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'


Thursday 31 July 2014

Review: Mr Kitty – 'Time'


Austin, Texas based solo project Mr Kitty (AKA Forrest Carney) has seen a big increase in exposure this year with the domestic and international re-release of his third album 'Life'. Most artists would simply ride the wave of fresh attention, but Carney is already back with his fourth outing, 'Time', which further solidifies his unique blend of catchy synthpop and chic witch-house that has characterised his “Dark Youth” series that began on the début 'Death'.

The double whammy of openers 'XIII' and 'Rats' gets things off to an aggressive start with hard beats and over-processed vocals giving the album a frantic kind of energy straight away. 'Glow' and 'Hollow' on the other hand revive the more melodic elements of the preceding album and let Carney's Neil Tenant style vocals shine through.

'Time' is one of those rare albums that is crammed full of songs, but utterly devoid of filler. Every track is strong in its own right and also compliments the LP as a whole. But Carney definitely comes into his own on the big tracks such as 'Devour', 'After Dark', 'Laceration', 'Black Truth', 'Hold Me Down', and 'Child Of The Earth'. None of them are “typical” sounding (as with all the tracks here), but each one is a sure-fired club hit.

The production on the album has a nice rough edge to it that stops the songs from sounding too pop, but neither do they get dragged into truly experimental waters. Instead the album sits nicely between the dark and light elements of the Mr Kitty sound.

It's hard to find fault with this album. Some may argue its not pop enough and some may say it could be darker and more experimental. But despite its often frantic energy and emotional melodies, it remains well balanced and well executed. 'Time' shows that Mr Kitty is a bright star rising and that he is confident and talented enough to strike out beyond the “Dark Youth” series.

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Review: The Dreamside – 'Sorrow Bearing Tree'

'Sorrow Bearing Tree'

Over twenty years into their career and Netherlands-based ethereal gothic rock act The Dreamside are back with their latest album 'Sorrow Bearing Tree'. The band have enjoyed worldwide exposure and acclaim thanks to albums such as 'Pale Blue Lights', 'Apaika' and 'Spin Moon Magic'. The band have always been on the cusp of something big but never managed to push their way over the top and have for the most part remained somewhat underrated by the general public.

They may have traded in their earlier folk-tinged ethereal darkwave for a more generic electronic augmented gothic metal, but the band can still bang out the atmospherics and ambience. The new album is dramatic and incredibly well performed with every nuance of the band's 20 year history audible throughout. Ultimately though it doesn't really bring anything drastically new to the table, and unfortunately sounds a little too close to the bigger bands they no doubt inspired.

The album does have it's pulling points though. Songs such as 'Sorrow Bearing Tree', 'Miracle Days', 'Collide', 'Seraphim' and 'The Spiral Leads' give the album a strong backbone of groove-laden metal and exquisite melodies that stand alongside the band's most memorable past offerings. While the short folk tracks that break up the longer tracks are an interesting choice that could have really been developed more, perhaps even separately as an EP.

The band's biggest miscalculation is their choice to throw another lacklustre Depeche Mode cover onto the already heaving pile of tributes to the synthpop innovators. 'Walking In My Shoes' just sounds flat, unfinished and ultimately to close to the original to really add any merit to the album.

The production, mixing and the individual performances of the band are as strong as they have ever been. Each song is well crafted and well executed, but ultimately over the course of the fourteen tracks the effect of the strongest tracks take a hit from some of the more mediocre tracks included.

This isn't really the band's finest work, but neither is it their worst by any means. A shorter and more focussed track list would have benefited them rather than the stop and start feel that it has. The loyal fans will find enough here to reward their faith. But newer fans may want to start a little further back with the forthcoming re-releases.

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Wednesday 30 July 2014

Review: Virtual Terrorist – 'Re-Coded'


Virtual Terrorist may not be a huge name outside of the Canadian scene but there is no doubt that Siborg's industrial technoize project means business. Hard and uncompromising in its approach, Virtual Terrorist is an incendiary blend of hard beats, abrasive synths, samples and cyberpunk attitude that remains ultimately dance-friendly.

The one-man-projects latest release is the remix companion to February's 'Source Code EP' and features contributions from the likes of Xero, Mangadrive, and Kold as well as one brand new demo track.

New cut 'Escape' opens the album with its steady dance pace and post millennium synths. It isn't the most hard hitting track in his back catalogue but it has an undeniable catchy quality to it. Xero provides 'Firewall Breaker' with a nice rhythmic noise reworking while Mangadrive turn up its club potential with their mix-friendly take. Digital Winter give 'Hacking Software' an anarchic industrial remix that is both dirty and infectious, while Radutron turn up the metal guitars for what would be a great mix to include on a Terminator soundtrack. Gotthavok then bring the rhythmic noise back for their remix of 'Corporate Warfare'. Kold on the other hand break out the light and clean futuristic synths for a funky take on 'Retro Terror Punk'.

This is a very diverse release that will literally have something for everyone, no matter what genres they favour. It iss a testament not only to the quality of Siborg's song writing ability, but also the choices in remixers he has. Though being a remix album, 'Re-Coded' probably won't make a huge splash, it nonetheless gives Siborg the tools to infiltrate as many club sets as possible.

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Review: Cocksure – 'TVMALSV'


The union of Chris Connelly and Jason Novak – whose careers should by now need no introductions – was always going to prove to be an engrossing assault on the senses. Combining the classic Wax Trax! sound of Connelly's early career and the compulsive beats of Novak the duo revive the Revolting Cocks sound for 2014. Nasty industrial, for nasty people.

It would be very easy for the duo to sound like a fossil from an outmoded take on the genre, but rather than merely replicating the sound, or simply picking up where Connelly and the Cocks left off. They instead approach the project with the same attitude of no set boundaries, just a penchant for uncompromising force. And it works.

The likes of 'Skeemy Gates', 'Guilt, Speed And Carbon', 'Cock Ripped To The Giddy Tits', and 'TKO Mindfuck' all deliver the big beats, dissonant synths and snarling vocals that fans of the late 80s/early 90s ebm meets industrial rock sound will undoubtedly be craving. While the likes of 'Ah Don' Eat Meat, Bitch!' and 'Cokane In My Brain' throw in some smatterings of old school punk and reggae respectively.

It's hard to put your finger on what it is that makes the tracks sound as up-to-date as they do. There's no overt use of edm or dubstep as is all the rage now. Instead its subtle and respectful, even down to the mixing and production which are unmistakeably 2014 but don't interrupt that old school vibe in the least.

As an album 'TVMALSV' works incredibly well. Its a strong union of musical traditions in the form of its members and proves that the Wax Trax! spirit is alive and well without coming off as an exercise in nostalgia. It would have been nice to have a couple more tracks included that had some potential as singles which would give the album more drawing power. But what is here works very well. Hopefully there will be more to come from Connelly and Novak.

