IVM's Best Albums Of 2016

Check out our 30 favourite albums of 2016

Review: David Bowie – 'No Plan'


Review: Nine Inch Nails – 'Not The Actual Events'


Review: Neurotech – 'Symphonies'


Interview: Jim Smallman [Progress Wrestling]

“We might not be the biggest but I certainly think that we're the best - but then again, I am biased! It feels excellent to be as acclaimed as we are. Bear in mind I'm just a fan who happens to own a wrestling company with his mates.”

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Interview: Bestial Mouths

Still heartless...

“The newer material is very personal in nature as it directly relates to the experiences and emotions I had been going through and feeling. Those experiences set the direction for the album title and cover art.”

Los Angeles' Bestial Mouths are easily one of the most exciting acts of recent years. Uncompromising in their blend of the avant garde and inhabiting all the corners of dark alternative music, their latest album 'Heartless' has been universally praised, and off it's back the band has made inroads into the European live scene. 2016 may have been their most successful year to date, but the band keep their eyes firmly on the horizon with a new remix EP and north American tour scheduled for this year, they show no signs of stopping any time soon.
We caught up with vocalist Lynette Cerezo reflect on the band's stellar year and talk about their plans for 2017.

Intravenous Magazine: Your latest album 'Heartless' was released last March. How has the reaction been to it so far?

Lynette Cerezo: We have been pleased with the response so far, and from the reviews I have seen it has been positive. It was quite a feeling to see people reach out and nominate it for Best Album of 2016 in Auxiliary Magazine's end of year polls. We haven't seen the results yet, but we are honored and thrilled
to have made the list no matter the outcome.

Also, people seemed excited to do remixes of the songs, so it's always a good indicator when
fellow artists are excited to collaborate with you on a project - that's an ultimate compliment.

IVM: Musically and thematically what inspired you most in the creation of 'Heartless'?

LC: Heartless is a unique album, as it contains some older songs as we perform them now, we had the chance to re-record them, which was cool. So, in a way, it is also an homage to the past and present.

The newer material is very personal in nature as it directly relates to the experiences and emotions I had been going through and feeling. Those experiences set the direction for the album title and cover art.

Musically, I would say we just continued on the same path and direction as we always have, and added some more danceable tracks.

I feel Heartless musically shows many of our influences across genres and styles, from some Post-punk type songs to more electronic - maybe more Pop like - vibe.

IVM: How do you typically approach the writing and recording process?

LC: We approach writing in a number of different ways:

It can begin with lyrics or an idea or interest that guides the lyrics first, then the music.

It can begin with music, and then lyrics written to what it evokes, what I hear in it.

It can also begin by experimentation of feelings, like we want to create a certain type of song (An example being I might want a slow dirty Swans-type song, or I am feeling a fast industrial harsh song).

As for recording, I much prefer when we are recording a song we have played live a bunch, because then I can focus on the lyrics' and songs' feeling because it is has become memorized and second nature. However, sometimes we don't have that luxury.

There have even been times I've had to record vocals for a song I haven't done the lyrics to yet, so I am writing them as we record.

IVM: You've worked with producers such as David Psutka, Danny Saber and Jürgen Engler. What does a producer need to bring to the table to compliment a band with such an esoteric sound such as Bestial Mouths?

LC: This is an interesting question, as my thought would be what does Bestial have to bring to the table. I think they just over all need an understanding of our sound and aesthetic and the overall goal we are trying to achieve.

Recording with Saber the first time - he was used to guiding vocalists I believe - he finally just stopped in the middle of our work and let me be free, and as he said “do my thing”.

I think working with diverse producers is also a great match for us, each one has his own ear and specialty to lend to our sound.

IVM: 'Heartless' marked your first full-length album on Cleopatra Records – how did that deal come about and how do you feel you fit with the label?

LC: It all started with an email from Cleopatra to come into their office and chat. Of course we were all excited and nervous at the same time. I grew up listening to all the bands on Cleopatra Records. After meeting with them I felt it was a great fit. I admired a large label that was still independent, that had survived our economy's struggles. They were ready to support new artists at that time, and I sensed it was an exciting time for them and wanted love to be part of it all.

