The Birthday Massacre
Pins and Needles

1. In the Dark
2. Always
3. Pale
4. Control
5. Shallow Grave
6. Sideways
7. Midnight
8. Pins and Needles
9. Two Hearts
10. Sleepwalking
11. Secret

Chibi - Vocals
Rainbow - Guitar, Synth/Percussion Programming, Vocals
Michael Falcore - Guitar, Synth/Percussion Programming
O.E. - live Bass, Vocals
Rhim - live Drums
Owen - live Keyboards

Nothing and Nowhere (2002)
Violet (2005)
Walking with Strangers (2007)


Rainbow and M. Falcore - Producing and Recording
Dave "Rave" Ogilvie and Rainbow - Mixing
Dave "Rave" Ogilvie - Mix Engineer
Brock McFarlane - Assistant Mix Engineer
Noah Mintz - Mastering
Kevin James Maher - Programming and Editing
Mixed At: Mushroom Studios (Vancouver, Canada) & Dire Studios (Toronto, Canada)
Mastered At: Lacquer Channel

Released 17/9-2010
Reviewed 7/9-2010


I guess I will have to begin with a warning: this review will be a shameless praise with not much critical side to it at all as it is a review of what, at least according to me, is a fantastic album. The band with the taste for the Violet, both in line of album name, cover colour and sound. I actually think this Canadian band’s music sound violet, maybe it is due to the atmosphere or maybe thinks to the voice of singer Chibi, wether one or the other to me they have a violet sound.

The record starts with one of the coolest record starting text lines ever in: ”all this broken pieces left unglued” which of course is a great way to lyrically open a song and a record but it is not a fitting description of the record which still feel like it is a whole and not in pieces. The text line comes from the opening track which is called In the Dark which can also be seen as a video if you follow the link below this review, that is a wonderful track and an okay video. This nonglued and nonbroken record last for a good 41 minutes which in my book is a good length of record and these minutes are filled with electronic atmospheric rock music of the violet kind.

Gothic, electronic, atmospheric and violet is the description that can be given about the massacre, now we can also add heavy to that description as it cannot be avoided to be heard on this record. This heaviness is the first thing that strikes me with this new album, but on the other hand maybe I should have expected it since this is a route the band have been pursuing from early on, the have progressively been getting heavier throughout and this is by far their heaviest album to date.

Another thing besides the heaviness that strikes me when I listen to this record for the first time is how powerful and excellent the song material on this record is. How the atmosphere and Chibi’s voice work together in harmony to create a powerful whole, it is different but still the same compared to the earlier work and I would say compared to its immediate predecessor it is clearly better, compared to Violet it is at least different but the same, I cannot tell yet if it is better than Violet. The Violet colour is still there though.

I was actually having some problem seeing how the band should be able to make a song that could match the amazing Video Kid of Violet but I think the have managed to make something of a similar caliber when it comes to Shallow Grave which is just a fantastic track much due to the style, atmosphere, vocals and overall feel. Then of course the other ten tracks on the album can be counted as standout tracks (I actually wrote them all by name in the Swedish review).

I cannot really find anything to fault with this record, everything from the cover to the vocals are absolutely amazing and even when I try to be as objective as possible it is something extraordinary and it is by far the best album of the year. I had trouble seeing how anything could top Indica this year but this is something of a whole other dimension and honestly all other albums feel kind of amateurish in comparison with this one. With Pins and Needles, The Birthday Massacre kind of reinvents the music and takes it to a whole other level. I am happy that this record is everything and more than I could have expected and I did really have high expectations for this record as the ones before had been wonderful so of course expectations were high and they were all met.

Maybe I am a bit too positive towards this record but it is a fantastic record and sort of cements my feeling about this band, not only are they quite unique in their sound they are also making music of a quality very rarely heard in the music business. I think The Birthday Massacre is the best thing to happen to music since Arjen Anthony Lucassen decided to embark on a project he decided to call Ayreon.

The violet sound and the violet covers and the fantastic songs makes it a fantastic experience to listen through this record over and over again. If you enjoy the violet side of music I am sure that you will enjoy Pins and Needles, for me it is the absolute best album of the year, no doubt.


Label: Metropolis/dependent/Sound Pollution
Three similar bands: Silvery/Nightwish/Alphaville

Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm