Blood Pack Vol. 6.66 released!

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

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

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

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


Review: Ritual Aesthetic – 'Wound Garden'


Review: Axegrinder – 'Satori'


Wednesday 26 November 2014

Review: Cryogenica – 'From The Shadows'

'From The Shadows'

London's Cryogenica make a welcome return with their third full-length studio album 'From The Shadows' combining cool Siouxsie Sioux style vocals, Killing Joke rhythms and the visceral edge of Nine Inch Nails they have become a mainstay of the UK scene. Their mix of sensual gothic rock and gritty industrial rock is perhaps at its most complete here with a perfect mix of dance friendly grooves and hard guitars.

The album has a much more atmospheric edge to it this time around and even elements of shoegaze thrown in to give the tracks an added sense of dark psychedelia to the proceedings. Tracks such as 'Together', 'Lord Of The Flies', 'Solitude', 'Intrusion', 'No Regrets' and 'To The Sky' provide the backbone of the album with their memorable melodies and riffs framing Carina's seductive vocals and their ability to convey a sense of energy that will undoubtedly transfer to the live circuit. But it is perhaps the combination of the final two tracks 'Self-Made Man' and 'The Choice' that distil the full scope of their song-writing skills into some truly heavy and haunting music.

The production is pretty good for the most part. There is a distinctive rough edge to the album that works nicely with the dirty guitars and electronics, but also provides a nice counterpoint to the quieter and more delicate sections. It has the right amount of grit and the right amount of polish and lets all the individual elements move with ease for a very well rounded mix.

It's blatantly evident for anyone listening to 'From The Shadows' that Cryogenica are a hard working band, both on stage and in the studio. They have steadily honed their sound to an effective and memorable formula that will play very well to fans of both gothic rock and electro-industrial both in clubs and live. The band have definitely hit their stride, and long may it continue.  

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Tuesday 25 November 2014

New names announced for Eurorock 2015

The organisers of the returning Eurorock festival have announced a fresh list of names for next year's event taking place from 14th to the 16th May 2015.

Just added to the line-up: Kant Kino, Alien Vampires, XMH, Psy'aviah, Star Industry, Lovelorn Dolls, The Juggernauts, and Lescure 13.

The bands join the likes of Front 242, The Orb, Oomph!, Apoptygma Berzerk, Diary of Dreams, Peter Hook (Celebration of Joy Division), ASP, and Suicide Commando.

Weekend tickets are available to purchase now. For more information of the festival please visit the official website or the Eurorock Facebook page.  

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Friday 21 November 2014

The weekly compendium 21/11/2014

It's the end of another week and Christmas is in sight. I've not exposed myself to the twee television adverts and tacky town centre celebrations so I'm still actually not run down by other people's festive BS just yet. However I am run down with a cold which has further delayed my ability to follow up on some interview requests. So those will be coming as soon as I've got chance to thrash some questions out to everyone.

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

We kicked things off with another great column from Joel lamenting the lack of good serial killers these days. We then reviews galore with the new releases fromMegaherz, Totem Obscura, Avarice In Audio, Black Nail Cabaret, and Dani'el. We also kicked off our new 'IVM Introducing...' section for fresh new bands. So check that out as well!

Over on Facebook we had video trailers for the Florida Underground Industrial Music Festival, as well as the returning Eurorock Festival. KMFDM announced a new live DVD. Front Line Assembly gave us a new video. While Haujobb dropped some new music. And the mighty Fields Of The Nephilim announced they will return to next years Bram Stoker Film Festival!

Right, that's it for now. I'm going to crawl into a corner and die. So here's something for the weekend.  

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Thursday 20 November 2014

Review: Dani'el – 'Redemption: The Book Pt. II'

'Redemption: The Book Pt. II'

A year after his début album 'The Book', Croatian electronic artist Dani'el returns with the follow-up EP 'Redemption: The Book Pt. II'. At only four tracks in length it is a short offering, but the songs make an impact. His brand of delicate and slightly ambient electro-pop recalls Moby as much as it does stalwarts of modern synthpop and futurepop and has a nice accessibility throughout despite some left field moves.

Dani'el's vocal delivery is ever present at the helm of the tracks. His style upbeat and somewhat ethereal as though he is singing in a choir of one. It works very well with the cool futuristic synth melodies and steady unobtrusive dance beats on 'Moonchild' and 'Redemption'. While 'Sensitive Boy' goes for a more retro sound that brings to mind late-90s Pet Shop Boys and sees Dani'el opt for a more clipped and slightly lower vocal style. The EP is rounded off with the club-orientated 'To Dare' with a more straight forward but nonetheless vocal performance set to an upbeat track that won't fail to draw people to the dance floor.

Despite the short length of the EP Dani'el has opted not to include the obligatory remixes to fill the excess space. And that's OK. The songs are potential club hits already, and without different versions tacked on the end, it makes a more complete and confident statement.

It is a shame that the EP is only four songs long and that they are all of average pop-song length. But 'Redemption: The Book Pt. II' is a strong release anyway. The production is crisp and modern, with a mix that is light and frames the excellent vocal performance well.

Dani'el is shaping up to be quite an exciting alternative pop musician. His vocals are great and the music is accessible yet has that nice alternative edge to it. The new EP should continue to see his stock rise in the electro-pop scene but hopefully a new album will be along sooner or later to really show how he has developed as an artist and solidify his presence.  

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Review: Black Nail Cabaret – 'Satisfaction'


The Hungarian noir pop duo Black Nail Cabaret, AKA Emke and Sophie, have been pushing their own brand of dark and sultry synthpop since 2008. The ladies have already amassed some impressive live credits in support of their 2012 début album 'Emerald City', although they've yet to make any significant stirrings outside of the continent. Though that looks like it is about to change if 'Satisfaction', the preliminary single from the band's forthcoming sophomore effort 'Harry Me, Marry Me, Bury Me, Bite Me', is anything to go by.

The lead track is a club-friendly mix of dance beats and purred vocals that recalls the likes of Annie Lennox and Mona Mur set to some very sexy synth melodies. The b-side 'Elizabeth' is a deep and dark track that makes good use of trip-hop beats and minimalistic haunting synths as Emke leads through an engaging narrative.

The single also features remix contributions from People Theatre and Haujobb which up the club potential a little more. People Theatre push the bass and big synth melodies to the fore for a big dance-friendly mix. While Haujobb go for a slower and darker take on the original.

The single is well produced and feels distinctly fresh and modern while maintaining some elements of the classic synthpop sound. The mix feels light and gives the songs a near minimalist vibe, which adds the the drama of them.

'Satisfaction' is a strong lead single that hints at a dark and narratively driven album that will be both haunting and dance-friendly. Hopefully 'Harry Me, Marry Me, Bury Me, Bite Me' will be able to live up to to the expectations that 'Satisfaction' has created.  

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IVM Introducing...

We love fresh talent and innovative twists on genres, and we want to give as much exposure to the new waves of bands around the world. Therefore we have decided to launch a new feature called "IVM Introducing...", which is a chance for new bands to introduce themselves to the Intravenous Magazine readership by way of a brief standardised introductory article.

This section is open to any band who has formed in the past few years and are currently unaffiliated with a record label, but have at least one demo of some variety available to purchase/download. 

If you would like to be featured in this section please download and complete the brief questionnaire below and return it to with the subject 'Introducing...' and the name of your band.


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Wednesday 19 November 2014

Review: Avarice In Audio – 'Shine & Burn'

'Shine & Burn'

Gerry Hawkins (Cryogenic Echelon) and Jade Pegg (Acidtrixx) as Avarice In Audio are a match made in electronic music heaven. Hawkins' cutting edge electronic work with Cryogenic Ecehelon and Pegg's classical training and production expertise come together to blend ebm, trance, edm, and synthpop to create some incredibly euphoric alternative electronic music geared towards the dance floor.

The band have found a natural home on Belgian label Alfa Matrix, and the band's first full-length studio album 'Shine & Burn' repays the label's faith immediately. The album is hard, fast, dance-friendly and blends distorted male vocals and soaring female vocals in a way that recalls acts such as Juno Reactor, Covenant and Aesthetic Perfection.

The album is crammed full of potential singles with the likes of 'Feed The Addiction' (Featuring Ascension EX), 'The Cassandra Complex', 'Punished', 'Frostbite', 'Heartless Disaster' (featuring XP8), 'China White', and 'Behind Your Mask' (Featuring MiXE1) in particular standing out and showing just what a strong song writing partnership Hawkins and Pegg are. Any of these tracks, or in fact any on the album, have strong potential to become worldwide club favourites

The album is fresh, energetic and accessible in its approach. The production is excellent as always and the whole package just shows a continued growth from their initial demos into a solid and high quality project.

'Shine & Burn' lives up to the expectations that the individual members' solo endeavours create. The songs are memorable and emotive. The production is lush and modern, and the guest spots add a different dimension to the proceedings. Lets hope the duo keep up the momentum and give us a sophomore offering as soon as possible.

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Review: Totem Obscura – 'Nachtwache'


German duo Totem Obscura unleash a darkly dissonant EP in the form of 'Nachtwache' to chill the already cold autumnal nights. The EP walks a fine line between cold and melodic synth leads and harsh distorted beats. Clean and distorted vocals. Light and dark atmospheres. It is a subtle but very effective formula.

The lead track 'Nachtwache' is characterised by hard distorted beats, a light catchy metallic string melody, and wonderfully deep and hypnotic feminine vocals for a slow, dark, but still danceable cut. The second song 'Wounds Of Silence' varies the formula up a bit. It keeps the distorted beats and simple lead melody, but throws in the distorted vocals and a much thicker sounding backing that, although keeping the dance-friendly pace, is in fact a little more cinematic in its execution.

The Rotten Club mix of 'Hexxe' and the Aengeldust remix of 'Nachtwache' opt to highlight different aspects of the bands sound with 'Hexxe' going for a lighter and more delicate delivery that focusses on a more club orientated approach. While 'Nachtwache' gets a much noisier reworking.

This is a nice EP that shows a lot of scope to the Totem Obscura sound. Yes it is short and sweet, but the message is clear. 'Nachtwache' is a dark and clever EP that is a bit of a dark horse really. It is well written, infectious and generally well-executed. It may not be the first choice for a floor-filler but it has the dark sensuality of acts like Collide, Mona Mur, and Kirlian Camera with a dirty aggrotech underbelly. And it is a combination that works really well.  

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Tuesday 18 November 2014

Review: Megaherz – 'Zombieland'


Neue Deutsche Härte stalwarts Megaherz return with their latest studio album 'Zombieland'. The quintet have had a tumultuous history of line-up changes, but they've always managed to come back stronger and more focussed after every reshuffle. Nevertheless, nearly 20 years since their 'Herzwerk' demo and the band are still delivering what the fans want.

Vocalist Lex Wohnhaas now on his third outing for the band has well and truly ingrained himself as the voice of the band and pushes out of his comfort zone throughout this release and provides the majority of the highlights.

The band sound as tight and bombastic as ever, blending the panache of dark rock with the slickness of electro-pop and the ever present bite of ndh. They may still get the inevitable comparisons to their compatriots Rammstein, but 'Zombieland' sees the boys from Munich in a much more cinematic frame of mind.

Tracks such as 'Zombieland', 'Himmelsstürmer', 'Unter Strom', 'Lieblingsfeind' and 'Frei' deliver the heavier side of the album, with big riffs, throbbing bass and catchy electronics framing Wohnhaas' expressive vocals. While the likes of 'Schwarzer Engel', 'Für Immer', and 'Gegen De Wind' deliver a much more pop-orientated slant that recalls Unheilig and even Blutengel which not only adds a very dance-friendly slant to the album, but also a very commercial one.

The production is excellent. The songs are punchy with the bass coming through hard to support the varied vocal performance. But after two decades in the business, you'd expect nothing less than a band of Megaherz's calibre.

This is a very good release. The band have varied their sound and the performances are as big and passionate as they have ever been. Indeed on paper Megaherz are at the top of their game. However there is still something missing that just keeps this from being a great album rather than a very good one. There is a lot of variety to the band's sound and the conceptual nature of the album conveys a linear narrative, but it still feels rather comfortable and familiar. The band have the talent and experience to give us something that could really renew the ndh genre. Instead they've opted for a more accessible option, which is fine... but it isn’t really as satisfying as it could be.

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Whither the Psychokiller?

Whatever happened to the serial killer? The hack ‘em-and-stack ‘em school of thriller-killer flick has fallen into neglect in recent years, with a marked decline in the number of psychotic murderers being chased by downtrodden and dissolute detectives. Have we lost our appetite for mindless slaughter and mild policework?

The genre itself has had a rather convoluted history ; the main tropes for legendary fiends and psychokillers was set in the heady, crime-obsessed ‘70s when the main chopper-horror franchises were established. These are a legendary set of films - ‘Halloween’, ‘Friday the 13th’, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ – all of which went on the foster dozens of sequels over the following decades. Add to that seminal pieces such as ‘Driller Killer’ and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and that is the bulk of the serial killer canon right there. The activities of real-life serial killers, from Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Son of Sam in the USA to the Yorkshire Ripper over here simply increased the sense of anxiety and dread amongst moviegoers that the genre feasted on.

Of course, these franchises could not escape the hysteria prevalent throughout the ‘80s and they all got progressively sillier to the point of outright risibility. By the ‘90s moviegoers were ready for a new take on the serial killer, and that mould was well & truly set by ‘Seven’; this modern take would feature post- modern themes of doubt, pre-millennial angst, cod-spirituality and intellectual theorising and mesh them into a seemingly profound mush. Our serial killers were now eloquent, intelligent creeps driven by a combination of world-weary nihilism and unspecified sexual perversion, and their exploits were meant to show us something about the modern world. This formula was repeated incessantly throughout the decade, with ‘Along Came a Spider’, 'Kiss the Girls',The Bone Collector’ and ‘Copycat’ being  notably droll examples. Morgan Freeman became a very busy man indeed. 

Arising from this was a nastier variety of serial killer, one where ingenious violence and torture were the order of the day. The blueprint for this was, of course, the ‘Saw’ franchise which took nihilistic nastiness to new heights and spawned a whole host of similarly media-savvy splatterfests with the by-now-obligatory nu-metal soundtrack. The internet and the whole morass of modern media was now a statutory tool in the armoury of the psychokiller; no self-respecting serial murderer would fail to film their killings and put them online, or use other piece of IT to advertise his or her work. 

By this point we had entered the era of the reboot, and the cinemas were full of modern ‘twists’ on the old franchises. Jason in space? Michael Myers gatecrashing a mock-up of his own killings? All very post-modern, all very silly. The genre was now so ripe for satire that a whole new franchise – ‘Scream’ – was launched on the basis of knowing parodies or references to the entire box of bloodsplattered clichés in the slash-‘em-up canon. 

Slowly, however, the level of general violence in these films reached a level where either through boredom or indifference moviegoers started to drift away. The debate around the ‘torture porn’ of the ‘Saw’ model of slasherflick was one symptom of this. Although the thrill-kill school of horror is still churning them out today it is undeniable that they are now failing to ignite the box office. Where is the next Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees or even Chucky coming from, to haunt the dreams of adolescents everywhere?

Maybe we have lost our appetite for cold-blooded murder in the aftermath of 9/11 and 7/7, or maybe with the critical mass of modern media it is just too hard to unsettle people nowadays. Or it could simply be that there is indeed a maniac lurking in the trees, preparing to jump at gormless teenagers around a campfire, and he’s simply waiting for the next reboot of his franchise...

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Friday 14 November 2014

The weekly compendium 14/11/2014

That's it for another week here at Intravenous Magazine. Here's what we had for you this time around...

We kicked things off with news of the new album from Marilyn Manson. We had reviews of the new albums from Merciful Nuns, XP8, Noir, and the new Cure Tribute from Alfa Matrix. There was another book review, this time of the Peter Steele Biography 'Soul On Fire' by Jeff Wagner. And finally your monthly Editorial from me.

Over on Facebook we saw album details from Marilyn Manson. Inertia have a new single out. The Mediaeval Baebes are playing a free show in New York. Gig news from Anathema, Prong, and Covenant, as well as new music from In Death It Ends, Votiiv, and Black Nail Cabaret.

That's your lot for this week but here is a new one from electro legend Jon Foxx to get you to the weekend.

