Violet Cries - Esben and the Witch
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. Feb 7, 2011
    90
    Whichever road they happen to tread next, it'll be worthwhile following in their footsteps.
  2. Let us hope this isn't a flash-in-the-pan success and that subsequent releases are just as good.
  3. Apr 12, 2011
    80
    Brighton trio take a walk on the dark side. [Feb. 2011, p. 104]
  4. Feb 14, 2011
    80
    Theirs is a music of doomed melancholy –- plaintive, dark, and uneasy.
  5. Throughout the exquisitely mournful Violet Cries, Rachel Davies issues Cassandra-like predictions of woe and mayhem, while Thomas Fisher's filigree guitars shimmer like sunset on a lake.
  6. Feb 7, 2011
    80
    It is an album that gives up its charms slowly, but its painstaking attention to detail, dark shadows and languid depths will see it become an essential companion for many sombre souls in 2011 and beyond.
  7. Feb 7, 2011
    80
    Revel in the gloom.
  8. Feb 7, 2011
    80
    Like following a serial killer's trail of devastation, you're gripped until the end, no matter how grisly the conclusion. Bewitching.
  9. To immerse yourself in 'Violet Cries' is more akin to entering a Ye Olde English fairy tale than some trashy vampire fiction, like discovering a weighty, weathered tome that lies under several thick inches of dust and recounts a distant age.
  10. Feb 9, 2011
    70
    While there are a few moments where Violet Cries' potent atmosphere turns meandering and atonal, this is still a promising and often captivating debut from a band with a bold sound.
  11. Feb 14, 2011
    66
    They've certainly got the pure sound of it nailed down. More than most mini-genres, goth demands ambiance-- the mood is everything, and on this front, Violet Cries succeeds tremendously.
  12. Mar 28, 2011
    60
    Violet Cries is the kind of album that will find a niche audience who will it defend fiercely. Broader appeal is unlikely for songs that seem so blurred around the edges and on the point of evaporating.
  13. Mar 23, 2011
    60
    Violet Cries is an intriguing collection from a young band that already seems poised to build away from its influences. [Feb. 2011, p. 71]
  14. Mar 8, 2011
    60
    It's an intriguing, powerful sound, and due to the subsequent nightmares caused, I now look forward to sending Esben both my psychiatrist's and dry cleaner's bills.
  15. Feb 14, 2011
    60
    Esben and the Witch sure can make a racket, but parsing out the minimal substance is the real challenge. Better than Salem? Definitely. A perfect debut? Not quite.
  16. Feb 9, 2011
    60
    Their debut positions itself somewhere sonically between the avant-gardism of These New Puritans and Siouxsie And The Banshees at their most stridently gothic. [Feb. 2011, p. 114]
  17. 60
    Violet Cries, one of the more anticipated debut albums of the year, isn't a let down, but it's a difficult album to get a grasp on.
  18. Feb 8, 2011
    60
    Violet Cries isn't an easy album to get into, and it may well prove too impenetrable for the casual listener. They may not signal a Goth revival, but there's enough promise here to justify keeping an eye on this Brighton trio.
  19. Feb 7, 2011
    60
    Despite a tendency to drift formlessly, there's true beauty in some of their desolate soundscapes, which get eerier as the album crawls along.
  20. Feb 7, 2011
    60
    Named after a grim Danish fairy tale, Esben and the Witch pursues a narrow course on their first album, Violet Cries, a morose, pitch-black update of the '80s dark-wave template.
  21. Mar 14, 2011
    58
    Violet Cries is broadly, nebulously goth, with very little to distinguish the band from their peers and forebears.
  22. Feb 8, 2011
    58
    The pattern of temper tantrums and sulks that makes up Violet Cries eventually begins to feel like a substitution for songwriting. It's difficult not to long for the more mature band that Esben And The Witch will hopefully become.
  23. Mar 18, 2011
    50
    Other groups have approached the issue of originality by genre-blending; but in the case of Esben and the Witch, it is their very faith that ensures that the hollowness one feels while listening has a doubled quality, reflected not only in content but also in experience, leaving one with the ominous aftertaste of a doppelgänger encounter.
  24. Mar 17, 2011
    50
    Esben & the Witch has pretty frames, but not much of a big picture just yet.
  25. 20
    The group have been around for well over a year without arousing much of a stir, and the monumentally tedious poesie-rock of Violet Cries offers few hints that this should change.
  26. 10
    If Esben and the Witch don't quell their sonic histrionics, they may not get a second curtain call.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 26, 2011
    4
    "Violent Cries" just may be the music for an exclusive club of miseries immersed in a belief that Esben & The Witch gravitate beyond the normal artistic boundaries. For everyone else it's just three tiresome musicians desperately trying to be taken seriously by presenting an impenetrably dull, brooding and lifeless experience. http://hackskeptic.com Full Review »