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.”

Live: Katatonia – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 07/05/2017

KATATONIA (+ TheGreat Discord, Ghost Bath) Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 07/05/2017

Wave Gotik Treffen - The Preview June 2017

The gathering of 2017s Wave Gotik Treffen, is but a month away. Time to get the fascinators out and the boots polished!

Review: Mortiis – 'The Great Corrupter'

MORTIIS 'The Great Corrupter' OMNIPRESENCE PRODUCTIONS

Review: Freakangel – 'How The Ghost Became'

FREAKANGEL 'How The Ghost Became' DIGITAL WORLD AUDIO

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Review: CTRLSHFT – 'Void Of Course'



CTRLSHFT
'Void Of Course'
UNDUSTRIAL RECORDS


In a departure from it's usual releases, Matt Fanale's Undustrial Records have the privilege of releasing the first new record from Josev Ferraro, AKA CTRLSHFT in nearly a decade. Ferarro has in the time between albums behind the scenes mixing, producing, and mastering such albums as the Causticles debut 'Eric Gottesman' and Caustic's 'Industrial Music', which has made him a natural fit for the Undustrial label.

Ferraro's blend of industrial mixed with ebm and idm remains intact in it's frenetic and aggressive assault. However, the quality of the sounds and the level of construction has seen a massive leap forward compared to his older releases. Songs such as 'Big Bang', 'Echoing The End', 'Satellite', 'Enemy', 'Galaxywaste', and 'Ultraviolet' are prime examples of everything that made CTRLSHFT an exciting new project at the turn of the millennium, but channelled through a decade's worth of additional production skill for a powerful return to the fray.

As mentioned earlier the quality compared to his older recordings is much higher. However, there is still that gritty, low-fi edge that gives it an old school outer layer but doesn't interfere with the clean and crisp construction of the tracks underneath. It nicely balances dissonance and melody throughout and the end result is perhaps the best CTRLSHFT sound to date.

This is a great introduction to Ferraro's music if you missed his older albums, or a great reminder if you had previously heard his work. There are some very strong tracks here with a lot of dance appeal as well as classic industrial credibility that quite rightly deserve to be heard. This is a great comeback record from someone who has been honing his skills in the shadows. Hopefully we won't have to wait a decade for a follow-up.  

Download post as PDF file

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Review: Various Artists – 'Visions Of Darkness (In Iranian Contemporary Music)'



VARIOUS ARTISTS
'Visions Of Darkness (In Iranian Contemporary Music)'
COLD SPRING RECORDS


Any compilation from Cold Spring records is going to be esoteric in nature but even by their standards this new release is pushing at their own boundaries. As the title of the compilation states the contributors are all dark ambient artists working in Iran. This is quite interesting due to the country's youth culture has been heavily restricted for a long time and where international restrictions and black listing has meant that Iranian artists have a great difficulty getting
the resources to better develop their projects. Still, the talent and enthusiasm on display here hints at an untapped jewel of experimental music in the country.

The album encompasses genres such as dark ambient with noise, and drone also coming through. Artists such as Saint Abdullah, S.S.M.P, and Limen utilise rhythm to great effect creating gritty but infectious grooves. While the rest of the acts such as Xerxes The Dark, Reza Solatipour, Ronchus, DSM, Annunaki Signal, and Crows In The Rain favour ambient soundscapes occasionally punctuated with harsh noise elements or entrancing melodic embellishments.

Despite this being a compilation there is a very nice flow to the album. A high and consistent quality of the recordings, careful duration and attention to detail make this compilation feel more like a complete album. And despite clocking in at over two hours long across both discs the time seems to melt away.

Production-wise the tracks, even the harsher ones are individually well produced, but under the careful curation of tracks along with the excellent mastering job from Martin Bowes they form a dynamic whole. Which makes this and absolute pleasure to listen to from start to finish.

Each artist offers up something genuinely intriguing and for fans of dark ambient material, the prospect of so many new and unknown artists will definitely be a big selling point. But the most important thing that this compilation does is chip away at the pre-conceived notion that alternative and experimental music is a purely western phenomenon. That central Asia, the middle east and Africa are not black spots where the avant garde suddenly ceases to be. Yes, there may be many areas of cultural repression, but these pockets of expression exist, are producing great music, and are worth championing.  

Download post as PDF file

Monday, 18 September 2017

Interview: Bornless Fire

Out of the ashes...

“Every move is a lesson in the music business, good and bad. However, all I can say is keep thick skin and always watch your back. There are too many leeches trying to drain your blood.”


Bornless Fire is the new industrial project from Kristof Bathory, better know as the driving force behind industrial-black metal outfit Dawn Of Ashes. Featuring members of Dawn of Ashes, Bile, and Carved Souls the project is a return to Bathory's early industrial sounds that characterised the initial years of DOA. This time however, Bathory returns to that style a battle-hardened veteran of the scene with a renewed vision and fire within him.
The band's debut album is scheduled for release in early 2018 via Metropolis Records, so we caught up with Bathory to talk about his motivations in revisiting a purer industrial sound and his inspirations behind the new project.


Intravenous Magazine: First of all how did the idea to create Bornless Fire as a band come about?

Kristof Bathory: For many years, I have had high demands that I do Industrial music again. After, the last Dawn of Ashes tour, the idea just happened while randomly listening to Hocico in the van. I started to think about the fans asking me when I would or if ever I would do this style of music again. Then, I came to terms that I am going to bring back an era of Industrial that has been buried and modernize it with my current skills.


IVM: The band features yourself along with members of Bile and Carved Souls as well, how did you go about recruiting them and are their contributions purely in a live capacity or are they actively writing?

KB: Its actually myself and Angel from Dawn of Ashes and members from Bile and Carved Souls. The recruiting happened by a tight friendship from me and Krz from Carved Souls. During the last DOA tour Brendin from Bile actually approached me in NYC and we bounced back thoughts about this idea. It just came into place perfectly.


IVM: The band's moniker has a strong sense of the Luciferian about it with allusions to the Bornless Ritual and The Black Flame. How did you come to settle on that name and how do you evoke it sonically?

KB: I wouldn't strictly classify it under "Luciferian", even though the symbol does have the sigil of Lucifer in it as a symbol of light. However, I would say it would be classified under various sects of the Left Hand Path. The name itself is derived from the "Bornless Ritual" that is from Greaco/Egyptian origins which the term "Bornless" actually means without a beginning. I then tied it in with the "Black Flame" to represent the divine spark that is within the evolution of human beings.


