Blood Pack Vol. 6.66 released!

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

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

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

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


Review: Ritual Aesthetic – 'Wound Garden'


Review: Axegrinder – 'Satori'


Thursday 28 July 2016

Interview: Håvard Ellefsen (Mortiis)

Demons are back...

"I hate not owning my old work. The contracts I signed back in the day even say if man colonises other planets they will still have the rights to them on Mars!"

Håvard Ellefsen, helmsman and namesake for the group Mortiis, has come a long way since his ambient darkwave days of the 90's. In the last five years alone he dropped the mask and the labels and went out on his own. We caught up with him in the middle of the band's UK tour to talk about the past, the future and his love of music.

Intravenous Magazine: It's been quite a while since you last made and album, what have you been up to? 

Håvard Ellefsen:  We were working really hard on this new album. The songs have actually been ready for a long time it just took a while to get it released. We recorded it around 2012-2013 but it came with a few issues. I wanted to do things differently because in the past. Before I'd been stuck with shitty record deals where I hadn't made any money but they would demand more. It wouldn't even give me enough rope to hang myself with, but they would still expect miracles from me. Most of the labels that were interested in my work could only offer me the same and couldn't make any promises, so we just waited. We raised the money ourselves (which took a long time) and we had to remaster the whole thing at one point, which is never cheap. We weren't going to give it to some asshole who was gonna make money for making the smallest of effort and saying "maybe" all the time. In the record industry "maybe" is the same as saying "no fucking way". We needed something more reliable than that.

IVM: So is that way you released 'Perfectly Defect' for free? 

HE: It was actually made at the same time. We were writing a lot of music back then and we found that some of it was coming out really weird and experimental. At first we thought we could make a mega triple CD. That would have worked in the 70's, but not today. So we took the artsy fartsy stuff and made it a free thing. We'd seen some of the bigger bands doing it and decided to make a statement, saying to the labels "If you're not going to sign us to a proper deal then you're not gonna get our stuff and we're gonna give it away to the kids!" That way the two albums were more pure cause the industrial metal songs were on one record and the more orchestral tracks were on the other.

IVM: The last two albums are on different ERAs. How do they differ from previous incarnations?

HE: I've actually dropped the whole 'ERA' thing now cause it's starting to get confusing [laughs]. I didn't even bother to add it to 'Perfectly Defect' but now it's returned because I've brought the whole 'ogre' thing back. We actually talked about it for a while, 'Should we have done 'ERA 4'? Where would it have ended? If I still make records when I'm 65 will I be up to 'ERA 17'? It was gonna get a little silly after a while. When I was younger and just starting out on my own I thought it would look cool, you know a little like Led Zeppelin and Nine Inch Nails (that's what us musicians do,we steal. Nothing is original it's just some are better at it than others!)
In the end I decided to call it 'ERA 0' to fuck with people's heads. It'll confuse the fans into what order to listen to my work. They'll think "He starts off good but then it gets really shitty!" I'm now getting asked this at nearly every interview and I feel bad cause I have no clever answer for them [laughs]. 

IVM: You've mentioned the return of the 'Ogre'. How has he evolved with this album? 

HE: I've done work with and without the mask in recent photos. I decided to bring it back to some degree. We also have some other masks I've been working with which are more tribal. It's nice to go back but but I wanted to expand the idea to keep the fans guessing. I don't wear it on stage anymore though, it gets far too hot and sometimes gets in the way. 

IVM: So the new album is a proper industrial metal record. Was there an idea behind it's inception? 

HE: It's no concept album, it's just a collection of tracks of me being pissed off and angry, and it's all the better for it. Do you think Uncle Al makes good records when he's happy? [laughs] I mean don't get me wrong, if I make some money off of this record that would be nice, but it's not the main reason why I make music.

IVM: In the last few years you've gone down the self promotion route. How's that working out? 

HE: It's been stressful but rewarding. Doing everything myself means I own everything now. There are some pros & cons to it but it's nice to take my time with a record and plug it in my own way. I mean sure there's a lot less coverage because you're not employing a promotional team the label sent in, but a lot of the times with that you feel like you're not in control or even involved with your own work, like you're just going through the motions. I hate not owning my old work. The contracts I signed back in the day even say if man colonises other planets they will still have the rights to them on Mars! 

My label is just for me though, I won't be adding any other artists onto there. It's frustrating just doing it for myself but it's the best way to do it these days. It's like chopping off a finger to save your hand, it's not ideal but it could be a lot worse. There are some smaller labels that a doing a little better for musicians, but it means they also have full jobs and won't be able to concentrate on promoting your work. I guess I'm slightly more ambitious. 

