Blood Pack Vol. 6.66 released!

It's that time of the year once again! A new year and a new compilation album celebrating our 6th birthday as a webzine.

Review: Various Artists – 'We're In This Together: A Tribute To Nine Inch Nails'

VARIOUS ARTISTS 'We're In This Together: A Tribute To Nine Inch Nails' TRIBULATIONS

Review: Various Artists – 'We Reject: A Tribute To Bile'


Review: Ritual Aesthetic – 'Wound Garden'


Review: Axegrinder – 'Satori'


Wednesday 31 July 2013

Dubcon announce details of 'UFO Pon Di Gullyside'

Electro-industrial legend cEvin Key (Skinny Puppy, Download, PlatEAU) and experimental rocker turned reggae producer Ryan Moore (Twilight Circus, The Legendary Pink Dots, Tear Garden) have been conspiring on a new project under the moniker dubcon.

Key and Moore are not strangers, having worked on a number of projects in the past. However, this time the project sees the two blend their styles into “Outerspace Dub Jams”.

Track List:

01. Outerspace
02. Light It Up
03. First Contact
04. Green Fire
05. Zion Cluster
06. Moment In Space
07. Heliosphere
08. Project Sign
09. Dubbrain
10. Farstar
11. UFO pon di gullyside
12. Gone Orbital

The band's début album, 'UFO Pon Di Gullyside' will be released via Metropolis Records on 2nd October 2013 and is available to pre-order from the Metropolis webshop.

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The March Violets announce tour dates

To celebrate the release of the band's first album proper, 'Made Glorious', The March Violets have announced a string of tour dates for the end of the year.

Saturday the 26th October - Hebden Bridge Trades Club, “Ted Hughes Festival”
Bridge, at a rather gorgeous venue, the Trades Club. Rosie will be there the day before doing some poetical stuff.

Sunday the 27th October - Preston Continental, “John Peel Week”
We have always claimed that John Peel changed our lives, among with many others. We did 3 Peel Sessions. So it is rather satisfying to play a tribute to him during John Peel Week, at The Continental in Preston, along with some fellow Peelite friends: Flesh For Lulu, John Hyatt from the Three Johns, and The Inca Babies. Quite a line up!

Friday 1st November - ?
We will be no doubt getting dressed up for something… tell you later ;)

Sunday 3rd November – Whitby, The Coliseum, “DV8”
We will be playing a nice little venue in Whitby, the Coliseum. An earlyish start, sometime after the footie and finishing early so you can head up to Nostalgia.

Sunday 10th November - Newcastle, Trillians.
A visit to the lovely city of Newcastle, Trillians. First gig here since the early 80’s!

Friday 22nd November - London, Islington O2 Academy.
Back to Islington London for a bit of a do at the O2 Academy 2.

Saturday 23rd November -Leeds, Brudenell Social Club.
Home for a Final Purple Party at the wonderful Brudenell Social Club.

For more information on the upcoming dates and to find out more about The March Violets, please visit their official website.

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Tuesday 30 July 2013

Review: Tregenza – 'Wolves'


A mere seven months on from his first post-Goteki solo outing, Ross Tregenza returns with the follow-up EP, 'Wolves'. His previous outing, 'Snowdrift', showed off a diverse range of styles that retained some of the playfulness of the Goteki back-catalogue but seriously built on the indie rock and blues influences that were becoming apparent in the later material. And its hear that 'Wolves' picks up from predecessor.

The title track 'Wolves' made a brief appearance in an instrumental form at the end of the previous EP and immediately stood out with it's bleak atmosphere that evoked the likes of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, as well as The Sisters Of Mercy. Throw in Tregenza's distinctive android-like vocal style and it creates a very haunting song. The first remix of the title track is chopped up and glitchy affair that transforms melodies into rhythms and completely turns the track on its head. Where as the second, 'Speed Of Light', remix takes the song into more familiar dance territory with a markedly upbeat feel and combination of vocoded feminine vocals. The third remix, 'Speed Of Dark' gets a bit more experimental, retaining core elements of the song, but overlaying them with strange sounds and samples. Finally there is another instrumental preview of the next EP in the form of 'Christ The Redeemer' has an electronic-orchestral feel which creates a wonderfully blend of pop-orientated dance with neoclassical ambience.

It's nice to hear Tregenza continue to acknowledge his previous projects but still continue to move away from them, playing around with other genres and styles to great effect. With another EP announced for the end of the year he looks like he won't be stopping any time soon, but it will still be interesting to see how he ties everything into a full-length album.

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Virgins O.R. Pigeons announce remix contest

Electro trio Virgins O.R. Pigeons have announced a new remix contest. The band are making their tracks 'Bleed To Lead' and 'Born In Sin' available to remix, with the winning entries appearing on forthcoming Virgins O.R. Pigeons releases on Alfa Matrix.

The contest will run until 18th August 2013 and three winners will be announced at the end of the month. To enter, submit your e-mail HERE and you'll be contacted immediately with all details including the remix kits, where to send the remix etc.

The band's latest release, 'Bleed To Lead' is available from Alfa Matrix now. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Monday 29 July 2013

Hocico announce best of compilation, 'Los Días Caminando En El Fuego'

Mexican aggrotech duo Hocico are celebrating 20 years of existence in style with the release of a massive “best of...” collection. 'Los Días Caminando En El Fuego' collects the band's classic songs, a brand new track in the form of 'Thy Kingdom Come' and some newly discovered trove of unfinished early songs lying dormant on the band's old Yamaha workstation.

The album will be available through Out Of Line records on 30th August 2013 as a deluxe CD version containing three CDs, as well as a special limited pyramid box set which will also include goodies such as a t-shirt, amulet and a photobook.

