Interview: Marc Heal

“It’s funny, having worked so hard to make a living out of music I found once I’d got there that I’d broken myself in the process. I needed a break to do some, uh, emotional housekeeping.”

Live: Katatonia – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 07/05/2017

KATATONIA (+ TheGreat Discord, Ghost Bath) Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 07/05/2017

Wave Gotik Treffen - The Preview June 2017

The gathering of 2017s Wave Gotik Treffen, is but a month away. Time to get the fascinators out and the boots polished!

Review: Mortiis – 'The Great Corrupter'

MORTIIS 'The Great Corrupter' OMNIPRESENCE PRODUCTIONS

Review: Freakangel – 'How The Ghost Became'

FREAKANGEL 'How The Ghost Became' DIGITAL WORLD AUDIO

Friday, 31 May 2013

The weekly compendium 31/05/2013



What a busy week it has been. It may have been a day shorter due to the bank holiday, but we still crammed a hell of a lot in for you.

We've had plenty of news stories this week for one thing... with reports coming in from The Jesus Cleaver, Jenn Vix and Dirk Ivens, Kervorkian Death Cycle and Deconbrio. We've also had a big list of new reviews for you to assimilate including Murder Love God, Siva Six, XP8 and loveliescrushing.

The jewel in this week's crown though was our interview with Stephen Carey of The Eden House as we got to the bottom what it's like working on such a unique project.

Over on facebook we were intrigued by the BBC reports into the state of the UK record industry – first with a write up on Cherry Red Records and then with two articles on how UK labels are / aren't investing in emerging talent. It made for interesting reading, especially considering the reports on music format sales and independent record shops from earlier in the year. This in turn provoked us to add a poll to the facebook page to try and get some insights into what the public want and what labels actually sell. Go here to vote and comment.


In addition to this we celebrated as it was announced that a new Nine Inch Nails album is on the way. As well as a new musical project in a post-punk/industrial vein from Slipknot & Murderdolls man Joey Jordison. Finally Suicide Commando has let slip some new tour dates for the end of the year.

Right. That's all for this week. I'm heading down to London for a couple of days next week so here are my apologies in advance if there is a break in regular service. In the meantime here is a new lyric video from Aesthetic Perfection...


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Review: loveliescrushing - 'Ghost Coloured Halo'



'Ghost Coloured Halo' 

loveliescrushing have an impressive pedigree that dates back to the early 90s when albums such as 'Bloweyelashwish' and 'Xuvetyn' brought their brand of low-fi noise rock to the public's attention. For 2013 the now duo of Scott Cortez and Melissa Arpin Duimstra return with the band's tenth full-length studio album, and first to feature Melissa's distinctive vocals in over a decade.

'Ghost Coloured Halo' is an ambient, highly textured and satisfyingly noisy take on the band's original shoegaze influenced sound. Ambient guitar is filtered through an array of pedals and looped into cavernous soundscapes while Melissa's haunting vocals softly draw the listener's ear. While the fact that this was all recorded live on analogue 4-track recorders, in one long take, makes their dreamlike tonal odyssey all the more impressive.

The strongest pieces on the album 'Darklit And Crow', 'The Wounds That Won't Heal', 'Ghost Coloured' and 'Blacklight Thundering Halo' are prime examples of how blending melody and malevolence should be done. The songs slowly and subtly shift the mood across the album to create a perfect soundtrack for introspective listening. But best of all, for the most part the songs are of an easily digestible length meaning that those new to the band won't be too daunted at the prospect of

Reoccurring sonic motifs serve to tie the songs together. Effects such as heavy reverb give the tracks a nice central drone, and in some cases some semblance of a rhythm. While the pronounced tapes hiss, present throughout, gives the album and almost black metal edge in some places.

'Ghost Coloured Halo' is a sumptuous exploration of post-rock soaked in analogue ambience and hallucinatory drones. The sheer skilfulness of the live sound manipulation here goes to show why lovelicecrushing is a name synonymous with shoegaze.


Impressive as it is though, it still isn't quite the expected revelation, especially when considering the diverse range of ambient acts around today. It does feel like they're holding back somewhat. However it is still a very strong outing for them.

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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Review: XP8 - 'Adrenochrome'



XP8 
'Adrenochrome' 

For the past ten years electro duo XP8 have forged a name for themselves on the back of an innovative and beat-driven sound that has seen albums such as 'The Art Of Revenge' and 'Drop The Mask' earn them both critical and fan acclaim. However, XP8's fifth studio album 'Adrenochrome', is perhaps their most ambitious to date. Funded by an already successful crowd-sourcing campaign, the album doubles as the soundtrack to a cyberpunk novel of the same name that was originally penned by Marko Resurreccion in the late 90s. Some may recoil at the thought of such conceptual ambitions, but XP8 being the band they are makes it all look so easy.