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Tuesday 29 July 2014

Review: Society 1 - 'A Collection Of Lies'

'A Collection Of Lies'

After several years in the wilderness, the fortunes of controversial industrial rockers Society 1, once again look to be on the up. The return of founding guitarist, a new comic book, single and album to promote show that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The band's new album 'A Collection Of Lies' unites rarities, b-sides and some cuts from the albums that never quite made it from the studio to print in order to draw a line under the quintet's wandering years.

It's great that songs such as 'Lifeless', 'I Got You', 'Scream Out Your Breath' and 'Kill Me', which had only been available to watch as promotional videos on the band's YouTube page until now, are finally getting an official release. Indeed these alone show what the band was capable of during this period and why it was a shame that no official releases saw the light of day. Each one embodies the different angles to the band's sound, whether it is the relentless thrash of 'Lifeless' and 'Kill Me', the slow and groove laden 'I Got You', or the poignant emotional 'Scream Out Your Breath'. Any of them would have made a strong lead single for their respective albums.

The rest of the tracks expand on these angles with songs such as 'Never Been One', 'All My Pain', 'Hard To See' and 'Open Cries' in particular really serving to whet the appetite at what could have been. While simultaneously building the anticipation to see what the band's forthcoming studio effort will bring.

'A Collection Of Lies' being a compilation of tracks doesn't have the same flow to it that a unified studio album would do. But the arrangement of the songs and the mastering job has done it's best to create as sense of continuation throughout the track list that makes it an easy listen. There are a couple of songs such as 'I Will Dominate' and 'Still Alive' that don't quite fit with the rest of the album's sound, but it's not a major issue.

This album will provide the band's fans with some closure and finally allow them to own a piece of what has only been hinted at of the past several years. It does, however, raise further questions as to how the full albums the band had been working on in this time would have sounded. But with Matt and co's sight set firmly on the future it nevertheless represents a shedding of the skin and a new start.  

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Film Review: 'Living The American Nightmare (The Story Of A Rockstar)'

'Living The American Nightmare (The Story Of A Rockstar)' 
Dir: Pawl Bazile 

The 2011 documentary 'Living The American Nightmare (The Story Of A Rockstar)' is inspired by the book 'King Of And Empire, To The Shoes Of A Misfit' by former Empire Hideous founder, Myke Hideous, and chronicles the career of the New York underground legend. The film also features interviews with some big names connected to the scene including members of Type O Negative, The Misfits, Danzig, Empire Hideous, Murder Junkies, Life Of Agony and Overkill as well as Bill Ward of Black Sabbath, and journalists and DJs as they dish the dirt on the dark and desperate world of a musician trying to “make it” in America.

The way the documentary is set out is somewhat unusual with the narrative flicking between a wider look at the process of musicians writing, touring, trying to get record deals and living the rock 'n' roll lifestyle and a closer look at the case study of Myke Hideous that runs alongside the story of The Misfits which ultimately converge.

The film's stories are told through jumping vox pops and archival footage, (the quality of which can occasionally vary) and has separate narratives that attempt to intersect at various points. It ultimately feels like you're watching two documentaries in one, which perhaps would have been a better prospect with both sides being more focussed on their subjects and less scattered in their focus. But the documentary is still nonetheless insightful and revealing in a brutally honest way.

Myke Hideous' narrative of his early struggles, forming Empire Hideous and being a star of his local scene but never making it to the big time until the ultimately ill fated opportunity to join the misfits and the fallout of that time is engrossing. It's a frustrating look at someone achieving their dreams and ultimately blowing up in their face. Although his central role is buffeted by a huge cast of supporting characters, it remains a powerful and compelling story.

The show is ultimately stolen by the last and heavily confessional interview of Type O Negative's Peter Steele who died shortly after the filming of the documentary. Although his portion of the documentary totals less than fifteen minutes, his experiences as he tells them carry the most poignant weight.

The extra interviews included serve to further expand on the stories of the Empire Hideous breakup, The Misfits and Michael Graves, relationships, and more of Peter Steele's insights. These again could have been worked into the main narrative had this been two separate documentaries.

The highs and lows of every level of the music business are wrapped up within 'Living The American Nightmare (The Story Of A Rockstar)'. Yes it does often lose focus, and it jumps about a bit too much. But the lessons contained within should mean that it is required viewing for anyone who has ever picked up an instrument and dreamed about being a rockstar. The people in this documentary have literally made every mistake so you don't have to.


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Monday 28 July 2014

Broken Links announce new album and single

Southampton trio Broken Links have announced the details for the sophomore album, 'Divide/Restore'. The album will be available via Devil Theory Records on 6th April 2015 and follows on from their début last year 'Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene'.

The band have also announced the first single from the album, 'Blood On The Motorway', which can be heard on the band's Soundcloud page or in the video below.

Track List:

1 - Submission
2 - The Bounty Hunter
3 - Dead Embers
4 - Life of the Biologically Dead
5 - I'll Run Away
6 - Blood On The Motorway
7 - Asphalt
8 - Transient/Fourth Planet
9 - The Sickness In Your Eyes
10 - What You Want
11 - Unnatural

The band will be releasing a track every month until the the release of the album and will be unveiling a slew of videos and promotional material along the way as well.

For more information on the new album, please visit the Devil Theory Records website, or the band's official website.

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Interview: Phil Barry (Be My Enemy)

The enemy within...

“I know where I’m heading and what I’m doing. That doesn’t mean that I will stick to a formula and pump out loads of similar sounding albums like some bands, I’ve never done that.”

Formerly of UK rave-rock pioneers Cubanate, Phil Barry has spent the past few years carving out a new path for himself with the anarchic and riotous new band Be My Enemy. Imbued with hard riffs, punk vocals and acidic synthesizers, Be My Enemy lit the touchpaper with their 2011 début, 'This Is The New Wave'. Now in 2014 Barry and his crew have unleashed the sophomore offering to solidify the band's sound and focus their rage.
We caught up with Barry to talk about the new album, retaining control of his work and the shadow of Cubanate.

Intravenous Magazine: Your second album under the Be My Enemy name, 'The Enemy Within' was released recently. How has the reaction been to it so far?

Phil Barry: It’s been great, I’m happy with how it has been received.

IVM: How do you feel Be My Enemy has developed since the release of your first album 'This Is The New Wave' and now?

PB: I think I have found the Be My Enemy sound now. I know where I’m heading and what I’m doing. That doesn’t mean that I will stick to a formula and pump out loads of similar sounding albums like some bands, I’ve never done that. I also think I’m improving and evolving as a song writer, musician and as a performer and I’m enjoying the journey.

IVM: How do you typically approach writing a song for Be My Enemy?

PB: That’s a huge question. There isn’t a set way. On the whole I’ll set up a groove, drums bass and guitar and then see if it evokes a particular emotion to write some words to. Writing words for the songs is by far the hardest part of the process for me. I’ve already made a decision to change the way I’m going to work on the next BME album, I’m not going to say how but changes are a foot.