Track List:

CD 1
1. Ancestros, Das Feuer and The Past (20 Years Ago)
2. Fade Into Oblivion
3. Thy Kingdom Come
4. Come And Eat It!
5. Song Of Hate
6. Open The Gates Of Hell
7. Army of Puppets
8. Saviors
9. El Renacer de los Caídos
10. I'm Insane
11. Dissolve Me
12. Silencio En La Tierra De Los Suen?os
13. Trust (the cure cover)
14. The Dreamers
15. Go Fuck Yourself!
16. Follow Me Down

CD 2
1. God Wrote Me A Letter
2. Rebellious
3. Wild Night Out
4. Reincarnate
5. La Marcha De los Enterrados
6. Age Of Perdition (Studio Raw Version)
7. House Of The Spirits
8. Dead Of Winter
9. La Danza De Mi Sombra
10. In A Few Hours You'll Be Dead
11. Concreto
12. Not Like You (First Take)
13. En La Mirada Del Asesino
14. The Last Human On Earth

Bonus CD – 'Dias de Perros'
1. Discontent (1999)
2. Placer (1990)
3. Hate You (1998)
4. Enfermedad Siniestra (1989)
5. Illusion (1990)
6. Burning Eyes (1997)
7. Lluvia Podrida (1991)
8. Transtorno Psiquico (1989)
9. Convulsion (1995)
10. Mente Retorcida (1991)

Hocico will also be playing the following live dates:

30.08.2013 - Augsburg -DE - Kantine / Schwimmbad (Special Guests: Formalin + Too Dead To Die)
31.08.2013 - Berlin - DE - Bi Nuu - 20th Anniversary Concert (Special Guests: Formalin + Too Dead To Die)
07.09.2013 - Deutzen - DE - NCN Festival
13.09.2013 - Göteborg - SE - Musikens Hus
14.09.2013 - Malmö - SE - Babel

'Los Días Caminando En El Fuego' is available to pre-order now via the Out Of Line webshop. For more information on Hocico, please visit their official website.

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Signal Aout 42 announce 'Inspiration'

Legendary Belgian ebm outfit Signal Aout 42 have announced that their sixth full-length studio album, 'Inspiration', will be released via Out Of Line records on 30th August 2013.

The album is the first in the three years since the release of 'Vae Victis'.

Track List:

1. Judgment Day
2. Race Of The Human Race
3. Sex Gadget
4. A Kind Of Joy
5. Oxygen
6. Light Of Terror
7. Freundschaft
8. B.Y.R.
9. Cabaret
10. Summer 79

'Inspiration' is available to pre-order now through the Out Of Line webshop. For more information on Signal Aout 42, please visit their official website.

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Friday 26 July 2013

The weekly compendium 26/07/2013

As the storms have raged in the UK this week, we at IVM towers have endeavoured to keep you in the loop with our diligent scribbling. Here's what we served-up this week...

We kicked off the week with our second Arts Of Darkness feature looking at the work of artist Nick Kushner. We've also had reviews of the latest releases from Cryogenic Echelon, Junksista, Mater Suspiria Vision and Caina. While we had some news from Solar Lodge Records to relay.

Over on Facebook there has been news for fans of Chuck Palahniuk and Neil Gaiman. As well as preview from The Open Eyed Dreamer and Deied. As well as new music video from Lesbian Bed Death.

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Thursday 25 July 2013

Review: Caïna – 'Furl'


Caïna, AKA Andy Curtis-Brignell has been putting out some great music for nearly a decade now. His fluid sonic formula touching on black metal, shoegaze, ambient-noise, drone, avant garde, post-rock and neofolk always yields fascinating results. Albums such as 'Some People Fall', 'Mourner', Temporary Antennae' and 'Hands That Pluck' show off an aptitude for taking the musical left hand path to creating music that is both haunting and harsh.

Since the last full-length Caïna album, 'Litanies Of Abjection' was released in march, there has been a further release in the form of the 30-minute drone odyssey 'Emitter/Follower'. Now a couple of months down the line the three-track slab of ambient electronic soundscapes that is 'Furl' has been unleashed.

If you primarily know Caïna for the full-length album releases you'll already be aware of the soundtrack-like qualities that often crop up. So the shift to the exclusive use of synths and more free-form construction of the tracks won't be that much of a shock to the system. Nevertheless those who have orientated to the guitar-heavy end of the Caïna spectrum will most likely find this a turn-off.

The tracks featured on 'Furl' – 'memorygrain', 'popmoment' and 'solaflare' – recall the likes of past tracks such as 'Goetic Shadow Cabaret', 'Waves Engulf A Pier', 'Manuscript Found In An Unmarked Grave' and 'Haruspication' in terms of their dark, ritualistic atmosphere and slow pace. However the tracks themselves, even with steady beat on 'solaflare', have a much more liquid flow to them and feel quite polished compared to some of the older examples mentioned.

This is a nice taster for fans of Caïna's ambient side, and it's good to hear the electronics taking centre stage. And although this is very much a “For the fans” kind of release, it will still appeal to those strange people who like to search out good ambient electronica.

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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Review: Mater Suspiria Vision – 'Hollywood Necronomicon'

'Hollywood Necronomicon'

Necronomicon – book of the names of the dead... Yes, most appropriate. Like a series of spectres conjured in a ritual received through skrying from the flames of burning celuloid, Mater Suspiria Vision comes to us with deliberate intent. This declaration and evocation of intent is an essential part of the work of Mater Suspiria Vision. The aim is clearly to create specific aesthetic impressions using imagery from fashion and film and the results are often more unnerving than what many achieve using occult, martial or violent imagery. I refer to imagery, for images, sounds and video work are parts of the complete expression of Mater Suspiria Vision. Even without seeing the attendant images, the sounds evoke the aesthetic.

