Walking into the room we pass through a chainmail curtain into a space steady pumping with a rhythm like blood flow. The lights are blooming bursts of colors, flashes that feel like explosions of excitement. These effects catch pace, divert from, and charge against. This could have a somewhat dizzying effect if it weren’t for the fact you’re instantly swallowed up, hypnotized, lost in the music. A smooth female voice goes from whisper to pure melody. She sings against a backdrop of pounding beats and haunting synth work. The effect is alluring, disarming and entrancing. This music is often too enticing, to rhythmic, not to dance, but still manages to lose no edge from its darker undertones. It’s like dancing with the devil, you can see and feel the dark dangerous edge, but you simply can’t resist.
This band is Curse of Cassandra and believe it or not they’re from Dayton Ohio. This incredible show, and fantastic performance was in fact a release show for their new album Night. Being a local born Dayton girl myself it wasn’t too hard to hunt down this band.
Curse of Cassandra formed in May of 2013 when Jacob Richter (synths/vocals) began writing songs and discovered Ryan Wolfe (percussion/effects) through the internet. Originally playing bass on synths, Nicole Richter stepped into the role of lead vocals in 2014 to form the band that exists now.
I recently got an opportunity to speak with the lead singer Nicole Ricter. I was excited to find out exactly what inspired and influenced their music; “The music and lyrics are inspired by vampires, cyberspace, the occult and otherworldly encounters intertwined with concepts of the night and the erotic connections that may ensue.” Ricter explained to me.
With a band of such wide influences one can wonder how they developed their specific sound. “Curse of Cassandra’s sound began with dance beats and haunting melodies, and has since become bound up with the seductive undertones of steampunk and gothic aesthetics.” Ricter said.
My mind drifts back to the incredible performance I’d seen that night. I ask about what they aim for fans to experience when attending a Curse of Cassandra show. “Definitely dancing and a sense of beholding the night as a temporary time of play, eroticism and enjoyment.” Ricter said.
Night, this is the one word title of the new album. Night looms overhead, like a black sky sprinkled with stars, like the dark in which people feel unrestrained and anonymous enough to embrace their own secrete desires. This album has been made with professional care, skill and the dedication of a band who gives it their all. “The producer of our album Jason Rubal (Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer) flew to Dayton to spend time getting to know each of us on a personal level, listen to music and consume cinema to better understand who we are in order to create the best possible album that is an authentic representation of us. He so did smoothly and with effervescence.” Ricter explained to me about recording the album. “It differed from previous experiences in that we are an electronic band that seeks to emulate live what DJs and EDM artists do. Jason helped us create live percussion using real drum sounds that are unique to our album, and mixed in the synths and vocals with a sense of space and depth.”
Night is a beautifully constructed album that showcases very well the band from which it comes. In her own words Ricter describes the album as; “Sexy. Playful. And of course, dark and sensual.” Night is undeniably an album that showcases Curse of Cassandra at their best.
You can catch Curse of Cassandra for yourself at their upcoming shows:
Blackheart’s Ball w/Curse of Cassandra, Hematosis and Where the Nameless Dwell Friday, February 13 at 9pm at Therapy Cafe
Blind Bob’s, Friday, March 6th
Oregon Express, Friday March 13th