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.”

Review: Cease2xist – 'Zero Future'

CEASE2XIST 'Zero Future' ARMALYTE INDUSTRIES

Review: David Bowie – 'No Plan'

DAVID BOWIE 'No Plan' COLUMBIA / SONY es' SELF-RELEASED

IVM's Best Albums Of 2016

Check out our 30 favourite albums of 2016

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Book Review: Adam Cheal / Russ Leach – 'Terminus At Fenton's Green'



ADAM CHEAL / RUSS LEACH
'Terminus At Fenton's Green'
MARKOSIA 


Writer Adam Cheal ('Toxic Storm', 'British Showcase Anthology') and illustrator Russ Leach ('British Showcase Anthology', 'Unstoppable Comics', 'Indifference Engine 2') unite to craft an intriguing, macabre, but humorous tale of terror in graphic novel form. Uniting anachronistic Victoriana and Lovecraftian twist, the story follows the character of Theodore Paulsen – a questionable doctor with sinister machinations, lured to the seemingly picturesque village of Fenton's Green. Within the confines of the village he is drawn into a nightmarish battle for survival against the fiendish populous.

The storyline is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's short story 'A Study In Emerald', blending well known Victorian characteristics with a supernatural plot that gives plenty of nods to H.P. Lovecraft's tales such as 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' and 'The Dunwich Horror'. While the bizarre and evil setting of Fenton's Green itself also recalls the haunted mining town of Babylon in the cancelled HBO TV series 'Carnivàle'.

There is a hefty dose of Hammer Horror about the graphic novel. Not only in it's Satanic Victorian setting, but also in it's visceral and fast-paced style with colours that evoke the heyday of “Kensignton Gore” (as well as some). There is also nice use of a barer sketchy style to illustrate the flashbacks, giving them a very dreamlike quality, despite the often harrowing situations they portray. However, it's the design of the more monstrous characters immediately flips the feel of the graphic novel on it's head. The menagerie of grotesque abominations with their angular features and garish colourings evoke the likes of 'Hellboy' and 'Spawn' and twist the pleasant surroundings of the page into a nightmarish juxtaposition.

The story is told in an engaging way that tries to remain light on anachronistic language and at the same time tries not to roll out too much antiquated phrases that have a tendency to sound clich
é'd. It's simple, direct and most of all memorable. The only real issue with the story is that it feels rather rushed. There is a lot of potential for expansion to create a richer and more detailed world that would flesh-out the supporting characters and explain the back story of Fenton's Green.

On the whole this is a surprisingly good read that, while progressing a little too quickly, nonetheless creates a mysterious and horrifying world that effectively blends Ripperology, Hammer Horror, and Lovecraftian embellishments. The pairing of Cheal and Leech yields a high quality of storytelling that will hopefully bear more fruit in the future.

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Alter Der Ruine announce new album and tour



Alter Der Ruine have announced the release for their fifth album and follow-up to the critically acclaimed 'There's Always One More Son Of A Bitch'. The band's new album, 'I will Remember It All Differently' will be released on CD and as a digital download through Negative Gain Productions on 8th July 2014.

Track List:

1.Light
2.Tiny Wars and Quiet Storms
3. Horizon Slide
4.Stars
5.Gift Horse
6.Will We Tear You Apart
7.Quiet Crimes
8.Tundra
9.Poltergeist
10.Leviathan

The band will also embark on a tour to support the album with Mr Kitty from 17th July 2014.

Tour Dates:

Thursday, 17 July, 2014 - Tucson, AZ - Surly Wench Pub
Saturday, 19 July, 2014 - Los Angeles, CA - Complex
Tuesday, 22 July, 2014 - Portland, OR - Tonic Lounge
Wednesday, 23 July, 2014 - Seattle, WA - The Highline
Friday, 25 July, 2014 - Salt Lake City, UT - Area 51
Monday, 28 July, 2014 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad


'I will Remember It All Differently' is available to pre-order now via Negative Gain Productions. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult announce album and tour



Legendary electro-industrial rockers My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult have announced the impending release of their thirteenth studio album, 'Spooky Tricks'. The album will be available via the band's own Sleazebox Records on 5/6/2014.

Track List:

01 Room On The Moon
02 Spooky Tricks
03 Hell Kat Klub
04 Neon Diva
05 The Way We Live Now
06 Monti Karlo
07 Bella Piranha
08 Dope Freek
09 Diamonde Doll
10 Sex Witch
11 The Strange Ones
12 Room On The Moon [DJ Toxic Rainbow's Moon Shroom Mix]


The band have also announced the Spooky Tricks Tour with support from DJ Toxic Rainbow, which will kick off in Ramona, CA on May 28, 2014, winding through the United States and ending at the iconic Whisky A Go-Go in Los Angeles, CA on July 2, 2014.

Tour Dates:

5/28 Ramona, CA @ Mainstage
5/29 Hermosa Beach, CA @ Saint Rocke
5/30 Corona, CA @ M15
5/31 Las Vegas, NV @ Cheyenne Saloon
6/01 Albuquerque, NM @ Low Spirits
6/03 Tulsa, OK @ IDL Ballroom
6/04 Dallas, TX @ Trees
6/05 Austin, TX @ Elysium
6/06 San Antonio, TX @ The Korova
6/07 Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
6/08 New Orleans, LA @ One-Eyed Jack’s
6/10 Jacksonville, FL @ Brewster’s Megaplex
6/11 Richmond, VA @ Fallout
6/12 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
6/13 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
6/14 Stafford Springs, CT @ Stafford Palace Theater
6/15 New York, NY @ Santo’s Party House
6/17 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom
6/18 Detroit, MI @ The Shelter
6/19 Grand Rapids, MI @ Stache at Intersection
6/20 Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner
6/21 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
6/22 Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall
6/24 Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
6/25 Salt Lake City, UT @ Lo-Fi Café
6/27 Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
6/28 Portland, OR @ Dante’s
7/01 San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
7/02 Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go-Go

For more information and to pre-order the new album, please visit the band's official website.

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Monday, 28 April 2014

Interview: Travis Collins ('Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay')





“We have over 30 hours of interviews recorded and we are honoured that so many key industrial bands gave us the time to document their stories.”

Industrial music as an artistic movement is becoming increasingly legitimised beyond being a footnote in the development of electronic music. Recent books such as 'Assimilate...' by S Alexander Reed have made a significant step in looking at the genre in an academic light. Now a new film by DJ, film maker and Fondation Sonore co-founder Amélie Ravalec & journalist and radio host Travis Collins called 'Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay', which looks to trace the origins of the Industrial music movement, it's development and ideologies via the crumbling industrial cities of Europe to America's avant-garde scene.