The album mirrors the novel with each song named after a chapter in the book. But unlike a lot of “soundtracks” this isn’t an excuse to wallow in bland experimental ambience. What XP8 have created instead is a cyberpunk album for the cyberpunk vision of London expressed the novel 'Adrenochrome'. The story-arc is fast-paced and gripping, and so is the music.

As you'd come to expect from XP8, each track has the potential to be a club hit for the band with their trademark strong dance beats and catchy melodies very much intact. What differs is that concept ties everything together and the way the songs join to each other reflects the twists and turns expressed in the novel. But it's real strength is that when you take the novel out of the equation, the album still works as a stand-alone entity.

Songs like 'Awakening', 'Getaway', 'Information', 'Beyond The Looking Glass' and 'Showdown' provide the backbone of the album mixing techno, hard ebm and trance to create some utterly compelling dance music. While other tracks such as 'Going Underground', 'Hostages' and 'Inside Their Heads' change the mood a little on the second half of the album with a more classic electro sound that features dominant clean vocals, which will work really well live.

'Adrenochrome' feels like XP8 have finally been let loose without constraint and as a result they have seriously upped their game in terms of production and song-writing. The album is intelligent, innovative and cohesively ties in with the atmosphere of the novel without denting its club-friendly credentials. It's a rewarding experience and one that perhaps even warrants dramatising or animating to cover all the media bases.

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Deconbrio releases new single



US-based electro-rockers Deconbrio have announced the release of their heavy new single, 'Distractions'.

The single will be released on Tuesday, 4th June via the band's own bandcamp page as a stand-alone pay-what-you-want download and will feature both censored and uncensored versions of the track as well as a remix kit.


For more information on the band please visit their official website.


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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Review: Siva Six - 'Superstiton'


SIVA SIX 
'Superstition' 
ALFA MATRIX 

Before I even listened to this EP, I knew that it would have to be something pretty special. 'The Twin Moons' is one of my favourite albums brought out by an industrial artist in the last few years and, to me, made Siva Six an important player in the industrial scene. Clever, heavy, and classy, 'Twin Moons' is a tough act to follow.

The EP opens with 'Superstition'. No punches are pulled as the bass piles in, with the kick breaking in after a short amount of time; this is a track designed for club play. As always with Siva Six, I can’t get enough of the vocals in this track. Dynamic and strong, the vocals provide the focus of the song, supported by the powerful kick and bass combination. I can certainly see this track getting club play. The track cuts itself a little short, leaving as quickly as it began, but it certainly works.

'Nemesis' is the second track. Here, we see the other side of Siva Six; dark and atmospheric electro. Far from the four-to-the-floor club oriented nature of 'Superstition', 'Nemesis' focuses on glitchy drums and sweeping pads, weaving a well crafted ambience driven on by Z’s vocals once again.

'I Am A Groupie' surprised me with it’s introduction; it’s not often you get a song that opens with the words "I fuck with Combichrist", spoken over an acoustic guitar. This is not industrial. This isn’t even electronic music. And you know what? This works. This works really, really well. More and more, we are seeing industrial acts writing songs in other genres, and this can only be healthy for the scene. I was taken completely by surprise. I smirked at the lyrics, the name dropping, the humour. I genuinely enjoyed the guitar work. This is well produced music, for the sake of music, and I love it.

'She Is A Groupie' is the sister of the previous track on the EP. Changing the angle of the previous song adds a whole new depth, and I feel that Z’s vocals certainly fit better. He’s so damn expressive. It’s a clever little experiment, and it really worked for me; it’s probably my favourite track on the EP.

The remixes on this EP are a real mixed bag; Siva Six have purposefully selected artists from multiple genres, to take their music to different audiences. The three that stood out for me were the remixes by Incubite, Christian Cambas, and Must Pain.

Jesus, Incubite are on a role! 'Collision Course', their most recent EP, was excellent, and this remix leaves little to be desired. A fairly commercial sound (for industrial) that I hope will get a fair amount of club-play, with this huge filthy bass. As industrial remixes go, this was easily the best on the EP.

The Christian Cambas remix has a very house-y feel to it that is far and away from the original track. It’s a complete shift in direction, and certainly intended for a different audience to Siva Six’s usual. I enjoyed it because of this; not that I have anything against Siva Six’s sound, but because I’m impressed that Siva Six had the balls to put something that wasn’t really that industrial on their record.

Following the vein of ‘balls’, the Must Pain remix completely blew me away. Black metal. Black metal on an industrial record. As someone who came into this scene from black metal, I gelled really well with this track. It’s heavy, orchestral, and works perfectly with Siva Six. I am really rather impressed!

Superstition was never going to live up to Twin Moons. That wasn’t the point, and they haven’t even tried. Instead, Siva Six have used this EP as an experiment; A little humour, some interesting genres, some new ideas. They’re testing the waters, and that, for an EP, is perfectly fine.


