Interview: Marc Heal

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

Interview: Bestial Mouths

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

Review: Cease2xist – 'Zero Future'

CEASE2XIST 'Zero Future' ARMALYTE INDUSTRIES

Review: David Bowie – 'No Plan'

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

IVM's Best Albums Of 2016

Check out our 30 favourite albums of 2016

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Review: Caïna / Cara Neir – 'Split'



CAÏNA / CARA NEIR
'Split'
BROKEN LIMBS RECORDINGS


Split albums can make for strange bedfellows, but there is something that just works on this latest 7” from Broken Limbs Recordings. On the one hand is the UK's most impressive and original post-black metal act Caïna. With phenomenal albums such as 'Mourner', 'Temporary Antennae', 'Hands That Pluck', and 'Setter Of Unseen Snares' walking a fine line between ambient, shoegaze, black metal, post-punk, and industrial sounds each release hinges on creating a unique and independent listening experience.

The other sees Texan Blackened Crust merchants Cara Neir, who with their own impressive legacy due to releases such as 'Portals To A Better, Dead World', 'The Overwatch', and 'Perpetual Despair Is The Human Condition' have crafted their own unique and creative voice within their genre.

The coming together of two such unique forces is always a joy to behold and despite differing styles, with Caina's 2014 cut of sprawling and ambient infused black metal on 'Rhosneigr', and the short, sharp and groovy cut 'stained Grey Bones' from Cara Neir, are perfect companions.

The production is no-frills and rough across both tracks, but neither are unlistenable. Long gone is that “necro chic” of the black metal scene, and even lower budget doesn't mean low quality. The songs are visceral and direct. There's no room for polish or pretence, just raw and passionate music.

The end result is a fine split release that sees two great bands come together and create something genuinely pleasurable. Caina may be being put to sleep, but with this, the vinyl re-release of 2007's 'Mourner', and a solo album from
Andy Curtis-Brignell due later this year we can take solace in the fact there is still more to come. As for Cara Neir, they are an act who's star is still very much on the rise and despite nearing their ten-year-anniversary, this is a perfect introduction for those who haven't had the pleasure yet. 

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Review: Dawn Of Ashes – 'Daemonolatry Gnosis'



DAWN OF ASHES
'Daemonolatry Gnosis'
METROPOLIS RECORDS


After last year's spectacular return 'Theophany', it's good to see the Californian black metal / industrial outfit capitalise on their newly found momentum sooner rather than later. The result of which is another incendiary and heavy offering in the form of 'Daemonolatry Gnosis'. The symphonic elements this time are pushed to the fore while the black metal backbone is once again pushed harder than ever before.

The vocals are the most demonic too date and any resemblance to their earlier hellektro style is now 100% lost to time. There are still industrial elements floating within the electronic textures, but once again under the guiding hand of Anaal Nathrakh's Mick Kenny, the band continue to metamorphose into a more brutal and extreme incarnation.

The album is an unrelenting discourse in modern black metal. Sumptuous symphonic elements frame a core of blistering drums, violent guitars and throat wrenching vocals. Songs such as 'Gods Of The Antimonian Path', 'Guardians', 'Sermon From The Horned God', 'I Am Nephilim', 'Rulership Of The Inner World', and 'Magick For The New Aeon' provide the album with a solid metal back bone that shows a great leap forward in their song construction and execution. While tracks such as 'The Initiation', and 'The Ritual' provide nice, if short, counterpoints to the metallic mayhem with their sinister symphonic industrial construction building tension nicely.

The only track that doesn't really work is the pretty straight cover of Mayhem's 'Freezing Moon' which, while heavy in its execution, lacks a lot of the individual stylistic elements that makes the previous eleven tracks really pop. It may have faired better hidden after an outro that book-ended the core tracks to be discovered.

The production is nice and heavy. It's always great to see the signature of someone such as Kenny so perfectly interwoven with a band's sound so as to create something big and bold in its own right. 'Daemonolatry Gnosis' picks up pretty much where 'Theophany' left off, but pushes everything harder and faster this time round.

This is a big step, perhaps even a milestone in the development of the band. Whereas 'Theophany' was an exciting and visceral push forward, 'Daemonolatry Gnosis' is a consolidation of their intent into a focused and brutal assault. Dawn Of Ashes are very much a black metal beast now. And while it would be interesting to see how they reconcile their older sounds moving forward, it is safe to conclude that if they can continue on this path and incorporate that previous progressive and experimental mindset of their early work, then there should be no limit for Dawn Of Ashes.  

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Universal's upcoming movie, 'The Mummy', has its second trailer


Upcoming film, The Mummy, directed by Alex Kurtzman, has released its second trailer not long. The film, written by Jon Spaihts and Christopher McQuarrie, is a reboot of The Mummy franchise that started in 1932.

The film stars, among others, Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson, and it’s scheduled to be released on June 9, 2017 in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D. This is also intended to be the first instalment in the Universal Monsters shared universe.

If you're into dark fantasy, horror films, the this should be in the group of your most awaited movies of the year. The special effects are nothing to amazed about, but it is the proposal of the end of the world that intrigues me, as this idea hasn't been used that much for a while.

Official Synopsis:
"Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.
Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.
From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters."


And, in case you missed it, here's the first trailer:

Learn more about the movie on the official website.

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Singing 101: A Crash Course in Singing with Olivia Hyde


On Saturday 20th of May 2017, Olivia Hyde, the vocalist from ban Bad Polyanna, will give a course for aspiring singers that want to improve their singing techniques from 10am until 6pm. The place where the meeting will be is at Quarry Lodge Studios, Golcar, HD3 4PS (UK).

