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'


Monday 30 June 2014

Agonize announce 'Apokalypse'

Berlin's Agonize have announced their return with their latest full-length studio album 'Apokalypse', which is scheduled for release on 25th July 2015 via Out Of Line.

The album will be released as a digital download and a deluxe 2CD double Digipak, with a bonus live album recorded in Berlin.

Track List:
1. Apokalypse
2. Dafür
3. Toxin
4. Anti-Christ
5. Deutsch
6. Resolution
7. Endstation: Tod
8. Das zweite Ich
9. Exequien
10. Odium
11. In Infinitum
12. Numinos (In The Name Of God)
13. Death By Stereo

Bonus CD (Live):
1. Earpain
2. Slave To The Needle
3. Glaubenskrieger
4. Pavillon 5
5. Dafür
6. Koprolalie
7. Vollrauschfetischist
8. Sacrifice
9. Femme Fatale
10. For The Sick And Disturbed
11. Bis das Blut gefriert

You will also be able to catch the band live on the following dates.

05. July 2014 Dark Flower Live Nights Open Air - Parkbühne - Leipzig (D)
25. July 2014 Amphi Festival 2014 - Call The Ship 2 Port - Köln (D)
15. August 2014 Alt-Fest, Industrial Stage, Boughton Estate, Kettering, North Amptonshire (UK)
27.-29. March 2015 Out Of Line Weekender 2015 - Astra Kulturhaus - Berlin (D)

To pre-order 'Apokalypse' please visit the Out Of Line webshop. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Angelspit to perform new score for 'Nosferatu'

Aussie electropunk act Angelspit have have announced that they will perform a brand new 90 minute score created specifically for the legendary 1922 horror masterpiece ‘Nosferatu: Eine symphonie Des Grauens‘ live on 20th August 2014 in Chicago.

Angelspit have recruited several musicians to assist, including Brian Graupner (The Gothsicles), Jim Cookas and Brittany Bindrim (I:Scintilla), and some of Chicago’s top experimental noise artists.
Cryptically it has also been announced that “a large portion of the performance will be performed by the audience…so bring your smart phone to get in on the action!”
“This will be the craziest outdoor gig we’ve ever done. I have written a large amount of new music, plus I am designing many acoustic and electronic instruments to be used in the performance. I’m also using much of the gear used in the recording of our latest album ‘The Product‘ – several old samplers, rare modular synths and many analog/circuit-bent DIY devices.
There is also a huge amount of the the performance that will be played by the audience.
…and it’s all live! no laptops, no sequencers – it’s all performed LIVE while the original version of ‘Nosferatu‘ is projected.” – Zoog Von Rock, Angelspit.

Wednesday August 20th (at sunset – around 8.30pm)
Comfort Station – Chicago, IL
2579 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
Cnr: Milwaukee Ave and Logan Blvd (East side of Milwaukee Ave)

In addition to this performance, Angelspit are also running video and remix competitions on their website. For more details, head to the following links:

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Merciful Nuns to release 'Meteora VII'

Artaud Seth and his Merciful Nuns are set to unleash their seventh full length album in the form of 'Meteroa VII' on 12th September 2014 via Solar Lodge.

The album will be available in three versions: 'METEORA VII' - the Neophyte pack (limited 500!)
containing the deluxe digipack edition of the album, a 'Meteora' Infosheet as well as an exclusive T-shirt. 'METEORA VII' - 33Grade pack (limited 33+33) containing containing the deluxe digipack edition of the album, '33GRADE' EP (strictly lim. 33copies, hand numbered), a 'Meteora' Infosheet as well as two exclusive T-shirts. 'METEORA VII' - the Album (limited 2500) containing the deluxe digipack edition of the album.

Track List:
1. Elektra
2. Phantom Wall
3. Karma Inn
4. A Day That Fades
5. Speed Of Light
6. Elusian Ground
7. Zero G
8. A Place Beyond

The album is available to pre-order now via the Solar Lodge webshop. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Friday 27 June 2014

The weekly compendium 26/06/2014

It's been a busy week over here at IVM. Lots to see and lots to do, So I'll just get on with the weekly round-up of what we've had for you.

We kicked the week off with news from Mr Kitty regarding the new album 'Time'. Joel Heyes hammed it up for his column this month. We had reviews of the latest releases from Petrol Hoers, Deathstars, Diamond Version, and Cold Cave and late news from Chris Pohl's new project The Lonely Soul Experience.

Over on Facebook we had plenty to break up your idle browsing with new music from Zola Jesus, and Beauty Queen Autopsy. New music videos from Orgy, and Fatal Casualties. US tour dates from Grendel. A free download from The Gifted. And Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen presenting the local weather?

And if that's not enough for you, here's something for the weekend. Ciao!

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The Lonely Soul Experience announce 'The Path Of Blood'

Carrying on from his recent fascination with the orchestra-augmented sound of Blutengel, Chris Pohl teamed up with producer Mario Rühlicke to create some epic symphonic music. The result is The Lonely Soul Experience and the début album 'The Path Of Blood' which will be released as a CD and digital download on 25th July 2014.

Track List:
1. Path Of Blood
2. The Crypt
3. The Dragon
4. Lara's Song
5. Rise Of The Ancient King
6. The Emperor Returns
7. Hail To The Saviour
8. A New Frontier
9. Wardance
10. Two Suns
11. Maid of Orleans

You can view a teaser trailer below. To pre-order 'The Path Of Blood' please visit the Out Of Line webshop. For more information on the band, please visit the official website.

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Thursday 26 June 2014

Review: Cold Cave – 'Full Cold Moon'

'Full Cold Moon'

2011's outing for Cold Cave, 'Cherish The Light Years', may have thrust Wesley Eisold into the limelight. The album left nobody cold but it's creator. Now freed from his previous label, Eisold returns with a compilation of singles he released over the course of 2013. it's not a new album per-Se. There's no sense of linearity to it. Just an sense of unfettered playfulness.

The icy, goth-influenced new wave core that made Cold Cave stand-out in the first place is ever present. But with this loose collection of standalone tracks Eisold is free to do whatever he wants. Tracks such as 'Oceans With No End', 'People Are Poison', 'God Made The World', and 'Don't Blow Up The Moon' still exemplify the best aspects of Eisold's writing style melding the big pop aspirations with a gritty demo-like edginess.

While songs such as 'A Little Death To Laugh', 'Tristan Corbiere', 'Meaningful Life' and 'Dandelion' display a stripped-back and minimal approach that plays with expectations without any fear of repercussions. Its certainly an honest and raw approach that captures the essence of someone rediscovering their sound with only the tools of a home studio at their disposal.