The documentary is currently in the final stages of preparation for release, so we decided to have a chat with Travis Collins about the origins of the project and why the time was right for a documentary on industrial music.

Intravenous Magazine: First of all; what are your backgrounds and how did you come together to collaborate on a documentary?

Travis Collins: I worked as a radio producer and presenter in Australia for 10 years, I also worked in an art house cinema. I never really thought about making a film but after meeting Amélie, it was a logical step to pool our skills. I was well impressed by Amélie's début film 'Paris/Berlin: 20 Years Of Underground Techno', it has such an energy that every time I watch the film I fall in love with techno again. After Amélie released the film, she was eager to get starter on a new project and we decided to collaborate. I already knew Stephen Mallinder from the Cab's through working with him at RTRFM in Australia. Once we put the word out and contacted everyone else, we were surprised at how quickly we could get started. Boyd Rice happened to be touring Germany at the time so we spoke to him first then we headed to the UK to record more interviews. 




IVM: What was the catalyst behind the idea of 'Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay'?

TC: Having heard about the process of Amélie's first film, I realised what a labour of love it is to make a self funded film. Amélie did everything herself. With 'Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay', we decided to use a similar approach & only interview people who's music we love. There were a few bands and journalists who did not wish to be interviewed as well but we are more than happy with the people who came on board. The film is not just about music we love, its also about industrial cities, urban decay, art, social movements, politics, DIY ethos, music technology, record labels and the people who have stayed true to their passion of music.

IVM: How did you go about funding this endeavour?

TC

: We have had a few donations along the way but we funded the film ourselves. If anyone wishes to donate, we set up a Paypal option on our website. Thanks!



IVM: 
What have been the biggest highlights of making the film?

TC: For me, travelling for the interviews was a highlight. I also love connecting with music fans around the world. Social media has really opened the doors for engaging with audiences. We have made some great friends along the way and when it comes to touring the film, I look forward to sharing a beer with them.

IVM: Do you see industrial music as something that is now academically validated as an important movement?

TC: I don't feel the need to intellectualise music or art. I appreciate it for what it is, entertainment through personal or collective expression. There are some great reference books on the genre from people like V Vale, Eric Duboys, Sordide Sentimental's Jean Pierre Turmel, S Alexander Reed and many others. 




IVM: The film features interviews with a number of bands and artists. Did you encounter any difficulties when reaching out to them?

TC: As I mentioned earlier, the interviews came together quite quickly and most of the people we interviewed we were able to contact and meet quite easily. It was an honour to chat with these musicians and share their passion for music. Some of the people we interviewed have been making music for 20-30 years. we are more than happy to have spoken to Graeme Revel who rarely gives interviews discussing SPK.


IVM: Were there any potential subjects that proved too difficult to get hold of that you feel would have been a great addition to the film?

TC: Only those who we couldn't get in contact with or those that declined to be interviewed. It would have been great to feature Einstürzende Neubauten and Richard H Kirk and some other bands too but I don't think it matters too much that they were not available. We also wish we had the opportunity to meet Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson and John Balance. We have over 30 hours of interviews recorded and we are honoured that so many key industrial bands gave us the time to document their stories. 


IVM: What would you like audiences to take away from this film?

TC: When I watch 'Paris/Berlin...', I want to go out and experience a great DJ and I feel inspired to mix some records. I hope that 'Industrial Soundtrack...' has a similar effect, inspiring people to discover new music or dig in the crates for some early industrial records. I also hope this film introduces more people to industrial music. I've seen plenty of uninspiring music documentaries that bored me from the start. Our film doesn't just appeal to industrial music fans, its a film that anyone could enjoy and I hope they do! We have a great film in our hands and I look forward to sharing it with the world.


IVM: 

What are your plans for releasing the documentary, and is there a date set yet?

TC: Amélie is still editing the film, we're still licensing archival footage and music and it's also subject to funding and distribution. It could be anywhere between three months and a year. Follow the film on Facebook and Twitter for updates.




IVM: Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
TC: Many, I'm working on an pitch for a children's educational / science program, also a script for a Sci-Fi feature (If anyone has a couple of million dollars to chip in?) and Amélie plans to make her first feature film after this.

IVM: 
Finally, Is there anything that you would like to add?

TC: We just posted a poll on our Facebook page asking for people's all time favourite industrial releases, it's worth a look. Great to see so many classics from Cabaret Voltaire, SPK, Coil, Throbbing Gristle and many more! Please help spread the word of the film by connecting with our film pages and sharing the trailer.


Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay // Official Trailer from Amélie Ravalec on Vimeo.


For more information on the documentary and to keep up with news on it's development and release, please visit the official links below:

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Friday, 25 April 2014

The weekly compendium 25/04/2014



That's your lot for another week. From what I gather Resistanz was, once again, a huge hit last weekend, so it's a damn shame I missed it for the second year in a row. Ah well, I'll console myself with a brief trip up to Whitby this Saturday... I won't be staying long but I'll be mooching around with everyone else.

So that's my weekend planned. If you haven’t got plans, why not catch up with what we had in store for you this week.

First off we had even more announcements for this year's WGT festival. End: The DJ gave us his latest musical picks. And we had reviews of new music from Tor Marrock, Machinista, and Terminatryx.

OK, it was a short week but four-day weekends are so rare in my life, I was determined to enjoy it!

Over on Facebook we saw tour dates for Suicide Commando, previews from Psy'Aviah and Android Lust, A video teaser from 3Teeth. A new music video from Lacrimas Profundere. Daniel Ash (ex-Bauhaus) has an Indiegogo campaign for his next album. And finally Android Lust released a fantastic Ministry cover on Soundcloud.

That's your lot for this week. More madness will ensue next week. But for now heres something for the weekend.

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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Review: Terminatryx – 'Shadow'




Twelve years after their formation, and six years since the release of their self-titled début album, South African industrial metallers Terminatryx return with second studio album. 'Shadow'. The band's fusion of metal goth and industrial is a hard and heavy to the typical female-fronted gothic metal formula that favours pompous symphonic strains and operatic vocals.