In the publication, the singer says the event is for "Learn scientific, cutting edge techniques designed to improve your singing in record time. Understand how to interpret songs and the psychology of performance. Gain the tools to improve in your own time after the workshop. Learn in a fun, relaxed and supportive group environment."

Along with different individual and group prices, those who pay the amount of £80 will get the chance to perform as themselves the next day. The singer also published a mail and phone number for her fans to to arrange a fifteen-minute consultation for free or to book a place.


For more information about the event, visit the band's bandcamp and Olivia Hyde Coaching's facebook page.


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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Review: Defeat – 'Rise'



DEFEAT
'Rise'
SELF-RELEASED


It's been two years since Defeat's last outing 'You Know Who You Are', but the Hertfordshire-based electro duo have definitely spent their time well. The band's old school ebm meets industrial flavours have been further honed on their seventh studio release, 'Rise', and the result is definitely a shift in gear. 


The album still keeps the fundamental influences of Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 and Front Line Assembly at the head of the charge, but as with their last outing, the modern club elements see another big increase in presence. The result is bigger beats, bigger synths and bigger dance floor potential with tracks such as 'The Phoenix', 'Dirty/Sick', 'The Fatalists', and 'Nothing You' providing a strong and driven presence.

While the likes of 'Rage', 'The Hurt', and 'Rise' as well as the sumptuous closer 'Live Your Life' up the emotional quota of the album with a more minimal and focussed approach reflecting their old school roots and adding a couple of little twists for good measure.

Production-wise this is the best the band have ever sounded. There are still the odd rough spots, but in comparison to the last two albums, 'Rise', is easily their strongest showing to date, that is accessible, dance-friendly and, at times, emotional.

'Rise' is a short, but strong album. It mixes up their previously tried and tested formula and takes risks where it needs to. The end result definitely pays of for the duo, particularly with tracks like 'Dirty/Sick', 'Rise', and 'Live Your Life'. They're moving out of their comfort zone with every release and the results speak for themselves. It would be great to get a follow-up to this album sooner rather than later but with the last two-year gaps between albums it is evident that Defeat like to take their time, and to be fair, it does yield results for them.

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Review: Various Artists – 'Under What Flag (A Tribute To Fad Gadget)'



VARIOUS ARTISTS
'Under What Flag (A Tribute To Fad Gadget)'
COITUS INTERRUPTUS PRODUCTIONS


Frank Tovey, AKA Fad Gadget was a pioneering force in electronic music as a movement. His work may be somewhat under-appreciated by the public at large compared to some of his contemporaries, yet his work was and is profoundly influential on electronic artists to this day. Avant garde, rhythmic, melodic, confrontational and socially aware, Tovey's output is long overdue a musical tribute such as this.

The album is a not-for-profit release compiled and produced by DJ Seraphim, and mastered by Jasyn Bangert for Coitus Interruptus Productions and features acts/artists such as
Bioassay, Canter, Laether Strip, NOIR, George Sarah, Cylab, Microchip Junky and more adding their spin to classic tracks including 'Collapsing New People', 'Ricky's Hand', 'Lady Shave', 'Back To Nature', and 'Insecticide'.

Genres such as synthpop, ebm, industrial, futurepop, darkwave, and post-punk run rampant over the original compositions reforming them into fresh and modern hits that show just how groundbreaking Tovey's originals are. The likes of Bioassy, Blakk Glass, Canter, Cylab, Laether Strip, Maleagant, Microchip Junky, Noir, and Shrapnihil in particular take the source material and add some interesting twists through their own unique styles.

The production and mastering is excellent throughout and each track flows nicely into the next without jarring against differing styles. And overall the listening experience has the feel of a complete album as opposed to a compilation.

This is a great tribute from a collection of very talented contributors to one of the greatest electronic artists of all time. The songs have been lovingly reconstructed to reflect the sounds of 2017, and in doing so highlight the strength of the originals. The only issue would be that there are a lot of other great Fad Gadget songs that could have been featured rather than have some artists doubling up on songs. But other than that, what has been featured here is excellent, and it would be nice to maybe get a second album in the future. But in the meantime, this is a great album not only for Fad Gadget fans, but also fans of modern electronic music.

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Monday, 17 April 2017

None More Negative: In praise of Peter Steele



On the anniversary of the death of the enigmatic force behind gothic-doom metal pioneers Type O Negative, Peter Steele. We take a look back of the unparalleled career of the

It always seemed apparent that the time that Brooklyn born Petrus T. Ratajczyk, better known to fans of Goth Metal as the basso perfecto frontman of Type O Negative, Peter Steele, last felt truly free was while working for the New York Parks Department. At this time his 80’s Hardcore/Thrash Metal band Carnivore had come to an apathetic demise after just two albums, and the thought of starting a new band was the last thing on his mind. Instead he’d occupy himself raking leaves, mending fences, and thinking up new euphemisms for maggots (‘dancing rice’ being a popular one among his colleagues).

Then it all went wrong. He broke up with his long-time girlfriend, attempted suicide, and wrote an album that saw him signed back to his old record label. The album was 1991’s ‘Slow, Deep and Hard’ a Hardcore/Doom Metal crossover about infidelity, self-loathing, and everything that pissed off and depressed the six-foot-six-inch tall Steele in the previous year. The album was loved by some, and hated by others (including Steele).