One thing I like to do is to be in control of our online content. I visit the Facebook and Twitter feeds daily to catch up with the fans. I wouldn't really trust anyone else to do it if I'm honest. 

IVM: How was the US tour? 

HE: We did it last October and the shows were amazing. We supported Mushroomhead. It's not an easy task as the visas for America are getting more expensive and made the whole tour quite stressful, but the guys were great to play with. 

IVM: Are their any new acts you've been keeping an eye on? 

HE: You tell me! [laughs] I'm on the biggest nostalgia kick. I don't even know what's been going on in the last 15 years! I recently started listening to Muse and they are pretty cool. There's too much old stuff that I'm yet to discover. I'm loving the music of the 70's and 80's cause I love the sound and effort put in, and everything these days sounds the same.

IVM: As a music collector and fan of Ministry, do you own a copy of their first record 'With Sympathy'? 

HE: No unfortunately I don't! If I can find a copy and it's not too pricey I'd certainly get my hands on it! I heard that Uncle Al was offering to autograph a copy of it for $1,000. I wouldn't pay anyone that much for an autograph. I've never had that urge to do that, it seems a little weird. It would be different if they were hanging out at my house or in my town, I'd ask, but wouldn't go into any effort to get it done.

Mortiis' latest album 'The Great Deceiver' is available now via Omnipresence. For more information on the band, including new releases and tour dates, please visit their official website

Download post as PDF file

Wednesday 27 July 2016


One thing that is often repeated by musicians and people working creatively in the musical field is how difficult it it in the current climate to be a gigging musician. It's a idea which has become so prevalent as to be taken as a universal fact: 'it couldn't happen nowadays'. So let's unpack this – is this the case? And what exactly does it feel like to be in a gigging band these days?

First of all it's necessary to point out that there are many reasons why the process of being in a band is different today than it was 20-30 years ago. The decline in attendances for live music linked to a general decline in the music industry has in turn led to a decline in the number of live music venues, both below arena level but also at the bottom too. The 'circuit' has for the most part disintegrated, with venues closing or changing hands; changes in licensing laws have also limited the number of venues who hold live music events. Not to mention the decline in pubs and clubs themselves, which has led to a lowering of intake which has in turn been passed onto the artists ('it'll be great exposure!). Add to that rises in fuel costs and decline in wages, and the end of the dole and art school cultures which the popular music boom in Britain was based on, and you get an idea of the challenges that performers on the circuit currently have.

So do we even remember what it felt like? Well, sometimes we get a remember. The DC universe heroine Black Canary was recently reinvented as a singer of a hard-gigging eponymous punk act in a new series of comics, in which the erstwhile crime-fighter channels her passion into music. Playing dive bars, confronting the audience, getting ripped off by promoters, and generally going at it full tilt.

Reading it you can get a strange vision of leather and fishnets, vivid dyed hair, bad personal habits, sweaty clubs, passionate creativity, stubborn integrity,driving to gigs around the country then working in the morning, hungover and imperious, music on and blind to the world, of being young and misunderstood and driven, of self-belief and escape and one constant last chance, of galloping drums and fuzzy guitars and screaming and the people who provided them against all the odds. Scratching around for jobs to make the money for gigs, going out on a limb for a chance, and doing it for so long that the rest of the world just melted away.

As vivid as such recollections are, how prepared are we indulge them? It's easy to get into a routine of a monthly gig as we get professional jobs, responsibilities. All-nighters to Hull loose their appeal if you have a meeting at 9am. We have more security but, strangely, more to lose.

So maybe it's a question of keeping touch with that spirit - be more uncompromising, intense, give less of a fuck. Maybe do the same things but be unapologetically ourselves. Maybe be more demanding and not given up so easy. Try and regain some blind ambition...but just keep an eye open just in case.

Download post as PDF file

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Revolution on Stand-By - The Meaning of Shock Value in 2016

It's funny, or sad, really, how when I was a kid, I really thought the world and people, mostly, would be a lot more evolved.
I thought certain issues would have been dealt with, and that people would be over certain things, most things -like the inequity between 1st and 3rd world countries, for example.
Or genocides to claim a country's riches, or people killing other people in the name of beliefs.
Or the fact that not everyone is heterosexual.
Or women's sexuality.
Or any of society's taboos.

Hard to believe that in 2016, there hasn't been any evolution of any solution, let alone a revolution.

I can't believe there actually are still taboos in 2016.

And yet there are, and people are still likely to get shocked about anything.
And people, mostly, don't wanna be shocked.