IVM: A personal highlight on the album was the cover of The Human League's 'Being Boiled', what led to the decision to cover it and how do you feel it compares to the original?

LC: Truthfully I don't remember exactly how we picked The Human League. Cleopatra wanted us to do a cover and we threw around a lot of ideas. I liked the challenge of doing a cover with male vocals, a song that doesn't normally sound like us, the challenge to see if we can keep the integrity of the original but still put our mark on it. The original will always be best, of course, but I do believe we brought a different style to it!

I also agreed with the subject matter, its about being against the process of killing of silk worms for silk, humans' abuse of innocent victims for our own exploitation.

IVM: You have a new remix EP scheduled for release in March, what can we expect from that?

LC: We are super excited for the EP, '(still) HEARTLESS': It will have a lot of great remixes, new version of a song off 'Heartless' as we performed it live on our last EU tour and a new Bestial Mouths song!

It contains an exclusive mix that Danny Saber (Black Grape) recorded and produced with us during the Heartless sessions, plus remixes from Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps), Zanias (Linea Aspera), CX Kidtronik (Stones Throw / Atari Teenage Riot / Saul Williams), The Horrorist (Out Of Line Music / Things to Come), The Ludovico Technique (Metropolis Records) and Forces (Alex Akers, co-producer of Zanias).

Also appearing are Shredder (Chris Video, who is catching lots of attention for his DJing &
Tropical Goth parties) and Todd Gys (Black Circuit / Zero G Sounds, a Boston DJ formerly from the Midwest techno scene). It represents a wide range of styles and influences that reinterpret album tracks through very capable and talented hands.

IVM: You've shred the stage with some notable acts and toured Europe last year, can we expect to see Bestial Mouths back in Europe in 2017?

LC: Yes and yes, we love playing Europe, some of the best times and audiences we've had! We are currently working on plans for August for some shows and festivals. I believe we finally get to play Portugal, for the ENTREMURALHAS festival in Leiria, organized by the promoters of FADE IN Festival.

Extra special for us and our supporters is that we may be touring with Zanias, which includes Zoe Zanias and I sharing the stage and singing in each other songs.

We still want and need to play the UK though!

IVM: One stop on the tour was the 25th Anniversary of Wave Gottik Trefan – how was that experience for you, and did you get chance to enjoy any of the festival?

LC: WGT was an incredible experience. Our sound and performance felt incredible and to see that many people there, who seemed to know who we were, was so exciting. I was happy we got to stay an extra day and catch a lot of amazing performances, too. The best was people watching and feeling completely at home.

Bummed though, because my favorite playing tights fell out my hotel window (I was airing them from smoke smell), they were quickly snatched up as it was a city filled with “goths” so a perfect find for some one (Well, I would have been pleasantly happy to have found them!). I was so hoping to see someone wearing them so I could smile ha ha!

IVM: Last year you added Brant Showers (∆Aimon / SØLVE) to the touring line-up of the band. What led to that move and what do you feel he brings to the live show?

LC: Brant adds tons to the live show, his take on our sound and energy are perfect. It happened because we were in need of a touring drummer. Brant had offered in the past and I had always remembered that. I was so happy when it all came together.

IVM: Eddie O. is also a part of the live band on electronics and video. How important is it to experiment with sound and vision during live shows and are there any new things you're looking to include in your shows this year?

LC: Our live performances have always been a huge focus for Bestial. I think it should be a full experience: Sight and sound and feeling. I have always wanted to push it further and add some visual imagery that enhanced my movement in live shows, to add to the theatrics of my performance. One of the aspects we are working on is how these performances translate in the various spaces we play, as we shift through different song moods and parts of the room.

Eddie and I are currently working on new footage to add to the live show, really coordinating the live visuals with each song to create a narrative atmosphere. We recorded all of the footage ourselves, using everything from DSLRs to iPhones to capture scenes as we experienced them on and off tour.

