Interview: Johnny Violent (Ultraviolence)

"My photography goes under my birth name as it really has nothing in common with my music at all – in fact I can't think which is worse – music about a garden or photographs of existential angst!"

IVM Introducing...

This section is open to any band who has formed in the past few years and are currently unaffiliated with a record label, but have at least one demo of some variety available to purchase/download.

Review: Marilyn Manson – 'The Pale Emperor'

MARILYN MANSON 'The Pale Emperor' COOKING VINYL

Book Review: Paul Roland – 'The Curious Case Of H.P. Lovecraft'

PAUL ROLAND 'The Curious Case Of H.P. Lovecraft' PLEXUS

Book Review: Jeff Wagner – 'Soul On Fire...'

JEFF WAGNER 'Soul On Fire: The Life And Music Of Peter Steele' FYIPRESS

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Review: Crest Of Darkness – 'Evil Messiah'



CREST OF DARKNESS
'Evil Messiah'
MY KINGDOM MUSIC


Celebrating 20 years of black metal mayhem, Crest Of Darkness release three new tracks of satanic extremity plus an Alice Cooper cover on their latest EP 'Evil Messiah'. The band are purveyors of the classic black metal sound of the 90s that spawned the likes of Mayhem, Satyricon, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor. Taking a more straightforward attack that pairs the keyboards back compared to a lot of their contemporaries, the trio present a fast and ferocious blend of scathing guitars, thunderous drums and demonic vocals.

The EP kicks off with the title track 'Evil Messiah', which is definitely a statement of intent with its stomping pace and bludgeoning delivery. 'Armageddon' follows with a faster and sleeker style compared to its predecessor pushing the band's technical ability to the fore. 'Abandoned By God' then returns to the bludgeoning attack of the title track to hammer home the point while also showing of some of the finer guitar and keyboard work on the album. The EP is then rounded off by a somewhat camp take on Alice Cooper's 'Sick Things' that sadly drops the ferociousness of the previous three in favour of pantomime theatrics despite some more nice guitar work near the end.

The production is surprisingly good throughout the EP. The temptation for a lot of bands is to try and recapture their initial underground sound, but thankfully Crest Of Darkness and opted for a more modern and polished sound that brings out the best in their sound.

Crest Of Darkness may be obscure, even by black metal standards. However fans of the genre, particularly those of Mayhem, Immortal, Satyricon and early Emperor will definitely dig this. They have an focussed and uncompromising sound that is executed with the kind of skilfulness befitting a band with a 20-year history.  

Review: The Mekano Set – 'Pareidolia'



THE MEKANO SET
'Pareidolia'
SELF-RELEASED


Liverpool's The Mekano Set continue their ascension on their latest EP 'Pareidolia'. The group have continually created a buzz with every release as they continue to perfect their blend of trippy electro rock. Ambient synths and trip-hop beats wash over a self-assured post-punk core that you can easily and without pretension consider artistic rock music.

The band's latest EP continues this trend, further refining the bands formula and principles across five new songs. The EP kicks off with 'The Matchmaker' as spacious and dreamy opener that right off the bat creates an illusion of space and time with its cavernous sound and spoken vocals. 'The Lighter' follows on with an eastern tinged trip-hop approach that scales things back and provides a more accessible foothold which gives the instrumentation more room to move. While 'Stargazer' returns to the late 80s / early 90s with its trippy downbeat take on the Madchester sound. '3rd Beat' then goes into a more down-beat direction lead by a very simple but addictive synth bass which is strangely danceable. 'Pages' follows on nicely with its dark post-punk vibe harking back to Joy Divisions more experimental moments. 'I Know You' rounds the track list off nicely with its hypnotic rhythms and ethereal vocals sounding as though they're weaving an incantation through the speakers.

The production is solid throughout the EP. The overall sound is identifiably linked to the more psychedelic strains of British rock and electronic music, but it doesn't sound derivative. Nor does the production sound to modern and clinical. Its a fine line between nostalgic grit and modern polish that the band walk, but they never falter.

'Pareidolia' is another great outing from The Mekano Set. Their song writing gets tighter and more immersive with every release and they reassert themselves as one of the UK undergrounds most interesting and intelligent acts.  