For to shock is to shake up reality; to deliver a message, to expose other realities. The shocker will use confrontation as a tool to bring about evolution amongst the shockees.
Whoever out there shocks -please, keep on shocking.
It is of utmost importance to do so, for it is the only way we may keep on evolving.
Let's keep the revolution on stand-by, so it's ready to be declared at any time.

Thing is, it is feels like people don't want a revolution.
A revolution means getting out of your comfort zone.
But as time and history and society go on, it turns out that people fear more and more getting out of their comfort zone -a sad combination of laziness and lack of self-confidence.

And so, considering all the aforementionned issues that I can't believe are still things of the present in this day and age, I understand that people, above all, want to be comforted, not confronted. They wanna know they're not doing so bad after all, that it's ok if they've been lazy and have lacked the confidence and will to change.

As the first to always point out the Balance of All, I must clearly state how I only speak here of the mass, as there are indeed many of us who still strive to bring about evolution to society, let them be artists, scientists, teachers or politicians.

Most people, however, are terrified of what's out there, i.e. Life, and it takes a lot more strength to forge a path than to walk on paved roads.
People don't love themselves enough, or believe in themselves enough to bring their lives to the next level, and then doing so requires effort upon effort, and tremendous amounts of work, and energy, and time (trust me).
And then the thing about terrified people is that they won't be doing much with their own lives. They'll do/watch/wear/listen to what everyone else is, and get their thrills out of a TV series, an outrageous bachelor/ette party, or Siracha sauce. They won't be going out of their way to change and/or save the world, let alone change and/or save themselves. Humans want to be comforted in it being ok to not do too much. Humans do not want to be shaken up and be confronted with the fact that there is so much more to be done for the world to be a better place, and that it starts with themselves.

This is why animal videos are so popular on the Internet. Those, and videos of ordinary people doing ordinary things, like cooking, or silly things, like looking like Chewbacca.
Mostly, these videos comfort people, and make them feel like it could be them, too, or that they're better than that, or Hey, why don't I post a video of my cat as well and get 80 000 views too!

There's also the issue of safe-spaces, which I'll only tackle on the surface by putting it out there that instead of hidding in your safe space, how about you get out, face the world, grow a spine and evolve into a fearless human being.

And then it's this weird dichotomy of how, in a way, also, in 2016, it's like nothing's shocking anymore. Every possible human boundary has already been pushed, news headlines have become this repetitive shock-scheme, numbing us out. I mean, when you think about it, that's what the news are about: shocking headlines. Bombs and killings, bombs and killings, bombs and killing -aimed at overwhelming the average citizen so much that of course, when it comes to entertaiment, people are likelier to choose artists that sound and feel like comfort food.

There was a time when music drove the culture, and when music did mean a revolution, change.
Seems like from the 70s to the mid-90s, society embraced shock-value, and that people fought for their right to evolution, through the music they listened to, amongst other art mediums. So what happened?

The music of today is becoming emotionless, tamed -guys singing in falsetto and girls with a 5-note range is what's popular right now. If you do sing your guts out, well, you're too intense for most people. When it comes to music, it's like people don't want it to voice their emotions. They want background music, music to safely escape from their emotions with.
The average human will want to get a hug and go to bed thinking the world isn't so bad after all. The average human will not want to go to bed hoping the night will bring him guidance as to what to do concretely to make the world a better place.

Funny, or sad, really, how when it comes to saving ourselves, we would rather it be somebody else. But when it comes for saviors to manifest themselves, and for us to select one, or a few, the ego steps in, and so, as humans usually don't enjoy feeling like other humans are greater than them -have more courage, guts, passion, will-power, whatever you wanna call it. So the would-be saviors are deemed as shockers, and are censored, and banned.

It makes it hard for society to renew itself when it hates/fears itself so much, and is too lazy to care. Or are we perhaps too jaded because everything's already been done? For example: there was Alice Cooper, and then there was Rob Zombie, and then there was Marilyn Manson. And now, well, any young goth singer out there trying to be the new That, it's not like he'd be bringing about anything more shocking than what his predecessors/idols have already brought about. He's mostly preserving the archetype.
Which is an extremely good thing.
Why? Because the answer to my question above is No. I've experienced way too many moments of would-be-shaming-were-I-to-care to say that society is jaded.

I believe the right thing to say is that society might be tired of being shocked, because of shock-overload from the media. Mostly, society would like everything to be cotton-candy. Mostly, especially over the past few months, humans would like to wake up one day and hear that World Peace has Now been proclaimed.  and as for their own lives, humans would like to be able to walk the course of existence effortlessly -float through that cotton-candy, basically. People are likely to avoid any situation that will make for any overload of emotions because, for the most part, humans don't know how to control Emotions. Emotions lead to Irrationality, which leads to Doing Things You're Not Usually Doing, leading to Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone, leading into The Unknown, aka humans' one great fear.