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Thursday 13 November 2014

Book Review: Jeff Wagner – 'Soul On Fire: The Life And Music Of Peter Steele'

'Soul On Fire: The Life And Music Of Peter Steele'

The long awaited biography of the enigmatic Type O Negative leader Peter Steele is finally upon us. Having been held back from it's original launch date due to expanding the books contents it has been the the subject of speculation in the TON fan community... but it's here (at least in ebook form if you have pre-ordered a physical copy), and it was worth the wait.

Penned by 20-year-veteran of music journalism and author of,‘Mean Deviation – Four Decades of Heavy Metal’ (Bazillion Points) Jeff Wagner, the book carefully charts the life of Peter Steele (born Peter Ratajczyk) from his earliest years in his native Brooklyn, through to the height of his fame with Type O Negative, before finally lifting the veil on the final days of the musician's life. Told in a fittingly journalistic style, the book mixes old press interviews with anecdotes from family, colleagues, ex-band mates, and friends to demystify and analyse the man behind the music. It is direct and always engaging as it attempts to get to the core of Steele as a human being as well as a musician.

The book has a feel that it has been written by a fan, for the fans and displays a lot of empathy in its attempt to explain elements of Steele's life and behaviour. But it is still a detailed and in-depth look into the private life of a man who was thrust into the public eye against his will. Leaving no stone unturned the late musician's relationships and motivations are examined alongside his development from a bassist in a local cover band to platinum selling artist. Before detailing a harrowing descent into drug addiction, depression and ultimately an untimely death.

As rock / metal biographies go this is one is one of the best of recent years. It easily holds its own alongside the likes of Mick Wall's 'When Giants Walked The Earth' and 'Black Sabbath: Symptom Of The Universe', as well as 'The Beatles' by Hunter Davies, and 'Strange Fascination' by David Buckley. It is nicely laid out and designed with pull quotes and extra graphics adding to the visual appeal of the book.

Complete with rare photographs, fan submissions, out-takes, and alternative album art it is a tantalising but brief glimpse into the Type O Negative archive. It asks the questions that fans have long wanted to know the answers to, and exposes the highs and lows of the music industry through the story of its protagonist. It is a compelling read that elicits an emotional reaction in the reader and as a result is hard to put down.

In stripping back the myth and public persona of Peter Steele by graphically charting his many personal demons and the toll they took on his life and health the book successfully brings Steele down to Earth, revealing him to be a gifted but fragile human being. His story is handled with respect both to Steele and his surviving loved ones. But it doesn't pull its punches either. The result is a well rounded portrait of the subject that shows him with all of his genius and failings exposed without judgement.

Those who are fans of Type O Negative will undoubtedly clamour for this, but beyond the immediate audience of Steele it is a strong rock biography that is a great example of the genre.  

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Editorial: November 2014

It's November and that means the next compilation is fast approaching! We've already received some great tracks from some brilliant bands from across the world and it's shaping up to be a pretty cool mix of tracks. The deadline is fast approaching so this is just a reminder to the few bands who are still due to send us their tracks that you don't have long!

Also depending on the length of the last tracks we get we may be able to offer a couple of slots up to open submission in order to fill the remaining running time. If we do this you will literally have a two week window in December in which to get your track and the info we need to us so the PDF booklet can be completed in time.

In other news this month I'm reflecting on the death of former Static-X front man Wayne Static and looking forward to the upcoming Orgy show in Sheffield.

Static-X, Orgy, Powerman 5000, Godhead, The Union Underground, and Dope were essential listening for me back in the early 2000s. Yes they came in at the tail-end of the Nu Metal explosion of the late 1990s, but their industrial leanings were more appealing to me having recently discover acts such as Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Rammstein, and Ministry for the first time. Angsty lyrics, heavy guitars and industrial synths were... and still are a winning combination for me. Static-X perhaps more than the others stood the test of time in terms of their continuity.... with only Godhead and perhaps Powerman 5000 coming close.

The early 2000s was an important time in my life when I discovered a lot of new music, tanks mainly to the internet. Perhaps it was a case of “the only goth in the village” syndrome, but with one record store in town a friends who were more interested in who was on the cover of Kerrang, finding videos for 'I'm With Stupid', 'Blue Monday', 'When Worlds Collide' and 'Eleanor Rigby' etc. were a welcome relief.... even if they did take half an hour to buffer over a 56k dial-up connection. These bands opened more doors for me and led me to listen not only to more industrial rock / metal from the Wax Trax! camp, but also led me to exploring ebm, futurepop, and industrial in more depth.

With that in mind I offer-up a respectful Rest In Peace to Wayne Static, and eagerly await the arrival of Orgy on the UK shores. I don't know whether it will be a mere exercise in nostalgia, or a genuine return to form... but either way, I'll be breaking out my copy of 'Candyass' over the next couple of weeks in anticipation.

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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Wednesday 12 November 2014

Review: Noir – 'RE:MIT:TENT'


Noir's début 'Darkly Near' was a perfect synthesis of front man Athan Maroulis dark cabaret work with Black Tape For A Blue Girl and the sharp dark electro of Spahn Ranch. A retro-futuristic album drawing on minimalistic electro-goth and sublime beat-driven futurepop that explored a haunting portrait of New York City. Its no wonder that remix album is on the cards, and the fact that twenty internationally renowned artists have added their take to Noir's first album says a lot about Maroulis' impact over the course of his career.

