the duel female vocal attack of Nel and Lou (she also plays piano), to create a unique musical style that is virtually impossible to categorize. As a point of reference, it is always easy to say that this band, ‘sounds like this or that band’, but with Dyonisis, I can’t think of one band who they sound like, or can be favorably compared to.

The band really has managed to forge its own path and that can be heard on "Intoxicated". The CD contains 11-songs and a playing time of almost an hour, and in that time you get some wonderfully beautiful vocal harmonies performed by Nel and Lou, and some brilliantly performed ethereal, atmospheric music that definitely does paint a musical picture. The short (2-minutes) intro track "We Are…" is a great opener that features the vocal tandem of Nel and Lou in all of their harmonic glory. A great opener that leads us into "Of the Fear" and the equally potent "Inside Out" follows. Other highlights include: "Arachne’s Song", "Eve’s Song", "Flown", "Dead To Me" and the closing number, "Lunatic". "Intoxicated" is a great CD to listen to on headphones and just get lost in the music and lyrics. With "Intoxicated" Dyonisis has issued the perfect follow-up to their self-titled debut. This is definitely a band that deserves to be heard and hopefully, with "Intoxicated", Dyonisis will get the following that they so richly deserve. With "Intoxicated", fans of their first album should fall even more in love with Dyonisis.

Rating – 90/100

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Review By True Cult Heavy Metal

From True Cult Heavy Metal:

Having played with the likes of The Birthday Massacre, Lahannya, Inkubus Sukkubus and Rhombus and graced the stages of both Whitby and Gotham Sheffield four-piece Dyonisis have been ready to step up a level for a while now. On 'Intoxicated', their second full length release they achieve this.

The album floats from the speakers, mixing moments of relaxed splendour with highly melodic passages. This voyage of discovery involves a less bombastic approach than on previous outings, allowing the listener to lose themselves within the music. The ethereal vocals from Nel sparkle with an understated folk-like charm while Marcus lays down some pulsating bass lines, which really hold this wonderfully undisturbed mix together.

The prominence of the bass sound recalls the likes of The Eden House, as do the dramatic soundscapes which can be heard on the epic 'Eve's song'. If 'Arachne's song' and album closer 'Lunatic' both have a tranquil vibe which would sit perfectly in the chill out room of somewhere like Club AntiChrist then 'Of the fear' and 'Inside out' have a more direct feel, lending themselves to play lists around the world.

This album is a fine addition to the goth/dark-alt world, showcasing another level of talent and imagination we all knew Dyonisis had all along.

Rating - 7.5/10

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Review By Midnight Calling

From Midnight Calling:

When I first heard of Dyonisis, I felt the old sense of apprehension that I usually get when I receive something from a newer band. This proved completely unfounded, and I was enthralled from the very first listen.

Short, yet powerful, “We Are…” opens with moody, synth which leads into Nel’s vocals buttressed by strong bass and percussion. Strong guitar brings the song to an end and the song fades. “Out of the Fear” rolling percussion is suddenly punctuated by heavy bass and guitar. Beautifully layered vocals with counterpart segments emerge at about 4 minutes,. Buttressed by heavy guitar, and a great bit of slide guitar, the vocals become even edgier, Synth heavy breaks, with operatic vocals that are simply amazing, give a taste of what to expect from the rest of the CD.

Programming loops of violin herald “Inside Out”, with a quite melancholy background that sets the stage and continues throughout the song. Harp effects add to the sense of poignancy and pain. Dramatic synth and sharp guitar combine with Nels moving pensive vocals that are colored with a tinge of anguish. Louisa’s masterful backing vocals weave from counterpoint to discordant harmony. Near the end, forceful guitar suddenly rears into the midst of the violin loops and dirgelike percussion. Echoed vocals and more synth loops take the song to a fevered end that trails off, as if into an exhausted sleep.

