Once again, Black Tape For A Blue Girl has graced our senses with a thing of beauty in the form of a new album, The Scavenger Bride. A concept album based on the writings of Franz Kafka set in 1913 Prague, it tells the story of a bride-to-be and her suitors through the eyes of the town Schavager, or scavenger, who is in the service of the town, charged with cleaning the streets and returning them to a purer state. The Schavager believes that this gradual refinement allows him to peer into the hearts and souls of his neighbors, and it is these sorts of observations of the "inner person" that we hear in the lyrics of this all-around gorgeous album.
The album, however, removes the group from anything as defining as a genre. Several guest artists from the Projekt label, including Bret Helm of Audra, and Michael Laird of Unto Ashes, also contributed their voices and playing talents to the album. Black tape for a blue girl has been a touchstone for the modern Gothic music scene for well over fifteen years now, not only for its own melancholy take on matters of the heart but also for the stewardship by leader/synthesist Sam Rosenthal of the great independent label Projekt. Using a more diverse assembly of instrumentation than ever before and melodies derived more from classical art song than rock or pop, Rosenthal casts a spell as much literary as musical. While the pieces are as obsessed with decaying romance as anything the band has done previously, the conceptual thrust and musical sweep of black tape's eight album place it far beyond anything so simply defined as Goth.