Names such as Man Made Men, Assemblage 23, Ego Likeness, Deadliner, Inertia, Die Sektor, and Black Tape For A Blue Girl bring ebm, industrial, trance, edm, rock and dark ambient into the mix to radically alter the tracks. Some become energised with a renewed dance-friendly edge, while others delve into more experimental waters.

'RE:MIT:TENT' is a varied collection that significantly broadens the appeal of the already appealing début. In particular the likes of Man Made Man's take on 'A Forest', 'My Dear' by Ego Likeness, 'The Bells' by Deadliner, 'In Every Dream Home A Heartache' by Displacer, 'The Voyeurs' by Black Tape For A Blue Girl, and the versions of 'Timephase' by Inertia, Die Sektor and PBK & Artemis K really stand out from the crowd and are worth the price of the album alone.

The album is nicely put together and with the sheer variety on offer the twenty tracks just fly by. There is plenty here that will make a good contribution to any DJ's arsenal, but it also offers a lot of tracks that are best to sit and listen to as well.

Remix albums aren’t usually very satisfying but 'RE:MIT:TENT' has plenty of character to it which makes it a more interesting stop-gap between studio albums. Hopefully though it won't be too long before another studio album is on the cards.

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Review: XP8 – 'Two Of Three: Albedo'

'Two Of Three: Albedo'

The second of the Italian duo's Alchemy lands to continue the hard dance assault instigated by its predecessor 'One Of Three: Nigredo'. The second EP in the series of three once again blends elements of ebm, edm, dubstep and trance across five tracks, which conceptually explore the second stage of the alchemy process involving the washing away of impurities. It also has the distinction of being the band's penultimate release, deciding to call it quits once the series reaches its conclusion with part three.

Each track here is ready and set to get bodies on the dance floor. Opening with 'We Felt Nothing' XP8 are on classic form with a hard and relentless beat set to some great synths and sing-a-long lyrics. While 'The Gift' slows things down a little with its heavy dubstep bass setting the pace it continues the dance friendly manifesto of the previous track.

'Heatwave' sees the band really getting interesting. Slow and sensual it even breaks out some guitar work for a dark and sexy slithering track. 'A Greater Goal' then returns back to the dubstep bass of 'The Gift' but brings some nice metal riffing into the mix for a very refreshing take on the bands sound that is just begging for at least one live performance. As with '… Nigredo' the EP is rounded off with a remix. This time Avarice In Audio work their magic on 'Inside Their Heads' breathing new life into the track.

This is another solid release from a band at the top of their game and producing some of the best music in their discography. Which makes the fact that this is the second to last release planned all the more bitter-sweet. XP8 are aiming to go out on a high, but its a shame they're leaving us at all when they still have releases like this to offer.  

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Tuesday 11 November 2014

Review: Various Artists – 'A Strange Play – An Alfa Matrix Tribute To The Cure'

'A Strange Play – An Alfa Matrix Tribute To The Cure'

Picking up where the two Depeche Mode covers albums left off comes the Alfa Matrix rosters tribute to another huge group of the 1980s in the form of 'A Strange Play – An Alfa Matrix Tribute To The Cure'. Tribute albums can be a patchy affair and if you can take a slack handful of memorable covers away at the end of the listening experience then you've done pretty well. With this in mind Alfa Matrix have crammed two CDs worth of tracks into this release to give the best spread of talent and styles possible. And it does have its ups and downs, but the tracks that work well manage to carry the weight of the few that fell short of the mark.

Tracks such as 'The Love Cats' by Junksista, 'Just Like Heaven' by Lovelorn Dolls, and 'Friday I'm In Love' by Cosmic Armchair in particular with their airy Euro-pop leanings tend to fall short of the mark. Yes, The Cure were principally a pop act, yet what has kept their profile in the public eye for over thirty years has been their dark and slightly demented edge. With this in mind the straighter covers tend to provide the weaker points of the compilation. However when the bands inject their own styles heavily into the mix the results are much more exciting, and thank fully this is the case for the majority of the album.

The albums undeniable stand-out tracks include 'Lullaby' by Cynical Existence, 'Burn' by Essence Of Mind, 'Lovesong' by Sebastian Komor, 'The Figurehead' by Schwarzblut, 'The Baby Screams' by Armageddon Dildos, 'Why Can't I Be You' by Plastic Noise Experience, 'Sleep When I'm, Dead' by Neikka RPM, and 'Trust' by Acylum which see the artists incorporate their unique styles in a much more organic and natural way. The kind of songs that are not trying to be Cure covers, but rather see the bands making the songs their own.

'A Strange Play – An Alfa Matrix Tribute To The Cure' is a mixed bag, but there is something for everyone here. The artists' forays into ebm, industrial, synthpop, and pop rock makes for a varied and interesting listening experience and in some cases add a radical reinterpretation of the source material.  

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Review: Merciful Nuns – 'Meteora VII'

'Meteora VII'

Hot on the heels of the band's sixth full-length studio outing, Artaud Seth and his Merciful Nuns return with another slab of esoteric-themed gothic rock. With recent outing exploring dark, heavy and progressive atmospheres, the seventh instalment 'Meteora VII' heads back towards the bands' original stripped back gothic rock manifesto.

There are still plenty of ambient textures and the refined heaviness that has slowly crept into the band's sound linking them to their former Lutherion works. However the approach has taken a step back to the framework laid out on 'Liber I' and 'Hypogeum II' with the throbbing bass, jangling Sisters Of Mercy riffs circa 1985 and Seth's unmistakable accented baritone driving the songs forward.

