Faith and the Muse The Burning Season

Since this was released in the thick of summer the title here was aptly named for some August listening, but it was more likely called so for a fireball of a goth-rock record — emphasis on the rock. In between the acoustic strumming and breathy goth-vox of Monica Richards — what we’ve come to expect from this duo — they shock and stun with some rock’n’roll, post-punk craziness. They fire things up with "Sredni Vashtar,” a driving punk rocker that’ll put the o-go in your pogo. Soon after, darkness prevails with the usual assortment of the slow, flowy and spooky. But just as you nestle all comfortably into Gothdom, they slap you again with the snarling wake-up "Relic Song,” a slight jab at the recycling of music trends and their manufacturing for the mainstream. Even the mopiest of goth kids will enjoy the diversity of sound with the few speedy interludes. An unexpected departure for these two yet they pull it off. Could be that William Faith has found a new muse. (Metropolis)