Genre deviants’ album interesting, if a little un-focused

With the endless stream of music genres and subgenres it can be painful and counterproductive to categorize bands and artists—such as the case with Kitchener, Ontarios’s B.D. Gottfried.

B.D. Gottfried’s latest release Damien’s Lantern sounds like it draws inspiration from progressive rock, industrial, and even a touch of blues. The combination of tailored drums, centre-staged keyboards, and excellent guitar work make for an album that’s a bit confusing to listen to, but that may be because it’s unusually good.

Frontman Bill Gottfried seems to be unsure of where his music fits in as well.

“I don’t know how to describe the material, alternative is a catch-all now,” he says. “The approach is uncompromised, layered writing.”

The album has an eclectic grouping of songs, from the instrumental keyboard-heavy space music of “Nomads” and “Shades of Return” to the upbeat electronic rock track “Yo Mamma.” The vocals and lyrics are not particularly strong on this album, but the mood of unease and distress portrayed in each song are loud and clear. There are certainly some punk undertones to parts of Damien’s Lantern.

Gottfried says that the approach to the album was to actually stay away from typical approaches to song writing.

“Right or wrong, good or bad, (we’re) trying to evoke new emotions in the listener,” he says.

B.D. Gottfried has received international airplay and has a building following overseas, although the band seems to have had trouble breaking into the Canadian scene, with some radio play but nothing that’s really stuck with listeners. It seems like the band could use a bit of musical focus but this is also what they seem to be fighting.

Regardless of direction, there are a few gems on Damien’s Lantern. We’ll keep an eye out for their appearance in western Canada.

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