IVM: You shot a video for the track 'Party Monster' how did the concept for that come about and are you happy with the results?

PB: I’m very happy with the results Malwalka Production did an unbelievable great job with the budget. They mostly came up with the concept and did everything . There’s some really great acting in the video, really top stuff. I did want to make sure the ‘Party Monster’ in the video is not a hero, he does commit mass murder at the end of it, and he is a total bastard.

IVM: The album is a riotous and anthemic affair. What were your thematic and stylistic influences going into writing it?

PB: The album is in two halves split by the track ‘The Memory Hole’ in the middle. Two themes are ‘The Enemy Within’ looking out and ‘The Enemy Within’ looking in. So looking out, corruption, police brutality and TV mind control. Looking in, drug abuse self destructive thoughts and so on. The song ‘We Become God’s’ is about the “Singularity”, which on the surface seems wonderful and exciting until you realise that uploading your consciousness to machines is only going to be available to the uber rich, effectively they will become gods with endless wealth and power and everyone else will be their slaves. It sounds like Science Fiction but it’s only a decade or two away now.

IVM: The new album has been self-released this time in comparison to 'This Is The New Wave' which was available on DWA & Bit Riot. Why did you opt to go for this route?

PB: I want to own and control all my own master recordings from now on, I don’t want to be in a Cubanate situation where the albums we put blood sweat and tears into have effectively disappeared into the Memory Hole. It just seems like the right thing for me to do right now and fits in with the overall philosophy of Be My Enemy and what I sing about.

IVM: You are of course formerly of Cubanate. Has this association cast a shadow of expectation over Be My Enemy at all?

PB: When I first started this project I was very aware that anything I did was going to be compared with Cubanate. That’s good, I don’t mind at all. I think those albums have aged pretty well and it’s my past. I think people are now aware that BME is a different animal although very much from the same gene pool.

IVM: You enlisted the help of Steve and Deb Alton of System:FX, as well as Keef Baker of Nimon and Slipdrive (et al). What do they bring to the band's live sound and have they had any part in the studio process?

PB: Live, they are all great players. We aren’t a laptop band, if you take their individual parts away then it’s a incomplete sound. They haven’t had any input as yet into the studio process but they will do.

IVM: Be My Enemy's live début was at Resisatnz 2012 in Sheffield. How was that experience and how do you feel Be My Enemy has developed as a live band since?

PB: Resistanz is a great festival, they really look after the bands really well there. I have to say I wasn’t comfortable in myself in Sheffield. I’ve addressed what was wrong and have sorted it out and I’m raring to get back on stage. We played in London a few months back and I loved it. I am looking forward to getting back on stage again.

IVM: Cubanate's style has been taken on and evolved under Be My Enemy. But its safe to say that back in the 90's Cubanate planted the seeds for a lot of bands to follow. How do you feel about this and how do you think the scene has developed since?

PB: I’m not sure if I think any bands have followed Cubanate’s lead I would like to hear what bands you think have. It’s no secret that I haven’t been into what has been termed ‘Industrial’ for ages, it’s just hasn’t been my thing. Luckily for me there seems to be a new wave of bands coming through which are adopting the old sound and doing something interesting with it. It’s not just the sound though; there is a definite shift towards music with political and social themes which was very much prevalent in the earlier Industrial bands. I’m more excited about new bands in general now than what I have been for years.

IVM: Which bands, if any, get the Phil Barry seal of approval in 2014?

PB: There is so much good music coming out at the moment from new young artists. Tonnes of great stuff coming out of the US, 3Teeth, Author and Punisher and loads of others Over in the UK, I really like Randolph and Mortimer . I do like Petrol Bastard as well; they are the most mental live band going, if you haven’t seen Petrol Bastard live then you should.

IVM: For a while it looked like you and Marc Heal were going to get Cubanate back together with the release of 'We Are Crowd'. What's the current status of Cubanate?

PB: Nothing to report. Sorry.

IVM: In addition to your own projects you've been features on many other recordings by a range of different artists. Who have been your favourites to work with and are there any other guest appearances coming up on the horizon?

PB: The best remix I did was for Caustic, ‘666 on the crucifix’ I’m really pleased with how that turned out and it took about five hours to do in total which is a bonus but often the way it is when you are on a roll. The remix I did for Alter Der Ruine ‘Relax and Ride It’ I really like as well. I like working with Mangadrive, ‘Kill Your Television’ the track we worked on together on the new album really worked out well.
No other guest appearances for me or anyone else at the moment.

IVM: Finally, what else do you have in store for the rest of 2014?

PB: We have two gigs lined up, 23rd of August at Infest in Bradford and the 6th September at Electrowerks in London with Flesh Eating Foundation, Ventenner and Unstoppable Achievers.

Be My Enemy's latest album, 'The Enemy Within', is available to buy now via the band's bandcamp page. For more information on the band, including future releases and live dates, please visit their official website.

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Monday 21 July 2014

Interview: Alter Der Ruine

State of ruin...

“Everyone needed space. We took it. We honestly thought we buried Alter der Ruine the day we signed off with that stupid video.”

Alter Der Ruine quickly established themselves as a diverse and engaging act with a quick succession of releases including 'The Ruine Process' (2006), 'Sate Of Ruin' (2007), and 'Giants From Far Away' (2008). The band, founded by Michael Trevloni and Michael Jenney, quickly evolved from dirty power-noise into a full-on dance floor assault with each album bringing new ideas and influences to the fore. Then in 2012 after a trilogy of albums 'Son Of A Bitch', 'There's Always One More Son Of A Bitch' and 'I Told You Not To Listen Tonight Didn't I?' the band announced Alter Der Ruine was no more.
Luckily the hiatus was short lived and the band announced they were working on a new album last year. Fast forward to 2014 and the band made a triumphant return with 'I Will Remember It All Differently'. We caught up with the band before embarking on their tour with Mr Kitty to talk about the hiatus, the reformation and where the band will go from here.

Intravenous Magazine: Your new album 'I Will Remember It All Differently' is out now. What has the response to it been like so far?

Alter Der Ruine:

It has been received really, really well so far. Both by fans and fellow artists. Apparently we did something right on this one ha-ha.

IVM: You went on hiatus in back in 2012. Where there any particular events that led to the decision and what had changed in the band?

ADR: The 'Son of a Bitch trilogy' (we know how dumb it all sounds) took more than three years to write. The writing sessions for that started off fun but as time drew on tension and stress settled in. That was just on the production side of things. Outside, our lives were all drastically being reshaped and formed due to personal events. Some happy, some tragic. It was just a weird vacuum to be writing music in. Everyone needed space. We took it. We honestly thought we buried Alter der Ruine the day we signed off with that stupid video. Then we sorted out our issues and reanimated this thing and put out 'I Will Remember it All Differently'. While it is our most polished album to date, it is also our rawest. We exorcised some weird, dark stuff while writing it.

IVM: Thankfully you reformed Alter Der Ruine in 2013. What led to that decision so soon after breaking up?