The album kicks off in uncompromising form with the furious instrumental 'Metropolis', which immediately highlights the band's industrial ambitions. However the first song propper, 'Holy' doesn't quite live up to the intro with some rather flat vocals and a rather derivative deathrock delivery. 'Scars' fares a little better with a more compelling vocal performance and a far more solid song underneath it. 'Masjien' is a bit more animated and frantic, playing up the industrial elements again, but it doesn't really deliver, sounding somewhat lacklustre and contrived. In stark comparison the title tracks slithers out of nowhere with near psychedelic vocals and a strong riff combining for an incredibly catchy track.

'Gone' follows this up well with it's bombastic riff and heavy electronics powering through the song. 'Purifire' however begins to veer back towards that disappointing deathrock style, however the punk vocals give the song enough attitude to get it by. Thankfully 'Nothing' drags things back towards the formula laid down in 'Shadow' for a more well-rounded and effortless performance. The near instrumental 'Outcast' though unexpectedly gets a bit symphonic, which admittedly makes a little change from the rest of the album, but it does fall short. 'Medusa' thankfully rounds things off in a more pleasing way with a purer industrial metal formula really showing off Sonja's vocal abilities. The bonus remix of 'Shadow' makes for interesting listening as well, as it dispenses with the guitars and reforms the original into a brilliant pure industrial track.

The production is for the most part solid, however there are several points where the vocals sound flat and lack energy. There is also a habit of over processing the vocals with, at times is really effective, but on more stripped down tracks instead mires them in the mix.

'Shadow' is a mixed bag. When Terminatryx get things right they sound like an international quality band, but there are too many songs that really just come off as half-baked fillers. Which is a damn shame because the likes of 'Metropolis', 'Shadow', 'Nothing' and 'Medusa' in particular are great songs. What is slightly unnerving though, is how effortlessly brilliant the pure industrial remix of 'Shadow' is. Perhaps the band are missing a trick here?

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Review: Machinista – 'Xenoglossy'




MACHINISTA
'Xenoglossy'
JUGGERNAUT MUSIC GROUP


Just a couple of month's after the band's debut EP 'Arizona Lights' comes the first full-length album from the super-duo of John Lindqwister (Cat Rapes Dog, Basswood Dollies) and Richard Flow (Vision Talk, Haze For Sale). 'Xenoglosy' expands on the themes of the EP and presents a more well-rounded introduction to the band.

Opening with the ultra-addictive 'Take Comfort In Being Sad', the band outline their formula of steady dance beats and big choruses that recall the future/synthpop floor fillers of the turn of the millennium. The duo's individual pedigrees come together to create a strong partnership that is evident on tracks such as 'Arizona Lights', 'Salvation', 'Wasted', 'Pushing The Angels Astray', 'Molecules And Carbon' and their cover of David Bowie's 'Heroes'. All of which have already seen some form of public exposure thus far. But they are joined by new cuts such as 'Summersault', 'Love And Hate Song' and 'The Blues And The Reds', which more than hold their own in such a strong track list.

Each song has an undeniable dance floor appeal with a simple but effective combination of solid beats, soaring vocals and catchy leads. Yet there is an energy to the songs that will definitely make live performances a must, and with a selection such as this its difficult to imagine how they would whittle this into a live set.

The production on the album is, as you'd expect, crisp and clean. And although there is something of a post millennium vibe to the style of the songs (lets not forget we're 14 years on from Y2K!), the execution is bang up-to-date.

There is no question Machinista have set out to deliver with 'Xenoglossy', and they don't hold back. There are some great dance tracks here that will find a willing and receptive audience. It's unashamedly fun and even a hardened scene cynic will find this album hard to ignore.  

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review: Tor Marrock – 'Destroy The Soul'



TOR MARROCK
'Destroy The Soul' 

The mysterious Welsh gothic-doom trio Tor Marrock first crept from beneath the waves of cardigan bay with the release of their début album 'A Gothic Romance' (later re-recorded and re-released as 'Heaven's Death Lights Kindle'. The album told a heavy and harrowing tale of two lovers separated by a suicide pact that had gone wrong. Musically the band's blend of doom, death metal, gothic rock and even industrial strains pinned together with impressive guitar work highlighted them as a band to watch. 

The band's follow-up, 'Destroy The Soul', sees a harsher and more brutal metal style brought to the fore with the band picking up from where tracks like 'Death Of Summer' had left off. 'Destroy The Soul' and 'Born In Blood' immediately make you sit up and take notice with their breakneck delivery and chant-a-long lyrics. While the sombre and Celtic Frost style 'Christ Betrayed' injects a heavy dose of doom into the album with it's quiet intro, sludge-like verses and harsh chorus. 'The Harbouring Of Suicidal Thoughts' continues down a more schizophrenic path with the slow-to-fast ratio touched on in the previous song becoming stronger and introducing a near black metal edge to the song.

The intro to 'The Night Always Ends' almost evokes the lead riff of 'Silence' from the previous album, however the stomping gothic rock of the main body of the track is far more in keeping with the likes of 'De-Nude Our Poisoned Minds'. The hard and heavy chugging riff of 'The Waves' is perhaps one of the strongest songs in the band's entire arsenal thus far. It's straightforward and truly encapsulates every strand of the band's sound very effectively. 'Why Do You Look In My Eyes?' slows things down again and brings out the doom once more to really shows off what the band can do atmospherically. The album closes on 'I Feel The Sun, I See The Stars', which again plays up the gothic rock side of the band with a fantastic riff and addictive melodic chorus.

It is immediately evident that the production has had a major upgrade from the band's last outing, with the guitars, vocals and drums sounding more organic and comfortable within the mix. The band have captured a cold and almost subterranean atmosphere on this recording that truly befits their self-created 'Cellar Metal' tag.

With influences such as Celtic Frost, Type O Negative, Fields Of The Nephilim evident in their sound and song-writing process, Tor Marrock are perhaps the UK metal underground's best kept secret. It would be great to see a few more releases more often from them (even if it was just a short EP or single). However, if this is the kind of quality that is the result of being locked away for a few years, who am I to argue?

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END: the DJ’s Top New Club Music Picks April 2014

Much variety of new music that’s been in heavy rotation this past month on club floors! Let’s get to it:

Dimensional Explosion- 'Stay to Attention'
This brand new track by Andre V’s project from Germany is quickly becoming one of my favourites of the year. This has an amazing flow while remaining loud and noisy! 

Stahlnebel & Black Selket feat. END: the DJ- 'Dead Enough for Life'- Advoxya Records
Stahlnebel & Black Selket (with some END fella, I dunno) pay homage to Icon Of Coil and Sebastian Komor’s production work with this great interpretation of one of IOC’s classic tracks. I was blown away at how amazing the track came together. Check this one out on the club floor! 

