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'


Friday 29 November 2013

The weekly compendium 29/11/2013

That's it! It's officially over. The last working day of November is upon us and as of next week it's that time of year. Some of you love it, and some of you hate it. I personally love it, and here are a couple of reasons for you to love it too...

Number 1 – We're only DAYS away from Nortanz festival! So make sure you have your tickets and go out to support it.

Number 2 – We're running a Christmas competition and we'll be picking three winners at random to get some free CDs in time for Christmas... the catch? You have to like out Facebook page... that's it!

If that's not enough we're about a month away from the release of our first digital compilation album 'Blood Pack, Vol. 1' which will be available to download on January 1st 2014 – our one year anniversary as a webzine.

Now looking to the recent past, we've had a fair bit for you this week. We kicked off with an interview with Nero Bellum of Psyclon Nine. We also had news stories from Former Mortriis drummer SveinTraserud (a.k.a. Leo Troy), OST+FRONT, Club Antichrist, Alt-Fest and Juggernaut Music Group. We've also had a live review of Gary Numan's recent appearance at The Roundhouse, and the book 'Looking ForEurope: The History Of Neofolk' from Avi Pitchon. There are also CD reviews of the new releases from In Death It Ends, Machine Rox, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, and System Syn.

While over on Facebook we've had new music videos from Kirlian Camera and Tiamat. As well as a new free EP from The Causticles and more music from W.A.S.T.E., Iioioioii, Kunoichi, Midnight Syndicate and Defeat. And even the unveiling of the new Combichristmas t-shirt. PLUS MORE. So head on over to catch up if you haven't already.

That's it from us this week. So while we fit in some chillout time we'll leave you with this.

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Thursday 28 November 2013

Review: System Syn – 'No Sky To Fall'

'No Sky To Fall' 

Clint Carney is an enviable jack of all trades, lending his skills as a musician to a number of other projects. But it his own project System Syn that he founded in 1997 that is Carney's true Raison d'être. Cathartic and cerebral in his approach to song-writing, Carney finely balances club appeal with creative experimentation. Acclaimed albums such as 'The Mourning Ritual' (2006), 'End' (2008) and 'Strangers' (2010) consistently push the boundaries of his music and continue to stand out as one of electronic musics most creative voices.

The new album 'No Sky Fall' is once again lyrically focussed, and much like it's predecessor feels a lot more restrained and subtle compared to his work in Imperative Reaction and God Module. As on 'All Seasons Pass' the subjects of the material are dark and personal, and the use of piano and almost minimalistic song-construction heighten the emotion expressed in the lyrics. Songs like 'The Boys Who Make The Music', 'Lost', and 'Empty' in particular give the album some introspective weight. This side of Carney's song-writing may be something you either love or hate, but there is no denying he is good at it.

'No Sky Fall' also makes good use of Carney's ear for a great synth melody with some more dance orientated cuts that will appeal to those who would rather let their bodies move. 'The Privileged', 'Daydream From A Deathbed', 'Breathe in', and 'Truth And Consequence' in particular will be received well on dance floors around the world with their strong beats, subtle groove and memorable leads.

The production and engineering as always is excellent, showing that Carney's skills as a song-writer and only enhanced by his experience behind a mixing desk. There are some genuinely unique and interesting tracks that play around with the conventions of the electro-industrial genre. The heavy focus on lyrically driven songs can become a little draining after a while of extended listening. But the quality of the execution always manages to carry you through with ease.

This is another strong offering under the System Syn name. It may not surpass the very high benchmark set by the likes of 'The Mourning Ritual' and 'End', but Carney continues to prove his worth and continued evolution as a song-writer. 

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Review: Nick Cave And the Bad Seeds – 'Live From KCRW'

'Live From KCRW' 

Nick Cave is a man that needs no introduction. An artists whose career has spanned decades and legendary acts such as The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds and Grinderman and crossed all manner of genres. Cave's credibility is simply beyond reproach. Hot on the heels of the last Bad Seeds studio album 'Push The Sky Away' released earlier this year, comes the band's fourth official live album; 'Live From KCRW', a recorded for radio broadcast.

The album was recorded live for KCRW by Bob Clearmountain on 18th April 2013 at Apogee Studio in Los Angeles, between the band's two Coachella appearances. It's an intimate and stripped back recording that features a streamlined line-up and favours the more mellow tracks in the band's sizeable back catalogue.

Classic cuts such as 'Far From Me', 'The Mercy Seat', 'Mermaids' and the newest offerings 'Higgs Boson Blues and 'Push The Sky Away' sound brilliant as the band lean heavily on the warm acoustic sounds of piano coupled with violin and bass for the most part. Which in turn gives the electric instruments a lot more pop, when they are sparingly used, but especially in the raucous closing track 'Jack The Ripper'.

The crowd is small and the noise is unobtrusive even as Nick's brief bits of banter break up the set. There are no overdubs, no additional trickery to polish the sound, just a raw but relaxed document. The odd minor blemishes in the recording picked up from the microphones and the crowd only serve to heighten the atmosphere of the album.

This is a recording aimed at the fans. But it is one that will no doubt be embraced as an official release in deluxe packaging, especially when considering that similar such set ups such as the Nine Inch Nails and Peter Murphy radio performances captured on the 'With Teeth' tour have been bootlegged to death. 'Live From KCRW' may not be the casual listener's cup of tea, but Nick Cave collectors will find this to be a must have.

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Wednesday 27 November 2013

Review: Machine Rox – 'Shout'


Following on from the release of their 'Activate Your Anger' EP earlier this year, industrial rockers Machine Rox return with their début full-length album, 'Shout'. It has been a long time coming with five EPs to their name already over the course of which they have tinkered with and continually polished their sound.

The band's last outing on 'Activate Your Anger', showed them at their tightest. Having now swelled into a fuller line-up, the production got a serious upgrade, and once niggling issues from previous releases seemed to be rectified. Confidence is often key, and with 'Activate Your Anger', they definitely had that. But will it translate over to a full-length release?

Thankfully it does. Those hard learned lessons have been built on and Machine Rox now sound like the band they've always aimed to be. It's evident from songs such as the opener 'Not Your Slave' as well as 'Feel Alive', 'Fight', 'Voices' and 'Highway' that the band have found the balance between their desire for a club-friendly electro sound as well as a hard hitting live rock potential.

There are still one or two bits that need to be kept in mind, such as the guitars fading too far into the background and the distorted vocals sounded too muffled in a few places. But overall, as with the previous EP, everything in terms of the song-writing as well as the performance seem to come together with much more ease.

Tracks like 'Not Your Slave', 'Who Am I', 'Nice Corruption' and 'Voices' are definitely the choicest cuts on the album with their undeniable dance floor credibility and undoubted live power. But most importantly, 'Shout' gives Machine Rox a solid platform from which to launch their attack. 

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Book Review: Andreas Diesel & Dieter Gerten – 'Looking For Europe: The History Of Neofolk'

'Looking For Europe: The History Of Neofolk'

As the pathetic, deplorable habit by ego-manic, power-tripping fractions of the revolutionary armchair/keyboard left to persecute and slander individuals and bands more libertarian than they are, belonging or associated with neofolk, based on a poor, sad mix of a total inability of distinguishing artistic language from political one, the impotency of marking and attacking scapegoats instead of those with real shady intentions and the power to determine policies I.E. the real enemy, and outright lies, the translation to English of the 'Looking For Europe' book, now published alongside the release of the compilation bearing the same title on vinyl (five of them to be precise!) is a welcome and crucial source of information, serving as a long-needed case for the wrongly or maliciously accused, and an indictment of who (behind dated ideological veils) are the true authoritarians in this ongoing quarrel. The sexual harassment scandal within the ranks of the Trotskyite SWP, and the appalling way it handled it internally is but one example of just how unsavoury the left's backyard can be (FYI, I despise the political right and consider myself a boring social-democrat politically, and a nihilist philosophically).

The analysis of neofolk's ideas and aesthetics fills the concluding part of the book, the majority of which is a low-down of band histories and description of album contents, influences etc. This at times gets a tad tedious and is helped when a band member is interviewed to provide extra insight. Still, when next to the obvious Death In June, Sol Invictus et al some of the bands are very obscure, the Wikipedia-style overviews are welcome.

What crucially transpires when going through those overviews, band by band, is that neofolk as a sub-culture and musical genre is not different to any other, both in terms of the staggering musical diversity (demonstrated fully on the compilation: from freak-folk to industrial to abstract experimentalism; from musical masterpieces to cringe-worthy, irritating whining) sharing a single genre tag, and in terms of content, messages, aesthetics, ideologies and beliefs. Every sub-culture includes within it both left and right leanings (as well as a-political and nihilistic ones, and ones that defy polar categorisation), including industrial, punk and metal. Therefore, the blanket attack of neofolk is ignorant, hypocritical, malicious, arbitrary, or indeed all of the above. Indeed, there are neofolk acts out there that do not subscribe to a liberal democrat ethos, but, what of it? How weak and helpless should one feel to be so easily threatened by that? More importantly, it will be more difficult to find actual, implicit or explicit racism within neofolk than it would be within punk (I.E. racist skin bands) or metal (I.E. NSBM).

If there's one weakness to 'Looking For Europe', it is that in a handful of instances where dealing with bands who, while nothing remotely close to fascism or nazism are nevertheless openly not followers of the 'Judeo-Christian' legacy of the enlightenment (yet at times sharing more with humanist neo-paganism than with the outright political right) the authors seem to try and underplay it a bit instead of freely discussing it. This is less a result of a sinister nazi conspiracy to infiltrate (un)popular culture, but more the fact that every shred of 'confession' for such sins encourages yet more disproportional persecution. The atmosphere into which the book launches itself is therefore not one of real democratic dialogue, and it is sad that it sees fit to be defensive and less honest as result. Neofolk might have been more self-criticising if it didn't have to constantly fend off witch-hunts based on lies, moral panics and misinterpretations. In that sense alone, certain self-proclaimed anti-fa circles (this text will not go down the same anti-democratic path and deny the existence of anti-fa groups and organisations who are doing important, positive work fighting the real enemies: the people in suits behind the scenes, or indeed in cabinet offices, as well as their foot soldiers) is doing more harm than good and as such is part of the problem and not a solution and should start persecuting itself! Ha!

On a personal note, and to demonstrate that I do not emerge from circles the ignorant might automatically associate with supporting neofolk, I feel it relevant to state that I'm Jewish, offspring to Holocaust survivors, and that a large chunk of my critique of the dogmatic extreme left is based on being involved with it since I was a teenager in Israel, inspired by anarcho-punk, which I still listen to and deeply respect as part of my ideological upbringing. It is in fact the powerful, aggressive gestures and aesthetics of anarcho-punk which allowed me to understand that an idea becomes potent carried on sound and vision, and in many ways that sound and vision are the message, before a single word is uttered. This prepared me for the challenges posed by a band like Laibach, but it still took me years to be able to articulate what at the time I understood intuitively: that what is nowadays considered 'fascistic aesthetics' were used equally by the left before (and in socialist states also after) WWII, and are more broadly part of human cognition and expression since the dawn of civilisation. I found a more suitable term: monumental aesthetics. The taboo on the monumental, I discovered, can be bigger than the taboo on the satanic or sexually 'deviant'. Still, upon my first encounter with neofolk heroes Allerseelen (who are of course covered in the book) , sometime in the early '00s, I wrote a review which parroted the same lefty accusations that are still bandied around to this day. It's perhaps no wonder that my uninformed moralist arrogance manifested when I was living in Berlin and coming to terms with the somewhat strange ways Germans cope with their past. I've since met Allerseelen's frontman Kadmon, interviewed him, and changed my opinion 180 degrees. Allerseelen can be at worst accused of artistic and cultural romanticism, but more so of boldly dealing with taboos (political, sexual, artistic), and as such following a legacy of outsider art, undetectable on the radars of those limited to a one-dimensional political analysis (either left or right, in this case). I own a copy of Allerseelen's controversial 'Gotos=Kalanda' album, based on poems written by occultist Karl Maria Wiligut, 'Himmler's Rasputin', who headed a department for early history within the SS, and got kicked out after his earlier hospitalisation in a mental institute was discovered. There is nothing in this album suggesting glorification or support of Nazism. It is a study of a madman which is no different than the interest by Allerseelen in outsiders like revered filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, for example. Safe subject matter? Definitely not! Proof of nazi sympathy? Definitely not!

What this book proves beyond all doubt is that the neofolk scene is self-aware and thinks about its aesthetics and messages in-depth, in a way which is often lacking in the safe confines of some punk-by-numbers scenes. The interview with Paul Poet and his case for neofolk is probably the highlight of the book and worth its cover price alone for anyone who dares to challenge their own misconceptions of the scene.

As every music journalist will agree, not all musicians are verbal. Not all are well-versed in articulating their art in words, and for sure not all of them are as discourse-savvy in post-colonial and post-structural literature as those aforementioned armchair ego-tripping geeks who have sharpened their debating-society claws since they were lonely teens and therefore win arguments yet perpetually lose in any sort of engagement with the complex and contradictory nature of art and indeed life itself. If, after reading 'Looking For Europe', you still think neofolk is worthy of condemnation, fair enough – then, at least, you will be able to form one that is informed.

Avi Pitchon

Looking For Europe - book and five-vinyl box set available separately - are out now Prophecy.  

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Tuesday 26 November 2013

Review: In Death It Ends – 'Analog Witch'

'Analog Witch' 

Porl King, formerly of 90's goth rockers Rosetta Stone and post-millennial solo project Miserylab has been crafting more witch-house influenced sounds over the past few years with his latest incarnation In Death It Ends. Musically the predominantly instrumental project blends the gritty bass groove of early post-punk / prototype gothic bands with the avant-garde edge of more recent acts such as The Soft Moon and Mater Suspiria Vision with their nods to krautrock and psychedelia.

The new album, 'Analog Witch' continues the unrelenting pace of King's output under the In Death It Ends moniker, and shows an increasing tightness and definition of the projects identity. It is still, first and foremost, atmospheric in it's intention. Tracks such as 'Acheron Drift', 'Conducting The Shades', 'With Tears And Pain', and the sumptuous finale of 'Reach The Beginning' provide an essence of cinematic gravitas that most bands aim for but often fall short of.

The album retains a post-punk charm in the up-tempo and rather danceable numbers like 'Time Underground', 'The Nature Of All Things', 'Taken Across' and 'House Of the Wild Gates' which give the album and easily accessible entrance point for those new to the band. It's a nice mix that in one part entices the audience to move before inviting them to simply sit and listen.

There's a lo-fi sensibility to the approach, but none of the misplaced sense of underground credibility of bad production that often hampers artists. Instead the production continues to sharpen with every release and the mix nicely balances the multiple layers of dark ambient atmospheres, psychedelic electronics and driving grooves. The sparse use of vocals is particularly effective as they slither through the rest of the instrumentation when deployed.

In Death It Ends has come a long way in only a few short years. The song-writing is fresh and interesting, and it's execution is hard to fault. With albums like 'Analog Witch' as well as previous offerings like 'Occvlt Machine' and 'Forgotten Knowledge', In Death It Ends may very well eclipse King's previous projects.

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Live: Gary Numan – Roundhouse, London

Roundhouse, London
16th November 2013 

It seems that a lot has changed in Gary Numan's life in recent years. Relocation to LA, and an increasing opening up to his fans, firstly through social media: followers of his Twitter account were invited to his personal family photo album as he travelled across the US with his wife, kids and a horse-sized dog. His daughters even appeared in the music video to his latest single, 'Love Hurt Bleed'. New album 'Splinter' continues this trend being exceptionally personal and soul-baring, and sonically powerful and anthemic. All of which raised expectations and curiosity to witness New Man Numan live.

The change is visible even before he walks onstage, as the lights go down and what looked like metal scaffolding seconds beforehand turns out to be a massive electronic led display, simultaneously connecting to Numan's tradition of futuristic, sci-fi stage settings throughout the years, and placing it in the here and now. Then he appears. Looking fit, invigorated, hungry, assuming full command of stage and crowd immediately. This has always been his natural habitat, but there is truly a sense of resurrection. The songs from 'Splinter' are perfectly balanced between Numan's industrial guitar sound of the recent decade and a half and the searing, beaming, trademark synth sound. The result is scintillating, almost shocking.

Numan is cavorting all over the place like a 20-year-old, giving it his all, light years away from his past aloof distance or pouting superstar persona. This is a real and as tangible as it gets. The old songs integrate seamlessly, classics like 'Metal', 'Down in the Park' and 'I Die You Die' all getting massively aggressive treatments. Without any theatrics bar the aforementioned light show, the forcefulness of delivery often equals that of Rammstein or NIN, Numan serving as Godfather asserting his hegemony. The aforementioned current single, which in its studio version sounds as if Numan momentarily fronted Curve (yes that's a good thing indeed), contends with the classics with its rousing dance chorus. 

However, tonight is not just about muscle-flexing, but about a full emotional spectrum, as evident with the rendition of 'Lost', probably Numan's purest, most naked ballad ever, during which he wells up and breaks into tears. When an artist gives everything, he gets everything back. The Roundhouse is in absolute rapture. Coming back for encore with 'Cars' and 'Are 'Friends' Electric?', Numan seems to be enjoying delivering these two eternal crowd-pleasers more than ever. This becomes all the more poignant as he changes the lyrics of one spoken line in 'Electric', gesturing towards us and saying “you see this means everything to me”. Spine-chilling. And if that wasn't enough, Numan concludes by reminding us he is a contemporary musician and not a nostalgia act by choosing to cap tonight's set with 'My Last Day', 'Splinter's magnificently melancholy closer. Unforgettable.

Avi Pitchon

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Juggernaut Music Group release free Xmas compilation

To mark one month until Xmas, and to celebrate their first six months as a record label, Juggernaut Music Group have announced the release of a free 18 track collection, 'Fuck You - Enjoy!', featuring a slew of exclusive and unreleased material as well as the first outings for some of the label's newest signings.

The compilation was mostly mastered and engineered by Sander Kapper - aka "Black Selket", and Christopher Gurney, aka IIOIOIOII master this entire release.