“Arachne’s Song” After a mellow, New Age sort of intro, smooth vocals take over supported by a strong, heavy bass and guitar that has a nearly funky feel. The vocals become more layered and intense, while guitar becomes distant and delightfully edgy. the song escalates, with rolling percussion and heavy synth adding to the volume. At the end, Nel’s voice is layered in a bit of magnificent acappella, reminiscent of premier Renaissance groups such as the Anonymous 4, with harmonies and choral style arrangements that just blow the listener away.

“Eve’s Song” The song begins with clever, futuristic bass line before a burst of heavy synth and choppy guitar. The bass line turns into sort of a Funk/Reggae fusion. Vocals are delightfully complex, with Louisa soaring behind Nel amid a choral background. Edgy electro and scything guitar give the song a very “full” feel, with Matt Howden’s violin adding an even darker tone. The guitar has an Eighties edge, mingling with inexorable percussion before a distinctly rock guitar interlude links with more choral/orchestral effects.

“Smart Mouth” opens with catchy bass and slashing guitar balanced by percussion steady as a column of Napoleonic infantry . Vocals range from perfectly balanced harmonies to deftly shifting counterpoints. The song settles into a menacing, spaghetti western sort of interlude, then grimly grinds forward with spooky backing effects. At about four minutes, simply amazing vocals lift into a veritable aural plateau, suddenly fueled by hard, sharp rock guitar. The song ends with a bit of harp, and an almost Latin flourish. “you’ve turned the truth into a maze...” reminds me of quite a few people I’ve met.

Now for something a bit different. If David Gilmour had played with Ikon, it may have sounded something like “Oxygen”. With the opening chords, I had a fleeting flashback to The Wall before Nel’s vocals takes the reins and launches the song into the stratosphere propelled with piano-type synth. The characteristically layered vocals aer visceral and heart-rending, under laid with understated high percussion, and Marcus’s bass gives the song added depth. This gives way to another striking Floyd-ish guitar solo,then the guitar turns abruptly hard and go hand-in-hand with the vocals to bring the song to a close. “Oxygen” is simply a wonderful song.

“Flown” begins with a touch of synth, then the bass takes the point; subtle, ‘80s-style guitar walks slack: then the main body of Nel’s and Louisa’s vocals eases into the kill zone. Nel’s perfectly balanced vocals are overwatched by Louisa’s angelic operatics. A burst of buzzing guitar illuminates the strong, steady bass. At three minutes, the music reaches a plateau of loss and yearning. The last half of the song is infused with a definite hard rock feel, but this tempered wonderfully by cold, nearly U2-ish guitar and driving vocals, before the song ends plaintively.

“Dead to Me” A bit mellower, starting with futuristic synth with remains the foundation while strong bass and guitar that is understated but clearly lurking in the background. Vocals remind me of early Cocteau Twins, with choruses that bring New Wave to mind. Percussion is emphatic, but not overpowering. Segments of Gilmour-ish guitar somehow fits perfectly with backing effects that remind me of the cold, far off sound like the ghost of a song from U2 on October or War. The awesome range of Nel’s vocals are showcased on this song, while Louisa hovers effectively and spectrally around the edges, echoing into the darkness. “[F]orked tongues flicker/then deliver twice the lies” hearkens back to the theme of dishonesty in “Smart Mouth”. A snippet of piano serves as a superb preamble to a harder wall-of-sound section of the song that only accentuates the final, haunting notes of “Dead to Me”.

“Ashes” is simply magnificent! I am not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the best songs I have ever heard. Each time I listen to it, I hear nuances that I somehow missed before. Languid, reflective guitar,and Nel’s pensive, utterly heartfelt vocals evoke a sense of overwhelming loss. The song progresses with measured, slow percussion, Louisa’s beautiful backing vocals, and sharp, yet somehow understated guitar. Adroitly ranging from a spaghetti western sense of the ominous to a progressive rock anthem, the guitar is a vital component. A sort of funereal background enhances the amazing vocals, which range from intricate harmonies to counterpoint, with echoes and subtle effects to give this song an amazing emotional depth. “Ashes” is living proof that a song need not be cryptic or convoluted to resonate deeply with the listener. Lyrically, “Ashes” is quite simple, yet the music and vocals combine masterfully to create a profoundly sorrowful and regretful scene that is deeply moving. After an interlude with slow bass, and a fine guitar solo, the song rises to crescendo and then subsides, with the vocals echoing away like the pangs felt after waking from a dream of someone loved, yet long gone.