'A New H Of Consciousness' announces itself with some measure of grandeur. Embedded in a grinding drone of square wave is a voice welcoming us through the door into the realm of the ghosts of the dream factory. This is a very ritualistic release, meant to alter the listener's state of consciousness. At over nineteen minutes long, the track 'Hallucination 1969' is the most extreme example in one sense. Eschewing usual methods of arrangement with its balance of bass and treble, a mid tone pulse is present throughout, tuning the brainwaves a maddening frequency as garbled voices speak straight into the subconscious. It has an effect, and one that is amplified upon repetition. Perhaps taking this extended ritualistic mode further is 'Infinity Ritua'l, while clocking in at 40 seconds, it is made to loop forever and doing so results in a very hypnotic experience indeed. There is some of the methodology of dub in 'Out Of Body', with layer upon layer of slap-back echo playing an essential role on the arrangement. On 'Hollywood Requiem' the apparitions called to appear sing, dissolve and fade slowly away.

Turn on the Hollywood Sacrifice Teleportation Machine, enter the world of the lost souls, says the artist's statement. Make what you will of the fact that this album was recorded at the gate of the Sharon Tate house and the location where Kenneth Anger filmed Lucifer Rising, but based on the audio evidence, Mater Suspiria Vision are a strong conduit for the spectres dwelling therein.

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Review: Junksista – 'Naked Wet Hot'

'Naked Wet Hot' 

The coitally-obsessed electro duo Junksista mark their return with a brand new EP in the form of 'Naked Wet Hot'. A club orientated precursor to their forthcoming full-length album that takes full advantage of the hot, sweaty weather and invites the listener to take off all their clothes.

The duo's beat orientated style is perfect dance fodder with its straight to the point hooks and pornographic funkiness. However the lyrics of 'Naked Wet Hot' are quite simply laughable. Explicitly sexual, their delivery is awkward and are quite frankly somewhat juvenile, as though they were originally scrawled on the door of a college toilet cubicle.

Returning to the band's mother tongue for 'Liebe 2.0' has a smother feel and the purred vocals definitely sound sexier and more exotic than it's predecessor. The pace picks up a little more and the song just feels a little more well rounded and appealing.

The remixes of the title track contributed by Dimension Flux and Pernau present the songvery different ways, but both gloss over the awkward feel of the original for a more appealing track. While Kant Kino's version of 'Liebe 2.0' gives the track a harder and more dynamic edge that invigorates the band's minimalistic style.

'Naked Wet Hot' isn't a spectacular offering from Junksista. Yes, the club appeal of both songs are without question, and yes, the title track is funny. But therein lies the problem, it's more funny than sexy.  

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Tuesday 23 July 2013

Review: Cryogenic Echelon – 'Anthology'


Antipodean electro artist Gerry Hawkins, AKA Cryogenic Echelon, has been on a role lately since poking his head out of the southern ocean. A string of innovative albums and numerous remix credits has seen his stock rise quickly in the global electro scene. Now hot on the heels of his last release, 2012's 'Pandora & Persephone' EP comes the retrospective 'Anthology'. The album pulls together remixes of Cryogenic Echelon's most popular tracks and features new songs and collaborations with a host of up-and-coming talent.

Hawkins' penchant for blending genres such as pop, electro, dubstep and drum and bass is as fresh and invigorating as ever and shows that, despite what seems like a huge workload, he shows no signs of burning out any time soon.

Each song is a club hit waiting to happen. Whether its the thumping ebm of 'Indigo Children', the slow and menacing likes of the dubstep addled 'The Hours Between', the classical tinged craziness of 'Common Wealth', or the hellish strains of 'The Lizard King' each track and collaboration feels distinct and unique but identifiably Cryogenic Echelon. Even the three remixes included feel as though they’re part of the whole album rather than simply being tacked on to the end of the track list for the sake of it.

There is an awful lot going on here both musically and vocally and it's nice that there is that sense of continuity through each song. The meticulous construction and sheer elegance of the songwriting is carried on through to the production, and as a result each songs sounds like both a floor-filler and a must for any live rendition.

Cryogenic Echelon as an entity has grown very fast to become one exciting project. The heavy use of collaborations gives the intricate architecture of Hawkins music a more communal feel in a scene where egos are sometimes left unchecked. 'Anthology' is a great album that, like his previous material, shows that an electronic musician can appeal to fans of multiple genres. And with a follow-up album already on the cards it looks like Hawkins will be hammering that message home for a while yet.

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Solar Lodge announces new Garden Of Delight re-releases

Solar Lodge has announced the release of the next two albums in the ongoing Garden Of Delight 'Rediscovered' series. 'Paradise' (originally released in 1997) and 'Radiant Sons' (originally released in 2000) will be released, fully remastered and in 6-panel CD digipaks on 23rd August 2013.

Track List:


'Radiant Sons'

The albums are available to pre-order now via the Solar Lodge webshop. For more information on Garden Of Delight, please visit their official website.

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Monday 22 July 2013

Arts Of Darkness: Nick Kushner

“I think it's important to make every day and every action something magical and ritualistic, rather than make the distinction between something that's meaningful and that the remainder of time is spent immersed in the trivial.”

Many artists insert a little piece of their soul into their work. But there are a few who go a step further. One such artist is Nick Kushner who has made waves in recent years due to his preferred medium... blood.

photo-realistic depictions as well as occult symbols and abstract imagery, he has crafted a unique and macabre presence in the art world. Kushner likens his intensely personalised artistic medium to alchemy, and it is a process that has been an integral part of his life.