Track List:

1.Tactical Module ft. IIOIOIOII - Finding An Angel
2. Machinista - Take Comfort In Being Sad
3. Citizen 16 - Dismantle Me
4. System:FX - Inappropriate Touching
5. Tapewyrm – Careless
6. Black Selket - Saya Tidur (Extended 2007 Version)
7. Eisdrive – Reeperbahn
8. Kangarot - Programmed To Attack
9. Citizen 16 – Deception
10. Deadliner - Animal Sentinel
11. Kill The Sleeper - Watching The Snow Fall Again
12. RIOTLEGION – Providence
13. Electric Breathing - Emergency Exit
14. Machinista - Pushing The Angels Astray (IIOIOIOII Remix)
16. Pittersplatter - Frozen (IIOIOIOII Remix)
17. Garten der Asche - Nemesis (Ruinizer Remix)
18. Stahlnebel & Black Selket - Memories (Cryogen Second Dubbed To Death Remix)

'Fuck You - Enjoy!' is available to download now from the Juggernaut Music Group bandcamp page for free or for a small donation. Please visit the official website for more details on the label and bands involved.

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Killing Joke and Peter Hook And The Light added to Alt-Fest

The crowd-funded mega festival set to hit the UK next August, Alt-Fest, has announced even more acts for the already eclectic line-up. Killing Joke and Peter Hook And The Light are just two of the names added alongside the likes of death metalers Arch Enemy, Attrition, Goth metallers 13 Candles, punk Goths Cold in Berlin, New Wave act Christine Plays Viola and rockers New Device.

Peter Hook and The Light will perform the seminal Joy Division album ‘Unknown Pleasures’ in its entirety as part of his set. In keeping with the ethos of Alt-Fest, Hook has agreed to open the remainder up to Alt-Fest fans who will be able to decide which tracks he’ll play for the rest of his set. Fans will be able to vote from a selection of Joy Division tracks online via, with the top six making Hook’s final playlist.

Hook commented:
"Having played some 200 gigs with The Light now, I've found that the fans all have their own particular favourite tracks which they want to hear live. It's a great idea to throw some of the set list over to the people at Alt-Fest to see what they most want to hear us play. It will be interesting to see what they come back with".

Dominic Void, Alt-Fest Festival Director said:

“This is perfect for us! Inviting the people that have paid to come to the festival to have their input in what songs they want to hear is exactly what we’re all about and we’re very grateful to Peter Hook for agreeing to this. We want everyone to have their say on Facebook and urge as many people as possible to get involved!”.

Super early-bird tickets start from £70 for an adult weekend ticket and can be purchased from

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Monday 25 November 2013

Interview: Psyclon Nine

The heretic awakened...

“ I watched a lot of rumours fly around for a few years and simply chose to let them fly. It was interesting. I had even read that I had died at one point.”

With the release of '[Order Of The Shadow: Act I]', Nero Bellum and his industrial / black metal crossover band Psyclon Nine returned to action after several years of uncertainty amongst their fanbase. After receding temporarily from public view, rumours swirled until the official channels once again opened. A collaboration and tour with fellow black metal infused industrialists Dawn Of Ashes showed Bellum to be back on form, and the release of the long-awaited new album cemented the collective hope of his fan base.
Cryptically though, Bellum has already hinted that '[Order Of The Shadow: Act I]' signals the beginning of the end for the band he has just resurrected.
Intravenous Magazine delved into the shadows to speak to Bellum about the road to the new album as well as the future of the band.

Intravenous Magazine: You’ve just released your latest album '[Order Of The Shadow: Act I]', how has the response been to it so far?

Nero Bellum: The first pressing from the record label sold out in less than a week so, I believe that the response has been fairly good. I've read quite a few great reviews which, is a little bizarre as critics have never been too keen on Psyclon Nine since its inception.

IVM: The album was produced by Chris Vrenna along with yourself. How did that partnership come about and what do you believe Vrenna brought to the album?

NB: Chris and I met through a mutual acquaintance and became very close friends very fast. I have a lot of respect for Chris and his career as, most of what he had done was what had inspired me to become a musician years and years ago. I wanted to go back to my influential roots with 'Order Of The Shadow' so, bringing Chris into the picture couldn't have made more sense. He was really able to push me in ways that other producers never have and that's always what I look for when selecting a producer.

IVM: Thematically and conceptually what has influenced the direction of the new album?

NB: The themes of my albums have always come from the same place. Attempting to make sense of visions and dreams from when I was very young. I had reoccurring dreams of the apocalypse from the time I was thirteen well into my 20's and each of these dreams would lay out a different scenario in which the world would come to an end. Each dream was narrated by a disembodied voice which would tell me that I would continue to have these dreams until the true end would be revealed to me in a final dream. I did end up having that dream and most of the songs that I've been writing since 'Crwn Thy Frnicatr' have been laying the groundwork for that story.

IVM: You've also used a lot more of your “real” voice on this album. What led to that decision and how do you feel it has complimented the sound overall?

NB: I chose to lose the pitch shifter effect that I had been using for a long time as, it became a staple sound within the industrial scene and although it does sound good when creating dark music that is predominantly electronic, it really didn't have a place in the more organic direction that I took when I wrote 'Order...'.

IVM: You've previously mentioned that this will be the final Psyclon Nine album, what has led to this decision and how many more “Acts” can we expect to be released?

NB: You can expect a trilogy to finalize the trilogy.

IVM: The band went on hiatus for a while after 'We The Fallen'. How are you these days and was there ever a danger of Psyclon Nine not returning?

NB: There was never any sort of official breakup or hiatus. I watched a lot of rumours fly around for a few years and simply chose to let them fly. It was interesting. I had even read that I had died at one point. I just needed some time to regroup and to focus on what was next for Psyclon Nine.

IVM: Did you have any doubts as to whether the audience was still there?

NB: Our culture does seem to have a bit of ADD and the more you can stay in the light, the better. I felt that it was nest to let fate sort it out when we decided to step out of the shadows.

IVM: How do you feel the band dynamics and creative processes of Psyclon Nine have changed since 'We The Fallen'?

NB: Again, I took Psyclon Nine into a much more organic direction. I don't program music as much as I play it these days. Everything on this new album was played by hand, including drums and dialogue samples which were all played on a midi controller. Most of the electronic noise samples were actually me, playing guitar through multiple effects as opposed to synths ran through samplers. Again, very organic.

