IVM's Top 40 Releases of 2017

With 2017 a now a fading memory of political turmoil, social upheaval and high-profile perverts, we can at least look back at the year's musical output and say that it was a great one. As is the custom, we've put together a list of 40 notable releases from the previous twelve months that we think are worthy of praise.

Blood Pack Vol. 5 Released!

To download it all you have to do is go to our bandcamp page here: https://intravenousmagazine.bandcamp.com/album/blood-pack-vol-5

Interview: Angelspit

“I get the feeling we are moving through a period of despair. Perhaps this is due to the state of the environment, politics, or dealing with being "social" in the electronic age. We are so frustrated, so exhausted...we don't have the energy or money to plan for the future.I wanted to write lyrics that people can related to, and music that would energize that to forge ahead.”

Review: Psy'Aviah – 'Lightflare'


Review: Caustic – 'American Carrion';


Sunday, 20 May 2018

May May Graves to release 'Monsters' EP

Bursting out of an 80s Slasher Flick with her delicious blend of Glamour Horror Electro Dance Music comes May May Graves, the self-proclaimed "High-Fashion Nightmare".
The industrial strength of Angelspit's Zoog Von Rock helps bring her world of horror to life through her debut EP "Monsters".

May May Graves brings her world of horror to life through her debut EP "Monsters". Combined with the industrial strength of Angelspit's Zoog Von Rock, "Monsters" is the first peek under the bed into a world of punk-rock slashers, murderous sirens, and seductive spirits.
“My vocal training was screaming my way through punk shows that I would host in hotel rooms before I was old enough to get into clubs! Add that to the brutal distorted production from Zoog Von Rock and you get a dream wrapped in a beautiful bout of sleep paralysis. The sound is BRUTAL with a touch of insanity. If Freddy Krueger's daughter sang about her daddy issues, you would hear the same smoothness with a hint of absolute rage.”
-May May Graves

"I've been a fan of May May for years. Not only is her voice powerful with a smooth lining, but she is also a solid song writer. I finally got the chance to work with her on her third release “Monsters” - a beautiful and deadly homage to her many murderous musical influences like Rob Zombie, The Birthday Massacre, Mindless Self Indulgence, Nine Inch Nails, and Peaches.”
-Zoog Von Rock

​Billed as the "genderf#ck of your nightmares", May May quit her job as a Church of Christ preacher in 2011 to be in a punk band….it all goes downhill from there.

The year is now 2018 and May May Graves has solidified her place in the DWF burlesque and drag scene and has toured stages across America, disappointing billions and captivating few with her dark, witty, and macabre stage presence. In doing that, she was the First Drag Queen to be crowned EVIL QUEEN OF BURLESQUE in 2015 and was even the First Drag Queen featured at the Dallas Burlesque Festival 2014. Her dark, macabre, and campy fetish themed performances have captivated and terrorized audiences across the country.

Pre-order on Kickstarter today and receive 5 tracks injected with harsh stomping beats, grinding bass and lyrical terror!

"Lights out baby, the night is ours!"

“Monsters” is released through Black Pill Red Pill records: http://blackpillredpill.com/

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Frontline Assembly streams first track from 'Warmech'

FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY’s newest soundtrack CD for Carbon Games’ latest game, WarMech! Get it via iTunes or Bandcamp. When you pre-order you will receive the instant great track ‘Mechvirus’ for free.

Jared Slingerland, Sasha Keevil, Craig Johnsen, and the late-great Jeremy Inkel on a tour de force 12-track full-length album that is as much electronic masterpiece as it is a game soundtrack gold join head of arsenal Bill Leeb. WarMech ranges from industrial to ambient to techno, and will blow the minds of fans of the earlier AirMech soundtrack, as well as long-time fans of Front Line Assembly.

The album will be released on June 22 via Toronto-based Artoffact Records on double vinyl, including black and greasy-mess versions. The vinyl comes in a gatefold sleeve designed exclusively by Dave McKean, and you also get a collectable, branded download card. CD digipak version also available.

AirMech Wastelands expands the AirMech universe through experiencing the journey from a scavenger to a commander in the war against the machines. After global conflict erased countries and borders, automated armies continued their mission by restoring production of WarMechs to finish their directive.