“Creating art has always been my identity since an early age that I'd been pursuant of regardless of my peers and surroundings. When I made the conscious decision to become 'an artist' proper it was at a point in my life when I had just begun to crystalize my identity and found it to be very different than that my peers at the time. Creating art had become the necessity to create my own world to live in when the the outside world became less desirable and seemed to be contrary to any depth of anything which I wished pursuing. To stand alone and create out of one's own fervent momentum isn't easy to do but if you have the belief that nothing is a coincidence and that circumstances happen for a reason to lead you on a dynamic life path toward a goal, you find that the adversity encountered becomes more of a litmus test of determination rather than an opposing force hell-bent for the destruction of your dreams.”

Surreal in its essence and "unsafe" by mainstream moral standards, Kushner's style is steeped in the traditions of the Dada and Surrealist movements of early 20th century Europe that were subsequently expurgated by the Nazis. It's a comparison that Kushner readily identifies with.

“I sometimes refer to my work as 'Needles & Razors Surrealism'. I also sometimes refer to my style and work as 'Degenerate Art' as an homage to the artists I admire the most whose works were confiscated, vandalized and banned by the Nazi Party in the 1930's, deemed as 'degenerate art', or 'entartete kunst', which were hung for ridicule in public exhibitions as examples of perverse models of expression. The term and that era of history is one which I closely identified with as painting with an unconventional medium, portraying subject matter which can often be considered controversial, choosing to stand alone and refuse to self-censor based upon what the current society an artist lives in deems to be acceptable and "safe" forms of expression as well as the refusal to follow trends is what resonated with me about those artists whom I admire the most, such as Hans Bellmer and Otto Dix, that from an early age is a tradition and spirit of unwavering freedom of expression is one that I wish to carry on for what they endured in giving their work to history.”

For Kushner, the use of blood in his art has taken on both literal and metaphorical significance. Scarring his body and creating new images from his own life force. As such, the process is as much a philosophical one for him as it is technical.

“I was fifteen when I first conceived integrating blood into my work. The premise behind its unconventional use as an art medium began as a method of, literally, inserting myself into my work. Like the pursuit of alchemy where the adept undergoes a path of purifying base elements into gold, as a microcosm of his own soul's purification, the use of blood for me has always acted as a catalytic mechanism for personal transformation. Where transmuting oneself wholly into one's work is a transformative process. Each piece become a living entity, painted with a living portion of myself, and as each piece develops and enters the physical world it has as much influence upon the creator as much as I am creating it. Every piece is a crystallization, or externalization, of a portion of myself where the gradual death of the cells of mine it's painted with acts as a microcosm for rebirth and transformation.”

Though the practicalities of working with a medium such as blood, rather than a traditional one, like paint has meant that Kushner had had to adapt to a very different way of constructing his paintings. Which serves to further heighten the ritualistic nature of his style.

“Blood is a sometimes volatile medium which behaves differently than more conventional art mediums. It decays and changes composition over time. It varies in hue, viscosity and texture as to whether it's painted directly from a fresh wound or whether it's used from a pre-dawn supply. The painting and application itself can sometimes be likened to sculpting and moulding in the manner that it's blended. It's a slow and gradual building of layers to achieve tones, textures and gradients. Elements that often appear to be chaotic and crimes of passion are most often-times developed gradually with much forethought and building necessary to achieve the effect. The color also changes throughout work on a piece which, again, can be compared to the metaphorical death and rebirth/transformation as the cells themselves slowly fade and die throughout the building of the piece.”

Thematically Kushner's works feature combinations of abstract, sexual, pop-cultural and especially esoteric imagery, reflecting his personal pursuit of occult studies.

“The word 'occult' simply means 'hidden' and has a multitude of various connotations and paths. The pursuit of delving deeper is something that I've always felt innately inclined to in anything I've ever pursued; to study the minutia of details in music, books or movies that I've been drawn to. To know the hidden meanings and every element of symbolism in any pursuit. Nothing is every one dimensional to me, or at least not in anything I've been drawn to. Approaching art from an alchemical standpoint, even before I knew and understood that that's what I'd been doing before learning the terminology has been a part of my identification of the occult within my work. Symbolism and occult imagery has a wordless poetry to it which transcends time and language to create art which isn't limited by the era it's produced in. Powerful imagery likewise is what is inherent in all great works of art and when a painting is endowed with a myriad of influences/meanings it's something that can be felt, in addition to being seen, by the viewer and becomes a timeless fourth dimensional creation.”

In 2011, Kushner held a successful exhibition in Los Angeles, featuring a star-studded guest-list that caught the attention of mainstream media. Attended by some famous admirers, the exhibition ultimately became a surreal experience for the artist, and one that he is quite rightly proud of.

“'Les Crimes De L'Amour' in Los Angeles was my first solo exhibition and was the culmination of the previous 5-7 years of my body of work up to that point. The show was titled after a play by de Sade, 'The Crimes of Love', as reflective of the theme of the show as well as blood being a lurid medium of expression, crimes against convention. As well as being evocative of the passion involved with working with such a personal medium and the often-times subconscious splashing onto the composition in the fervor of creation.
The exhibition was sponsored by Monster Energy Drink, Jade Absinthe, Evil Wine and Lip Service and DJed by Twiggy Ramirez. Manson himself also attended and bought a painting and gave the world première public performance of the then unreleased album 'Born Villain'. Having your heroes attend and actually contribute to something YOU create, after admiring their art for your entire life is something beyond surreal in itself. The exhibition ranked as #4 on LA Weekly's 'Top 10 Badass Events of 2011'.”

Kushner also took part in the group exhibition 'The Stars Are Maligned' with Anthony Silva and magician Rudy Coby. A show in which each artist incorporated the other into their work, solidifying their long-standing mutual relationships.

“The three of us have all been best friends for years and have been working on artistic collaborations for just as long so having a collaborative public show was the next logical union. Anthony is a photographer and videographer, Rudy is a magician so the entire physical world is his art medium and my works are more transitional painting/fine art so each of us represented our own respective creative mediums and came together in one unified show. Anthony made a short film of my work which was projected during my solo show and took still shots of my painting process which he exhibited during the show. I had a painting of Rudy Coby which was in the show as well, and Rudy was responsible for all of us coming together. Each third of us represented the other two with the art we presented at the show which is what we've been doing for each other for the past several years.”