“… it was only supposed to be a demo. I was drunk and pissed and I wrote the whole thing in 4 hours. Little did I know that demo would be pressed into an album. So we were pretty much trapped into something I wrote in a span of a few hours […] If I had to do it over, Bloody Kisses would be the first album.” - Rock Out Censorship 

The band were initially condemned by domestic audiences as communists and homosexuals for Steele’s Russo-Icelandic heritage and sensitive lyrics. Internationally they feared little better, with most of their inaugural European tour cancelled due to anti-fascist groups labelling them a Nazi band (despite keyboardist Josh Silver being Jewish).

The disastrous tour was immortalised by the band when Roadrunner Records gave them money to fund the recording of a live album. The band instead spent the money and recorded a fake live album in a basement with their friend’s heckling them with the now familiar “You Suck” as an overdub. The album 'Origin of the Faeces: Not Live at Brighton Beach', became a cult hit for its dry humorous take on a Type O Negative live show and their cover of Jimi Hendrix‘s ‘Hey Joe’ (re-dubbed ‘Hey Peter’). Their label, however, did not see the funny side of it. The album, despite being reworked tracks from their début, displayed a different approach to the song writing. Under Steele’s direction, Silver’s keyboards were mixed higher and became more ambient and gothic in sound.




This stylistic change of face carried over onto the bands 1994 sophomore album ‘Bloody Kisses’. This time the anger was running second fiddle to elaborate gothic hymns to female stereotypes (‘Black No.1’ and ‘Christian Woman’) as well as misery and heartache (‘Too Late: Frozen’ and ‘Bloody Kisses - A Death in the Family’). The album was originally released with many instrumental and humorous tracks, but after the videos for ‘Black No.1’ and ‘Christian Woman’ received airplay on MTV, a re-edit and re-release of just the core tracks propelled the album to gold status. A first for the band and their record label. 






With the band’s stock rising internationally and domestically the band crafted a dramatic stage presence on tour with bands such as Mötley Crüe and Nine Inch Nails, with Steele’s vampiric persona and trademark red wine consumption dominating reviews. The label eager to capitalise on the band’s success pushed Steele for a follow-up.

“I don't know what drugs they were on. I guess they wanted to make another remake of Bloody Kisses, Bloody Kisses II or something like that. They didn't get it.” - NY Rock 

The album that Peter wrote instead was a milestone in what came to be known as “Goth Metal”. Part gothic rock, part psychedelic, and filtered through Black Sabbath style doom metal guitars - 1996’s ‘October Rust’ turned Type O Negative into an international force. The band embarked on tours with Pantera, Ozzy Osbourne, and headlined festivals in the USA and Europe. MTV once again came calling and the romantic and playful videos for ‘Love You To Death’ and ‘My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend’ turned Steele into a reluctant sex symbol. 






This new-found status even lead to Steele appearing on mainstream talk shows such as Jerry Springer and Riki Lake as an example of the definitive “Metal Male”. It wasn’t before long that Playgirl Magazine invited Steele to do a spread - though Steele was said to be embarrassed after finding out that most of the magazine’s subscribers were in fact men. Steele would later look back on the incident with self-deprecating humour, though the publicity certainly didn't do any harm for the band.

“After I did it, I thought, "Oh my God, what did I do?" It was more than upsetting that so many guys had it. Girls, OK, but there just seemed to be at least as many guys. Not that I'm homophobic, but it was certainly irritating.” - NY Rock 

Though it was the band’s most successful period it was one of the hardest in Steele’s personal life. The heights of success inevitably opened the doors to chemical influences taking hold of the front man and personal tragedies sent him into another spiral of depression. At this time, burnt out from two solid years of touring, Steele dreaded the phone calls from the label asking to write and even more successful record than '… Kisses' or '… Rust'. Though an album was finally finished it was evident that Steele was writing to exorcise his demons, not to sell records. 




1999’s ‘World Coming Down’ returned to the melancholic dirges of ‘Bloody Kisses’ sans the humour. The album was the darkest since the band’s début with songs like ‘Everyone I Love is Dead’, Everything Dies’, and ‘World Coming Down’ dominating the track listing. The album wasn’t as well received as previous efforts, but it still fed the hungry waves of fans and the resulting tour saw Steele motivated and attempting to clean up his act. An interim best of album called ‘The Least Worst of Type O Negative’ was released while Steele focused on himself.

“What asshole starts to drink and use drugs every day when they are 36 or 37? It’s a real F**king disgrace. I’m kind of shocked at myself, I’m embarrassed […] That slump of doing too much drinking and cocaine is becoming a thing of the past and I’m starting to get myself back a little bit.” - Terrorizer Magazine 

The band’s next album ‘Life is Killing Me’ showed that Steel was indeed getting back to his old self. Though dark, the album had the most humorous and playful feel than any album since ‘Origin…’ and ‘Bloody Kisses’, it even included a cover of ‘Angry Inch’ from the musical 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'. The supporting video for ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Me’ made a modest impact on radio and TV play lists, but ultimately the band was left to tour to promote the album. This proved to be the last album released by Roadrunner under the contract Steele had signed back in the 80’s with Carnivore. The band parted ways with the label, and soon after European competitors SPV signed them to release the bands next album.


However, another spell of silence befell Steele and co. With the band’s webpage proclaiming “Peter Steele: 1962-2005” creating a stir of wild speculation that the imposing figure had suddenly died. It turned out to be a joke, if not an eerily prophetic one. On the interim live DVD ‘Symphony For The Devil’ and other interviews Steele explained that the length between releases was down to his incarceration in Riker's Island and "the psych ward at Kings County Hospital" at the hands of his family for his psychological and drug problems.

