by sweet william

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Sweet William
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Good news : Sweet William is back with a new album. Oliver Heuer and his band present “Ocean”, a concept album that will take you from quiet to dark waters, and back. The ocean is here a symbol for life and human condition, so the German present a vast panel of emotions as well as musical genres. 27 years have passed since the band has formed, and listening to this album you will feel maturity and sobriety, but also a wish to perpetually experiment and reassess. The line-up is a return to the band’s roots, with Marius Nagel (drums), Frank Breuer (bass and programming, and Markus Gerlach (drums, percussions). Oliver Heuer is in charge of vocals, guitars, synths and programming.

As seagulls welcome you together with soft keys in the neoclassical intro of the album, you might think you’re about to listen to some new age album, but Sweet William has prepared a fine album of gothic rock with a modern electronic twist to it. 18 tracks – it is a long album- of variations of moods and styles, like an emotional rollercoaster, like the ocean, like life. The concept is clear, and the album sticks to it entirely.
You´ll hear some gothic rock songs, close to perfection. “Reach out” , the amazing “Ocean” and “Over” have great riffs, fantastic vocals, head banging drums, and they will remind you how inspired and talented this band is. The special sound of Sweet William, electro-acoustic guitar alternating with electric guitar close to hard rock, is back and it’s great to hear these new songs.

To explore the human mind’s darkness and complexity, some tracks are more experimental and psychedelic. This is the case of “Insane” and “Tsunami”, the best tracks on the album in my opinion. “Insane” is oppressive, claustrophobic, and the distortion of vocals transmits the feeling of insanity while guitars and synths grow more and more threatening. It reminds me of another amazing track of Sweet William: “18.01.1991”.“Tsunami” follows the same path, and goes even further in the experimentation and darkness. It is instrumental only, with tortured guitars and computer produced sounds. Remarkable. “Turning” is another very good rock song, more up-beat . Guitar parts are amazing and the synths give the song a new wave feel. Also included is a cover of Joy Division’s “New Dawn Fades”. The band has made a sober and faithful cover, yet they have added heavier guitars and more depth to the song, giving it their particular sound and making it fit perfectly in the album. “Until you sleep” is a piano ballad, a good song in itself, but quite surprising on a Sweet William album.

The band has decided to experiment with electro/dark ambient sounds on this album, and many tracks follow this path. Some tracks blend these sounds perfectly with Oliver Heuer’s strong vocals and rock guitars, for example “Everytime and Everywhere”. “Welcome to the Show” is a very danceable track, and very original. With “Silence”, Depeche Mode comes to mind. It is a relaxed peaceful track, with synths like waves of a quiet sea. “Last Restart” is a very cool Dark Wave track, danceable and dark. The album ends with two interesting songs: First “A walk down to the sea”, an experimental ballad that will hypnotize you, then “The End of the World”, perfect conclusion to the concept album, seem to represent the calm after –and before- the storm.

With this new album, Sweet William proves that they still have much to say. They also prove that they are not ready to rest on their laurels, and that is something that deserves respect and admiration. Oliver Heuer’s vocals are still spellbinding, not to speak about the guitars. Some tracks on the album are simply amazing. However, this is not a classic gothic rock album, so in order to enjoy the most of it, keep an open mind to it.

Guillaume Renard

Sweet William – Ocean (CD Album – D-Monic)

Posted on 06/03/14

Content: We got this promo copy of the latest Sweet William-album with some delay, but I couldn’t resist sharing my enthusiasm with you. Sweet William can be considered as veterans active on the gothic scene, but at the other side they’re not exactly the most prolific band. Sweet William rather releases albums on irregular basis, which each time again gives me the sensation to rediscover this formation.

“Ocean” brings us back to the glorious and still that inspiring days of the 80s. I can easily speak about influences merging between The Sisters Of Mercy and The Mission. But I also have to mention Joy Division, which Sweet William has tried to bring an ode covering the legendary “New Dawn Fades”. Let’s start with this cover, which is a rather exiting version revealing the dark and 100% new-wave inspiration. Other songs remind me of real good souvenirs from bands like The Cult and even The Stooges. A song like “Insane” has this raw and dark touch reminding me of The Stooges. There’s a good balance in the mix of guitar, bass, drums and electronics. That’s what makes the sound of this new work featuring 18 songs.

The diversity between the tracks is another and main element of the album. I can’t imagine an album with 18 songs in a similar vein. Sweet William has this delicacy to inject surprising cuts like the outstanding piano-ballad like “Until You Sleep”. I also like the lyrical content of this track. The song creates a delicious contrast with the more evasive, and Sisters Of Mercy reminding, “Turning” coming next. And there’s even more diversity. So I have to mention the instrumental “Tsunami”, which appears to be a kind of intermezzo. “Ground” again sounds pretty different and seems to get inspired by triphop elements. But next to this cool diversity there also is a very homogeneous aspect, which is mainly carried by the evasive format of the songs. You definitely can hear all the maturity of Sweet William that comes through in a professional production resulting in well-crafted and efficient songs. I like the delicacy of the writing carried by great choruses.