The whole collection has the rough production style of a demo tape, albeit a pretty long one. Also, with the lack of a linear construction the tracks can jar somewhat as they change. But it isn't really unlike listening to a rarities or singles collection such as 'Some Girls Wander By Mistake' – yes the quality varies, and it comes off as incomplete in a few places. But it has a raw charm and some fundamentally strong offerings.

This is only a stop-gap release and shouldn’t really be taken for anything other than what it is. A collection of raw singles that see Eisold regaing control over Cold Cave and exploring his options for his project's future. Hopefully though we'll get a more complete presentation sooner rather than later.

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Wednesday 25 June 2014

Review: Diamond Version – 'CI'


A collaborative effort between the founders of the seminal electro label Raster Noton, Alva Noto and Bytone was always going to yield interesting results, but Diamond Version's sleazy electro may still take many by storm. Blending minimalistic edm and techno the sound is as intelligent as it is accessible. The duo's début album 'CI' (Corporate Identity), follows on from a series of five 12″ singles that have been previously released on Mute records. Despite Olaf Bender and Carsten Nicolai founding Raster Noton in 1996, it wasn’t until they formed Diamond Version that they would collaborate together musically.

Yes there is still that ever-resent sense of avant post-techno that the duo and their label are known for, but it has a fundamental melodic subtlety to it that traces its lineage back to the likes of The Normal and the bands of the late 70's synthpop underground. Throw in some excellent guest vocalists such as Leslie Winer, Kyoka, and Neil Tennant on the songs 'The Blank Action', 'Feel The Freedom', and 'Were You There?' to break up the industrial-influenced instrumentals and you have a very diverse and gratifying release.

The album seems to pull influences from every direction, stripping them down and giving them a typically Raster Noton repackaging. The end result is something that encompasses the lineage of electronic music in a very 21st century way.

The production is typically slick and minimal sitting somewhere between the style of Kraftwerk and Aphex Twin. It's a clean and no-frills approach that really compliments the various styles at work on the album without dulling their edges.

This is a release that due in particular to the vocal collaborations will expose this release beyond the typical avant garde audience of its creators. It's a release that on one hand is beard-strokingly experimental and yet on the other is surprisingly accessible. Hopefully this won't be the only full-length release from the duo and they'll continue to explore new and interesting directions.

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Review: Deathstars – 'The Perfect Cult'

'The Perfect Cult'

If the Swedish deathglam band's last outing on 'Night Electric Night' felt a little like treading over the same ground as their breakthrough album 'Termination Bliss', then their latest offering should serve to restore your faith a little. The band's fourth album sees many of the themes and motifs of the previous two albums return, and their NDH influenced sound is still at the core of this release. Yet the energy is more positive and the songs display a bit more variation to keep things interesting.

The albums big numbers retain the formula of past hits such as 'Blitzkrieg' and 'Cyanide' with the melodic synths, hard NDH guitars and sing-a-long choruses intact. The lead single 'All The Devil's Toys', 'The Perfect Cult', 'Asphalt Wings' and 'Temple Of The Insects' all proudly fly the Deathstars flag and give the fans exactly what they expect.

However the band still have a few tricks up their sleeves with the likes of 'Explode', 'Bodies', 'Track, Crush & Prevail' and 'Noise Cuts' playing with the formula and stripping back elements of the established formula to great effect. Though the songs don't really get anywhere near as daring as the likes of 'Syndrome', they do just enough to vary the pace of the album and give you a little more substance.

The production, as you'd expect, sounds big and anthemic. Perhaps to the detriment of some of the quieter moments on the album. But it's mixed well and gives the listener plenty of bang for their buck.

'The Perfect Cult' could be seen as a return to form after the lacklustre outing of 'Night Electric Night' and the premature 'Greatest Hits' filler. The album still lacks that innovation and playfulness that was characteristic of 'Synthetic Generation'. However this will still tick the boxes for the vast majority of fans.

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Tuesday 24 June 2014

Review: Petrol Hoers – 'The Same Again But With The Words Are Different'

'The Same Again But With The Words Are Different'

York-based electronic one-piece Petrol Hoers seem to have made a big splash in the last year. Starting out as a somewhat tribute act to Petrol Bastard, the equine botherer Dan Buckly seems to have shaken off his man crush for the group and developed what can only said as his greatest work to date.

No covers feature on 'The Same Again...' but in it's place is a brilliantly produced piece of Electro Grindcore you will probably hear. Putting aside the fact that none of the songs are over two minutes long (a crime of which he may never be brought to account on) the EP stands tall over the previous releases.

Starting with a riff that can only be described as axe warping, we begin with 'ERMHERGERD', which mixes a heavy guitar and digital discourse with amazing grace and anger. Next comes 'King of Meats' where it takes more of an industrial turn. It's hear that you can really tell the improvement in the production value as things seem to be tighter than a nuns' secret parts.
The best track by far is 'Hung like a Horse' which once again apart from it's shortness could be considered for clubnights. It's mix of glitchy electro and Industrial headbanging makes for the EP's greatest triumph. 
'Buy my Merch' is a perfect example of the new direction of the project. It's heavier feel could be loved by many on the Hardcore/Screamo scene, as well as fans of Slayer and Napalm Death.
It's finale 'Petrol Hoers loves you' is a grand ending. Playing out like the end of an EP by Gay For Johnny Depp but with keyboards, it simply fades away into it's own insanity.

In total this EP has changed Petrol Hoers from a gimmick in a rubber mask into something that may last a little bit longer...

This is all of course nonsense, but fancy words aside it's a fucking awesome release and you'd be a fool not to at least try it!

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Monday 23 June 2014


Forget high art, forget quality, forget innovation and groundbreaking feats of creativity – these are all well and good for the cognoscenti and the metropolitan elite, who devour the latest in Bolivian dubstep while they scour the pages of Hipster Monthly with their felafel-stained fingers; there are some times when we just crave the hackneyed, the gauche, the old-fashioned, ill-conceived and over the top – in other words, we desire that particular quality known as Ham.

In other ways too we sometimes look for quality – we eschew the Tesco 'no frills' beer and go instead for real ale; we scoff at the £4 Bulgarian red and go instead for something more sophisticated; we want the low-fat designer gourmet cake and not the tub of bargain biscuits. This is all well and good. But again, sometimes we go with our (beer) gut instinct and just go for the Ham.

