Music Review: Clan Of Xymox, Matters Of Mind, Body And Soul

Published on February 21st, 2014 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Hanna


Matters Of Mind, Body And Soul is the first Clan of Xymox studio album in several years, since 2012’s cover album Kindred Spirits. Because of this, and their sudden and short recent return to L.A., there has been some tradgoth excitement about this release. The result is safe but not boring: on the one hand, this album sounds like their music has always sounded; on the other, it’s new and varied.

It was (as they emphatically state) deliberately released on Valentine’s Day. There are definitely romantic themes to the album, and it has the somber Romantic feeling of old school darkwave, but it actually is upbeat a lot of the time, or at least as upbeat as goth can get. On the whole, it’s synth driven with an industrial sound, similar to the late ’80s – early ’90s Xymox and their work from the early 2000s.

There are several types of songs on the album; industrial style tracks with memorable synth riffs and a lighter tone, such as “Your Own Way”; slower, more somber versions of this same style with some sludge elements, such as “Months Ago”; and instrumental tracks which focus on sound effects and a build up of sound, such as “Once in a Blue Moon.” Most of them are long: five minutes or over. This gives the songs scope to build and develop, which all of them do, with theme changes and layering.

It’s tempting to liken some songs to other bands’ work. “Close My Eyes” has a Peter Hook style bass riff, and as the press release mentions, “She’s Falling in Love” does indeed sound like the darkest work of Depeche Mode. The only musically weaker spot for me was “Chinese Whispers,” a layered instrumental with sudden theme changes. The second half consists of several minutes of voice effects, which is where it lost me.

The lyrics are poetic and deal with ideas of love lost and trying to rekindle romance or desire. “She’s Falling in Love” is a cynical description of watching someone else fall for a femme fatale. Almost overextended metaphors feature as well, in “Loves on Die” to describe unsatisfied desire, and in “The Climate Changed,” which could be about literal climate change or general emotional desolation. “Months Ago” and “Kiss and Tell” use shell metaphors to express being emotionally closed off, which is mirrored in the album art. The way the album looks is gentle and in tones of gold and black, with symbolic pictures of butterflies and shells.

Matters Of Mind, Body And Soul was put together with a lot of thought and care and works well as a whole, expressing a sense of melancholy romance in a modern, industrialized environment. As Valentine’s gifts go, this was a good one: a declaration of love to music and to darkwave.

Matters Of Mind, Body And Soul was released on February 11 through Metropolis Records.

Tour Dates:
February 8: The Obscure Lounge; Los Angeles, USA
February 9: Complex; Los Angeles, USA
February 15: Le Divan Du Monde; Paris, France
February 21: Das Bett; Frankfurt, Germany
March 01: Electrowerkz; London, U.K.
March 15: DeathDisco!; Athens, Greece
March 21: Engel07; Hannover, Germany
March 28: Club Zero; Arnsberg, Germany
March 29: Movie; Bielenfeld , Germany
April 5: Alter Ego; Stettin, Poland
April 12: Das Bunker; Dresden, Germany
April 20: Totem Gallery; Vicenza, Italy
April 24: The Transcontinental; Brisbane, Australia
April 25: The Roller Den – Imperial Hotel; Sydney, Australia
April 26: Revolt; Melbourne, Australia
April 27: TBA soon; Perth, Australia
May 08: De Metropool; Hengelo, Netherlands
May 09: Het Paard; Den Haag, Netherlands
May 10: De Nieuwe Nor; Heerlen, Netherlands
May 24: Babel; Malmö, Sweden
May 31: De Klinker; Aarschot, Belgium
July 26: Amphi Festival; Köln, Germany
August 2: Rock A Scalegna; Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
August 16: Alt Fest Boughton Estate, Kettering; Kettering, Northamptonshire, U.K.
September 20: tba in June

2 Responses to “Music Review: Clan Of Xymox, Matters Of Mind, Body And Soul”

  1. Norma Passarell:
    July 30th, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I wonder why the tour dates in Spain are missing. Maybe they were still not confirmed when you wrote this entry?

    BARCELONA: September 12
    MADRID: September 13

  2. Popshifter:
    July 31st, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks Norma. When this article was published, those dates had not yet been schedule. I appreciate the info!


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.