IVM: The album was funded successfully with a Kickstarter campaign. What led to the decision to go down the crowd funding route?

NB: We needed much more time in the studio than our original budget allotted and I felt that our fans would be more than happy to become a part of the process. Our fans are very, very important to me and although a lot of acts would hesitate to have them become involved, I welcome all of the love that we receive from our fan base. This would all be pointless without it.

IVM: Is it a tool that you'd be happy to continue using on future releases?

NB: Absolutely. As an independent band on an independent label, if we want to do anything above and beyond simply releasing an album, it's a must to involve your fan base these days.

IVM: You'll be releasing a music video for the album's lead single 'Use Once And Destroy'. What can you tell us about that?

NB: It has been a very long and hard road. A lot of pain and suffering went into the creation of this video and I'm sure you will recognize that as soon as it's released. Any day now.

IVM: You've already finished 'Hellions Of Hollywood' tour with Dawn Of Ashes. How was that for you all?

NB: It was great to be able to connect with our fans again and to perform tracks from Order as well as some of our previous material. I love bringing these albums to life on stage and I truly feed on the energy of the crowd. It makes me feel a bit vampiric.

IVM: Are there any further live plans, possibly in Europe?

NB: Europe should be seeing a full tour in April. It has been far too long since we have had a chance to make it overseas and we will make sure to leave an impression this time around… I'm not sure if our European fan base is quite accustomed to the level of violence that we usual receive at our stateside shows but, we will have to put that to the test.

IVM: Finally, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

NB: We are currently attempting to wrap up the companion disc for Order of the Shadow : Act I and will be continuing to play shows and make appearances until that is released. I don't plan on stopping writing at any point in the near future.

Psyclon Nine's new album '[Order Of The Shadow: Act I]' is available to buy now via Metropolis Records. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Club Antichrist presents: Not New Year's Eve Party

One of the UK's biggest alternative club nights, Club Antichrist is saying hello to 2014 in characteristically decadent style. At Club Colleseum, on January 3rd 2014 the evening will be hosted by Alix Fox and will feature music from the likes of demented cabaret king Joe Black, Method Cell and The Men Men That Will No Be Blamed For Nothing. There will also be acts such as Club AC favourite Missa Blue, Pariah Circus, Pyromaniacs Fire Arts, and as always the ever popular Satan's Strip Show. The club will feature it's very own Dungeon Mistress, Mistress Rebekka Raynor in the Devil’s Playroom for all of those who want even more kink to usher in the new year.
“As another year draws to a close, Club AC will not be celebrating on New Year’s Eve! We don't like NYE with its inflated prices and overcrowded travel and fully booked hotels... So we do it a few days later! That keeps our advance ticket prices the same as always, and it means our wonderful staff, performers and DJs can either take a more lucrative booking on Dec 31st, or go out and party themselves without missing an AC! We'll still do a countdown to midnight with balloons and confetti, so you won't miss out on the fun bits if you choose to stay in on the real NYE! There's no theme for this one, so come dressed in your Sunday best, if your Sundays are usually spent worshiping at the alter of sin and debauchery and celebrate the dawn of a new year.”

Doors open at 8pm, Happy Hours 8-11, last entry 2.30am, club close at 6am.

More information and tickets are available now via the official Club Antichrist website.

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OST+FRONT release 'Liebeslied' vinyl single

Just in time for Christmas, German industrial metalers OST+Front are to release their new single 'Liebeslied' via Out Of Line on 20th December 2012. The white 7" vinyl single is strictly limited to 388 hand numbered copies and serves as the ideal appetizer for the upcoming album 'Olympia', scheduled for release in early 2014.

Track list:

Side A: Liebeslied
Side B: Winter Ade

The single is available to pre-order via the Out Of Line webshop. For more information on the band, Please visit their official website.

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Former Mortiis drummer releases limited edition prints

Svein Traserud with the original 'Fruit Head-Pear' artwork

Former Mortriis drummer Svein Traserud (a.k.a. Leo Troy) who joined the band in 2001 and was featured on the album 'The Grudge' before leaving in 2007 to pursue his interest in the contemporary arts has issued a series of limited edition prints featuring three of his works. The illustrations – 'Vannbæreren', 'Untitled' and 'Fruit Head – Pear' are limited to twenty copies, and are printed on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta 325gsm paper and individually signed and numbered by the artist .

 The 'Vannbæreren' illustration was chosen by international award winning Norwegian author Hans Herbjørnsrud for the cover of his latest book 'Her kan alt skje' ('Anything Can Happen Here'), which was released earlier this year through leading Norwegian publishing houses Gyldendal. Hans Herbjørnsrud stated:

"I chose Svein Tråserud to illustrate my short stories because he is the best of all to express the hallucinated realism I write”.

Earlier this year Svein exhibited some of his works at the Notodden Centenary Exhibition which took place at the Telemarksgalleriet in Notodden, Norway.

For more information visit

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Friday 22 November 2013

The weekly compendium 22/11/2013

That's the end of another week. There are two things that I'm going to plug quite heavily in this compendium.

First of all we've got the Readers Choice Awards – this is an open nomination vote so as long as your submission answers the question your vote will be counted! The voting runs until January so please keep voting and sharing.

Secondly there's the Christmas Competition – with prizes donated from Juggernaut Music Group, all you need to do to enter is like the Intravenous Magazine Facebook Page before midnight on 15th December. Three names will be picked at random the next day and the prizes posted on the 18th, they should get to you before Christmas!

Finally, it's not long before the IVM sponsored Nortanz Festival. We love the look of this lineup and it promises to be a good night! So make sure you get your tickets for one last blow-out before Christmas!

Right, this week we've had a few nice treats for you. First of all is the news that Nine Inch Nails are returning to the UK next year. There is also some more immediate gratification to be had thanks to the new music video from Skinny Puppy. We've also had reviews of the latest releases from The Mekano Set, Iioioioii, XP8 / Hope Esthiem, and Merciful Nuns.

Over on Facebook we've had an animated video from Digicore, news from Biomechanimal, the NIN news and some news (in Finnish) for fans of rockabilly and The 69 Eyes.

That's it for this week. We've got more to come, and will be hard at work over the weekend getting it ready to go for Monday... in the meantime here's some OLD Skinny Puppy...