Conclusion: Like an ‘ocean’ this album sounds like an invitation to get driven by dark waves to explore imaginary unknown places. This is a fully accomplished piece of work featuring a few little pearls.

Best songs: “Until You Sleep”, “Ocean”, “New Dawn Fades”, “Turning”, “Reach Out”, “A Walk Down To The Sea”.

Rate: (Elise Din:8)ED.

Band: www.sweetwilliam.de

Label: www.d-monic.net / www.facebook.com/dmoniclabel?fref=ts

Sello: D-MONIC
Los legendarios artistas del sello Hyperium vuelven con un nuevo disco conceptual bajo el brazo que es una pura delicia: Se abre con un prólogo instrumental que deja paso al tema que da título al disco, "Ocean", recuperando el SONIDO CLÁSICO por el que son conocidos y volviendo sin duda a sus raíces. “Ocean” retrata los abismos humanos, la debilidad, soledad y permanencia, narrando además temas de belleza, esperanza, sueños y confianza en la vida. Baterías potentes, pasajes electrónicos que crean atmósferas tenebrosas, guitarras firmes y voz sugerente rezumando todo ello puro GOTHIC ROCK. Incluye una maravillosa versión de Joy Divison (‘New Dawn fades’).

TEMAS: 01. Prologue, 02. Ocean, 03. Fly away, 04. Insane, 05. New Dawn fades, 06. Welcome to the Show, 07. Until you sleep, 08. Turning, 09. Beautiful Sky, 10. Tsunami, 11. Reach out, 12. Everytime and everywhere, 13. Silence, 14. Last Restart, 15. Ground, 16. Over, 17. A Walk down to the Sea, 18. The End of the World

Sweet William
Gothic - Post Punk - Psychedelic - Rock

19/07/2013 : Sweet William - Ocean
D-Monic D-Monic
19/07/2013, Kurt Ingels
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Het nieuwe album, “Ocean”, toont aan dat het menens is voor Sweet William en dat het comeback album “Brighter Than The Sun” (2010) niet zomaar een onschuldig tussendoortje was, een stuiptrekking van vergane glorie. Nu is er “Ocean” een conceptueel album waarbij de oceaan wordt aangevoerd als metafoor voor het leven en de existentiële vraagstelling die met intelligent leven gepaard gaat. Zoals de oceaan kan het leven kalm en mooi zijn maar evenzeer heftig en stormachtig. De oceaan neemt en geeft leven.

Na een korte neoklassieke opener met meeuwengekrijs als toemaatje, pakt Sweet William meteen met het titelnummer uit, “Ocean” dat meer aansluit bij het oude begin jaren 90 werk van de band, lees; meer richting krachtige gothic rock. Volgens de persbio zou dit nieuwe album dan ook dichter aansluiten bij het oude materiaal en dat is zeker ten dele waar.

De muziek van Sweet William blijft evenwel eclectisch klinken en laat zowel indie rock, psychedelica, tot elektronische arrangementen en pop toe in het totaalgeluid. Niet voor één label te vangen dus, de muziek blijft even grillig en onvoorspelbaar als de albumtitel hoewel het totaalpakket meer aansluiting vindt bij gothic rock / dark wave dan het comeback album “Brighter THan The Sun”.

Nummers als “Ocean”, Insane”, “Welcome To The Show”, het dromerige “Last Restart”, “Over” of “Ground” zijn nummers met potentieel. Ook de cover van de Joy Division klassieker “New Dawn Fades” werd met veel sinecure en respect voor het origineel in elkaar gezet. Met “Ocean” bewijst Sweet William terug van weg te zijn geweest en weten ze hun jarenlange ervaring te verpakken in een matuur, sfeervol album dat een extra dimensie geeft aan de vertrouwede gothic rock sound. Soms poppy, dan weer psychedlelisch en af en toe een stevige goth rocker maken “Ocean” niet alleen veelzijdig maar een aangename luistertrip voor al diegene die zich niet door een zwart gat (lees genre etiket) laten vangen.

(darc entries, NL, july 13)

Almost thirty years’ experience behind them and yet Sweet William doesn’t cease to surprise us with its music. Once again, the Germans go far beyond the scene’s clichés and stereotypes with the release of “Ocean”.

Oliver covers all with his distinctive voice, which is full of depth and longing. The powerchord solos inject a healthy dose of energy into the track over its last third. With no doubt, “Ocean” is one of the winning cuts

One of the album crowning moments comes next. In “Insane” the assertive, hair-raising rock guitar figures and intense drumming draw the kind of apocalyptic goth rock soundscape

Another highlight is their awesome cover version of Joy Division‘s classic “New Dawn Fades”. Yet deeply respectful with the original song’s passion, Sweet William has turned the screw even further in its interpretation.

(Billyphobia 2013)


released May 1, 2013


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sweet william Cologne, Germany

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