Now, I'm not saying I'm above this. I fear the unknown as much as the next human. But then I'm also curious, with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and find the outcome of the unknown to be a lot more enticing and appealing than the outcome of what has already been tried and tested and approved by everybody else.

Am I that much of a shocker? Not really. I never thought so anyway.
I'm mostly preserving the archetype.
But recently, someone deemed my promo photographs as scandalous.
Again. In 2016.
I therefore proclaim myself a Shocker.

It is my nature and purpose to shock you.
To pull you out of your comfort zone.
To say that which will not be said, to expose that which covers itself up.
To question everything -I must know the Why of Everything, in order for me to understand Everything.
In a post on my personal blog,, I once wrote how I am not PG. My art is for people who have experienced life and aren't afraid to do so.

Thing is, most people are terrified of what's out there -life.
But it's time for a revolution, and I know it has to start with me.

Download post as PDF file

Review: Various Artists – 'Unsound Americans'


'Unsound Americans'

Unsound America has, over the past couple of years, produced some great tributes and compilations alongside its main releases. With an ear for unique sounds and esoteric acts the label has already amassed an impressive catalogue. With the passing of David Bowie earlier this year the label has embarked on a tribute compilation for the late Starman, and it is one the Thin White Duke would probably have approved of.

Taking in electronica, idm, darkwave, industrial, and dark pop the album sees sixteen acts take on a cross-section of classic tracks from across Bowie's career. Ranging from sensual and haunting re-imaginings from the likes of Koira, Marc Stowe, Blackberry Lilly, Anna Marie, Jason Jordan, and Deanna Lee and Jackie Lee, to the slick dark pop of Jasen Samford, Alphanaut, Sombra, and Ryan Olsen. While also taking in more raucous interpretations from the likes of Sean Fairchild, Fusion Faktor, Shadow Cast Me, and
Gerald "GothiCello" Nicks. Although the coup de grâce has to be the poignant and soulful rendition of 'Strangers When We Meet' by Kyle Michael Porter that closes the album with a punch right to the feels.

This is a very strong, unique and most importantly a heartfelt tribute to the late and great David Bowie. The bands/ artists all bring something original to their tracks and don't merely play it safe. This is what Bowie did with his covers, he made them his own and it is what he would have appreciated to have happen with his music.

The production is excellent across the board. No matter what the style or the manner of recording, each song sounds clear, crisp and modern in its execution. Usually on compilations there is a little variance between tracks based on the tools at each artist's disposal. But this is pretty even throughout.

This is a really great album, one that fans of gothic/industrial music will appreciate whether they are a Bowie fan or not (and to be honest, who isn't a Bowie fan?!). Best of all it is available to download for free with a link to cancer research for a suggested donation.  

Download post as PDF file

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Review: The Gifted – 'Against A Dark Background'

'Against A Dark Background'

Sheffield alternative trio The Gifted are one of those bands that fill you with hope. Since 2008 the band have released a selection of albums, EPs and singles which has seen them grow into a formidable unit. Blending industrial, alternative rock, noise rock, metal and a refreshingly experimental approach to song-writing they blend the dissonant with the melodic with ease, moving from quiet desperation to bludgeoning malice. They may have been around for a few years already but their latest effort 'Against A Dark Background' is their most captivating effort to date.

The result of a successful crowd funding campaign, 'Against A Dark Background' is the band's third full-length self-released album. The band's sound to date has been marked by bold and heroic strides into experimental waters while maintaining their industrial rock core. And while they maintain this approach, the result is once again a unique and powerful sonic journey.

The album shows the band's mature experimentalism reflected in compelling song-writing with tracks such as 'Time Is The Fire (In Which We Burn)', 'Shut Up, Sit Down', 'Acedia', 'Is It All Really Worth It', 'Eye', 'A Different Reason Why', and 'Against This Dark Background' providing a solid backbone of hard riffs, experimental synths, and compelling, expressive vocals. While the likes of 'Waking From A Terrible Dream' and '...And So It All Comes Together' add long but still enthralling instrumental interludes.

The production is solid throughout and reminiscent of Trent Reznor's work with the bands on the Nothing Records roster in the 90s. There's a lot of grit and grunge to the sound, but it is clear, fresh and bang up-to-date.

The Gifted are a band right on the brink and are realising their potential. 'Against A Dark Background' is a phenomenal effort that can hold it's own easily against international efforts from the likes of 3Teeth and Youth Code. The Sheffield trio have grown into a tight and powerful unit that can craft intense and ambitious music that should rightly make fans of industrial rock sit up and take notice. 