Moody synth opens the final song of the CD, “Lunatic”. Measured percussion ramps up a bit before hard rock guitar and heavy bass take the lead. Louisa takes over lead vocals on this song, with Nel providing counterpoint and chanting “We are more…” with a sense of unrelenting urgency . Then the bass turns into the dominant force, supported by evocative electronics. Staccato percussion kicks in. These elements swirl around each other, emphasised by periodic flak bursts of guitar, that increase dramatically The song finally ends with a flourish, and the vocals grab at the listener like a drowning swimmer before echoing poignantly away.

“Intoxicated” is a great CD. It will appeal to fans of Goth, Ethereal, or anyone who enjoys evocative music. that reaches out and enfolds the listener. The production is crisp and clear, and headphones are highly recommended for the first time. The astounding vocals are the centerpiece of the CD. Nel and Louisa weave an intricate vocal tapestry that is nothing short of amazing. Whether in perfect harmony or counterpoint, they maintain a perfect balance. Tom and Marcus provide a musical foundation that is equally superb, managing to find just the right combinations to heighten the impact of the songs. They provide a dark, shifting sea of sound in which Nel’s and Louisa’s vocals submerge, float effortlessly upon , or soar dynamically above.

I have not given the lyrics nearly the attention they deserve. I was very pleased to find the lyrics provided on the inside of the CD cover, and reading them gave me new appreciation for the songs. There is a distinct sense of continuity within the CD, as a close reading of the lyrics will reveal. For example, “We Are….” and “Lunatic” seem to be different sides of the same coin, so to speak.

“Intoxicated” is living proof that excellent production and originality are not mutually exclusive, for the CD amply displays both qualities. One of the fine things about “Intoxication” is the masterful way that seemingly disparate musical elements are combined seamlessly to produce a sound that is not derivative at all, but is a very fresh, versatile, and innovative. Clearly the band has done their homework. Not only is the band extremely talented, they are friendly as well. Nel patiently answered my many questions as I took far too long to complete this review. She is extremely perceptive and knowledgeable. I look forward to seeing the next release from Dyonisis!

“We are more than the sum of our many splintered parts"

Reviewer: Aiden

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Review By Reflections Of Darkness

From Reflections Of Darkness:

From Sheffield, UK and formerly known as DAWN, DYONISIS rose from the ashes of that band to become what I find to be a very exciting prospect indeed. They self released their excellent maiden offering in 2007 and by the time we find them having released 'Intoxicated' they have developed a harsher edgier style without ever having lost their beautiful dreamlike quality. Nice.

Both Lou and Nell offer great if slightly differing vocal styles and the overall production is pretty impressive with harsh driving beats where required and remarkable restraint where not. 'Of the fear' is a beautiful innovative track being at once heavy and persistent and beautifully ethereal whilst 'Arachne' is another full on prize stealer being absolutely gorgeous in it's haunting magnificence. The album opener 'We are...' is a subtle and definitive track which gives a solid idea of the sheer quality of this album.

This band is something very special indeed being slightly reminiscent of 'Inkubus Sukkubus' at their best and it's fair to say that there is not a bad track on the entire album. For those not familiar with this group they really need checking out as they take the otherwise unusual showgazing genre to new levels of perfection. 'Smart mouth' for me is the pinnacle of excellence of a truly excellent album. Don't take my word for it, download it now, you won't regret it!