Recently, Kushner's painting 'Maldoror' has also featured on the sleeve of the Russian reprint of the surrealist novel 'Les Chants de Maldoror' by Isidore Lucien Ducasse.

“It was always a dream of mine to one day have my painting of Maldoror as the cover piece to an edition of the novel as it's always been an important book to me. I have an octopus tattoo which is an homage to one of the central verses within it. The particular edition was an artist collective illustration of the novel which a bilingual friend of mine was kind enough to mediate and put me in contact with the publishing company for contributing my work to the cover. I also designed the front, back, spine, and painted the title of the novel in Cyrillic with my blood.”

In addition to his artistic pursuits, Kushner also runs the expansive website The Nachtkabarett, which explores the inspirations and influences behind Marilyn Manson in great depth. He reflects on his motivation for starting the site and what are your plans for its future.

“Nachtkabarett first began as ten years ago as the paths and studies I was undertaking in the occult began to overlap with my interest in Marilyn Manson. Music is never just music, it always acts a gateway for me to new concepts and ideas. Manson had always been a catalyst for new thought forms and concepts which he evoked within his art. As I had begun to study and pursue the occult more in-depth I had begun to discover, not intentionally at first, the same symbolism and imagery which for example would appear with Manson's album artwork. Eventually the findings became more and more expansive until the next logical conclusion would be to put these findings into a website. But to do so scholarly, with citations, as critical research out of respect for Manson as well as the subject manner. Many of the correlations about Manson's imagery which have in later years become "common knowledge" and have found their way into Wikipedia without the courtesy of a link credit, sometimes outright copy+paste from my site, were original findings that were first published on my site. I hope to one day be able to publish this as a book, with new writings and findings I have which have never been published but there are several hangups currently making doing so impractical at least at the present moment that I hope will eventually present solutions to make publication possible.”

The Essentials: 

Intravenous Magazine: How do you typically approach creating a new piece and do you have any particular creative rituals? 
Nick Kushner: I think it's important to make every day and every action something magical and ritualistic, rather than make the distinction between something that's meaningful and that the remainder of time is spent immersed in the trivial. All of the artists, writers and performers whom I admire make no distinction between their art and their day to day lives which is something important in order to stay immersed within a creative mindset, even if the task at hand is something that isn't necessarily integral to one's art. To maintain a creative atmosphere and workspace it is important to surround yourself with images and themes which are inspiring and augment/prolong the creative state whether it's past works of your own or else objects and images of works that remind you of your base creative self and what inspired you from the beginning. Each new piece is its own entity and to immerse yourself in imagery and surroundings that are evocative of what inspired the piece is something integral and ritualistic in it of itself. 

IVM: What tools and techniques do you use day to day? 
NK: I approach my work similar to water color treatment of the medium. I also use predominantly only fine brushes, even for large broad areas as this is most conducive to the blending techniques I use as well as conducive to the intricacy of detail. 

IVM: Which artists have been your biggest inspirations and/or continue to inspire you and why? 
NK: Some of my biggest inspirations are actual artists / fine artist but are performers, authors and philosophers. I think it's important to surround yourself with the words and teachings of those who are smarter than you, because that's exactly what they all did in order to get to the state they've become. Salvador Dali, Timothy Leary, Marilyn Manson, Hans Bellmer are some of my biggest inspirations and heroes, as each as diverse as they maybe all have the common theme of not being afraid to compromise their art or beliefs based on the societies they lived in, or limited themselves to accommodate their audiences. Each chose to live their respective art and philosophies and in turn adopted the same alchemical pursuit of transformation through a dynamic life path of full immersion within their works.

IVM: Which piece of art did you find the most challenging to create and why? 
NK: Each piece presents their own challenges as each piece represents an externalization or a wordless concept or emotion which is made into something finite to overcome that aspect of oneself. My self portrait 'The Immoralist' was challenging in its own rite in that at the time it was on the cusp of needing to undergo a new stage of evolution within myself, something which is continually important to undergo as to not encounter stagnation. Approaching the creation of the piece as something more ritualistic I painted an idealized portrait of myself in order that through its creation I might grow and become that change. Similar to a visualization or attainment chart that one wishes to project themselves into. Some pieces are done out of the simple joy of inspiration, other pieces are done with very specific intent and have many levels of psychic energy endowed into them.

IVM: Which piece or pieces are you most proud of and why? 
NK: A few new pieces of mine which I'm looking forward to unveiling at my next exhibition are some which I'm currently most proud of that have probably the most intricate esoteric as well as technical detail I've portrayed to date. In terms of pieces which are currently public I would say I'm most proud of 'Maldoror'. Both as subject matter reference as well as it being one of the first pieces which I've approached as an all-blood medium portrayal.

IVM: Do you have any exhibitions/art book plans for the future? 
NK: Currently I am working with 212 Productions to produce a Mexico City exhibition and I am also in discussion about a couple prospective Los Angeles exhibitions now that I've made the city my new home.  

IVM: If someone is new to you and your art, how do you feel they typically react to it?
NK: I've had few people react negatively to my work. Some people have presumed that my use of blood is for incendiary value alone until they bother speaking with me and nine times out of ten they quickly change their attitude about it. Regardless of what medium a work of art is painted in it's the content and forethought motivation behind the piece which is most important and that should be able to stand alone regardless of what medium a work is created in. Most reactions to my work has been an increased interest after learning what medium the work is created in.

To see more of Nick Kushner's work and to keep up-to-date with his exhibitions and publications, please visit his official website The Third Angel Sounded. To read Kushner's writing, please visit The Nachtkabarett.

