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Reviewed by - Matt Rowe

Trance to the Sun
Spiders, Aether & Rain

Goth-classic, Trance to the Sun, was one of the essential dream-pop bands of the ‘90s.  Fronted by no less than 3 female singers, the band’s official output easily represented the flavour of the ethereal music scene during its tenure if not heavily influencing that period.  The band released 7 albums over the span of its life.  Trance to the Sun was a project that began with chief visionary, Ashkelon Sain, who played most of the instruments for the band, including guitars, basses, synths, even drum machines.

The 13 tracks found on this compilation of songs were selected by the band’s primary mainstay, Ashkelon Sain, in an effort to not only effectively encompass the complete cycle of the band, but to also provide a distinctive thread of music that highlights the band’s strength and musical passion as well as its historical timeline.  From the beginning banshee-like vocals of Zoe Alexandra Wakefield to the darker lost-soul vocals of Ingrid Blue, whose new unicorn painting is the cover of this retrospective, to the interim Dawn Wagner, whose voice is found on only one track, the unreleased “Winter Furnace Winds,” from the unfinished Equinox sessions, Trance to the Sun was a defining darkwave band.

Besides the bonus of the previously unreleased song found on this collection, there is the difficult to find Trance to the Sun cover of Cocteau Twins’ “When Mama Was Moth,” released in 2001.  The expressively titled Spiders, Aether, & Rain: The Finest Works of Trance to the Sun is an excellent distribution of songs that takes the most dynamic tracks of their career and reassembles them into a coloring book of emotions.  As a soundtrack to that inner unease, that always wet sense of danger and discord, that wispy smoke of insanity, Spiders, Aether, & Rain respects the world of Trance to the Sun while immortalizing their music.

This collection is presented in a Limited Edition digipak and a 12-page booklet that splashes with lots of photos, song information, and an informative liner notes entry by Paul Angelosanto, a Massachusetts based writer/poet with direct acquaintance with Ashkelon Sain.  If you’re a dedicated fan, this set seals the fine career of
Trance to the Sun, especially with the two rarities within.

Trance to the Sun ceased as an entity in 2001 even as fans refuse to let the band slip away in MySpace pages.  Here’s betting for a reunion set down this long, fog-drenched road.

Release Date: June 29, 2007
Produced by: Ashkelon Sain
Format: CD

Track Listing:

Olive the Slut / Home Wrecker / Spider Like / Spider Planet / August Rain v3 / Execution of the Stars / Winter Furnace Winds (Previously Unreleased Track) / A Sun Lingering Disease / When Mama Was Moth (Cocteau Twins cover) / Slave / Thistle Lurid / The Nun V.V. / August Rain v1.

Trance to the Sun:

Zoe Alexandra Wakefield - Vocals
Ingrid Blue - Vocals
Dawn Wagner - Vocals
Ashkelon Sain - Instrumentation
and Others.

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