ADR: Even though we proclaimed ADR dead we kept working together on music. We were going to start a new band but hated the idea of breaking in something new. Rather than start over we just wrote the music with no aim for where it would land. Then we had the opportunity to play Resistanz as ADR (thanks to Surgyn, Leighton and Phyll. Without those names our band would probably not exist anymore). We wrote a new song for the festival compilation, had a great time playing the fest and by the time we landed back in the US, Alter der Ruine was back in action.

IVM: The band has a new member in the form of Tamara Jenney. What impact has this had on the band dynamic?

ADR: Well, it has been low impact and high impact. The low impact side comes from her being involved with the band since before we even put out the first album. She's been almost like a silent producer/critic behind the scenes, offering suggestions and improvements. We were consulting with her on everything. All songs, albums, even live setups. So In that aspect she wasn't a new face or personality to work into the fold. The big impact she's had is she brings a new energy and skill set to our group. She sings, plays keys, writes music. It's great. Our group thrives on creativity and spontaneity and she's right there throwing down with everyone. Also she tears it up live. Yup, Tamara is awesome. 

How did you approach writing this album and how has the process changed?

Alter der Ruine has never been a defined project or experience to us. It's always something new. When we started working on this album, it was almost like we had all just walked through a wall of flames. Everyone was kind of readjusting to their new lives. We talked about things with each other. For a group of friends we had let a lot of that stuff slip away over the years. We reconnected with each other. Then we wrote.

The process was a lot less stressful this time. We also didn't care what direction we wrote as long as we liked the results. That was the biggest change. Before we would pigeon hole things to fit a certain style, or we would go bonkers and put twenty song ideas into a three and a half minute song. This time we let everything relax and took our time to explore what we were after. This is the first album we've put out where we think you get a bigger picture of who we are.

What were your primary influences in terms of music and themes going into this album?

ADR: Lots of stuff at play here. The music is influenced a lot by folk and 60's doo-wop. It doesn't sound that way but it is. We took a lot of that inspiration and funneled it through a retro-electro vibe then stacked more influences on top of that. If you want us to name names, done: Trust, Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, Hank III, Timber Timbre, The Shirelles, The Notwist, Big Black Delta, Russian Cirlces, Sky Ferreria, The New Division, Julian Casablancas, Ladytron…you get it.
Thematically we won't bog things down as for us that's part of the enjoyment of dissecting a piece of art. Suffice it to say there are multiple story lines woven through this album (some all the way back to SoB) and while there are broad themes, they are more like sign posts than album descriptions. If you need a jumping off point though there is an underlying rumble that wonders: is love the genesis or the burial of us all?

IVM: One constant of Alter Der Ruine's sound is that it is always evolving. Is this something that's ever planned or is it a more organic process?

ADR: It's not planned, we're just different people every time we sit down to write. We used to try and steer things one direction. We were pretty horrible at it too. Also our influences change pretty regularly.

IVM: You chose to stick with Negative Gain Productions for the release of 'I Will Remember It All Differently'. Were there any other offers on the table and/or did you consider self-releasing?

ADR: We thought about self releasing it. When NGP heard what we were up to though they made sure we went with them. It's worked out great so far. We had other offers too but it came down to us doing all the work, or us working with our friends to put it out. We went with our friends. 

IVM: At one point you had been releasing an album per year. Is this a schedule that you will try or are deadlines not a concern?

ADR: We threw deadlines out. We used to have a calendar in the past. The SoB album was supposed to come out in 2009. it came out in 2011. If you adhere to deadlines and fall that far behind you can see why stress brought us to the breaking point. Deadlines are great though, just make them realistic. Luckily we write faster and better than ever these days, but still we're not rushing things anymore. 

IVM: Despite the break-up there was a lot of Alter Der Ruine material being released. Was this a case of tying up loose ends and what was it like to work together during that period? 

What you're talking about sounds like the glut of the SoB trilogy. Man, wish we could rename those. So anyway, it took nearly four years to write what was supposed to be one album. We wrote three ('Son of a Bitch', 'There's Always One More Son of a bitch' and 'I Told You Not to Listen Tonight Didn't I?') and when boiled down we had too much material and didn't want to shelve it. So we had three albums come out, all drastically different. You can hear all our frustration a creativity spiking on those. We redlined it for three years straight, boozing and writing and screaming and quietly being frustrated to tears with each other. Those are probably the most volatile things we've put out, even with our power-noise days. We just wanted everyone to hear it all, get an even bigger picture of what we had done to that point.
We're doing similar things currently with the new album. We're remixing it as we speak and uploading the remixes for free on our bandcamp. It's a further exploration into our sound and influences. It's like a bridge or another rung in a ladder headed someplace weird. 

IVM: You're about to embark on a tour with Mr Kitty. How did that come about?

ADR: It was amazingly simple. We liked his music and asked if he wanted to go on tour with us. He said yup. This is Mr. Kitty's first tour! We don't know if the stars aligned or no one asked him up to that point but whatever happened we're thrilled. We hung out with him a ton at Terminus and finally saw him live. Needless to say, this tour is going to be intense. We're both similar in how we approach our live sets. We both try to be the best in room and we acknowledged this to each other. This tour is going to be two acts doing their best to own the night. It's a super win for fans as well as us. If everyone is bringing their best to the table everyone stands to gain, from the crowd to bands. 

IVM: How important is playing live and how does it work for you as a band?

ADR: We like playing as live as possible. We're not 100% live obviously, we still have a few sequences and backing stuff, but for the most part Mike J plays drums, Tamara is on keys and backing vocals and Mike T sings and makes noise on whatever is around. If we mess up, you hear it. We've played some terrible shows. We've played some great ones too. For our money, the live show is the best place to catch us. It's us working out whatever we bring to the stage that night. Emotionally and technically. If we relied on faking it or anything like that we'd probably have stopped long ago. That is part of the enjoyment for us. It's the connection to each other and the crowd for that 40+ minutes.
Conversely we recently saw a band play that left a lot of what they were doing live up for speculation (obviously not the first band to do so, definitely not the last). It was pretty sad as the album they released is awesome. We wanted to see a live set, not a theatrical send up, so the sourness is our own fault because we went in looking for something other than what they intended to provide. The rest of the crowd however really dug it. So there's that. It all depends on what you're looking for these days and what you're willing to entertain. Our shows are live if that's your bag. 

IVM: You played the UK at Resistanz festival last year. How was that for you guys?

ADR: It was an amazing experience. We hit the ground running. Didn't sleep much, played a crazy set and were welcomed back by a ton of fans and a ton of our peers. It was overwhelming in the best possible sense. There were also a lot of bare asses on stage with us thanks to Scott from iVardensphere.

IVM: Are there any European dates on the horizon?

ADR: Yes! That's about all we can say for now though.

