Interview: Marc Heal

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

Interview: Bestial Mouths

“The newer material is very personal in nature as it directly relates to the experiences and emotions I had been going through and feeling. Those experiences set the direction for the album title and cover art.”

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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Review: ConclΔve – 'Longplay'



CONCLΔVE
'Long Play'
PHANTASMA DISQUES


ConclΔve from the Philippines is an interesting project. Minimalistic electro and witch-house orientated experimentalism come together for a sound to create an enticing sound. It is on the one hand lo-fi and ambient, albeit with a penchant for harsh synth sounds and drones. But as soon as you throw in some vocals (from multiple guests) it becomes a lot more accessible and, dare I say... commercial in flavour.

Songs such as 'Melted', 'Ocean Star', 'Island', and 'Crystal Skies' feature strong rhythms and layers of ambient synths and a harsh or light lead melody that, on their own would be enough to create a strong instrumental album as illustrated by the sole vocal free song 'Rip The Sky Asunder'. Yet the vocal contributions from the likes of Berna So, Luxe Calip and Leo & The Tolstoys etc. spice the mix up a lot and suddenly the songs become a lot fuller and enticing.

Sometimes it doesn’t quite work. The tracks 'Knighthood' and 'Portals', featuring Spz Chaote and Blam Lord respectively, don't quite gel. Their rap style just doesn’t gel with the underlying track and comes off a little like a bit of a dodgy remix.

Speaking of remixes, the two bonus remixes of 'Ocean Star' by Sapphire Slows and Mater Suspiria Vision are a fine way to round things off. Sapphire Slows play on the ambient elements of the song and add some hard beats for a dancier version. While Matter Suspiria Vision gets the scissors out and cuts things up, twisting the source material into something a little more nightmarish.

This is a nice offering that balances an accessible sense of melodic songwriting with a strong leaning towards underground experimentalism. The mix is clean and tidy, while the overall production has a low-fi quality to it, but nothing to abrasive so as to put off casual listeners.

This is a strong release that will hopefully garner a bit of attention for ConclΔve. It's going to be very interesting to see where the next release goes.

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Review: In Death It Ends - 'Shrines'



IN DEATH IT ENDS
'Shrines'
AUFNAHME + WIEDERGABE


In Death It Ends' scale of output is impressive. It seems as though every couple of months Porl King has something new up his sleeve to unleash. You'd be forgiven that with his latest offering 'Shrines' coming so soon after long-player 'Analog Witch' and the recent EP 'Ghosts', King would be scraping the barrel in terms of ideas. But once again he come up with the goods.

King's sense groove has really defined the In Death It Ends sound. The infectious new wave style bass lines provide a sturdy back bone to each song and allow the more experimental melodies and drones to take shape around them. The result is always something interesting but accessible.

'Shrines', opened up with the delightfully mechanical sounding 'Wrathful And Sullen'. With the bass high in the mix it adds Nitzer Ebb-esque rhythms and minimal-industrial synths for a dark and danceable track. 'It Came From Sorrow' is a more overt new wave inspired track that reflects previous cuts such as 'Centre Of A Circle' and 'We All Die', but the stuttering beats and jarring synths add a definite identity of its own.

'Veil Of Clouded Verse' is a darker grittier track that plays on the electronic elements a lot more. It is richly layered and gritty in style, with that pronounced industrial leaning surfacing again. The EP concludes with 'Against The Fates', which is the most overtly industrial sounding track with a stuttering central beat, mechanical sounding synths and more overtly noisy flirtations. It's a nice change of pace and a bit more experimental than usual, but still retains that seed of melody that keeps it appealing to the casual listener.

'Shrines', once again, is a finely crafted release from King. It balances the experimental witch-house elements of the IDIE sound with that fundamental grounding in good new wave / post-punk sound. All the while keeping a nice late 80s industrial style sheen to the overall atmosphere.

Its another solid release from King, but with releasing so many single/EP length items it is going to be interesting to see what he is going to pull out of the bag when it comes time for another full-length album.

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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Review: Junksista – 'Life Is Unfair (And Love Is A Bitch)'




'Life Is Unfair (And Love Is A Bitch)'
ALFA MATRIX 


Sexually explicit German duo Junksista return with a new club-orientated EP, 'Life Is Unfair (And Love Is A Bitch)'. The track, taken from last year's 'Bad Case Of Fabulous', was definitely one of the better songs on an album that was overall a good effort, but still rather patchy in places. So it is no surprise that it now sees a release in its own right.

The album version of the title track was a nice and funky take on a minimal electro sound that favours a simple and memorable vocal hook to ensnare the listener with great effect. It's a formula that works well for the band and makes a refreshing change to their usual ridiculous and rather tiresome lyrical subject matter. Psy'Aviah however show up the duo with a far more interesting remix of the song that really kicks its dance potential up a notch. Also included isEssence Of Mind's remix of the title track, which goes into a harder direction that again plays to the club audience, while Canal Pop break out the Kraftwerk-esque techno for a very different approach.

Virgins O.R. Pigeons reform 'Sexpectations' into a more well-rounded and presentable offering than the lack-lustre early 90s r&b version previously been included on the 'Bad Case Of Fabulous' album. While Gabor Gercaz and Zulu DJ give us two very different, but very upbeat versions of 'Fabulous'.

Junksista's one strength is in the sheer variety of their palette, even if whenleft to their own devices they don't necessarily live up to their expectations. However with 'Life Is Unfair (And Love Is A Bitch)', they have ensured a continued club presence with a good range of complimentary remixes that will no doubt provide a good introduction to the band while they iron out the creases for their next full-length outing.

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Review: Be My Enemy – 'Party Monster'



'Party Monster' 

Phil Barry's first outing as Be My Enemy on 2010's 'This Is The New Wave' was a promising collection of punk-orientated electro-rock that gave a nod or two in the direction of his former band Cubanate. Already though, the singles from the forthcoming 'The Enemy From Within' are showing that Barry has crafted Be My Enemy into a defined entity in it's own right.

The second single from the upcoming sophomore album from Barry, 'Party Monster' is an acidic slice of Pitchshifter meets Atari Teenage Riot anthemic electro-rock. It's a frantic, fist-in-the-air shout-a-long track that will no doubt be a future gem in the live set as well as a club classic. The single/EP also includes remixes for the title track from Caustic and Chief Bacon who add their own harder industrial and bouncier dance takes on the original respectively. The first of two exclusive tracks included, 'Overdose' delves into more familiar and dance-friendly rave-rock territory with Prodigy style drums and Barry's trademark scathing guitars propelling the track forward. The second exclusive track 'Paranoia' remains in the rave-rock mode, albeit with a somewhat darker edge with maniacal samples and distorted vocals. With it's big beats and demented synths, it's a great cut in its own right. System:FX also contribute a stripped-back remix of 'Helter Skelter' from 'This Is The New Wave', which focusses heavily on the riff and wubbing synths for an unexpectedly dance-friendly take on the original.

