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The Birthday Massacre - 'Imagica' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f6/96/7c/The-Birthday-Massacre-Imagica-13-1520886636.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 12, 2018    
 
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An interesting curio for fans, but really for fans only.

Bands have many reasons for releasing compilation albums, especially of old material. Sometimes it is to fulfil commercial obligations, at others it is a stop-gap offering between the release of new material. In the case of The Birthday Massacre, 'Imagica' is a sort of thank you to their loyal fan base, who helped them reach the target for their soon-to-be-released as-yet-untitled Pledge-funded album in just a single day.

'Imagica' takes its name from that adopted by TBM when they first started out in London (the one in Ontario), and is a collection of demos from the band's nascent years, recorded on four-track cassettes between 1999 and 2001; several of them previously never heard, even by the group's most fanatical of followers. Seven of the songs are taken from their first "proper" demo, which was handed out as a limited run of forty hand-numbered tapes at their debut live show in October 2000. These include 'The Birthday Massacre', the name they would later adopt when forced to drop their original Clive Barker-inspired moniker (the track itself was later renamed as 'Happy Birthday').

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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As Chibi, TBM's pixie-like vocalist, herself explains in the album's liner notes, this is "a time capsule" – a look back over their shoulders to what she describes as "a magical time", when the band were trying to find themselves creatively. The singer also admits to having felt "a vulnerability, almost a fear" at revisiting their past and taking these long dormant tapes into the public domain.

The sound of 'Imagica' is most definitely not that of the TBM we know today. It is, as the singer admits, the sound of a band very much in its infancy, trying to find its feet as an entity, never mind a sound and style of its own. It's the sound of a band experimenting – and here the connection is made with the modern The Birthday Massacre, because they always have been a band who have not been afraid to experiment, to blend styles and push their boundaries in search of something different and imaginative.

Ironically, however, 'Imagica' also shows a band determined to make a clear statement of intent early in their career and shows them already coalescing their sound with its mix of Electronica and Industrial beats, dark moods and Gothic-literature inspired lyrics. It is an interesting curio for fans, but really for fans only.

Mark Ashby

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