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Thursday 21 November 2013

Review: Merciful Nuns – 'Exosphere VI'

'Exosphere VI' 

If there’s one thing that Artaud Seth does well, that's thematic continuity. From Garden Of Delight, through Lutherion and now with Merciful Nuns he gets his teeth right into the arcane subjects of his studies and crafts around it. Previously looking at subjects like the megalithic cultures of pre-history, ancient astronauts and the apocalyptic Nibiru theory, the Nuns go far beyond the confines of the occult as explored by a lot of other bands. His latest outing with the Merciful Nuns is no exception.

The third full-length Merciful Nuns album in the space of twelve months, 'Exosphere VI' leaves the ambient progressiveness of it's predecessors behind in favour of the band's heavier rock side. In fact this is the heaviest output Seth has put out since the last Lutherion album. Opening with the title track 'Exosphere' the band revisit the foundations of their sound as laid out on 'Liber I'. 'Blackbody' and lead single 'Supernovae' then continue the heavy riffs and rasping baritone combination before the band slow things down with the slow groove of 'Astral Plane'.

'Ultraviolet' slowly builds from a long ambient intro into a heavy rhythmically orientated track before fading into the light piano of the considerably shorter 'The Core'. 'Vimana Machine' then breaks out the middle eastern influenced strings and rhythms for a brilliant track that musically sounds like a cross between Kula Shakr and The Sisters Of Mercy. The album is then rounded off with the eleven-minute long epic that is 'The Passing Bell'. Full of smooth bass grooves and haunting jangling guitar it, more than any other track here, feels like a musical continuation from the previous Nuns albums.

Seth and his cohorts have once again, despite their frequent output, come back with a new take on their sound. The heaviness of the first few tracks resonates through the album, giving 'Exosphere VI' a much different atmosphere to the rest of the band's discography. Comparable to the heavier end of the Garden Of Delight albums as well as the Lutherion output it revitalises the the band's sound, turning it on its head and proving that they still have plenty of tricks up their sleeves yet.

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Wednesday 20 November 2013

Review: Iioioioii – 'Sun'


Iioioioii's double A-side single 'Rising Sky' / 'Stardust' was an excellent introduction to the US-based synth wizard Christopher Gurney. It's dark and gritty futuristic feel was reminiscent of the likes of John Foxx, Gary Numan, Skinny Puppy and Acretongue. The lead tracks made good use of synthpop melodies and industrial textures in a way that acknowledged what had gone before, but still sounding fresh and exciting. The highly anticipated full-length album 'Sun', already has a lot to live up to from that point of view. But it is safe to say that Gurney is up to the challenge.

The album kicks things off as it should with the afore mentioned lead single 'Rising Sky'. The likes of 'Weapon', 'Falling', 'We're Still Alive', and 'Goodbye' in particular keep up the melancholy yet dance friendly edge of the Iioioioii sound with their focus on solid beats, catchy melodies and sing-a-long vocals. However songs like 'Stardust', 'Spotlight', and 'Echo' veer into more experimental waters, utilising elements of early Ministry/Skinny Puppy-esque industrial and even psychedelia to create a whole new level to the album.

The remixes included on the album may be somewhat superfluous to the main track list, however they round the proceedings off with some diverse reconstructions. The strongest of which are the bouncy 'Stardust (Screaming Teens Remix)' by Dream Disciples, the sinister remix of 'Spotlight' from Garten Der Asche, and Machinista's huge dubstep-tinged take on 'Stardust'.

The album is wonderfully constructed and well mixed, showing off not only the range and scope of Gurney's song writing ability, but also the attention to detail that has gone into each song. The only real sticking point is in the vocal delivery, which is pretty much uniform across the album aside from some slight effect changes in places. Gurney has got a great voice yet he does come off as a little shy in places when he should be belting out a big chorus. But when he goes for it he proves he can nail it.

'Sun' is an impressive album that incorporates both old and new elements of synthpop and industrial and combines them into something that still sounds original and relevant. Gurney is capable of making you dance, or taking you on a dreamlike inward journey on alternate tracks. There is a talent here that will no doubt continue to develop and deliver as he goes on.

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Review: Hope Esthiem Vs XP8 – 'Heartless Disaster' (Single)

'Heartless Disaster' 

One of the beautiful things about Kickstarter is the ideas people come up with as incentives. XP8 for example, when funding their excellent 'Adrenochrome' album earlier this year offered to collaborate with one of their funders. Gerry and Jadei of Hope Esthiem quickly snapped up that opportunity, the result of which is the new single 'Heartless Disaster'... and it's a pretty damn good one too.

The song is simply a huge club anthem with dual male and female vocals coupled together to add plenty of melodic scale to the driving trance-tinged ebm of the track. The distinct throbbing bass of XP8 and the enveloping synths distil the best of the band's recent album into this song. While the remix contributed by Studio-X brings a more dubstep flavour to the original song with it's thunderous stuttering bass and toe-tapping rhythm.

'Heartless Disaster' is a distinct and fresh track that sees both sides bringing out the best in each other. The final production and mix on both the original and the remix are faultless, and this will no doubt shortly become a mainstay of most club nights.

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Tuesday 19 November 2013

Skinny Puppy release music video for 'illisiT'

Skinny Puppy have released a new music video for the track 'illisiT', taken from the band's recent album 'Weapon'.

The video is directed by Jason Alacrity, and features special effects by Damon Shelton.

Skinny Puppy: illisiT [OFFICIAL VIDEO] from Jason Alacrity on Vimeo.

'Weapon' is available to buy now via Metropolis Records. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Nine Inch Nails announce return to the UK

Nine Inch Nails have announced their return to the UK for a selection of dates in 2014. The band will kick off their run of shows on 18th May in Birmingham and will finish in Manchester on the 25th.

The band will be supported by fellow US act, Cold Cave.

Tour Dates:

May 18 Birmingham LG Arena
May 20 Glasgow Hydro
May 21 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
May 23 London O2 Arena
May 24 Nottingham Capital FM Arena
May 25 Manchester Phones 4U Arena

Presale and general ticketing info can be found at Nine Inch Nails' latest album, 'Hesitation Marks' is available to buy now. For more information in the band, please visit their official website.