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

ADR: After the tour with Mr. Kitty we'll be doing some one offs and most likely hitting the rest of the US. Europe has to wait until 2015, sorry. We're also hashing out a game plan for an EP. If all goes accordingly it will be the most ambitious, concentrated and unexpected thing we'll have done to date.

Alter Der Ruine's latest album 'I Will Remember It All Differently' is available now via Negative Gain Productions. For more information on the band, including tour dates and new releases, please visit their official website.

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Friday 18 July 2014

The weekly compendium 17/07/2014

Last week ended on a bit of a downer due to the announcement that influential avant garde composer Ryuchi Sakamoto has been diagnosed with throat cancer. But this week things are looking up. It's now less than a month until Alt-Fest. Amphi, Infest and Mera Luna are all on the horizons as well. And, I don't know there just seems to be a good vibe at the moment. Good vibrations from industrial ocilations perhaps? Or I've been in the sun too long...

Anyway, here's what we had for you this week.

We kicked things off with a great interview from Society 1 main-man Matt 'The Lord' Zane and catch up with what the industrial rockers are up to after a long period away. We had new reviews for Everything Goes Cold, Kevorkian Death Cycle, Janvs, Quasimodo, and Beauty Queen Autopsy. We had a new column from Joel Heyes. And the sad news that XP8 won't be playing live after alt-Fest for the foreseeable future.

While over on Facebook there has been lots of new music previews and downloads to keep you going from the likes of Mr Kitty, Komor Kommando, Bella Morte, The People's Republic Of Europe, and Vince Ripper And The Rodent Show. Uncle Al gave us a video message. There's a new album trailer from Zola Jesus. Album news from Hocico, and live news from Fields Of The Nephilim.

Phew! That's your lot. It will be slim pickings next week as yours truly is getting some much needed time away for a few days. However we'll have a new album and maybe a review or two to go while I'm gone.

Normal service will be resumed the following week.

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Thursday 17 July 2014

Review: Beauty Queen Autopsy – 'Good, Giving, Game'

'Good, Giving, Game'

The joyous musical union of Unwoman's Erica Mulkey and Caustic's Matt Fanale as Beauty Queen Autopsy gets its first proper unveiling since December's 'Roughest Cuts: The Demo'. The first EP proper 'Good, Giving, Game' Focusses on perhaps the strongest track from the original demo and gives it the spit and polish it deserves to make it one of 2014's hottest songs.

The simple drum beat, mechanical synths and sultry post-grunge vocals of Mulkey are a combination that is deceptively simple but incredibly effective as the melodies really hook the listener and the beats compel you to dance. The remixes of the title track courtesy of Sweat Boys, Letzte Ausfahrt Leben, and Loss each give the original a very different reworking: Sweat Boys giving us a more dance-friendly mix, Letzte Ausfahrt Leben throwing in drum and bass elements, and Loss getting slow and nasty.

The cover of Placebo’s 'Pure Morning' was an ambitious gamble that has paid off in dividends. The song gets sexy dark synthpop overhaul with Mulkey's vocals channelling, but not mimicking Brian Molko's. The final track sees Mr Kitty get his hands on 'Lothario' from the original demo and gives it a big club-friendly shot in the arm that begs for a follow-up collaboration between Mulkey and Mr Kitty.

The EP has had the rougher edges of the demo filed down and smoothed-out, leaving a strong and polished product. There is something a little old school sounding about the EP but it is completely fresh and modern, with each track has been mixed and mastered to the highest degree and the songs just sound great as a result.

Matt Fanale may be a man of many projects with the forthcoming album from Prude due out imminently, plus is own monster Caustic, and a myriad of other side-bands in various stages. But Beauty Queen Autopsy just has something about it that makes it different and exciting. The collaboration between Fanale's prowess with words and music and the sheer joy of Mulkey's voice begs to be explored further on a full-length album.  

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Portmanteau! It is one of those words we don't hear much these days. Portmanteau! ! It strikes fear into the hearts of every horror fanatic or ghoul-fiend across the world. Portmanteau! But what does it mean?

'Portmanteau' was the phrase used to describe the film format of several separate tales tied together into a supposedly satisfying whole. This was usually done through a venue (a house, asylum, nightclub) and the format often made use of the rich seam of horror shorts by some of the genre's best contemporary writers (Robert Bloch and R Chetwynd-Hayes to name but two).

One company did portmanteau with a gusto that bordered on the perverse – Amicus. The supposed arch-rival to Hammer in the British horror stakes during the 1960s-70s, Amicus certainly made the most of their formula with a slew of portmanteau films throughout the era, including Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, Torture Garden, Tales from the Crypt, Asylum, Vault of Horror, and From Beyond the Grave.

Lucrative the genre may have been (for a while), and these films were certainly studded with the cream of British horror acting talent, but they had their distinct limitations. Perhaps the adorable mess that was the last Amicus portmanteau, 'The Monster Club', best displays these.

Most obvious in 'The Monster Club' is a kind of studio committee myopia which leads to all sorts of strange creative decisions. Seemingly unable to think beyond their staple list of increasingly bored horror leads, they approached Christopher Lee to play the vampire role – which drew a predictably robust response. The part ended up going to Vincent Price, in his only vampire role. Other rather curious decisions include having musical acts to break up the stories, with the bizarre addition of The Pretty Things in their final attempt at a comeback and a dub soundtrack by UB40. One of the stories features some rather ineffective exposition based on artwork, rather than any attempt at special effects. But worst of all is the half-baked, second-hand shabbiness of it all.

But on other occasions it hit the ball right out of the park. The last of the stories from 'The House That Dripped Blood' is 'The Cloak', a story so meta that it would not be out of place amongst 'The League of Gentlemen'. The basic premise involves a hammy horror Thespian and actual vampires, but that isn't really what's going on.

The Thespian in question was originally intended to be Vincent Price, and that is the first layer of self-parody here. In the story the main character of Henderson, when on set shooting his latest schlock horror, rips into his rookie director for the crumminess of the script, the terrible cheap sets and the inexperience of the crew; this is both a general dig at the general crapulence of UK horror at the time but also a dig at Price's notoriously poor relationship with director Michael Reeves on the set of 'Witchfinder General', just two years earlier.

Eventually Henderson was played by the best cravat-wearing dandy of the period, Jon Pertwee, who rips into the script with relish. In one scene he regales the crew with tales of the glory days of horror – when he reels off the greats and mentions Dracula, he remarks “...played by Bela Lugosi, not this new fellow.” The 'new fellow' being, of course, Christopher Lee himself – who appears in another role earlier in the film. Parodying fading horror hams and taking the mickey out of Hammer, your great rivals? Very cheeky!

Of course, the real subject of 'The Cloak' is the whole edifice of theatre and film; Henderson is lured into a wonderfully dank theatrical supply shop (if only these places still existed these days!) on the promise of realism but, of course, gets more realism than he bargained for. I won't spoil the ending, but rest assured when Amicus struck the right impish tone they could make the portmanteau formula work to wonderful effect.

