Interview: Marc Heal

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

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

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

Wave Gotik Treffen - The Preview June 2017

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

Review: Mortiis – 'The Great Corrupter'

MORTIIS 'The Great Corrupter' OMNIPRESENCE PRODUCTIONS

Review: Freakangel – 'How The Ghost Became'

FREAKANGEL 'How The Ghost Became' DIGITAL WORLD AUDIO

Monday, 31 March 2014

Psyclon Nine frontman issues statement



After much online speculation, rumour and hot on the heals of the announcement that two long-term members of Psyclon Nine were leaving the band, frontman and founder Nero Bellum has broken his silence to address the issues dogging the bandt.

In the statement, Bellum addresses the controvercies surrounding the Kickstarter campaign that funded the band's fifth album, as well as his personal health and the future of Psyclon Nine as a band. You can read Bellum's statement in full below, or on his facebook page:
“I'm 25 paragraphs into a status update in which I address all of the current goings on of myself and Psyclon Nine. I don't want to post half of the story but, I am a little spacey and exhausted from staring at the computer monitor so, I decided to give you a short update from my phone. 
1) I am not dead 
2) I stepped away from the Internet due to health reasons unrelated to rumors and posts from ex band members 
3) I am truly sorry for the delays with the kickstarter incentives and merchandise. I've sent out quite a few packages since I've taken charge however, it was so backed up by the time that I took over that I couldn't handle it all at the time. 
4) I am happy to say that after a much needed break and a little therapy, I am feeling much better and I have managed to set everything up to make sure that every one of you receives every back ordered piece of merch over the next several weeks. Shipments will begin on Monday. I will be including something special for all of those who have had to wait. 
5) I had nothing to do with the cancelation of the European tour and I am in negotiations to bring Psyclon Nine to Germany to perform at the Dark Munich Festival as planned. 
6) I have spoken with my band members and let them know that I've decided to lay Psyclon Nine down to sleep. It has been a long, beautiful ride but, looking back on the last several years I feel that I had lost my personal connection with the meaning behind the band and I don't feel that it's fair to the band, myself or the fans if I allow the band to continue to proceed in the direction that it's been heading. I realize that this is a very vague and possibly bizarre statement and I will address this in greater detail very soon within the massive announcements that I am currently putting together. 
7) After announcing my departure from Psyclon Nine within my inner circle and expressing my reluctance to continue the project with certain members, a couple of positions opened within the lineup that will allow me to work with some amazing and talented musicians of high regard (both personally and professionally) that will allow us to perform one last series of concerts to be announced in the future. 
It is only important to me at this point to give our fans what they are owed and what they deserve. All of your words of encouragement, your stories of how the music has helped you, how you've gained some sort of inspiration had truly helped me through an extremely dark part of my life and I will be going out of my way to make sure that I can get back out there to give you all something special. 
Although I feel that it's time for me to refocus my abilities and ambitions, I do not plan to leave you empty handed. I truly love you all for the support that you've given me (deservedly or not) and please know that I will be doing all I can to make sure that we go out with a bang. 
Very truly yours, 
Bellum”


The band's latest album '[Order Of The Shadow: Act I]' and it's remix companion EP '[Disorder: The Shadow Sessions]' are currently available from Metropolis Records.

As of the time of writing there are no further details regarding tour dates. For more information lease visit the band's Facebook page.

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Preview: 23rd Wave Gotik Treffen – The Darkness of Whitsun



The 23rd Wave Gotik Treffen
6th-9th June 2014

A festival for 23 years has proceeded in the eastern land of Germany, established on the idea of two Gothic followers; they had a dream creating a dark minded gathering, covering all corners of the subculture, which could be relaxed, music orientation and celebration during Whitsun.

In 2014 throughout Leipzig 20,000 Visitors are expected to flood Leipzig in stygian light, as Wave Gotik Treffen takes its place as the international meet up for the questionable souls.


The Music
All across the city 200 artists will perform covering sounds from synthpop to Medieval, and compared to other Gothic festivals, there is something for everyone. One thing that will most likely be your problem will be choosing the artists you want to see. With a program the size of three A4 sheets on both sides, is your list of bands for 4 days spread across 30 venues. The bands come in all their Sizes from the big headliners to the unknowns, discovery is what naturally occurs here. That includes the venues, from the underground lairs of the Moritizbastei, the Industrial tomb of Werk II and the Magnitude of the Soviet built Markthalle.
Names such as Hocico, Apoptygma Berzerk, Siva Six, The Klinik, Solitary Experiments and XP8 have already been announced. To check out the continuously updating list of confirmed artists, check out the link below:



2014 Exclusives
An exhibition by Alien artist HR-Giger will be on display exclusively. Also the Auto Mobil International festival will be taking place within the same weekend, thus collections of hearses will be on display with professional photo shooting taking place.

Shopping
Halle 1 is the epicentre of the Gothic market. Open from midday on Friday, the variety of garments accessories and bondage rope on offer is vast. All genres are usually catered for and clothing if seen should be bought, as by the time you’ve though about it and returned it will most likely be gone, as some of the bespoke quality that comes to Wave Gotik Treffen is unsurpassable, especially all in one place.
Opening times for Halle 1:
Friday 12pm-1am
Saturday 11am-1am
Sunday 11am-1am
Monday-11am -11pm

Tickets:
4-Day-Tickets for all events within the 23rd Wave-Gotik-Treffen Whitsun 2014 are available for €99 (including advance sale charges).

Do not Fret! Free Public Transport
One great thing about the festival is that public transport throughout Leipzig is free for those with their wristband. Though do bear in mind trams will be busy, and a few thousand people in black could possibly have the same travel time as you!


Travelling
Airports to fly to would consist of Leipzig/Halle, Dresden, Berlin or Frankfurt. Leipzig/Halle is a small airport, so it could be easier or cheaper to fly to one of the other several and take advantage of the German rail network to get to your destination.
Driving is easy enough if you are willing to do so, though be aware of the need to purchase emission stickers if driving through Leipzig city centre to the main ‘Agra’ Messepark. Otherwise you should be fine.
Parking tickets for the festival can be also purchased off the official WGT site at €15.

Accommodation
The Festival has the "Obsorge" camping grounds amounting to the cost of €25 per person. Though seeing as the events go on throughout Leipzig, there is a fruitful volume of accommodation available to suit you and could also allow you to be closer to what you came to see at WGT.

Future
The festival looms three months away. After the performance of last year, there is no reason not to see as large, or if not a larger number of beautiful animals of black retake the city of Leipzig. So now all that is left is to hand wash the delicate garments and pack the sunblock!


