Gothic World: Achromaticia

“Achromaticia” was the debut CD of Disjecta Membra, released in 1997, which decreed them as a leader in the gothic rock genre of New Zealand, their country of origin.  Beautiful, a decadent and disarming romanticism are both poetic and sensual at the same time.  Their ethereal sound is reminiscent at times of Christian Death, Lacrimosa and in some songs, such as “Third Song”, even those of the early Cure.

In addition to their sound, their name really strikes me, which in my opinion embodies the essence of their music in its deep and dream-like tragedy.  Disjecta membra, also written membra disiecta, means “scattered fragments” or “scattered limbs”, and is also used to refer to surviving poetry, manuscripts and other literary and cultural objects.  It is derived from disiecti poetae membra, a phrase employed by Orazio (Horace). 

The sixteen tracks that make up the album are both beautiful and distressing, such as “The Sleep”; truly superb.  The history of Disjecta Membra is very particular and troubled; born in 1994 as the solo project of frontman Michel, forming a proper band just a year later in 1995.  They performed live for the last time in 2001 (sic).  “Achromaticia” is a true masterpiece of the genre and “Water-wings” is one of the most beautiful Gothic songs I’ve ever heard, but with an intensity and unique theatricality; components that are present more or less throughout the album. 

I would like to pay homage to this group with a quote that I find especially fitting:  “Essere bella e amata, è semplicemente essere femmina; essere brutta e sapersi fare amare, è essere una principessa.” (Being beautiful and beloved, is simply being female; to be brutal and to know how to make love, is to be a princess).  Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly, Disjecta membra, 1925. 
– Ursula Coppolaro / “Mandy Von Vixx” (Gothic World Webzine, Italy)