Primal Beat- 'Liberate My Madness'- Rawhard Audio Records
Yes. Check out this track and listen to why Primal Beat lives up to the name. This is a spectacular builder, the louder the sound system the more fantastic this track drives you to move.  

Leaether Strip- 'Hold Your Fire'
Claus Larsen is a living legend of EBM and dark dance music. His latest Leaether Strip release Aescapism has a number of new outstanding tracks to the massive catalogue. You’ll love this one! 

THYX- 'Waiting For You'- Metropolis Records
Fans of mind.in.a.box- hell, if you just simply love finely produced music- should love the new album from THYX. This is but one of the great selections from this release. 

Dolgenar- 'Tonic (LOSO Recharged Mix)'- Rawhard Audio Records
I love the solid beat to this remix, which has me looking for LOSO’s other work. Check out the new Dolgenar release and you may find more tracks to move to. 

Crytone- 'Abandoned'- Login Records
Dark, atmospheric with almost eerie and melodic undertones. This is a signature Login release that everyone should be checking out. 

Mental Discipline- 'Butterfly (Unity One Remix)'- Skyqode
Skyqode’s high quality of great music releases a new Mental Discipline EP release around the ‘Butterfly’ track. This is a great remix by Unity One. Fantastic Synthpop! 

BhamBhamHara- 'Kreislauf (Straftanz Remix)'- Dark Dimensions Label Group
Quite a shame Straftanz has called it quits, cause this remix of a new BhamBhamHara track reminds you how great the work has been. Dark Dimensions has another mover on their hands and it has quite the energy. 

Wumpscut- 'Cross of Iron (Iszoloscope Remix)'- BKM
Quite a remix in a most unlikely pairing, Iszoloscope over a Wumpscut track. Check out the new DJ Dwarf 14 EP release for new reworks on :W: tracks.


Artists / Producers that want to send any demos for consideration, contact me at ENDtheDJ.com!

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

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

More WGT acts announced



Another big collection of names for this year's Wave Gotik Treffen have been announced.

Joining the already impressive line-up are:
45 GRAVE (USA) , ANDREW KING (GB) , ANTICHILDLEAGUE (GB) , AXEL THIELMANN (D) , AZAR SWAN (USA) , CAPELLA FIDICINIA (D) , CHOR UND KINDERCHOR DER OPER LEIPZIG (D) , CHOR, EXTRACHOR UND BALLETT DER MUSIKALISCHEN KOMÖDIE (D) , CHRISTIAN VON ASTER (D) , CLAUDIA GRÄF (D) , CLEMENS-PETER WACHENSCHWANZ (D) , EWIGHEIM (D) , GEWANDHAUSORCHESTER (D) , GUNTHARD STEPHAN (D) , MANEGARM (S) , MEPHISTO WALZ (USA) , METROLAND (B) , MICHAEL SCHÖNHEIT (D) , MIDGARDS BOTEN (D) , ORCHESTER DER MUSIKALISCHEN KOMÖDIE (D) , SIGILLUM S (I) , SIX COMM (GB) , THEATERPACK (D) , TILO AUGSTEN (D) , TOBIAS RANK (D).


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

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

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Thursday, 17 April 2014

The weekly compendium 18/04/2014



That's it for another week here at Intravenous Magazine. Yes, I know it's Thursday, but it's a short week and I have work around the house to do! Enjoy the long weekend, because we definitely will!

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

We kicked things off with and interview with the wonderfully talented Sam 'Mister-Sam' Shearon as part of our ongoing Arts Of Darkness series. We also had news from Projekt Records, Dani'el, and Front Line Assembly. There were reviews of the latest releases from Struchni, Deathstars, and The Faint, as well as another great column from Joel Heyes.

Over on Facebook we saw free music from The Causticles. New music videos from Panic Lift, Prude, The Faint and Stoneburner. As well as a trailer for the new Rob Zombie DVD, and a live performance by RyuchiSakamoto and Taylor Dupree.

Right, that's your lot. Seeing as you've all been good I'll leave you with this...


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Review: The Faint – 'Doom Abuse'



'Doom Abuse'
BLANK.WAV / SQE MUSIC 

American indie rockers have proven themselves to be a well of creative and innovative songwriting that has kept the spirit of new wave pioneers such as Joy Division / New Order, Devo and Talking Heads alive and well into the second decade of the 21st century. Albums such as 'Blank-Wave Arcade' (1999), 'Danse Macabre' (2001), and 'Wet From Birth' (2004) have solidified the legacy of the near twenty-year as veterans of US alternative music.

The band's sixth album, 'Doom Abuse' is the first since the difficultly birthed 'Fasciinatiion' (2008) and supporting tour which left the band burnt out and for all intents and purposes... done. The band went their separate ways to focus on other projects, but last year found their way back together to record a four-track white label 12” that ultimately evolved into the raw and visceral 'Doom Abuse'.

The album brings out the punk element of the band's sound and amps up a more low-fi and to the point style than 'Fasciinatiion'. The electronics are nice and dirty, and the songs overflow with a aggression, but the band always maintain their sense of melody and nearly every track here has a danceable groove to it.

Songs like 'Help In The Head', 'Evil Voices', 'Loss Of Head', 'Your Stranger', 'Lesson From The Darkness', and 'Damage Control' continue the traditions of songs like 'I Disappear', 'Agenda Suicide', 'Posed To Death', and 'Dropkick The Punks'. Their abrasive edges perfectly balanced out by fundamentally solid song writing and a great ear for a chorus.

The album sounds quintessentially 'The Faint'. There are recognisable elements from the whole of their musical arsenal occurring throughout. However what separates this album from its predecessors is it's sheer honesty. It's an honest portrayal of a band rediscovering why they became a band in the first place.

In terms of the production, it's very no frills. Not that The Faint were ever ones for grand polished production jobs, but this gets nice and dirty... even a little experimental at times. It captures the energy and vibes that the band want to convey as a live unit. Even when they start layering things up, it still sounds like they have just plugged in and thrashed it out perfectly in the first take.

'Doom Abuse' is quite possibly the strongest album from start to finish in the band's back catalogue since 'Danse Macabre'. If this is The Faint rejuvenated, long may it last.

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Review: Deathstars – 'All The Devil's Toys' (Single)



DEATHSTARS
'All The Devil's Toys'
NUCLEAR BLAST 

Swedish “deathglam” outfit Deathstars release this prelude to their forthcoming fourth album 'The Perfect Cult' to a waiting audience. The band's last single was 2011's 'Metal', while their last full-length studio output was 2009. So is their new single 'All The Devil's Toys' worth the wait? Or is it too little too late?