If there were still any lingering doubts as to Be My Enemy's potential to be a big hitter in industrial rock, then 'Party Monster' should do well to put them at rest. Even as a preview of things to come, 'Party Monster' proves that Barry has come a long way in terms of his song-writing ability. The production is strong and the tracks all sound fresh and clean in their execution.

'Party Monster' should whet a fair few appetites in anticipation of the new album, and if this is anything to go by it should put Be My Enemy on the map.  

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Review: Tregenza – 'Stolen Thunder'



'Stolen Thunder' 

Continuing what he started with Goteki, Ross Tregenza returns with a new covers EP under his solo moniker. Utilising the same title as his former project. Goteki's 2011 'Stolen Thunder' EP, was a lot more geared towards the band's traditional crowd with covers of artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy and Covenant. 2014 however, sees Tregenza focus on more mainstream cuts from Madonna, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Haddaway.

Leonard Cohen's 'The Partisan', which was previously covered on the Goteki 'Stolen Thunder' EP, gets a lush reworking to open the new album. A more expressive and mournful approach to the song makes it a stunning opener. 'Love Missile F1-11' is next to get the Tregenza treatment with a juxtaposition of strings, pianos and computer game samples in the intro set the tone for this sound-effects laden homage to the most futuristic of retro bands. 90's club classic 'What Is Love?' is next up for reconstruction. Still retaining it's dance credentials, Tregenza remakes Haddaway's original in his own “death-electro” style for the EP's stand-out offering. Madonna's 'Frozen' rounds-off the EP in minimalistic electro style with deep house embellishments for some extra sensuality.

Ross Tregenza's solo output goes from strength to strength and it's easy to hear just how far he has come since Goteki's 2011 EP of the same name. Comparatively the 2014 EP is superior in terms of execution and production, with even the more minimal tracks sounding fuller and more dense in content.

Tregenza has proved that his solo work has moved beyond the confines of what Goteki achieved and begun to carve a more impressive nice for himself. With this being the fourth EP under his belt, it remains to be seen what he will offer us in the way of a full-length release.

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END: the DJ's New Music Picks- February 2014

New Music Picks for February 2014

There’s been a diversity of hit new music this month from around the globe. Read on, see and hear what great new tunes you shouldn’t miss!

Halo Effect- 'The Big Lie (DYM Remix)' - EK Product
The new Code Mixing - Recoding Remix double album from Halo Effect is quite the endeavour. There are so many top-notch remixes that it’s almost impossible to pick just one track yet this DYM remix slams, showing the project’s expertise in production- a great hard beat.

Armando Biz- 'Sometimes Moscow Sleeps' - Green Mono Records
Another powerful anthem from Green Mono Records. 7 minutes of awesomeness, I can’t get this track off of repeat play, it’s flawless. 

Dimensional Explosion- 'Psycho Terror' - [unsigned]
Last month I reported on the new music being that was a released last year from Dimensional Explosion (formerly E.I.D)- then this month I was hit with his first track from the new year, once again setting a standard for noisy melodic experimental music. Fantastic!

Amnistia- 'Catch Me' - Dark Dimensions Label Group
Great EBM/Body Wave track from Amnistia’s 4th album Antiversus. Has a great flow and gets the floor moving and stomping. Everything meshes well here, from the vocals to the beat.

Orlese- 'Mash Up the Fun' - Green Mono Records
This track’s heavy build and thundering bass line with a touch of deep ambient in the breaks is a masterpiece. Also don’t mix the amazing Kids Electronics Remix in this single release. Green Mono’s high output of quality music continues for 2014.

Terrorkode- 'Fucktard' - Deathwatch Asia
New Terrorkode music to assault the ear holes. This unrelenting mover from the new Frequency Overload album is a must for everyone.

Beat Tempest- 'Fingers in the Duck' - C Clone Records
Beat Tempest returns with a hard hitting track. Great beat, fantastic breakdown. This track guarantees to sway bodies.

Epinephrin- 'Sanduhr' - Dark Dimensions Label Group
Epinephrin is Pascal Beniesch ([x]-Rx)’s first music project. This track from the new Alles auf Anfang album has such catchy club rhythms and melody. This is but one of the many tracks from the new release that will fill the dance floor.

Stahlnebel & Black Selket- 'Echo' - Advoxya Records
The powerhouse EBM duo from Germany & the Netherlands hits us with another beast of a track. Lace up the stomping boots for this one.

Surveillance- 'I Was There [feat. Carolyn Powers]' - [unsigned]
From the new Oceania album, this artistic project from Tom Shear (Assemblage 23) is a music lover’s pleasure. This very textured track has great production and guest vocals.

And there are even more tracks that everyone should be checking out this month. Check them out:

God Module- 'The Mark' - Metropolis Records
Best track on the False Face album, this is the highlight of the new release. A really vicious track.

Blue Sense- 'Discovery Constellation' - Blue Sense Recordings
Blue Sense from the Netherlands never disappoints when he gets fast and heavy with his music work. This track’s rolling bass line and the mid break will astound you. Simply stated, it’s a slamming track.

Enter and Fall- 'Hope (It’s Not the End)' - Emmo.biz Records
Enter and Fall returns with the new Isolation album- this is one of many outstanding tracks. A very textured and thoughtful track not to be missed.

Syrian feat. Marian Gold from Alphaville- 'Supernova (Club Rework Extended Mix)' - Infacted Recordings
This rework of a 2007 track from Syrian with timeless guest vocals from M. Gold of Alphaville is a welcome surprise for 2014. This new version is made for the club floor.

Advance- 'Dead Technology' - Analogue Trash Records
Very top-notch production work and complimentary vocal style with uplifting and thoughtful lyrics. This track from the new Deus Ex Machina album is one of a number of tracks to check out from Advance.



END: the DJ is a U.S. based DJ and artist with releases on Infacted Recordings, Nilaihah Records and CircuitHeads Digital. END tours internationally, supporting many dark electronic artists and labels plus has live mixes on U.S. and UK radio, Industrial Club Sessions. For more info, check his official website at ENDtheDJ.com






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Monday, 24 February 2014

Alien Vampires return with 'Harsh Drugs & BDSM' EP



Anglo-Italian cyberpunks Alien Vampires have a announced their first new release since 2012's 'Clubbers Die Younger' EP. The band's new eight-track digital only EP, 'Harsh Drugs & BDSM', will be released officially on 28th February via Alfa Matrix.

The EP will include remixes by Modulate, ESA, W.A.S.T.E, Speed Injektion, Statik Sky and D.K.A.G.  As well as a bonus B-side track 'Fake Blood Is For Cunt'.

Track list:
  1. Harsh Drugs & BDSM
  2. Harsh Drugs & BDSM (MODULATE mix)
  3. Harsh Drugs & BDSM (ESA mix)
  4. Harsh Drugs & BDSM (Magliana mix by SPEED INJEKTION)
  5. Harsh Drugs & BDSM (STATIK SKY Submissive mix)
  6. Fake Blood Is For Cunt (from "Evil Generation", remixed by Alien Vampires)
  7. Harsh Drugs & BDSM (Fucked Up by D.K.A.G.)
  8. Harsh Drugs & BDSM (W.A.S.T.E. Harsh Noise mix)

'Harsh Drugs & BDSM' is available to pre-order now via the Alfa Matrix bandcamp page. For more information on the band please visit their official website.

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Latest bands for WGT



The band performing at this year's Wave Gotik Treffen are unrelenting with multiple announcements made last week this year's festival in Leipzig, Germany.

Newly announced are:

THE FAIR SEX (D) , BLOODSUCKING ZOMBIES FROM OUTER SPACE (A) , IMMINENT (B) , THE HIRAM KEY (GB) , FETISCH:MENSCH (D) , ILLUMINATE (D) , 7JK (GB/PL) , IGNIS FATUU (D) , TREPANERINGSRITUALEN (S) , XOTOX (D) , ANNE CLARK (GB) , NACHTBLUT (D) , THE MARIONETTES (GB) , LITTLE NEMO (F) , WOLFENMOND (D) , AH CAMA-SOTZ (B) , UNTOTEN (D) , YURA YURA (F) , KISS THE ANUS OF A BLACK CAT (B) , SATURMZLIDE (D) , UMBRA ET IMAGO (D) , D-TOX (S) , SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS (D) , I-M-R (D) , HEXPEROS (I) , FADERHEAD (D) , ASCETIC: (AUS) , PSYGNOSIS (F) , ULTERIOR (GB) , EXT!ZE (D) .

The bands join previously announced artists such as Aeon Sable, Apoptygma Berzerk, Frontline Assembly, The Klinik, and Siva Six.

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


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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Review: SunnO))) & Ulver – 'Terrestrials'



SUNNO))) & ULVER
'Terrestrials' 

The combined curriculum vitae of SunnO))) and Ulver make for impressive reading. The members of each band have been pushing the limits of music beyond further than most would dare. So as a collaboration, 'Terrestrials' has been one of the most anticipated experimental albums of recent memory with mouths salivating at what such a union would produce. 

The album was recorded over night at Ulver's Crystal Canyon Studios back in 2008, just after SunnO)))'s 200th gig. In the years since, both acts have unleashed landmark albums respectively (i.e. SunnO)))'s 'Monoliths And Dimensions' [2009] and Ulver's 'Messe I.X-VI.X' last year). The time therefore definitely feels right for 'Terrestrials' to see the light of day.

It is apt then that the first of the three monolithic cuts on the album is christened 'Let There Be Light'. The track slowly rises and flickers into life, radiating dense layers of sustained guitars before unleashing flares of strings and near martial rhythms and brass before slowly setting again. 'Western Horn' begins with more sinister machinations. Slow and dark, it rolls in from the horizon like a storm front. The thundering rhythm and noisy undertones are a constant foreboding presence while the lighter swirling guitars entice you to keep looking beyond the clouds and to the light on the horizon. The album culminates in the fourteen-minute 'Eternal Return'. Which radiates light, but sinister guitars, while a mournful violin laments over ambient but somewhat jazzy keyboards. The track then settles into a repetitive synth and piano section providing Kristoffer Rygg with a space for the album's only vocal passage supplied his unique style of delivery. The track unfortunately slowly loses its direction after the moment where vocals cease, which would have been the logical point of conclusion.

'Terrestrials' may not be the dark slab of experimental drone that many will be expecting, and it certainly bears little resemblance to SunnO))) and Ulver's last sonic collaboration on the track 'CUTWOODeD', but this album is a satisfying listening experience. The mixing of SunnO)))'s analogue prowess with Ulver's digital mastery creates a perfect union that frees each side up to fully cut loose and set their minds adrift. This can let the songs at times feel somewhat rudderless in places, but they always manage to bring it back into focus.

'Terrestrials' feels like a soundtrack to an unfinished film or an audio companion to silent meditation. It may not scale the same heights as each band's individual works, but its naturally evolving soundscapes are an accessible and enjoyable listen.

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Review: Cynical Existence – 'Erase Me'



CYNICAL EXISTENCE
'Erase Me'
ALFA MATRIX


'Erase Me' proved to be the break out track from Cynical Existence's last album, 2013's 'Erase, Evolve, And Rebuild'. It's inevitable then that an EP release was to follow. Thankfully though we don't just get the usual lazy formula of the original song plus five remixes of the same track. Instead we get a much more varied offering than most bands tend to give us these days.

There are four versions of 'Erase Me' included here, with the original cut, a fairly straight club mix and remixes courtesy of Angel of Genocide, Implant, and PsioniC. All three versions of the title track are competent and worthy of club play, but they're not all that imaginative and don't really deviate from the originals blueprint.

Things get a lot more interesting with the inclusion of the dark and desperate 'My Private Hell', which shifts the focus to what may be in store for a future Cynical Existence release which, judging by this, should prove to be an intriguing direction. This is followed up by 'Lust And Despair' featuring vocals from Dräcos von Strecker which kicks things back into high gear for a nice dance track. The EP is rounded off with a remix of another album track, 'Your Decadence My Sins' by Kai Otte which delves into punkier territories for a refreshing take on the original.

This is quite a nice EP that mixes the need for alternative mixes for the dance audience with new and interesting previews of what is yet to come from the project. There isn't a lot of choice, granted, and therefore it may pass the casual listener by. But Cynical Existence's fanbase will give this a warm reception.

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Review: Electric Breathing – 'Sweet Violence'



'Sweet Violence' 

Germany's Electric Breathing (AKA Maik Grohs) is an act that may have passed under the radar for a while now, but that looks set to change. The projects fourth full-length album 'Sweet Violence' is an unashamed blend of old school harsh ebm and dark electro. Blending the classic sounds of pioneering acts such as Suicide Commando, Velvet Acid Christ, Feindflug, and even Haujobb it may not be a case of reinventing the wheel, but it's certainly having fun kicking it down the street.

The album kicks off with the slowly building 'Blindfold' which propels itself along with hard beats and memorable lead melody for a track that will no-doubt be just as at home in a club as it will being performed live. It's an assessment that can also be used to sum up the likes of 'Suck It Dry', 'Devil's Whore', 'Psycho In Me', and 'Beautiful Sacrifice' with their frantic beats, dance friendly melodies and shout-a-long lyrics. There is no pretension in this style of song-writing, its fun and and accessible for both new converts and long-standing fans of the genre.

With an emphasis on tipping his hat to the classics, the synth sounds do occasionally come off as a little dated. But this is a rare occurrence and doesn't detract from what is an unrelentingly fun album. And throughout there is no doubt that Electric Breathing has its own identity.

The production on the whole is pretty will executed. It doesn't sound in the least bit polished and the it doesn't have that fresh and clean sounding modern mix that a lot of contemporary artists favour. But there is a raw honesty to the album that is rather enchanting.

'Sweet Violence' is an album with a lot of potential. There are some great club tracks in here and it's classic sound exudes a familiarity that should make it very easy to warm up to. Fans of the pre-millennial harsh ebm sound will find this essential listening, as will those who just prefer their electronics raw and grimy. Hopefully this album will raise the profile of Electric Breathing and provide a good base for album number five.

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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Paresis release 'Replacer' free single



One-man army Paresis have released a free download single in the form of 'Replacer'. The single also features remix contributions from  Digicore, Ruinizer, ESA: Electronic Substance Abuse, and M.G.R.X, as well as a cover of Haddaway's 'What Is Love?'.

You can also catch Paresis live on Friday 16th May at Trillians, Newcastle and also at the inaugural Alt-Fest this August.

To download your copy please visit the Armalyte Industries bandcamp page. For more information on Paresis, please visit the official website.

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Juggernaut Music Group unveils new signings



UK label Juggernaut Music Group have unveiled two new signings in the forms of US solo projects Imminent Violence and Ritual Aesthetic.

Imminent Violence, previously known as “Dunkle Traume” is the moniker of Matt Lester from Atlanta, GA. The act marks it's inclusion on the growing Juggernaut label roster with a free download single, 'Diseased'. Mastered by Clint Robertson (nolongerhuman), 'Diseased' is a taster in lieu of a forthcoming EP and Album.


Joining Imminent Violence is Ritual Aesthetic, the solo project of Dawn Of Ashes drummer Sean Ragan. Ritual Aesthetic make their label début with the CD re-release of the previously only digitally released 'Decollect'.

Re-mastered, with remixes by Tactical Module, Ruinizer and Iszoloscope. 'Decollect' will be released as a limited edition of 100 hand-numbered untits on 18th April 2014.


To pre-order 'Decollect' and to download your free copy of 'Diseased', please visit the Juggernaut Music Group bandcamp page. For more information on the bands, please visit their official websites HERE and HERE.


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More bands announced for WGT



The band announcements have been coming through thick and fast and already this year's Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Germany is shaping up to be another fantastic event.

Newly announced over the weekend are:

APOPTYGMA BERZERK (N) , THE BELLWETHER SYNDICATE (USA) , HEIMATAERDE
(D) , ORPHANED LAND (IL) , SCHNEEWITTCHEN (D) , THE KLINIK (B) , OST+FRONT (D) , COLLECTION D'ARNELL ANDREA (F) , ZWIELICHT (D) , RAINY DAYS FACTORY (P) , THE CRÜXSHADOWS (USA) , IKON (AUS) , FOLK NOIR (D) , VOMITO NEGRO (B) , HAMFERD (FO) , OOMPH! (D) , PRIMORDIAL (IRL) , INGRIMM (D) , INKUBUS SUKKUBUS (GB) , PERSEPHONE (D) , KLANGSTABIL (D) , POUPPÉE FABRIKK (S) , THE REVOLUTIONARY ARMY OF THE INFANT JESUS (GB) , CHROM (D) , GOD MODULE (USA) .

The bands join the likes of Aeon Sable, Frontline Assembly and Siva Six, who were announced last week.

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

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Monday, 17 February 2014

Fields of the Nephilim amongst bands for 2014 Bram Stoker Film Festival


The bands for this years Bram Stoker International Film Festival have been announced and the cream of this tasty bunch is FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM.


Now in it's 6th year, the 2014 festival will take place at the Spa Pavillion in Whitby between Thursday 23rd October and Monday 27th October. Five nights of entertainment!

Although primarily a film festival, bands and other entertainment have always supported and accompany the event.  2012 saw acts such as Rasputina, Alterred, Inkubus Sukkubus and Mr Joe Black gracing the stage.  Previous years have also seen acts such as Bad Pollyanna, Dyonisis, Method Cell and The Scary Bitches.

Announcements for films usually come closer to the time, due to the sheer volume the team have to watch to pick out the best ones to show - but early entertainment is usually dripped through in advance.

The full announcement included:

Friday 24th October - 'Children of the Night' which includes live performances from Fields of the Nephilim and Two Witches

Saturday 25th October - 'Vampire Ball' including live performances from O Children, Beyond Violet and Nosferatu - the night is hosted by Joe Black and also includes performers The Great Voltini, Miss Betty Blue Eyes

Sunday 26th October - '1880s Night' - live performances from Zeitgeist Zero, The Dead Victorians, Mr Joe Black and A Forest of Stars.

Monday 27th October - 'The Mouth of Madness' - live performances from Da Octopusss, Null White and Flesh Eating Foundation.

Each date also has further acts and entertainment to be announced. Wow!

Presently only early bird tickets are available, at a special discounted price of £85, however this deal is limited until 19th May (or until 500 tickets sell), while day tickets available closer to the time.

Tickets and more info from : http://www.bramstokerfilmfestival.com/

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Friday, 14 February 2014

The weekly compendium 14/02/2014



It's the end of another week here at Intravenous Magazine and it's Valentines Day to boot. So if you've got someone you love close by, focus your love and attention on them. But if you're on your own today, we've got plenty here to keep you occupied tonight.

We've had news to report this week with stories courtesy of Legend and Sólstafir, Wave Gottik Treffen, and Attrition. Joel Heyes turned his attention to the cult British horror classic The Wicker Man in his latest column. We've reviewed the latest releases from Nine Inch Nails, Psy'Aviah and Deadliner. And for those that care I looked at the resurrection of once dead bands in my latest Editorial.

Over on Facebook we had new videos from Chelsea Wolfe, Psy'Aviah, XP8 and a trailer from the forthcoming docu-drama on Nick Cave. The Birthday Massacre and Pop Will Eat Itself have announced new crowdsourcing campaigns. Combichrist have given us a new teaser track. And finally we had a good laugh at some industrial valentines cards.

That's it from us this week. Keep tuned to our Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages for all the latest from us. But until we see you again here is a little treat from "The Drab Four" and their friend Count Orlock.

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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Review: Deadliner – 'Wardenclyffe'


DEADLINER
'Wardenclyffe' 

Chicago based musician Steve Christie has been around for a number of years under his Deadliner moniker. Experimenting, remixing and generally going under a lot of people's radars it's a sort of inevitability that his latest work 'Wardenclyffe' is a concept album based around the arcane inventor Nikola Tesla. Christie is no stranger to lofty concepts in his work, but on 'Wardenclyffe' that experience has come together to yield something rather exceptional.

'Wardenclyffe' is a 20-track monster of an album that tells the story of the Serbian-American inventor (and mad scientist blueprint) as he toiled relentlessly for seventeen years in his laboratory in New York state. All the tracks are instrumental and give the album a cinematic soundtrack quality. Indeed, it sounds as though it could be used as a modern score an Fritz Lang directed silent biopic of Tesla in the same way Girgio Moroder did with Lang's 1927 sci-fi epic Metropolis.

This is primarily an industrial album with dashes of ambient and electro. The result is an esoteric variety of tracks, some of which are dark and foreboding, some are light and atmospheric, while others are downright danceable. Tracks such as 'Transmitter', 'World System', 'Alternate', 'Cathode' and 'The Doldrum' have a surprising dancefloor potential with their moving rhythms and catchy melodies. The most blatantly commercial track though is without a doubt, 'Static Coupling' which features vocal contributions from UCNX for a nice hard floor-filler.

These are counterpointed by some seriously exquisite song-writing in the form of songs such as 'Polarized', 'Stationary Waves', 'The Decay', 'The Believers' and 'The Futurist' that blend ambient electro, and classical flourishes with powerful and emotive storytelling. While the production is as perfectly crafted as the songs demand. The mix is light and modern, while the instruments sound fresh and lack any dated electronic vibes.

If there were any justice this album will go down as a game-changer for Deadliner. At 20-tracks in length it may seem daunting to try and listen to it in a single sitting. But such is the skill of the writer that they just fly by. It's just a shame that there isn't a visual accompaniment to the music to truly round-off the experience.

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The Tao of 'The Wicker Man'



In that brief heyday of British horror that lasted until the mid-70s there were a few films in a similar vein to 'Witchfinder General' that explored more domestic themes rather than supernatural forces or monsters. The most famous and enduring of these has to be 'The Wicker Man', the unnerving and brutal classic of that brief folk-horror genre that may well have been British horror's high-water mark. But what were the components of the film that made it so eerily recognisable to the British viewer?

One obvious factor is the film's setting in a 'modern' (or at least contemporary) Britain. Although many British horrors are also set in the here & now their use of magical, monstrous or otherworldly themes mark them out as unrealistic (and there's nothing wrong with that). These elements were entirely absent from 'The Wicker Man', which is why it has such an eerie plausibility.

It also addressed many themes contemporary to it's 1973 release. The upsurge in interest in folklore, alternative religions, new age spirituality, rural living and communes that came in the wake of the 60s counterculture are all present and correct, and are not presented in a particularly positive light. The 'dark side' of the hippy dream in the post-Altamont era, the bad trip on the reverse of drug culture, and the social disorder of 1970s Britain all inform a view of alternative lifestyles that is cynical, pessimistic and nightmarish. We can recognise a type of Charles Mansion/'Helter-Skelter' distortion of the British folk dream of the 60s at play here.

Another theme in the film is the conflict between the centralising forces of modernity and a wild, primitive periphery. It is clear that the law enforcement agencies of 'the mainland' regard the inhabitants of Summerisle as being within the reach of justice, whereas the locals regard the mainland with suspicion and as an arrogant imposition. It paints a picture that in the parts of Britain that mainstream/mainland culture has yet to reach people are still performing barbaric, lawless acts that seem ridiculous and quaint to 'us' (the viewer). The existence of werewolves in the lawless wilderness of the Yorkshire Moors in 'An American Werewolf in London' is another example of this approach.  In this way the film is a companion piece to American films such as 'Deliverance' with their unflattering portrayal of hillbilly attitudes towards 'city slickers'.

The other very important theme in the film is religion. What 'The Wicker Man' does with religion is very original: it portrays a conflict between an established religion (Christianity) and a revived, pagan religion that has been imported into the island. This sets up several interesting areas of conflict: such as Howie's presumption that Christianity holds sway on the island when it does not and his arrogant dismissal of the local 'customs'; the battle between a 'real' religion and one that has been essentially invented by Lord Summerisle for reasons of simple expediency; and the idea that if you actually believe your religion, what do you have to fear? And even if (like Lord Summerisle) you don't believe it, aren't you entitled to practice it regardless?

The notion of a free trade in religious ideas is also interesting. Lord Summerisle's supposition that 'your God had his chance and, in modern parlance, blew it' means that a demand for certain types of religious ideas supersedes others; the island didn't need Christianity and instead needed the invented 'old' religion as it was sexier, more relevant, and more interesting. What this boils down to is an idea that all religious ideas are of the same essential value, and in a competitive marketplace some will gain an edge. Howie believes in a universal, accepted truth, Lord Summerisle believes or pretends to believe in something he has essentially invented, and in the film these fundamentally amount to the same thing.

In that way all religious ideas are given a level playing field; it really doesn't matter what you believe in, or whether you really believe in it, as long as you recognise it only has the same value as the beliefs of others (whatever they are). This is a very modern, multicultural message – tolerance, open-mindedness and humility are the key to avoiding being made a sacrifice to the ancient gods in a giant wicker man. Don't take yourself or your religion too seriously. Zealots beget zealots. And do not dismiss the sincerely or insincerely held beliefs of others...or, at least until you get back to the mainland.


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New rare releases from Attrition



Industrial veteran Martin Bowes has opened up the archives to remaster and release not one, but two rare Attrition recordings. The first captures the band's performance at General Wolfe, Coventry on April 21st 1983 and is Mastered from the original cassette recording. Released through A Two Gods production, the album is available as a digital download with a four-page PDF booklet of photos.

Also to be released on 14th February is 'Demonstro: 1982-85', a definitive collection of 20 of the rarest Attrition songs from the band's early years. The album will be available as a digital download and CD release through A Two Gods Production.

Attrition will also take to the road on the following dates:

May 24th : The Loft, Moseley, Birmingham. UK - with Sigue Sigue Sputnik
August 17th : Alt-Fest, Kettering, UK
September 27th : Dark Culture fest, Manchester, UK


To order the new albums, please visit the Attrition bandcamp page. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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First acts announced for Wave Gotik Treffen 2014



Germany's WGT festival have announced several of the artists that will take to the stage at this year's gathering in Leipzig.

The first to be announced are: TARJA (FIN) , AEON SABLE (D) , THIS MORN' OMINA (B) , MANTUS (D) , LEBANON HANOVER (GB) , FRONTLINE ASSEMBLY (CDN) , DER FLUCH (D) , SIVA SIX (GR) , !DISTAIN (D) , SIEBEN (GB) .
This year's festival will take place 6th June until 9th June. For the latest announcements and to order your tickets, please visit the official website.


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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Review: Psy'Aviah feat. Kyoko Baertsoen – 'Our Common Future' (Single)



PSY'AVIAH feat. KYOKO BAERTSOEN
'Our Common Future' (Single)
ALFA MATRIX


Following on from the duo's 'Future Past' EP, Psy'Aviah continue their blend of elegant ebm mixed with trip-hop on the new single, 'Our Common Future'. Enlisting the sensual vocal talents of Kyoko Baertsoen (Lunascape, Hooverphonic), the song is an undoubted club hit.

