Beneath Grey Skies / Soulfood
Formerly from Toulouse (southern France), SOROR DOLOROSA was originally founded in 2001, with Andy (Nuit Noire, Mutiilation, Peste Noire, Celestia, Darvulia, Fornication) on drums, Franck (ex Funeraëll) on guitar, Hervé (ex Funeraëll) on bass, and Christophe Guénot (ex Funeraëll) on vocals.
Hervé came up with the name of SOROR DOLOROSA because of a novel titled "Bruges-lamorte" by Georges Rodenbach, a Flemish symbolist writer from the late 19th century. A novel marked by symbolism of nostalgia and mourning. SOROR DOLOROSA means "Sister Pain" in Latin, one could almost translate it as "lovers of pain" in a more Baudelaire way... The band recorded an unpublished demo, then the line-up changed in 2003 with the arrival of Emey (ex Contrast, Unscarred ...), who replaced Franck on guitar. Subsequently they recorded a second unpublished demo and did some gigs until they split in 2005.
In August 2007 they reformed with the present line up. A month later, based on songs written by bassist Carles Hervé, the band recorded a third unpublished demo whose content sounds definitely Gothic Rock and Death Rock, influenced by groups such as Christian Death, Bauhaus, and The Sisters of Mercy. From that time, Soror Dolorosa’s style became more personal and they found an own identity as a band. The songs were now written by the four members together, though still mostly based on the bass guitar. They took on a Cold Wave colouring, more in line with bands such as The Cure or Human League, but also with hints of 70's rock like Deep Purple or Black Sabbath and retaining the Sisters of Mercy-like Gothic Rock influence.
Soror Dolorosa made their first record appearance with ‘American Chronicle’ in March 2008, on the free compilation 'Poisoned Dead Frogs' (Manic Depression). When the third demo was out on myspace, the group was contacted to release an EP through the British label Todestrieb Records. This 6 track EP, entitled "Severance", wasn’t released until August 2009 due to production delays and is being distributed through underground ways, while the band promoted it with successful live performances all over France.
Some time in 2009, through the help of Neige (Amesoeurs, Alcest), the band came in contact with Northern Silence Productions, who offered to release their upcoming albums on their newly founded sublabel Beneath Grey Skies, and subsequently produced the debut full length 'Blind Scenes', recorded in August 2010 at Drudenhaus Studio.
To use the band’s own words – “The album is quite cold, with misty blue moods. 'Blind Scenes' would rather be perceived as scenes unseen, that is to say, out of time and out of the real world. As a state of grace overshadowed by the inevitability of everyday life. The lyrics are heartfelt and talk about regrets, coldness, alcohol abuse, as well as forfeiture, but mostly nostalgia, hence the blue color of the music.”
That's also why they chose “Drudenhaus Studio” (CNK, Alcest, Les Discrets, Varsovie, Necroblaspheme), recommended by Neige, who described it as an ideal place to record their music. On the one hand because the studio is analog, and on the other hand because it is located in Brittany’s countryside, isolated from the rest of the world, with compulsory rain in August. It was produced by Benoît Roux "Mr. Xort" (ex Anorexia Nervosa), who recorded additional keyboards.
The album artwork & layout was done by Metastazis, who is one of the best illustrators/designers of the underground scene and worked for Alcest, Anathema, Antaeus, Enthroned, Forgotten Woods, Gorgoroth, Immolation, Secrets of the Moon, Taake, Listenable Records, Osmose Productions & Warner Bros.
So, that's how Soror Dolorosa appear today, which is quite a feat, knowing their respective influences. Andy, as a drummer, has been marked by Black Metal and Metal in general but also by the likes of Human League, Fields of the Nephilim or Ulver’s latest albums. Hervé is a big fan of The Cure, Depeche Mode and Christian Death. Emey is somewhat influenced by Metallica, Satriani, Vai, but also Blues & Movie Soundtracks. Franck listens to bands as diverse as Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi or The French Variety, as well as Reggae, although he is primarily a Beatles fan. However, since the basics for their songs often come from bass riffs, the colour of the music naturally goes into the direction of Gothic/Death Rock and Cold Wave.
1. Crystal Lane
2. Autumn Wounds
3. Damaged Dreamer
4. Low End
5. Soror Dolorosa
6. Scars Of Crusade
7. In A Glance
8. Broken Wings
Andy Julia - Vocals
Emey - Guitars
Carles Hervé - Bass
Franck Ligabue - Drums
2009 “Severance” MCD
2011 “Blind Scenes“ CD