IVM: The band's visuals are incredibly striking – how important is this element to the ethos of the band and what inspires you visually?

The visual and the overall aesthetic has always been super important. I feel it is the whole package that can really convey who and what the band is about, to really help express the sound of the music.

Visually, life is what inspires us, it is all around. I also have a background and degree in fashion design and art history, so I know that creeps its way into everything.

IVM: There is a new video in the works for 'Worn Skin'. What can we expect to see in that?

LC: A lot of darkness…. (Literally and figuratively)

Actually it is my directorial debut. Usually the talented and professional directors we have worked with have their idea and vision for the song. This time I wanted to recreate what had been swimming around in my head, and also experiment with a different “aesthetic” and look, as I always try to create something new. I purposefully wanted a more lo-fi look, to lend to the idea of having to go through many levels from my brain to reach the outside world / public. Kind of like the Telephone game one plays as a kid: It starts as a clear picture and it gets changed and affected along the way.

'Heartless' is available to buy now through Cleopatra Records. For more information on the band, including forthcoming releases and tour dates, please visit their official website.  

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Monday, 13 February 2017

The Reinvention is Us - The Evolution Generation

So I dunno about the UK, but over here, in Canada, record stores are closing down.
We're talking major record stores chains that have been around since forever. We're talking the Go-To spots for all your CD needs (and cassettes, once, and vinyls, then and again).
These places are closing, because CDs aren't selling anymore.

The music business, or industry, is changing.
Soon, the only place where you'll be able to find CDs will be at independent record stores.
Now, does the future of music thus lie in indie record stores? Not really. Its past certainly does, and independent retailers will always remain a key outlet for the physical releases of any local indie band. The answer, however, lies in the bigger picture. The reality of our times is indeed that soon, they will stop making devices to play CDs. They already stopped making portable CD players a few years ago.
Soon there will be no more stereo systems.

Furthermore, it's not that great of an idea anymore, especially for independent musicians, to release a CD. It's no longer a sustainable artefact.
The reinvention is us, right here, right Now.
Sure, Bandcamp out there's got our backs for our online platform needs, but when the time comes to think of a physical format for us to put our music on, a product to put in people's hands, a token of ourselves as our art for people to hold, cherish and remember us by, we need to rethink our mediums.
The economy right now is shit, let's face it, and so if you want people to give you their money, it better be worth it, and it better be a sustainable medium for you.
You're investing your own money into this, after all.

Everything is changing.
Everything about the music business as we know it is changing.
Eveyrthing our parents did, the one before us and the ones before them.
Everything is ending, and everything is beginning. And it's up to us -the generation of us, making music in 2017, to figure it out all over again.

Music on USB supports.
Videos on YouTube channels and the like.
And streaming soon will kill the video star.
We are now our own media -power to the people, and our power lies in the art of Sharing, and a good Wifi connection.

There has never been a generation more amidst the Change than ours.
We are the Change. We are the Evolution. We are the ones that are to determine the future of music for the generations to come.
We are the Reinvention.

The truth is we all know where we're going.
We just don't know exactly how to get there, but we sure as hell can figure it out.

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Thursday, 9 February 2017

Searching for The Gold-Bug of Poe

There are some stories from Edgar Allan Poe that amazed me at some point, others that gave me chills and a little fear, and there are others that were just a pleasant surprise, but nothing else. That’s the case of one of his police tales for which his is most known nowadays: The Gold-Bug.

The story seems to be pretty simple and with not a big relevance when it comes to an actual plot, as it is about an interesting and exciting adventure done by two friends and the servant of one of them, searching for what they think may be a great treasure no one else has been able to find.

However, things end up not being as easy as this intrepid trio thought at the beginning, starting to succumb at the effect of their own nerves, stress and confusion. What seemed to something curious and interesting starts to show the worst side of each of them, before an end can be reached.
In The Gold Bug, we won’t get any phantom, ghost, specter, supernatural creature or magic of any kind. This is not a tale with these elements or anything remotely similar, but a tale more focused on mental abilities, highlighting human capabilities and how far can our brain go if they are applied correctly.

Although the main idea, which is a treasure hunt because of a singular bug and the ideas a man gets by thinking on it, the narrative is somewhat disappointing, heavy, hard to follow from beginning to end, and filled with many fancy words that only make it more challenging to understand what Edgar Allan Poe was writing.

What bothered me at first about The Gold-Bug was that it was such a simple story, with nothing that remarkable or relevant, and that relays on its characters’ abilities to decipher a mystery. This could be considered one of the first detective stories for some of us, and has the pros and cons of the time’s style, but to have such simplicity, and coming from Poe is what didn’t let me enjoy the reading as in other cases.

This is one side of Poe I explored for the first time, and despite it wasn’t the best experience and not even near to how I thought it would be, I cannot deny that it was interesting and fresh. The Gold-Bug shows how versatile this man was and gives another reason to love his work and memory, as if there were not enough of both.

Don’t get me wrong, this story doesn’t disappointing at all, as it still keeps you immersed in the plot, maybe not as much as other darker tales, and with even more reason if this is not the kind of readings you’re used to, but it wasn’t the experience I thought I will have, to be honest.

I can clearly see why many people have been amazed because of this story, as it gets really interesting in the second half of The Gold-Bug, after a long explanation on how things took their path and shape, and you can be sure that I liked to know more about this page after page, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a heavy reading.

As I see it, you should know all of this before start with this one, in case you commit the same mistake as I and forget that Poe was, besides a writer interested in the darkest side of gothic literature and horror, he was a lover of mysteries and detectives as well. Not the best of his creations, if you ask me, but you’ll be able to like and enjoy The Gold-Bug by keeping this in mind.

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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Editorial, February 2017

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who has downloaded our latest compilation so far. The donations have been coming in steadily and the amount of free downloads in the first month have topped our previous releases. If you have already downloaded it please recommend it to your friends. If you haven't got round to downloading it yet (and if you haven't where have you been so far?) and can just spare a £1 donation, it will all go towards kicking blood cancer's ass! If you can't donate, that's fine too, but please do make sure you check out more from the awesome band's that made this possible!

One of the primary motivations for changing our usual 'keep it free' approach to the compilations was due to the fact that last year the world lost so many great artists to various kinds of cancers. In fact last February's editorial was a reflection on the number of artists lost between Christmas and the start of the month. Little did I know 2017 would continue in the same vein for the rest of the year. That's why it seemed logical to try and use this vehicle to not only try and promote some great underground talent, but also try to raise a modest amount of money for a charity that is trying to fight that awful disease.

We'll be giving the donations over once we hit a good high number and will continue to to make payments at intervals throughout the year. Next year's compilation will also be in aid of this charity, and our previous compilations are all available as 'pay what you want' so if you don't have those yet you can also make donations for them.

Once again we'd like to thank all the bands and artists that made the release possible, and if you're reading this and want to appear on a future compilation, keep an eye on these editorials as we will be making an announcement in the summer.

As I mentioned last month we're on the hunt for a few new regular contributors to add to our staff. If you're interested in doing some reviews or even just a monthly column, please contact us at intravenousmagazine@gmail.com and we'll take it from there. What kind of person are we looking for? Well we're after people who are motivated, committed and eager to take the time to build up a list of PR and label contacts.

For more information on writing for IVM please visit HERE.

Finally in other news, I'd like to again extend the invitation to established scene DJs, artists, and bands to contribute guest DJ mixes that we will host on Mixcloud. What we're thinking is a series of hour-long mixes showing off new and classic acts which we will feature on Mixcloud as well as the Intravenous Magazine website. If anyone is interested, please contact us at the above email address.

Also I'm thinking of a redesign of our logo to coincide with the artwork for the next compilation in a few months time... watch this space.

And as always make sure you have these links in your favourites:

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Review: Various Artists – 'The Orphans Project Vol. 4'

'The Orphans Project Vol. 4'

Over the past few years the Unsound America label has been releasing some very interesting content, especially when it comes to compilation albums. Tributes to H.R. Giger and David Bowie have been a couple of the gems, but it is their 'Orphans Project' that has proven to be their annual highlight.

Volume 4 features Fusion Faktor (who provided guitar work on most of the tracks), 회사AUTO and Koira, Fyre Withenue, Gerald GothiCello Nicks, Andrew Chapman, Spirit Lifter, Acid Bass, Shadow Cast Me, Creeps, and Vox Mod. Always experimental and collaborative in nature the sounds swing between idm, industrial pop, ebm and darkwave to create a varied and dynamic track list.

While it isn't the longest compilation you could download, it is thematically unified and offerings such as 'Dawn Chorus' by Shadow Cast Me, 'Superradiance' by Vox Mod, 'Blue Dragon' by Gerald GothiCello Nicks, 'Shyne' by Fusion Faktor, and 'Viral' by Acid Bass alone make this worth the bandwidth of a download.

Production wise the compilation maintains a strong and cohesive presence throughout the running time. Each song has been mixed and mastered well with the track list flowing as though it was conceived as an album rather than a collection of songs.

This is a great addition to an already strong compilation series that highlights some great talents in the electronic underground. Hopefully the series will continue into the future and keep on presenting these great collaborative efforts and new names for a long time to come.  

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Monday, 6 February 2017

Interview: Ray Noir

All Alone...

"I think my music falls a bit in between the industrial scene and the more commercial scene, but I've been lucky though with my music. I'm just happy people like what I do and comes to my gigs." 

Following the success of his first single, artist & DJ RAY NOIR from Norway - now residing in London- has released his new single and accompanying video 'ALL ALONE', a dark pop hymn about a break-up and the anger that comes with it. Now available February 3 on iTunes and Spotify

Intravenous Magazine: For those new to the sound of Ray Noir, would you say this new 'All Alone' single release would be a great introduction?
Ray Noir: Yeah I would say so, even though my debut single was a bit harder and more industrial a mix between Marilyn Manson and The Prodigy, they both have a club feel to them.

IVM: 'All Alone' has a wonderfully catchy rhythmic style to it, a very anthemic club sound. Is the single aimed at those in club culture?
RN: I've been in the club culture for many years now, so I do take a lot of inspiration from there for my music, but also the 80's synth-pop bands, industrial scene and even pop music.

IVM: The Phaszed Remix is very well done- How did you select which remixes were going to work for the 'All Alone' single?
RN: For Phaszed I found an unofficial remix he has done of 'This Is The New Shit' by Marilyn Manson on Soundcloud and I absolutely loved it! I sent him a message there and asked if he would be interested in doing a remix for 'All Alone' which he was. For the Vive La Fete remix I met them at a one of their concerts years ago in Oslo in Norway. I've been a long time fan of the band and for the single I thought they would be perfect to do a remix. Parnix has been working with me on co-remixing Jack Strify and Mariann Rosa with me before as well as he did a remix of 'Double Trouble' which I loved.

IVM: The video to 'All Alone' looks amazing. How did you start working with director Kassandra Powell?
RN: We met at parties in London, I've been a fan of her style since I saw it and we share a lot of the same inspiration when it comes to the creative work. I'm definitely working with her again for another video.

IVM: The 'All Alone' video also features a number of supporting characters. Are they also from the London area?
RN: Yeah most of them are well known London people like the Drag Queens and performance artists Virgin Extravaganzah and Lewis G Burton and Burlesque/Circus artist Bambi Blue. The Austrian internet sensation and rapper Candy Ken happened to be in London when we shot the video.

IVM: Will there by any more fantastic upcoming works in 2017?
RN: I've made some more music with Frankmusik who produced 'Double Trouble'. I just need to make a music video for it should come out later this year. I've also been in touch with other producer I wanna work with, so hopefully I will have an EP out later this year.

IVM: Would you say your work is very representative of the London scene?
RN: No I don't think so. I think my music falls a bit in between the industrial scene and the more commercial scene, but I've been lucky though with my music. I'm just happy people like what I do and comes to my gigs.

Grab a copy of Ray Noir’s new 'All Alone' now on iTunes and Spotify!