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Intravenous Magazine's Best Of 2014



It's time for the obligatory retrospective look at what got us all hot under the collar last year. We're coming in a little later than most magazines, but we've taken our time and had a good long think about what we consider to be the best releases of 2014.

Intravenous Magazine scribes, Joel Heyes, Kev Morris, P. Emerson Williams, and Dominic Lynch, as well as myself count down our personal top five albums of the year. We hope you enjoy and check them out.


Kev Morris

5. Delain – 'The Human Contradiction'


Delain have been a consistently good band since their début, Lucidity. As the years have gone on they’ve matured nicely, relying less on guest stars – and a recent sell-out UK tour shows they can stand on their own feet.
The whole Gothic-Metal fad allowed a lot of average bands a lot more light, but the bands of that ilk who are still going strong aren’t there through good luck alone, Delain are a quality act : sublime dark-pop and despite their distinct sound, always keep things varied.


4. 3Teeth – '3Teeth'


At a time when everyone is bleating about how the scene is dying, industrial is dead, etc. 3Teeth have come along and ripped up the form book. Probably by seeing further than a limited market. Their sound is a nod back to a more retro industrial sound, but bands like this come along all the time. Whilst 3Teeth have the promotion nailed spot on, they also have a quality album to back it up – and created an extremely impressive début.


3. Post War Glamour Girls – 'Pink Fur'


Quality Leeds Post-Punk band, touch of Nick Cave influence and duel male/female vocals. Have never presented themselves to the Goth scene, but their inclusion above many acts that do suggests if they did, they’d be lapped up. They do largely go towards the format of releasing regular singles, but ‘Pink Fur’ was a full length album with not a single bad track.


2. Aesthetic Perfection – ''Til Death'


Denied three in a row! Aesthetic Perfection’s last two albums were both my album of the year for their respective years. ‘Til Death is another great offering, good dancy dark-pop. While they had already released three strong singles from the album, the completed album stands tall – tracks like ‘Ready to Go’ and ‘The New Black’ both would have made great singles, whereas ‘Antibody’ was easily single of the year in 2013.


1. Bird – 'My Fear and Me'


And so… my number 1 album of the year. A Merseyside band called BIRD whose future is in doubt! Updates on their facebook leave questions as of whether they’re changing their name, or continuing at all, they would be a massive loss to leave so early! ‘My Fear and Me’ is a great journey through ethereal and dreampop sounds, with a layer of darkwave. They’d been hotly tipped by the likes of 6Music and are a stunning live band, wooing crowds on their own headline tours and support slots. Truly amazing and overlooked act.


Joel Heyes

5. AC/DC – 'Rock or Bust'

The hitherto ageless Aussie rockers begin to show signs of wear and tear following the retirement of Malcolm Young through dementia and the arrest of drummer Phil Rudd in a haze of guns and drugs. Not that you can tell by listening to 'Rock or Bust', which musters a sense of purpose out of the fading light of their hard rock empire. If the interviews with Angus Young and Brian Johnson didn't move you then you have no heart, and if this album doesn't get you rocking then you have no loins. 


4. Blondie – 'Ghosts Of Download'



New York's post-punk survivors get a cyborg makeover in this fine robopop comeback. 'Rave' in particular kicks into a fine post-Garbage groove and proves to be their best song in decades; remade, remodeled, 'on the road to ruin one more time'. Brilliant.

3. Merciful Nuns – 'Meteora VII' 



This, goffiks, is how it's done. Guitar goth with depth, mystery and punch. Constantly and gloriously impressive.

2. Petrol Bastard – 'Nice Jacket, Dickhead'


I would say these lads from Huddersfield would be able to defecate genius if they wanted to, but they probably already have. This album builds on the legacy of one of the more unlikely success stories in modern dance music – hard hitting and toxic, like a great curry, this is the heir to the PWEI legacy and they're still one of the best live bands on the planet.

1. Electric Wizard – 'Time To Die'

The kings and queen of doom get even heavier here, pushing up the gold standard of crushing riffs, smoky vibes and inherent evil up several more notches. This is a passport to another world, and one which in all frankness is infinitely preferable to this one. I recommend you go there, and take paracetamol.



P. Emerson Williams

5. Wayne Kramer – 'Lexington'



The great one raging with The Lexington Arts Ensemble. It just feels so damn good to listen to this. Howling, grooving, evocative, heating things up, cooling it way down.


