Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Xmal Deutschland - "Tocsin" [1984]

Artist: Xmal Deutschland
Title: Tocsin
Genre: Gothic Rock, Post-Punk
Country: Germany
Release date: 1984

Track List: 
  1. Mondlicht
  2. Eiland
  3. Reigen
  4. Tag für Tag
  5. Augenblick
  6. Begrab mein Herz
  7. Nachtschatten
  8. Xmas In Australia
  9. Derwisch
  10. Incubus Succubus II
  11. Vito
Xmal (or X Mal, X-mal) Deutschland were an important old-school gothic rock band from Hamburg, Western Germany. I already have mentioned them in connection with Coptic Rain, but this album (the best in their discography, in my opinion) deserves its own entry.

Xmal Deutschland started in 1980 as an all-girl band, and while this album had a different line-up, all vocals on there are female, performed by Anja Huwe with her unique "howling" style. XmalD are often compared to Siouxsie & The Banshees, but I think their music is much darker, more "gothic" than "(post-)punk" or "new wave" etc. In particular, this album sounds exactly how the classic gothic rock should sound IMO. I well remember showing it during mid-2000s to the people whose idea of "gothic rock" were HIM-like bands :) Too bad XmalD had to split up in early 1990s (just like many other interesting 80s' acts), and didn't receive the recognition they've deserved. Still, they managed to release this album on 4AD records, which gave them some international recognition (which wasn't that easy for a band singing primarily in German). The atmosphere on this album is just amazing, which might be the reason why it left a much stronger impression on me than many much better known releases by British goth rock bands from the same epoch.

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