The band storm through the majority of the album's first half with 'Elektra', 'Phantom Wall', and 'Karma Inn' reaching back towards the likes of 'Body Of Light' for inspiration before the slower and more atmospheric strains of 'A Day That Fades' slows the album down for more introspective listening. 'Speed Of Light' ups the tempo once again before 'Eulusian Ground' brings out the sparing use of heavy guitars and leans back towards some of the bands more progressive recent output. 'Zero G' carries on the heavy elements in its distorted bass and aggressive beat before cutting out and allowing the swell of the album's swansong 'A Place Beyond', with its overt ambient and prog slant, to slowly build along it's near ten-minute length.

The band might have cast their eye back towards their earlier work, but they're not retreading old ground. The lessons they have learned and the style they have nurtured are still at the fore of their seventh album. The unmistakable effects and themes remain, and the production is in keeping with the ever higher quality of their progressing discography.

Those who have been following the Nuns will be satisfied with this release as it encompasses elements of all their previous output so far, but with a more rock-orientated execution. The band's output has been prolific but has remained original and high quality, and 'Meteora VII' is no exception.  

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Marilyn Manson announces details of ninth album

Shock rocker Marilyn Manson has announced the details of his latest studio album and follow-up to 2012's 'Born Villain'. The album titled 'The Pale Emperor' will be released as a Deluxe CD, Digital Download, and vinyl through Hell,Etc. / Cooking Vinyl records on 20th January, 2015.

Track List:
Killing Strangers
Deep Six
Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge
The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles
Warship My Wreck
Slave Only Dreams To Be King
The Devil Beneath My Feet
Birds Of Hell Awaiting
Cupid Carries A Gun
Odds Of Even

Deluxe CD Version includes the bonus tracks:
Day 3
Fated, Faithful, Fatal
Fall Of The House Of Death

The album is available to pre-order now through iTunes and Amazon. For more information on the band, including release and live information, please visit their official website.

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Friday 7 November 2014

The weekly compendium 07/11/2014

It's November! Halloween and Bonfire night have come and gone. We're hurtling fast towards Christmas and the New Year. But don't fret just yet if you're lamenting the start of your Christmas shopping, we've got a few distractions for you...

We kicked the week off with the sad news that former Static-X frontmanWayne Static had died suddenly. We then presented some better news from the returning Eurorock festival, and Amphi festival, as well as news of a new Funker Vogt single. We kicked off the reviews with a look at Natasha Scharf's new book 'The Art Of Gothic', and had a listen to new music from Nightmares and 808s, W.A.S.T.E and 3Teeth. AND reported from Deathstars' gig in Manchester!

With all these articles on the main body of the website our Facebook page has been a little neglected this week, but we saw the news that VNV Nation have pulled out of their North American tour with Skinny Puppy. And we saw how next year's ResistanzFestival is shaping up.

Right, that's your lot for this week. I'll leave you with this in remembrance of Wayne Static. 

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Thursday 6 November 2014

Review: 3Teeth – 'REMIXED'


Los Angeles based industrialists 3Teeth have taken the scene by storm with their incendiary self-titled début album. Taking in everything from old school industrial, rhythmic noise, harsh ebm, and dark electro filtered through an aggressive 21st century shock and awe. Their social media campaign has united a audio and visual in an engaging and exciting way that recalled the titans of the genres mainstream-infecting years.

Of course a remix album was on the card then. One thing about the début album was that for all it's strong beats and clandestine catchy melodies, was that it was heavy going perhaps for casual listeners. Therefore the band have secured some big names to extend their club-presence further into dance territory and complete their all out assault.

The band offer up five of their strongest cuts from the début album for reworking: 'Master Of Decay', 'Pearls 2 Swine', 'Nihil', 'Consent', and 'Final'. The album is arranged in sections with each song's remixes clumped together rather than being mixed up at random, which is interesting as despite the varied nature of the remixes it preserves some linearity in the listening experiences.

The remixes for the most part instil an added dance friendly quality to the tracks with the best contributions coming from Aesthetic Perfection, ∆aimon, Caustic, Myrrh Ka Ba, Randolph & Mortimer, Blkhrts, Freakangel, and Synesthesia adding ebm, techno and hip-hop elements to the source material.

As far as remix albums go, this is a very strong one. The source tracks were already song, but the variety and quality of the contributions from the other artists are also great. Each one brings something new and interesting to the fore and adds a new dimension to the band's sound. The production is solid all the way throughout and the final presentation is slick.

A lot of people can take or leave remix albums, but if you're going to take one, this is a good place to start. The tracks within provide some great club-friendly fodder that will surely keep-up the band's dance floor presence for quite a while to come.  

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Wednesday 5 November 2014

Live Review: Deathstars – Academy 3, Manchester 03/11/2014

DEATHSTARS (+ The Dead And Living)
Academy 3, Manchester

In typical Mancunian fashion the rain made a brief appearance prior to the doors of the Academy opening, albeit a few days too late to aid in putting out the band's tour bus which caught fire while on the road in mainland Europe. But in spite of the eight-month wait since the original date, plus fire and rain, the tour goes on regardless.

The band have taken fellow Swedes The Dead And Living out on the road with theme this time around. And it is immediately evident as to why when the quintet take to the stage. A dark blend of pop-punk and bluesy rock complete with a clone of Whiplasher Bernadotte fronting them, the band take their role of pumping the crowd up very seriously.

Their bouncy and accessible formula plays especially well to the younger element of the crowd, however the majority of it, despite some interesting interludes, is unmemorable and as soon as they leave the stage the immediate effect of their cheer-leading dissipates in anticipation of the headliner's imminent arrival.

