'This Is Dramacore'


MARK: 79/100

Although still not well-known outside Estonia, this studio one-man band's leader has been profusing all his creative energies in the last 6 years, now achieving his 3rd full-length release. We're dealing with a man who is a professionally trained Jazz drummer, used to play live percussions for the Death/Industrial outfit Forgotten Sunrise and used to be the vocalist of the Metal group Solwaig; moreover, as a part of the 'Nokia comes with music' campaign, he was asked to give a lecture about industrial music at the Baltic film and media college in Tallinn, his videos got rotation on MTV Baltics top 20 as well as Scandinavian MTV, his live performances have been described as legendary, not only because of the value of the 5 live additional musicians, but especially thanks to the dedication and honesty he tackles the stage with, just as if it were his last show; finally, one of the tracks contained in this third offering was included in the UK's leading extreme music Terrorizer magazine covermount CD in their 2009 October issue. That should do to keep your attention high and to hold his music in great esteem prior to and during listening.
"This Is Dramacore" doesn't look like a self-release at all when you look at the rich, wonderful and scented 28-page booklet by the agency of www.killingculture.com, whose artwork appears to be superior to many official releases in quality and quantity; it's closer to a short book than a cheap CD booklet and it's influenced by Bosch, Bruegel, the early 20th century, the Surrealism and the modern Absurd; this makes the CD a must-see and an object of collection, spurring the purchase of the physical product even before the opportunity of a FLAC files download.

All of the tracks are connected with one another, bar a few pauses among them and they're the fruit of 3 years of songwriting and 9 months of mixing; they can be included within the category of Industrial Gothic, a vast definition containing several spin-offs. This album is no exception, supplied with massive doses of originality and unexpected elements most of the time.
The sonic satisfaction is started by "Demons of Fame", a sort of Dark Electro with vocals astride Punk and Rap; excellent are the orchestral strayings on the Electro base, and even more the diabolical vocals melted with others whispered tempting ones. Well begun is half done...
"Dramacore" summerizes Aphex Twin, Marylin Manson, Atari Teenage Riot, Mortiis and NIN, relying on a lyric against any trend, also the ones that originally were anti-conforming and see themsleves now absorbed by mainstream.
Corrosive and theatrical at the same time, "Pikachu Warriors" quickly turns to sheer bludgeoning in the central part, an electronic merciless machine-gun fire alternated with a lugubrious line sustained by granitical bass sounds and a huge echo; the EBM pulsing, able to rekickstart a cardiopathic's heart, accompanies us to the hypnotic end.
"All The Kings' Drugs" is one of the highlights, refined and intelligent; there's also a distorted guitar to make the composition more various and the danceable structures aren't so invasive and they're changing all the time; additional assorted background noises make it catchy, powerful and perverted. Really a stunning song, complete and unique.
With an artwork so tributive towards Dali and Alice In Wonderland, "Conveniently Confused", we can't but feel awakened to a different dimension or a psychotropicized state of mind expanding. It is still Electro, but there's a Rock feeling, too, reminescent of bands such as 30 Seconds To Mars.
Another neurotic killer track, "Dramajunkie", stands out by merit of its nervous, twisted and uber-sick silhouette; adorable is the beats + vocals + distant symphonic layers work; once again there's a part reserved for very Rock drums, leading to a Gothrock finalé, followed without interruptions by "Leftovers", an Electro Goth embellished by a synth Prog fugue and an ending fit for dancing.
"Enemy", so full of adrenalin, heavy, frantic beats and an attitude that could make fans of Prodigy content, contains a part where the keyboards are the protagonists, the beats go on and Evestus recurs to 80s Synthpop solutions, yet modernized and more incisive. After one of the few above-mentioned pauses comes a sad and disquieting intro to "Sacrifice", a long song endowed with a Rock rhythmic section and successive Electro-Pop vocals. This is a pretty delicate situation, where the base, the keyboards lines and the conclusive Hip-Hop structure are hard to digest at the first listen (and probably for some even after repeated listens).
Killer! I can't find a better adjective for "Nothing", a phenomenal crossbreed of The Berzerker and some Fear Factory, later swerving to orchestral Goth shores; the cellos and a sort of balalajka polish the sound, rendering this track really special and a bit Folkish.
"Gone" proceeds slowly, weirdly, and patiently, also featuring some cello lines as well placed on vocals falling more on the Rock side than the Hip-Hop one this time.
The beginning of "So in Love" pays duty to Marylin Manson, but things change: there's a climax of tension and anxiety, bursting into a grinding fast series of beats like Wumpscut could only along with a real guitar solo.
Finally, a hidden track taken from an old long playing, another pause, a further hidden track mixing Evanescence with Dark, and ultimately a song excerpted from a Black music platter.

Even though the process behind this album has been so long and elaborated, it would've been preferrable to hear more massive vocals sometimes, instead of getting the feeling of a fast rigmarole, and no poppy danceable parts. Luckily they're very few, so the global impression is amply positive. Unfortunately I didn't have the chance of listening to the previous material, thus comparisons are impossible, but I'm convinced that besides Industrial, Dark and EBM freaks, even some mature, open-minded Metalhead appreciating some of this stuff might find reasons of interest here.


Line-up on this record:
Evestus - composing, programming, lyrics and vocals

TNS/Evestus, Vene 19-17, 10123 Tallinn - Estonia

Official sites:


-Destiny In Life (LP - 2004)
-Wastelands (LP - 2006)
-Sacrifice (Maxi-single - 2008)
-Enemy (promo single - 2008)
-This Is Dramacore (CD - 2010)