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Friday 19 July 2013

The Weekly Compendium 19/07/2013

Greetings fellow sun dodgers. I hope you're reading this somewhere cooler than the place in which I'm writing. Ah well, I'm sure you've heard enough people moaning about the heatwave this week so instead I'll give you a recap of what we've had on the site.

First off we had an interview with Sal Abruscato of the gothic-doom band A Pale Horse Named Death. We had a bit of news to relay from Cryogenic Echelon[:SITD:] and The Mission. As well as reviews of the new releases from Rhombus, THYX, Solitary Experiments, Covenant and Virgins O.R.Pigeons.

Over on facebook we've had some sneak previews courtesy of Nine Inch Nails, as well as teasers from ASP and The Mission. A new music video from David Bowie. And finally fashion brand Cyberdog are having a competition for you ravers out there.

Remember bands and artists: If you are interested in appearing in our free download compilation, click HERE, or click the album cover in the side bar.

Right, that's it for this week. I'm off to grab a nice ice cream... or two... perhaps three... and a beer.  

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Thursday 18 July 2013

Review: Virgins O.R. Pigeons – 'Bleed To Lead'

'Bleed To Lead' 

Six years after their début 'Place No Reliance' hit the dance floor, Virgins O.R. Pigeons return with a four-track teaser lifted from their forthcoming sophomore effort. 'Bleed To Lead' is a spiky ebm single that shows just how well the band have been spending their time away from the spotlight.

The title track, 'Bleed To Lead', is a dark slice of hard, dance-friendly ebm punctuated by pumping bass and punky vocals in the vein of Dope Stars Inc. It sounds fresh and will no doubt be a guaranteed hit. The B-side, 'Time To Die', follows on nicely with its relentless pace and fist-in-the-air lyrics that the band seem to just pull off with ease.

The two remixes included, courtesy of Universal Trilogy and Christian Cambas, give the title track two very different re-workings. Universal Trilogy take the track down tempo and focuss on a more laid back groove. While Christian Cambas strips the song back to its bare essentials for his techno remix.

Although there are only two original songs here. They do already display a more mature style of songwriting and level of production that bodes well for the new album. If the full album features a few more tracks of this quality, then it will be a sure-fire hit for the band.

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Review: Covenant – 'Last Dance'

'Last Dance' 

Taken from the band's forthcoming studio album 'Leaving Babalon', this EP aims to set the stage for a newly reorganised Covenant. Their first output since the departure of Haujobb's Daniel Myer and the hiring of Andreas Catjar, 'Last Dance' feels like the band are throwing their cards on the table... but do they still have an ace up their sleeve?

The title track, written by founder/vocalist Eskil Simonsson has the classic hallmarks of a Covenant track. His haunting baritone meanders through catchy synth melodies and dance friendly beats. Yet, it does come off as a bit of a standard exercise for the band – ticking the boxes as it were – but it is an undeniable crowd-pleaser. The Modulate remix however gives it a harder edge and adds a little spice which will have a lot of club DJs salivating. While the final version of the song turns things around a little for a much slower and darker affair.

'We Go Down' is a more playful track. Slower and more minimalistic, it's percussive backbone and simple bassline make it very catchy but it maintains a refreshingly quirky edge. 'I Scan The Surface' carries this quirkiness on by breaking out the chip-tune sounds for a bouncy backing track juxtaposed with Simonsson's sombre vocal performance. The EP finishes things off with 'Slowdance' feeding of the dark vibes of the third version of 'Last Dance' it delves into dark ambient waters while Simonsson gives a great spoken word performance.

This is a very nice release from Covenant that flirts with elements of their older sound while opening new doors. The fact that all the members are getting in on the writing process gives it a bracing sense of variety that feels like a nice step up from 'Modern Ruin', and maintains the tease of the new directions the band are playing with. It will therefore be nice to hear how much of this is carried over onto the new album, or whether this is merely a devilish exercise destined to remain a curio.  

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Wednesday 17 July 2013

Review: Solitary Experiments - 'Trial and Error'

'Trial and Error' 

The group with their trademark red shirts and black ties give a taste of what can be expected from their album release 'Phenomena' this coming fall. Solitary Experiments brings to your mind a casting shadow of dark Gothic sounds, that encompass a body that makes you move in harmony, whether it be the depth of 'Do you Feel?' to the wind carving of 'Delight'.

A light trance tone begins 'Trial and Error' followed with a negative reflection that dark speed engages, and with the vocals of Dennis Schober the rise has begun. Straightening the hands with a knife edge glide, the build-ups bring you into a bolt of electronic body movement.

Accompanying this main track are remixes from the likes of Cellmod and Ivo Draganac. The extended cut version allows for an increased state of movement, that in some ways is more balanced for fast ballet. The likes of Cellmod bring a darker distortion pinnacle to the entrapping rhythm. The others give a more bright summer feeling to ‘Trial and error’ Especially the Rotersand rework and Splitter remixes.

Looking at the other tracks, the dark lust filled beat of ‘Delight (Dominatrix Remix)’ is a 180 degree turn from the original composition, but the evil brother will not disappoint. ‘Eye of The Storm (Ivardansphere Rmx)’ for one is preferred compared to the original due to its club applications.

Continuing with the remixes, they are a much brighter/summer pop corner of Solitary experiments; a liked option by the group, but maybe one too many. This opinion is in regards to ‘Déjà Vu (People Theatre's Neverending Rmx)’ and the last two remixes of ‘Trial and Error’.

For the desire of the EP, yes the keys of Michael Thielemann, the programming of Steve Graeber and the included drum hit of Frank Glaßl, give this desired effect. The remixes are a good script to add to the DJ set list for different environments, which is the greatest smile. Solitary Experiment's coming release is something to look forward to and this EP is certainly an appetiser.