IVM: The band's Facebook page describes the genre as industrial/dark electro. With Dawn of Ashes evolving into a primarily black metal based sound over the years, how important is it for you to keep writing electronic music and will there be any similarities between the two projects?

KB: I think I made the decision to separate the two in order for DOA to move forward in the direction that it has been going and to give the fans that miss that old era of DOA something familiar but new. So to answer the question, I will always make Industrial music.


IVM:You're currently working on your debut album under the new moniker, what can listeners expect to hear on the album?

KB: An era of Industrial that has been dead and now it's time to dig up it's bones.


IVM: Names such as Suicide Commando, Grendel, and Tactical Sekt have been mentioned as remixers for the album, how important is it for you to maintain this practice with other artists?

KB: I felt that if I am going to make a come back with this, might as well have my old EBM pals back me up on it *Grin*.


IVM: How has the songwriting and recording process differed for Bornless Fire?

KB: Well, I am DIY-ing everything myself so I am in a portal messing with various alchemy ingredients and honestly loving it. No more pain in the ass / arrogant / self-entitled band members to tap on my shoulder every second which is a goddamn blessing.


IVM: Musically and thematically what have been your primary influences when recording the new album?

KB: Musically: Late 80s to early 2000 Industrial music. Thematically: My wisdom from the Left Hand Path and the crisis within the downfall of humanity.  



IVM: When can we expect the debut album to be released?

KB: The debut album will be released 1st quarter of 2018. Unfortunately, I can not reveal any further details until closer to that date.


IVM: Is there a title for the album (working or otherwise) that you can share with us yet?

KB: This info won't be revealed until sometime towards the end of this year.


IVM: The album is scheduled to be released through Metropolis records who also released the last few DOA albums. Did you entertain any other labels for Bornless Fire or was the plan always to stick with Metropolis?

KB: Metropolis Records immediately jumped on this once I told them about it. They are one of the largest Industrial labels so I felt that the album would be handled properly. Also, since there has been a high demand that I do Industrial again, I think the label knew it was something to invest into.


IVM: Can we expect to see Bornless Fire on the road anytime soon, and if so have you made any plans as far as the live presentation of the band?

KB: Probably looking around the same time when the album gets released. Bornless Fire features members of Dawn of Ashes, Bile, and Carved Souls so we have an amazing live lineup.


IVM: You've been involved in the music scene for a while now, what have been the hardest lessons you've had to learn and what advice would you give to new artists?

KB: Every move is a lesson in the music business, good and bad. However, all I can say is keep thick skin and always watch your back. There are too many leeches trying to drain your blood.


IVM: Finally is there anything you'd like to add?

KB: I'm very excited to jump into this again and I am looking forward to seeing all of the reactions.


Bornless Fire's as yet untitled album is slated for release via Metropolis Records in early 2018. To keep up-to-date with the band, including release dates and tour news, follow their official Facebook Page.  

Download post as PDF file

Thursday, 14 September 2017

A WIZARD SAYS GOODBYE



So farewell, Black Sabbath. After their latest 'no really this is really the last tour' tour, and the soon to be released 'The End of the End' tour film, it really does appear that Satan laughing has spread his wings one last time. So what did Black Sabbath represent?

They were, of course, one of those three gigantic British acts that essentially set the tone for the whole of hard rock and heavy metal. But like Deep Purple, and very much unlike Led Zeppelin, Sabbath's history was a morass of U-turns, reformations, splits, sackings and fiascos. Zeppelin may have had one line-up throughout their proper existence that made all 8 albums of their studio output, but their fellow rockers were not so lucky. It is indisputably the case however that the original manifestation of the Drab Four made 8 albums in an 8-year period that were blow-by-blow comparable to anything Zeppelin did in the same period, and were at their best a superb example of rock musicianship.

Like all myths, there is a core of reality to the Sabbath legacy. When they transcended their jolly, blues-boom roots just as the flower power dream was turning sour (and Geezer Butler memorably put it, “The revolution had failed, and we all thought....what do we do now?”) and embraced the dark side in all it's emphatically monolithic glory, they became the first to create the link between the blues, doom metal, and Satanism. Black Sabbath were essentially the delivery system by which the sulphur blues of Robert Johnson and it's diabolic legacy was injected into the rock mainstream. Everything else that sprung from that, veering from innovation to cliché and back again, was simply the logical result of the Sabs' own Original Sin. Those first few notes on their debut album set the template that the rest of heavy metal inevitably followed.

The first two albums – their eponymous debut and 'Paranoid' – are simply flawless performances that could not possibly be improved. By their economic, unfussy arrangements, broody atmosphere and bleak worldview they smashed the bullseye twice in twelve months. This was followed by 3 more albums of equally immense impact. So it was in those years of 1970-75 that the band's reputation was really made.

Yet it was the unique element of their particular lyricism that gave the band their signature feel – that of the nihilism, the pessimism, the doom, of their approach and message. In the words of 'Wheels of Confusion', 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' and 'Under The Sun' were an almost profound dissatisfaction and bleak apathy that by current standards appears quite postmodern; Sabbath were without any moral framework, noble ideals, or well-defined ideas – they were instead expressing an endless and liberating nothingness. The void.

Well, there was that Sabbath...then there was that Sabbath. As the original four-piece capsized due to Olympic levels of drugs, alcohol, lethargy and organisational incompetence the band went on what is best described as a 20-year psychotropic hellride of fiascos, triumphs, disasters, lawsuits, reunions, splits, sackings, cancellations and betrayal. They were the daytime soap opera of metal. And their morose severity gave way to the schlocky hammy gothy silliness we all love so much – the bats, the Stonehenge sets, skulls, inverted crosses, latex pants, Glenn Hughes, Ian Gillan, and all the tropes you can shake a stick at. There is so much joy to be found in even their naffest moments – and if you don't like the ham in 'Headless Cross' then you must be a pig – but the contrast was nonetheless marked.

And it is strange that the last 20 years failed to add anything to the Sabbath brand, a band that became creatively defunct when the original line-up (kinda) reformed. Perhaps now is a good a time as any to call it quits. After all, the world will still be turning when they're gone.

From the nihilistically sublime to the joyously ridiculous. Black Sabbath.

Download post as PDF file

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Review: With The Dead – 'Love From With The Dead'



WITH THE DEAD
'Love From With The Dead'
RISE ABOVE RECORDS


With The Dead – the new(ish) doom supergroup featuring members of Cathedral, Electric Wizard and Bolt Thrower – released an incredible debut in the form of their self-titled album in 2015 that lived up to the band members individual past credits and still managed to sound unique. The band's sophomoric effort 'Love From With The Dead' therefore understandably has some high expectations surrounding it, that it thankfully not only lives up to, but surpasses.