Download post as PDF file

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Review: Ghostfeeder – 'World Fameless'

'World Fameless'

Marking the label and full-length début of Ghostfeeder is 'World Fameless' released on Distortion Productions. After three self-released EPs and a further label EP on Beyond Therapy Records, Derek Walborn's project Ghostfeeder takes its blend of dance synths, 8-bit garnishes, and rock guitars through eight tracks of catchy and sing-a-long friendly synthrock that recalls the likes of
NIN, Peter Gabriel, IAMX, Nintendo, Sneaker Pimps, The Birthday Massacre, and Mindless Self Indulgence.

Kicking things off with the title track the album quickly establishes it's sonic formula of old-school sounding dance synths, hard guitars, well-timed chiptune textures and big catchy vocal melodies which is reflected in songs such as Juliet, Sucker For The Chemistry, Let The Wolves Inside, and The Vampire Youth, in particular. It is a great pop album – vocally making use of pop-punk style hooks over its retro-chic synths and holding the guitars back for extra muscle – but it could be so much more.

There is room for Walbor to really push the boundaries of his sound and take risks with instrumentals, or less linear song-writing to add a bit more depth to the album without effecting its commercial appeal. Instead we have a singular vision with a definitive destination in mind, but no interesting detours.

For fans of Mindless Self Indulgence and The Birthday Massacre in particular this will be a very easy album to get into. It's quirky, fun and very pop without being mainstream. 'World Fameless' is a strong album. The song-writing is great, the production is top-shelf and the songs are ridiculously infectious with their dance-friendly construction and sing-a-long vocals. However it feels as though something is being held back, like Walborn has more up his sleeve but has decided to save it for something else. 

Download post as PDF file

Review: Various Artists – 'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk'

'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk'

Electrozombies' first compilation album 'Undead and Open Minded Volume 1' was a great exhibition of up and coming as well as established electronic music talent that covered a wide variety of genres. Fast-forward a few months and the next Electrozombies compilation is an official tribute album to Norway's electronic darlings Apoptygma Berzerk. Now Tribute albums can either be really interesting or really bland. I can think of way too many “tributes” where the majority of the album sounds pretty faithful to the originals with few acts daring to make the songs their own. Thankfully 'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk' doesn't fall into this trap.

As will the first compilation album, 'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk' is a good blend of established acts as well as younger ones covering genres like darkwave, ebm, synthpop, industrial and more. As a result there are plenty of acts more than willing to take apart the originals and re-imagine them as Apop have done on their own covers in the past.

Artists such as Electrogenic, Vogon Poetry, Machinista, IIOIOIOII, Corlyx, Sad January, Synapsyche, and Technomancer featuring Angst Pop provide the album with just a few of its highlights giving their tracks stunningly original reinterpretations across the board. None of the 20 tracks on show here tread water or attempt to do a note-for-note cover. All of the bands and artists have dug deep and brought something interesting to the table. Some have switched genres and kept the original dance feel of the tracks, whereas others have been a little more dramatic in their offerings. But in every case it works.

In terms of production there is of course the usual compilation issue of the individual quality of the tracks due to the different genres and recording styles (and budgets). However, however the album has been arranged and mastered so that these differences are not glaringly obvious and don't detract from the album's momentum.

Love them or hate them, there is still a place for tribute albums if they are done with real conviction and not just as a cynical ploy for bands to cash in on someone else's fame. If you're a fan of Apop or just like a good compilation album featuring a great mix of talented artists then 'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk' is a good choice.  

Download post as PDF file

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Film Review: Gothic – 'Beneath The Snow – Piovono Ombre'

'Beneath The Snow – Piovono Ombre'
Dir: James Maximilian Jason

'Beneath The Snow – Piovono Ombre' isn't a film. Yes, it is in the film review section but that is purely because it comes on a DVD. Actually 'Beneath The Snow – Piovono Ombre', the latest project from the Gothic multimedia project based in Italy since 1989, is something much bigger than that. The result of the work of 28 musicians, artists, actors, graphics, technicians under the lead of James Maximilian Jason and David Bosch bring together film, artwork, music, lyrics, and much more besides. It is part film, part video game, part musical journey, part art exhibition, and something much more.

The film element (performed in Italian with English subtitles) sees a number of stories converging under the overall arc. The viewer is challenged to discover the real meaning behind the events through hidden symbols and messages. A truly interactive experience, the viewer must take god-like control of the events at strategic points to inform the progress of the story. Overall there are eleven interactive points, a total of five stories and four possible endings, which means that multiple viewings are guaranteed to reveal something new. The result is much like one of the old “create your own adventure” books, however with everything playing out before your eyes instead of in your imagination.