Preview by Dominic Lynch aka DJ LX-E

Links
Check out Sad goth for the lonely planet guide to WGT!

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Dan Barrett reveals Venal Flesh single



Worms Of Earth main man Dan Barrett has unveiled his new gore-soaked terror ebm project Venal Flesh. The new project’s début single, 'Emulgent Disfigurement' is available as a digital download now from Juggernaut Music Group with the exclusive b-side 'Mizbehi (Blood Of Angels Upon My Altar)' as a “name your price” offer.

Formed in 2010 in Washington D.C., USA previously have a demo, 'Remotum Ex Carnis Sancta' to their name. Venal Flesh join the likes of Electric Breathing and Imminent Violence on the terror arm of the Juggernaut roster with a view to releasing their full-length début later this year.

To preview and download the single, please visit the Juggernaut Music Group bandcamp page. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Friday, 28 March 2014

The weekly compendium 28/03/2014



It's the end of another week full of fun an frolics here at the Intravenous Magazine HQ. Namely due to the fact that I've got some annual leave from the day job which has given me time to listen to the new Combichrist album, enjoy my latest vinyl acquisition (NIN's 'Hesitation Marks') and have a good play with my synthesizer (pictured).

But that doesn't mean I've neglected any of my dear readers... oh no. IVM has been cocked full of news from the likes of WGT, Peter Murphy, System:FX, Client and Tamtrum. Dokka gave us his thought's on the new EP from Surgyn. While I got stuck into the latest releases from Combichrist, Cellarscape and Cease2xist.

Over on Facebook it we hit and exceeded the 666 mark. Peter Murphy released the artwork for his latest album. Talanas gave us an update on the Kickstarter campaign. Swans shared a new track. As did Luxury Stranger. And finally Angelspit released a new video teaser.

That's it for this week. In case you missed it, I've managed to bully Matt Fanale of Caustic to be our new columnist. He's looking to answer YOUR questions on whatever you want. If you want to submit your questions to “Shut up, Caustic!” message us on our facebook page.

That's all for now, and I'm going to leave you with this.

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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Review: Cease2xist – 'WIYGN?'



CEASE2XIST
'WIYGN?'
JUGGERNAUT MUSIC GROUP


Cease2xist have fast proven themselves as one of the must-watch UK acts since their full-length début album 'You Are Expendable' was unleashed. The band have honed themselves into an exciting live force and their follow-up EP 'WIYGN?' (Where Is Your God Now?) is another step up the ladder for them.

The band's formula of searing synths, driving dance beats, sawing guitars and aggrotech vocals which sees dub, glitch, industrial and even black metal influences distilled into anthemic tracks that find themselves just as at home on the dance floor as in the mosh pit. The band put their best foot forward with the hard and heavy 'WIYGN' with it's fist-in-the-air and shout-a-long chorus, which is followed by the intensely danceable 'Generation WTF' featuring Antipodean electro-maestro Cryogenic Echelon for an apocalyptic rave. 'Incinerator' unleashes the demented breakdowns and sleazy bass for a dark and delectable dance floor offering. 'You've Got Us Now' featuring Dreams Divide changes tact and breaks out the old school house style synths for a hook laden slice of dance-friendly electro-punk. While instrumental 'This Is My Design...' goes deeper into the electro waters with it's overtly club-orientated blend of ebm and dubstep.

There are remixes included from the likes of Renoized, Cryogenic Echelon, Defeat, Biomenchanimal, and Kill The Sleeper. While they're all strong re-workings of the originals the best contributions have to be Biomenchanimal's stuttering and bassey remix of 'Generation WTF', Kill The Sleeper's ultra-hard and relentless take on 'WIYGN?', Ruinizer's frantic drum 'n' bass version of 'This Is My Design...', and the sensational harsh black metal version of 'WIYGN?' courtesy of BlackLava.

Again, as with 'You Are Expendable', the vocals sound just a little too low in the mix in a few places. But this is a small point in what is overwhelmingly another great outing for the band that should bring them further acclaim both at home and abroad. Hopefully there will be another full-length album sooner rather than later to capitalise on this.

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Review: Cellarscape – 'The Act Of Letting Go'



CELLARSCAPE
'The Act Of Letting Go'
SKYBABY RECORDS


Paul Terry, AKA Cellarscape taps into that truly eccentric strain of alternative rock that seems woefully lacking these days. Like something between Beck and The Porcupine Tree; guitars, angular beats, and avant garde orchestral strains come together to create a genuinely interesting listening experiencing. Terry is able to blend truly experimental soundscapes with an old fashioned sense of pop appeal... which isn't as easy as it sounds.

The fifth Cellarscape album, 'The Act Of Letting Go' has a mournful but hopeful atmosphere. Orientated around light airy tracks that favour the acoustic guitar to take the lead, it is intimate and engaging from start to finish. Opening with the short but intriguing intro 'Iterations' the attention is immediately grabbed and capitalised upon by the wonderful bassline of 'Look Backwards, Lean Forwards'. Tracks such as 'Out Of My Hands', 'Keepsake', 'Diorama', 'Epinephrine' and 'Resolutions' provide the backbone of the album with their sumptuous blend of beats, strings, guitars and piano that recall the quieter moments of A Perfect Circle and the nostalgic psychedelia of The Beatles. However, The album's absolute stand-out track is the beautiful 'The Same Place' featuring the vocals of Dutch singer Anneke Van Giersbergen' who provides a perfect feminine counterbalance to Terry.

The production is clean and modern with the guitar and vocals taking prime position's in the mix while the guest instruments ebb and flow as they are needed to embellish the songs. Cut everything back though, and you still have a solid and intimate blend of guitar and voice powering the album. There are however one or two points where the vocals sound just a little two high in the mix compared to the instrumentation, which briefly detracts from the songs. But these are minor nit-picks.

Paul Terry has crafted a fine and honest album that is emotionally resonant and musically quite haunting. It is a brave clash of styles that will attract fans of progressive rock as well as those into the avant garde end of the pop spectrum. It would be nice though, to hear just how far Terry could push his experimental tendencies that 'Iterations' hinted at on the next album.

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Review: Combichrist – 'We Love You'


COMBICHRIST
'We Love You'
OUT OF LINE


For last year's guitar-orientated album 'No Redemption' for the DMC: Devil May Cry soundtrack, the gloves came off and Combichrist exposed a far more metal / hardcore influenced side to their sound that they'd been threatening since their tours with German metallers Rammstein. The aftermath left many long-term fans scratching their heads and wondering whether the band on their next full-length album proper would continue down the same route or bring the electronics back to the fore. Well, Combichrist being Combichrist have given us both.