What is Ham? A Ham in the singular is the histrionic, old-fashioned actor with no subtlety - all exaggerated emotion and lack of guile. But as a quality it represents something ersatz, olde-tyme, flat-footed, kitsch, camp, serious but undercooked and endearingly ridiculous. And in the alternative music scenes it is represented with several motifs – Satan, vampires, coffins, crosses, windswept moors, monsters, demons, witches, and mansions, all delivered with a theatrical pseudo-sincerity (darling).

Some examples? Well, Black Sabbath's 'Headless Cross' is the Citizen Kane of Ham – songs about devils, spiritual planes, 'witches and kings & demons with wings' and assorted cod-horror claptrap all served up in the hard rock equivalent of a full English breakfast. The Vincent Price-narrated intro to Iron Maiden's 'Number of the Beast' is a great example too. Anything by King Diamond, Ozzy Osborne or Screaming Lord Sutch is pure Ham. The Damned have a thick strain of Ham in their DNA. Candlemass have the greatest depository of Ham in the known world. Plus, of course, the video for 'Witchfinder General' by Cathedral is the visual zenith of Ham.

In other spheres, the whole genre of 20th century horror up until the post-modern era is Ham. 'Dracula'? Ham. 'The Devil Rides Out'? Ham. 'The Masque of the Red Death'? Ham. 'Day of the Dead'? Ah, that's too clever to be Ham. But even attempts to make a clever modern version of Ham, such as 'Bram Stoker's Dracula' or the Blade movies, are still simply Ham in extremis.

Every vampire-themed piece of tat bought from Whitby or Romania is a pure piece of Ham. Novelty household goods of a horror theme that were made in the 70s that you find at car boot sales are the equivalent of archeological findings of Ham. And everything on the Horror Channel is Ham.

Why is Ham important? Well, if we are to put aside all notions of cultural progress, historical advance, ideology and other forms of controlling narratives then all culture becomes just a large finger-buffet of ideas – a mix & match world of old and new and the infinite number of juxtapositions between. Sometimes we want the gourmet gateaux or the well-crafted blend of herbs – which is fine, of course. But other times we want the cultural equivalent of cheese on a stick, or a ham & pickle sandwich. That, dear readers, is the (Tesco) value of Ham.

So the next you go out for cultural nourishment, don't go to the art gallery – go to a B-movie showing, or your nearest horror-themed eatery. Surrender to the Ham. I have seen the future, and it is of the purest Ham!

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Mr Kitty announces 'Time'

US synthpop artist Mr Kitty, AKA Forrest Carney has announced the fourth album in a quadrilogy of releases, 'Time' which follows on from the already acclaimed albums 'Death', 'Eternity', and 'Life'.

The album will be available as a digital download and physical CD from Juggernaut Music Group on 8th August 2014, a week before Mr Kitty's début UK appearance at this year's Infest festival.

Track List:

2. Rats
3. Glow
4. Hollow
5. Devour
6. Neglect
7. Serenity
8. Pathogen
9. After Dark
10. Laceration
11. Black Truth
12. Into Nothing
13. Hold Me Down
14. Shadow Dancer
15. Child Of The Earth

'Time' is available to pre-order now through the Juggernaut Music Group bandcamp page. For more information on Mr Kitty, please visit his official website.

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Friday 20 June 2014

The weekly compendium 20/06/2014

It's midsummer already. The longest day is upon us and if you've got nothing better to do, why not cast your eyes in the direction of the lovely stories we had for you this week.

We kicked things off with a big article on H.P. Lovecraft for the fiction fans amongst you and had a look at what led to a reclusive, xenophobic, unappreciated writer who died the best part of a century ago, become so influential?

We also had reviews galore as we got stuck into the new releases from Veil Of Thorns, Cosmic Armchair, Alter Der Ruine, Mankind Is Obsolete, Unveil and Studio-X vs Simon Carter.

While over on Facebook we saw Cabaret Voltaire on the BBC, Dark-Cide announced its final three events at its current venue. There was music from Beauty Queen Autopsy, Caustic Window, Blush Response, and Alexander Lewis. UK tour dates from Beastmilk, album news from Deadcell and a free classic track from Bella Morte.

Right, that's your lot for this week, go frolic and be free until the weekend ends and you come back for more on Monday.

Shakespeare The Animated Tales- A Midsummer Night-u0027s Dream. from jeffrey on Vimeo.

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Thursday 19 June 2014

Review: Studio-X vs Simon Carter – 'Frozen'


Even though this collaboration recently released the full-on dance floor assault that is 'Breaking The Void', the time is right for a follow-up EP to keep those tunes on rotation. The album's opener 'Frozen' sees the already essential club hit get the remix treatment.

The hard techno of the title track gets a suitably bassy club mix that, while exceedingly appealing, doesn't do anything particularly for its potential to be played any more than the original already is. However, XP8's hard and dirty reworking of the title track fares a lot better with a more relentless take on the song. While reADJUST goes in new and more radical directions with new lyrics and an “electro-body-trance vibe”.

'The City' is the first of two original tracks on the EP and follows on nicely from the intelligent edm of the original album. While 'Shine' breaks out the analogue and channels the spirit of Daft Punk for this sweaty dance track. Two further remixes from the full-length album come in the form of the rather pedestrian and straight sounding version of 'Reasons' supplied by Cosmic Armchair, and the luscious chip tune of 'Particles Of Love' contributed by Eqavox.

It may sound like a bit of a mixed bag but the remixes from XP8, reADJUST and Eqavox are worth the money alone. And when you throw in a couple of great non-album tracks like 'Shine' and 'The City' and it begins to look like a very tempting purchase. These EPs can often be dismissed as something for the DJs more often than not, but if you were a fan of 'Breaking The Void', then you'll easily be able to justify adding 'Frozen' to your music collection.

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Review: Unveil – 'Codex Noctem'

'Codex Noctem'

Canadian quartet Unveil are one of those bands where you simply can't fault their, talent, or passion. Although this is a six track EP, 'Codex Noctem' feels like a well rounded and well produced album and displays a band who's sonic formula would undoubtedly prove to be very, very commercially viable if they were signed to a decent record label. The only trouble is we've heard it all before.

The EP is one of those fine blends of strong female vocals, heavy hard rock and deep emotive synth embellishments. With songs such as 'Camera', 'Empty' and 'Winter' in particular displaying a lot of commercial potential that will also sound simply huge live. The best comparison you could make is that they sound like 'Comalies' era Lacuna Coil – back when they had an edge that was yet to be dulled by over producing and rehashing their formula.

There is no denying that in terms of musicality, production, song-writing and performance Unveil are on to a winner here. It just seems rather derivative and unoriginal. There are no major curve-balls and no real surprises after the first few bars of the first track.