Review by Dominic Lynch  (DJ LX-E)

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The Mission announce 'The Brightest Light'

Gothic rock luminaries The Mission have announced the details of their new album. 'The Brightest Light' will be released in September on the 20th via SPV (UK/Europe), 23rd via Verycords (France), and the 17th Via The End Records (US).

The album sees the original lineup return to the studio together 27 years after their début and will be available as a standard CD release, limited edition 2CD version, as well as on digital and vinyl.
This is my rock album. It’s all fully flexed muscle and proud of itself. I wanted us to capture as closely as possible the sound that we make when we play live and I believe that for the very first time ever we have succeeded.” – Wayne Hussey
Track List:

1. Black Cat Bone
2. Everything But The Squeal
3. Sometimes The Brightest Light Comes From The Darkest Place
4. Born Under A Good Sign
5. The Girl In The Furskin Rug
6. When The Trap Clicks Shut Behind Us
7. Ain't No Prayer In The Bible Can Save Me Now
8. Just Another Pawn In Your Game
9. From The Oyster Comes The Pearl
10. Swan Song
11. Litany For The Faithful

Tour Dates:

09/03 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
09/04 Philadelphia Trocadero
09/05 New York, NY Irving Plaza
09/06 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
09/07 Chicago, IL House Of Blues
09/10 Los Angeles Club Nokia Live
09/11 Las Vegas, NV LVCS
09/13 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
09/14 Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
09/15 Seattle, WA Showbox Theater

w/ Fields of the Nephilim:
12/14 Glasgow 02 Academy
12/15 Leeds 02 Academy
12/17 Birmingham 02 Academy
12/18 Brixton 02 Academy
12/20 Frankfurt Batschkapp
12/21 Berlin Postbahnhof
12/22 Hamburg Markthalle
12/23 Koln Live Music Hall

For more information on The Mission, please visit their official website.

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[:SITD:] sign with Dark Dimensions

German ebm trio [:SITD:] have signed with the Dark Dimensions label group to release their as yet untitled forthcoming album. The band, who are currently in the studio, join the likes of Straftanz, Xotox and [X]-RX on the groups various imprints.

The band released a statement on their website saying:
We are very happy to be joining the Dark Dimensions family. We are looking forward to expand the close collaboration with our friend and band-member Frank Francesco D’Angelo”

For more information on [::SITD:] please visit their official website.

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Tuesday 16 July 2013

Review: THYX - 'Below The City'

‘Below The City’

A new letter of dream-weaving tones of alternative electronica. Hidden in the suburbs of Vienna lives THYX, the ascending side project from the creators of This is the second album in just a year. ‘The Way Home’ opened up a more vocal side to Stefan Poiss and has continued.

'Searching' is the opening paragraph of the script. A drum pulse opens the door onto the road, and within seconds an electronic wave is pushing down onto the pedal, and floating you away into the evening. The beat is fast and the frequencies already start electrocuting you into the night-time storm.

After burning rubber and getting out of the city, you shift the gear up and ease the throttle onto the autobahn and start ‘The Endless Journey’. A sudden dimness of light can be seen coming into the back view mirror as you sway off the road and hide from the ‘Network of Light’.

At the third composition you realise that with THYX, there is a lot more band, and a slight reduction in computerisation, though with the clashing of frequencies you are left in a slight confusion. This resulted in one needing to go back through the music library to contrast the two projects, as you look for difference in DNA.

The energy is a lot more raw, and this is highly visible in ‘The Street’. The engine is refuelled and you are coming to the outskirts of the next city. The neon road lights shine off the windscreen as the power flows into direct clinging melancholy. But as you gaze at the turn off, you hit the gas pedal and stick to the road with the  pulse of ‘Hate’.

As the night starts seeing the pinnacle before dawn again, the engine sighs as you open the window to feel the wind against the rhythm of ‘Alien Love', and the remark of ‘Roses’ in guitar force. “Below the City” brings the force of strings into the chamber of hope that Stefan Poiss rattles towards the horizon.

The dawn has greeted the wind-shield, as it shines off your hands that grip the steering wheel. The closing notes fall in beat, but the road is not over with ‘Timeless’. The search for a rest stop in the nearby town is made as the thunder beat tells you sleep is necessary. The pulse burns up the last rhythm in an instrumental electronic shutdown (regardless of the voice it is instrumental!).

THYX is still a machine, a “more than human” creation, hidden within the dream-web of what came from Gone are the light electronic voice cords and now an exoskeleton of steel with synthetic tissue enlaced. The power of past is still made amongst lightning yells that ripple the skins surface; but these echo with 64 and not 32.

Review by Dominic Lynch (DJ LX-E)

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Review: Rhombus – 'Here Be Dragons'

'Here Be Dragons' 

Three years and one very successful crowd-funding campaign since their game-changing sophomore album 'Open The Sky', gothic rockers Rhombus with their most ambitious outing to date. Joking referred to as 'Forever Delayed' by their fans, the bands third full-length studio album, 'Here Be Dragons', has evidently been a labour of love for the band and tone that has seen their sights set high once more.

The fundamentals of their own particular brand of guitar driven gothic rock remain intact. Groovy bass, rocking guitar riffs and sublimely intertwining male and female vocals, Rhombus pull it off with ease. But with the addition of fiddles and (shock horror!) real drums, the band sound much more more complex and complete right off the bat.

The penchant for big choruses and tight, memorable hooks that had 'Open The Sky' catch so many people's attention are felt throughout tracks such as 'Fallout', 'Turn Around', 'The One Thing' and 'Tomorrow's Yesterday'. While songs such as 'Here Be Dragons' and 'Made To Last', play up the Celtic/folk elements that made 'Denied' stand out on the previous album. But it is the astounding crowd pleaser 'Timeless And Elegant' and the central ballad 'What You Wanted' that really shine out and show the band's songwriting prowess at its best.