4. Disjecta Membra – 'Achromatica' (Expanded Digital Reissue)

This one was originally released nearly a couple decades ago, but the band brought it back expanded and glorious, so it's time to fall in love all over again with the dark charms of 'Achromatica'.


3. Ces Cru – 'Codename: Ego Stripper'

The undergound is the only place to find a flow and a groove these days, and Ces Cru even have moments of layered alchemy that call to mind Stetsasonic. Godemis and UBI have flows all their own. Not the same bounce-off-the-walls immediacy as found on last year's excellent 'Constant Energy Struggles', but this release keeps calling me back.


2. Primordial – 'Where Greater Men Have Fallen'

Primordial do everything with so much heart, and each release hits me right in the gut. This album is no exception, it feels more massive every time I place myself in its path.


1. IQ – 'The Road Of Bones'

Somewhere between 'Pallas' and 'Untitled' era Peter Gabriel, but less emotionally raw than the latter and more slick than the rough grandeur of the former, lies this shiny double length neo-prog beast of an album. Somehow something ratcheted up the level of the band's songwriting on this one. They coulda ruled the world with a release like this back in the day.


Dominic Lynch

5. State of the Union – 'My Time Away'



A crisp layer of ‘Apop’ lightness in lyrical form, taken with a swipe of fast tempo. Emotional bitterness twist its way into Synthpop that runs to the highway. A good story from the other side of the Atlantic.


4. Cryo – 'Retropia'

Possibly the soundtrack for a hell in Sweden. Cryo were able to compose by far, the best well scripted mixture of melancholy, fear and sweet evil in a 58 minute session. The captor-victim relationship through slow heavy EBM is to be subtle, intrusive. Definitely my fuel of 2014.


3. HarmJoy – 'Silver Lining Of The Mushroom Cloud'

The name by itself got one’s attention. The 1960s style of HarmJoy combined, with good male vocals and modern electronics were well balanced. The band used a good old bound and gagged theme that goes unnoticed due to serious lyrics, the second meaning remaining hidden.

2. Diary of Dreams – 'Elegies Of Darkness'

Adrian Hates’ ability to take ones ears through a black curtain of romantic tragedy, is always a careful pleasure to be reacquainted with. The tracks however gave more life to death than was expected. A passionate dance of violent darkness was made, though a glove took a hand.


1. Seabound – 'Speak in Storms'




Frank Spinath revived his flagship model of music that whispers into the soft corners of the mind. A worrying thought touching such carved objects, though it was not met by a wind of disappointment. The changes in 2014 Seabound came in placement of added bass. Former Echoes existed, however the modernisation was accounted.


Sean M. Palfrey

5. Cocksure – 'TVMALSV'



News that the duo of Chris Connelly and Jason Novak uniting to create Cocksure left fans of the Wax Trax! sound salivating. Picking up where Revolting Cocks left off, Cocksure unites the beat orientated sound of Novak's work with the “anything goes” attitude of the Cocks, and the result is audio magic. Hopefully Cocksure will be a going concern for the duo and return with a follow-up soon.


4. Blush Response – 'Desire Machines'


The third full length album from Joey Blush, AKA Blush response saw the electro-maestro consolidate his position as one of the most exciting new names in electronic music. Equal parts experimental and dance-friendly, 'Desire Machines' is a bold and articulate statement of intent that will serve to lift Blush's profile even further.


3. Godflesh – 'A World Lit Only By Fire' 



The masters of dark and sludgy industrial metal return after thirteen long years away with a blisteringly heavy slab of an album. 'A World Lit Only By Fire' sees Justin K. Broadrick and B.C. Green back on form with an album that both delivers what long-time fans were lusting after while updating their sound for 2014. Godflesh definitely prove the fire is still burning.


2. 3Teeth – '3Teeth' 



Los Angeles' 3Teeth have burst onto the scene in a big way. The band's début self-titled album has been universally applauded and it's easy to understand why. Not only do the band present a hot old skool industrial sound, but they're also social media savvy and have backed up their music with a clever campaign of propaganda. If they keep up the momentum they have gained from this album cycle there's no doubt they will become one of the top names in industrial rock.