It's no surprise really as their live act has featured the guitar work of Abbey Nex for the past few years, so in that respect the six-string aspect is already integrated into their sound. What 'No Redemption' ultimately did was place it higher in the mix. The album kicks off with the demented mix of stuttering synths, heavy guitars and raw death vocals of 'We Were Made To Love You' for a simply huge way to open the album. 'Everyday Is War' returns to more familiar Combichrist fare with it's 'Get Your Body Beat' style hard dance pace and searing melodies that seamlessly integrate that guitars once again. 'Can't Control' perhaps gives the album it's biggest slice of the older Combichrist sound with it's near instrumental construction focussing on sheer dance ferocity.

'Maggots At The Party' opens with a huge, dirty hardcore punk riff reminiscent of last year's 'No Redemption' and proceeds to headbang its way through what has to be one of the most unashamedly fun songs Andy LaPlegua has ever written. 'Denial' slows things down for a more stripped-back sing-a-longtrack that makes good use of the quiet-loud formula to prepare listeners for the shock of 'The Evil In Me'. Acoustic guitars, piano, quiet, clean vocals and a more Nick Cave vibe that erupts into a huge finale marks the biggest departure for the band yet.

'Fuck Unicorns' revives the irreverent Combichrist instrumental to reassure long-time fans, before the frantic hardcore riff of 'Love Is A Razorblade' charges through the speakers to bludgeon your ears. The lead single 'From My Cold Dead Hands' is another recognisable hard and heavy Combichrist crowd-pleaser with its strong dance pace, vocoded VS shouting vocals and stuttering synths that will no doubt be a must have for the live shows. The album is then rounded off by 'Retreat Hell Part 1' and '… Part 2'. With part one taking the slow, bassy and heavy metal path while that acoustic guitar comes out again for a spooky down beat ballad that fades into a classic answer-phone message.

LaPlegua and co. have honestly outdone themselves here. 'We Love You' is bold and new, while classic and recognisable. The band can still make you dance with a click of their fingers, but the ferocious guitar elements blend perfectly with their heavy style of writing. It's not as big of a shock to the system as 'No Redemption', but Combichrist are evolving their sound and experimenting with new ideas. Some elements of their fanbase may have trouble growing with the band, but this blend of nasty industrial and even nastier hardcore influenced metal will definitely attract new fans as well.

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Review: Surgyn – 'Feed Me Fame' EP


SURGYN
'Feed Me Fame'
DWA-Digital / SELF-RELEASED 


Scottish party monsters Surgyn have been going from strength-to-strength in the last three years. From the release of their first album 'Vanity' and the stunning show at 2012's Resistanz Festival the two boys whom have a fetish for anything medical have quickly become a must have in any industrialists collection. This year marks a second album ('Envy') for the duo, with this new EP coming in as a precursor.

'Feed me Fame' is a departure from Surgyns' début release. The vocals are a little more structured, and it's accompanied by a glossy music video, showing a class and style all of it's own. The two remixes of the title track are a real treat. Noisuf-X's sharp and short version is a very typical sound you'd expect from a tbm style such as themselves, whereas Rotersands' attempt is more bouncy and electro inspired. Both are a grand take on a slick classic.

The live versions of '400' and 'Aesthetics' should also be special. Recorded at Resistanz Festival 2012 the sound quality is rather good, but the performance lacks in substance. The lyrics are drowned out by the artists over exaggeration on stage. The release would have been better with these (along with the title songs' video) as an enhanced section.

In total this EP is strictly for the fans. For beginners of the band this is not a perfect way in. Along with the 'deluxe digital edition' (why it's called that is confusing as there are only two formats) there is a limited edition 7" picture disc which features the original and Noisuf-X versions of 'Feed me Fame' and is limited to 100 copies and also features stickers and a download code for the digital EP. It's all in aid to raise money for their US Tour supporting Aesthetic Perfection and you can get it HERE.

The album 'Envy' is set for release on July 7th. The hopes of whetting a fans appetite with this EP suggests more than is actually offers, but the raw grit and energy Surgyn put into their work is obvious for anyone to hear.


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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tamtrum say goodbye with 'ATVFM...' CD+DVD set



French dark electro act Tamtrum end their nine year run with an exhaustive DVD and CD set, 'ATVFM (allez tous vous faire mettre)' , that takes in live performances from last year's farewell tour, their 2010 Hellfest performance, as well as video clips and a rockumentary, plus a CD of fifteen-track compilation.

The band's Sylvicious Deslaves had this to say:
""Allez Tous Vous Faire Mettre" is not a fucking posthumous shit, like big bands do for bringing in even more money (all the money we've earned was always re-injected in this fucking band). This is a fucking compilation with kick ass songs. "The Ricky Horror Picture Show" is a killer track just like "Parano" or "Abort the Pope". It's DVD we started to work on since the beginning of the band. I really hope you gonna enjoy it. Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll - What Else ? xxx"

Track List:
CD
  1. The Ricky Horror Picture Show
  2. Tantrum (New Version)
  3. Don’t Stay Away From Me
  4. My Vile Venom (Casanova Mix)
  5. P.I.G.
  6. La Menthe Vénéneuse
  7. Extazy (New Version)
  8. Le Son de le Pluie (2k6 Mix)
  9. Chronic Lies
  10. In This Cold Terrific Room
  11. Personal Jesus (DEPECHE MODE Cover)
  12. I Am Morbid (MORBID ANGEL Cover)
  13. Under the Sign of the Angel Dust
  14. Le Son de la Pluie (Fils de Pute Remix by GRENDEL)
  15. My Fall (STILLIFE Remix)

DVD (over 3 hours of Tamtrum!)
Live Concert in Paris – France (27 Sept 2012) – 75 min
  1. Le son de la Pluie
  2. Tantrum
  3. Pervert Inc.
  4. Swallow the Life
  5. Paranoaik, Hypokondriak & Toxicomaniac
  6. Under the Sign of the Angel Dust
  7. Ass Rider
  8. Fuck You I'm Drunk
  9. Milky Boy
  10. 0.Killed
  11. My Fall
  12. Abort the Pope
  13. Datura Dream
  14. The World you Live in (Feat. Rose Hreidmarr and Fabrizio Volponi from THE CNK)

Live concert at Hellfest in 2010 – 30 min
  1. Paranoaik, Hypokondriak & Toxicomaniac
  2. Abort the Pope
  3. Swallow the Life
  4. Fuck You I'm Drunk
  5. Datura Dream
  6. The World you Live in

  • Pervert Inc.(video clip)
  • Rockumentary – 75 minutes of backstage shot on the road with and by the band members throughout 2005 to 2012. Including Russia, Sweden (Arvika fest), Belgium, Switzerland, etc.
  • extensive photo gallery


The CD+DVD set will be released via Alfa Matrix on 9th May 2014. Pre-orders are available now via the Alfa Matrix webshop. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Client return with 'Authority'




Electro-pop act Client have announced their return after a four-year hiatus. The band's new album titled 'Authority' is scheduled to be released on 5th May via Out Of Line Music.