The song is a mid-paced, trippy ebm track that is tinged with light ambient synths and powered by sexy trip-hop rhythms. The musical elements are balanced and compliment the emotional vocal performance of Baertsoen and the eco-friendly lyrics perfectly.

As is usual practice, Psy'Aviah have enlisted remix contributions from a cross-section of artists including Synthetic Epiphany, Dizkodude, Stereo For Two, Junksista and Sinister Souls. Each artist's contribution is worth of note and plays to the originals dance potential in different ways whether its the house style of Stereo For Two, the dubstep tinged reworking from Synthetic Epiphany, or the drum 'n' bass of Sinister Souls.

Each track is nicely crafted and the overall production on the album is no less than excellent. Psy'Aviah managed to find a nice balance, as always, between intelligent and thought-provoking art and sheer dance potential.

The only criticism is that six tracks of the same song is a little excessive and a b-side or a remix of another track would have been a nice inclusion. On the whole though this is a strong single, and one that will get a lot of play over the coming year.

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Review: Nine Inch Nails – 'Seed Eight (Remix 2014 EP)'



NINE INCH NAILS
'Seed Eight (Remix 2014 EP)' 

Trent Reznor has always been one of the few artists who you can guarantee will compile an interesting remix album. As far back as 'Fixed' and 'Further Down The Spiral' the companion remix album has been a mainstay of the NIN discography. 'Seed Eight (Remix 2014 EP)' is a bit of an anomaly though. Just like 'With_Teeth' and the 'Everyday Is Exactly The Same' single/EP, this is a somewhat low-key release. Exclusive to Beats Music, 'Seed Eight' is an inter-promotional tool certainly. However it isn't lacking on content.

Kicking off with the Hot Chip remix of 'Satellite', we're treated to a dark deep house take on the Nine Inch Nails sound. It's an unashamedly dance-orientated mix that evokes the more commercial remixes that accompanied David Bowie's 'Earthling'. Cold Cave's take on 'Running' is an up-tempo, icy electro track that focusses heavily on repetition to effectively ensnare the listener. 'Copy Of A' gets a stripped back remix from Simian Mobile Disco that borders on sounding like a Nitzer Ebb dub mix. Autolux round the EP off with their version of 'Everything', a track that in it's original form was roundly criticized as the album's weakest link, and even in this reworked form is likely to divide opinion with it's hip-hop style breakbeats and choppy style.

'Seed Eight (Remix 2014 EP)' doesn't feel as though it has had the forethought of previous remix albums such as 'Fixed', 'Further Down The Spiral', 'Things Falling Apart' and 'Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D'. However the individual remixes themselves are well constructed and do their job at creating new ways of engaging with the source material. What is the biggest missed opportunity though, is that none of the source tracks were made available through the remix.nin.com website for the fans to have a bash at, as in the past this has yielded some very positive results.

This EP may pass many more casual listeners by, especially as it is exclusive to one website. But for Nine Inch Nails fans and completists it is certainly worth getting hold of.  

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Editorial: February 2014



It's that time again. It's been a good year for us so far. The readers poll gave us some interesting and well-received results. Our compilation has been downloaded hundreds of times, and our readership is on the increase with every passing week. But I was reminded last week by the announcement of the death of Cold Meat Industry – a cult label that pioneered some fantastic bands including the likes of Mortiis and Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio – that what goes up inevitably comes down.

But does it have to stay down?

That might seem like a hopelessly optimistic outlook on life, but over the past few years there has been a surge in bands who were long considered consigned to the annals of alternative music, who have been resurrected.

Across the gothic / industrial spectrum, there are a host of bands that gave it a shot back in the 80s and early 90s who disappeared just as quickly as they managed to press a solitary 7” single. Yet the past few years have seen many bands – some big, some small – regroup and have another crack at it. In the past couple of years alone the likes of The March Violets, Siiii, Shatoo, Naked Lunch, Fatal Casualties, Flesh & Fell, UK Decay, Lescure 13 etc. have all returned to release brand new, and thoroughly enjoyable albums, some of which have been up to 30 years in the making!

In my mind the trend seemed to start with the resurrection of Fields Of The Nephilim for their 2005 album 'Mourning Sun'. Admittedly there was the disowned 2002 album 'Fallen' as well but it was 'Mourning Sun' that really brought The Neph' in from the cold after fifteen years since their last studio album.

This was then followed by the unexpected new studio album fellow goth heavyweights Bauhaus on 2008's 'Go Away White'. Though old issues would split the band up again soon after it's recording, it nonetheless showed that anything was possible.


So, the world's economy sucks. The music industry is mutating and many independent labels are bearing the brunt of it. The clubs aren't as full as they used to be. Dubstep is everywhere... blah, blah, blah. But at the end of the day, the music is still there. There are new bands, old bands, and those that just never went away. I'm glad that there are those who still have some deranged self-belief that the music they wrote two decades ago can be re-worked and released to a contemporary audience, and that there is still an audience for it!

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Monday, 10 February 2014

Sólstafir and Legend announce Cassingle




Icelandic artists Legend and Sólstafir announced last week that, after selling out their limited-to-300 units 7" vinyl split of 'Fjara' / 'Runaway Train', they would be re-issuing the two cover tracks on the rarely-used cassingle format.

The cassingle format was chosen as a way to release radio masters, which were commissioned to give the tracks a boost on the Icelandic national radio, RUV.

The cassingle edition is limited to 100 copies, of which nearly 80 sold in the first 48 hours. The cassingles come in six different collector colours, each colour chosen by a band-member. Each cassingle will also come with a download coupon.

The bands also announced a reprint of their split 7", this time on translucent green vinyl. The reprinted 7"s come bundled with a cassingle and are not available on their own.

The cassingle is available now while stocks last via Artoffact records. For more information on the bands, please visit their respective official websites HERE and HERE.

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Friday, 7 February 2014

The weekly compendium 07/02/2014



There's been plenty of news this week, and while some of it is very good, I have to focus on the headline that Swedish record label Cold Meat Industry has ceased to be. Another gothic/industrial label has bitten the dust leaving a strong back catalogue of memories. So from everyone at Intravenous Magazine, R.I.P. Cold Meat Industry.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom this week as we had good news from Alt-Fest, Beat:Cancer, George Sarah, Ira-K Organisation, Tom Shear and Cease2xist to make up for it. We also had a nice little article from Dokka featuring some surprising débuts by a number of bands. We also had reviews of the latest releases from Jensen, Coil / Nine Inch Nails, ∆AIMON and The Death Notes.

Over on Facebook we've seen new music videos from Tregenza and Faderhead. An interesting look at tattooing courtesy of the BBC. The news Psyclon Nine are headlining Dark-Cide-Fest. And a new crowd-sourcing campaign from Unwoman... to name but a few things!