“I violated probation because you know due to drugs and alcohol and just having a case of like all I had to do was like show up once a month and put my hand into a fuckin machine […] I didn't show up for like six months and then I'm like so, let them come and get me and you know what? Bang! Bang! Bang! Is Peter there? Housekeeping!" - MK Magazine 

But an album did materialise on SPV records soon after the DVD release. ‘Dead Again’ saw Steele once again working through his feelings, this time regarding drug addiction and betrayal (‘Tripping a Blind Man’), as well as his conversion/reversion to Catholicism (‘Ode to Locksmiths’), and opinions on abortion (‘These Three Things’). Unlike ‘World Coming Down’ however, Steele maintained his sense of humour and the album received a positive run with one of the highest chart positions since ‘October Rust’ as well as good radio and TV coverage of the band’s singles ‘Profit of Doom’ and ‘September Sun’. The subsequent tour received positive reviews for the newly sober Steele, and the band continued on supporting the album, in 2009 signing up for the Jaegermeister tour with fellow New Yorkers Hatebreed and 3 Inches Of Blood.

“Apparently, when you’re drunk you don’t realise how badly you’re playing and how badly you’re singing. People have told me that I sound much better and I’m playing much better. I don’t really see it as much as other people do because I was drunk. But I realise that I was primarily responsible for almost destroying this band. The last five years of tours have been full of coke and alcohol and I didn’t think the thing was apparent […] If I’m fucked up, half the band’s fucked up […] So I’m trying to rectify the damage that I’ve done by just doing the best job that I can…” - Hardtimes.ca 

Tragically though, Steele’s new sense of optimism was unfortunately cut short on the 14th of April 2010. The cause was widely reported as heart failure. Rumours of the front man’s death had flooded the internet but were initially met with scepticism after the infamous 2005 prank. However, the news that Steele had died aged only 48 years, was later confirmed by the other members of Type O Negative and soon tributes flooded in from friends, bands and fans.


Peter Steele was buried in Saint Charles Cemetary, Farmingdale alongside his parents. His legacy and influence has continually been paid tribute in the years since his death with many bands still citing Type O Negative as a major influence on their own songwriting. 


Steele's talent was a multifaceted one hidden behind a shy and sensitive shell. His vocal range is one of the greatest in modern music, his song-craft, composition and ear for melodies was beyond comparison, and his single-minded determination to create something unique in the form of Type O Negative took the band to international acclaim. Though he struggled with his demons, his body of work is one of the most consistent and genuine output of any artist around. And it is an output that will withstand the test of time.  
“Well, that's it, that's all we have. I hope it wasn't too disappointing…” - October Rust, 1996 

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Editorial: April, 2017



Whoops! OK, so I'm even later with this month's editorial. Once again, life and the days seem to be flying by quicker than I can get through my to-do list. So apologies if you actually read this and were wondering what the hell I've been up to (I doubt it but it is nice to believe sometimes).

As usual I'm going to start by once again thanking everyone who has downloaded our latest compilation so far, and give double thanks to those who have donated some money for it. If you have already downloaded it please recommend it to your friends. If you haven't got round to downloading it yet (and if you haven't where have you been so far?) and can just spare a £1 donation, it will all go towards kicking blood cancer's ass! If you can't donate, that's fine too, but please do make sure you check out more from the awesome band's that made this possible!

But what is my topic of conversation this month. Well I think it has to be a brief look back at the tour de force that was Peter Steele seven years on (Good Friday to be exact) from his untimely passing.


Everyone has a band that speaks to them. That one band that you ‘Get’, that has never released an album you didn’t like, that has a song for every mood you’ve ever had or will have. Type O Negative were that band for me. A band to be a little fanatical for.

As I’m writing this I’m on my third rotation of 'October Rust'. Ask any genuine metal fans though, and there will be nods of agreement amongst them that this album was the bands finest moment alongside their breakthrough 'Bloody Kisses', and it ensured their place in the annals of music. For me it was the first album I genuinely and whole-heartedly loved. In the eighteen years since buying it, whenever I need motivation, a pick me up, or something cathartic to help put my mind at ease – this album has been the soundtrack.

When the news first broke of Peter Steele's death in 2010, I suppose like a lot of people I was sceptical at the news at first. The band famously made a bad joke about Peter’s death in 2005 on their website, when in fact he was at the time detained in a psych ward due to his substance abuse. But the second time around, it felt different, the outpouring of grief from people was so immediate and all too genuine.

It was later confirmed by the band to be true and in the weeks/months that followed it was confirmed that heart failure, possibly linked to Peter’s well documented years of substance abuse, was the cause of his untimely death. A cruel twist due to his newly found sobriety and at what would have been at the start of the next album writing cycle for the band.

Type O’s musical legacy is one fuelled by Steele’s personal demons. From substance abuse, bad break-ups, and family tragedies they all went into creating a palette to draw from. But it was also one that drew from his passions and humour too. Songs like ‘We Hate Everybody’, ‘Kill All The White People’ and covers such as ‘Angry Inch’ showed that it wasn’t always doom and gloom, even if the humour was a little black. Instead the band , with Peter at the helm, created a unique sound that bridged alien influences such as The Beatles, Black Sabbath, and The Sisters of Mercy and moulded them to suit.

But that was Type O Negative and Peter Steele - unique, contradictory, brilliant, and genuine.
In other news, we're on the hunt for a few new regular contributors to add to our staff. If you're interested in doing some reviews or even just a monthly column, please contact us at intravenousmagazine@gmail.com and we'll take it from there. What kind of person are we looking for? Well we're after people who are motivated, committed and eager to take the time to build up a list of PR and label contacts.

For more information on writing for IVM please visit HERE.