Front Line Assembly will be on the road this August and September in Europe with Die Krupps. As they return to North America, the band will be performing at all three Cold Waves Festival in NYC, Chicago and LA!

Front Line Assembly live 2018
August 18 - Amougies, BE @ W-2 Festival
August 19 - London, UK @ o2 Academy 
August 20 - Paris, FR @ La Machine
August 21 - Utrecht, NL @ De Helling
August 22 - Krefeld, DE @ KuFa Krefeld
August 24 - Gothenburg, SE @ Truck Stop
August 25 - Stockholm, SE @ Klubben
August 29 - Wroclaw, PL @ Stary Klasztor
August 30 - Prague, CZ @ Lucerna Music Bar
August 31 - Budapest, HU @ A38
September 01 - Bratislava, SK @ Majestic Music Club
September 02 - Vienna, AU @ Viper Room
September 04 - Munich, DE @ Backstage Halle
September 08 - Nu-Ulm, DE @ Volle Kraft Voraus Festival 
September 15 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
September 23  - Chicago, IL @ Metro
September 29 - Los Angeles, CA @ 1720 

FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY:  Bandcamp / Facebook

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

New from Echozone

Loewenhertz - Golden (Official Video)

Following the successful support tour with the British electropop icons "Mesh" for their latest album release "Echtzeit", the pop duo from South Germany radiate vigor and energy more than ever. The single release "Golden" gives a first foretaste of the new album which has been in preparation for a long time and is now scheduled for the beginning of 2019.

With the new single, Loewenhertz are celebrating a double premiere. While the last single releases were all in German, now Loewenhertz show their versatility and present their first song with English lyrics and, at the same time, demonstrate the band's catchy side. Crisp, poppy, modern - these are the dancefloor hit's characteristics. A pleasure for every electropop fan. The catchy song is a mix of Hurts, Depeche Mode and Paul Kalkbrenner and, of course, wants to repeat the band's last successes (DAC (German Alternative Charts) and GEWC (German Electronic WebCharts) entries of the last four releases). However, anyone assuming only glitter, glamour and gold will be wrong. The song is profound and takes hold in the listener's head.

The track was produced by the well-known Robin Felder and Felix Heldt who also worked for Tomcraft, Tom Novy, Da Hool, Disco Boys and D'Artagnan.

In advance the official video for "Golden" will be released on may, 11th. None other than video and film maker Mark Feuerstake was behind the camera who shot more than 500 music videos (i. a. ATB, Scooter, Mesh, Melotron) in his career and who provided an elaborately created setting for the song making "Golden" a genuine, visual highlight.

Loewenhertz also came up with an idea for the B-side. With the cover version of Nena's "Leuchtturm" they entered a challenging terrain which they did handle quite easily by giving the song a completely new and modern outfit.

Last but not least, this new release is supported by numerous top class remixes, for example by the iconic german electro-gothic band DAS ICH.

Loewenhertz 2018 sound fresh, multi-faceted, passionate and highly motivated.

SixTurnsNine - Spinning Numbers

Düsseldorf brought up a few stunnig as well as unique experimental / electronic bands. The Triphop / Electronica Trio SixTurnsNine is rooted in this tradition while they partly break with it at the same time..

The Band
SixTurnsNine was founded by Philip Akoto (strings), Lutz Bauer (keys/programming/electronica) and Anja Trodler (vocals) in 2015 at the legendary venue "Alter Schlachthof" in Düsseldorf-Derendorf. Coming from totally different musical backgrounds SixTurnsNine together create their songs within a charged creative field full of details and little traces that bear witness of their individuality in sound.

The Sound
The symbiosis of different musical influences ends up in songs with almost danceable trip hop beats and dub step elements combined with a somehow dark ambience, massive hypnotic bass guitars and lurid electronica. On top of it all you hear the impressive, dark and bluesy voice of Anja Trodler. Yes, there is a slight 90s vibe to be found, but it is just one layer within a brighter spectrum where there is much more to be found besides and underneath, for example break beats, atonal industrial music, New Wave or classic Woodstock spirit. You may also find references to bands like 'This Mortal Coil' or some other 4AD-bands from the 1980s.