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Review : Murder Love God - 'Alter Of Evolution'



'Alter Of Evolution' 

Murder Love God have simultaneously released their third album, 'Death Circle Blues' along with a remix version entitled 'Alter of Evolution'.

Intravenous have only been sent the remix album to review, although we did listen to assorted 'original' versions of the track for brief comparison, however the tracks on 'AoE' sound fine in their own right, so we didn't go too far into spot-the-difference.

The Milwaukee combo are clearly influenced by Marilyn Manson, even if not listed in their bio, but certainly the tracks here are better than anything Mr Warner has put out in well over a decade, so if that's your bag then you could almost stop now and go and buy the album.

'Defuser' is a meaty opener to the album, choppy grinding rhythms and a charming sing-a-long coda of “Hey, you, back the fuck off!”
It's a piercing and frantic opener to the album, it commands your immediate attention.

By contrast, 'Going to Hell' is downtempo, but has a mixture of ideas going on. A piano intro setting the scene and assorted trip-hop influences keeps it a varied and interesting track.

For the best part though, the album is rockier and solid. The odd addictive hook thrown in here and there, “Come on baby/ don't say maybe / God can't save me / Burn me like a Witch” on 'Witch' or the repetitive drones of “Murder Everyone” on '38'.
It'll have you singing along in no time. (Note : Intravenous strongly recommending not walking around in public chanting “Murder Everyone” you get more than looked at for being-a-bit-weird).

Though lyrics, “Hey, another day has come / It's time to murder everyone”, does suggest there is a worrying theme on this album, haha.

Perhaps though, the juvenile 'Kill Everyone' may be off-putting for some, which is a shame because it's generally a neat release.

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Kevorkian Death Cycle release promo trailer in honour of Dr Kevorkian’s birthday



Industrial legends Kevorkian Death Cycle have released a brand new promotional video for their forthcoming album 'God Am I' to coincide with what would have been the 85th birthday of euthanasia activist Dr. 'Jack' Kevorkian on 26th May. 

Their new album is scheduled for release on 17th September his year Via Negative Gain Productions and will be Kevorkian Death Cycle’s first album for almost thirteen years.

The band was founded by Ryan Gribbin and Roger Jarvis and in their time have toured the US with bands such as Front Line Assembly, Front 242, Project Pitchfork as well as releasing three albums on RasDVA and Metropolis Records.

You can view the promo video here:




For more information on the band and their upcoming releases please visit their official facebook page or the Negative Gain Productions website.

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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Interview: The Eden House

One Foot In Eden...



We'll get a bunch of early ideas together and decide who we'd like to collaborate with on each... That’s our favourite part - hearing someone like Julianne Regan’s vocals for the first time on your song is like being a kid on Christmas morning!”

For the past five years the super-collective known as The Eden House, led by Stephen Carey (Adoration / This Burning Effigy), Tony Pettitt (Fields Of The Nephilim / NFD) and Andy Jackson (Pink Floyd / David Gilmour engineer), have proven themselves as one of the most unique and accomplished acts in the UK rock scene. Enlisting a range of guest talents and favouring a sound that blends trip-hop, psychedelic rock and goth, the band have been lauded by both fans and critics for albums and EPs such as 'Smoke And Mirrors' and 'Timeflows'.

2013 sees the release of their second full-length album 'Half Life', which is already enjoying the same level of praise as it's predecessors. Intravenous Magazine caught-up with founding member Stephen Carey to talk about the new album and working in such an incomparable form of musical project.


Intravenous Magazine: Where did the idea to start The Eden House originate?

Stephen Carey: Initially – it was just me and some of the people I knew doing an occasional song, with no real plan to release it. Then in 2006 I left NFD and started working on it properly with Tony. The main idea at that point was to explore styles we hadn't done before, and make something without feeling like it had to fit into a template. Just to have fun with it really! We decided then to invite guests in to perform on certain songs – which added to it enormously, as each guest brings a new element to the sound – and also gave us the freedom to choose the vocalists that best suited each song.


IVM: Initially, with so many big name bands linked to the various members that come together to form The Eden House, was there every any concern that the music may be overshadowed?

SC: It can be a pain sometimes. Yes - the associations with other artists and bands can help open a few doors, but it can also shut a few too. It gets on our wick when everything is FOTN-this or Pink Floyd-that, and you can count on record labels and promoters to fling those references around at every opportunity, which really pisses us off (If you see that on a flyer it wasn’t from us). It's inevitable really. Luckily - the project is establishing its own name now.




IVM: The band's sound incorporates elements such as psychedelia, trip-hop and shoegaze. Did you intend to set out in that direction or has it been an organic process?

SC: There’s
no master-plan - we're not that organised! We just like a lot of music and its fun to mix things together and see what happens. It's a mixture of our influences and new things we like put through the lens of the sounds we like to make.


IVM: How does the song writing and recording process typically work for you as a group?