Finally in other news, I'd like to again extend the invitation to established scene DJs, artists, and bands to contribute guest DJ mixes that we will host on Mixcloud. What we're thinking is a series of hour-long mixes showing off new and classic acts which we will feature on Mixcloud as well as the Intravenous Magazine website. If anyone is interested, please contact us at the above email address.

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




PS: The new logo is nearly finished...

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Friday, 14 April 2017

World premiere: The Walking Wounded - 'Assimilate'



The Walking Wounded today unveil their cover of the Skinny Puppy classic 'Assimilate'. The band, always willing to push boundaries, take the song from it's industrial roots and tanspose it to an orchestral setting. 


"It is our great pleasure to present to you our cover of Skinny Puppy's "Assimilate," featuring cellist Jackie Gee.  We know the rulebook says "Thou shalt not cover Skinny Puppy," but when the idea struck to do an "orchestral " version of the song, the temptation was too great.  This cover arose from a sincere love for the Skinny Puppy's masterpiece - the sonic majesty of which still remains unchallenged."

The song can be heard below via the band's official Spotify account.


For more information, including download details and other releases, please visit the band's official website.

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Review: PIG – 'Swine & Punishment'




PIG
'Swine & Punishment'
METROPOLIS RECORDS


Hot on the heels of the extraordinary comeback album 'The Gospel', the lord of lard Raymond Watts offers up another slice of pork for those hungry for more. This time in the form of remix album 'Swine & Punishment', featuring fourteen reconstituted and reformed cuts, plus the inclusion of 'Violence', a track only previously released on vinyl.

A lot of people can take or leave remix albums, but when they're done right, they can be damn good. With a list of contributors including SKOLD, Android Lust, Pull Out Kings, Inertia, KANGA, London After Midnight, tweaker, MC Lord of the Flies, and Mortiis, even the most hardened remix cynic would be hard pressed not to have their interest piqued.

The album takes in a myriad of styles informed by the creators, from Skold's dark and sinister take on 'The Diamond Sinners', through to delicately demented version of 'The Fly Upon The Pin', and the heavily electronic mix of 'Viva Evil' courtesy of Mortiis. It's a great collection of remixes that give the original versions some great and even unexpected twists. Some perfect for the dancefloor, and other perfect for you mp3 player.

Despite the big mix of styles the tracks flow quite nicely and even with some going for a grittier sound and others favouring a more polished approach, the production finds a nice balance between them all making sure each track has the right kick to it.

This is a remix album, and while it might not garner the same attention a release of brand new material, it is nonetheless a well-constructed effort that has seen a lot of incredibly talented artists create some genuinely interesting contributions. For PIG completeists and long-time fans it will undoubtedly be a must have, but even if you're relatively new to PIG, this is still a good companion to 'The Gospel' in its own right.  

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Review: Cubanate – 'Brutalism'



CUBANATE
'Brutalism'
ARMALYTE INDUSTRIES


The influence of the legendary British techno-rock outfit Cubanate cannot be understated. One of the first acts to cross frantic techno and rave electronics with gritty rock guitars they both courted controversy and intrigue in equal measure. They even managed some mainstream flirtations with a track featured on the Gran Tourismo video game, as well as a soundtrack appearance on Mortal Kombat, plus extensive tours with the likes of Gary Numan, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy and Front 242.

The band may have been relatively short-lived but, as the millennium came and went, the number of bands taking a direct influence from began to increase, thus securing their place in the annals of industrial rock.

The band's new release, 'Brutalism' is a retrospective that covers their first three albums, 'Antimatter', 'Cyberia', and 'Barbarossa' which yielded classic singles ‘Oxyacetylene’, ‘Body Burn’, and ‘Joy’. The fourteen tracks featured here represent the finest cuts of the band's early and perhaps most groundbreaking work. The tracks have been giving a loving remaster and as a result sound as though they were written and recorded yesterday, showing really just how far ahead of the curve Heal and Barry were back in the early-mid 90s.

Tracks such as 'Autonomy', 'Body Burn', 'Hatesong', 'Oxyacetalyne', 'Industry', 'Vortech I', and 'Joy' can still compete with the freshest industrial rock tracks today. Combining a punk rock abandon of convention, experimentalism and fundamentally good songwriting, this track list is a perfect introduction to the band.

The tracks are wild and anarchic rides perforated by techno beats, rave electronics and searing guitars that despite their quick and on the fly original recordings still measure up in 2017. The remastering has allowed the songs to shine through once more and though the scene may be home to more illegitimate offspring than ever, 'Brutalism' shows that Cubanate are definitely the daddies.  

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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Darkwave band Strvngers prepare new music video


Canadian darkwave duo Strvngers recently announced a new upcoming music video for their track Dressed to Kill, a fan favorite, and that was also included on their first album, Sonic Erotica, their independent release in January 2016.


When I briefly talked with Kyle Craig, one of the band's integrants, about this video, he said excited that "It's coming out soon! Get ready ❤" but decided not to reveal more details, so all we know so far as that it will come out in April.

Dressed to Kill is part of the band's second album, Strvngers, released on November 18 with Negative Gain Productios, which you can buy on Apple iTunesGoogle PlayAmazon Music and Spotify.

The band is scheduled to present on Caligary this March 31 with GOST and Die Scum Inc, in June 16 at Edmonton with Severed Heads, Cygnets and iVardensphere, and again in Caligary on July 28 for the Terminus Impact Music Festival with artists like 3Theeth, Pig and The Birthday Massacre, among others.