Now – remake starring Mark Gatiss, anyone?

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XP8 to play final show at Alt-Fest

UK-based Italian electro duo XP8 have announced that their performance at this year's inaugural Alt-Fest is to be the band's last live show for the foreseeable future.

Since forming in 2001 the duo of Marko Resurreccion and Marco Visconti have released over ten albums and EPs under the XP8 name.

The band notes due to low show attendance, low performance fees and day job commitments as reasons why they are no longer playing live. They promise to make their final show at Alt-Fest one to remember.

The band's latest release 'One Of Three: Nigredo' is available to purchase via 2393 Recordings. Alt-Fest takes place August 15th-17th in Kettering, England and has such artists as Marylin Manson, The Cult, and Front 242 headlining. XP8 will be playing on August 16th at the Industrial/Electronica stage.

For more information on XP8, please visit their official website.

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Wednesday 16 July 2014

Review: Quasimodo – 'Under The Whip'

'Under The Whip'

Leeds based proto-goths Quasimodo return with their new single 'Under The Whip', following on from 2013's 'Liberty, Equality, Atrocity' EP. From this track alone its obvious that the band have stuck to their guns, refined their sonic formula and sharpened their execution.

The near five-minute single distils the strongest elements of their début EP: the steady dance beats, hard guitars, snappy keyboards and witty lyrics are all present. While the production sounds much fresher and dynamic. There is still that nice, raw post-punk quality to the song that gives nods to the likes of The Horatii, and Rosetta Stone.

The production still has that nice, no-frills kind of familiarity to it. But this time it is a lot more dynamic with the mix not falling into that flatness that occasionally dogged the EP. Instead, all the individual elements sound like they have a lot more room to move and add that punky expression to the performances.

'Under The Whip' is a great, classic sounding gothic rock anthem. The sing-a-long chorus, memorable piano melody and easy dance pace should not only see this be comfortable in the band's live repertoire, but it should find favour with many DJs as well.

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Review: Janvs – 'Nigredo'



Italian progressive black metal outfit Janvs have been around for ten years now, and with two full length albums 'Fvlgvres' (2007) and 'Vega' (2008), the band have opted to revisit their original 2004 demo 'Nigredo' to rearrange and re-record. But don't let that fool you. This is a extremely solid album that still weighs in at over thirty minutes long, So you still get plenty for your money.

The band blend classic jangling black metal guitars and throat shredding vocals with ambient synths and doomy bass lines that combine to create a dark but richly layers sonic tapestry. Fans of <Code> and early Ulver will appreciate the ambient textures that come together on tracks like 'Abisso', 'Imperium' and 'Rovina'. While more traditional black metal fans will definitely enjoy the fast and heavy flourishes the band are occasionally prone to, especially on the excellent cover of Enslaved's '793' which rounds the album off.

The production isn't as great as it could be with the ambient electronics sounding a little cluttered and the guitars obscuring the raspier vocals. But on the whole it is a good effort that could only really have benefited from a little more tweaking.

Both fans of traditional black metal as well as more progressive takes on the genre should find some common ground here. 'Nigredo' is an atmospheric and visceral album that really engages the listener. It could be argued that the strongest track is the cover of '793', but there is no doubt that the band's performance does themselves justice as well as the song. It will be interesting to see just how far this band can push themselves in terms of their song writing in the future.

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Tuesday 15 July 2014

Review: Kevorkian Death Cycle – 'Distorted Religion'

'Distorted Religion'

Hot on the heels of last year's exceptional return after thirteen long years, Kevorkian Death Cycle are wasting little time with a new album in the works from which this latest single 'Distorted Religion' is cut. The band pick up where they left off with 'God Am I' with two new nasty electro-industrial floor fillers.

Starting with 'The Promise', the band slowly unveil a tense, crawling, beat driven track that perfectly juxtaposes sinister verses and airy, soaring choruses. It's slow and dark, and perhaps not a classic club track on first listen, but the steady beat a filthy bass make this subtly infectious.

The title track, 'Distorted Religion', again favours a slower pace, but with its catchy leads and heavy chorus is a more identifiable club track ready to be unleashed. It has that unmistakeable KDC edge to it that will appeal to long-time fans and be a perfect introduction for virgin ears.

The remixes courtesy of Assemblage 23 and HexRx don't particularly drift into radically different territory with Assemblage 23 giving the title track a suitably old school sounding dressing down, while HexRx up the club potential of 'The Promise'.

This single is a perfect taster for the forthcoming album, two strong lead tracks that give you everything that you want from Kevorkian Death Cycle, while providing subtle hints to what else they have up their sleeves. While they don't have the hard driving feel of the last album's lead single, 'Mind Decay', they are more intriguing and will definitely draw listeners in and leave them waiting for what they have next.

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Review: Everything Goes Cold – 'Black Out The Sun'

'Black Out The Sun'

Californian industrialists Everything Goes Cold return once more with another borderline crazy collection of varied and intriguing tracks. Founded by Eric Gottesman formerly of Psyclon Nine (and a live member of just about every US act worth their salt at one time or another), Everything Goes Cold have carved out a credible but tongue-in-cheek niche for themselves with releases such as 'Vs. General Future' and 'The Tyrant Sun' to their name.

The latest album, 'Black Out The Sun', continues to refine the bands formula of old school sounds with a modern twist. Kicking things off with the dark ambient instrumental 'SL.R1S', the band throw in chip tune leads and down tempo beats for an unexpectedly effective intro. The band really come into their own though on tracks such as 'The Joke', 'The Iron Fist Of Just Destruction', 'IAMERROR', 'When The Sky Rips In Two You Are Free' and 'All Sculpt Evil From The Clay Beneath Their Lips' which give the album a solid backbone of frantic old school cool with modern attitude. The albums undoubted centrepiece though is the sublime ambience of 'Ice Brigade, Part II', which should be more than enough to silence any naysayers.

Interestingly, Gottesman's vocals remain pretty unadulterated throughout the album, which makes a nice change of pace from the dominance of effect saturated vocals favoured by many acts. It also gives the album a nice cyber-punky vibe when combined with the dirty guitars and computer game synthesizer sounds.

Despite the focus on 8-bit beeps, this is still a very modern sounding album with nice crisp production and strong attention to detail given to every track. The result of which is something a little bit bonkers but completely approachable.

This is a very strong offering by Everything Goes Cold. There are some very memorable tracks that will definitely do well in the clubs, as well as live. And even though things get a bit cheesy every now and then, there is no doubt that the band are continuing to push themselves as songwriters and performers as this is the tightest album yet.  

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Monday 14 July 2014

Interview: Society 1

Rise from the dead...

"People come and people go for many reasons. Music is the main drive and what compels me to continue. Everything effects everything but you can't stop because you're an artist so I don't really think about it."