1. Laibach – 'Spectre'


Slovenia's Laibach have been on a mission to subvert and circumvent popular culture for over thirty years, and they just get better and better as 'Spectre' proved. The groups most dance-friendly album since 2003's 'WAT' and their most politically sharp to date. The musical intelligentsia may have caught up with Laibach's seditious ambiguousness thirty years after it was put into motion. But they are by no means part of the establishment. The groups polemic stance will always be at odds with the mainstream. But the band's talent for blending sheer musical prowess and provocative concepts means that they’re as just as relevant in the second decade of the 21st century as they were during their conception at the height of the cold war.



That's it four our personal countdown of 2014's choicest cuts. What were your favourite albums off the past twelve months? Let us know on our Facebook page.  

Friday, 23 January 2015

The weekly compendium 23/01/2014



That's it for another action-packed week here at Intravenous Magazine. If you haven't tuned in so far this week, here's a run down of what you missed.

This week was marked by the sad passing of Russian vocalist Origa, who was famous for her work on video games and anime including Final Fantasy and Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Intravenous Magazine would like to extend our condolences to her family at this sad time.

We kicked things for with another 'Introducing' feature on a new band, this time it was the turn of G.L.O.W. to stand in the spotlight. We had reviews of the new albums from Justin Symbol, Into The Ether, and The Gothsicles. There was also news from Mind.In.A.Box and Laibach. We also had a look at the début novel from Sarah Channing Wright 'The Angels Of Islington'.

Over on Facebook, we saw Vorteque launch a crowdfunding campaign for his next album. Beauty Queen Autopsy released a live track. Laibach dropped a new video for 'No History'. Atari Teenage Riot unleashed a new EP. Also Zardonic released a free to download remix and announced a tour alongside DJ Starscream (AKA Sid Wilson of Slipknot). Finally Dope Stars Inc. previewed a new track from their forthcoming album.

Right, that's your lot for the weekend. I'll just leave you with this.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Gothsicles – 'The Nyarlat Hot EP'



THE GOTHSICLES
'The Nyarlat Hot EP'
WTII RECORDS 


After claiming the depths of the deep dark industrial scene (and coming back with a squid from another dimension) last year, The Gothsicles have come back to squeeze what's left of the tentacled teat with the humble 'Nyarlat Hot EP'. With three new songs (well two songs and two little segue ditties) and a couple of remixes it's a nice little round up to what has been a fantastic year for the group. With the success of 'Squid Icarus' it's hard to try and shine too much of a light on this humble release, but the tracks are noteworthy all the same. 'Death Touch' being the stand out tune, it's mix of rough and....well less rough vocals are what Gothsicles are known best for. Rolling up like a train riding out of control, Brians' hurdy-gurdy riff plays this track all the way down to hell. It's a dance tune, plain and simple, and try and stop us from getting down to it (I dare you).

Next is the rather more somber 'On another plane'. Here the vocals are a little more distorted and it's clear that this track was more of a muck about in the studio (but lets face it, some of those songs have been some of their most fun... 'Baaaallllllllsssss' being a perfect example). The two shorter tracks 'Yar Lathotep' and 'So long and thanks for all the chips' are yet another little dip into their 8-bit rep, and give you a little bounce around before disappearing into the distance.

Remixes by Ballpeen, Projekt F and God Module give a delightful redux for the tracks on the EP. Weather they be a hardstyle infused knock-out, an exended dub with extra tone or just something with a little more beep to it, these are a welcome entries to our Gothsicles music folder.

With added cover art by Industrials' answer to a bitmap Banksy 'Musik pictures I drawn', this EP is a midget gem that is sure to tide us over until the next explosion to come from Brians' cartridge slot.
Available on WTII's bandcamp on digital only release.

Book Review: Sarah Channing Wright – 'The Angels Of Islington'



SARAH CHANNING WRIGHT
'The Angels Of Islington'
SELF-PUBLISHED


Vampire fiction is perhaps the one area of literature where I tread most carefully. Anything to do with any blend in particular of teenagers (with their inane growing pains) and vampires I avoid like the plague. Luckily I'm not the only one, for as authoress Sarah Channing Right declares on the back cover of her first novel 'The Angels Of Islington', “This is not a Sparkly Vampire Story”. In fact Wright's novel thankfully owes more to Anne Rice's 'Queen Of the Damned' and Poppy Z. Brite's early tales of vampires integrating into underground subcultures such as 'Lost Souls'.