Reviewer: Maddi Isaacs

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Review By Cack Blabbath

From Cack Blabbath:

Sheffield rock band Dyonisis came as something of a surprise to us here at CackBlabbath. Once in a while you hear something that defies your expectations in a very good way and this release fits firmly into that category. Dyonisis "fuse elements of rock, trip-hop and folk into deceptively gentle, hypnotic landscapes", but that description doesn't entirely do them justice. This is atmospheric, etherial music of the highest order, made all the more special by the amazing interwoven vocals from Nel and Lou. Given the music we usually listen to we don't get to use the word 'beautiful' very often, but that is the only word to describe the voices on this album. Well beautiful and haunting, OK that's two words... well three if you include etherial which we used earlier.

The two vocalist approach here works better than just about anywhere else I have ever heard, there is a rich quality to Lou's voice which complements perfectly Nel's wistful vulnerability. It is difficult to imagine one of these voices having quite this impact without the other.

That's not to say that the voices are all that is on offer here, the songs themselves are beautifully (used that word again) crafted and the ladies are more than capably backed up by Marcus on Bass and Tom on guitars. The band have a distinctive sound and a distinctive image. You could call them goth I guess, were it not for the trippy other-worldly music they make.

Dyonisis have a sound that is difficult to describe in a way that does them justice, a touch of Enya in some of the vocals perhaps? Shades of The Mission or the Nephilim on the music ? Gothic Folkey Rock ? However you want to label this, it's certainly something that is difficult to fault. Whereas some music is intended to get the adrenaline flowing and make you want to break stuff, Dyonisis makes you want to sit down in a darkened room and get carried along by the gentle waves of emotion in the music.

Although this band may indeed not be the usual CackBlabbath thing, they do have something vital in common with most of the bands that we feature. In a music scene increasingly obsessed with quick fame and disposable icons Dyonisis do exactly what they want to do, regardless of fashion or trend, and do it brilliantly.

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Review By EGL Magazine

From EGL Magzine:

Sheffield four-piece, Dyonisis, formed back in 2005, and 'Intoxicated' is their 3rd release, following self-released album 'Dyonisis' and EP 'Blue Shift'.

By this point in the introduction, I would have normally placed the band under the umbrella of a single genre, or sub-genre, of music. Dyonisis, however, are a little more difficult to define. They describe their own music as being a fusing of rock, trip-hop and folk, perhaps a trio of influences that seem mis-matched together, but the result is so hauntingly beautiful that you'll be forced to put any preconceptions aside.

Vocalist Nel's classical voice wavers and spins over the top of a much heavier soundtrack performed by Louisa on vocals and piano, Tom on guitars and Marcus on Bass. The music is heavy with rhythm and electronic elements, skipping between more classical gothic sounds, and very modern industrial undertones.

The folk element is also carried through the album, both in upbeat, traditional vocal arrangements, and through the actual songs themselves. Many of the songs tell stories, drawing inspiration from history or mythology, evident in songs such as 'Arachne's Song' and 'Eve's Song'.

Also, the emphasis on the feminine and the almost chant-like feel that is placed in songs such as 'We Are...' and 'Inside Out', hints at a heathen or Pagan edge. But this album still manages to sound totally up-to-date and contemporary. Dyonisis have truly created something that draws on the past without getting smothered by it - they stand well above the plethora of gothic, melody-driven bands, and manage to tie together so many different ideas without producing something untidy or confused.

'Intoxicated' is an album that has made room for everything Dyonisis wanted to say, clearly displaying all of the different inspirations that they have drawn from without becoming fractured or disjointed. The final song on the album, 'Lunatic', is heavily instrumental, pulling the album fully into the electronic realm and bringing listeners back to the present from whatever fantasy the previous tracks had led them to.

'Intoxicated' is like a midnight walk through an ancient, mist enshrouded forest which ends at a pumping gothic party in an imposing castle. The mix of romantic gothic melodies and electronic modern backing tracks offers an album that would serve just as well as the soundtrack to a Pagan ritual, as it would thumped out the stereos of any goth nightclub.

