Blood Pack Vol. 6.66 released!

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

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

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

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


Review: Ritual Aesthetic – 'Wound Garden'


Review: Axegrinder – 'Satori'


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

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

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.

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Friday 18 August 2017



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.

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Wednesday 16 August 2017

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

'Ode To The Albatross'

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.  

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Review: Laibach – 'Also Sprach Zarathustra'

'Also Sprach Zarathustra'

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 Verk├╝ndiger', '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.  

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Friday 11 August 2017

Review: Suicide Commando – 'Forest Of The Impaled'

'Forest Of The Impaled'

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.  

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Thursday 10 August 2017

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

'A Terrible Thing To Cover: A Tribute To Ministry'

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.

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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. 

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Wednesday 9 August 2017

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

'Berlin//Crater Vol. 2'

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.  

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