In fact it is with Poppy Z Brite that the closest stylistic comparisons can be drawn. Wright eschews the flouncy lexicon of classic vampire fiction (and modern fiction attempting to live up to those classics) in favour of a punchier and more immediate style that is instantly accessible to any reader. There is an honesty to the story and a sense of reality throughout the prose, perhaps due to Wright's admission in the Introduction that it is somewhat semi-biographical of her time living in London in the 90s. But this is also because this novel makes good use of real geography (as well as the character types in habiting them) that are still around today. The book is a hit-list of places for any self-respecting contemporary goth to visit while in London. The Electric Ballroom, Slimelight, The Devonshire Arms etc. all feature just as prominently as her main characters.

For anyone who has lived in London, or visited these places there is an instant familiarity to the story, and the goings on that add a legitimacy to it despite the supernatural bloodsuckers and sudden eruptions of graphic brutality. It's a nostalgic and witty look at a subculture through its own eyes set against a horror backdrop.

The pace of the prose is nice, with a lot of the story featuring large chunks of relative normal behaviour and actions, which are suddenly punctured by bloodshed. The novel could be compared to Neil Gaiman's 'Neverwhere' in some respects, with the oblivious humans coexisting with the dark beings. It's a matter-of-fact world where ideologies of good an evil don't play a role but rather the main characters try to survive a chaotic world and a mad adversary. There isn't really any shaking-up of vampire lore to be found here. These are your typical vampires who can be killed in the usual Hammer Horror fashion, and that's fine... at least they don't bloody sparkle!

There are a few sticking points to contend with though; such as the rather cheesy pseudonyms many of the characters adopt such as “Onyx”, “Spider”, “The Count”, and “Storm”, as well as the fact that everyone seems to get a long back story despite the fact that a lot of characters are quite interchangeable. In terms of the language, it can be very clichéd. This is admittedly hard to avoid when you're working with something as clichéd as goth culture and vampire fiction, however due to the fact the Wright approaches the story with wit and a mischievous sense of dark humour does however make it all the more endearing.

This book may have limited appeal outside goth circles and fans of modern vampire fiction. But if you fall in to either of these camps it is worth a read. Even if just to go on a bit of a nostalgia trip back to the 1990s. It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but it is a fun and fairly camp read that will see you through a long journey with ease. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Laibach announce deluxe edition of 'Spectre' and 'Spectremix' album



Laibach have announced details of the digital deluxe version of their acclaimed album 'Spectre', which will be released on 30th March 2015 via Mute Records. The deluxe version of 2014’s 'Spectre' will feature the original album plus bonus tracks and 'Spectremix', a remix album which also available separately on the same date.

'Spectremix' features remixes from Spectre from techno producer and DJ Marcel Dettmann, labelmates Diamond Version (aka Olaf Bender and Carsten Nicolai), Sandwell District’s Function, longtime collaborator iTurk, Slovenian electro-pop band Torul, Scottish DJ and producer Alex Smoke, German DJ, producer, mastering engineer and co-founder of the Common Sense People event series, Konstantin Sibold and Slovenian producer, DJ and musician Gramatik.

Track List:

SPECTRE
The Whistleblowers
No History
Eat Liver!
Americana
We Are Millions And Millions Are One
Eurovision
Walk With Me
Bossanova
Resistance Is Futile 
Koran

BONUS TRACKS
The Parade
Love On The Beat
Just Say No!
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
Love On The Beat – Live (Edit) – recorded at the Tate Modern

SPECTREMIX
Eurovision (Torul remix)
The Whistleblowers (Marcel Dettmann remix)
The Whistleblowers (Diamond Version remix)
Koran (Alex Smoke remix)
Eat Liver! (Gramatik remix)
Resistance Is Futile (Function remix)
Koran (iTurk remix)
We Are Millions and Millions Are One (Konstantin Sibold remix)
Eurovision (Marcel Dettmann remix)