Tim Bagshaw's monolithic fuzz-drenched machinations paired with Lee Dorian's unmistakable vocal style is once again the cornerstone of the album. The core of the band's sound remains relatively intact from it's predecessor with them opting to solidify rather than diversifying. This time round though it feels tighter and more focused than their eponymous debut, a notable example of which is in new drummer Alex Jones' more precise and methodical performance than his predecessor.

Songs such as 'Isolation', 'Egyptian Tomb', 'Reincarnation Of Yesterday', 'Cocaine Phantoms', and 'Anemia' provide the crushing doom backbone of the album. Slow methodical pacing, drenched in fuzz and pierced by Dorian's angriest vocal performance in years the album is an unrepentant revelation of hate and misery.

The album's crowning glories though have to be the ten-minute 'Watching the Ward Go By' with it's slow atmospheric drones building into a dark and melancholic lament in low-fi before erupting into unfettered despair. As well as the malevolent and experimental eighteen-minute finale 'CV1', which sounds simply nightmarish, especially with the noise-industrial synths chewing up the last few minutes.

The production is nicely balanced, as with the previous album, which is surprising considering the amount of fuzz, low-fi elements and in some cases drone and noise used. But at it's heart the doom and stoner core of the songwriting makes this incredibly catchy and groovy which never gets lost in the mix.

This is in many ways a tighter and more effective album that the band's previous offering. Focusing on the elements that caught a lot of people's attention and extrapolating the more esoteric parts of their sound into epic pieces. The album builds effectively on that core sound and cements their presence as an exciting act that has forged a bold identity of its own.  

Download post as PDF file

Review: Paradise Lost – 'Medusa'




PARADISE LOST
'Medusa'
NUCLEAR BLAST


Paradise Lost's 2015 album 'The Plague Within' was a spectacular return to the death doom sound that put them on the map, albeit with a palpable 25 years worth of extra musical experience under their collective belt. The result was simply stunning, especially for a band that has flirted with multiple styles and genres throughout their impressive discography. A new label and a new album in the form of 'Medusa' inevitably raises expectations considering their final album on Century Media two years ago.

Album number fifteen picks up where 'The Plague Within' left off. Where its predecessor embraced and reclaimed their early death doom sound, 'Medusa' sees the band dive headlong into their slowest, sludgiest doom output yet. The opening gothic organ of 'Fearless Sky' sets the tone for the album, sinister, grand and dark, the song proper that follows is a behemoth of death vocals bludgeoning drums, and slow but epic guitar riffs that demands devil horns be raised and heads bang.

Songs such as 'Gods Of Ancient', 'The Longest Winter', 'Medusa', 'No Passage For The Dead', and 'Until The Grave' carry one the form set out in the opening track to great effect. 'From The Gallows' and 'Blood And Chaos' up the pace a little but don't loose any of the heaviness.

There are some nice nods to bands such as Type O Negative and A Pale Horse Named Death in the albums more melodic and cleanly sung vocals which works really nicely against the bands thoroughly British death doom core that they pioneered.

The production is nice and gritty in places where it needs to emphasise the heaviest aspects of the tracks but remains as polished and high quality as you'd expect a veteran act such as Paradise Lost to go for. This means the album moves with ease between the harshest tones to the more melodic ones, maintaining it's crushing atmosphere but allowing the music room to breathe and evolve throughout the tracks.

Fans of their more commercial electronic/industrial rock and pre-2015 melodic doom releases will probably find this harder to get in to than 'The Plague Within' perhaps. But for long-time fans that have followed the band's evolution from their death doom beginnings and through their commercial height and back again will continue to find vindication and solace in the unabashed heavy doom of 'Medusa'.  

Download post as PDF file

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Review: Chelsea Wolfe – 'Hiss Spun'



CHELSEA WOLFE
'Hiss Spun'
SARGENT HOUSE


There is no doubt that Chelsea Wolfe is one of the coolest artists around at the moment. Her blend of gothic rock, folk and hints of doom metal, black metal and industrial channels everything great about those genres and gives her quite a wide appeal. Ever since her 2011 breakthrough album 'Apokalypsis', Wolfe has been riding a fine wave of momentum with both cult following and critical acclaim in her wake.

2017 sees a new outing in the form of 'Hiss Spun' and album that maintains a heavier stance than 2015's diverse and exploratory 'Abyss'. While Wolfe doesn't abandon the mastery of the forms she visited on 'Abyss', the new album revels in noisy-fuzzed out guitars, doomy bass and stoner rock pacing for her most monolithic and heavy outing yet.

Wolfe's instantly identifiable voice cuts through the tracks like a razor whether the form is melodic, whispering or roaring it is always a perfect centrepiece to the fuzzy guitars and reverberating bass that otherwise dominate the track list.

Songs such as 'Spun', '16 Psyche', 'Vex', 'The Culling', 'Twin Fawn', 'Static Hum', and 'Scrape' show off the true scope of the album. Yes the presence is always rooted in heaviness, but the gothic and folk elements come shining through in the atmosphere and vocalisation projected in each track. The end result is a steadfast merging of Wolfe's core sound with a self-assured heaviness while tracks such as 'Strain' and 'Welt' see her more avant-garde machinations take the album's heavy doom slant and completely re-route them through a noise/industrial filter.

In terms of production the album perfectly balances the gothic/folk form of Wolfe's voice and more melodic inclinations with the harder guitars and rhythms, keeping things focussed and interesting throughout. The album remains dark and atmospheric, even when the fuzz and noise is at it's most dominant, keeping the overall sound accessible for those who have followed Wolfe since her earlier albums.

This is another great outing from Chelsea Wolfe. She has more than proved over the last few albums she has what it takes to be a major artist. Her experimentation with styles and genres always yields strong results and 'Hiss Spun' is no different. Dark, heavy, but hauntingly beautiful, this is the sound of an artist at the top of their game.  

Download post as PDF file

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Review: Adoration Destroyed – 'Ritual Deconstruction'



ADORATION DESTROYED
'Ritual Deconstruction'
CLEOPATRA RECORDS


Adoration Destroyed return with the new companion EP to their stunning debut 'Ritual Damage', in the form of 'Ritual Deconstruction'. A blend of new tracks and remixes courtesy of The Rain Within, Ego Likeness, and Interface, the EP picks up nicely where the LP left off with their blend of dark and sensual synthpop, darkwave, industrial, and classic ebm intact but this time with more pronounced guitars adding a little more grit to their sound.