With the album incorporating a bigger and more complex sound – as well as vocal contributions from a range of artists such as Chris Tuke (Berlin Black), Andrew Birch (The Last Cry) and Alixandrea Corvyn (Last July) – the production has had a significant upgrade as well. With so many layered vocals on 'What You Wanted' in particular, there is a very real chance of the mix sounding rather messy. But it doesn't. Instead the band sound clean and polished throughout, with the various instruments and vocals all feeling distinct and without swamping each other.

If 'Open the Sky' made people sit up and take notice, then 'Here Be Dragons' is the album that will solidify Rhombus' presence as a big hitter on the international goth scene. The songs are solidly constructed, catchy and wonderfully executed, distilling decades of gothic rock tradition into something that feels fresh and exciting. If the band promote this as heavily as they did their last album then there is no reason why 'Here Be Dragons' won't be considered a classic.

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Monday 15 July 2013

Interview: A Pale Horse Named Death

Doesn't make sense living today...

"I stress a lot running everything for the band and there is pressure for me as well. But I am an artist and I need to present my art to the world, so I do what I do. But once I am on stage I get pretty comfortable and have fun."

Brooklyn, New York native Sal Abruscato gambled and won with the début album from A Pale Horse Named Death. Known primarily as the drummer for bands such as Type O Negative and Life Of Agony, he made his first step into centre stage with 'And Death Will Follow Me'. Showcasing a melancholic blend of gothic-tinged doom metal and grungy southern rock, Sal and collaborator Matt Brown were quickly snapped-up by SPV's Steamhammer imprint and a full touring line-up hit the road.

Now in 2013, Sal and his cohorts have returned with their sophomore offering, 'Lay My Soul To Waste', which continues to solidify Sal's status as a songwriter. Intravenous Magazine caught up with Sal to talk about his transition to becoming a frontman and how he has coped with writing a follow-up to such a strongly received début.

Intravenous Magazine: Your second album ' Lay My Soul To Waste' has been out since the end of May. How has it been received so far?

Sal Abruscato: So far it has been pretty good, the reviews are positive and the fans love it.

IVM: The A Pale Horse Named Death sound was firmly established on the first album. Was this a conscious effort or did the songs naturally progress in this direction?

SA: It was pretty natural for me and Matt to progress in this direction. It was obvious it needed to go this way and we are happy with the results.

IVM: How do you feel A Pale Horse Named Death has developed as a band since the release of the first album?

SA: We became better at what we do. We solidified our live shows from touring and got tighter as a band. I really enjoy playing live with the guys.

IVM: Considering the praise that the début received upon it's release, did this affect how you approached writing the second album?

SA: Well we approached it with the attitude that it needed to be better than the first. Also bringing production and mixing on Matt's end surpassed the previous album.

IVM: Both 'Lay My Soul To Waste' and it's predecessor 'And Death Will Follow Me' are intensely personal albums. How was it for you making that leap as a songwriter?

SA: A lot of work and long nights tweaking the songs before I brought them to Matt to record. [It] Was very personal to write my words down and convey feelings.

IVM: Thematically the albums are full of allusions to death, drugs and suffering. Where do you get your inspiration and do you find it is a cathartic process for you?

SA: It comes from inside my head and what I absorb in life. I am complicated with a lot of emotions and dark moods. I can easily write about bad things. It is somewhat therapeutic for me as well but I never feel satisfied and have my mind on the next idea.

IVM: You'd previously been associated primarily as the drummer for Type O Negative and Life Of Agony. What was your drive to become the front-man of your own project?

SA: Just wants to change life up a bit and try something I always wanted to do. It was time to move on and I saw the end of LOA coming so it was important to write a new record for me.

IVM: Is the position of lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter one that you are comfortable with?

SA: Yes and no. I stress a lot running everything for the band and there is pressure for me as well. But I am an artist and I need to present my art to the world, so I do what I do. But once I am on stage I get pretty comfortable and have fun.

IVM: You took A Pale Horse Named Death on the road as soon as possible, taking in both North America and Europe. How do you feel the songs translated to live performance?

SA: Actually we have only toured Europe and will finally tour US in the fall. I think we translate pretty well live and fans gravitate to us once we start playing.

IVM: The band includes Matt Brown, Johnny Kelly and Eddie Heedles, who are all well known for their work with other bands. Did you feel that calling on them would overshadow the music at all?

SA: No, I thought they would be a great addition to the band. Matt is my partner so we have a good thing going together. No overshadowing here.

IVM: You've recently gained a new bass player in the for of Dave Bizzigotti. How did he come to fill the spot?

SA: Eddie brought him in, they were friends for a while and spoke highly of him.

IVM: You've recently shot a video for the track 'DMSLT' with director Aaron Beaucher. How was that for you, and are you happy with it so far?

SA: It was great for us we had fun. So far I am happy but I also have not seen the finished product. It was a nice experience working with Aaron.

IVM: Are there any plans for more videos to support the album?

SA: Not that I know of at the moment. But our first has to come out still, so one at a time I guess.

IVM: 'Lay My Soul To Waste' once again features artwork by Sam Shearon. How did you come to work with him and what do you feel his style brings to the presentation of the band?

SA: Sam was writing to me for a few years about working together. APHND was right up his alley and he really can grasp the vibe of the band. It's works well the music and art together. It's been great thus far.

IVM: Finally, what are your touring plans for the rest of the year?
SA: We are going out in the fall in the US and hopefully Europe after the holidays. Hopefully with the labels support we can continue to tour often.

'Lay My Soul To Waste' is available now via Steamhammer. For more information on A Pale Horse Named Death, please visit their official website.

(Photographs by Candy Lust 2013)

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