Featuring a new vocalist in the form of Client N, the album was produced by David Francolini of Dragons-fame.

Track List:
01. Authority
02. Design
03. XXX Action
04. You Can Dance
05. The Shining Path
06. Refuge
07. After Effect
08. Faith
09. Artificial
10. Obsession
11. Quarantine
12. Nocturnal Eyes

'Authority' is available to pre-order now via the Out Of Line webshop. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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System:FX to release 'We Are The Broken'



Hot on the heels of last year's 'TwentyFirst Century' EP, London's industrial rockers System:FX return with their label début for Juggernaut Music Group, 'We Are The Broken'.

The EP features five brand new track as as well as remixes from the likes of Leaether Strip, Be My Enemy, and Cease2xist and will be available from 18th April as both a limited edition CD and digital download release.

Track List:
1. We Are The Broken
2. WTF
3. Turn To Rust
4. Failure
5. Days Like This (Feat. Gemsy of Dreams Divide)
6. 21st Century (Leaether Strip Remix)
7. Vengeance (Be My Enemy Remix)
8. Fire (Flaming 303 Mix By Implant)

9. Stay in Your Homes (Chaos And Riot Remix by Cease2xist)

The EP is available to pre-order now via the Juggernaut Music Group bandcamp page. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Peter Murphy to release 7” Single and new album


The gothfather Peter Murphy has announced the release of his latest single 'Hang Up' on seven-inch metallic silver vinyl. The single, which is taken from the forthcoming album 'Lion', features non-album tracks from the recording sessions for the album. 


'Lion', which marks the first full-length album since 2011's 'Ninth', will be released via Nettwerk Music on 30th May in Europe and 2nd June in America.

'Hang Up' Track List:
1. Hang Up (Dub Mix) 
2. I'm On Your Side

'Lion' Track List:
1. Hang Up
2. I Am My Own Name
3. Low Tar Stars
4. I’m On Your Side
5. Compression
6. Holy Clown
7. The Rose
8. The Ghost of Shokan Lake
9. Eliza
10. Loctaine
11. Lion 

The single will be available as a limited Record Store Day release on 19th April 2014. For more information on the forthcoming releases visit NettwerkMusic or Peter Murphy's official website.

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Monday, 24 March 2014

More announcements for WGT



The list of performers at this year's Wave Gotik Treffen keeps growing and growing with a new cluster of bands and artists announced in the past week.

Joining the festival are:
SPETSNAZ (S) , ASMODI BIZARR (D) , NANO INFECT (GR) , NO SLEEP BY THE MACHINE (S) , VARG (D) , BEASTMILK (FIN) , HUNDREDS (D) , SIMI NAH (F) , FABRIKC (D) , EDO NOTARLOBERTI & VIVIANA SCARINCI (I)


The bands join an already heaving roster that includes the likes of Absolute Body Control, Aeon Sable, Alcest, Apoptygma Berzerk, Faderhead, Frontline Assembly, Hocico, Lacrimas Profundere, The Hiram Key, The Klinik, Siva Six, XP8 and Xotox.

This year's festival will take place 6th June until 9th June. For the latest announcements and to order your tickets, please visit the official website.   

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Friday, 21 March 2014

The weekly compendium 21/03/2014



It's the end of the week once again, which means you have to wait two whole days until you hear any more from us :-( BUT we have left you with an appealing array of stories to get stuck into while we're gone.

END: The DJ kicked off the week with his latest column of musical selections. We had breaking news from Music Non Stop and Psyclon Nine, as well as Steve Roach and Attrition. We also had reviews of the latest outings from Talanas, Berlyn Trilogy, Psyclon Nine, Babymetal, and Pitterplatter.

AND if that wasn't enough (you greedy people!), if you turn your eyes towards out lovely Facebook page you'll see new music videos from Client and Diary Of Dreams. The Ladder have joined this year's Infest lineup. Ex-Misfits Doyle and Dr Chud will be attending this year's Mad Monster Party. While Prude gave us a new single and album news. And finally Sun God have announced they will be playing inDublin.

Right, that's it for this week. I've bought myself a new sexy synthesizer, so I'm going to spend the weekend playing with that... I hope your weekends are more constructive.

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review: Pittersplatter – 'Frozen: Reign Of The Warlock'



PITTERSPLATTER
'Frozen: Reign Of The Warlock'
JUGGERNAUT MUSIC GROUP


Oklahoma-based electro horror act Pittersplatter return with a remastered version of their 2013 album 'Frozen'. Rechristened 'Frozen: Reign Of The Warlock' the album has been expertly tweaked to bring the best out of the songs. It's louder and generally more up-to-date than the previous version. Ironing out those little elements that detracted from an otherwise strong offering.

It terms of the track list the songs remain unchanged in therms of their structures, but undoubtedly benefit from the reworked production. The band's dark, mid-tempo style of classic sounding electro-goth sounds colder and more sinister. Beat driven and uncomplicated, the album tips its hat to the likes of Mortiis, Front 242 and Spahn Ranch on catchy numbers such as 'The Dark', 'Frozen', 'The Devil Made Me Do It', 'Throwing Bones' and 'With Blackest Magick'.

The album does occasionally drift into more experimental waters such as on the afore mentioned 'With Blackest Magick, the choral 'Desolate' and the orchestral mix of the title track, which is an element to the band's sound that definitely needs to be explored further. Throw in an excellent remix of 'Frozen' by IIOIOIOII and this is a very appealing package.

'Frozen: Reign Of The Warlock' is an example of how to subtly but effectively rework an album to bring out the best in it. This version is a lot stronger and more self-assured than it's predecessor, and with songs like 'The Dark' as well as the original and IIOIOIOII versions of the title track, its club potential has significantly increased. This should provide and excellent platform from which the band can continue to grow.

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Review: Babymetal – 'Babymetal'


Last summer I went to a kids festival in London with my last partner and year four-year-old son. We were a bit let down by the lack of substance at the event, and I even found myself shaking my head over pre-teen girls dancing to rather inappropriate chart music. We even talked about if there could be a way to make a metal band for children. It was only a few months' later that Babymetal was brought to my attention.