Right, that's it for another week. I'm going to leave you with a little something to alleviate the weekend boredom, and I'll see you on Monday.

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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Review: The Death Notes – 'Falling From Grace' (Single)



'Falling From Grace' 

Nottingham's The Death Notes made a major gamble opting for a male replacement to their original female vocalist. But with the release of the band's second EP with new frontman Mark Saxton, all doubt is well and truly dispelled. The band's icy cold indie rock is a comfortable fit for Saxton's voice which recalls the likes of Gavin Friday crossed with Trevor Tanner in their 80s heydays.

The new single, and second from the forthcoming 'Lost And Found' album, 'Falling From Grace' is a mid-paced semi ballad that makes good use of a Killing Joke-esque bass line to give the song a good grooving underbelly. The light synth strings give the song a wistfully mournful quality that is punctuated by the echoing vocals of Saxton. It's classic proto-goth.

The production is nicely done although it feels rather retro. This does give it a somewhat classic sound, but it does come off as a little dated. But on the whole it is a solid effort from a band that are having no trouble redefining their sound.

'Falling From Grace' will play well to fans of the early gothic rock sound. The band's post-punk / indie-goth formula remains intact and further whets the appetite for the band's imminent full-length outing.  

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Cease2xist return with 'WIYGN?'



Industrial upstarts Cease2xist have announced the release of their follow-up to 2012's 'You Are Expendable'. Their new EP 'WIYGN?', will be released on 18th April 2014 through Juggernaut Music as both a digital download and limited edition CD release.

The EP features guest vocal contributions from Cryogenic Echelon and Dreams Divide as well as remixes from Ruinizer, Biomechanimal and Defeat. Also included is a bonus in the form of 'Living By The Bullet – Reloaded' featuring reworked and remastered tracks from the band's 2010 début EP.

Track List:
1. WIYGN?
2. Generation WTF - Feat. Cryogenic Echelon
3. Incinerator
4. You've Got Us Now - Feat. Dreams Divide
5. I Wanna Be Your Dog
6. This Is My Design...
7. WIYGN? (Echoes Of The Mind Remix by RENOIZED)
8. Incinerator (Instigator Remix by CRYOGENIC ECHELON)
9. WIYGN? (Whiskey Priest Remix by DEFEAT)
10. Generation WTF (1984 Remix By BIOMECHANIMAL)
11. ????
12. This Is My Design... (Church of Swaggrotech Remix by RUINIZER)
13. WIYGN? (Cease2xist vs BlackLava Remix)
14. Xistence (Reload Mix)
15. Living By The Bullet (Reload Mix)
16. Control, Rebirth, Delete (Reload Mix)
17. The Unbearable Thought Of Defeat (Reload Mix)

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

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Cold Meat Industry closes its doors



Swedish cult label Cold Meat Industry has officially ceased to be. In an announcement on the label's Facebook page, founder Roger Karmanik (Brighter Death Now) stated his reasons for closing the label that has been home to artists such as Mortiis, Raison d'être, The Protagonist, Rome, Arcana and Ordo Rosarius Equilibrium:
“Hey all! Cold Meat Industry is Dead! I thought you ought to officially announce this..., and I should have told you long before.... But briefly: it has been hard to admit it... and to let it go! I am confident of my decision. I had a lots of fun during the years of creating CMI and I've learned it made a massive impact on the music scene. Being in the middle of this creative storm I got personally drained, it emptied my body of strength, and happiness. It caused me deep depression, alcoholism, and misery. I, who thought I was invincible... It was hard to admit to me, and also to all people around me. Now, I am finding the way back to my innerself, and exploring life again - and music! I am proud of what I have done, but will not rest with that! Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the Familygrave is sealed!”
Cold Meat Industry was founded by Karmanik in 1987 and served as a vehicle to release music by his own band Brighter Death Now and a host of other like-minded artists. The label's wealth of industrial, noise, ambient and neoclassical artists had a significant impact on both the gothic and industrial genres in the mid 90s.

The announcement of the closure has come only days after Karmanik announced he planned to tour Brighter Death Now along with Deutsch Nepal and Raison d'être this Autumn.

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Review: ∆AIMON – '∆aimon'



'∆aimon' 

San Diego's ∆AIMON, AKA Brant Showers & Nancy Lutz have made a big impact in a relatively short space of time. Their ritualistic down-tempo idm soundscapes laden with spooky vocals has filled a number of well-received albums and EPs and seen them heralded within and beyond the realms of the witch-house genre they were initially identified with.

2012's 'Flatliner' saw the duo embark on a dense and disturbing journey that focussed heavily on the band's dark ambient leanings. The band's self-titled follow-up however incorporates a renewed focus on heavy rhythms which instantly recall the likes of iVardensphere and Juno Reactor as well as Laibach. The beats are abundant and the tempos are generally more dance friendly... and dare I say... accessible? With tracks like 'Seraphim', 'Balance', 'Amen', 'EXU REI' and 'APOSTATIC' exhibiting an undeniable groove and a twisted sense of melody that blends rhythmic noise, industrial, ambient and trip-hop elements with great effect. However even the most toe-tappingly pleasing tracks still throw a curve ball with stuttering percussion breakdowns and low-frequency static saturating the mixes.

The album is still gratifyingly experimental at its core and the production reflects this. It is a loud and powerful mix with ever-present distortion keeping even the most sublime melodies sounding rough-and low-fi. Yet it doesn't sound cheap or rushed because of it. Despite the band's impressive release schedule, there is plenty of attention to detail with nothing sounding out-of-place in the final mixdown.

Contentious attempts at genre-classifications aside, ∆AIMON are one of the few genuinely exciting and innovative young bands around at the moment. Their hunger for different sounds and ways of working and an innate ability to seamlessly merge genres means that you never quite know what you're going to get, but you know it will be different to the last time.

'∆aimon' illustrates a continued growth from the duo in terms of both song-writing and performance. The album is a striking balance between the dark and melodic and will no doubt continue to win over new fans.

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Review: Coil / Nine Inch Nails – 'Recoiled'


'Recoiled' 

The legendary Coil, made up of Jhonn Balance and Peter Christopherson, were a truly transcendent entity capable of soul-lifting beauty and mind-crushing brutality in the same breath. They inspired their contemporaries as well as those who have come since. It's therefore no surprise to learn that Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor is a big fan and sought them out to add their majick to his own brand of sonic dissonance back in the early 90s.

'Recoiled' is one part analogue remixing master-class one one part nostalgia trip. The five pre-studio software remixes featured here have a wonderfully warm and organic feel to them. Wires, real-time effects and a variety of improvised sound effects give the fiv e tracks a whole new experimental feel.