SC:
Musically, the best ideas all seem to arrive fully formed. We'll be sitting around in rehearsal or soundcheck and someone will start playing something, someone else will join in and it'll build from there. they're the ones that tend to work out being the best. On the other hand, the ones where your sitting there banging your head on the mixing desk thinking "Where should this chord go to" etc. - they usually don’t make the cut. We'll get a bunch of early ideas together and decide who we'd like to collaborate with on each... That’s our favourite part - hearing someone like Julianne Regan’s vocals for the first time on your song is like being a kid on Christmas morning!


IVM: How do you feel The Eden House has progressed as an entity between 'Smoke And Mirrors' and 'Half Life'?

SC:
We're older and more cynical! Bitter and Twisted! More machine now than man(!) Seriously though, the main difference is that Smoke and Mirrors was just Tony and myself as the main decision makers. Over the last few years we expanded that to include others which had its pros and cons. Ultimately we've returned to the original set-up.




IVM: Your latest album 'Half Life' will be released at the end of May. How did you approach the new album considering the universal praise for your début 'Smoke And Mirrors'?

SC: It would have been stupid to try to live up to some of the hype that was flying around after 'S&M'. We're very aware that things that burn too brightly very often burn briefly too.. We wanted to give ourselves time to make the second album, make a few detours with EPs etc. Its also important to have something to say - we're not on a release treadmill with Jungle Records breathing down our necks. They're there if we want to release something. Otherwise we'll just work away quietly, enjoying the process as much as the end result. That’s the key thing about this project really. That its enjoyable for me and Tony to do - if it stopped being enjoyable we'd simply stop and do something else.


IVM: You bridged the gap between albums with the EPs 'The Looking Glass' and 'Timeflows'. What was the motivation behind releasing those as opposed to heading straight into a new album?

SC:
It's strange - to other people 'Half Life' is the second album. But 'Timeflows' was a mini-album of sorts. Some songs seem to belong together thematically and stylistically, and we'd rather put out an EP where we put them with their siblings rather than water them down as part of an album. For example - if 'Timeflows' (the song) had to go on an album it wouldn’t have had the space to run its full 15 minutes... The EP idea lets you run with a particular idea as far as you want.


IVM: The cover art for the new album is incredibly striking. How did the concept come about and how do you feel it reflects the album?

SC:
It's a piece called "White Guest" by a Russian artist called Karina Marandijan. When we first saw it the image jumped off the page at us. There’s a starkness and vulnerability to it, but also an underlying strength. That related really well to the lyrics being written for the songs so we approached Karina for the rights to use the image, which she very kindly granted.




IVM:
As a collective built around core musicians rather than a traditional band. In terms of recruitment, do you tend to reach out to musicians formally or is it a more informal process?

SC:
It's usually informal - people we'd known or met at gigs over the years. The only formal channel we went through was when approaching Lee Douglas from Anathema. At the time their label K-scope was dancing about us in the strange way that labels do when they're thinking of offering you a deal. They were keen on artists on their roster working together - so we pitched the idea of Lee doing a song with us. She agreed and was fantastic to work with. Such a lovely person too.


IVM: You've favoured feminine vocals on all your releases so far, has this been a conscious decision or would you be open to working with male vocalists in the future?

SC:
It started as a reaction to the bands we'd been in where a male vocalist would do the growly thing. I was heartily sick of it and wanted to produce something that was the polar opposite of that. We've been lucky to have worked with so many different styles of vocalist in the years since, everything from Folk to Jazz influenced. For me personally, as long as they're Kate Bush influenced - I'm happy! As far as male-vocals go its a possibility. There’s already one name in the hat, it's just figuring out how to wear that hat, that’s the issue!

IVM: Is there anyone in particular that you would love to work with on a song with that you haven’t already?

SC: Most of them would need to be dug up first. Maybe a bit of febreeze for the aroma.


© Imago Mortis Photography 


IVM: For a band with so much input from so many different people has ego ever been an issue?

SC:
Not really – one of the things we look for in a guest is that they're not an arsehole. It doesn’t matter how good they might be, or if they're perfect for a song. We have been very lucky mostly.


IVM: Does having so many guest artists throw up any logistical problems when playing live?

SC:
It can do - but these things are usually booked months and months in advance so we can usually work around it.

IVM: Ultimately, what would you like to achieve with The Eden House?

SC: We want to create great music. Its that simple.


IVM: Finally, what are the plans for The Eden House for the rest of the year?

SC:
Gigs and more gigs... To anyone reading this - If you want Eden House to play where you live - contact info@theedenhouse.com and tell us!





'Half Life' is available to buy now from all good retailers. For more information on The Eden House, including tour dates and future releases, please visit their official website.

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Jenn Vix and Dirk Ivens release single



US electronic rocker Jenn Vix and electro-industrial pioneer, Dirk Ivens (Absolute Body Control, The Klinik, Dive, ) have collaborated on a double A-side single, 'Fuck.Rinse.Repeat' / 'Burn'.