The band will also be on tour on the following dates:
European Dates
13 Feb - Mannheim, Alte Seilerei - DE
14 Feb - Hamburg, Kampnagel / Krass Festival - DE
15 Feb - Bochum, Zeche – DE
12 March - Rostock, Mau Club - DE
13 March - Malmö, Moriska Paviljongen - SE
14 March - Stockholm, Debaser Medis - SE
16 March - Helsinki, Tavastia - FI
17 March - Talin, Rockcafe - EE
18 March - Tampere, Klubi - FI
22 March - Dresden, Beatpol - DE
24 March - Brno, Sono Centrum - CZ
25 March - Krakow, Fabryka - PL
26 March - Warsaw, Palladium - PL
27 March – Berlin, Astra / Out of Line Weekender - DE
28 March – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle / E-tropolis Festival - DE
29 March – Breda, Mezz – NL
30 March – Brighton, Concorde 2 – UK
31 March – Glasgow, Classic Grand - UK
2 April – London, Electric Ballroom - UK
3 April – Manchester, Academy 2 - UK
4 April – Maastricht, Muziekgieterij - NL
5 April – Paris, Divan Du Monde – FR
8 April – Vienna, Arena – AT
9 April – Budapest, Barba Negra Music Club - HU
11 April – Munich, Residenztheater – DE (part of The Dark Ages production)

North American Dates
11 May – Washington DC, Black Cat – US
12 May – Philadelphia PA, Theatre Of The Living – US
13 May – New York NY, Irving Plaza, with Ministry – US
16 May – Toronto ON, Danforth Music Hall – CA
20 May – Chicago IL, Abbey Pub – US
23 May – Denver, CO, Summit Music Hall - US
26 May – Seattle WA, El Corazon – US
27 May – Vancouver BC, Rickshaw Theatre – CA
28 May – Portland OR, Wonder Ballroom – US
30 May – San Francisco CA, The Fillmore - US
1 June – Los Angeles CA, The Roxy Theatre – US


Please see the official Mute Records store for details on how to order the digital deluxe edition of 'Spectr' and 'Spectremix'. For more information on the band, including forthcoming releases and tour dates, please visit their official website.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Review: Into The Ether – 'Electric Eden'



INTO THE ETHER
'Electric Eden'
SELF-RELEASED


Relative newcomers to the scene, the London based quartet Into The Ether have already secured themselves some pretty tasty support slots alongside the likes of The Crüxshadows, William Control and The Birthday Massacre. Describing themselves as Depeche Mode with guitars, the band blend industrial rock grit with synthpop sheen for a hard, yet melodic sonic manifesto on their début album 'Electric Eden'.

It is obvious pretty quickly that Into The Ether are a band with all of the tools needed to craft some memorable and commercially appealing pop-rock songs. They're only really let down but the production quality of the album. But we'll come to that in due course.

The band offer songs such as 'Electrons', 'Dead To Me', 'The Nightmare', 'Electric Sheep', 'Dark Angel' and 'Demons' which perhaps best sum up their melody-friendly approach to alternative rock. They're full of strong pop hooks, nice guitar flourishes and stick to a steady dance pace. While the likes of 'Paradise' and 'The Garden Of Unearthly Delights' provide a slower centre and make things a little more deep and interesting. They don't fare as well however on 'Pipe Dreams', which unfortunately veers into rather saccharin waters, while 'I Haven't Done Any Drugs' becomes something rather messy and unnecessary.

In terms of production this is a fairly low budget affair and it shows in two major places. Firstly the vocals sound soulless, compressed and muted within a fair few of the songs. Secondly the mix just sounds too rough, as though it has been recorded as fast as possible. It just feels rushed and that's a shame as there are some genuinely catchy songs on here, most of which probably sound great live, but just haven't got that edge here.

Into The Ether are a band with a lot of potential. That's without question, but 'Electric Eden' doesn't do them justice. If it had perhaps been an EP with less tracks that they could have spent the same amount of time and money on then maybe the songs would have gotten the polish they deserved. There are all of the right elements for a great album, and hopefully next time around they will pull it off.  

Review: Justin Symbol – 'Voidhead'



JUSTIN SYMBOL
'Voidhead'
SELF-RELEASED


Proving that the spirit of 90's electro-rock is alive an well in 2014, New York's Justin Symbol's début album 'Voidhead' channels the likes of Orgy, Deadsy, Deadstar Assembly, Dope Stars Inc. and Skold by blending futuristic dance synths with grimy alternative rock. Throw in a collaboration with Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids co-founder Daisy Berkowitz and you have a sure-fire formula for cult success.