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Monday 18 November 2013

Review: The Mekano Set – 'The Three Thieves'

'The Three Thieves' 

The Mekano Set have had nobody to thank but themselves for the praise and airplay they've received. The group have maintained the DIY ideals of the early 80's punk scene and, like their music, have updated it into a modern and effective package. Proving time and again to be a “thinking man's band”, they blend 80's post-punk and shoegaze with 90's trip-hop and ambient crafting releases such as 'Maastricht Circle', 'Black Asprin' and now their new EP 'The Three Thieves' with exceptional skill.

The EP kicks off with the catchy 'No Place' with it's jagged and punky bass line, which is augmented by searing synthesizers and the morose baritone of Milk. 'Loom' goes into more trip-hop territory with it's distinctive beats and synthesizers, but its the psychedelic bass gives it that haunting soul that the band are so good at creating. 'Sumni' slowly builds into a post-Curtis New Order style dance track with a Peter Hook inspired bassline and up-beat rhythms.

'Plavitsa' maintains the pace of it's predecessor but this time veering into the territory of the likes of pre-Acid House The Shamen with it's shoegaze groove and dance appeal. 'Crashback' then heads back into more sinister waters with it's ambient electronics and central driving beat. The EP is rounded off with 'What Is Whit?', which again borrows heavily from the band's dark ambient influences constructing a sinister drone around an even more sinister sample for a nightmarish 26 minute finale.

This is another solid and interesting release from The Mekano Set, which once again proves that they are one of the most interesting art rock groups in the UK today. The album is at times dance friendly and at others introspective, but always dark and intelligent. The band have not compromised on their unique approach to writing and constructing songs, and it continues to pay off.

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IVM Christmas Competition

To celebrate our first Christmas, Nick from Juggernaut Services has once again stepped up and passed some freebies our way for a competition.

We've got releases from the likes of Plastic Noose, Garten Der Asche, Blast Radius, RetConStruct, Eschaton Hive, Tapewyrm, System:FX, Future Frenetic and one last copy of the 'Foundations' compilation to give away.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is... Like our Facebook page... That's it!.

Everyone who likes our Facebook page before Midnight on Sunday 15th December will be entered into a random prize draw in which three lucky people will get a *bundle of CDs posted to them in time for Christmas!

That's all it takes so make sure you like the Intravenous Magazine Facebookpage and be in with a chance to receive some free CDs!

*Please note that the contents of the bundle will vary due to limited quantities.

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Friday 15 November 2013

The weekly compendium 15/11/2013

I'm still a bit down after the last ever episode of Poirot featuring David Suchet as the Belgian detective. It has to be one of the best performances in television history and one of the few, if any instances of an entire canon adapted for the screen. But I won't dwell on that as I can now finally get the full box set!

In more upbeat news we've had lots for you loyal readers to get absorbed in over the week. We kicked off most importantly with the launch of out 2013 reader'schoice awards. Please make sure you vote and share! Oz gave us a cracking interview with Sirus as well as a nice review of Placebo'srecent show in Leeds. We've had reviews of the new albums from Bruderschaft, Kosheen, Die Krupps and Live Not On Evil. There was also news from Lovelorn Dolls and Client, and as always Joel Heyes gave us another great column this month.

Over on Facebook we've seen the full album preview of Erasure's 'Snow Globe', new music fromXP8, a free DJ mix from our columnist End: The DJ, and the news that apocalyptic post-punk band Beastmilk have released a new music video.

So that's it for this week, I'm looking forward to a nice long lie in tomorrow... the first one for what seems like a long time. So I'll leave you with this for today.

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Thursday 14 November 2013

Review: Live Not On Evil – 'When Everything Goes Down'

'When Everything Goes Down' 

It's good to hear some balls-to-the-wall, fist-in-the-air rock tunes every now an then, and that's something that American quartet Live Not On Evil have plenty of. This is honest, gritty, driving and riff orientated rock infused with punk attitude and gothic sheen. The band's latest full length offering, 'When Everything Goes Down', sees the band drop full-throttle riffs, throbbing bass lines and thundering drums in the blender, and the result is pretty infectious.

Throughout the ten tracks on the album, the band don't veer far from their formula. In true punk fashion they know what their strengths are and continually play to them with songs such as 'Falling For It', 'Set On Random', 'Switchblade Angels' and 'Still She Haunts Me'. There are no pulled punches or soft ballads. But that isn't to say the album is one long fast riff-fest. Tracks like 'Coming Back To Life' and 'The Claim' shine in particular as they slow things down and play with the atmosphere of the album while maintaining the band's heavy formula.

The production is rough and ready, and for the most part it works. Especially when the band are simply going hell-for-leather. However there is more than one occasion when the vocals feel a little wrong in the mix. As though they're kind of sat on top of the track. But this isn't a common occurrence, and the songs don't suffer at all from them.

This is a tight and well-written album by a band that should by all rights be a more well-known name. They have the gritty heaviness of early 69 Eyes, the metal infused punk overtones of The Misfits in the 90s, and the playful air of Lesbian Bed Death. It's a solid formula that should be well received across the board. Lets just hope they can continue to incorporate more varied tracks on future releases.

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Client to release 'You Can Dance' on vinyl

All-girl electro-pop act Client have announced the release of their new single 'You Can Dance' The single will be available on 12” clear vinyl as a limited edition of 500 copies through Out Of Line Music.

The single is taken from the band's upcoming album and in addition to the lead track features a b-side in the form of 'XXX-Action' as well as remixes from the likes of Chrom and DJ Lukas.

Track List:

A1 You Can Dance
A2 XXX-Action
A3 You Can Dance (CHROM Remix)
B1 You Can Dance (Lukas Remix)
B2 You Can Dance (Dear Strange Remix)

The single is available to order now via Out Of Line. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Lovelorn Dolls release video for 'After Dark'

Belgian gothic metal band Lovelorn Dolls have release a video in support for their 'After Dark' EP, taken from their album 'The House of Wonders', which was released earlier this year on Alfa Matrix.

The new video was animated and directed by Emily Weeks and the concept and story was arranged by Lovelorn Dolls' Kristell Lowagie with Weeks while the track was mastered by Victor Love from Dope Stars Inc.