The single follows hot on the heels of her previous single, featuring another collaboration with legendary guitarist Reeves Gabrels (Tin Machine / David Bowie, The Cure), 'Speed Of Light'
Both singles act as precursors to Vix's forthcoming album 'Electric Midnight' which will be released on her own label Umbrella Music Co.



Both 'Fuck.Rinse.Repeat' / 'Burn' and 'Speed Of Light' are available to purchase via iTunes and Bandcamp. For more information on Jenn Vix's upcoming releases, please visit her official website.


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The Jesus Cleaver releases 'Life In Clouds' charity album



Australian dark alternative outfit, The Jesus Cleaver, has released a limited edition version of their album 'Life In Clouds', with all proceeds from the sales going to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

The album includes the current single 'Europa', as well as bonus tracks (including the 'Queen of Siam' mix by John P Shea of 'Fetish') and a rare live recording of the band.

The No. 1 copy of the Limited Edition is also being auctioned on eBay (authorised by the Foundation), at
with all proceeds going to the Foundation.

Track List:

1. Mercy
2. Girl With No Name
3. New Day
4. Life In Clouds
5. Empty
6. Oramics Interlude
7. Europa

BONUS TRACKS:
8. Confidence
9. Dogmachine – Fetish (Queen of Siam Mix, May 2001)
10. Live At Statik (Brisbane, 18 April 2002)


For more information on The Jesus Cleaver, and to keep up-to-date with their forthcoming releases, please visit their official website.

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Friday, 24 May 2013

The weekly compendium 24/05/2013



Over at Intravenous Magazine we kicked off the week with another thoughtful column from
Matthew Simpson. Jacob Ovington gave us a review of the recent Whitby Goth Weekend. We had a look at the upcoming events around the world for World Goth Day, and we announced the winners of our competition with Juggernaut Services.

We had reviews from A Pale Horse Named Death, ASOFY, Biomechanimal, IronFist Of The Sun and Controlled Collapse. We also had a read of the free short story 'How To Talk To Girls At Parties' by Neil Gaiman in anticipation of his forthcoming novel.

Over on the social networking site there has been a couple new music videos from Vuvuvultures and Lacrimas Profundere. As well as some freebies from Sombati Records and Defeat. It was also announced that the kings of shock rock Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson will be performing together in the USA... surely this is one of the signs of the coming apocalypse?!

Well that's it for this week so we're off for a beer... or six.




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Thursday, 23 May 2013

Review: Controlled Collapse - 'Babel'



'Babel' 

Polish electro-industrialists Controlled Collapse have been making music for a decade now combining the more experimental arm of the harsh ebm spectrum and mix in hints of techno, rhythmic industrial and even a bit of darkwave. It's a sound that many seem to strive for, but inevitably don't achieve, instead becoming caught up in the clichés of the scene. But not Controlled Collapse. With their third outing 'Babel', they distil ten years of work down into one definitive statement.

The album is full of the unexpected. Yes at its hear it is a hard and dirty dance album. But the constant shifts in tempo and key changes in the songs give this a more rockier edge that will definitely play well live. The shifting beats, sparse but effective guitar and accomplished synth work make this a very compelling listen. But when you throw in the many vocal styles at work here, it becomes even richer.

Songs such as 'Pain', 'Numb', 'Dzień Sądu', 'Cube' and 'My Fault' are ready made to take on dance floors around the world with their body moving rhythms and utterly infectious melodies that channel the likes of Suicide Commando, :Wumpscut:, Ade Fenton and Kraftwerk. But arguably the album's true highlight is the stunning centrepiece that is 'Fragment Of Time' featuring guest vocals from Aleksandra Burska. It's simply one of those songs that the stars seemed to have intangibly aligned on, with the dual male and female vocals, synth strings and throbbing bass coming together for a memorable song.

In terms of production this is a fine example of how to mix an album. It feels fluid and organic with all the different elements within the songs having room to breath, allowing the listener to take every nuance in.


Controlled Collapse have crafted a definitive album for themselves with 'Babel'. It's everything a good electro album should be – accessible, yet experimental and melodic, yet heavy – giving the listener plenty to get their teeth into. CC have taken some bold moves that have paid off in a big way, and if they can get the coverage they deserve, then there is no reason why this album shouldn't be big.

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Review: Iron Fist Of The Sun - 'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand'



IRON FIST OF THE SUN 
'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand' 
COLD SPRING 

The name Iron Fist Of The Sun is familiar to aficionados of power electronics of the last decade. The body of work built up by Lee Howard operating under the IFOTS banner started from the sonic brutality of 'Behavioural Decline' and has continued to apply method and experimentation which on 'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand' shows the sure hand of a fully realized vision.

'For You I Will' is the sound of nefarious plans being put into action, cold and unnerving in its calm. The pulse and hum of 'This Dog Has No Master' is the underlying OM of a universe that has it out for you. This could be the pulse in your own ear as from without the clang of metal percussion prepares the treatment and a venomous distorted voice cuts through. As with the opening track, it's the restraint of this track that makes it effective. 'Be Forever Green' is a power electronics assault that is about as structured and rhythmic as a composition playing in this field can be.

