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Principe Valiente – Choirs Of Blessed Youth

Plenty of listeners will embrace Euro Goths Principe Valiente. Others may turn elsewhere. I suspect vocals hold the key to that particular decision. In Fernando Honorato, the Stockholm band have a true ‘Prince Of Darkness’ singer, embracing his frontman role with a theatrical flourish. I wager he/they dress the part too? Robert Smith hair? Eyeliner? Three quarter length jackets? Has to be! This is the entertainment industry and Principe Valiente sure do entertain. There’s no holding back. Doom laden bass, swathes of synth and that towering voice, this is ghost-train post-punk at its best.

I first encountered these guys on their self-titled debut. I recall having reservations over the mixing. Drums dominated that first album. The vocals were lost in an echoey wash. Yet it was fun, and clearly, since I’m here for second helpings, it must’ve had something to bring me back. That something, dear readers, is gothic. I’ve always had a soft spot for that sound. As much as Principe Valiente try to market themselves as shoegaze or post-punk, they’re Goffs in my book. Fans of The Sisters, Bauhaus and Xymox will dig this, I’m sure. The new album bursts to life from a serene synth vista. ‘The Son I’ll Never Be’, tunes its bass up high like Peter Hook and the music straddles Gothicr-rock and post-punk quite neatly. It’s our Fernando who decides the tie-breaker. This is belting, emotive, unabashed Goth. It’s panto. It couldn’t get more camp if Vincent Price had fronted The Mission.

There are some great riffs on here too. The guitars on ‘Take Me With You’ (no, not the Prince song) are fizzing with excitement, ‘She Never Returned’ has almost Editors –like (early period) guitars. It’s a cracking start to the album. The band then slow things down with blurry waltz, ‘The Dream’. I get the change of pace but at almost 10 minutes long this might have been better as a closing song. From thereon in, it’s a mixed bag. No filler, just some songs don’t quite find the target with me. Others sparkle (‘The Fighting’). Overall it’s solid. They must be pleased with it. Their fans certainly will be.

Goths, having fun?. Who knew?

Find Out More

Debut album review