Fading Colours The Beginning 89 - 93/Black Horse/Time

Recently signed to Poland's Metal Mind Records, Fading Colours are seeing the release of some of their back catalogue before a new album appears later this year. This is a band with a somewhat confusing past. Emerging as hardcore band Bruno the Questionable in the 1980s, Fading Colours have undergone not only a name change but a stylistic journey as well, morphing through goth rock into electronica. Logically, The Beginning features some of the band's early work, including the first song vocalist De Coy and guitarist Leszek Rakowski ever wrote together, and remastered version's from 1992's Bruno the Questionable release of Black Horse. The tracks on this compilation sound understandably retro, sometimes like a female-fronted Cult, or at others more like Sisters of Mercy. As a bonus, The Beginning also features the videos for "Black Horse" and "Sister of the Night." Black Horse, the album, is a remastered edition of the 1995 version, the band's first release as Fading Colours. Several pre-existing tracks were recorded for this CD along with what was new material at the time. With a heavier mix and more distorted electric guitars, the 12 songs on Black Horse tend to emphasise the rock as much as the goth. Taking Fading Colours in a more synth-focused direction, Time features remixes and radio edits with the additional bonus of a previously unreleased demo. Although most of the band's material has an electronic foundation, Time brings that electronica to the foreground, resembling darkwave and trance more than rock. Fading Colours have a fervent delivery, and De Coy's vocals are dripping with attitude and personality. As a complete album, Black Horse is the strongest CD of the collection, but given the band's growing interest in electronic music, I suspect that Time is a better indicator of what's to come. (Metal Mind)