This j-metal three-piece made up of a trio of adorable girls who sing, scream and dance to a backing band who are tighter than Japans' laws on pornography. Starting in 2010 with their video for 'Doki Doki Morning', Babymetal quickly became a quirk passed around the alternative community around the world. Alot of them were bemused but couldn't stop listening to the cute roars of these bouncy teens.

Although this new album has been long awaited, Babymetal have done the rather odd thing of not creating anything new like most j-rock acts, but instead combined all their previous EP's as a one-disc compilation, with a limited edition version with a bonus DVD of their music videos for good measure. That being said this shouldn't detour any emerging Western fans, for in the correct order this becomes an epic tome of thirteen songs that are bound to get you pumped and ready for whatever the day throws at you. As well as that the songs are all so light on the vocals as well as heavy on the instruments that it seems to be quite child friendly. With elements of dubstep, rap and even reggae this band truly know how to keep things creative, following in the footsteps of acts such as Gackt, The Mad Capsule Markets and The Gazette.

Tracks that stand out include their first release 'Doki Doki Morning', 'Catch me if you can' and 'Megaisune'. But to be fair you could whack on any of these tracks and be very entertained. Will they stand the test of time? Well as long as they stay popular in Japan then I don't see why not, all I know is that I now have no need to start my own band, singing battle metal tracks about defending my tree house!

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Review: Psyclon Nine – '[Disorder: The Shadow Sessions]'



PSYCLON NINE
'[Disorder: The Shadow Sessions]'
METROPOLIS RECORDS


Hot on the heels of the band's recent “comeback album” '[Order Of The Shadow: Act I]' comes the mandatory remix album. It's generally an area of modern music that produces a mixed bag of results with some remix albums very much falling into the “stop-gap” and “cynical cash-in” categories, while few feel more organic and well rounded. But if anything, they serve to extend their source album's exposure for a little longer and give DJs a few more options of an evening.

Psyclon Nine's new remix album, '[Disorder: The Shadow Sessions]', at least gives us a decent track list weighing in with eleven re-workings by bands such as Alien Vampires, Die Sektor and Life Cried adding their slant to the source material.

Falling skies kick things off with a very strong version of 'Shadows Unveiled' which channels the sound of Count Nosferatu Kommando circa 'Ultraviolence Über Alles' with some drum 'n' bass interludes for good measure. Alien Vampires add their characteristic heavy club beats to 'Use Once And Destroy' for a certifiable floor filler. While Die Sektor amp up the industrial elements for a hard and grinding version of 'Remains Of Eden'.

Things suddenly take an about turn with the more ebm orientated remix of 'Suffer Well' from Dismantled, which proves to be one of the most enjoyable tracks on the disc. Likewise the blatantly more black metal version of 'Afferte Mihi Mortem' from Modern Weapons is a nice break from the dominant electronics. It is a method which is replicated again on the equally pleasing guitar-heavy remix of 'Take My Hand While I Take My Life...'.

This isn't by any stretch a “must have” album. However it is a fairly strong remix collection that explores a number of different styles and plays on the varied elements of the band's sound for a rather eclectic track listing. It's probably one for the hardcore fans and club DJs rather than the casual listener, but nonetheless it is a good companion to '[Order Of The Shadow: Act I]' and contains its share of treats.

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Review: Berlyn Trilogy – 'A Perfect Stranger'



BERLYN TRILOGY
'A Perfect Stranger'
SELF-RELEASED


Wakefield's Berlyn Trilogy blend dark synthpop melodies and post-punk grit on their debut full-length outing 'A Perfect Stranger'. Evoking the likes of Midge Ure era Ultravox as well as modern dark indie acts like Editors, the band are an interesting blend of old and new. There may be plenty of bands around the globe who, over the past decade and a half, have been walking similar paths. However this trio have, over the past two years, honed their skills in order to undeniably craft a sound of their own.

Icy cold synths and steady dance beats permeate the track listing while occasional guitar and bass endow a more organic sense of groove. Drawing from the new romantic movement, synthpop, post-punk and modern dark indie, the band's sound has an infectious dance quality that seamlessly walks hand-in-hand with a strong live appeal.

Songs such as 'Leaving Notes', 'Runners', 'Synthetic Love', 'The Drone', 'Monument' and 'Words Of A Stranger' are cinematic in their scope. Darkly atmospheric and yet perfectly accessible with plenty of pop hooks throughout. While the likes of 'Exit', 'The Slow Reveal' simply overflow with dark menace for some deeper and more arty flavours.

The productions is very strong. The whole album has a richly layered sound that is light and clinical in it's execution. While the overall mix is clear and allows every synth melody and bass line to interact with each other for maximum effect.

'A Perfect Stranger' is a very strong début from a band with only two years under its belt as a unit. It's mix of dark atmospheres and addictive melodies powered by strong dance tendencies should play well to a large cross-section of the scene and give the trio a solid foundation with which to launch themselves forward. Berlyn Trilogy are definitely a band to keep your eye on over the next few years.

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Review: Talanas – 'Asylum'



TALANAS
'Asylum'
EULOGY MEDIA


Suited and booted prog-metal chaps Talanas trade-in their death metal debauchery for a wholly more unplugged approach to their sonic output. The London-based quartet rather than re-tread old material in a stripped down acoustic format have opted to craft five original songs, acoustically, but using the full dynamic range of their gear, which includes a four-kick drum kit and seven-stringed guitars. The result is an album that retains the band's metal underbelly while letting their progressive ambitions unfetter themselves.

There is a a wonderfully occult atmosphere running throughout the EP as the song writing draws from apocalyptic folk, as well as the likes of Bauhaus, Fields Of the Nephilim, David Sylvian and the quieter moments of Einstürzende Neubauten. It is haunting and engrossing as tracks like 'Sister Damnable', 'My Lady White' and 'Asylum' balance a recognisable metal pace with the sweet strains of the acoustic instruments. While 'The Apostle' delves into slower and more ambient territory, breaking out the moving vocals of Beth Ryan as a perfect counter-point to Sinden's.

One for the strongest features of this EP is the vocals. Hal Sinden gives a measured and sinister performance throughout that perfectly compliments the dense atmospherics evoked by the instrumentation. He isn't afraid to break out an deathly scream on 'Sister Damnable', nor is he unwilling to be upfront and direct with his clean vocals.

The album may lack the pummelling drive of the fully amplified band, as well as the overt technicality of 2011's album 'The Waspkeeper'. But this curve ball is arguably more experimental and more fulfilling as the band dive headlong into a place where others wouldn't dream.