Interview by End: The DJ

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END: the DJ Top Industrial Club Music Picks of 2016

These selections are the ones which have been played out in clubs and broadcast on radio worldwide and have garnered the most acclaim directly from music lovers and fans everywhere, from the dance floor to online social media. Ranging in a wide array of alternative electronic dance genres from Synthpop to Synthwave, Industrial Club music, Electropop to EBM. These are the top picks of 2016!

Best Music Labels of 2016:

Negative Gain Productions
What a fantastic year for NGP and an amazing roster of artists that have been highlighted this year- with Kanga, Strvngers, The Rain Within and more, this label has become the one whose releases I highly anticipate for the upcoming year!

This RU label has shown tremendous growth and development in 2016, both with their current and developing roster.

Blind Mice Productions
Pete Crane’s [of Shiv-r] digital label from Australia, with a musically & artistic diverse roster from around the globe. Can’t wait to see what BMP does for the new year!

Best Music Albums of 2016:

Diorama - 'Zero Soldier Army' 
The return of Diorama in such a major way. This release is a monster, each track given such meticulous work & care in every level of production, each track is amazing.

Kanga - 'Kanga' 
Best premiere of a new artist I’ve heard in quite some time, with well polished mixing & mastering work by Rhys Fulber & Greg Reely (Front Line Assembly) and one of the stellar releases mentioned on the Negative Gain Productions label. If you haven’t taken a listen to this entire album yet I highly suggest you don’t wait!

Schuber - 'The Me I See' 
The keyboardist of Project Pitchfork’s solo album and it’s one of the strong releases that snuck up on me, it’s amazing how strong, thoughtful and catchy this entire album is even after repeat. This seems to be a very autobiographical album somehow, the chords struck seem personal and very meaningful.

Terrolokaust - 'Dissensions' 
With each new release Terrolokaust’s sound & production work are honed & sharpened to such a degree it’s astounding. The latest project album Dissensions hits like the equivalent of a major label’s flagship release, showcasing the best of todays alternative electronic, Electro-Rock and EBM mixture. Love this one!

Best Songs of 2016:

I couldn’t be more in awe of how much great new music was released this year. Normally I have no problem with narrowing the best selections down to a top 20 or 25 but this year, try as I might- and believe me, I really wanted to narrow this list down- So here they all are: ALL of the top Industrial Club music tracks of 2016 (in order from artists A-Z)!

Arctic Sunrise - '200 Souls (Micheletto Remix)'
Army Of The Universe - 'Nobody 2.0'
Assemblage 23 - 'Barren'
Beborn Beton - 'She Cried (Extended Club Remix)'
Covenant - 'If I Give My Soul'
DaGeist - 'Demons Time'
De/Vision - 'Where’s the Light'
Delorra - 'Lost'
Diorama - 'Amnesia Club'
Dismantled - 'The Hero (Noonattac Club Mix)'
Diversant:13 - 'Man Made God'
Eisfabrik - 'Hell Is Made Of Ice'
Ghostfeeder - 'Let the Wolves Inside'
Hunger - 'Save Your Mind'
IIOIOIOII - 'One Moment (Nature of Wires Remix)'
KANGA - 'Going Red'
Le Matos - 'Like Faith Or Some Shit'
Lights Of Euphoria - 'Stripped (Featuring Soman)'
Liquid Newt - 'Walk With Scars (Remix)'
Loewenhertz - 'Irgendwann (Album Version)'
Me The Tiger - 'Pocked Sized Edition Ending (Second System Remix)'
Mesh - 'Kill Your Darlings (Aesthetic Perfection Remix)'
Neuroticfish - 'Agony (Aesthetische Remix)'
NOISUF-X - 'I Kick Your Fucking Teeth In'
The Rain Within - 'Innocent'
Raydar - 'Elation'
Reaper - 'Farewell'
RIOTLEGION -' The Revolution Will Not Be Synthesized (Benjamin'sPlague Remix)'
Rotersand - 'Hey You'
Ruined Conflict - 'Freedom'
Schuber - 'Lover’s Breath'
Sirus - 'Full Scale Revolt'
Sono - 'Cupid'
Stilz - 'Meant To Be'
STOPPENBERG - 'Radioactive'
Strvngers - 'Tension'
The Sweetest Condition - 'Vices'
Terrolokaust - 'One Day'
Vore Aurora - 'In, Out and Thru'
Wait and See - 'Drive (feat. Ferocity Kills)'
Worsaw - 'Raise Your Fists' 