The EP
Until now SixTurnsNine released two video singles called "Painted Clouds" and "Threat in The Neck". In May 2018 their first 6-track-EP will be released on Echozone / BobMedia in physical form as well as for download. Just before that SixTurnsNine will hit a few stages on a club tour to promote the EP in advance.

The EP is entitled "Spinning Numbers". It contains five regular tracks plus a remix of "Threat in The Neck" by Spherical Disrupted. The EP was recorded and produced by Lutz Bauer, mixed and mastered by Bob Humid (Cologne - mastermind of Der Liederkranz, Fat of Excellence, Serve & Destroy). Artwork and design was done by Hendrik & Julian Klein (takk design).

Inner Core - Blame

On May 18th, 2018, the symphonic metal / hard rock band INNER CORE are going to release their new video clip "Blame" as well as the new single of the same name taken from the latest album "Soultaker" plus one bonus track in form of a digital release.

As for the bonus track, the band put a new spin on the Michael Jackson song "Give Into Me" from the album "Dangerous" (1991) and outfitted it with the typical Inner Core sound.

The single will be available for download in all relevant download stores.

Projekt Ich - Doch das, was blieb

Following the successful single release "Where Are The Angels" feat. Mick L. Angelo (5TimesZero) in November 2017 and an additional maxi extra release in December 2017 [madbello remix edition] as well as the single release "Little Star" feat. Catrine Christensen (SoftWave) in February 2018 and as a pre-taste of the debut album scheduled for autumn / winter 2018, Projekt Ich aka Ulf Müller is going to release his first German-speaking single "Doch das, was blieb" on June 1st, 2018, on Echozone.

Markus Kühnel (German dark rock band Elandor) supports the song with his impressive vocals.

"Doch das, was blieb" is an anti-war song. You can look far back in world history and you will see that there has never been a time without wars accompanied by homicides and oppression of countless people and the destruction of everything that has been near and dear to the opponent.
'Doch das, was blieb' ('That What Remained') has always represented a gleam of hope for living in peace, with all the peoples of the world, a cry for love and forgiveness ... Can this be possible one day …?

Besides the original track, "Doch das, was blieb" features two instrumental versions, an extended mix version and 14 great remixes by international artists.

Remix package: madbello (NL), Hoof (NL), POS.:2 (DE), Defiant Machines (DE), Schwarzstern (NL), Monotronic (DE), IMUNAR (DE), Restriction 9 (SW), MonoSapien (DE), L_igh_T (ESP), Cyborgdrive (ESP), Nature of Wires (UK), Das FortLeben (DE) and HzweiG (DE).

Patrick Knoch (Elektrostaub) is responsible for the mastering. Tim Aßmann from Visionary Moments designed the front cover as well as all artworks for the single release.

Elektrostaub - Birthday And Death

Following the GEWC (German Electronic WebCharts) Top 5 singles "Unforgotten" (feat. Henrik Iversen), "Also Without You" (feat. Anne Goldacker) und "Funeral Of Love" (feat. Ruined Conflict), Elektrostaub is now going to release his fourth single "Birthday And Death" (feat. !distain) on June 1st, 2018. It will also be the last single taken from the successful debut album (number 3 in the GEWC album charts) with the same title.

"Birthday And Death" is a very personal and emotional song by Elektrostaub mastermind Patrick Knoch. The track deals with loss, but at the same time emphasises a new beginning. The question whose vocals could support this song, was answered very quickly: !distain. For years, Elektrostaub and !distain have been closely connected on many levels.

Again, Elektrostaub presents stomping beats, harmonic soundscapes and driving sounds. The interaction between music and vocals creates an emotional and danceable electro pearl. Solely for this release, there is a special single version in addition to the already known album version. !distain re-recorded their vocal parts for this single release.

The single also contains a varied remix and instrumental package featuring Tom Winters (Chrom), !distain, Kontrast, Uwe Kallenbach (Ex-Syntec), Alex Stroeer, Projekt Ich , ALexis Voice and Cyborgdrive.

The songs will be available for download in all relevant download shops.