A fog horn drone initiates the action on 'Saltpulse', which proceeds with skittering and juddering loops and a sine-wave rotary phone off the hook heartbeat. This is a piece in three acts, with the second dissolving into what sounds like ham radio static. The track brings the listener on into a building noise-filled melodic resolution that is downright beautiful in its combination of distorted vocals declaiming forcefully over a soft bed of keys and grinding static.

'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand' has a very retro-futurist vibe to it, bringing to mind the sound emissions of a mad scientist's lab in a 1950's b-movie. There is even a background of dramatic chords behind the screams and the death-ray stabs. A power electronic release may not be intended to make one smile, but with 'Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand', IFOTS bring a most enjoyable kind of hurt.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Book Review: Neil Gaiman – 'How To Talk To Girls At Parties'




'How To Talk To Girls At Parties' 

Although this short story has been previously published in the collection 'Fragile Things', and therefore available for some years, the fact Neil Gaiman is releasing his intellectual property as a freebie on Amazon's Kindle software / hardware is nonetheless a nice gesture. Particularly as this also includes a prologue to his new novel 'The Ocean At The End Of The Lane'.

For those unfamiliar with Gaiman's work – which considering his hand has penned graphic novels, best selling adult and child fiction as well as blockbuster films – should be very few these days, 'How To Talk To Girls At Parties' is a fine example of the authors ability to meld the ordinary with the fantastic.

The story is a nostalgic look at teen awkwardness when matters of romantic interaction with opposite sex becomes the overwhelming urge of boys. Rooted firmly in 1970's south London, the story is a first person narrative told from the perspective of one of two friends on their way to a party. A fairly typical and recognisable situation that takes a bizarre turn as the protagonist, envious of his friend's ease at talking to girls, attempts to interact with those present at the party. Focussed on the end result of snog he fails to grasp what exactly he and his friend have got themselves in to.

It's a very quick and easy story to get into and is unfortunately over all too soon. But there is more.

The prologue to Gaiman's new novel 'The Ocean At The End Of The Lane', which will be released next month, is an intriguing mix of middle-aged melancholy and warm childhood nostalgia coming together to distort the present. The unnamed narrator traces his way back to a farm where slightly odd characters from his childhood reside. Gradually more and more comes back to him, but ultimately we are left hanging from a question mark.

It's a very effective introduction that makes you hanker after more... though anyone who has read the likes of 'American Gods', 'Anansi Boys' or 'Neverwhere' can attest to Gaiman's power for page-turning prose. Gaiman plays his cards close to his chest, but this is certainly enough to hook most people as his engaging and stimulating style is what really catches you.

Really, there is no doubt that this freebie will have the desired effect of not only turning new readers onto Gaiman's short stories in 'Fragile Things' and 'Smoke And Mirrors', but also tease the pre-orders for his new novel up a little more before its launch in June.


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Review: Biomechanimal - 'Renegade 2.0'




'Renegade 2.0' 

London based electro-industrial duo Biomechanimal are making a name for themselves fast on the UK industrial scene, and upon listening to their début EP 'Renegade 2.0' its easy to understand why. Their sonic formula is simple but incredibly dance friendly; mixing pulsing bass, hard beats and catchy synth hooks, it pretty much ticks all the boxes for a full-on dance floor assault.

Opening with the toe-tapping beat of 'Renegade 2.0' the band start as they mean to go on with a minimalistic approach to song construction that has a nice old school feel to it and a very catch lead, bass, beat and vocal combination. 'Broken Wings' gets a little more complex and layered in its construction but feels a little bit flat in the chorus, which is a shame as this is the song with the most live sing-a-long potential on the EP. 'The Stars Are Wrong' on the other hand is pure club fodder with a bouncy bassline and infectious lead synth melody that will definitely get bodies on the dance floor.

The band themselves already have some high-profile remixes to their name, so it's no surprise then that the bonus remixes of the title track for this EP they have received in turn from Wormz and Telemark are both excellent quality. Wormz take the song in a more hardstyle direction playing up the dance potential some more. However Telemark take things in an unexpected but very enjoyable electro-metal direction.

This is a strong first step for the band. They're making all the right moves and rather than pandering to any particular style, they're crafting their own. The production could use a little more spit and polish to get the most out of the catchy but slightly flat sounding choruses. But for the first EP this is promising stuff that will have a lot of people taking notice.

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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Review: ASOFY - 'Percezione'




'Percezione' 

ASOFY is one of those projects that has been simmering away for over a decade, perfecting it's sound, and occasionally surfacing to release something interesting before fading away again. The band's second full length album, 'Perceszione' is a blend of ambient black metal, doom, avant garde and prog elements. It's an album of dichotomies. On one hand its sombre and melodic, and on the other hand its jarring and discordant. But it works.