The soundtrack is expansive and comprised of mainly instrumental electronic gothic pieces that give the piece a strange and dreamy atmosphere. Coupled with the very low budget presentation it has a 90s VHS feel to it that comes off as a little cheap, but entirely reto chic given the growing affinity for glitchy analogue effects in the visual arts at the moment. However the overall presentation is so surreal and unnerving that it remains compelling to watch.

With a near two-and-a-half hour run-time and a blend of Italian with English subtitles, things can get very hard to follow. Luckily though there is a 32-page booklet included with the release that lays the stories out in plain English as well as reproductions of the artwork that is seen throughout the film.

'Beneath The Snow – Piovono Ombre' is an ambitious project that seeks to become something truly interactive. Budgetary constraints aside it remains powerful and engaging across it's long run-time and in terms of presentation evokes the likes of David Lynch's early films such as 'Six Men Getting Sick', 'The Grandmother', and 'Eraserhead', as well as the likes of Darren Aronofsky's 'Pi', and the classic surrealist film 'Un Chien Andalou'.

There isn't really a set genre – a psychological exploration of the subconscious with horror atmospheres would be it's best fit. The dark and sometimes bloody action walks hand-in-hand with an ever present sense of mystery and intrigue. We can't ever be sure of what is transpiring based on it's face values and the decisions we make based on our interpretations of it directly effect its outcome.

Unsettling, claustrophobic, occasionally funny, and always challenging, 'Beneath The Snow – Piovono Ombre' may be a lot to take in for a casual viewer. However fans of avant garde art and cinema, as well as those with a dark surreal outlook on life will find this a very interesting prospect to explore.  

Download post as PDF file

Editorial: July, 2016

It's July already?! Crikey where has 2016 gone? Well, to be honest it can hurry up and end – we have lost a lot of great artists, musicians and personalities this year, and not to mention the current political fiasco the UK currently finds itself in.

Another reason to start the countdown to 2017 is that on the 1st January we'll be unleashing another free download compilation in the form of 'Blood Pack Vol.4'. I'm entertaining the idea of making this one a pay what you will and donating anything raised to charity – Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Next month I'll aim to unveil the cover art for the next compilation and send invitations out to bands/labels who may be interested in contributing a track. We'll also have open applications from September onwards so we can make this a nice big release.

The previous three releases have been very popular so far and are still available to download for free if you haven't already.

If you're a band and considering donating a track and are wondering what's in it for you? First of all it is free – there is no cover charge to be on the compilation as it is a download and we're giving it away for free! We make sure every release comes with an A4 PDF brochure containing band biographies as well as relevant hyperlinks that will take people straight to your web pages. We're happy to feature new blood as well as established acts and all submissions will be considered based on their individual merit rather than whether they are well known or not. So far we have featured a range of acts covering a wide variety of genres including Attrition, Be My Enemy, Aeon Sable, Ultraviolence, Noir, Three Winters, Grypt, Petrol Bastard, ѦPѺLLYѺN'S ▼ISѦGE, Ca†hedra, Human Traffic plus many more bands.

Sound good? So what will we need?

First of all, we'll need your track as a WAV file. We're ideally looking for something exclusive or new – it could be in the form of an unreleased song, demo, a remix, or live track etc. We'll then need a 200 word biography, your links and written permission to use the track and that's it!

General submissions will be open from September with a cut-off date to get the tracks and info to us by the end of November. Advanced copies of the compilation will go out to all contributors around Christmas, and we will also make copies available to radio shows/podcasters interested in plugging the release, with the general release being made available through out bandcamp for 1st January 2014.

Be sure to keep an eye out for editorials over the next couple of months with more details.

Finally, if you haven't already got them, go get our three download compilations FOR FREE from out bandcamp – so much free music! What the hell are you waiting for?!

And as always make sure you have these links in your favourites:

Download post as PDF file

Thursday 7 July 2016

Review: Controlled Collapse – 'Lust'

Polish electro-industrial outfit Controlled Collapse return with their brand new single 'Lust', taken from the band's forthcoming album 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder'. The single marks the band's first release since 2013's 'Ruins After Babel' Remix album, and even though it only features two new tracks, they give a strong hint at what is to come.

The singles original cuts 'Lust' and 'Life-Death' show off two very different aspects of the band's sound with 'Lust' engaging in a heavy blend of guitars and pounding electronics that will appeal to industrial rock fans. While 'Life-Death' is a classic blend of ebm and electro-industrial characterised by steady beats, gritty synth bass and heavily vocoder use.