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Review: Ulver – 'The Assassination Of Julius Caesar'



ULVER
'The Assassination Of Julius Caesar'
HOUSE OF MYTHOLOGY


Ulver are a beast unto themselves. With their roots in folk, black metal and post metal, they have evolved into a band that transcends genre classifications. They are now simply Ulver. A band that never looks back and never retreads old ground. With albums such as the stunning 'Blood Inside', 'Shadows Of The Sun', and 'Wars Of The Roses' under their collective belt, their discography with every release becomes an increasingly long shadow to escape. But with every release they do and are one of the few acts today worthy of being place on the avant garde mantel as a result.

Album number thirteen, 'The Assassination Of Julius Caesar', is another clear step forward unfettered by expectations. Though familiar elements remain – such as ambient electronics, post-rock atmospheres, haunting vocals and nods to drone, trip-hop, and industrial – there is nothing derrivative about this. The album weaves a conceptual narrative and the long winding songs in particular sweep you along in their wake.

Tracks such as '1969', 'Coming Home', 'Rolling Stone', 'Southern Gothic', and 'Transverberation', are fantastic additions to the band's huge body of work. They shift seamlessly between styles and genres with a prog rock like disregard, but all the time maintaining a pop sheen that would make the likes of Vice Clarke and Depeche Mode jealous. The quality of the songwriting and musicianship on display here just goes to show why Ulver are pretty much untouchable wherever their instincts take them.

The production, courtesy of Killing Joke's Martin 'Youth' Glover, is absolutely spot on for what this album needed to be, balancing the experimental flourishes with the solid pop bass-line, and allowing that haunting ambiance to creep through and dissipate like mist.

Thirteen may be unlucky for some but for Ulver it is a magic number. 'The Assassination Of Julius Caesar' is a highlight within a strong discography that already includes its fair share of highlights. Fans of Ulver's earlier works definitely won't be getting the return to their roots they may still crave, and yes it would be cool to see what modern Ulver could do within the extreme/folk metal framework of their past, but that's not the point. This album is a solid and complete statement made by a group of musicians at the tiop of their game.  

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Review: Bestial Mouths – '(Still) Heartless'



BESTIAL MOUTHS
'(Still) Heartless'
CLEOPATRA RECORDS


Bestial Mouths' 2016 album 'Heartless' was undoubtedly one of the highlight releases of the year. Their sonic formula of avant garde electronica combined with sinister industrial dance machinations balances appealing elements from genres such as cold wave, darkwave and industrial, with a sense of freedom of form and fluidity that is incredibly satisfying. It is no surprise that a remix companion for the album has been released and sees some top names lend their skills to reinterpret the originals.

Names such as Ludovico Technique, Danny Saber, CX Kidtronix, and Die Krupps drag the original tracks across numerous styles and genres transforming them into solid dance offerings, as well as deeper and more complex amplifications. Alongside the ten remixes are two brand new tracks. 'Witchdance' evokes the spirit of Diamanda Galas and Nick Cave as Lynette Cerezo vocally exorcises a demon over a sinister minimal ambient track. While 'High Walls' sounds like Siouxsie Sioux narrating her own nightmares along to storm noises and a steady tribal beat. The songs may not be in keeping with the previous material on 'Heartless', but they are a wonderful example of the band's unrestrained experimentalism and juxtaposed against the dancier remixes provide a nice counterpoint in the form of an extreme 180° flip.

As with any remix album, the quality of the inclusions are somewhat objective, however it is undeniable that with talents such as Ludovico Technique, Danny Saber, CX Kidtronix, The Horrorist, Zanias, Shredder, and Die Krupps there will be something for everyone. But Ludovico Technique's reworking of 'Worn Skin', the band's own new version of 'Down To The Bone (No Longer See mix)', Zanias' take on 'Heartless', Die Krupps' mix of 'Worn Skin', and Danny Saber's version of 'Greyed' are all fantastic reasons to grab this release.

'(Still) Heartless' does what great remix albums should do, and that's to deconstruct the originals, present a range of styles, and where possible experiment. The remix album these days may be the standard thing for a band to do, especially after a particularly hot album, yet they're sadly so often an afterthought. But here it has been carefully curated and constructed in a way that makes you want to dive in deeper and raise questions about the next album's direction.  

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

LE CABARET D'ATROCITE



Someone once said that history always repeats – first as tragedy, then as farce. And now we can safely say that history is also repeating as a kind of cabaret.

We were all dimly aware of the increasing incongruity of notions of 'substance', the 'narrative of history', 'progress', and 'essential truth', in modern (and not-so-modern) society; how modernity has passed seamlessly to post-modernity and a shifting chimera of identities no longer defined by rigid positions in class, gender, and nation. But it's fair to say we never expected the kind of morphing venality that we have seen so far this year.

Already in 2017 we have seen not only the breaking of international norms and widespread political crises across the globe, but also the new terms of an almost comical doublethink – 'fake news', and 'alternative facts'. Lawyers, spy agencies, taxi drivers judges, and journalists have become heroes in alliance, with Presidents, Prime Ministers, other taxi drivers, other journalists and other spy agencies the villains; the right and the far right circling each other in ever-decreasing circles, leaders of the 'free world' denounced as racists and sexists by neutral Parliamentary speakers, press barons fighting online battles with children's authors, the Holocaust being tainted with the brush of 'all lives matter' whitewashing, and Rabbis and Imans standing shoulder to shoulder against measures that were ruled illegal by federal courts which were subsequently denounced as 'fake' by the President of the Unites States. In fact, the world has become less of a planet orbiting the sun than a constantly rotating cabaret of atrocity.