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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Review: The Danse Society – 'VI Deluxe'

'VI Deluxe'

The Danse Society's latest album 'VI' (the third since the band's 2011 reformation, and sixth in total) has been around since last September, but with album number seven on the way plus a tour booked for the spring the time is right for a deluxe edition release.

The Danse Society's history is a long and murky one. Contemporaries of the post punk scene which included The Cure, Killing Joke, Joy Division, and Siouxsie And The Banshees, the band's original run came to an anti-climatic end in the mid 80s with a handful of albums and a string of great singles to their name, but only just beginning to scratch the surface of their potential.

Fast-forward to 2011 and the reformed band saw the release of 'Change Of Skin' and in 2013 'Scarey Tales', two albums that saw the band not only recapture, but surpass the magic of their original run. Since then legal issues have held up the release of the follow-up to 'Scarey Tales', but The Danse Society prove with 'VI' you just can't keep a good band down.

The Danse Society have always been an underrated jewel in the British post-punk scene and even thirty years since their original demise they still prove they have something original to offer. Combining gothic atmospheres with heavy rhythms and exquisite use of ambient electronics, the band weave a sumptuous tapestry of sonic splendor.

Tracks such as 'Star Whisperer', 'Bloodstream', 'Freakshow', 'Doodlebug', 'Angels DNA', and, 'Karma Machine' show off the best of the band's songwriting skills, not only honed by experience but also by the desire to uphold the moniker they have fought for. The album is reminiscent of Siouxsie and the Banshee's 'Hyena' with it's sinister and dark intent, giving way to downright beautiful refrains.

The Deluxe part of the album see's the inclusion of the double a-side single 'If I Were Jesus' / 'Sound Of Silence', which are are strong songs in their own right, but just give the tail-end of the album a little more punch.

Production-wise the album still has a visceral post-punk feel to it, but not in a low-fi or nostalgic way. Instead it is more of a no-nonsense and straight for the throat style that lays everything bare to the listener, and really lets you hear the subtleties of their performance.

'VI Deluxe' is another strong release from the band. It blends the familiar elements of their classic catalogue with new ideas. They could quite easily sit back and put out and updated version of 'Seduction', but they don't. Instead they continue to push their songwriting and explore where they can take their sound. Hopefully album number seven will continue this upward trajectory even further and see the band redefine their legacy.  

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Introducing... Armless Alice

Band Name: Armless Alice
Members: Fredrik Thrysoe, Hampus Severinus, Mikael Hagman.
Formed: 2008
Location: Gävle, Sweden

Armless Alice is a Swedish industrial rock band, formed in Gävle in 2008 by their frontman Fredrik Thrysoe. Since their formation they have released an EP, 'Postmortem Superstars', through Sliptrick Records and
are now back with their first full-length album, 'In Shapes', in January 25th 2017.

Mixing loud industrial rock with intimate and hushed piano ballads while adding lo-fi rock to the mix.
The shows are filled with theatrical elements, be it old television sets spread around the stage to the band changing their looks and stage clothes for every event.

Intravenous Magazine: Who are you and how did the band/project come to be formed?

I started the this band because I was tired of all the other local artists that I used to perform with as a drummer. Nobody had any focus or discipline so I started my own. We started out as a horror punk band but later grew more industrial with time because I got tired of all the horror stuff. I'm the only member that's been in the band since the formation and I also write our music.

IVM: How would you describe your sound/style, and how did you arrive at it?

I think we're an odd mix of industrial rock with some lo-fi rock thrown in. Quite hard to define.
It all comes from me listening to heavy industrial music while I'm a big fan of artists like Lisa Germano.