The three original tracks 'Timelapse', sounds great as it slithers out of the speakers with the electronic bass and guitars adding a lot of power and ferocity to their sound. While 'Fingerbleed', and 'Never Mine Redux' keep up the bass and rhythm-heavy combination that was the cornerstone of the debut albums to great effect.

The three remixes all add very different spins to the originals with The Rain Within's take on 'Torn Apart' reimagined through their own retro-flavoured sound. The reworking of 'Voices Carry' carries on this retro theme with a dark synthpop meets old school ebm vibe coming together for a great dance tune. The final remix sees the band's lead single 'Carnal Dirge' radically deconstructed into a techno club banger by interface.

As with the previous two releases this EP has a crisp but slightly retro-tinged sound running throughout, though the remixes and guitar-heavy opener add a big shot of variety into what is on offer. But in terms of production the EP holds it together despite the sometimes radical shifts in sound and style and still presents a relatively unified whole.

This is a nice release from the band that begins to build on the foundation of the previous album. It may be a short and sweet follow-up but it does enough to hint at where the sound of the next full-length release could go, as well as provide some dynamic remixes for DJs to get their teeth into.  

Download post as PDF file

Monday, 4 September 2017

Review: Fires – 'Red Goes Grey'



FIRES
'Red Goes Grey'
METROPOLIS RECORDS


Fires, the brand new from Eric Sochocki of Cryogen Second and Becoming The Devourer fame, sees a welcome return to his dance roots. Dropping the thematic trappings of his previous projects, Fires instead is an expression of melody and emotion. Introspective lyrics passionately sung are framed by elements of synthpop, electronic rock, hints of synthwave. The end result is a devastatingly catchy all out assault on the dancefloor that effortlessly blends melody, rhythm and emotion.

Songs such as 'Believe Me', 'Counting Walls', 'Red Flags', 'Tide', and 'To Be All Alone' give the album a solid backbone of infectious melodies, solid dance beats, soaring near sing-a-long choruses, and genuinely brilliant musicianship. Whereas tracks such as 'Red Goes Grey', 'Tell No One', and 'Follower' have a little more of a sythpop meets electronic rock feel that gives them a heavier presence without sacrificing any dance potential.

The crowning glory though is the cavernous ballad 'Some Kind Of Progress', which closes the album in impressive style. These are the kind of songs that despite their dance appeal, can still be enjoyed on any level whether you're on the dance floor or listening in your car.

This is an album that ticks all the right boxes for what a good dance record should be. There's plenty of melody and rhythm within but with the added bonus of a lot of emotional resonance expressed through the performances that make this the kind of album you can enjoyed intimately. The production is absolutely spot-on with each song sounding like a hit in its own right. There's no sense of filler or throwaway writing, it's precise, methodical and passionate and that really comes through.

'Red Goes Grey' is a great debut for a project with a lot of potential. Sochocki is an experienced hand as it is and it is great to see him to be able to unshackle himself from expectation and create something new. There is a lot going on within this record and that highlights lots of directions the project could go in the future, which is always exciting. But for now this is a great album and one that should generate a lot of interest.  

Download post as PDF file

E-TROPOLIS FESTIVAL 2018



Delivering finest EBM, electropop and industrial, the E-tropolis Festival appears as a mandatory gathering of the dark-electro scene. The upcoming 8th edition calls to Turbinenhalle Oberhausen again on 17. March 2018 - now with even more spectacular guests, we're happy to announce today!

"If you bring a unicorn to the show, we make it part of it", with this spot-on address to a fan, VNV NATION mastermind Ronan Harris recently summed up all you need to know about the Irish-British hit factory's concerts: total entertainment at full blast! Armed with an immense repertoire of irresistible blockbuster tunes you can always rely on VNV, as the entire audience, from the front row till the very back of the field, follows them on their gripping journey.

Whenever PROJECT PITCHFORK get to play at Turbinenhalle, the E-tropolis reaches its prime moments. For sure, a circle-pit in the hall or, more commonly spoken, a full grown stampede, would be an extra incentive to join, but one rule never fails: wherever the Hamburg-based scene-pioneers around Peter Spilles hit the floor, they kick hard with a heart! 27 years in service and the best is yet to come! We are looking forward to it!

ROTERSAND - a lighthouse surrounded by waves of dancing bodies...! For 15 years now the ingenious team of front man Rasc and producer Krischan Wesenberg defies the surges of the raging black sea around them, continuously setting their very own unique musical accents. Intriguingly catchy at times, rough and edgy at others, their most recent work 'Capitalism TM' again provides the perfect fuel for steaming dancefloors.

Basically at E-tropolis Festival we follow the rule of accepting no imitations. For FORCED TO MODE however it was only a question of time until we simply had to hit the override button. Master and servant are equally excited as soon as the guys step into the ring with their ultra-cool Depeche Mode tribute-set. Big hits in an excellent live-outfit - come forth to enjoy the silence!

So this is the full line-up as it has been revealed so far:

VNV NATIONPROJECT PITCHFORK
NACHTMAHR + AESTHETIC PERFECTION
ROTERSAND + FROZEN PLASMA + FORCED TO MODE
.COM/KILL + EISFABRIK + XOTOX
 [20 Jahre XOTOX]

 
Plus more artists to b e announced soon! Further the official pre-party at Turbinenhalle 2 will be continued on Friday 16. March.
TICKETS 

Original E-tropolis tickets are exclusively available at www.amphi-shop.de (or www.etropolis-festival.de/tickets), including 5+1 group tickets.Further E-tropolis tickets are available at all nationwide CTS/EVENTIM box offices, online at www.eventim.dewww.oeticket.atwww.ticketcorner.chand as PRINT@HOME edition. Further info at:www.etropolis-festival.de | www.facebook.com/etropolisfestival 


VIII. E-TROPOLIS FESTIVAL 2017
17. March 2017 GER – Oberhausen | Turbinenhalle
VNV NATION
PROJECT PITCHFORK
NACHTMAHR + AESTHETIC PERFECTION
ROTERSAND + FROZEN PLASMA + FORCED TO MODE
.COM/KILL + EISFABRIK + XOTOX 
[20 years of XOTOX] + many more+ after-show party
+ merchant gallery + chill-out areas
+ official pre-party @ 16. March | Turbinenhalle 2
  (admission free with festival ticket, standalone tickets available at the doors)
Info: www.etropolis-festival.de & www.facebook.com/etropolisfestival Original tickets / (worldwide shipping): www.amphi-shop.de 
Further E-tropolis tickets are available at all nationwide CTS/EVENTIM box offices, online at www.eventim.dewww.oeticket.atwww.ticketcorner.chand as  

