Dead Summer Society – Visions From A Thousand Lives

Dead Summer Society is the solo project of Mist (born Emiliano Santoro), known in the environment for his militancy in the gothic doom band How Like A Winter, author in the now distant 2003 of the excellent …Beyond My Grey Wake. After his debut in 2010 with the entirely instrumental demo The Heart Of Autumnsphere, the musician from Molise, with Visions From A Thousand Lives, introduces a substantial novelty by choosing to also use vocals, both male and female; while maintaining the one man band setting, surely this innovation provides Mist with an additional element on which to set the structure of the songs. Let’s say right away that the operation succeeds more than satisfactorily, albeit with some reservations about the use of female vocals, which in my opinion suits more a gothic doom with a commercial character rather than the dark and decadent scope that characterizes this album, where on the contrary the excellent growl of guest Trismegistus stands out. Little harm, if the majority of the music on offer is of the highest level, capable of moving both through the touching piano phrasing and when the guitars take over while always keeping alive the sense of melancholy that pervades the work. Mist’s skill lies in their ability to propose themselves in a genre now with well-defined boundaries, without adhering in a banal way to the usual models, so that the album shows sufficient stylistic variety, passing from songs marked by a more intimate vein (I Met You In Heaven And Hell, The Way) to others with sounds close to the more atmospheric death doom, such as the splendid Army Of Winter, a new version of the song included in the 2010 demo and placed at the close of the album. On other occasions the two souls manage to coexist in harmony without the end result appearing akin to forced coexistence (Shadow I Bear, with an eerie passage recited in Italian, The King’s Alone, Down On You). The judgment towards Visions From A Thousand Lives is absolutely positive and, those who are constantly in search of dark and melancholic atmospheres, will find full fulfillment; probably the decision taken by Mist, to give up an entirely instrumental proposal, has provided new outlets for his compositional method, succeeding completely in nullifying that sense of fragmentary nature that is the common defect of most one man bands. The album’s great merit lies in its apparent simplicity, expressed through a linear sound devoid of unnecessary baroque that lets flow, listen after listen, all the emotions that this musical genre manages to evoke. Dead Summer Society is a project that will certainly provide us with further great satisfaction in the near future; moreover, this work acquires further value if we think that it was released without the support of a label, a lacuna that we hope will be filled as soon as possible.

2012 – Independent