US industrial rockers Society 1 may best be remembered by UK music fans for their intense performance at 2005's Download Festival, which saw frontman Matt 'The Lord' Zane suspended by four hooks through his shoulders and repeatedly swung over the crowd for the duration of the the band's. Tearing through tracks such as 'Hate', 'It Isn't Me' and 'Nothing' before a transfixed audience.
Nine years later and after a long period in the wilderness, Zane and his revitalised band are setting out to re-establish Society 1's name in the annals of music history.
We caught up with Lord Zane to talk about the new music, returning band members, comics, feuds and suspension.

Intravenous Magazine: Society 1

 You have a new single out, 'It's Yours Now', how has that been received so far and is it fairly indicative of the way Society 1 sounds in 2014?

Lord Zane: People have been really surprised because in a way it's really different for what we are known for. Although if you go back and listen to our last proper release despite being many years ago we were headed in that direction. Most of the feedback has been positive. I think it's a good indication of what we are going for on the new album 'Rise From The Dead'.

IVM: Your last studio album was 'A Journey From Exile' back in 2011, and you've released a few acoustic demos via Soundcloud. How would you say the sound of the band has developed since you were last in the studio?

Lord Zane: A Journey From Exile' was never actually released. Some of those tracks are coming out on the new B-Sides and unreleased album 'A Collection Of Lies' next month. The acoustic demos were put out there to see how people would react. We actually did an acoustic show with all that material. It went well and we plan to record the acoustic EP properly at some point. For me the biggest progression we made is in the vocals. I've always sang here and there but I just sing. No more yelling.

IVM: You have a collection of B-sides / unreleased tracks called 'A Collection Of Lies', due out in August. What led to the decision to release these?

Lord Zane: It's really strong material and kind of interesting how some of it came about. Sin and I actually wrote a lot of those songs together many years ago and I ended up finishing them throughout the years. So it's kind of like a missing Society 1 album. The other material on it is just stuff that was never released or properly released and isn't available anymore. We wanted it to be out there and figured it was a good time before the 'Rise From The Dead' songs started to come out on a more regular basis.

IVM: There is a Society 1 comic called 'No Salvation' by Dominic Valecillo in the works as well. How did this collaboration come about and is this the first of many comics?

Lord Zane: I saw a drawing Dominic did of me that he posted on Facebook and people everywhere were writing asking if it was a comic. People responded very quickly and strongly. I wrote Dominic asking if this was a possibility and when he said he as interested we began with throwing around concepts. It's something I've always wanted to do so I am really excited about it. We are going to put out 5 to 10 shorter comics to begin and see where it goes.

IVM: Over past few years of Society 1's history there have been line-up changes, different record labels, and your own documented injuries related to suspension. How have these affected you as an artist?

Lord Zane: People come and people go for many reasons. Music is the main drive and what compels me to continue. Everything effects everything but you can't stop because you're an artist so I don't really think about it. As far as my injuries I just have to be careful in all areas of life regarding what I do. It's a process to constantly try to heal nagging injuries but the only other choice is to sit and around and not move which isn't going to happen.

IVM: Guitarist Sin Quirin has returned after a long tenure in Ministry. How did this reconciliation come about and what is it like having him back in the fold?

Lord Zane: He is still in Ministry so it's a trip. On one hand he is my friend from all those years ago so it feels very comfortable. On other he is the guitar player in Ministry so I'm a fan. It's a really cool dynamic.

IVM: How do you feel about the band now as a unit going forward?

Lord Zane: It finally feels right after basically a 9 year hiatus. All of us are having a great time and are excited.

IVM: You've directed and edited a music video for the new single. What was the shoot like and did it all go according to plan?

Lord Zane: Nothing went according plan. Everything broke and most of the crew cancelled due to sickness. I'm amazed it was completed. Looking forward to doing another with results closer to my vision.

IVM: You've also directed videos for the likes of Wayne Static, Zak Wylde, Orgy and DMC. Is this an important artistic outlet for you and how would you describe your style?

Lord Zane: I do enjoy it. It's challenging. I don't really know if I have a style. I've done 100 videos and most of them are different. That's part of the challenge.

IVM: Next year marks the 10th anniversary of your infamous 2005 Download performance (I was lucky enough to be in the crowd that day). Will it be marked in any way?

Lord Zane: Right now we are in talks with our agent trying to see if the promoters at Download would be interested in having us do a 10 year anniversary suspension show. Hoping to get an answer in the next month. We would love to do it. I think most people want to see it. It would mean a lot to us.

IVM: And how much of a toll has your suspension taken on your body?

Lord Zane: My problem was all the suspensions I did with pre-existing conditions. That's why I developed so many issues.

IVM: Speaking of suspensions, a few years ago you had a feud with magician Chris Angel after you shattered his record. Is there any bad blood still between you two?

Lord Zane: I'm sure he doesn't care as he bathes in his millions of dollars but there was no admittance on his part ever of losing the record to me. I doubt he'll ever publicly address it.

IVM: You've previously published books including 'Transcendental Satanism', and released a spoken word album. Is there any more writing or poetry possibly on the horizon?

Lord Zane: I have a poem book out called 'Release and Demise'. Really cool stuff in there and most don't know about it. No new books in the works at the moment. Getting Society 1 back on the map has taken all my time.

IVM: What live dates have you got coming up?

Lord Zane: Yes we are touring regionally and you can check those dates on the web site and if that isn't update Facebook is always current.

IVM: Finally, is there a possible return to Europe for Society 1 in the near future?

Lord Zane: Near future no but as I said we are pushing for festival season 2015.

Society 1's latest single 'It's Yours Now' is available to purchase now through iTunes. The album 'A Colelction Of Lies' will be available this August through Slacker Jesus Publishing. For more information on the band, including tour dates, please visit their official website.

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Friday 11 July 2014

The weekly compendium 11/07/2014

The first thing I have to mention in this week's compendium is the sad news that legendary avant garde artist/composer Ryuchi Sakamoto has been diagnosed with throat cancer. I'm sure all of our readers will join the IVM staff in wishing the former Japan member and Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence soundtrack composer all the best and a speedy recovery.

Right, on the website this week we kicked off with news from Kevorkian Death Cycle and Cabaret Voltaire. We also had reviews of the new albums from Tyburn Saints, C2, and Tomorrowillbeworse. And finished things off with an Editorial column updating (those who care) on the next compilation.

Over on Facebook we've had live dates from Carter Tutti Void, and Chelsea Wolf. New music from The Gothsicles, Aeon Sable, and Beauty Queen Autopsy. News from Prude and Kunoichi. A new music video from The Faint. And a trailer for a new HP Lovecraft movie 'The Dreamlands'.

Right, that's your lot for this week. Here's some more Ryuchi Sakamoto – performing with Alva Noto in 2012. I caught a performance of theirs at that previous year's Short Circuit Festival and it has to be one of the greatest avant garde collaborations I've ever seen live.