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Chris Carter unveils video for 'Tangerines'

CHRIS CARTER has shared the video to ‘Tangerines' from his first album release in 17 years, Chris Carter’s Chemistry Lessons Volume One.

Watch the video, created by Carter, for his two-minutes of electronic pop here:

Chris Carter will perform two rare live sets this summer, both unique modular synth sets, at Sea Change festival in Totnes in August and at the first in a series of events hosted by the Cabinet Gallery at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London, on 23 May. The Cabinet event will also feature a live DJ set by Sophie Coletta, soundtracking the classic silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928).

Chris Carter’s Chemistry Lessons Volume One is populated with insistent melodic patterns and a distinct sense of wonderment at the limitless possibilities of science. “If there’s an influence on the album, it’s definitely ‘60s radiophonic,” Carter says. “And over the last few years I’ve also been listening to old English folk music, almost like a guilty pleasure, and so some of tracks on the album hark back to an almost ingrained DNA we have for those kinds of melodies.” 

The album is out now on all formats, including the limited edition double 'ash grey' and 'frostbite blue' coloured vinyl, available again after the initial pressing sold out.

In addition Carter recently launched a new website - a periodic table explaining and exploring elements of the album. The site includes the Chris Carter Chemistry Lessons series and you can watch films of Carter explaining the process and inspirations behind his self-designed artwork and his pedal collection here: http://ccclv1.net/. Keep checking back for further films examining the album.

CHRIS CARTER - Modular Synth Sets
23 May - London, Cabinet Gallery present Chris Carter
24-25 Aug - Totnes, Sea Change - https://www.seachangefestival.co.uk/

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Friday, 11 May 2018

Nine Inch Nails announce new record and tour

Nine Inch Nails have unveiled their latest release in the form of new studio album 'Bad Witch'. The album carries on from its two predecessor EPs; 2016's 'Not The Actual Events' and 2017's 'Add Violence' rounding out the trilogy that Trent Reznor had previously alluded to.

'Bad Witch' will be available from 22nd June via The Null Corporation.

Track list:

1. "Shit Mirror"
2. "Ahead of Ourselves"
3. "Play the Goddamned Part"
4. "God Break Down the Door"
5. "I'm Not from This World"
6. "Over and Out"

In addition to the new album the band have released North American tour dates with support from indie legends The Jesus And Mary Chain.

For pre-order and ticket details visit www.nin.com

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Review: The Atlas Moth – 'Coma Noir'

'Coma Noir'

Sometimes a band's improvement can take you by surprise. From a promising yet somewhat unfocused beginning, atmospheric post-metal outfit The Atlas Moth have blossomed into a stunning band. They've worked hard, supported everyone they can and honed their sound over the course of their last three albums. But still, the quality of their latest long-player 'Coma Noir' may still catch a few people off guard.

The fourth album is a dark and disjointed. Atmospheric and visceral. Incredibly strong drumming underpins the album and allows the guitars, keyboards and vocals to flourish as they circle each other like snakes in a pit before coming together in twisted unison.

Songs such as 'Coma Noir', 'Last Transmission From The Late, Great Planet Earth', 'Galactic Brain', 'Actual Human Blood', 'Furious Gold', and 'The Frozen Crown' are undoubted highlights, providing the album with an anthemic backbone of pounding riffs, furious drums, searing keyboards, sweet harmonics and demonic vocals. The end result is a compelling and breakneck ride through the dark and surreal film noir streets of the album's narrative.

In terms of production this is one of those albums that could be in danger of devolving into a sprawling mess. But it's kept tight, and even at it's most disjointed and atonal sounding it pushes through to a logical conclusion with all of the instruments still managing to work in a strange harmony. As a result no one sound dominates the mix too much and swamps any of the other subtle nuances of the songs.

This album should be the one that puts The Atlas Moth on the map as serious contenders. They've paid their dues and slowly matured into a force to be reckoned with. The songwriting here is the best of any album so far and the execution lives up to their collective ambition. 'Coma Noir' should hopefully see them on the right trajectory from now on.