The remixes focus exclusively on the title track and offer up four very different interpretations. Reactor7x's mix takes the song into club-friendly territory with it's dance-orientated style. R010R give the original a classic ebm makeover, while Decoded Feedback open up a cavernous harsh ebm version, before God's Bow close the track list with a more minimal and tranquil mix.

In terms of production the band are sounding great. They are heavy where it counts and still keep a great sense of melody and just a little hint of experimentalism flowing throughout the tracks.

If this single is anything to go by then 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder' is going to be a very interesting album. The band have given us a warning shot with 'Lust' and hopefully the album will deliver a direct hit.  

Download post as PDF file

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Review: Digitalis Purpurea – 'Pastel Dissonances'

'Pastel Dissonances'

One-man Italian industrial project Digitalis Purpurea, AKA
Cristian Marovino, returns with the sequel to 2014's Giallo audio suite 'Palindrome Shapes Of Mold' in the form of 'Pastel Dissonances'. The latest album marks Marovino's fifth album release under the DP moniker and one of his most ambitious releases to date.

Another swerve in direction, 'Pastel Dissonances' sees the harsher black metal form of 'Palindrome Shapes Of Mold' supplanted to a degree with blues elements, guitars, space-age synths and vocoders coming together to form a sound that sounds like a much darker and more vulnerable take on Marilyn Manson's 'Mechanical Animals'.

It is atmospheric, hypnotic and sinister, but still catchy and accessible with songs such as 'The Mesmeric Lights Of Vegas', 'Oerhrt', 'Firmament Scales', 'Rated – R Bubblegum (Danny Saber Alternate Mix)', 'Marzipan Dream', and 'White Stars Are Phosphenes (Acoustic Version)' showing off the most accessible end of the album. While the likes of 'The Telephone Rings In The Middle Of The Night', 'Night Hag [Reprise]', and 'Second Sight [Noise Mix]' ensure the more experimental arm of the Digitalis Purpurea sound is catered to.

The production walks a fine line between Marovino's previous pop dalliances and his more experiential leanings. The result of which is a slick but gritty mix that balances the harsh and more melodic elements of the songs in a very effective way.

This is a much more accessible album than its predecessor, with more traditional electronic and guitar constructions and only slight forays into out-and-out experimentalism. As such this is a balanced listen that shows off the depth and emotional resonance of Marovino's songwriting and compositional abilities. It is another twist from a very talented musician that hints at more to come. 

Download post as PDF file

Review: Khost [Deconstructed & Reconstructed by] Godflesh – 'Needles Into The Ground'

KHOST [Deconstructed & Reconstructed by] GODFLESH
'Needles Into The Ground'

UK experimental duo Khost, AKA Andy Swan (Iroha / Final / Atrocity Exhibition) and Damian Bennett (Carthage / Deathless) unleash a monstrous album in the form of 'Needles Into The Ground'. For this release the duo have teamed up with Godflesh founder Justin K. Broadrick who has ruthlesly deconstructed and reconstructed the source material gleaned from Khost's second album 'Corrosive Shroud' and transformed it into something quite different.

The original tracks 'Inversion', 'A Shadow On The Wound', and 'Revelations Vultures Jackals Wolves' were all cavernous and crushing in their heaviness. With a distinct low-fi edge that amplified the savage dissonance of the recordings and a flagrant disregard for genre conventions, these tracks were already unique. Khost have also added a new track to the EP in the form of 'Deathsset' which presents a still dissonant but more recognisably Godflesh influenced style that compliments Broadrick's efforts nicely.

What Broadrick has created from the source material is not a traditional remix album, but rather he has taken the sonic palette of the original recordings and weaved them into an industrial nightmare befitting the Godflesh moniker. The end result is akin to an apocalyptic machine devouring all traces of humankind from the face of the earth before setting it's sights on the planet itself. The tracks grind, rumble, strain and teeter on the brink of collapse to create an all-out sense of stifling claustrophobia.

The production is gritty, as you would expect befitting the experimental nature of the release, but it isn't just a din of mechanical noise. Broadrick has created a harsh and brutal assault on the ears, but is well mixed and to the standard we have come to expect from him.

For fans of noise, harsh industrial, and experimental metal this album is a must have. It is a dark and disturbing descent into nightmarish soundscapes twisted around an industrial metal core that will undoubtedly appeal to hardened Godflesh fans as well as anyone who enjoys the experimental end of the industrial spectrum. 