Well thankfully, the postponed European tour dates and long wait for new material seem minor issues once you hit the play button. 'All The Devil's Toys' is exactly what fans will be craving from the quartet. The combination of catchy electronics and NDH style guitars that made hits such as 'Blitzkrieg' and 'Cyanide' are intact and now enhanced by the addition of live drums in the mix which gives the mix a much more dynamic feel. Whiplasher's deep gravely vocals sound just as powerful as ever and entice the listener to just start singing along.

There is an 8-bit version also included which will no doubt prove to be a little more decisive. Stripped-back to the bare electronics, augmented with minor guitars and a basic rhythm track it harks back to early 90's ebm with unusualy modern vocals plonked on top. It may grow on a few people, and will probably be used by plenty of DJs to annoy anyone who requests them at a club night. But it still retains the fundamental charm and catchy flavour of the original.

This may only be a small taster of things to come. But after the band's rather derivative third album and subsequently opting for a premature greatest hits, 'All The Devil's Toys' signals a welcome return to form. Hopefully the rest of the album, due out in June, will live up to this preliminary single.

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Front Line Assembly announce double vinyl remix album



Vancouver-based industrial pioneers Front Line Assembly have announced the release of 'Echoes' the remix companion to their last album 'Echogenetic'. The album will be available as both CD and digital editions, but the band have gone a step further and announced the details of a double vinyl version.

The vinyl release will feature remixes from the likes of Youth Code, tweaker, Rhys Fulber, HECQ, and several others as well as two new original tracks co-written by Ian Pickering of the Sneaker Pimps.

The vinyl will also be available in three limited edition colour versions: clear vinyl, a green and black mix vinyl, and a solid silver vinyl.

The double-vinyl is due out in August on Artoffact Records and is available to pre-order now. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Review: Struchni – 'Impending Doom'



'Impending Doom'
NOISJ 

Struchni, is the solo project of Croatian industrialist Tomislav Stojko, that in three short years has already released an impressive catalogue of dark and demented recordings. 'Impending Doom' was originally released last year and unfortunately passed Intravenous Magazine by. But thankfully due to the album going into another pressing, it has made its way to us. 

Struchni could be given the rhythmic industrial quite easily. The album is full of slow, stomping rhythms that fans of the likes of iVardensphere, ESA and W.A.S.T.E would appreciate. However the tracks on 'Impending Doom' also display a finely honed sense of melody that consistently provides a nice counterpoint to the relentless industrial rhythms.

The album's intro 'The Point Of No Return' is a great example of the pure unadulterated sense of melody that forces hanging chords and light, classical sounding piano to the fore before industrialising it. Tracks like 'Darkening', 'In The Ashes', 'Restless' (featuring Fractured Machines), 'Wrecking Crew' (featuring Static:Reset) and 'Killing Fields' (featuring The Illuminati) balance a steady dance pace with cinematic soundscapes, noise, dubstep and electro industrial in an accessible and enjoyable package. But perhaps the crowning achievement of the album is the seven-minute closer 'People Like You, Always Die Alone' which sounds like it should come straight from the soundtrack to one of the Hellraiser films.

The only real drawback to the album is the fact that for such a long track list, there isn't much variation in the pace of the songs. Some faster tempos would inject a bit more energy into it and take away some of the repetitiveness that occasionally crops up.

'Impending Doom' is a surprisingly solidly produced album. Despite having its roots in noise, the production isn't full of layers of distortion. And in fact it favours a more cinematic approach with a very open and free atmosphere rather than an enclosed cavernous one.

Struchni is definitely a name to watch out for in the future. The quality of the song writing is very high, and the production always strives to match it. It's going to be interesting to see where the next full-length outing goes.

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Going Overground



There is a much neglected maneuver in the annals of Gothic rock – the 'breakthrough' or 'crossover' album, where previously underground acts entered the pop mainstream and the charts. It provided the foundation for the popularity of the genre in the '80s and has given us a vast archive of hits. So why is this strategy so sadly underused in the modern era?

To clarify – we're not talking about bands that simply grew bigger and bigger with each album until they achieved success (say, the opposite of what the Kaiser Chiefs have done). Neither are we referring to acts that made rather perverse pop U-turns along the way (Dead or Alive, anyone?). No, we are talking about the albums where bands simply sharpened their act, streamlined their sound, and made the necessary sonic and visual adjustments to bring themselves into the mainstream. Nowadays we might regard such behaviour as cynical, as 'selling out' or as some Faustian pact with The Man. But this never used to be the case.

Take, for example, Killing Joke. They had been gradually streamlining their sound over several non-album singles by the time they finally released 'Night Time' in 1985 – cue a worldwide hit with 'Love Like Blood' and a new generation of fans. They did not do so by getting Stock Aitken & Waterman in, but by the simple expediency of an outside producer, punchier song dynamics and Jaz removing his warpaint. Et voila.

The Damned similarly ram-raided the charts with their re-modified post-punk hearse in 1985, through a combination of major label backing, revamped image and tasteful pop craftsmanship. In fact it got better for them over the next 2 years, culminating with their international megahit 'Eloise'. The Cult likewise tweaked their proto-goth hammerings into 'She Sells Sanctuary' and the rest is history. And it doesn't end there. The Cure, Bauhaus, All About Eve and Siouxsie all made that transition from fringe concerns to chart acts in the '80s.

Of course, the plan for mainstream success doesn't always work out as intended. Record company meddling strangled Ghost Dance's crossover album at birth, and many of the acts who crossed over soon found themselves crossing back onto the cultural back burner before long. But saying all that, isn't it still worth a go?

One reason why it's a tricky move to pull off these days is that the mainstream no longer exists in the same sense it did 30 years ago. It's harder to contrive a radio hit when radio has lost its centre of gravity; ditto the music video since music television has fractured so significantly, replaced with myriad online media outlets, digital television and radio. It is therefore nearly impossible to create that critical mass of exposure that you need to have a hit without substantial conglomerate backing. In fact, do we even think in terms of 'hits' anymore? Do fans of alternative music even bother to follow what we used to condescendingly call the 'hit parade'?

However, there are lessons we can take from the 'breakthrough' album of yore. Developing your sound and making it more accessible is one; honing your songwriting and stagecraft is another. Being able to keep an eye on what is contemporary and musically current is yet another, even if it means pissing off the purists.

But the most important one must be the ambition to mix it amongst the giants. There was a time when the unfashionable and unsupported got to have a go with the best of them, and although today the playing field is more uneven than ever it's still important to keep kicking inside. Because who knows, the door might open again some day....

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Dani'el releases 'The Book: Revision' remix album



Four months after the début album 'The Book' on Conzoom Records, Croatian musician Dani’el releases the remix companion 'The Book: Revision' via Dita Entertainment.

Available as a digital download from April 10th the remix album contains reworkings by the likes of People Theatre (FR), Enter and Fall (DE), Damir Ludvig (CRO) and Maxi Man (UK). The album will also feature acoustic versions 'What Am I Waiting For' and 'Only You'.

Track List:
  1. Safe (Acoustic Studio Session)
  2. Only You (Damir Pushkar Remix)
  3. Algabal (Damir Ludvig Remix)
  4. Nothing 2 Regret (Acoustic Studio Session)
  5. Safe (People Theatre’s Protected Mix)
  6. Only You (Acoustic Studio Session)
  7. Safe (Enter and Fall Remix)
  8. Algabal (Maxi Mix Man’s Club Mix)
  9. WAIW4 (Acoustic Studio Session)

'The Book: Revision' is available through all digital outlets. For more information on Dani'el, please visit his official website.


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Projekt sign Mercury's Antennae



US darkwave label Projekt Records have announced the signing of San Francisco-based ethereal act Mercury's Antennae for the band's début album 'A Waking Ghost Inside'. The album will be available as a limited edition CD release as well as a digital download.

Comprised of vocalist Dru Allen (This Ascension, Mirabilis) and multi-instrumentalist Erick R. Scheid (Translucia), the band’s sound is distinctly reminiscent of ‘90s-era Projekt acts. Ranging from the heavy moodiness and guitar drone of Lycia to the unadorned acoustic beauty of Love Spirals Downwards to the passionate rock of This Ascension, the duo also draws on ambient and tribal influences, contemporary electronica, the sweet melodic pop of 4AD, and the blissful guitar noise of bands like Curve.

The release of the album will coincide with the band's US tour dates:

Thu April 24 @ Alhambra Theatre in Portland, OR
4811 SE Hawthorne.

Sun April 27 @ The Highline in Seattle, WA
9:30pm. 210 Broadway Ave E.

Mon April 28 @ Oberon's Tavern in Ashland, OR
semi acoustic/electro show and free!

Tues April 29 @ Velvet Jones Night Club in Santa Barbara, CA
w/Trance to the Sun and The Maheekats 423 State St. 8pm, 21+, Cover $10.

Wed April 30 @ DNA Lounge in San Francisco, CA
w/Trance to the Sun, BloodWIRE, & Crimson Scarlet --> All ages <-- DJ Melting Girl / Doors 8pm, show 8:30 / $8 Adv / $10 door 375 11th St.

Thu May 1 @ Club Apparition at Lido Nightclub in San Jose, CA
w/Trance to the Sun and special guests TBA 30 S First St. 21+ / 9:30pm.

Fri May 2 @ The Complex in Glendale, CA
w/the Deadfly Ensemble & Trance to the Sun.


To order 'A Waking Ghost Inside', please visit the Projekt Records webshop. For more information on the band, please visit their official website.

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Monday, 14 April 2014

Arts Of Darkness: Sam 'Mister-Sam' Shearon

© Joanne Leung
“I'm a big cryptozoology enthusiast and go ghost hunting and lake monster or bigfoot seeking when I can... so perhaps at some point I'll release a few books or my own documentaries based on those subjects... not to mention my interest in UFO's.”

Anyone with even a passing interest in 'Dark Art' will have no doubt come across the work of Sam 'Mister-Sam' Shearon. His dark, often surreal works have graced everything from albums and band merchandise, to comics, books and even musical instruments. He has worked alongside some of the biggest names in music and will even turn you into a zombie if you'd like? But this recognition didn't come overnight. Shearon has been working on his art from a young age.

“There really isn't a start date on my career as an artist... as my work is so varied and I've been creating since childhood. But in terms of creating commercially for bands and comic-books, I guess I can say that really began in 2006.
Becoming established just takes time and effort – you get out what you put in and there's no end goal. As an artist I'm forever learning and developing my skills – it's an ongoing process. As with everything in life – the more we know, the more we know we don't know enough!”

A Pale Horse Named Death - 'Lay My Soul To Waste'


Since 2006, Shearon's work has been featured on both albums and merchandise for bands including the likes of Godhead, Rob Zombie, Ministry, A Pale Horse Named Death and Biohazzard amongst others.

“Most bands approach me simply through word of mouth from fellow bands I've created for already. For the most part, we're all in the same boat in terms of subject matter – there's no real attraction to my work other than we're all cut from the same cloth in regards to themes... death, darkness etc... so being drawn together in a sense comes naturally. I'll sometimes reach out to certain bands that I'm personally a big fan of and that's sometimes how things come to fruition also.”

Shearon's artistic style is as varied as the clients he works for. Drawing on the occult and cryptozoology as influences, he channels his life-long fascination with the unusual into his art, making his work stand out from the crowd.

“In terms of style – again it's varied, it depends on the client or piece of work in question. It could be a commercial work or a personal work or a private commission. But as a whole I'd say the genre or category that you could best pigeon-hole my field of work would probably be best described as Dark Surrealism... or generally 'Dark Art'.”

“I'm interested by most things that are unusual or strange... I think they draw everyone's attention. I think for me personally though, it all stems from my childhood – I can't say exactly why as there really isn't any 'one' reason other than experiences regarding these subjects that I enjoyed growing up. I prefer things that stimulate my curiosity for the rare, the unusual, the strange... things you don't see every day - things you can truly call 'wonderous'.”

Powerman 5000 - Builders Of The Future


Shearon has enjoyed a wave of commercial success with commissions coming in all the time for new projects. However there is still plenty that he would like to do beyond his current workload.

“Commissions from commercial clients, bands and comic-books has taken up 113% of my time for the last eight years... and even more-so now with some huge clients on the table as we speak, one of course being the band Ministry... and I love what I do – so no complaints there. But in the future I would love to record my own album and make a few short films... then of course the goal would be to make a full length feature film. I'm a big cryptozoology enthusiast and go ghost hunting and lake monster or bigfoot seeking when I can... so perhaps at some point I'll release a few books or my own documentaries based on those subjects... not to mention my interest in UFO's.”