As a unit, displaying this level of talent, it would be a crime if they didn't get signed and exposed to a larger audience. And there is definitely potential for them to do something radical and different. Which is what they need as the female-fronted gothic metal scene is awash with so many sound-a-like acts that Unveil will have to do a hell of a lot to not fade away as soon as they appear.

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Review: Mankind Is Obsolete – 'Möbius Loop'

'Möbius Loop'

It's been seven years since their last full-length studio outing on 'Trapped Inside' but Californian industrial rockers Mankind Is Obsolete are finally back with the long-awaited 'Möbius Loop'. Such long periods between albums is always going to create an unfair amount of expectation which is going to be hard to live up to, but when you step back from all of that and actually listen to 'Möbius Loop' it reveals a band with a solidified sound living up not to expectations, but their own potential.

The album is blend of gritty post-grunge rock and sweaty club-friendly cyberpunk liberally sprinkled with pop hooks. It's rough and aggressive while being completely accessible and will definitely be a good entry point for newcomers to the band. Songs such as 'On Fire Again', 'In These Waking Hours', and 'Writing On The Wall' give the album it's stock of catchy and dance-friendly backbone that will appeal to most listeners. While the likes of 'Lock And Key', 'Lucifer's Song', 'Shadow Man' and 'Crosshairs' give the album its darker and more aggressive edge that will go down a storm live. The album's crowning glory though is the sumptuous ballad 'Empty' which rounds off the album and is perhaps the strongest display of the band's song writing abilities.

The production has a rough and low-fi edge that compliments the band's grungy undertones. The crackles and hisses within the mix really add to the grittiness of the guitars, synths and vocals when the band really want to let rip and rock. But at the same time it doesn't detract from their more melodic side either. It's a fine balance that the band maintain throughout.

OK, so 'Möbius Loop' may have taken it's time to get here, but it was certainly worth the wait. It isn't a particularly world changing record and is unlikely to spawn a thousand imitators. But what it is, is a good band solidifying their sound, and showing just how well they can do what they do. At the end of the day, what more can you ask for?

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Wednesday 18 June 2014

Review: Alter Der Ruine - 'I Will Remember It All Differently'

'I Will Remember It All Differently'

It was a damn shame when Alter Der Ruine called it quits back in 2012. The band had been one that rapidly evolved into an internationally respected act and along the way created some fine music. But thankfully it wasn't a permanent split. Now the band have reformed with a new member in the form of Tamara Jenney brought in to complete the line-up. As with any reformation, no matter how god a band were on their original run )whether that was two years or two decades ago), there is always going to be a pang of doubt before hitting the play button. Thankfully though this is only a brief moment and quickly dispelled.

Veering into dark futurepop mixed with thumping ebm beats, the band return in fine and polished form. Kicking off with the sombre but dance friendly opener 'Lights' it is immediately evident that the band are focussed and steadfast in their conviction. Songs such as 'Horizon Slide', 'Gift Horse', 'Quiet Crimes' and 'Leviathan' perpetuate the dark and emotional dance-pop formula effectively. However the band rarely deviate from this framework aside from a few very creative flourishes sprinkled throughout.

By far the strongest tracks on the album are the hypnotic 'Tundra', the sublimely crafted dance anthem 'Poltergeist' and the dark but delicate 'Stars'. It's these that the band really let themselves indulge and show their song crafting at its best.

The album is well put together and well produced. Nothing feels like it has been rushed, with every bar of every song getting the attention it deserves to create an all-encompassing sense of atmosphere that is quite infatuating.

'I Will Remember It All Differently' is a solid offering by a band that has made a very welcome return. Though there isn't anything here that is particularly ground-breaking, it is a successful exercise in fundamentally good song-writing. Yet it hints at more, and hopefully that will be something they expand on for the next album.

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Tuesday 17 June 2014

Review: Cosmic Armchair – 'We Are Watching'

'We Are Watching'

Cosmic Armchair may be a name that sounds like a parody of a 60s psychedelic band (like Lysergic Casserole for example), but Alfa Matrix's new signings from Singapore no laughing matter. The duo of Cosmic Jane and Cosmic Ben have got their sights set on dancefloor domination.

'We Are Watching', their début EP, is full of euphoric club-friendly tracks full of light trance leads and compelling dance beats permeated by ethereal feminine vocals. 'The opening track 'Conversation' is a light and airy chill out track that would be addition to an end of evening set. While 'Don't Leave Me Here' delves into more synthpop and new wave waters with a fuller and more cohesive sound.

The three club mixes that round-off the EP, 'Marching Of The Days', 'Cross the Line', and 'Conversation' display a more relentless and more self-assured sound. The more varied elements and beat-orientated backbone flesh out the songs nicely and especially when comparing the first version of 'Conversation' with the club mix, it is easy to see where their true talents lie.

As a dance band, the club mixes definitely see the duo on their strongest footing, where as the opening tracks are pleasant enough listening, they don't quite have the determination of the last three. But ultimately this is a good first outing, that only really suffers from a little awkwardness in the way the delicate vocals are mixed. It's going to be interesting to see what shape their full-length début will take.

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Review: Veil Of Thorns – 'Eschaton & Celebration'

'Eschaton & Celebration'

Veil Of Thorns along with Choronzon have been the sonic vehicles for multimedia artist, writer, musician, composer, actor, radio host and 21st century renaissance man P. Emerson Williams for over a quarter of a century. Even if you haven't heard the name chances are that you will have come across some of his work at some point. The latest album under the Veil Of Thorns moniker, 'Eschaton & Celebration', continues Williams' unique brand of sonic alchemy, which blends psychedelia, post-punk and experimental electronica into a myriad of formulae that remain melodically pleasing whist going completely against the musical grain.

'Eschaton & Celebration' is an album of serious substance. Often the “experimental” adjective gets thrown around in desperation when another description evades the reviewer, but with Veil Of Thorns it is perhaps the most apt. P. Emerson Williams takes the listener through layers of swirling synthesizers, ethnically tinged instruments, pure melodic guitar, deep drones and loose structures all the while guided by his Peter Murphy-esque vocal style. Songs such as 'Pleasure Machine', 'Mask Our Fascination', 'Messenger Of Night' and 'Oh, this Suffering Was Glad' blend his ritualistic sound with a pure rock undercurrent that remains thought-provoking but ultimately accessible throughout. While deeper and more complex, tracks like 'An Edifice Tottering', 'Glass Chasm' and 'System Response' draw the listener in and refuse to let go.

'Eschaton & Celebration' is an album that goes where others fear to tread, and yet it remains compelling and ultimately accessible. There is no unnecessary harsh tones to the mix, and the production keeps everything in a dreamlike state.

