Veikchild are a project formed by an unknown mastermind (I’m guessing French) and I suppose they are the goth/darkwave entry into the synthwave movement. This is more inspired by films/video games music with occasional bouts of singing added in. Their list of influences include amongst others a couple of synthwave bands, Moi Dix Mois (if you don’t know them, think a gender bending Cradle Of Filth who occasionally burst into j-pop. Well worth checking out) and Depeche Mode.
From the opening, I would probably want to add the obvious (‘Suspira’ period Goblin) and early Yendri. There’s that Suspiria style cathedral organ sound, dark and dominant, the odd bout on the tubular bells and a drum machine that brings early 90s darkwave to mind. Urgent guitar riffing intermittently adding a little much needed force to the proceedings and bringing to mind some Carpenter-esque aspects of The Vision Bleak circa ‘The Deathship Has A New Captain’. Nicely played stuff reasonably arranged. There, that’s the basic ingredients.
The problem is it doesn’t really go beyond the sum of its parts for me. Firstly the production here really is helping no-one; it comes across as flat, adding no depth to the sounds and so stripping away any atmosphere. Occasionally the music works despite this; final track ‘Moon Contact’ is really nice in a Goblin meets Carpenter insistent melody driving down hard into a dizzying descent, but these moments are few and far between. ‘Night X Mistress’ with its pleasant female vocals still comes across as average early nineties darkwave and ‘Clash Of Hellectra’ is overpowered by the flat repetitive organ sounds that dominate so much here and sadly goes nowhere. I find both too much similarity herein which coupled with the production puts the breaks on all the atmosphere that the album might conjure, leading to no sense of journey, nor even a soundtrack to other events. In quieter passages, there is a curious lack of fragility or delicacy too where the music seems to be asking for it. Odd, but maybe that’s the production again.
This is sad as there are moments when you get the feeling there is something rather good lurking within passages such as ‘Wolf Inside Me’. It’s almost like Veikchild are hesitant to totally commit themselves to the sound, holding back rather than embracing the flamboyance and over the top Gothic arches this deserves. Still, this is a debut so hopefully this will pass and they can build on the good elements and next time we will get the grandiose sweep of the black velvet curtains and be ushered into their real world.