One recent dream that has come true for Shearon was to work with Al Jourgenson of industrial-metal giants Ministry on a new comic book venture.

“I'd been creating artwork for guitarist Sin Quirin's band 'Supermanic' who has played guitars for Ministry on the last couple of records and tours and I'd expressed to him my interest in the band... so things started to roll from there... I was then also asked to help create some of the artwork on the final Ministry record 'From Beer To Eternity' which is out now. I ended up creating just the back cover artwork to the package the rest was created by photographer Allan Amato. After seeing my work Al and Angelina Jourgensen asked me to step forward and create the full Ministry comic-book series. So naturally I said yes and was invited to stay at their home for a number of weeks on several occasions while I got to know Al personally and took notes on his life history and the band's history. Being a fan of the band I was already very familiar with the music – though getting inside Al's head was really where I needed to be in order to write this 13 part epic, with each issue being based around 13 Ministry albums.
"We're aimed for San Diego comic-con this July 2014 to reveal the teasers for the first issue and some sneak-peaks for the rest of the series... though a full launch is being talked about for this year's Halloween... we're keeping a lot of things under wraps – so stay tuned!”

© Zach Pasero

Even if you don't have any corporate or label backing, Shearon is available for more personal work. His skill as a portrait artist is as much in demand as his skill as a designer. And you can hire him too. He is currently working on a series of zombie portraits, which is another personal ambition.

Well, anyone can step forward and commission me to transform them by way of a portrait into one of the undead... though they have to understand it's not a free service... You can reach out for a personalised price via my facebook page. Men, Women, Children and pets... all are welcome!
I wanted to put this collection together for a long time... then POW Zombies where everywhere and suddenly extremely popular... I put that all down to really starting due to the huge success of the movie 'Shaun of the Dead' starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost... I think Director Edgar Wright's masterpiece really put zombies back on the cultural map! I honestly think this craze all started there!”

In the future you may even be able to hire Shearon to teach you the tricks behind his extensive body of work as he also holds a teaching qualification. But that isn't on the cards just yet.

“I am not currently teaching – I simply don't have time for that type of career in my life right now.
Perhaps when I'm much older I'll go back to teaching. But right now, I have other things that are of far greater interest to me than educational paperwork. From an art lesson with me... what would you expect? You'd go home glad you attended and be fuelled to come back for more, hopefully!”


Kill Devil Hill - 'Revolution Rise'


The Essentials:

Intravenous Magazine: How do you typically approach creating a new piece and do you have any particular creative rituals?

Mister-Sam: Well, I generally think about it for a day or two... do a little research... check I'm on the right page so to speak and not repeating another artists direction... (as that can happen!), clear my head... put on some movie scores to listen to... and then dive in headstrong with no other work on the table until the piece in question is complete... I think everything starts that way.
IVM: What tools and techniques do you use day to day?

MS: A fine black roller-ball pen... a 2B pencil, several mugs of tea... and a mouse!

IVM: Which artists have been your biggest inspirations and/or continue to inspire you and why?

MS: Well, I'd say my top five favourites are as follows.... Salvador Dali, Ashley Wood, Gustav Klimt, Alponse Mucha and Clive Barker. All have a way of attacking reality in a brutally honest and yet surreal fashion... Their works not only inspire but fascinate. Dali has the ability to pull you into his world with strange landscapes and figures painted in such a way as that you could believe them to exist... Ashley Wood has a raw punk feel with angular scratches and textures yet a gorgeous delivery of light and weight in the female and robot form... the use of movement is most enjoyable. Klimt has a classical feel that oozes rich vampiric mythology... grand forms of tragic figures... horrific subjects in gorgeous patterned compositions. Mucha adds a romance and adventure to my inspiration... echoes of history and style from an era of dreams and drugs... and finally Clive Barker, who's words and illustrations, passages and paintings are some of the most inspiring and life changing works I've had the pleasure to enjoy throughout my college years and to this day... Clive Barkers' works grab you by the throat and scrape your retinas with vicious visual and descriptive laughter as they haunt and stain your memory with a fresh look on life and death itself that kisses your mind like a bear trap kissing a child.


IVM: Which piece of art did you find the most challenging to create and why?

MS: I couldn't answer this... everything is a challenge, as I like to push myself each time and see where my work takes me and what news things I can discover. So everything is a challenge to me.

IVM: Which piece or pieces are you most proud of and why?

MS: Both A Pale Horse Named Death albums – I'm proud of those because I'm a huge fan of both Type O Negative and Life of Agony and to create these album sleeves is a dream come true... The Ministry artwork done and in process is also a huge proud moment for the same reasons... I'm also pretty proud of the latest Powerman 5000 album, the illustrated H.P.Lovcraft Call of Cthulhu for IDW Publishing and The X-Files and KISS work... the list goes on... I'm very proud of the work currently on my table, though I can't announce that until San Diego comic-con in July!


IVM: Do you have any exhibition/art book plans for the future?

MS: I always have things planned for the future – it's an ongoing career process.... keeping things rolling – getting things out there – taking on new projects and living the dream. I really can't spill the beans on the works in the pipeline right now... let's just say I go to bed with an evil grin each night like a child who knows what he's getting for Christmas!

IVM: If someone is new to you and your art, how do you feel they typically react to it?

MS: Men want to be me... women want to be with me... hahaha!Honestly – I have no idea... But to quote Sir Anthony Hopkins “My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.”



Crowned By Fire - 'Space Music For Cave People'

To see more of Mister-Sam's work and find out how to commission his services, please visit his official website
All artwork feature by Sam 'Mister-Sam' Shearon. Please do not reproduce without permission.

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Friday, 11 April 2014

The weekly compendium 11/04/2014



It's been another week already? Crikey. Well time flies, and yesterday I cast my mind back four years to the death of my all time favourite musician Peter Steele and wondered; if he had lived, there would have been another Type O Negative album and tour under his belt by now, and what they would have been like?

One person who passed this week though was wrestling legend The Ultimate Warrior, who seemed to just wrap everything up neatly before being suddenly taken. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday night and appeared at both Wrestlemania on Sunday and Monday Night Raw to a huge ovation from the live crowds. He then, after rebuilding his bridges with the company that made him a star, suddenly dropped dead from what appears to have been a heart attack on Tuesday evening. It just goes to show you never know what will happen tomorrow.