The main event of the evening soon hit the stage and bring the metal. The now four-piece death glam act unload a barrage of industrial-tinged anthems and the eager crowd lap it up. Cuts from the latest album 'The Perfect Cult' such as 'Explode', 'All the Devil's Toys', and 'Fire Galore' sit comfortably alongside tried and tested tracks from the bands previous studio outings with the likes of 'Tongues', 'New Dead Nation', 'Night Electric Night', 'Metal', and 'Synthetic Generation' enjoying big reactions from the crowd.

Frontman Whiplasher is poised and commanding as he flirtatiously instructs the crowd to cheer and brushes off the attention-seeking hecklers with some quick wit. He is somewhat less vocal than on previous appearances in the UK, but at the end of of long tour cycle it is hardly surprising.

The band are on form and having fun with it and the crowd reciprocates at every opportunity. The band puts on a strong performance befitting their now veteran status and by the time the band unleash the encore of 'Cyanide' and 'Blitzkrieg' it it safe to say that everyone present is satisfied with the exhibition of their increasingly formidable repertoire.

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Review: W.A.S.T.E – 'Warlord Mentality'

'Warlord Mentality'

Rhythmic noise maestros W.A.S.T.E return with their fourth full-length studio outing 'Warlord Mentality'. Blending their trademark rhythmic noise and industrial blend with dark ambient and power electronics, the new album sees the trio continue to grow and develop their sound in new and interesting directions including an unexpected but brilliantly executed cover... vocals and all!

With ten years experience under their belts and a career that continues to gather momentum with every release, W.A.S.T.E have everything in their corner to deliver a big, hard hitting album. And that is exactly what 'Warlord Mentality' gives us. Still recognisably rhythmically orientated, the dark ambient synths used throughout soften the harshness and give the songs a more accessible dance appeal. It is still on the hardest end of the dance spectrum but it is definitely a more well-rounded release that utilises the best of the band's arsenal.

Songs such as 'Are We just Animals', 'Warlord Mentality', 'Destroy What Destroys You', 'No More Feelings' and 'Kill Something' give the album it's backbone and drive the hard dance rhythms to the fore. While the schizophrenic 'Scream All You Want' amps up the noise for a fittingly demented closing track. But it is the unexpected but very welcome cover of The Offspring's 'Gone Away' with its vocal contribution from ESA's Jamie Blacker that is the album's crowning glory. Still as hard and industrial as hell, the band create a very different take on the original song that will surely become a stand out at clubs across the world.

The band's sound has continued to develop and evolved, and despite staying primarily rhythm-focussed the layering of dark and ominous synths separates the layers and gives the album a more mature sound that is reflected in the production and mix.

'Warlord Mentality' is perhaps W.A.S.T.E's strongest and most well-developed sounding outing yet. There is still that maniacally heaviness to the song writing, and they never pull their punches. But it is evident that the band are continuing to push themselves hard and if this is anything to go by, they will justly reap the rewards of doing so.  

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Funker Vogt to release 'Sick Man'

German electro act Funker Vogt have announced the release of their latest single 'Sick Man', The single will be released through Out Of Line on 12th December 2014 as a Maxi-CD in hand-numbered Digipaks, strictly limited to 888 copies.

Track List:
1. Sick Man (Evil Mix)
2. The Last Awakening (Superhuman Mix)
3. Sick Man (Single Mix)
4. The Last Awakening (Demo Mix)
5. Sick Man (Epic Mix)

The single is available to pre-order via the Out Of Line webshop. For More information on the band, including future releases and live dates, please visit their official website.

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Tuesday 4 November 2014

Review: Various Artists – 'N¡gh†m∆res ∆nd 8Ø8s Presents: Scary Music To Play In The Dark'

'N¡gh†m∆res ∆nd 8Ø8s Presents: Scary Music To Play In The Dark'

The fast growing platform for new dark electronic bands the YouTube station N¡gh†m∆res ∆nd 8Ø8s presents another free compilation of witch-house / drag / dark trap / vapourwave etc. acts to celebrate Halloween. The follow-up to the '...Suicide Serenade' compilation, '...Scary Music To Play In The Dark' returns with seventeen slices of creepy music perfect for Samhain.

Ranging from atmospheric ambience through to more dance-friendly numbers, the album is another great starting point for those who like avant garde electronics, but have yet to dip their toes into the dark waters of this disparate genre.

Acts such as Dashiell Lockhart, gℓo, ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş, and White bring the ambience in a big way as they utilise elements such as noise, whispered vocals, hanging drones, and spooky samples to create unsettling atmospheres. While acts like Apollyon Visage, Sidewalks And Skeletons, Monomorte, Okkvlt K/\tt, Left Hand Of Creation, and Ghostling add a more accessible although down-beat edge to the proceedings with hip-hop and trip-hop beats utilised in conjunction with often hypnotic synth melodies. Once again with so many styles and influences on display here, there should be something for everyone to take away from it.

The tracks have a uniform “grittiness” to them all the way through the album, and despite the different recording techniques used by each artist, there is very little fluctuation in the overall quality of each track. The compilation has been arranged and compiled with great care so as to ensure the tracks flow together in an organic way.

'...Scary Music To Play In The Dark' is another strong compilation from N¡gh†m∆res ∆nd 8Ø8s. It presents a range of artists and styles and presents them in a deliberately accessible manner that gives the impression of a unified whole. Again if you're new to witch-house and the connected genres, this is a good place to start to explore this murky world while at the same time giving you some great music for your next Halloween party.