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Thursday 10 July 2014

Editorial: July 2014

This month's editorial is just a quick one to update you on the next digital compilation album. The cover is more or less done. It may be tweaked further yet. It was originally going to be another idea entirely, but it was somewhat impractical so rather than using a new photograph I threw some stuff in a blender and... here's one I made earlier. As with last year it ended up getting done on a hot and humid night when I couldn't sleep. I've also made a start on the layout of the accompanying A4 pdf booklet, which is shaping up to be quite cool.

Right, now for the best bit. I'm sending out invitations to bands and artists this month for contributions to the album. Unlike last year, when I tried to over stretch myself, I'm putting a limit on the number of bands featured. I'm looking to make this one to fill just one CD's worth this time and feature roughly fifteen bands/artists, which gives them just over five minutes of song time each in total. Of course not everyone will use the full amount of allotted time... so if there is still plenty of space left when I've got all the submissions back, and if some don't get their tracks in by the cut-off date, I'll then open things up to general submissions.

Once again this will be a FREE to download compilation, so I'll be keeping everything low cost and not-for-profit as it was first time around, the artwork will be downloadable with the songs in whatever digital format you desire.

Finally, if you're new to this humble website and haven't downloaded our first 'Blood Pack' compilation album yet, please click the album cover in the sidebar and download yourself a free copy from our bandcamp page.

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

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Review: Tomorrowillbeworse – 'Down The Road Of Nothing'

'Down The Road Of Nothing'

Sitting somewhere between the depressive raw black metal of early Burzum and the melancholic doom of Katatonia, UK/Italian duo Tomorrowillbeworse cut a malevolent but elegant post-black metal début with 'Down The Road Of Nothing'.

The album blends traditional black metal riffs and vocals with funeral doom atmospherics and pace, the end result of which is something a bit more emotional and refined. The bass is often quite prominent which takes away the typical tinny black metal sound, especially when the keyboards and acoustic guitars come in to play and enhance the band's melodic leanings.

Tracks such as 'Distressing Range', 'Fragments', 'Aesthetics Of Discouragement', and 'Down The Road Of Nothing' really show off the scope of the band's ambitions, taking risks and using approachable melodies and different paces to present a varied and engaging listening experience. However there is always a feeling that they could push themselves further to really develop these ideas and create something that stands out from the crowd.

The production has that typical black metal sound to it that was popularised in the 90s. Which is fine. It does compliment the rawer elements, and the songs are all mixed really well. But it doesn't really add anything that interesting or daring to the final product to send chills down the spine.

'Down The Road Of Nothing' is a fundamentally good album. It takes different styles and blends them in a distinctive and engaging way. The band blatantly have a lot of potential to be very creative in their song writing as well as in the execution of creating an album. It would be great though to hear them really get innovative and push not only their boundaries, but also the boundaries of post-black metal. Hopefully the band's sophomore effort will see them really get inventive.

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Wednesday 9 July 2014

Review: C2 – 'Quadrants: The Stories Of Four'

'Quadrants: The Stories Of Four'

New Zealand's C2 have been around since 1997 and performing live since 1999, yet remain somewhat of a secret due to a lengthy hibernation period. However their latest album 'Quadrants: The Stories Of Four' looks set to change that. Punky electro-industrial and rhythmic noise beats to create something brash, but strangely melodic, it will undoubtedly spread like a computer virus.

The first thing that jumps out about this album is the sheer variety on offer. The band really like to experiment with their core sound and even though it is somewhat low-fi throughout, it's perfectly club friendly with songs such as 'Scream In The Mirror', 'Everything Dies', 'Suffering', 'Hit and Run [Part 2]' and 'Scream In The Broken Mirror' displaying influences drawing from classic electro-industrial and ebm. While the band aren't afraid to get down right dirty with tracks such as 'Hit And Run [Part 1]', 'Broken Reception', 'Open Sores' and 'Portals' amping up the noise to create an unpredictable but enjoyable experience.

The production, as with a lot of noise albums, is rather tinny, gritty and patchy in places with the basic dissonance often high in the mix. It won't be winning any awards, but it serves its purpose well and lets the melody through when it needs too.

'Quadrants: The Stories Of Four' is a challenging album due to the fact that, its sixteen tracks long, and you're never quite sure what is round the corner. But its esoteric, low-fi genre straddling makes it an interesting ride that will capture a fair few people's imaginations.

Ultimately this is one of those albums that although being somewhat niche, strangely has a broader appeal to it, that should hopefully raise C2 out of obscurity, and add their name to the ranks of the growing rhythmic noise scene.

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Review: Tyburn Saints – 'With The Night In Our Eyes'

'With The Night In Our Eyes'

With an EP recorded by Ian Love (Rival Schools) and produced by Grammy award winner Guy Massey (Manic Street Preachers, Depeche Mode, Spiritualized and The Chameleons) you're pretty much guaranteed that the début from Brooklyn, New York's Tyburn Saintshas its sights set high. Indeed the EP delves headlong into the dark side of the 80s indie charts pulling out the best of shoegaze, new-wave, goth and synthpop had to offer and distils them into something fresh, but distinctly retro.

You could instantly dismiss them as being retro-fetishist hipsters, and that they perhaps lack the bite of their source material. Yes, the production style does come off a little retro for the sake of it, and there is definitely more emphasis on the pop element of their sound. But this is one of those bands that are going to get their claws into a lot of people for the simple reason that they're damn good song writers.

What they present at their best is something between The Psychedelic Furs, Nick Cave and Depeche Mode. It's moody synthesizer-augmented dark indie that 30 years ago would have made them the biggest band in the world, but now simply marks them as an interesting and original listening experience.

With songs such as 'She's So', 'With The Night In Our Eyes' , 'With The Light In Our Eyes' and 'A Way With Her' up their sleeves, they prove they have the ability to write big and infectious anthems with memorable melodies and sing-a-long choruses.

However, there is still this overriding sense that they are writing a love letter to the 1980s in the styles of the time rather than in their own voice. But this is a first outing after all, and it is a strong one that promises a lot more to come from this band.  

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Tuesday 8 July 2014

Cabaret Voltaire to make live return

Industrial pioneers Cabaret Voltaire are to make their first liver performance in 20 years. The band will reform for the Berlin Atonal festival on 23rd August 2014.

Now fronted solely by founding member Richard H Kirk the performance will be completed by a line up consisting of machines and multi-screen projections. Although this will make the first Cabaret Voltaire performance since November 1992, it will feature exclusively new material and no nostalgia.

Other highlights will include Steve Reich’s seminal Music for 18 Musicians, the world-premier of Donato Dozzy and Nuel’s collaboration 'Aquaplano', a live show by  Tim Hecker, and rare appearances by drum-n-bass hero Source Direct, Minimal Wave favourite In Aeternam Vale, and many more. The festival programme also features installations and seminars as well as a showcase of performances on a specially-constructed 4D Sound system.

Cabaret Voltaire's latest album '#7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978 – 1985)' is available now through Mute Records. For more information on the band, please visit their official website. For ticket and travel information for Berlin Atonal, please visit the event website.

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