Diary of Dreams
Wave Gothic Treffen XIV in 2005
The Agra Hall in Leipzig, Germany
by Travis Baumann
From my first encounter with Diary of Dreams I have been enchanted by the beautiful, melancholy music structures teamed with the awesome deep voice of master-mind Adrian Hates.
I found them by chance just listening to some new releases at the local CD shop that at that time was the focal point of industrial goth availability here in Los Angeles. That CD was "One of 18 Angels" and instantly triggered a search for their back-cataloge of releases.
That was many years ago but with every release since, Diary of Dreams have only gotten better. I would have to say there is definitely a trade-mark sound to a Diary of Dreams song and it incorporates what I like most of all the genres that merge into this "Schwarze Scene" whether it be gothic, electronic darkwave, industrial soundscape, or even a touch of metal with the guitars.
First off, there is a brilliant musicianship in Adrian that can come acrost whether he is using only an electric piano and whispering softly or on the flip-side backed by a wall of guitar and the snarl of deep electronics accompanied by his haunting deep voice raging like a lion.
I think haunting describes one of the entrapping, mysterious qualites of Diary of Dreams quite well. the name implies that haunting seduction of dreams that are hard to shake off. When you wake you are sure you experienced something or learned something important but you can't quite remember what it was.
Live, Diary of Dreams are equally impressive. Adrian is center stage, playing guitar and singing and his voice does not disappoint. There is a lot of emotion in the intonation of each verse and you can tell that the songs come from deep within.
He has enlisted the aid of a full band. A second guitarist also adds his voice for chorus and backup support as does the live keyboard player. A drummer rounds out the on-stage sound.
Adrian was fairly static due to the guitar duties in combination with the vocals but this is understandable. Not every singer wants to run and leap around and Adrian does seem rather reserved in many aspects. The other guitarist with the mohawk moved all over the place, however and drew a lot of attention.
I would have to say it is really captivating hearing Adrian's voice in person. I have been such a fan and I really like the subject matter of his songs. "Chemicals" has to be my all time favorite and was so good live. Other highlights included; "She", "O Brother Sleep", "Menchfiend", "Soul Stripper", and my other all- time-favorites "The Curse", and of course; "Butterfly:Dance!"
There is a refined, dignified quality to their appearance as well as their music and I find he appeals to the intellectual dreamer in me as the name might imply. Adrian had his long hair pulled back in a ponytail to stay out of his way and wore a long button up suit jacket with a high collar that must have been quite hot under those stage lights.
I imagine the worlds he creates as deadly places but with such beauty and allure that you are helpless but to immurse yourself in those deadly waters and fend off what may come in order to maintain the enchantment. He covers subject matter that is quite dark but puts such a beauty into it that it is hard not to get wrapped up in it.
A song of theirs from one of the earlier albums sums it up really well: "The End of Flowers". There are several versions of this song now, a different mix off of their remix collection disc as well.. but it is the original that I love best with its child's voice repeating the title of the track. As this song fills me with something so beautiful, melancholy and touching and with this uncanny feeling that I have just been haunted, it is a dream that you long to return to but is un-nerving at the same time.
Diary of Dreams is a band I look forward to release after release and having seen them three times now, I would jump at a chance to see them again. What an amazing band.