'Eschaton & Celebration' is another great addition to what is an already impressive back catalogue of releases. For anyone who likes psychedelic or experimental music, this is a must-have album. Even if your idea of experimental doesn't extend beyond the instrumental interludes on a Tool album, there will be something here to get your teeth into.  

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Monday 16 June 2014

For The Love Of Lovecraft...

“I could not help feeling that they were evil things-- mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss. That seething , half-luminous cloud-background held ineffable suggestions of a vague, ethereal beyondness far more than terrestrially spatial; and gave appalling reminders of the utter remoteness, separateness, desolation, and aeon-long death of this untrodden and unfathomed austral world.” 

The above passage from the short story/novella 'At The Mountains Of Madness (1931), is typical of Lovecraft's writing style. It's dense, occasionally clumsy, with a penchant for arcane language and seemingly old-fashioned even by his contemporary standards. Yet H.P. Lovecraft, a New England writer who died in 1937 and was largely unrecognised in his own lifetime has had a profound influence on horror and science fiction ever since. His influences can be seen in the works of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Guillermo Del Toro, H.R. Giger and Ridley Scott.

Arguably out of all the individual monsters and occult horrors that spilled from Lovecraft's mind, the greatest is the collected mythology, the tentacles of which have spread into the public consciousness and continue to grow thanks to his ever growing fan-base. What is it about the writings of Howard Phillips Lovecraft that endure and resonate with modern audiences? After all in was nearly a century ago when the New England native began penning his weird and macabre tales of unimaginable cosmic horrors. Yet the mythology he created around primordial galactic gods and foolish mortals driven to madness has become a staple of modern popular culture with nods to his work found everywhere from films to cartoons.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” — 'Supernatural Horror in Literature' (1925 1927) 

Born on 20th August, 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island into an old family by US standards. When Lovecraft was only three-years-old, his father suffered a nervous breakdown in a hotel room in Chicago before being brought back and committed to Butler Hospital, where he remained for five years before dying on 19th July, 1898 from what is suspected to be paresis, a form of neurosyphilis. Lovecraft was subsequently raised by his mother, his two aunts, and grandfather, Whipple Van Buren Phillips.

Lovecraft was an avid reader from an early age and became obsessed with Arabian Nights, even adopting an Arabic pseudonym for himself in “Abdul Alhazred,” to whom he would later attribute as the writer of the mythical Necronomicon.

Lovecraft was a sickly child and suffered from a number of psychosomatic ailments, which would lead to him infrequently attending school. Despite this Lovecraft was an advanced reader and developed an aptitude for chemistry and astronomy, indeed some of his earliest published works were in scientific journals. Lovecraft would ultimately suffer a nervous breakdown of his own shortly before graduating high school and as such never received his diploma. Lovecraft would retreat from the public and develop a love/hate relationship with his mother, who never got over the death of her husband, Lovecraft's father. His mother would later have a breakdown and ultimately die from botched gall bladder surgery in 1919. It was during this time however that Lovecraft began to see his letters and poetry published in various journals.

Lovecraft's writing style was heavily influenced by writers and poets such as Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, Alexander Pope, Lord Dunsany as well as the macabre gothic horror of Edgar Allen Poe. This gave Lovecraft's prose an archaic but authoritative air that instilled even his contemporary-set fiction with a sense of blurred time that complimented his weird themes. His stories slowly began to be circulated and his first published story, 'The Alchemist' would appear in United Amateur in 1916. However it wouldn't be until 1922 that Lovecraft would see his first commercially published work.

Lovecraft's unique blend of science fiction, horror and the occult stood out amongst his peers at the time. Reoccurring motifs such as the unseen hand of ancient powers and races influencing modern man, horrors not fully comprehensible, deep time, madness and forbidden knowledge drew his readers in and slowly unveiled a world that forced them to draw on their own subconscious fears.

“I choose weird stories because they suit my inclination best—one of my strongest and most persistent wishes being to achieve, momentarily, the illusion of some strange suspension or violation of the galling limitations of time, space, and natural law which for ever imprison us and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic spaces beyond the radius of our sight and analysis. These stories frequently emphasise the element of horror because fear is our deepest and strongest emotion, and the one which best lends itself to the creation of nature-defying illusions.” — 'Notes On Writing Weird Fiction' (1937) 

The Simon "Necronomicon"

It is perhaps fare to say that Lovecraft is a writer for the scientific age. Gone are the supernatural horrors, ghosts, ghouls, and demons of the horror fiction that preceded him. In their place are indifferent creatures from the depths of time and space. Evil looking down from the stars that science continues to yearn to reach. They are older than man, older than the Earth itself. In the same way explorers wrote 'Here Be dragons' on the unexplored portions on the slowly expanding maps of the world, so Lovecraft looked into the depth of time and vastness of the cosmos and filled the gaps with his own monsters.

Many of Lovecraft's stories would feature a character (or characters) who, usually against sound judgement and woefully unprepared, would endeavour to push beyond the realms of human endeavour spiritually, scientifically or simply out of idle curiosity. Often meeting a terrible fate at the hands of some unknown horror.

Although Lovecraft's works were populated with monsters, cults and occult he let the reader do a lot of the work and avoided the mistakes of over explaining every detail to give everything a back story. Instead these horrors simply existed, ambivalent towards mankind. Even the contents of the occult tools he imagined, such as the legendary Necronomicon were never explored in depth. This suggestiveness was slowly built upon until it formed a mythos, thinly threaded together and open to interpretation and addition. 

“The one test of the really weird is simply this—whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers; a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe’s utmost rim.” Supernatural Horror in Literature' (1925 1927) 

Lovecraft spent the majority of his life in Providence Rhode Island, aside from a period where he moved to New York City with his wife Sonia Haft Greene who was a Russian Jew and several years older than him. They moved to Borough of Brooklyn where initially Lovecraft began to get a foothold as a professional writer, while Sonia ran a hat shop on Fifth Avenue. However soon things took a disastrous turn and before long Lovecraft found himself in an apartment near Red Hook. It was a bleak period that was reflected in his writing. Stories such as 'He' and 'The Horror At Red Hook' is unequivocal in his disdain for New York and the growing immigrant population.
My coming to New York had been a mistake; for whereas I had looked for poignant wonder and inspiration in the teeming labyrinths of ancient streets that twist endlessly from forgotten courts and squares and waterfronts to courts and squares and waterfronts equally forgotten, and in the Cyclopean modern towers and pinnacles that rise blackly Babylonian under waning moons, I had found instead only a sense of horror and oppression which threatened to master, paralyse, and annihilate me.” 'He' (1925) 

Lovecraft harboured a deep sense of identitarianism in his writings and his views even at the time were deemed distasteful. They came forward in his work from his earliest amateur journalism in his own publication The Conservative, and more so in the form of disparaging remarks and descriptions of not only of those of a non-northern European origin, but in the humanoid creatures he envisioned in his fiction. Even though Lovecraft's later correspondence with friends would see him engage in discussions about race and creed that would serve to soften his views, the xenophobia of his youth continues to be a main source of reticence for his detractors.