This is an absolutely stunning album which will creep into your bones and etch itself there. Dark, romantic and sultry, 'Intoxicated' will inspire and enslave you - an absolutely essential addition to any gothic music collection.

Reviewer: Keller

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Review By Rhythm & Booze

From Rhythm & Booze:

Here at Rhythm & Booze we regularly take a trip to the darkside in order to bring you the best music for those candlelit pagan parties you all host from time to time and in Dyonisis we may have found the perfect soundtrack to those nights lurking in the shadows.

Dyonisis are a four-piece hailing from Sheffield who have been together in one form or another since 2000 quietly writing, recording and releasing their dark delights. Intoxicated is their second full length album and I have to say it's something of a majestic gothic masterpiece. The quartet aren't your typical goth band they take influences from ethereal folk, trip-hop, metal, progressive guitar passages and dark wave to create a stunning sound that's both beautiful and sinister.

We Are..opens the proceedings with a sub two minute introduction to the bands icy yet melodic soundscapes, stunning use of vocal harmonies and lush instrumentation casts a spell over the listener right from the off. From here the band offer up deep downbeat basslines, waves of metallic guitar and those stunning vocals throughout the album's eleven track duration.

To pick highlights would be a little unfair as every track on here is as the title would suggest intoxicating, Of The Fear offers up the burst of metal, whilst still managing to sound like a full bodied work of beauty, the vocal interplay and near choral vocal outro on Arachne's Song manages to completely bewitch the listener. Elsewhere Eve's Song adds layer after layer of guitar to an already contagious mix of dense instrumentation and chanted vocal forming perhaps the heaviest track on here without ever losing sight of the songs melody and rich harmonies. Oxygen is another track worthy of note, it's a melodic number complete with piano and Pink Floyd like guitars showcasing another side to the compelling sound of Dyonisis.

So to sum Intoxicated up if you like a bit of goth, darkwave or even a bands like Curve and The Cocteau Twins you should find this right up your poorly lit alley, it's a beautiful release that seduces the listener and carries them on a mesmeric journey through the shadows.

Rhythm & Booze Rating: 9

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Review By Penny Black Music

From Penny Black Music:

Trip-hop, folk rock is how Dyonisis describe themselves, which was a combination I had to hear and, you know what, they seem to pull it off.

They certainly edge more toward the rock side of things with early tracks like ‘Of the Fear’ and ‘Inside Out’ and both tracks feature magnificent build ups that really kick in with some brilliant force. It wasn’t till midway through the album and ‘Smart Mouth’ and ‘Dead to Me’ that I really got the trip-hop influence, which is used in a brilliantly subtle way mostly based around the drums.

What really came to my attention, however, was the bass. The deep and rolling bass guitar haunts the entire album, but with glorious vocals from singer Nel (that would be the folk part there, kids), the bass does really take a back seat, or so I thought. ‘Intoxicated’ is one of those albums that has that amazing quality where by you start to notice it more and more as you listen to it again.

It was very easy to get wrapped up in the (dare I say) slightly Evanesence feel of some of the songs. Call it a lazy comparison, but believe me I mean it in a very positive way. It is not the beardy men round a fire kind of folk that Dyonisis speak of. Nel’s haunting and ghostly almost gothic vocals sound like they could have been recorded at the dawn of time. It is these coupled with the confident and patient use of electric guitar that really take your attention when you first hear them.

As the album progresses and when you listen for the third or fourth time that you really get a feel for the full spectrum that is covered here. I am not sure that all Massive Attack fans are going to jump straight on the Dyonisis bandwagon, but it is the combination of all these things that give them their sound and the underlying vibe of the album. Such a unique sound is hard to come by these days, but the Sheffield quartet have achieved it flawlessly.

Reviewer: Adrian Huggins

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