What are the features of the Cabaret d'Atrocite? Well, the masks the performers use are transient and contradictory, their dances and songs just a reflection of their position in a constantly shifting narrative; there is no plot, no storyline, no script; the actors change their roles in constant flux, and with no emotion other than an impersonation of that which they wish to emulate. Painted smiles and pointing fingers, gestures of defiance and submission and control, torch songs and ballads and shanties and anthems merging into a murderous medley. And we are all now in the cheap seats.

It would be tempting to regard the cabaret as pure entertainment, just images moving across screens and disassociated reports of entertainment and escapades. But it is not – it is a performance that plays with all our lives, and in which we all have a part. And in it's savagery there is no protection, no rules to work by, merely the buffers on which people's attempts to oppress strain. This is the |Carnival of the Abuse of Power – miniature pyres and guillotines, pogroms and massacres chaotically executed and blandly reported.

But although the performance is serious, it can still be enjoyed. Play your role with passion, and skill; be fierce in opposition and pert in resistance. Dance with passion, but carry a sword; fight with a smile intact. Make your case, be ruthless, be demanding. Have fun, but be careful.

It's time to put on your dancing shoes, warm up the pipes, put your best foot forward, wear a big smile, and give these fuckers hell.

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To Be A Witch

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, by Paul Kidby

To be a witch
Is mostly about
Focus
The intent
The reasons behind
Doing what you
Do and
Being who you
Are
It's about
Knowing one's self
Thoroughly
And understanding that there
Is a purpose to life
Beyond living it for
One's Self

To be a witch is to
Learn, constantly, openly, and
Perfecting one's mastery of
The Craft
It is about
Perpetuating the
Studies and understandings of
Generations upon generations past

I've always been a fan of
Granny Weatherwax, the
Crone from the Discworld series by
Terry Pratchett.
She know what she's doing.
Like. She knows exactly what she's
Doing.
(There was always a part of me that thought it was mostly made-up, what she does, but now, with my own work, and learnings and understandings, I've come to realize that no -it's mostly real.
It's mostly actual things you can do
When you dedicate yourself to these learnings and understandings.)

A fashion, another fad of pop culture, perhaps these days, but to
Me, and all the others, it's a
Thing we do.
No.
It's a thing we
Are.
From palmistry to reiki, to numerology, tarot readings and scurrying, we find ourselves
Connected, entertwined to that which is
Bigger than ourselves, us all, us humans.

The trees speak, and so do the
Stars, the Moon and the Waves of the
Ocean.

Our third eyes are being forced closed.
It is rebellious to choose, and strive, to keep them
Wide open.

Act in love, selflessly, and remember to keep a
Clear mind, and an open
Heart.
Walk your path, and shine your own light
You know who to call upon when the road will
Fork.

Alone, we learn to
Heal ourselves, and
Together, we heal the
World.

All in love, for the good of all.

So mote it be.




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Monday, 27 March 2017

Fullmetal Alchemist: New photographs from the movie


Besides Death Note, another movie based on an important anime that will see the light this year is Fullmetal Alchemist, a dark fantasy story about two alchemists, the brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, who tried to revive their mother, causing serious consequences that left them mutilated. Years later, they will seek to recover what they lost and, in the way, must stop a conspiracy.

Few news have been released about this adaptation whose filming began in June 2016 in Italy, outside of the famous actor and singer Ryosuke Yamada will give life to the elder brother and protagonist, Edward Elric. But some photographs have been released, making it clear that Fullmetal Alchemist will have a more than interesting mix between steampunk aesthetic and a dark fantasy concept.

"I want to create a style that follows the original manga as much as possible. The cast is completely Japanese, but the location is Europe, but it's a style that does not represent a specific race or country," said its director Fumihiko Hori.





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New movie trailer: Death Note from Netflix


This Tuesday, Netflix revealed the teaser trailer for their upcoming Death Note film, the first American version of the popular manga and anime that many of us love and that remains as an important part of our youth, like Fullmetal Alchemist, which is also about to become a film.

However, this video sparked controversy, since several fans were disappointed to see that, allegedly, the film would be geared to the action genre. Also, some followers criticized the altered designs of the notebook, with a different cover, spine and inner pages.


Death Note follows the story of Yagami Light, or Light Turner, in the case of this movie, when he discovers a singular notebook that can kill a person only by writing their name on its pages. Light see this as a chance to become the God of a new world, killing criminals, but also drawing the attention of one of the most important detectives in the world: L.

This new version of Death Note is directed by Adam Wingard and will be released worldwide in August 2017.


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Amy Lee's new video: Speak To Me


Amy Lee's new single, 'Speak To Me', is already complete, now with the music video we were waiting for. The ghostly and elegant ballad is materialized with a sophisticated look, the cinematography presented in all the video and the sweetness that Jack Lion Hartzler, her son, adds. The video vas released exclusively in Entertainment Tonight's website this Tuesday.

'Speak To Me' is far away from Lee's earlier work, both visually and musically, putting aside the darkness, simply retaining the melancholy and some metaphors that her fans would identify as part of the 'My Immortal' music video, a single from 'Fallen', Evanescence's first album. Find the lyrics of the song at the end of this entry!


Be still, my love
I will return to you
However far you feel from me
You are not alone
I will always be waiting
And I'll always be watching you
Speak to me, speak to me, speak to me...

I can't let go
You're every part of me
The space between is just a dream
You will never be alone
I will always be waiting
And I'll always be watching

We are one breath apart, my love
And I'll be holding it in 'till we're together
Hear me call your name
And just speak, speak to me, speak to me, speak...

I feel you rushing all through me
In these walls I still hear your heartbeat
And nothing in this world can hold me back
From waking through to you

We are one breath apart, my love
And I'll be holding it in 'till we're together
Hear me call your name
Just believe and speak, speak to me, speak to me...