“He had a narrow head, bulging, watery blue eyes that seemed never to wink, a flat nose, a receding forehead and chin, and singularly undeveloped ears. His long, thick lip and coarse-pored, greyish cheeks seemed almost beardless except for some sparse yellow hairs that straggled and curled in irregular patches; and in places the surface seemed queerly irregular, as if peeling from some cutaneous disease. [...]
“His oddities certainly did not look Asiatic, Polynesian, Levantine, or negroid, yet I could see why the people found him alien. I myself would have thought of biological degeneration rather than alienage.” — 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' (1936) 

“Examined at headquarters after a trip of intense strain and weariness, the prisoners all proved to be men of a very low, mixed-blooded, and mentally aberrant type. Most were seamen, and a sprinkling of negroes and mulattoes, largely West Indians or Brava Portuguese from the Cape Verde Islands, gave a colouring of voodooism to the heterogeneous cult.” — The Call Of Cthulhu (1928) 

Although the themes and ideas of Lovecraft's work appeal to the modern era's existential obsession with the unknown and the fear of what lurks there, his writing style was heavily set in antiquated eighteenth century literature he grew up with. A major criticism of Lovecraft that is often brought up is his use of baroque description and heavy use of convoluted adjectives, with words such as “Cyclopean” and “Eldritch” regularly featuring in his work. He also had a tendency to write stories from a first person perspective which, while providing a deep psychological insight into the horror the narrator was experiencing, did often mean that the stories were wrapped-up in a somewhat clumsy manner with something hideous and out of sight coming for the narrator while he is writing his experiences down and making no attempts to save himself.
“The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it. It shall not find me. God, that hand! The window! The window!” — 'Dagon' (1917) 

One of Lovecraft's greatest literary achievements though was in a very different use of language. Names such as Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Azathoth are almost Sumerian in their construction and imply lineage that has walked, unseen besides mankind. There are also small snippets of ancient, unpronounceable languages hint at a greater truth that has been all but lost except to a few pockets throughout the globe.

“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. (In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.)” — 'The Call of Cthulhu' (1928) 

Yet for all of Lovecraft's personal foibles, often clumsy, dense and anecdotal writing style. His grip on the modern imagination has not waned. Although there was a danger that it may have been forgotten altogether if it hadn't been for the dedication of his friends to set up the publisher Arkham House to produce hardback collections of his work posthumously. His writing has influenced some of the greatest works in horror and science fiction that have come since with 'At The Mountains Of Madness' reflected in Ridley Scott's 'Alien' and the body horror of 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth'  in 'The Thing', and the aesthetics of the Lovecraftian bestiary are plain to see in the menagerie of creatures prominent in the films of Guillermo Del Toro. Even in children's cartoons such as Maxwell Atoms' 'Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy' creatures such as Cthulhu making an appearance.
“There will always be a small percentage of persons who feel a burning curiosity about unknown outer space, and a burning desire to escape from the prison-house of the known and the real into those enchanted lands of incredible adventure and infinite possibilities which dreams open up to us, and which things like deep woods, fantastic urban towers, and flaming sunsets momentarily suggest.” — 'Notes On Writing Weird Fiction' (1937) 

The wider Cthulhu Mythos was added to, under the encouragement, of Lovecraft himself during his lifetime by his friends such as Robert Bloch, Clark Ashton Smith and August Derleth, and with every new generation of writers with the likes of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Joanna Russ and J. Ramsay Campbell, more and more continue to add to the collective tapestry of the mythos. It has almost become a rite of passage for aspiring horror/sci-fi writers to imitate Lovecraft and add their spin to the mythos with even yours truly having penned a few Lovecraftian horrors while undertaking Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University. Perhaps the best of which 'The Devil In The Crypt' – a story of a malignant horror discovered after some ill advised exploration of an old church on the Yorkshire coast – still remains locked away on an old floppy disk yearning for revision.

Lovecraft died st the turning point of his career from intestinal cancer. His work finally looking like it would start to bring him commercial success. Today Lovecraft's work has been translated into different languages, his most famous creature Cthulhu has become a merchandising favourite with toys and games bearing its likeness. His works have been transferred (with varying degrees of success) to the big screen. Even his Necronomicon has been fleshed out and produced as a pseudo grimoire for the ever growing masses with an interest in occult studies. His work has continued to grow after his death and as long as humanity continues to push unfettered into the unknown of science, so to will his creations remain all the more relevant.

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” — 'The Nameless City' (1921) 

Beyond Lovecraft: 

'The Mist' by Stephen King 
'A Study In Emerald' by Neil Gaiman 
'The Shadow From The Steeple' by Robert Bloch 
'Beyond The Threshold' by August Derleth
'The Courtyard' by Alan Moore 
'My Boat' by Joanna Russ 
'Alien' Directed by Ridley Scott 
'Hellboy' Directed by Guillmo Del Toro
'Re-animator' Directed by Stuart Gordon 
'Alone In The Dark' (series) by Infogrames
'The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy' Created by Maxwell Atoms (Season 4, Episode 13)

For more information on H.P. Lovecraft please visit The H.P. Lovecraft Archive.

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Friday 13 June 2014

The weekly compendium 13/06/2014

It's Friday 13th and I'm off to Crystal Lake for the evening... well no not really, but I probably will break out a copy of that famous slasher flick that shares its title with today's date for tonight's viewing pleasure. But before I do, here is a run down of what we had for you this week.

We kicked things off with news from Dokka about the uncertain future facing Eddie's nightclub in Birmingham. And we had lashings of new reviews from the likes of Tregenza, Fatal Casualties, Be My Enemy, Nahtaivel, and Avarice In Audio.

While over on Facebook we found out that 53 degrees – the home of Dark-Cide is to close. Android Lust have released a sexy vinyl edition of their anniversary issue of 'The Dividing' (ME WANT!) and finally it has been announced that Prude have signed to Metropolis Records.

Right, that's your lot. Here's a musical tribute by Interstitial to the legendary comedian and actor Rik Mayall who sadly died this past week.