'Asylum' will undoubtedly prove to be a highlight in the band's back catalogue. The production is lush and elegant and the strong narrative paints a detailed picture of the dark and sinister shadows of British occult lore. Based on this effort a full-length unplugged offering from the band would be entirely possible and very welcome.

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Rotny and Siren leave Psyclon Nine



Psyclon Nine guitarist Rotny Ford and Drummer Jon Siren have announced that they will be leaving the industrial band. Speaking in a statement posted on the band's official facebook page, Siren stated the recent controversies regarding the band's Kickstarter campaign for their fifth album '[Order Of The Shadow: Act I] and ongoing issues with frontman/vocalist Nero Bellum as being the catalyst for their departure.
“I can't even explain the complications that we have had trying to be a professional band when our leader is completely incapable of acting in a professional manner. I truly believe that Nero has always had the best intentions for the band, its personnel, and his fans, but because of the way his artistic and free-spirited mind operates, he doesn't think about his actions causing harmful consequences. We all know he has been battling a number of drug addictions for years and I have seen him through it all. I know that because of these issues, he has neglected his fans and band members on a number of occasions, acted irresponsibly when it comes to the business end of the band, and has essentially fucked a lot of people over. Lately there has been a number of events that have continued to layer on top of each other causing our European tour to essentially sink dead in the water. […] 
“I feel like I could continue to explain the downfall, but I will close by saying that I am absolutely heart broken to do this, but Rotny and myself have found the best option is to leave Psyclon Nine. I always rolled with the bad times because I love the music, its fans, and my band mates so much. Even though the band is ultimately Nero and whatever personnel he involves himself with, I feel that I have made it my family and stuck through it when most would have bailed.”

As of yet there has been no statement from Bellum as to the future plans for the band, including their scheduled European tour dates. 

For more information please visit the Psyclon Nine Facebook Page.

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Attrition re-release 30th anniversary edition of 'Monkey In A Bin'


Following on from a number of remastered re-releases comes Attrition's début single, 'Monkey In A Bin'. The Single has been restored and remastered from the original four tracks and is available once again. The single was originally released in 1984 on Recording Union as side A of a split 12” single with Swiss band Schamanen Circel.

The 30th anniversary edition is available as both a digital download as well as a CDR burnt on pro equipment on special vinyl style CD's, with printed PDF cover signed by Martin! Also included is a very rare bonus track in 'How About That Dum Dum' – previously released on cassette only in 1983.

Track List:

1. 'Monkey In A Bin'
2. 'Surge And Run'
3. 'How About That Dum Dum'

The single is available to order now via the A Two Gods Production webshop. For more information on the band, please visit the officialwebsite.

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Steve Roach to release 30th Anniversary edition of 'Structures From Silence'



Electronic composer Steve Roach has announced the re-release of his iconic third album 'Structures From Silence' on Projekt records. The album has been digitally remastered from the original analogue tapes and will be available as a three-CD deluxe six-panel digipak edition or a one-CD, four-panel digipak, as well as a digital download on 15th April 2014.
“With today’s evolution of audiophile analog mastering tools,” Steve says, “we were able to reveal the original beauty, detail and essence-of-tone captured on the 30 ips analog master which has not been heard like this until now.” 
“Over the years since the creation of 'Structures From Silence', certain pieces would emerge in the studio that instantly had the resonance of a direct relationship to the place that birthed this work back in 1984. As this anniversary approached – like the light slowing emerging in an early morning sunrise returning from a thirty year orbit – the desire to draw from this place of stillness, and deep inner quiet became the soul tone for these new pieces. Like the three original tracks, these were created in moments spent simply being present in the studio, tapping the flow state and guiding this sense into these recorded moments.”
'Structures From Silence' is available to pre-order from the Projekt Records webshop now. For more information on Steve Roach, please visit his official website.

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Music Non Stop to close



UK based online music shop Music Non Stop, which specialises in Electro / Industrial / EBM / Gothic / Darkwave / Electronica, will be closing for the second time this April. The shop which re-opened after closing once before over five-and-a-half years ago.

In their monthly newsletter, owners Richard and Jo released the following statement:
“It has been over five and a half years since we re-launched Music Non Stop. Unfortunately, due to ever-falling sales, and other changes in our personal circumstances, we have decided to call it a day. 
The business will continue to trade as normal until the end of March and all current and future orders will be honoured, subject to availability. In April, we will have a sale to clear all remaining stock. We will also continue to sell Infest tickets until the end of April. Any stock remaining at closedown will then be available on the MNS Amazon page: 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/browse.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=A1F83G8C2ARO7P&me=A33CPK8PK1K65R 

Customers are reminded that any Loyalty Bonuses and Gift Certificates must be used by the end of April and neither can be exchanged for the cash equivalent. 
Sale or Return suppliers for whom we still have stock: we will be contacting you all in due course to arrange returns and payment. Please could you refrain from contacting us, as we have a lot to get through. 
If anyone would like to make any offers for any part of the business, website, stock, distribution list, etc., then email us at info@musicnonstop.co.uk by the end of March.”

Please visit the Music Non Stop website for more.


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Monday, 17 March 2014

END: the DJ's Top New Club Music Picks- March 2014

END: the DJ’s Top New Club Music Picks March 2014
A fine collection of great newly released and upcoming music for the month of March, showing a variety of styles in quality music and artists. Check them out as soon as possible and keep on repeat:

Kids Electronics- Civilization- Green Mono Music
Damn, but Green Mono’s a fantastic electronic dance label with amazing releases hit after hit. This latest one has amazing textured work and is very moving. It is a progressive, almost synthy masterpiece. Also check out the “Go Go Go” track on this single release.

Seabound- For Another Day- Metropolis Records
From the new release Speak in Storms. Seabound is back in a major way! This is one of the few top-notch tracks in this very artistic album.

Stoppenberg- Psychokinesis- [self-release]
The new EDM project from Jan aka Noisuf-X and X-Fusion, and as ever an amazing sound. The challenge is NOT to move to this track. Amazing work!

Ben Orsound- Intra- Green Mono Music
Like I’ve stated, Green Mono Music has been treating music lovers with quality work these past handful of months, with solid producers who put great passion into their production work. This single release from Orsound is no exception. Very, very moving and club friendly!

 Roppongi Inc. Project- Moskau Leipzig (Amduscia Remix)- Roaring Disc Records
I’ve been a supporter of the great club tracks from R.I.P. for a few years now- and it’s with great enthusiasm I find the project’s new Schnarch Suite EP fantastic from start to finish. This is but one of the great new original tracks and remixes. Don’t miss out!