Download post as PDF file

Lacrimosa reveals the first single from 'Testimonium'

Source
Lacrimosa, the legendary German duo, finally released the music video for 'Nach dem Sturm', the first single of their upcoming album, 'Testimonium', to be released this Friday on August 25th, after two years since their last disc, Hoffnung.
The band, that has not given many details about the record, used a very simple concept to work with: elegance and finesse, with members Tilo Wolff and Anne Nurmi in a flamboyant, Victorian room and several scenes with Gothic girls in different environments.
However, the magic resides in the photography and edition, along with the special effects, that are featured in the video. Despite the lack of darkness, the many metaphors with the element of water presented in its seven minutes do a real magic, perfectly dressing the track.
The response of the fans was immediate, praising both the song and the video, and so it became a fan favourite among the German and Latin followers of Lacrimosa, who have made an impact in the duo at the point of inspiring them to sing in Spanish. 
'Testimonium' will be the band's thirteenth album, inspired and dedicated to the lost stars that died in 2016 that inspired Lacrimosa's frontman Tilo Wolff.


Follow the band:

Download post as PDF file

Monday, 21 August 2017

Leeds' Goth City Festival Returns For 2017



We are pleased to announce that Goth City Festival will return to Leeds, UK in October 2017.

Goth City Festival is a city-wide musical and cultural festival that celebrates the gothic and post-punk heritage of the city and of Yorkshire generally. Events include, gigs, clubs, discussions, spoken word, acoustic and social events at more than six venues and features more than 20 different bands and performers.

In keeping with the D.I.Y and underground spirit of the event, the festival will be held at the best alternative venues across the city, including the co-cooperatively owned Wharf Chambers and renowned underground Leeds' venues such as the Fenton, Packhorse, Fox & Newt, Cafe LS6 and The Hyde Park Book Club. It also feature other events during the fortnight such as Carpe Noctum, West Yorkshire's longest running goth club night and the largest event of it's kind in the north, which celebrates it's 18th anniversary on 7th October.

All proceeds from Goth City Promotions events during the festival are donated to PAFRAS (Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers), a local charity for destitute refugees and asylum seekers. The inaugural Goth City Festival took place between Friday 11th and Saturday 26th November 2016, and raised £3,500 for the charity.

This year's festival takes place between 5th and 22nd October. Headliners include legendary Bradford post-punks 1919 who continue to celebrate their musical legacy following the tragic death of founder member Mark Tighe this year, as well as legendary '90s goth survivors Manuskript and world-reknowned dark industrial pioneers Attrition. Also appearing will be David Wolfenden (former Mission, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and Expelaires guitarist), recently reformed Sheffield darkwave greats Libitina and some of the very best acts in the UK goth scene today such as Terminal Gods, Luxury Stranger and In Isolation.

For more information contact:
Joel @ Goth City Promotions


Full Schedule:

Thursday 5th October - launch Party:
The Webb + Anxiety + the infamous Goth City raffle
The Packhorse, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds. Doors 8pm, entry £5.

Friday 6th October - Goth City Festival: Opening Ceremony
Attrition + Alice Moving Under Skies + Death Party (UK) + DJs
Wharf Chambers, Wharf St, Leeds. Tickets £10. Doors 8pm-late

Saturday 7th October - Goth City Festival community outreach of action

Monday 9th October:
Shadows of Goth – open mic ghost story night
Hyde Park Book Club, Headingley, Leeds. 8pm, free admission

Friday 13th October - Hot Goth Injection!: New band showcase
They Called Him Zone + Every Black Day + Byronic Sex & Exile + more TBA
Bad Apples Rock Bar, Call Lane, Leeds. Doors 8pm, free admission

Saturday 14th October:
Occupy LS6! - The Goth City Otley Run.
Social event. Various venues, Otley Road/Woodhouse Lane, Leeds. 2pm-8pm.

Saturday 14th October:
Gothzilla + Juratory + Circle of the Absurd
The Fenton, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds. 8pm-11pm. £5 entry.

Sunday 15th October:
Black Gold! - an alcohol-free social event featuring food & stalls.
Wharf Chambers, Wharf Street, Leeds. 3pm-7pm. Free admission.

Monday 16th October:
A night with David Wolfenden
Live interview by Tim Synyrstr (The Blogging Goth) and Q&A.
LS6 Cafe, Woodhouse Lane, 8pm-10pm. £5 entry.

Wednesday 18th October - Goth City Festival: A Night of the Dark Arts 2
Grassby & Walker, Ian FTG, A Short Dark Stranger, LMA Bauman-Milner.
Compere: AMereKat
The Fox & Newt, Burley Street, Leeds. Doors 7.45pm, entry £5.

Friday 20th & Saturday 21st October - Goth City Festival: Total Gothic K,O! Featuring 1919, Manuskript, Terminal Gods, Libitina, Luxury Stranger, In Isolation, The Creeping Terrors, The Glass House Museum, John Merrick's Remains + DJs to be announced
Wharf Chambers, Wharf St, Leeds. Weekend tickets £20, day tickets £10/£15.

Sunday 22nd October
Goth City FC vs Opponents TBA
1pm-4pm, 2pm kick-off, venue and other details TBA

Sunday 22nd October - Goth City Festival: Aftermath. Featuring DJs and surprises.
LS6 Cafe, Woodhouse Lane, 8pm-11pm, pay as you feel.

Full festival tickets: £35

Download post as PDF file

Evanesence unveil new version of 'Bring Me To Life' from 'Synthesis'

Source
Evanescence published the first track of their highly anticipated fourth studio album 'Synthesis', which turns to be the first single they ever released, the one that gave them fame and recognition: 'Bring Me to Life'.
Official cover of the single
Honouring the roots of the song, the band fronted by Amy Lee, kept a little bit of the original structure and the violins of the bridge, along with the well-known lyrics of their singer. However, the band also fulfilled its promise to remove guitars and drums, replacing them with orchestral and electronic music, hence the name of this album.
Starting with a slow tempo, this new version of 'Bring Me To Life' finds the right pace to slowly climb until reaching the splendour where both influences mix to give a piece of music, although quite experimental, more than enjoyable.
Contrary to what some may think beforehand, Amy Lee hasn't lost the capability to sound dark and tortured as she did in the begging of her career with Evanescence, rising her voice so softly that you hardly notice the change until she practically cries for help in this famous track. A few could miss the vocals of Paul McCoy, who was featured in the first version of the song, but Lee does more than enough to reclaim her place as a singer empress.
The band has remained silent about this project, giving only punctual details and publishing promotional images on social networks, but 'Synthesis' is expected to be released in the fall of this year. Dates for the upcoming tour are published in Evanescence's website.





