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Cyanhide – Dancefloor

Cyanhide - Dancefloor

CD, self-released, 2003

Although nearly a decade has passed since I last donned a lace shirt, frock coat and black lipstick, or screwed in imaginary lightbulbs while choking on the fumes of strobe-illumined smoke machines, my dark-and-dreary days of gothic excess still reverberate strongly within my memory. Cyanhide’s “Dancefloor” merely serves to exacerbate this nostalgic trip down memory lane. Indeed, while cleverly disguised as modern dark dance music, this album is one hundred percent, unapologetically contemporary goth. And not the emo bilge to which MTV tries to convince the young and angst-ridden to rebel, but good, old-fashioned mid-90s goth.
While influences from other genres creep in, from grinding metal guitar riffs to new wave synth melodies (especially noticeable on the title track of the album), everything else about this release is unadulterated old-lace-and-arsenic: from the simplistic percussion lines to the construction of the songs, from the chord progressions employed to the melodic styling in the string sections. Don’t misunderstand me; this by no means casts a negative light on “Dancefloor.” Rather than taking this overriding grumpiness as a disadvantage, simply consider this recording as having been released between ten and fifteen years too late. In fact the overall atmosphere created by the album is practically indistinguishable from that of 90s doom-and-gloom merchants like Corpus Delicti.
This anachronism aside, the album is well worth listening to, with a wide appeal that spans aging goths as well as fans of complex, layered dark electro like early Velvet Acid Christ or In Strict Confidence. The greatest negative point I can discern is the inconsistent vocal treatment, which vacillates between crystal clear, reverbed and distorted on a song-by-song basis. In summation, taking Cyanhide or their music seriously is a personal exercise in futility, but it’s still plenty of fun.


— David vander Merwe

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