Be still, my love
I will return to you...

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Review: In Death It Ends – 'Resonate 528'



IN DEATH IT ENDS
'Resonate 528'
SELF-RELEASED


In Death It Ends has been an interesting project to follow over the past few years. Ranging from with house, to experimental to proto-goth and industrial elements, every release is a guessing game. Alongside a range of high-quality physical release Porl King has made time to release plenty of free singles and EPs as well.

The latest free offering is the single 'Resonate 528' from the new physical album wish machine. Reminiscent of the 'Forgotten Knowledge' album from 2012 with a blend of minimal darkwave and experimental electronics, this time inspired by radionics/psionics and incorporating a radionic device. It's an infectiously groovy track that harks back to some of the best work from IDIE. Long-time fans will undoubtedly find this a familiar direction, while newcomers will get a taste for a nice cross-section of the IDIE style.

Production-wise the song is minimal and experimental. But it is also quite accessible with it's central groove and beat tempering the eclectic electronic experiments underneath. King has long ditched the low-fi sound and has continued to give his releases a crisp and modern sound, and this is no exception.

'Resonate 528' is another nice free taste of a very interesting and prolific project. It may only be a small taste of the wider 'Wish Machine' work, but it is nonetheless a good and satisfying one.  

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INFINITE RESISTANCE



In my previous articles over the past few months I have dealt with ideas of the magic of the outsiders, the witchcraft of the oppressed, and how to dance amongst the pyres of the incoming storm. These are simply suggestions of strategies, decorative ideas that we can wear, primitive masks to protect. So how would a more integrated and internalised form of resistance develop? If we cannot all join barricades that are burning down and there is no winter palace left to storm, how can we fight and live at the same time?

The idea of an oppositional spirituality is one that can be interwoven into the daily practice of one's life; something that can be integrated into how we react to the world, no matter what we do. The personal may be political, but it must also be resistant. To do this we can call upon the prototype of the opposer, and the image of the adversary. Lucifer is, of course, the original manifestation of that spirit – but there are others too, from Lilith to Faust to Sade. The source is not to important as the energy we deprive from it.

Essentially there is a basic oppositional force in the universe. There is a conflict in all things – in all social groups, ideas, bodies, relationships, states, minds. To exist is to be opposed. The world is a complex mesh of competing existences, forces, ideas. Lucifer is the idea of the oppositional force. It is a concept. And with it we can use it to channel our spirit of resistance.
This is the idea that I call Infinite Resistance. It is to commit yourself in mind and body to never be ruled, never be conquered, never be oppressed, and not to conquer or rule or oppress. It is an understanding, at the root, that you will never give in. It is a spiritual commitment.
In practice this means supporting all those fighting oppression, all forces of resistance. It means harnessing ideas of the outcast, the slave, the witch. It means knowing whose side you're on. It means always challenging, being alert. It means a daily practice of applied thought, action and resistance.
And what glorious peace of mind it brings. A promise you make to yourself. At one with the rocks and the sea and the stars. With such a commitment, you can be truly free. It is a kind of eternity. You can't lose if you fight forever.
So try to find ways to absorbing that spirit, that unbreakable flexibility of will, and the iron in the soul to always resist. As Milton put it so well - "All is not lost, the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and the courage never to submit or yield.”

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Birthday Massacre's new song has been leaked!


It's funny to see that when one of your favorite artists releases a song, you discover that now it is a band that has new material on the market, although not the way they wanted, and find yourself in the need to decide which is better. I decided both of them are amazing!


The Birthday Massacre, a dakwave band from Canada, have been working on their seventh studio album and used a crowdfunding campaign for it. Little has been heard about it, but now we have much information that it is useless to hide the excitement!

'Under Your Spell' will be released in June 9th and it is said to be their most intimate and emotive record to date. This album is a captivating hybrid of 80's, electronica, and aggressive guitars, fused with dark, cinematic melodic progressions. "Under Your Spell" also blends the expansive breadth of The Birthday Massacre's signature sound and creates a deeply personal, immersive collection of songs.
As far as we now, this is the official tracklist:



01. One
02. Under Your Spell

03. All of Nothing

04. Without You

05. Counterpane

06. Unkind
07. Games
08. Hex
09. No Tomorrow
10. The Lowest Low
11. Endless


Also, one of the songs from this album, 'Counterpane', leaked a few days ago, confirming what it is said above. We're also presenting the lyrics for you to sing along. Listen to it before it is erased!

Strange
Changes come with age
Some things disappEar in a day

And some things slowly fade

And you and I are like the ink staining all the other pages
We’re at the edge of the world again

A step back is a step forward

Been here before when we were innocents

I saw the signs but I couldn’t find the words

Now we’re stuck in a wasteland

Everyone in the dark adores you

So much regret for things I never said
I should’ve left
I always meant to


Shame
There’s nobody to blame

People interlace by mistake sometimes

It hurts to walk away

But we’re just cheap toys, perpetually breaking


We’re at the edge of the world again

A step back is a step forward

Been here before when we were innocents

I saw the signs but I couldn’t find the words

Now we’re stuck in a wasteland

Everyone in the dark adores you
So much regret for things I never said
I should’ve left
I always meant to


We’re at the edge of the world again

Time will never heal the distance

Been here before when we were innocents

Building this modern prison for so long

So long

We’re at the edge of the world again
A step back is a step forward
Been here before when we were innocents

I saw the signs but I couldn’t find the words

Now we’re stuck in a wasteland

Everyone in the dark adores you

So much regret for things I never said

I should’ve left
I always meant to

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