Download post as PDF file

Friday, 18 August 2017

SO I CANNOT BE KNOWN?

 


There's always that one guy; bitter, ambitious, charming, yet untrustworthy, unsatisfied, and incapable of realising that the rules apply to him. With an eye for the main chance he is ready to push himself forward at the right time and leave his friends in the dust, breaking every taboo in the process, all with a smirk and a wink.

Yep, there's always a Lestat.

One of the many charms of the movie adaptation of 'Queen of the Damned' is that it lays this tart narrative down flat. There's actually very little of the divine or the profound or the despairing in this version, no furrowed brows and painful eternities, none of plush gothic romance of 'Interview with the Vampire', rather a very simple driving force – one man and his ego.

Lestat is an aristocrat, a nobleman, probably destined for great things in the French society of the absolutist Sun King and undoubtedly a libertine bourgeois of the highest order, yet he is plucked by Marius into obscurity, out of the limelight and into an eternal anonymous gloom. Unable to walk the earth in the light, unable to be a public figure due to the vampiric code, unable to even perform a violin duet on the beach and ultimately deserted by Marius himself, he is left for centuries to stumble along alone trying to find kicks wherever he could find them. No wonder he ultimately decides that the sleep of ages is preferable – rather than 'the prospect of eternity' being unbearable, it's really the prospect of an eternity of boredom that makes Lestat disillusioned. A congenital show-off, dreaming of being a major figure, adoring his reflection yet condemned never to seeing his nor his reflection in others, the lack of external recognition leaves his unstimulated and eventually hollow.

So Lestat ultimately feels denied; denied his rightful place in the world, denied the fame and fortune he was born into, and denied the endless adoration of millions which would pour into the bottomless pit of his ego. His next move – 'a bold move', as he puts it – is simply to call everyone's bluff, go for broke and come (un)clean. His subsequent rise to global hyper-mega-stardom echoes that of every unwordly demigod of rock & roll, from Bowie to Prince to Marilyn Manson (whose voice and influence is everywhere in the film), using every trick in his armoury to become the world's most high-profile vampire. Lestat gets his wish – and he is known, after all.

Of course, in doing so Lestat infuriates everybody; all his peers who he has basically scabbed on and betrayed and sold out, catapulting himself to stardom at their expense (who of them would want to follow him, and be dubbed a 'Lestat Mk2'?), baffling and tantalising the experts and the occultists and Talamascans, and all the while taking his fill of all the 'sex, blood and rock & roll' he can stick his fangs into. Yet even when he is at risk of being dismembered he arranges his biggest public event and goads his attackers on. The consummate diva, he simply cannot help himself – he has to be the centre of attention, even in death. Maybe especially in death.

Even the thrill of being the lover of the greatest vampire of them all in Akasha soon runs sour – not for any primarily moral reasons, but because her plans for a universal apocalypse of all life on earth has no subtlety. Lestat's fear of 'a world of corpses' is simply because there will be no one to see him, and he would be alone – and bored – once again.

So yes, he's a tart. But is that such a bad thing? What is wrong with demanding, or even commanding, the attention? Haven't we all secretly yearned to break the last taboo of our social circle, play the winning card and to the devil with the consequences? Lestat may be a diva, but he's not entirely misguided – like a glam-vamp heretic, a Byronic hero, an old ham making his last bid for glory, he channels the spirit of the whistleblower, the supergrass, the tell-all memoir, and the lead singer's debut solo album. A destructive force, it can nonetheless be creative – what's important is how it's done.

And looking good in a tight top.

Download post as PDF file

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Review: Fjords – 'Ode To The Albatross' (Single)



FJORDS
'Ode To The Albatross'
SELF-RELEASED


Single releases don't often warrant reviews when they are a sole track with no b-side or remix, but in the case of 'Ode To The Albatross', the debut offering from Fjords, and exception can be made. Weighing in at nearly nine minutes in length it is an epic musical journey in its own right.

The song is firmly rooted in elements of European doom metal, progressive rock and dark metal which makes it heavy on ambient atmospheres, solid guitar riffs, thunderous drums and both clean and growled vocals. The song ebbs and flows with melancholy and mystery as heavy guitars and death vocals give way to quieter melodic passages before erupting once again. Fans of bands such as Novembre and Katatonia will definitely find this an easy fit.

This is only a first release from the Nottingham-based quintet, but it is nonetheless quite an impressive one. The song writing on display is very strong and ambitious, the musicianship is experienced and disciplined, and they've obviously put the time into making sure the mixing and mastering reflects their hard work.

This may be the band's only release so far, but it is a really strong first step. To release something as epic in its scope as 'Ode To The Albatross' shows a lot of ambition that will hopefully be realised by their first full-length studio offering when it emerges.  

Download post as PDF file

Review: Laibach – 'Also Sprach Zarathustra'



LAIBACH
'Also Sprach Zarathustra'
MUTE


Slovenian provocateurs Laibach return with their latest sonic offering in the form of 'Also Sprach Zarathustra', an album based on music originally created for a theatrical production of Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Also Sprach Zarathustra) based on Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel of the same name, which premiered in March 2016. The official release sees the original music updated and reworked into a studio album rather than released in it's theatrical form as they did with 1986's 'Baptism' and 1990's 'Macbeth'.

The album is therefore a follow-up to their 2014 outing 'Spectre', and album that was as approachable as it was subversive, and perhaps saw the band's most favourable critical outing in their 30 year career. With the artistic intelligentsia now fully caught up with what Laibach have been doing for the past three decades this release will feel like a major swerve from anyone who have just encountered the band.

'Also Sprach Zarathustra' returns to the band's avant garde and neo-classical past and forgoes the pomp filled electronics of albums like 'Spectre', 'WAT', and 'NATO' that proved their most commercially successful. Tracks such as 'Ein Untergang', 'Ein Verkündiger', 'Von Gipfel zu Gipfel', 'Das Nichtlied I', and 'Als Geist' are sinister, foreboding blending metallic industrial rhythms and noise, with ambient drones, classical strings and horns, and the occasional piano refrain dominating the tracks, while Milan Fras' unmistakeable vocals power through.