Blac Kolor- Whore- Basic Unit Productions
One of the banging new tracks on the new Wide Noise debut album. A great driving beat to keep bodies moving.

And One- Bad Girl- Deutschmaschine
This track- one of the few new And One new releases to tease a trilogy of new albums (yes, three of them)- should make all clabbers everywhere update their ‘And One tracks on repeat’ library. Very good, very catchy, very And One  ;)

Cryo- In Your Eyes- Progress Productions
One of the few great tracks from Cryo’s Retropia album. The driving beats matches the great vocal work. A pleasant new find and a great body of work.

Lyronian- Silver Arrow- Deep Symmetry Records
Great beat and quality production work- the vocals & chorus are quite catchy. Check out the singles release with its great remixes by Orange Sector and Ashcraft.

The Peoples Republic of Europe- Brute Force- Noisj
From TPROE’s new release Red Line. This EP release is more hardcore in essence than many of the project’s recent output; this track is explosive at high volume.

Johnathan|Christian- I Walk This Earth Alone (Leaether Srip Mix)- [self-release]
Great remix from LS and a great beat to stomp to. The new sound has quite an anthem feel.


END: the DJ is a U.S. based DJ and artist with releases on Infacted Recordings, Nilaihah Records and CircuitHeads Digital. END tours internationally, supporting many dark electronic artists and labels plus has live mixes on U.S. and UK radio, Industrial Club Sessions. Look for the album Infactious Vol. 4 available now on Infacted Recordings.







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Friday, 14 March 2014

The weekly compendium 14/03/2014



We're halfway through march and it's time for another round-up of all the joyous goings on at IVM!

This week we kicked things off with a great interview from XP8's Marco Visconti which was conducted by our Dominic while Visconti was on the recent Faderhead tour. We've also had plenty of news stories as well from the likes of WGT, Savage Messiah, and Talanas.

We've also had A LOT of reviews including the new albums from Johnathan/Christian, and Vidi Aquam from our new writer Rhys Heal. As well as new cuts from Exponantia, Troum, God Module and Lenore S. Fingers.

Over on Facebook we've had an abundance of things to share including: New music from Jordan Reyne, album info from Deathstars, a new video preview from Lacrimas Profundere, and the news that Project Pitchfork have confirmed for this year's Infest.

So that's your lot for this week. There will be more of the same next week, but as I'm diving headlong into researching a very … weird author for an article, I'll leave you with this.


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Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review: Lenore S. Fingers – 'Inner Tales'



LENORE S. FINGERS
'Inner Tales'
MY KINGDOM MUSIC


Italian gothic metallers Lenore S. Fingers are a band that may set alarm bells ringing. Yes they are female-fronted romantic gothic metal outfit which will have fans of Within Temptation salivating. But interestingly enough for this genre's standards, they don't sound as derivative as most of their peers. Musically the band lack the symphonic pomposity of many contemporary acts and instead have a more emotional and progressive edge recalling the likes of Anathema and Antimatter as well as Lacuna Coil and The Gathering (although there are plenty of flourishes of power metal for good measure).

Vocalist Frederica Lenore Catalano doesn't offer up the usual vocal performance you'd expect. Rather than the powerful diva-esque style we've become accustomed to, we instead get a more demure and restrained performance that is far more evocative of the likes of Valenteen, Monica Richards and Jordan Reyne with The Eden House.

Songs like 'Cry Of Mankind', 'To The Path Of Loss', 'Doom' and 'An Aching Soul' are the particular highlights of the album with their impeccable juxtaposition of emotional vocals and progressively-orientated metal backing that isn't afraid to let synths or acoustic guitars take the lead.

There are a few weak songs though, such as the somewhat superfluous intro 'Inner Tales' and the somewhat Lacuna Coil-by-numbers 'Victoria'. But the album does benefit from a very thorough and pleasing mix that really compliments Frederica's vocal style.

'Inner Tales' is a nice change of pace for a genre that is essentially stuffed full of lacklustre clones. The band are going in their own direction, which is admirable, and their début is strong, but not quite as ground-breaking as it could potentially be as the band do occasionally lapse into cliché. Lenore S. Fingers may yet prove to be the dark horse of the genre though if their follow-up is more innovative.

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Review: God Module – 'False Face'



GOD MODULE
'False Face'
METROPOLIS RECORDS


God Module's 2011 outing, 'Séance' saw their return after a four year absence and re-established them as one of America's most relevant gothic-electronic acts. The kookiness of some of their previous efforts had been dispelled and in their place as a far more sinister and serious album. In 2014 the band return with their fifth studio album 'False Face' and once again dip into their bag of tricks to unleash some treats.

God Module's playful past did cast a long shadow over 'Séance', leaving it feeling somewhat scattered in its commitment to a serious horror atmosphere. However, 'False Face' immediately sounds more sure of itself, and while it doesn't have one uniting theme running throughout, the tracks do compliment each other well. The abundant use of film samples, steady dance beats and simple dark electro style melodies draw from the band's back catalogue, but 'False Face' doesn't simply retread old ground. Instead the band have incorporated more pop sensibilities and created a solid, varied dance record that will tick the boxes for long-time fans and also be a good starting point for new listeners.

The dark and frantic 'A Good Night To Die', the hard techno of 'Nothing But Mine', the anthemic title track, the sing-a-long friendly 'Through The Noise', and dark and dirty 'Destroy The Day' are easily the highlights on the album. Each one has club potential written all over it and adequately shows off all the skills in the band's arsenal without needing to rehash what has come before. The heavy use of melodies is just what the band's sound needed to progress beyond the dark intensity of 'Séance'.

In terms of production the only real issue is that some of the samples don't quite sound like they sit right in the mix and over power the rest of the track. However these are minor blips on an album which makes a bold evolutionary step to a more emotionally resonant style of song-writing, which is executed with great skill.

'False Face' may not be an earth-shattering revelation for the rest of the music world. However it is definitely a strong point in the band's own discography that hints at new potential directions for subsequent releases.


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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Review: TROUM – 'Syzygie'


TROUM
'Syzygie' 

COLD SPRING RECORDS 

This is a collection of analogue recordings from 1999 through 2002, beautifully mastered. Part of the strength if this material may be that the music on this release was made using all organic sound sources. There are real melodies developing in the abstractions. What is particularly striking is how cohesive this collection is, even with its impressive variety in moods and sounds. These tracks must have stood out on their various compilations, but the care with which they were selected, sequenced and mastered make for a most satisfying experience.