Weighing in at 48 minutes-long across four tracks, it may at first seem like it will be a dense and thankless listen. But it does have its rewards to reap. The opening song 'Luminosità' is s haunting and melancholic piece that is still light and easy to loose yourself in. The reverberating guitars and repetitive melodies twist and reform themselves hypnotically while the disturbed vocals chant and bark overhead. 'Saturazione' carries on down this stylistic path somewhat in terms of its use of reverb and repetitive melodies. But ventures into heavier, more doom-laden territory to evoke a more claustrophobic and menacing atmosphere. 'Ombra' is more assured in it's black metal leaning. However the ambient side of the band is always present and ready to take over sharply with a more haunting guitar melody. Finally, 'Oscurità' is a spiralling mix of muffled vocals and melancholic guitars that ebbs and flows between a faster black metal pace and a slower dreamlike one.

In terms of production its a rather raw affair but rather technically. The mix throws in a few interesting tricks like keeping the vocals low and having rather sharp cuts between the raw and soft edges. Even the way the songs progress almost feel as though they have their roots in classical music.

The song lengths may put some off. As may the band's emphasis on atmosphere and emotion rather than catchy hooks. But this is an album for those who appreciate opposites in music. The melodic and the discordant come together so well under the band's direction. Fans of Filosofem era Burzum as well as the likes of Caïna will want to give this a listen.

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Review: A Pale Horse Named Death - 'Lay My Soul To Waste'




'Lay My Soul To Waste' 

A Pale Horse Named Death, the brain trust of Sal Abruscato – the former man behind the drums to legendary New York metal bands Type O Negative and Life Of Agony – threw the world a major curve ball with the début album, 'And Death Will Follow Me'. Blending Type O Negative-esque melancholic doom with the southern-tinged grunge of Alice In Chains and a liberal help of NOLA sludge for good measure, APHND put Sal on the map as a songwriter in his own right. Now he's back with a full band and a new set of world weary and horror inspired songs in the form of 'Lay My Soul To Waste'. But will the Brooklyn, New York natives' sophomore offering live up to the post Peter Steele resonance of the début?

The short answer is yes. A Pale Horse Named Death has come a long way as a band both technically and in terms of performance quality. Sal hasn't been precious, and the contributions from the rest of the band give this album a fuller sound. In terms of songwriting, the band's core sound of Type O Negative's self-loathing aggression filtered through the opiate haze of Alice In Chains remains intact. But it all feels a lot more self-assured this time around, especially with the keyboard elements being used to greater effect.

Songs like 'Shallow Grave', 'The Needle In You', 'Growing Old', 'Devil With A Smile' and 'Day Of The Storm' all show off the diverse range of ways that Sal and Co. can achieve their end goal of crafting dark, heavy music. It's slow, hard, demented and bleak. But the use of harmonised vocals, acoustic guitar and keyboards keep things interesting and strangely approachable. Yet the album's true appeal can be summed-up in the track, 'Cold Dark Mourning'. Much like 'Die Alone' on the previous album, it's sheer emotional gravitas doesn't relinquish its hold until the final bars have faded to silence.

It is evident that the band have taken their time to create a truly memorable album. Sal has upped his game significantly in terms of songwriting with 'Lay My Soul To Waste'. And while this album doesn't have that initial pleasant shock of the first, which left many people wondering why he hadn't started A Pale Horse Named Death a long time ago. It does however, feel more well rounded and comfortable than its predecessor. The end result of which is a feeling that Sal and APHND are fast cementing their legacy as a band to be reckoned with.

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Monday, 20 May 2013

And the winners are...




Thanks to everyone who entered the competition to win a copy of the fantastic double CD compilation, 'Foundations' from Juggernaut Services.

We have picked three people at random by a numerical generator and we can announce the winners are:

Patrick Thompson
Joel Watkins
Antonella Di Franco

You can expect an email this evening to confirm and get your address details in order for us to post your prizes out to you.

Thank you to Juggernaut Services for the prize as well as all the great talents that made the album possible.

If you were unlucky this time around please visit the Juggernaut Services webshop to grab a copy of 'Foundations', and don't forget to  keep your eyes peeled for out next competition!

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World Goth Day round-up 2013




The big day is almost upon us. A chance for the darkly-inclined to have some light-hearted fun in celebration of the worldwide subculture that is GOTH! Over the course of a few years the World Goth Day movement has spread and become one of the essential days of the scene's calendar. And quite rightly so. As a result, 22nd May every year sees a whole host of events going on around the world, as well as the world wide web.

We here at Intravenous Magazine need no excuse for a knees-up so we thought we'd have a look at what's going on to give you a taste of what is out there this week, and hopefully give you some ideas of your own.