Download post as PDF file

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Review: Cradle Of Filth – 'Dusk... And Her Embrace – The Original Sin'

'Dusk... And Her Embrace – The Original Sin'

Cradle Of Filth continue their nostalgic re-release schedule with the remastered 'Dusk... And Her Embrace', reconstructed in the way it was originally envisioned on the label that it was originally scheduled for release on.

For those who didn't know, Cradle Of Filth left their first label Cacophonous in the mid 90s due to a legal dispute which ended when the band supplied the label with the 'V Empire Or Dark Faerytales In Phallustein' EP. Some tracks scheduled for 'Dusk...' ended up on 'V Empire...', while others were kept back and re-recorded for the eventual Music For Nations release.

It seemed a given that the original version would never see the light of day, but after the 2014 official release of 'Total Fucking Darkness' (the band's often bootlegged demo tape) it now seems Dani and co. are delving into the archives and exhuming their darkest wares.

What we're presented now in the form of 'Dusk... And Her Embrace – The Original Sin' is a ten-track album (instead of nine), with a new running order, and two bonus demo tracks for good measure.

The original album was typical of the band's early raw black metal period (encompassing 'The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh' and 'V Empire...') although it is the most refined of the three before the grand leap ahead that was 'Cruelty And The Beast'.

'Macabre, This Banquet' an instrumental from the original master tapes is the new intro replacing 'Humana Inspired To Nightmare', that in-turn leads into the classic 'Nocturnal Supremacy'. 'Heaven Torn Asunder' follows on with the title track, then 'A Gothic Romance (Red Roses For The Devil's Whore)', 'The Graveyard By Moonlight', 'Funeral In Carpathia', 'Beauty Slept In Sodom', 'The Haunted Shores Of Avalon' (previously 'Haunted Shores'), and 'Carmilla's Masque' to complete the new track list.

The bonus track sees the demos of 'A Gothic Romance' and 'Nocturnal Supremacy' each given another resurrection for good measure.

'Dusk...' was Cradle OF Filth with one foot firmly in the black metal underground but also where their ambitions for greater ideas were coming through. The gothic punctuations were becoming more pronounced and the female vocal counterpoints to Dani's infernal screeches, courtesy of
Sarah Jezebel Deva and Danielle 'Cneajna' Cottington, become more distinctive.

The remastered production has brought the best out of the original recordings and updated the album nicely. It still sounds raw and underground, retaining Cradle's early roguish charm that they would soon upgrade to gothic gaudery, but it has improved the quality of the listening experience without a doubt.

'Dusk...' is still one of the band's great albums, and this version reinforces that. There is a more concise and intact sense of narrative running through this version that the original didn't have (but despite this was still great). The only real let down is the fact the band opted for artwork more in keeping with their latest releases when something along the lines of the original or perhaps the re-release of 'Total Fucking Darkness' would have been a better visual accompaniment to the music. Nevertheless this is still worth the money of long-time fans.  

Download post as PDF file

Review: Torque Order – 'Metal Machines'

'Metal Machines'

Just over a year on from their impressive debut 'Trust No One', Texan trio Torque Order return with a visceral new single in the form of 'Metal Machines'.

Building nicely on the old school industrial rock formula of their first album with big nods to the likes of Ministry, KMFDM, TKK, Pigface, and Rob Zombie, 'Metal Machines' is a hard and heavy blend of grooving rock, anthem vocals and subtle industrial electronics.

A short intro in the early 90s Wax Trax! Style opens up into a nasty guitar riff that recalls 'WWIII' era KMFDM, while the electronics and vocal samples hark back to the likes of My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult.

This is one of those single/EP releases with a few more remixes than your standard single release giving you a bit more bang for your buck. The likes of Adoration Destroyed, Society Burning, Precision Field, Russell Rott, DJ 501, and Kounter Mehzure each add their spin to the title track's blueprints to create some very different final results. Adoration destroyed go for a more up-to-date pure industrial execution. Society Burning bring the big beats with their mix, while Precision Field dive into old school ebm territory for a gritty interpretation. Russell Rott goes takes the track in a more club friendly direction that descends unexpectedly into hard guitars. DJ 501 takes things in a harsh ebm/aggrotech direction, while Kounter Mehzure round hings off with a stripped back mix of steady beats and dirty bass.

The production has improved from the band's last release with the old school elements preserved but sounding a lot slicker and modern in it's execution.

This is a nice single with plenty of great remixes to get your teeth into. Essentially there is a bit of everything for everyone on offer here which is quite a good tactic. The band present a wide variety of remixes which allows them to play with ideas by proxy while they continue to work on the core of their sound. The end result is a very gratifying listen.  

Download post as PDF file
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

[Valid Atom 1.0]

Click to download our free compilation albums!


Radio Nightbreed