There are one ore two moments where the softer and more melodic side of the band come through unabated by noise such as the album's opener 'Vor Sonnen-Untergang', and 'Vor Sonnen-Aufgang' which features the stunning vocals of Mina Špiler. But just as you feel you can breathe again the group pull you back into the darkness with the swirling, psychedelic noise of 'Von den drei Verwandlungen' to definitively shatter your sanity.

While this album returns to the strong neo-classical, avant garde and even martial sounds of their earliest albums. 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' is still executed and produced to the same high standard we've seen on the band's more recent commercial albums. Noise is textural, not over saturating, all the instruments come through clear and the mix feels spacious.

Anyone that has followed the career of Laibach won't be surprised by this album, in so much as with spectre being such a commercially friendly album that wrapped their subversive nature in dance rhythms and 
Wagnerian pop melodies, it seems natural that they would follow it up with a more experimental and less user-friendly release. Such is the joy of a group like Laibach, you can't make assumptions or take things for granted. 

Those looking for 'Spectre' part 2, or even a hint of their other recently performed works such as the songs from the sound of music may have to wait longer for an official release. But in the here and now this is a welcome return to the dark and disturbing underbelly of the Laibach collective.  

Download post as PDF file

Friday, 11 August 2017

Review: Suicide Commando – 'Forest Of The Impaled'



SUICIDE COMMANDO
'Forest Of The Impaled'
OUT OF LINE


It has been a while since harsh ebm pioneer Johan van Roy last unleashed Suicide Commando to terrorise unsuspecting electronic music fans. 2013's 'When Evil Speaks', saw van Roy continue to refine his unique formula and even add a couple of hints of his more experimental past. With his new offering 'Forest Of The Impaled', however we see a much more focused effort, concise in it's approach and all the sharper for it.

Suicide Commando has a pretty strict structure that has served van Roy very well. Whereas a lot of his imitators sound derivative, van Roy has avoided falling into any kind of self-parodied. He knows when to look back, and subtly tweak things to keep things interesting. And most importantly he knows what his fan-base wants, and is more than happy to deliver.

'Forest Of the Impaled' is a strong collection of savage dance floor eviscerating tracks that ooze sinister atmospheres and and infectious melodies. Tracks like 'My New Christ', 'Too Far Gone', 'The Pain That You Like', 'The Devil', 'Schiz[o]topia', and 'We Are Transitory' feature the classic Suicide Ccommando hallmarks and will undoubtedly be ravenously consumed by fans and casual club-goers alike.

As with 'When Evil Speaks' there are the odd nods to previous sounds and a little experimenting with his style going on to keep things from sounding too relentless. The likes of 'Death Lies Waiting', 'Chasm Of Emptiness', and 'Crack Up' keep things interesting with their little unexpected twists.

Production-wise the album is of the quality we expect from a 31-year veteran. Van Roy's expert craftsmanship has this album sounding as high-end as anything from a major label release, and with his twisted imagination behind it, far more interesting.

On the surface it might be perplexing to some as to how van Roy's steadfast dedication to his core sound has actually kept him relevant through a myriad of musical trends coming and going. But it is his artistic integrity that fans respond to. In the case of 'Forest Of The Impaled' with the additional trimming of the fat compared to some of his previous releases, the songs sound stronger and more impactful, even when things get a bit repetitive or safe sounding, you can't help but be drawn in.  

Download post as PDF file

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Review: Various Artists – 'A Terrible Thing To Cover: A Tribute To Ministry'



VARIOUS ARTISTS
'A Terrible Thing To Cover: A Tribute To Ministry'
TRIBULATIONS


As controversial as he is creative, there is no doubt that Al Jourgensen's Ministry has made a significant contribution to industrial music from it's dissonant electronic beginnings, through to its progression into a mammoth metal subgenre. With a wealth of varied material in their discography it is only fitting that Tribulations, who brought us the impressive 'It Ain't Dead Yet – A Tribute To Skinny Puppy', last year turn their attention to Ministry.

A little leaner, but no less satisfying than their last instalment, 'A Terrible Thing To Cover' sees an impressive array of artists add their spin to classic and rare tracks alike. Notable contributions from the likes of Chrysalide, Dead When I Found Her, Caustic, IIOIOIOII, Acidrodent, Solemn Assembly, Flesh Eating Foundation, and Verin pull and twist the originals in different directions, some faithfully and others radically. But across the whole track list each act contributes a strong personal tribute to Jourgenson.

As with the previous compilation, it has been mastered well to assure there are no glaring differences in sound quality between tracks and even when moving between something more ear-friendly to another harsher contribution the track list progresses smoothly.

Again, this is a great compilation that shows a lot of love and respect for the source material and the legacy of Ministry. The artists may be as varied as Jourgensen's own sonic output over the years, but as a collective the sounds at play really compliment each other. With two really solid (and free) compilations in the bag already, Tribulations are setting the bar pretty high for themselves, so it will be interesting to see what they do for a third outing.

Download post as PDF file

Book Review: Peter David / Nicole D'Andria – 'Artful'



Vampires are such interesting and attractive creatures. We don’t seem to get tired of them anytime soon because of how versatile they are and how easy is to work with them, and even more interesting how they can change a tale such as Oliver Twist’s.

The original novel, 'Artful', written by Peter David, has been adapted by Nicole D’Andria to the comic format, and was recently published as a complete graphic novel. I’d like to have many good things to say about, as the story is pretty original and caught my attention after a couple of pages, but I must admit the art does no justice.

It would be better, to properly start, that the idea of Victorian vampires has always made me fall in love with whichever story that used it, in different intensities, to tell the whole truth. This is not an exception, as I said, but I feel some scenes could have been better created.

After so many different, alternative and changed versions of the original creature, I really felt blessed to put my hands on a more classic proposal. No one can really get tired of vampires, but Artful is a good return to the myth’s roots and offer a well known, familiar face of the race.

After you read the first pages, which were a little too slow for me, the real story begins, in the middle of the first chapter, if I remember correctly, and so the action starts to be seen. Although it is not completely explicit, D’Andria did a good job choosing which scenes should be seen and which not in order to offer a balanced result: not that familiar, but certainly not so explicit.

This is a story that, after that chance, is read by itself. It absorbed me in some way, though I was still barely aware that time was passing, which made it a heavy reading at times. There were some scenes that could have been done better, that’s for sure, but I like what 'Artful' has to offer: a good while among blood, wild creatures and a story with funny moments.

I feel that the Victorian elements in the story, however, could have been better used. It seemed like only the setting and style were the clue that this was placed in such era, as even the characters spoke, sometimes, in a manner more similar to nowadays’. Bittersweet combination although I want to think it is for its targeted teen audience.