Cyberspace:

World Goth Fair: A Second Life Event

World Goth Day in Second Life is currently being set in motion!
WORLD GOTH FAIR will be taking place on Cursed & Port Seraphine on May 15th-31st & proceeds will benefit the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. If you're a Second Life user or marketplace seller, please visit the Wordpress blog here:
http://worldgothfair.wordpress.com/

World Goth Day 2013 Facebook Dance Party

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

Music: Blackout Gothic Radio Show World Goth Day Special

Join Blackout Gothic Radio Show from 9:30pm until 12 midnight for a mix and mash up of Goth, Post-punk and Deathrock music.
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE

Shopping: World Goth Day Discount at Subversion Clothing

Online store Subversion Clothing are again offering a 10 per cent discount up until World Goth Day so you can freshen up your wardrobe for the big day!
Use the discount code
GOTHDAY when you checkout on your order.


UK & Ireland:

World Goth Day event in Belfast, Ireland

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day event in Dublin, Ireland

Dominion Club, The Cellar, Murrays Bar, 33 to 34 O'Connell Street Upper, Dublin 1 Dublin, Ireland
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE

The Catacomb-World Goth Day in Wales Special

Friday May 24th @ Dead Of Night, Sin City, 14-16 Dillwyn Street, SA1 4AQ Swansea.
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE


Dark Waters Festival Warm up party, Nottingham, UK

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day Party @ Subside, Birmingham UK

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

Midlands Goth Festival, UK

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day: GOTHIC HAFLA and Par-Tay @ Sam's Diner Southampton, UK

Visit the event Facebook page HERE


World Goth Day Pub Quiz in London, UK

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day Meet Up in Camden, London, UK

Meet up will take place at the Camden Town Canal.
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE

World Goth Day event in St Albans Museums, UK

Visit St Albans Museums website HERE


Europe:

World Goth Day event @ Zaragoza, Spain

El Teatro de las Ánimas, C/SANTA TERESA DE JESUS Nº9, Zaragoza, Spain
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE

World Goth Day events in Madrid and Barcelona

Barcelona: 25th May at The Bunker Club, Plaza De La Navas, 9 Poble Sec, Apertura Puertas: 22:00hrs
Madrid: 25th May at 666 Gothic Club (Y'Sta), C/Valverde No.10 Gran Via, Apertura Puertas: 21:00hrs
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE

World Goth Day event in Romania

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day party in Poland

Visit the Underground Rock Bar, Poznan event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day event in Macedonia

Dancing In The Dark in Skopje. Visit the event Facebook page HERE


USA:

California Deathrock Event

Visit the California Dathrock Facebook page HERE

California Gothic Project World Goth Day Event

Visit the Phreaks Ov Thee Night Facebook page HERE

Dancing Ghosts-A World Goth Day Darkwave Dance Party, San Francisco, USA

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day Lunch Meet, Ozarks, Arkansas USA

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day event @ Austin, Texas USA

Elysium 705 Red River St, Austin, Texas 78701. Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day event @ Milwaukee, USA

Club ? 807 S. 5th St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204. Visit the event Facebook page HERE


World Goth Day event @ Mid Michigan, USA

World Goth Day Picnic in Mt Hope Cemetery. Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day event in Washington DC, USA

KISS KISS BANG BANG, UPSTAIRS @ Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar, 1104 H Street NE Washington, DC
21+ / NO COVER / Doors 9pm - 1am. Visit the event Facebook page
HERE


World Goth Day Dinner in Portland, Maine, USA

Friday May 24th @ Asylum, 121 Center St, Portland, Maine 04101-3923
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE


Playground Twist: Dark Culture Tea Party/Picnic in Missoula, Montana

Wednesday May 22nd 2.30pm til 7.00pm or after. Sacajawea park, across the street from Orange St. Food Farm.
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE


Rest Of The World:

World Goth Day Picnic in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

May 22nd: Picnic event at Peter Miseresky Memorial Park, 122 Hadati Road, Guelph ON.
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE


World Goth Day II ELECTRO INDUSTRIAL MUSIC @ Bogota, Colombia

Universidad Nacional de Colombia carrera 30 calle 45, Bogotá, Colombia
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE


World Goth Day event @ Oaxaca, Mexico

Mauistik Bar, Oaxaca, Mexico. Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day event @ El Real Under, Mexico City

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day events in Brazil

Visit the event Facebook page HERE
Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day in Fortaleza, Brazil

Brom's Partyhouse, Rua dos Tabajaras 402 - Praia de Iracema, 60.060-510 Fortaleza, Brazil
Visit the event Facebook page
HERE

World Goth Day party in Cape Town, South Africa

Visit the event Facebook page HERE

World Goth Day event in Melbourne, Australia

DV8 & Cab Noc present: WORLD GOTH DAY - May 18. Visit the event Facebook page HERE


If you don't see an event listed near you please check out the World Goth Day website and forum for a more complete picture of what is going on. If you are throwing your own World Goth Day shindig, why not let us know on the Intravenous Magazine facebook page.

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