STILL PATIENT?: Shape Shifters (Dark Dimensions 2015)

Once the 90s has started, a certain transfer of the neuralgic center of Gothic ortodoxy started to be produced. This center not only was in the United Kingdom; centers or “scepters” could be found in Germany. There was an “ideas gap” and a lack of nerve no freshness in UK, and the mixture with electronics hard guitars (almost near to metal music), ended in consolidating a new way of understanding the dark rock music: The Gothic rock. This was the “Second Big Wave” – or whatever you wanted to call it-. The new sounds -at this time- (the long shadow of Eldritch and of McCoy was present), exploration of new horizonts … the necessary regeneration. Of all those bands that assimilated some dance music and hard rock’ styles, Still Patient? highlighted. Four discs and an one EP, fulled of amazing songs and a broke up in 1999 that left, a decade later, a certain sensation of orphanhood in a subkind of music in which in these ten long years they had stood out.


More than one decade of silence later, much more than desired, it happend in 2012 (with a compilation), when they met and recorded a new version or remixing form of the hit song “Mascara Osiris”. They re-discovered vocations, played at the Treffen, granted an interview with us and, already in 2014, launch Selective Perception. An EP and a compilation (Retrospective 88 2 99) that allowed they to make an European Tour again. They were at the 2014’ SGM and demonstrated all that we knew yet, giving an astonishing show. And now, more than twenty years after their debut record, they will present in a few days (September 25) “Shape Shifters”.


From the first song, “Seconds Of Fame”, you can appreciate the taste for the past without refusing make up-to-date sounds. The guitars will take you back into the past, to the 90s; the principal enclosed riff reminds other kings of the German scene of this decade: Love Like Blood. Andy Koa’s voice continues being so deep and personal as ever, dominating the song like he does on the stage. He crushes. “Swallowed” has a synthetic background but contains all the gothic rock orthodoxy. The melody of the guitar gets deep in your mind. I know two or three DJ that are putting it again and again… “Believe in Angels” changes the register. More measure, something less canonical, with samplers and keyboards updating a sound very “Still Patient?” trademark. The song grows and transforms, but the true thing is that it doesn’t exploit completely, it lacks probably a bit of the “smell” that Shape Shifters has got, where the electronic sound leaves space to guitar and bass to be weaving a net that catches you from the first moment. The double voice (one of the successes in my opinion) does the rest. “We Comes In Peace” impressed us in the SGM. Dry and sharp as hell, all “Still Patient?” style, it is the mix between guitars and electronic moods, as I said at the beginning. Other one of those who will not be absent in any session around the world.


“Red River” and “Away From Me” are less anxious, almost up-beat rhythm. Keyboards are the base, and the rest of instruments “draw” above. Complex paces and Mr Koa’s voice capacity makes the set special. A bit of tranquility deserved after the previous storm. The one that will comes after that is “The Devils Bride”. The guitars of M*Beck and Pogue-o, and the deep Guido’s bass, condense in almost five minutes the whole potential of the band. This fact was already well known since Salamand (Hyperium published it in 1992). “After Sundown” repeats the pointed thing. For me, one of the best songs of an album full of good music. One of these unforgettable ones for people who loves this music genre. “Song Of Defeat”, nevertheless, it’s not one of my kinds. It isn’t a bad song… Maybe the piano, but I think that it is worse than the others, probably because this others are fucking marvel. Correct, more than correct, but not so exciting. Or this way it seems to me today, probably with more hearings it grows. Time will say.


To close the CD, It includes the mentioned “Mascara Osiris II” (2012) like a bonus track. Very similar to the original but with an updated that completes an incredible work. People who know me you, know that I am not of easy flattery and I don’t even believe very much in musical resurrections, but if it is to make albums like this one (or concerts like that of last year) that will be great. Thanks to them. And if you are one of these youngsters who lost the big years of these Germans, there is the best (already without excuses of age) occasion for reentrance.