But enough doom and gloom. What have we been up to this week at IVM? Well we kicked things off with the news that Kinetik festival has been cancelled. We also had news from Attrition, My Silent Wake and Tiamat. We had a preview of the upcoming 20th anniversary of Convergence festival. And reviews of the latest cuts from 3Teeth, Venal Flesh, Dubcon, Randolph & Mortimer, Non-Bio, and Blush Response.

Over on Facebook we had the news of a Peter Murphy live DVD from last years Bauhaus anniversary tour. JazColeman of Killing Joke is writing a requiem for the late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain. There has been new music from iVardensphere and Aeon Sable. And a new video preview from In Death It Ends.

Right, I've got an interview to edit and a roof to fix this weekend so I'm going to sign off now and wish you all a great weekend.


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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Review: Blush Response – 'The Drift'



BLUSH RESPONSE
'The Drift'
BASIC UNIT PRODUCTIONS


Joey Blush's solo project is an act that goes some way to restoring your faith in music. The musician and sound designer has worked with the likes of Fear Factory and Scar The Martyr and brings a heavily modular sound to his work that recalls the likes of Trent Reznor and Alec Empire in part. His previous full-length outings 'We Are Replicants' (2010) and 'Tension Strategies' (2013) displayed a mastery of his craft that blends the harsh and experimental side of modular analogues with the polished and dance friendly styles of the post-millenium.

This four-song EP picks up where last year's album 'Tension Strategies' with the title track and 'Black Sun' showcasing perfectly Blush's ability to create funky, quirky, and unique electronic music that is both intelligent and dance friendly. While on the other side of the coin, the instrumental cuts 'Body Hammer' and 'Fiend' show off the extent of Blush's sound-crafting abilities as the beat heavy songs snake through walls of analogue synths. They could easily be included on a major sci-fi film sound track. If fact Blush could probably score one by himself if these are anything to go by.

The remixes of the title track included are just as diverse and interesting as the original with B1tes adding a haunting but bass-heavy take. While 'Blac Kolour' and 'Textbeak' get the razors out for choppy and deformed reconstructions. And M¥rrĦ Ka Ba completely re-build it in their own style.

The production is crisp and clean, recalling the likes of Alec Empire's 'Golden Foretaste Of Heaven' in some ways. Most importantly is it feels bang up-to-date in spite of the warm analogue leanings of Blush's arsenal.

This is a strong EP that will serve as a nice introduction to Blush Response for those who haven't come across his work before. 'The Drift' in particular is a great track that will be lapped up by Nine Inch Nails and How To Destroy Angels fans. Hopefully another full-length album won't be too far behind.  

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Review: Non-Bio – 'Machine Cold Wash'


NON-BIO
'Machine Cold Wash'
SELF-RELEASED


London-based industrial multi-media act Non-Bio may have started out as a result of the members pursuits in making videos for other bands. But that shouldn't discount their musical ability in any way. The duo consisting of Howard Gardner and Karl Lloyd (X-KiN) have proven over the course of the handful of EPs and compilation appearances that they have the goods to make their low-fi and experimental take on electro-industrial quite appealing.

The likes of early Skinny Puppy, Sheep On Drugs and Aphex Twin are immediately identifiable in their sharp and disjointed tracks. There is always a clever sense of melody at play within the tracks and the steady paced beats hold things together and keep things accessible. But there is a trippy and disorientating adventurousness with the elements at work that gives their formula a pleasantly old school quality.

Tracks like 'Perfect', 'Medicinema', 'Brain Party' and 'I Am Your God Now' are shining examples of what the duo can do. They feel accessible enough to play well to a casual listener. But there is that ever present grit and sense that they may take things in an entirely different direction at the drop of a hat, which makes them a genuinely intriguing band to listen to.

The production is pretty gritty and noisy as you would probably expect from a band that blatantly likes to shake things up. But it's not one of those kind of albums that sounds like it was recorded on an ancient four-track in a concrete bunker. It does, for all its quirks and rough edges sound very well constructed and mixed.

Non-Bio are not what you would call a commercial project really. Despite some danceable beats and some very catchy melodies, they're very much on the “thinking-man's industrial” pile. It's not a bad thing though. It's nice to have some bands willing to try something new on every song rather than churning out more club-orientated 4/4 dance hits. It's going to be very interesting to hear just how far these to can push things on the next release.

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Preview: Convergence XX – Chicago USA, 25th - 27th April 2014



Our American readers will already be aware, but for those who aren't regular visitors to the new world. Convergence is North America's longest running annual gothic festival , and it is now celebrating its 20th year. The festival was originally started by members of the Usenet group alt.gothic as a means to get them & ALL their friends together from around the globe into a single city for a weekend of socializing, musical events, sweet debauchery & a whole lot more. The festival's 20th anniversary brings Convergence back to Chicago for a third time with the festival's inaugural event and tenth anniversary having been hosted in the city.

The festival's musical line-up this year includes: The March Violets (UK) in their first US appearance since 1987, Pretentious, Moi? (UK), Sunshine Bind (CA), I:Scintilla (Chicago), Ending The Vicious Cycle (TX), Peeling Grey (CA), Arch Visceral Parlor (Chicago), The Gothscicles (Cicago).

Other highlights include the Bizarre Bazaar vendors market, art exhibit, shopping trips, dinner outings, a plethora of national (& one UK!) DJs, and many additional happenings.

Tickets are on sale NOW for full-weekend laminates and single date tickets. For more information, please visit the official Convergence website.

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Johan Edlund to leave Tiamat



Tiamat founder, composer and vocalist Johan Edlund has announced his departure from the Swedish gothic doom act Tiamat via the band's official Facebook page.

In the statement Edlund cites his health as a factor in his decision and gives his blessing for the band to continue without him.
“My health etc.. Doesn't work any longer. I say leave because I don't claim anything Tiamat. If the other guys wanna continue, fine.. Go ahead. Get a great good looking vocalist, sign to Century Media & just do it. But I'm out & not even interested apart from wishing all the best for the band. All contracts & such will be handed out to Anders, lars & Roger, if they're into it. I want nothing from this, I was spoiled too much of being an adult.”

Tiamat started in 1989 as part of the Scandinavian black metal scene and with albums like 'Clouds' and 'Wildhoney' moved into a more gothic doom direction, before moving into a purer gothic rock influenced style with albums like 'Skeleton Skeletron' and 'Prey'. The band's most recent album was 'The Scarred People' which was released in 2012.

Edlund will honour the band's remaining tour dates, but as of the time of writing there has been no statement from the rest of the band regarding whether they will continue beyond 2014.

For more information, please visit the band's official Facebook page.

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