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Thursday 12 June 2014

Review: Avarice In Audio – 'Frostbite EP'

'Frostbite EP'

The 'Frostbite EP' is the début EP from Alfa Matrix's new Australian signing, Avarice In Audio. Made up of the duo of Gerry Hawkins (Cryogenic Echelon) and Jade Pegg (Acidtrixx) the EP displays the penchant for big club anthems we've come to expect from Hawkins while the dual male and female vocal duties stray into ethereal and even operatic territory to give the project a unique and somewhat eccentric identity of its own.

The EP blends synthpop, edm, dark electro and dubstep elements to create a thoroughly modern and dynamic formula that works particularly well on the infectious title track 'Frostbite' as well as the huge club-friendly 'Sleepwalking Society', and the all out dance-fest that is 'Heartless Disaster' featuring the expertise of XP8. There are of course three remixes included for good measure with Studio-X, Heartwire and Ruinizer adding their unique flavours to the originals. Though it is perhaps Ruinizer's take on 'Heartless Disaster' that proves to be the best of the three with its more experimental style.

As you'd expect from a project involving Gerry Hawkins, the production and mixing is absolutely spot on. Each track simply sounds huge and room-filling with exceptional attention to detail.

This is a strong introduction to a band that looks destined to be a big part of the Alfa Matrix roster going forward. Hopefully it won't be too long before we get our hands on a full length release.

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Review: Nahtaivel – 'Epicus Doomicus Electronicus'

'Epicus Doomicus Electronicus'

Nahtaivel is the solo project formed by Brazilian native Fernando Nahtaivel, whose former credits include keyboard duties in the black metal bands Insane Devotion, Evilwar and Doomsday Ceremony. With five solo albums already under his belt since 2002 his latest release sees a major change in direction. His dance-friendly and club-orientated industrial/ebm formula on 'Epicus Doomicus Electronicus' is augmented by sci-fi themes, tribal drumming, ethnic embellishments and an altogether more adventurous writing style.

Taking cues from the likes of iVardensphere and even a hint of Juno Reactor, songs like 'Galactica', 'Life:Abomination', 'The Void', 'Here Comes The Rain', and 'Twilight Zone' are all testament to this more innovative approach to song writing. The mixture of prog sensibilities, seething synthesizers, distorted vocals and infectious, organic sounding rhythms give the tracks a greater scope than his previous club friendly offerings.

Nahtaivel has chosen to gamble on this release, and for the most part it has paid off. There are a few areas that do hold the album back a bit. The overly long intro with battle sounds on 'Green Hell' is unnecessary and clumsy, and 'Endless Galaxies Part I' sounds a bit too much like it was written for a video game compared to the more cinematic tracks on the album.

On the whole though, the quality of the song writing, along with the production of the album is pretty solid. Occasionally the mix gets a little swamped with all the various elements vying for the listeners attention, but the songs don't suffer for it.

This is a strong release for Nahtaivel and one that could prove to be a serious game changer. A little more of a focussed execution (and perhaps a whole lot more of the tribal and eastern influences) on future releases will undoubtedly see his stock rise further afield.

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Tuesday 10 June 2014

Review: Be My Enemy – 'The Enemy Within'

'The Enemy Within'

Phil Barry (formerly of of techno-rockers Cubanate) unleashes his long-awaited second album under the Be My Enemy moniker. Following one from the release of the 'Party Monster' earlier this year, Barry returns with more frantic and high octane punk-infused dance rock to set dance floors on fire and get heads banging.

Be My Enemy's début 'This Is The New Wave' was a promising collection of songs that were perhaps only held back by a little unconscious uncertainty. However, 'The Enemy Within' sees Barry return full of rage and conviction with a tighter and even heavier sound than before. The Pitchshifter-esque snarling vocals, demonic rave electronics and searing guitars are turned up to eleven and erupt from the speakers at breakneck speed.

Songs like 'Kill Your Television', 'To Protect And Serve', 'We Become Gods', 'Party Monster' and 'Insomniac' are as heavy as they are catchy, and even in their most savage sounding moments are still wonderfully infectious. Each song has the anthemic, communal quality that you'd usually find on an Atari Teenage Riot/Alec Empire album, while at the same time having that tie to the British punk and underground rave scenes of the past. He even manages to get downright experimental on the all to brief instrumental 'The Memory Hole' which breaks up the track list nicely.

There is a hell of a lot going on in the mix and sometimes the electronics, guitars and vocals simply become a wall of noise. Yet it still somehow works. Overall the execution is clean and fresh, but the hard and dissonant writing style can still simply bludgeon you.

This is a very strong second outing for Barry which builds nicely on the strengths of the first album and shows continued growth as a song-writer, performer and producer. 'The Enemy Within' features some excellent and memorable tracks that will undoubtedly ensure Be My Enemy's place as a top name in the UK industrial scene.  

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Review: Fatal Casualties – 'Psalm'


Despite being founded 28 years ago. Swedish idustrial-tinged ebm duo Fatal Casualties released their first EP last year. And it was a damn impressive effort. Their gritty minimalist style of electronics was reminiscent of The Klinik, Skinny Puppy and Cabaret Voltaire and was still inherently dance-friendly. This time the duo of Stefan Ljungdahl and Ivan Hirvonen return with nine brand new tracks to secure their newly carved out place in the annals of electronic music.

With vocals sounding like a cross between Andy Sex Gang and Blixa Bargeld throughout the band will be attractive to fans of the avant garde while their dark and gritty musical backdrop with it's proto-ebm slant will stimulate the fancies of fans of the old school sounds. Yet, as songs like 'Misantropisk Filth', 'Dod Man', 'Jag Slowburn', 'New' and 'Missfostret' prove, they're more than an exercise in nostalgia. They can break out an addictive dance beat just as easily as they can get downright weird.

As you'd expect there is still a roughness to the production that isn't altogether unpleasant. It still has a nice up-to-date slant to it but it adequately reflects their mid-80s without sounding like it's ripped from a second generation demo tape found in a damp attic.

Although there are some very strong songs, and some even more intriguing arty tracks. It does feel somewhat scattered in its approach. Which is a shame as Ljungdahl and Hirvonen are obviously a pair of very talented musicians who aren't afraid to experiment with their sound.

'Psalm' may prove to be somewhat of an acquired taste, but if you're adventurous, it does definitely pay off. The duo would do well to come back with a more focussed approach maybe next time, but this is a good stepping stone for them from what they achieved on last year's 'Paria' EP.