'Makaria' takes the form of a round, melodic figures weave in and out, grow tense and resolve. Underneath this a slowly shifting drone moves at a much slower pace. The relation of the drone to the plucked string loops creates an harmonic movement that enhances the meditative atmosphere. From here 'Ganymed' opens to the sound of ringing gongs spread out into a portentous hum. This is the sound of the dust settling in the aftermath of a tumultuous event. 'Fantaum'a comes at the listener in waves. Each pulse drawing one in more each time it rushes forward and recedes. Ambient music is rarely this dynamic. The rhythm underlying 'Uegh [Cunabula]' calls to mind a rusting war machine appearing over the horizon and drawing slowly nearer. The melodic components are – in their modal variations. The word "Cunabula" may suggest a cradle or a glass coffin set like a jewel in a hulking steel monster stalking the land, perhaps... Well, one does expect evocations of dream imagery with Troum.

Brahma opens one eye and a universe comes into being. 'S’engourdir' is the primordial OM of this universe bringing the brain waves into order. Voices cut in and disappear like generations of monks born, meditating and transcending. Underneath the OM remains. Forms proliferate, rush towards cataclysm and fade. Brahma closes his eye and the universe goes out of being. 'Khan-Arachnid' has a narrative feel to it with unintelligible whispers and organic sounds like walking on gravel moving along in the forefront as a melodic drone rises up behind it all like a faint stream of smoke. 'Wit Wists Fra-Qistjan' floating and slowly evolving with some dramatic vibes beneath the serene surface. Throughout 'Thrausmata Enos Oneirou' resonating metal drones fade in and out, the sonic equivalent of an impressionistic wash of colours. Like the distant memory of music echoing through a dying brain.

Most of the tracks are relatively long, but seem to pass by quickly. Says the bio: The duo create unbearably beautiful drones, multi-layered transcendental noise, and highly atmospheric dream-muzak. This is the kind of statement one usually takes for what it's worth from label PR, but Cold Spring continue to back up with releases from masterful artists like TROUM.

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Review: Exponentia – 'Ghost'



EXPONENTIA
'Ghost'
NERIS RECORDS


Following on from 2013's 'Sadness', France's Exponentia, AKA Ludovic Dhenry releases his latest gothic meets classical opus 'Ghost'. Experimental atmospheres collide with ambient textures and creaking undead vocal strains. 'Sadness' had suffered from sounding somewhat unfinished, as though it were a demo rather than a completed album. Whereas 'Ghost' still sounds a little unfinished again. It is most definitely a fuller release.

The vocals that pepper the release recall the likes of Sopor Aeternus and compliment the slow and dark sounds of the songs. The sonic formula works particularly well on songs such as, 'Deadly Impact', 'Prisoner Of The Painting', 'Soul Escapes', 'Dead-End' and 'Flight Of Souls' where Dhenry holds back from hitting to many high notes on the synth and betraying their cheap digital source. Indeed the more ambient, droning styles of 'Soul Escapes', 'Dead-End' and 'Flight Of Souls' are easily the highlights of the album as they lack the awkward drums of earlier songs and refrain from using the low-fi strings that otherwise give the recording a rather dated sound.

The production is rather clunky, but still rather atmospheric, with plenty of echo and reverb dunning through the mix. It's just the heavy use of synthesized instruments that holds Dhenry back in terms of execution. His compositions are fundamentally solid, he should really just have a classical quartet backing him to get the most from his songs.

'Ghost' is definitely a step-up for Dhenry in terms of both instrumentation and execution, but there is still ground to be gained until Exponentia reaches its full potential as a project. Some acoustic instruments and a bigger recording budget would bring out his best.

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Review: Vidi Aquam – 'Fog Vision'



VIDI AQUAM
'Fog Vision'
SELF-RELEASED 

Apparently nineteen years in to their musical career and four years after the positively received 'The World Dies' in 2010, Vidi Aquam's latest opus features everything that will guarantee the loyalty of their Euro-goth fanbase but will register a musical-quagmire for everybody whom has a functioning set of ears.

Emerging in to the dark and dingy, reverb-heavy world in 1994, this Milan-based trio have gathered momentum in the last couple of years in part from sharing tour-bills of bigger names from the scene and have also been given a name drop or two in musical-literature.

Featuring a sound palette that consists of archaic, analogue synthesisers, treble-heavy basslines and deeply mixed, echoing vocal-wails, 'Fog Vision' is an undeniable hat-tip to the to the forefathers of now modern goth but unfortunately just comes across with utter pretension. A number of tracks blend seamlessly in to each other, such as album opener 'The Puppets Show' through to title track 'Fog Vision' which comes complete with a lack of totally unoriginal hooks which does nothing cause wonder as to why you haven't indulged the skip button. However, serving as unintentional restbite from the monotony, the surprising airy, rock-driven 'She Says and Does Not Say' seems to be the diamond in this particular rough but soon ushers in another chain of clippy, un-produced Euro-bilge that deserves no real concentration.

In this day and age, there is just no excuse for horrid production and the quicker Vidi Aquam realise this, the better it will be for everybody. For all the downfalls, there are promising glimmers of hope dotted around this full-length that get drowned out by the surrounding mulch. There is an exciting world out there that is stuffed to the brim with possibilities, Vidi Aquam would not be ill-advised to take advantage of it.


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Review: Johnathan/Christian – 'Beautiful Hideous'



JOHNATHAN/CHRISTIAN
'Beautiful Hideous'
SELF-RELEASED 

Joining the ever lengthening line of those more than willing to pillage the leftovers of those who never did it particularly well (in the first place), Johnathan/Christian's latest homage to all things sombre is a willing addition to any trad-goths collection but will really struggle to make ground elsewhere.

With a press release that rather, drudgingly name-drops more or less every reverb-clad outfit circa 1990, 'Beautiful Hideous' successfully ticks off all the elements that make this a full-player of dance-floor fillers owing to the numerous, well-executed orchestral bursts and pin-sharp crescendos; many of which seen in the album opener 'I Walk this Earth Alone.' Tangential to the cause, Beautiful Hideous isn't a work of total idol worship however; with tracks like 'Fallen' offering a steampunk edge and the title-tune giving us a tiny morsel of modern electro, Johnathan/Christian's dark 'vision' struggles to bare it's teeth and thus seems to constantly plateau far too early.

We expected more from such lauded veterans of the alternative musical scene. There is just nothing here that packs a punch and the result is something that struggles along at a snails pace. 'Beautiful Hideous' would be right at home tinkering in the background as affording it any concentrated effort just ends in frustration. A shame.  

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