The album has an unmistakable 90s vibe with Symbols snotty punk vocals lightly distorted and mixed into a bass heavy, dance-friendly rock assault that is pretty damn infectious. Songs such as 'Voidhead', 'Control', 'Black Friday', 'Possession', 'Shooting Stars' and 'Grey Snow' are gritty, near psychedelic and most of all memorable in their approach. The style might be a tried and tested one that

Symbol is known for his theatrics, and the songs do reflect this somewhat, however the album feels as though it's holding something back. Like there is something genuinely crazy that's about to be unleashed but unfortunately never comes. The brief instrumental 'The Fear' perhaps comes the closest to doing something a little more left-field, but it again doesn't really come to anything.

The mix is pretty old school throughout the album and recalls the early albums of the afore mentioned Orgy and Skold in particular. It may be a little nostalgic in its sound, but it is by no means less effective for it. It keeps the filthy bass high and the dance synths higher with those ever present vocals cutting through with vitriol. It works, and it works very well.

'Voidhead' might not be tearing up the rule book, but it is a very catchy electro-rock that fans of the late 90s and early 2000s will be able to digest with ease. At ten tracks in total it is a brief but concise introduction to Justin Symbol, but it is one that few will forget in a hurry.  

Monday, 19 January 2015

Introducing... G.L.O.W.


"I was drawn to and inspired by the strange, eccentric & eclectic style of the Goth culture and so began creating songs that examined the darker side of the human condition." 

Name of band: G.L.O.W.
Members: Richard Wheeler (Vocals & Synths)
Year formed: 2008
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa


G.L.O.W., an acronym standing for General Language of Oscillating Wisdom, was created by the South African sound engineer Richard Wheeler. Inspired by his studies in sound engineering and the Goth scene in South Africa, Richard created an ebm project called G.L.O.W. exploring concepts of haunting, internalised pain, challenges and personal experiences through music. In 2011, G.L.O.W. gained local exposure when Richard dj'd at a bi-monthly event in Johannesburg
called Dark Noise when he was asked to play his personal material, and between 2012 and 2013, G.L.O.W gained international exposure when Dj Deadbeatz-Kevin aka AT0SHIMA 3RR0R remixed the track Aigamuchab which was followed by Man Bullet’s remix of Aigamuchab & The Phantom Wagon.
In 2013, Richard won the tune signature competition called 'Bring The Oontz 2013' which was used for Coma-Music Magazine’s The Oontzcast. During this period, The Oontzcast aired his tracks Flying Dutchman (Final Quest), Hai-Uri & his remix of AT0SHIMA 3RR0R’s track 'My
Smile'. In 2014, Hazzard of Darkness Radio & Aggro Driver ’81 began broadcasting his music.


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

My name is Richard Wheeler. I am the creator of the E.B.M. Project G.L.O.W. I was drawn to and inspired by the strange, eccentric & eclectic style of the Goth culture and so began creating songs that examined the darker side of the human condition.


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

I would describe my sound/style as Industrial Electronic. I arrived at this genre through experimentation with various sounds & techniques.


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

The bands that primarily influenced my music were VNV Nation, Combichrist, Covenant, Assemblage 23, Unter Null & Grendel whereas my non-musical influence was the South African Goth scene itself.


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

I haven’t performed live yet but, it’s in the pipeline. I am first going to perform in Pretoria which is the Gothic capital of South Africa and then, go to Cape Town & Durban.


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

My current release is 'Myths & Legends'. It is available on iTunes, Amazon & Routenote Direct.


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

So far, the highlights of my career have been:

1) Winning the signature tune competition for 'Bring The Oontz 2013' at Coma-Music Magazine in the USA.

2) Having my music played via online radio stations such as Oontzcast (USA), Aggrodriver ’81 (USA) & Hazard of Darkness Radio (Germany).


IVM: What are your plans fro the future?

G.L.O.W.’s first live performance, creating music videos for my tracks & to travel the Goth scene worldwide.


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

Yes, here is where you can listen to my music:
iTunes  


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