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Monday 9 June 2014

Review: Tregenza – 'Last Light'

'Last Light'

Former Goteki mastermind Ross Tregenza returns with his fifth solo EP 'Last Light' following on from the 2013 releases 'Snowdrift', 'Wolves' and 'Born Into Fire'. The credentials of the composer / vocalist / producer / sound designer's body of work since retiring Goteki for the second time has seen a rapid diversification of his sound, the results of which have been some of the best work in his career.

'Last Light' certainly carries this tradition on. The title track opens the EP up with Tregenza's trademark mournful dark electro that was initially pioneered on Goteki's 'Santa Muerte', but has since been refined to an opulent blend of melodic electronics and slow but danceable beats on his solo outings. The two remixes of the track 'Tregenza's Magic Hour Remix' and 'Piano Mix' take the song in different directions with the first feeling a lot more bouncy and playful, while the second unleashes the songs raw emotional content. The other original track 'Realization' is a great neoclassical meets martial instrumental track that, just as with 'Moons Of Saturn' on the 'Born Into Fire' EP begs to be on a film soundtrack.

This is another solid EP from Tregenza. Although it is a little more focussed on the title track this time around, it nevertheless still displays that sense of experimentation and diversity in its construction. The production is excellent once again, and the atmospheres on the songs, particularly 'Realization' and 'Last Light (Piano Mix)' sound simply cinematic in their execution.

Ross Tregenza has shown his prowess as a songwriter and producer over the course of the EP releases. But it is time now for the big test with his début solo full-length album due out later this year. Yet if this is anything to go by, he should be able to pull it off with ease.  

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Long Standing Brum Alt. Club Risks Closure.

original artwork from Edwards No. 8.
Deep in the heart of the UK's 'Home of Metal' lies the legendary alternative nightclub 'Eddies', but as of Thursday 5th June 2014 the future of this haven to all that is Rock, Goth and Industrial hangs in the balance as the building is now in new ownership.

Thursday afternoon saw organisers announce that "Due to a 'Change in Ownership' of the 'Property', EDDIES will have to be CLOSED this weekend." on their facebook page.
"It has come as a big shock" Manager Colin Wall stated  "and when I have all the Facts we will post them up."  

Starting over 20 years ago 'Edwards No.8' used to be a large complex featuring two clubs and two pubs, but after it's closure in 2007 due to a fire it's future looked grim. Luckily the clubs owners found a new venue housed in the aptly named 'Gough street' two years later. Bands to have played at the venue include the likes of Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, VNV Nation and even Nirvana.

Godflesh live in  89'. Courtesy of Dickshort photos.
Jodie (Jo Jo) Griffin, event organizer of Dystopia started the night when she became the president of the University of Birminghams' Goth Society. "It took on a life of it's own once we took up residence in the Dungeon at Eddie's; Jojo notes, "We were given free reign to play our trademark eclectic (often rather silly!) mix of music styles, as well as the opportunity for lots of people to have a go themselves, creating an involved and friendly atmosphere." 
"It's much more than just a club, it has become a community of friends and a place where unforgettable memories are made."
The club has also been home to a number of host DJ's, including Industrial heavy weight Presley. Starting out in the 90's he then made a name for himself working 'The Goth Room' giving it an new lease of life.

 "I'm not really into reminiscing, but that place had something special. It's hard to pin point what exactly, probably a whole load of things, but mainly it was the people. There were no politics, no bullshitting, just a big group of people all working for the same cause and supporting each other. When it burnt down it was destroying to all of us, it was heartbreaking."
His opinion of the latest venue is mixed. "Eddies since then has never quite captured that same feeling, but it's still a hugely important part of the alternative scene. Birmingham needs Eddies to keep going in one form or another. I'm keeping everything crossed for the DJ's and Staff who work there currently, many of them I'm still in touch with."
Another grand night out for the Dystopia crew. Photo by Crestfall
Patrons of the club are in shock and have even started up a facebook group as solidarity and had over 500 members within the hour of it's creation.

Although the future is uncertain for this important part of Birminghams' music history, the mark it has left so far will make sure it won't go down without a fight. Details are to be decided next week on the clubs outcome.

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Friday 6 June 2014

The weekly compendium 06/06/2014

This year is going fast. We've hit the end of the first week of June! If you're a pessimist then the year is half over... If you're an optimist however you'll no doubt be thinking of all the great album releases due between now and 31st December... I know I am!

This week we kicked things off properly with an interview with the man behind Godhead, Jason C. Miller. We had news from Wave Gotik Treffen and Cold Spring Records, and reviews of the latest releases from Godflesh, Peter Murphy and XP8. And for those who care, I turned my Editorial column towards the next Intravenous Magazine 'Blood Pack...' compilation album.

On Facebook, we had new music from Tregenza, Cease2xist, Kunoichi and Broken Links. As well as news from Concrete Lung.

So that's your lot for this week. I need to go make lists and write ideas down for the next compilation. While I'm doing that, here's a classic album to hold you over, courtesy of Coil.

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Thursday 5 June 2014

Editorial: June 2014

It's June already, and I'm making plans for the next 'Blood Pack' compilation that will be released on 1st January 2015 to celebrate our 2nd birthday as a webzine.

The response to the first compilation has been overwhelmingly positive and I'm grateful to everyone who has downloaded it so far. If you're new to this site and haven't downloaded it yet, please click the album cover in the sidebar and download yourself a free copy from our bandcamp page. This was our first release and presented us with a steep learning curve. But we got it together in good time and I'm proud of the final product.

This time around I think we'll aim for a shorter and more concise album that will probably be about sixteen tracks in length maximum. I think the idea of getting enough contributions for a double album was a little ambitious and despite getting enough people to offer tracks, sadly some didn't get round to delivering. With this in mind I'll be personally sending out invitations to some bands and artist later this month before I open it up to other submissions if there are slots left. That being said, feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page if you're interested in contributing anything.

As with the first compilation we'll be looking for exclusive new songs, demos and remixes from new and exciting acts from around the globe. And again we'll be including a PDF booklet with the album that will feature biographical information and hyperlinks for every band and label featured.

When I announced the compilation last July I'd already got the cover art 90% finished, and that is of course what I showed off in the Editorial. It was all done in one humid night where I was having trouble sleeping and it is getting the artwork done that finally pushed me to announce the compilation. This time I'm doing things the opposite way round. I'll be photographing the cover this year, as I think will probably be the case from now on, however there are two or three ideas I want to try first, so the one I think may work best might not be what I actually go with... you know how these things go.

Right, that's it for this month's ramble. If you actually read these, please share it on social media and if you're in a band, keep an eye out for further announcements regarding the compilation in the forthcoming months.

Once again, make sure you have these links in your favourites:

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