Even more bittersweet was the art. I can see there was a lot of effort in each of the panels, but many had bad shadows, thicker than thick lines and exaggerated expressions on the characters. That my main problem with it, although the vivid colours were a good plus to compensate it.

There was also some Anime influence in the look of 'Artful'. I cannot put my finger on it, as there is no certain scene to say such thing, but if you’ve seen anime, read manga, manhwa, or any other variant, you may get the same feeling, which got me a very good vibe. It was great to have both Western and Asian style combined.


However, I still have a very good time with this book and would like to see more material like this on the market, as the Pros were more than the Cons. Very grateful to the publisher for sending me this copy, I tried to be as honest as I could. 

Download post as PDF file

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Review: Android Lust – 'Berlin//Crater Vol. 2'



ANDROID LUST
'Berlin//Crater Vol. 2'
SYNTHELLEC MUSIC


It's pretty safe to say that Shikhee D'iordna is one of the most important electronic artists of the past 20 years. Her work as Android Lust since the release of her 1998 debut 'Resolution' has always been of the highest calibre and with a progressive core that moves between genres with ease to create a sound that owes just as much to Kate Bush as it does Trent Reznor.

After the release of her brilliant 2010 album 'The Human Animal' though, D'iordna would regroup and take Android Lust in the most esoteric direction yet. The result was 'Crater Vol. 1', a more experimental and ambient-orientated sound that made use of field recordings, drones and moved away from lyrical narrative, yet retained a familiar dance floor credibility. Fast-forward four years and D'iordna returns with the sequel in the form of 'Berlin'.

A minute of abrasive synthesised noise hits in the form of 'Eclipse I' to open the album before dropping into the Flodian soundscape of 'Eclipse II' with it's subtle bass, ambient melody and sparing use of rhythm it ebbs and flows with paranoid alienation. 'Daughters Of Dawn' follows on with the first vocal contribution from D'iordna which is framed by addictive retro synth sounds and infectious rhythms that recall her dance floor classics without resorting to retreading old ground.

'Insects' again sees D'iordna utilising her vocals to great effect, slightly distorting them and mixing them lower before surrounding them with frantic rhythms, hissing synths and occasional piano. 'Heart Tunnel' again sees the abrasive elements front and centre again but as with 'Daughters Of Dawn', the song feels more approachable and atmospheric in its interplay of melody and dissonance. 'Crawl' is a fitting centrepiece for the album with it's slow and subtle construction giving way to addictive rhythms, a fantastic vocal performance and infectious bass line, it's one of those tracks that neatly sums up everything that is great about Android Lust in one go. 'In Memory', like 'Eclipse II' is a claustrophobic soundscape that builds into something more tangible when minimal bass and rhythm is added to elevate it from simply being a noisy oddity into something genuinely listenable.

'Plaza Steps' again sees D'iordna utilise her vocals like another synthesizer slowly distorting their melody and turning them into a distorted drone as the repeating rhythms march on constantly overhead. 'Madness In Men' sees another long intro build in an unexpected way into another surprisingly dance-friendly track. The final track on the album, 'Eventide', is a stunning way to end evoking the more experimental results of Bowie's own Berlin Trilogy, but updated for the 21st century, more nightmarish, more haunting, more desolate.

'Berlin' is a beautifully crafted album. D'iordna has a unique mastery of sound akin to an alchemist turning base elements into gold. This album utterly reflects that skill from the song writing to the final mixdown.

It's been far too long between Android Lust albums, and while this long-awaited offering is on the shorter end of the spectrum at 41 minutes, it is a beautifully succinct and complete statement. It develops ideas from the first volume further and marries more comfortably with what could be described as the Android Lust sound. The end result is fantastic.  

Download post as PDF file

Friday, 21 July 2017

Review: Nine Inch Nails – 'Add Violence'



NINE INCH NAILS
'Add Violence'
THENULL CORPORATION


A big criticism of Nine Inch Nails post 'Year Zero' is the settled and somewhat comfortable sound Trent Reznor has continued to craft. Deviations and experimentation are still present, but with his fascination with analogue synthesizers there has been to a degree a stock palette that has also reoccurred in his side project How To Destroy Angels, and his soundtrack work with long-time NIN producer, and now official member, Atticus Ross.

The first release in the trilogy of EPs being released on his own Null Corporation record label, 'Not The Actual Events' did kind of confound expectations. With it's noise rock meets drone and low-fi feel it was arguably one of the most challenging NIN releases since 1994's 'The Downward Spiral', though lacking the misanthropic anger of his youth. Fast-forward to the summer of 2017 and the second EP in the trilogy, 'Add Violence', is unveiled.

Sonically the new EP is a self-contained entity with an expanded presence than we previously had. We return to the analogue synth wizardry familiar from recent Reznor releases. There is an almost chip-tune element to some of the tracks while darker ambient textures play beneath them and the vocals begin to tie the narrative arc of the EPs together with their disassociated lyrics.

'Less Than' is a fairly typical NIN track to kick off the EP, a little retro synth lead, that classic guitar sound and vocal delivery that categorises recent output, balancing the subtle harsher elements with an upbeat and pleasing rhythm. 'The Lovers' has a more minimal vibe reminiscent of How To Destroy Angels, with a simple and rhythmic melody, a little piano and Reznor's distant spoken vocal it has an air of 'The Fragile' about it's atmosphere.

'This Isn't The Place' carries on that feeling, though with a more sinister atmosphere present throughout, that fades nicely into the low-fi rock of 'Not Anymore' with its “quiet-loud” construction that is the most obvious musical link to the previous EP. Finally, 'The Background World' ties the EP together with a sinister grooving track that nicely blends the melodic synths with the dirty guitars that gradually build into a wall of distortion.

Production-wise the EP walks a fine line between the top-shelf polish of the likes of 'Hesitation Marks' and the low-fi grit of 'Not The Actual Events'. It does tend to go one way or the other and never quite settles on an optimum balance, but that doesn't affect the overall feel of the EP.

'Add Violence' perhaps defaults back to some safer territory for Reznor and Ross after the dissonant noise of 'Not The Actual Events'. It still feels experimental, as though they are continuing to exorcise their sonic demons. But this time around, more so than the last, it feels like these were originally destined for other things, but have been reworked and re-imagined to fit this narrative. It's certainly a good EP, recognisably NIN and utilising some tried and tested set pieces, but still an infectious listen. It just raises more questions about the final instalment of the trilogy and how that will tie everything together.  

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!


LINKS


Radio Nightbreed

ADVERTS