Yes, there are other versions of these tracks by other artists that appear on the 'Fixed' and 'Further Down The Spiral' remix EPs that also play up the experimental aspects of the source material. However, Coil are completely unrestrained, with all five songs totalling a 40-minute run-time, 'Recoiled' feels indulgent and opulent. With the likes of 'Closer (Unrecalled)', 'The Downward Spiral (A Gilded Sickness)' and 'Eraser (Reduction)' in particular sounding like they're freely evolving and reforming themselves with every second that passes.

It's a shame that all but 'Closer (Unrecalled)' haven't seen a physical release until after the deaths of Balance and Christopherson. And that the songs only came to light after diligent searching by Nine Inch Nails fans. Nevertheless, they have been worth the wait.

There is no doubt that this EP is going to be snapped up by both hardcore Coil and Nine Inch Nails fans. The remixes are a law unto themselves and display a playful proficiency with analogue experimentation sadly lacking from many remix albums these days. In fact, 'Recoiled' is sonic alchemy in its purest sense. The source songs may be etched into “Industrial 101” by now, but even 20 years on Jhonn Balance and Peter Christopherson's take on them still add something different and give the tracks a new jolt of life.

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Shear's Surveillance project gets preview


Assemblage 23's Tom Shear has released previews of his new project Surveillance. The forthcoming album 'Oceania' will have a darker sound to A23 as well as a Dystopian feel with a production technique that is to give the album a "Cold War" atmosphere. The album will also features guest vocals from Carolyn Powers and Mari Kattman of Day Twelve.

Recommended for all those 'Repo!' fans, we were given a preview of the new work last year with the demo of 'Rise' (available as a free download on Soundcloud).

The release date is not known as present, but you can find all the tracks on the bands' Soundcloud and Facebook pages.


Tom Shear is set to play a number of dates as Assemblage 23, including Resistanz Festival in Sheffield and Dark Munich Festival (both in April).

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Review: Jensen – 'Zero One (Redux)'


JENSEN 
'Zero One (Redux)'
ARMALYTE INDUSTRIES 

One of the great things about the industrial scene is it can be from any angle. In Jensen's case it seems to come in the guise of a full force megastrike to your ears. This trio from Leeds re-release their début with Armalyte Industries with a no holes barred self-destruct button to the senses.

The opening track 'Ghosts' begins with what can only be described as a World war. With the anger of Nine Inch Nails (you know, when they still did anger) and late Cubante, the vocals are screaming, but not juvenile. It's follow up 'The Corrupter' is an 80's darkwave groove, whilst keeping the red flag still kept in front of your eyes. 'Stars' keeps in tune to the 90's style of the genre, perhaps a little too much, with familiar riffs and lyrics out of the mind of a certain Brian and Micheal (wink), and yet it will definitely be a crowd pleaser on tour.

Adding harmonies to a shouty track, the cover of 'Wild Boys' takes a while to kick in, and when it does comes in dribs and drabs and leaves you wondering on maybe they should have tried a not so obvious track to pay tribute. The final track is a yummy remix by abstract group i!, twinkling their IDM mixed with old school charm over the track 'Ghosts'. Adding drums to the mix and cutting them to pieces with expert timing, i! are certainly one to look out for in the remix compilations.

Jensen have managed to keep the teenage angst that many acts have "blessed" us with but at the same time given us some substance (and as a 26 year old I wouldn't feel "too old" to listen to them). Their sound crosses generations and may even get the younger fans into the kind of stuff that has influenced it in the first place. A great first run for a group that are sure to only get louder as time goes by.

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5 metal débuts you never knew existed...

....or maybe you do!



If you are anything like me, you'll love a number of bands to an extent that you will try and find everything they have made. Some of these artists may have had some pretty big releases in their career, but the humble beginnings can surprise you.


1) Nine Inch Nails - 'Purest Feeling'
Back in the 80's a young Micheal Trent Reznor was making a sturdy living as a backing musician for forgettable bands and working as a technician at the Right Track studio in Cleveland. In November of 1988 he recorded this first record as NIN 'Purest Feeling'. With the 80's style and synth still in place, 'Purest Feeling' is a great demo for any level of fan. Showing lighter original versions of 'Sanctified', 'Thats what I get' and 'The Only Time' (as well was the original and superior version of 'Ringerfinger' known as 'Twist') the album also features tracks 'Maybe just once' and 'Purest feeling'.The album was released in 1994 and has been flowing through the web ever since.


2) Slipknot - 'Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat.'
Starting out in 1995, Slipknot were a far cry to the masquerade misfits you see today. Original singer Anders Colsefni inspired the idea of wearing masks by wrapping black tape around his face while on stage, and when plans came to make their first album they worked their socks off for seven months. More experimental than the bands' 1999 classic, 'M.F.K.R' features a darker less crowd pleasing set of songs, although featuring a demo version of 'Tattered and Torn'. It was given a 1,000 copy issue and has been bootlegged and downloaded throughout the fanbase. According to sources, in 2003 it was announced that no members of the band own the album!  



3) Hybrid Theory - 'Linkin Park EP'
Released when Chester and the crew went by 'Hybrid Theory', the EP was originally funded by Zomba recordings, the band plugged the hell out of it when sales were low. Showering chat rooms with the release and giving it to anyone who expressed interest, a street team soon developed online. With tracks like 'High Voltage' and 'Carousel' it is pretty clear that from the start the band had talent (even if they seem to have lost their way in later years) and 'Step up' is by far the stand out track. 
The street team expanded and in 2001 the band released the EP as the first ever 'LP Underground' fan CD. It included two bonus tracks and a remastered piece. Some of the songs were re-recorded as b-sides for the singles off their first album 'Hybrid Theory'.


4) Papa Roach - 'Potatoes for Christmas'
Papa Roach have become rather big since their album 'Infest' back in 2000, but by the time it came out they had been fighting for success for 7 years. Starting as a high school band back in 93' the group named themselves after Coby Dicks step-grandfather and released 'Potatoes for Christmas' in 94'. The EP itself is very rough, with a punk edge mixed with a little grunge (as was the style at the time), with songs like 'Coffee thoughts' and 'Cheese-z-fux' are nothing like the nu-metal of the 21st century, but still keeps it's charm. They produced their first album in 1997, all the while supporting the likes of Static X and Snot. The EP was re-released much to the bands' distaste as they were getting nothing from the sales.


5) Korn - 'Neidermayer's Mind'
Helmed as one of the first nu-metal bands, Korn started out in the early 90's and pretty soon got interest from their début album, but before that a cassette EP surfaced with four4 demo tracks, all of which would end up turning up in later releases. Shorter versions of 'Daddy' and 'Blind' appear on this EP, as well as 'Alive', which would later be scrapped and re-worked into 'Need To', although 'Alive' would then re-appear a decade later on 'Take a look in the mirror'. For old school fans missing the original sound of the band, 'Neidermayer's Mind' is a must have. 



Do you know of any other artists first attempts that should be included? Feel free to drop me a line at dokka.chapman.review@googlemail.com 


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