In addition to Pretentious, Moi?, one of the best discoveries I’d made in recent years in the elegant and increasingly sequestered world of trad-goth was Solemn Novena. SN delivered every beloved trope of the genre and made no apologies for it. From their label bio:
“You want deep male vocals? Haunting female vocals? Pretentious lyrics about vampyres, angels, demons and sex? 12 string guitars with far too much delay? Unimaginative and repetitive drum machines? Clichéd ‘spooky’ choirs and organs? Songs which sound suspiciously familiar? A name with vague religious overtones, although no one’s quite sure what it means?”
Yes I do, Solemn Novena. Yes I do.
Sadly, SN packed it in last year after releases two LPs and one EP, all excellent. While lamenting this sad departure, roaming the mist-shrouded moors of the web bedecked in sable and crimson (er, cargo shorts and an Expos cap), I stumbled across some good news. Solemn Novena guitarist and vocalist Marc McCourt’s earlier goth rock outfit, Return To Khaf’ji, have, um, returned. No word yet on whether this just means gigs or if they’ll be recording (RTJ had two solid releases on UK label and Camden St. icon Resurrection Records in the mid 90s). In either case, this bodes well for fans good old fashioned fossil gawth (like yours truly).