The 'After Dark' EP is available now from Alfa Matrix. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Wednesday 13 November 2013

Review: Die Krupps - 'The Machinists of Joy'

'The Machinists of Joy' 

Lurking away in the forgotten oil terminals of sin and iron works of rhythm, a hammer strikes again between man and machine, to deliver another gallon of sweet petroleum tones from Dusseldorf.  Die Krupps give out the heart of past and a message that the machinists of joy are not dead yet.

The old school noises of EBM are rough and raw in the first half of the album; sixteen tracks are awaiting the beholder to judge.

The melody of electronic pace and guitar strokes start the chant in ‘Ein Blick Zurück Im Zorn’ and we are off with a very instant thud to the chest. Frankly not what was seen coming, but I guess this oil refinery had to start up with the bang.

EBM electronica reigns supreme in the slow lather of ‘Essenbeck’ geared up in the grease back in tanzfabrik. ‘Im Falschen Land’ strips the head into trance and then Stop!

Noises are heard from the back of the factory; echoing of beat and bass creeps in with the snow outside…
The Slow scraping wood on metal beat makes for a dark dirty noise from ‘Part of the Machine’. The fuel from the heat cracks the muscles wide open into the black creature. Throwing gliding scrapes amongst the rhythm expels a heap of lead fumes from the body, allowing those besmirched sounds to grind in snowy rubber soles to feet.

Keeping the Carcinogens alive in the lungs as you breathe down the tar of the previous track, the light chime of a gelid wonderland of warm steelworks, snow and love is burnt in with ‘Eiskälte Engel’. The song could be described as a gentle waltz for an iron pumping machine in the winter. The rhythm is sped up and the backing of synthetic electronica makes it ever so more dark and crisp.

The guitars make their way back in ‘Nocebo’ against white tiles spiting vodka at an angry strobe light.
‘Sans Fin’ grinds back into that lush scent of heavy blast furnaces you walk past in the factory, but even the raging scold of melting iron ore can’t keep you warm . The melodic tones of a lost winter breathe in as you walk out into the snow and away from the factory.

The epilogue is made by ‘Industrie Mädchen’ returns to a hard beat to end the album, a bit blunt for the end of an album, as it feels more made for the middle.

Machinists of joy with its combination of two tone EBM electronica with a hint of winter destruction is an achievement. Taking aside the kick drum beginning and middle-feel ending, the feet of Jürgen Engler and his partners in crime still is worthy of those blades of grass that encompass the three rings of Die Krupps.

Review by Dominic Lynch (DJ LX-E)

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Review: Kosheen – 'Solitude'


Chart flirting dance-rock outfit Kosheen are back with the follow up to last year's upbeat and unshackled 'Independence'. This time the band veer back into darker and more atmospheric waters with 'Solitude'. The trio's minimalistic techno and trip-hop influences take centre stage once more for a satisfyingly melancholic journey.

The album blends the experimentalism of How To Destroy Angels, the mournful atmospherics of Portishead and the sheer appeal of Massive Attack. Tracks such as 'Save Your Tears', 'Harder They Fall', 'Observation' and 'Up in Flames' provide the album with its more danceable numbers making good use of catchy synth melodies and steady beats. While the likes of 'And Another', 'I' and 'Solitude' bring the more experimental edge as they utilise more unrestrained but equally dark song structures underpinned by that prevailing trip-hop edge.
The use of harsher elements and flirtations with dubstep meld nicely with the overall sombre yet psychedelic atmosphere of the album and bring it all into almost post-industrial territory. But this does feel a lot more like an album for introverted and relaxed listening despite the club cuts in the track list. The haunting vocals are at times low in the mix, interacting with the synths like another layer of instrumentation. The up shot of this is that you never quite know what to expect with every track. But in terms of the execution, it is always flawless.

'Solitude' is a great album. It is lively enough to continue to keep one foot in the mainstream. But like bands such as Portishead, or even more rock orientated groups like Editors, it has the pronounced dark edge that allows for underground appeal as well. This should further validate Kosheen's new found independent status away from major label backing.

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Tuesday 12 November 2013

Searching for the Goth Ness Monster

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the first known photograph of the Loch Ness Monster, or 'Nessie' as she is known to her friends. The picture, taken by Hugh Gray on a post-church saunter in 1933, was the first evidence of the existence of a giant cryptid (and probably prehistoric) beast living at the bottom of a Scottish loch – and with it a whole school of creature-fandom was born.

Only recently tourist David Elder captured a 'mysterious wave' on the water of Loch Ness, which was probably Nessie going for a morning constitutional. The resultant wave has to be mysterious, because that's how Nessie rolls (or swims).

Between the two events there we have seen a wealth of scientific evidence, backed up with dossier upon dossier of hard statistical fact, that there is a gigantic sea-monster lurking in the depths of Loch Ness... or instead a random assortment of swimming dogs and gusts of winter breeze, depending on which side of reality you sit.

The Loch Ness Monster is a rare British example of a crypto-zoological beast. Not having a Yeti, or Sasquatch, or a vampire or werewolf, or a cat-fox or devil-bird or kraken or any such alleged beast to speak of, the UK has had to content itself with Nessie and various non-specific big black cats. Therefore she doesn't have to actually exist to be an extremely precious cultural resource. Bearing that in mind surely it is a national disgrace that Nessie doesn't get more attention. Where is the national prime-time TV talk show? Or the syndicated TV series? Or the rock opera?

The monster-myths and tales native to these isles may not have captured the imagination of film-makers across the world like their European counterparts (and on the occasion when they did, such as the execrable 'Loch Ness' (1996), we would just as well wish they hadn't), but that still doesn't mean we should fall into the same trap. There is a treasure trove of homegrown myths and creeps to tuck into, from your everyday banshee to your run-of-the-mill lake troll. Yes, they may not be as glamorous as the Carpathian variety of ghoul, and they are unlikely to be characterized in a frilly shirt by Brad Pitt, but they remain a key part of our indigenous industry of British chills.

So next time you're in the mood for a creature feature, or in search of a monster theme, then consider taking a trip to your nearest embedded myth; visit your nearest haunted mansion, read up on your local folk tales, take a pair of binoculars and a packed lunch onto Bodwin Moor. Take in a local cryptid and give it a home. And bring Nessie back into the dark, British heart of goth.

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