by Daniel Lukes
I can’t quite explain the Transatlantic phenomenon that is HIM: Type O Negative, Tiamat, and Sentenced have all peddled this pompous Goth rock shtick to far superior results over the last decade, without any of them really reaching the heights of notoriety offered by Ville Valo and his faceless chums on a silver platter. Somehow it doesn’t seem good enough to blame Bam Margera and his rather dodgy devotion to the chain-smoking androgynous Finn.
Swedish sextet Beseech have also been around for a while, but though they formed in 1992 near Gothenburg, don’t think melodic death metal. Actually, your best point of reference would be Type O Negative: Male vocalist Erik Molarin sometimes sounds like a dead ringer for Pete Steele, just check out the chugging Goth metal stomp of “Voices.” Elsewhere, Beseech pick up where Sentenced, Tiamat, and HIM leave off: Sometimes it’s ultra-cheesy and decidedly weak, other times it gels together sufficiently convincingly, with bold guitars and parping keyboards neatly playing off each other.
For the most part, this is a love-it-or-hate genre, let alone album. The male-female vocal interplay here works, but only if you like this kind of thing. Otherwise, file under “extremely annoying.” Ultimately, though Drama is a solid enough album as a whole, Beseech doesn’t really offer enough in the way of individual character to bother going out of your way to investigate them this time around, unless you’re the kind of person who needs every Goth metal CD released, or you want to impress your Goth girlfriend with something obscure. But HIM fans (bless their souls) hankering for more, after they’ve checked out albums by Tiamat and Sentenced, might find this Drama sufficiently compelling listening.