Various Artists

Unquiet Grave, Vol. 4

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The fourth installment in the celebrated Unquiet Grave series from Cleopatra highlights only the best and most eccentric in the ever-changing goth rock scene. With added layers of electronica and industrial, goth rock remains an enigma, but an enchanting one that's maintained a dedicated following since the inception of punk rock. Unquiet Grave, Vol. 4 builds upon that notion for another solid set of songs. Highlighting up-and-comers from the underground like the Dagons, Frequency Construct, and Razed in Black, disc one is loaded in vexed theatrics and passionate chaos. Former black metal act Tiamat do their own glam rock-inspired pop thing on "Vote for Love." This song in particular represents the many gestations goth rock has endured, for Johan Edlund's Andrew Eldritch/Mike Van Portfleet-like vocals are a keen match for the song's heavy guitars, which are also imitative of those featured in Peter Murphy's "Blind Sublime." Other standouts such as Birthday Massacre's "Horror Show" and Audra's "Cabaret Fortune Teller" are lush in dramatic synth beats for some of the compilation's fiery dance moments. Disc two, which is rounded out by fantastic dark daydreams by Black Tape for a Blue Girl, the Autumns, X Vortex, and Molotov Elysian, is more subdued and sultry relative to the first set. Gary Numan tames his signature electronic distortion for "Absolution," a lilting track layered in atmospheric synth rhythms and haunting samples. Numan's rich, quirky vocals are much more calm, allowing "Absolution" to set the tone of disc two. Cuts from October Hill, Inner, and Honey to Ash follow suit. Unquiet Grave, Vol. 4, as much as it is kin to what's come before, boasts a new introduction. Let the renaissance begin.

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