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Book Review: Natasha Scharf – 'The Art Of Gothic'

'The Art Of Gothic'

The natural extension of her first book on the gothic subculture, 'World Wide Gothic', internationally renowned journalist Natasha Scharf (Meltdown Magazine, Total Rock Radio, Metal Hammer, Terrorizer) returns with 'The Art Of Gothic'. A rich and detailed look at the development of the gothic aesthetic in parallel with the ever growing and changing subculture from the late 1970s up to the present day.

The book looks at the fashions, artwork, and visuals of the gothic scene as well as interconnected movements such as deathrock, industrial, cyberpunk,  steampunk, harajuku, and visual kei while cherry-picking individual artists and designers such as Jon Klein, John Coulthart, Anne Sudworth, Steven R. Gilmore, and Roman Dirge for deeper analysis.

With a brief introduction from Sex Gang Children legend Andi Sex Gang the initially book sets up the elements that would come together through the post punk and dark new wave genres to eventually coalesce into goth. The book then follows the genre from the batcave years with its D.I.Y credentials and emphasis on camp horror. Through to the influence of classic gothic literature and imagery as it injected a big dose of fantasy into the modern fashion and art. And into the worlds of cyberpunk and steampunk literature and their influence on the artwork and fashions seen today. The book also looks at the cross-pollination of international movements like Deathrock and Japan's Harajuku and Visual Kei fashions and even the influence of gothic on modern high fashion designers.

Scharf's writing style is direct and engaging, honed through an impressive journalistic career that has seen her specialise in all things gothic. As a result the book is an easy and accessible read with an authoritative tone that unifies the chapters into a cohesive whole and uses a variety of quotes to efficiently sum up the subjects explored in of each of them.

The layout of the book is exceptional with great attention to detail given to every aspect. From the hard back cover with its dark filigree and purples to the internal pages with the large high resolution pictures and textured backgrounds, it all adds up to create a opulent book that perfectly presents the often luxurious artwork depicted within.

'The Art Of Gothic' is part subcultural analysis and part visual catalogue. The focus on the artists and designers behind the aesthetics of the genre rather than purely the music adds a different slant to the typical “it started with post-punk, then came The Sisters, and then the internet” time line that we are used to reading. It shows how gothic and its interconnected genres have flourished as an underground artistic movement rather than solely a musical genre that occasionally gets the nod from the mainstream.

Collating over thirty years of art into one book is not an easy task, but Scharf has made it look so. It is extensively researched and will add a lot more depth to anyone's research into subculture movements of the 20th/21st centuries, especially when coupled with 'Worldwide Gothic'. It is also light and visual enough to also be attractive to more casual readers who are looking for inspiration rather than information. In short, it's a must have for the book shelf.

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Monday 3 November 2014

New acts announced for Amphi Festival 2015

The latests artists for next year's Amphi Festival in Cologne, Germany have been announced. Joining the already impressive line-up are Rome, Inkubus Sukkubus, Der Fluch, The Devil & the Universe, Der Tod (Death Comedy), Pokaemon Reactor, and Alexander Kaschte.

Confirmed Artists:

+ many other artists + supporting programme soon

Tickets for the festival (25th July 2015 - 26th July 2015) are available online for worldwide shipping at the Amphi ticket shop: For more information, please visit the official festival website.  

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Eurorock returns for 2015

The Belgian cult electro and industrial music festival Eurorock will return from the dead!

The festival will take place on 14th - 16th of May 2015 (with a pre-party on the 14th) and will be held, open air, at the Sint-Huibrechts-Lille event terrain where the original festival was housed until 2002.

Already announced for the festival are Front 242, ASP, and Peter hook And The Light among others, which will surely make Eurorock a big date in next year's festival calendar.

Confirmed Artists:
The Bellewether Syndicate
Apoptygma Berzerk
Vive La Fête
Front 242
The Orb
Diary of Dreams
Whispers in the shadow
Peter Hook (Celebration of Joy Division)
Suicide Commando

Weekend tickets are available now and visitors can pre-order drink and food vouchers online at a cheaper rate. All pre-orders can be placed via

For more information on acts and to sign-up to the festival newsletter, please visit the official Eurorock website.  

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Static-X frontman Wayne Static dies aged 48

The former frontman of the industrial-tinged nu metal act Static-X Wayne Static has died aged 48. The vocalist, guitarist and frontman whose real name was Wayne Richard Wells performed with Static-X in that late 90s and into the 2000s achieving platinum status on albums such as 'Wisconsin Death Trip'. He also forged a successful solo career for himself after disbanding Static-X in 2013, as well as creating and contributing to other projects such as his own Pighammer, as well as X-ecutioners, Skinny Puppy, Godhead and Run DMC. He had been scheduled to perform on co-headlining tours with Powerman 5000 and Drowning Pool over the next few months.

His death on Saturday 1st November 2014 was announced yesterday morning (UK time). So far no cause of death has been revealed, with the only information coming through official channels such as the Static-X Facebook page:
“Static-X Founder Wayne Static
Passed Away At Age 48 
November 1, 2014 - Platinum selling musician Wayne Richard Wells, better known as WAYNE STATIC, passed away at the age of 48. 
WAYNE STATIC was the enigmatic former frontman and namesake of Static-X, who later forged a successful solo career. Wayne was scheduled to co-headline tours with Powerman 5000 and Drowning Pool over the next several months. 
No additional information is available at this time.”
Intravenous Magazine would like to take this time to share their condolences with the friends and family of Wayne Static At this difficult time.

RIP Wayne Static 1965 – 2014.

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