IVM: Who and what are your primary influences both musical and non-musical?

Musical influences - Nine Inch Nails, Lisa Germano, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson.
Non-musical influences - David Lynch.

IVM: Do you perform live and if so where can we see you perform in the near future?

We're planning some shows at the moment. New shows will be announced shortly through armlessalice.net

IVM: What is your current release and where is it available from?

'In Shapes' is available through Spotify, iTunes & Amazon.

IVM: What have been the highlights of your career so far?

Highlights include playing at Rock Bitch Boat 2013, which included traveling between Stockholm to Riga, with the infamous Swedish band, Skitarg and BatAAr. As well as performing at the Getaway Rock Challenge in Gävle and a lot of club shows in different parts of Sweden.

IVM: What are your plans fro the future?
Promoting the album by playing shows all around Sweden, hopefully we'll reach new areas with time.

IVM: Finally, is there anything that you would like to add?

We got more material and news coming out this year so keep yourself updated through our website armlessalice.net or through facebook.com/armlessalice


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Monday, 30 January 2017

How to change human mind with 'The Fall of the House of Usher'

One of my favorite writers, and that I feel connected with, is Edgar Allan Poe, not because of name matters as some used to tell me before, but for the way we see life and reflect it on both tales and poems. I believe there’s enough material out there that could serve as an inspiration for scary, creepy texts, very visual and with a different, alternative proposal. Poe seemed to think the same.
Among the stories I’ve read from him, there’s one in particular I cannot get tired from and always re-read after a while: “The Fall of the House of Usher,” which I see as a constant inspiration in many books, TV shows and even some movies, with material intended for either teens or adults. Seems like many agree with me on this, as I find only positive commentaries on this famous tale.
It didn’t surprised me, to be honest, since this is one of those stories that perfectly represent the gothic movement, not only because of the aesthetic, which is very well done by a master on the topic, but because it makes the reader think on uncomfortable matters such as sanity, human condition and family bonds for a long while, changing many points of view we used to believe were solid.
I consider that books, and any kind stories in general that is meant to be presented to a public, should have at least some substance, content, more than just entertaining purposes, and The Fall of the House of Usher is a perfect example on how this should be done: creating a unique world, interesting characters, a simple, yet original plot, deep dialogues and finish it with a dramatic plot twist.
Despite being a very short, brief tale, easy to read in a couple of minutes, Poe managed to get the reader into the world, put ourselves in the characters’ skin and feel everything they may have inside, may it be love, loss or the deepest sense of doom and claustrophobia. The fact that it’s not a light, simple reading doesn’t represent an obstacle at all, but the whole contrary: it adds more enchant to this sinister plot.
In a deeper sense, The Fall of the House of Usher explores the influence of certain places, especially one’s own home, in human mind, how it can change us, make us a different person and the different levels of effect it can generate in our minds. This idea is divided in two parts: those who adapt to the place, changing themselves in the process, and those who cannot do it, no matter what.
Also, it combines the two sides of literature Poe is famous for: prose and poetry, which he combines for a short while to create a distraction from the narration, a fantasy brief addition, right before the original plot starts to show its real, horrific face, playing with the readers’ emotions as if they were mere toys and leaving us seeing and thinking about the world under a different point of view. Needless to say that this is a new, darker perspective some may find unpleasant.
However, since nothing is as perfect as we’d like it to be, I wouldn’t recommend you to read The Fall of the House of Usher if you’re under hard, difficult times, if you suffer from depression, anxiety, or anything similar, that’s the only punctual negative aspect of this tale: its triggering nature. I myself had some hard minutes due to some descriptions, all of them metaphoric, but closely related to what I was feeling during those days.
Besides this unfortunate face of such an amazing and emblematic story, I consider that anyone who wants to be considered as part of the Gothic subculture, or alternative movement in general, should have read this story at least once, as it is one of those stories that rewrites itself every time you come back to it, changing its meaning depending on who you are while reading. You can call me whatever you want, but nobody can deny the emotional charge and potential in The Fall of the House of Usher. 

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