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Sunday, 6 May 2018

Review: Strvngers – 'Amor / Noir'

'Amor / Noir'

Canadian darkwave duo Strvngers return with their hotly anticipated third album 'Amor / Noir'. The duo already acclaimed for their innovative melding of genres such as darkwave, post-punk, ebm, edm, and gothic rock to create an original sound that is dark, dance-friendly and always interesting. The band's third offering (and second on Negative Gain Productions) sees them at their most accessible and polished yet.

With an undeniable pop-sensibility running throughout the duo blend modern dance themes through dark atmospheres, and filters them through a trippy haze to create some truly stunning results. Songs such as 'Wanderlust', 'Fetisha', 'Leder Dame', 'This Is Not A Phase', 'Verisimilitude', 'Lethargy', and 'Noir' provide the album with a strong backbone of tracks that walk a line between dark gothic industrial malevolence and pop-friendly electronica. Infectious melodies, hard dance beats, soaring vocals, and dark industrial embellishments come together is a very pleasing way.

In terms of production this is also the band's strongest outing yet. There is a hell of a lot going on in the majority of the tracks and it would be very easy for some elements to be swamped by the heavier synths when they come through. However, the tracks remain pretty balanced with the vocals always cutting through, the rhythms grounding the tracks and the melodies pushing everything forward.

What Strvngers have achieved on 'Amor / Noir' is a strong, consistent, and ultimately accessible record that blends multiple alternative genres and presents them is a pop-friendly manner. It's a dirty, sexy album, heavy on atmosphere and underground subversion presented in an approachable way. In a way this is almost a parallel with Nine Inch Nails' 'Pretty Hate Machine'. But this is uniquely Strvngers from start to finish. Hopefully this will be the album that cements the band's place and see gain some more ground over the next year or so.

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More acts announced for WGT 2018

The world famous Wave Gotik Treffen festival has announced the first acts that will be playing the event in Leipzig, Germany this year. The 201 acts announced so far are:

A Projection (S) - 
Actors (CDN) - 
Aeon Rings (USA) - 
Aeverium (D) - 
All Gone Dead (USA) exclusive European reunion show in 2018 - 
Anna Gudny Gudmundsdotter (IS) - 
Arcana (S) - 
Ash Code (I) - 
Ataraxia (I) - 
Author & Punisher (USA) - 
Autobahn (GB) - 
Axel Thielmann (D) - 
Beinhaus (D) - 
Bettina Bormann (D) - 
Black Light Ascension (GB) - 
Black Line (GB/USA) - 
Blanck Mass (GB) - 
Bootblacks (USA) - 
Boy Harsher (USA) - 
Buzz Kull (AUS) - 
Camerata Lipsiensis (D) - 
Carmen Stefanescu (RO) - 
Carolin Masur (D) - 
Carsten Klatte (D) - 
Cellar Darling (CH) - 
Centhron (D) - 
Cesair (NL) - 
Chambre D'écoute (D) - 
Chameleons Vox (GB) - 
Chor Der Oper Leipzig (D) - 
Christian Von Aster (D) - 
Claire Gascoin (F) - 
Claudia Gräf (D) - 
Clemens-Peter Wachenschwanz (D) - 
Confrontational (GB) - 
Crisis (GB) - 
Crying Vessel (CH) - 
Dageist (F) - 
Daniel Ochoa (D) - 
De/Vision (D) - 
Dead Leaf Echo (USA) - 
Detachments (GB) - 
Die Kammer (D) - 
Diorama (D) - 
Dive (B) - 
Dool (NL) - 
Drifter (S) - 
E-Craft (D) - 
Eden Weint Im Grab (D) - 
Einar Selvik (N) - 
Eivør (FO) - 
Elegant Machinery (S) - 
Eminenz (D) - 
Ensemble New Babylon - Das Bremer Ensemble Für Neue Musik (D) - 
ES23 (D) - 
Ext!ze (D) - 
Fabrik C (D) - 
Faderhead (D) - 
Fairytale (D) - 
Feuerschwanz (D) - 
First Hate (DK) - 
Formalin (D) - 
Frank The Baptist (USA) - 
Front Line Assembly (CDN) - 
Gewandhauschor (D) - 
Gewandhausorchester (D) - 
God Module (USA) - 
Grave Pleasures (FIN) - 
Grendel (NL) - 
Greyhound (D) - 
Grimner (S) - 
Gudrun Ingimars (IS) - 
Guerre Froide (F) - 
Gunnar Kunz (D) - 
Hapax (I) - 
Heidevolk (NL) - 
Heimataerde (D) - 
Hekate (D) - 
Heldmaschine (D) - 
Hexheart (USA) - 
Hubertus Schmidt (D) - 
Illuminate (D) - 
Imminent & Synapscape (B/D) - 
Imperium Dekadenz (D) - 
Ingrimm (D) - 
Ivo Nitschke (D) - 
Japan Suicide (I) - 
Jo Quail (GB) - 
Joy/Disaster (F) - 
Kaizer (D) - 
Kaunan (D) - 
Kiew (D) - 
Kilian Hartig (D) - 
Klutæ (DK) - 
Leipziger Ballett (D) - 
Les Discrets (F) - 
Lukas Dreyer (D) - 
Lydia Benecke (D) - 
M.Kruppe (D) - 
Männerchor Leipzig-Nord (D) - 
Marco Jodes (D) - 
Mark Benecke (D) - 
Markus Heitz (D) - 
Matthias Eisenberg (D) - 
Merciful Nuns (D) - 
Mercury's Antennae (USA) - 
Michael Schönheit (D) - 
Michel Bouvard (F) - 
Midgards Boten (D) - 
Model Kaos (D) - 
Modern English (GB) - 
Monica Jeffries (D) - 
Monica Richards & Anthony Jones (USA) - 
Mono No Aware (D) - 
Monolith (B) - 
Moritz Eggert (D) - 
Mr. Kitty (USA) - 
Mystigma (D) - 
Nachtsucher (D) - 
Neun Welten (D) - 
Nothgard (D) - 
Nytt Land (RUS) - 
Oberer Totpunkt (D) - 
Oomph! (D) - 
Ost+Front (D) - 
Paddy And The Rats (H) - 
Palast (D) - 
Pamela Coats (USA) - 
Phil Shoenfelt & Southern Cross (GB/CZ) - 
Phosgore (D) - 
Principe Valiente (S) - 
Pyogenesis (D) - 
Qntal (D) - 
Raison D'être (S) - 
Randolph's Grin (USA/A) - 
Rapalje (NL) - 
Readership Hostile (USA) - 
Rome (L) - 
Rosa Crvx (F) - 
Samsas Traum (D) - 
Sardh (D) - 
Sarin (IR) - 
Sasscha Lange (D) - 
Scarlet And The Spooky Spiders (I) - 
Schandmaul (D) - 
Scheuber (D) - 
Schonwald (I) - 
Second Still (USA) - 
Seelennacht (D) - 
Seigmen (N) - 
Siglo XX (B) exclusive reunion show - 
Silent Runners (NL) - 
Siva Six (GR) - 
Skeletal Family (GB) - 
Solitary Experiments (D) - 
Sommerorchester Leipzig (D) - 
Spark! (S) - 
Stahlr (NL) - 
Still Patient? (D) 30th anniversary show - 
Sturm Café (S) - 
Suir (D) - 
Suld (CHN) - 
Sulpher (GB) - 
Surturs Lohe (D) - 
Svartsinn (N) - 
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld - 
The Beauty Of Gemina (CH) - 
The Crimson Ghosts (D) - 
The Eden House (GB) - 
The Fright (D) - 
The Jesus And Mary Chain (GB) - 
The KVB (GB) - 
The Last Cry (GB) - 
The New Division (USA) - 
The Other (D) - 
Theaterpack (D) - 
Then Comes Silence (S) - 
Thomas Manegold (D) - 
Tiamat (S) perform songs from the albums „Wildhoney“ and „Clouds“ - 
Tilo Augsten (D) - 
Torul (SLO) - 
Totus Gaudeo (D) - 
Traitrs (CDN) - 
Traumtaenzer (D) - 
Trepaneringsritualen (S) - 
Trisomie 21 (F) - 
Undertheskin (PL) - 
Unterschicht (D) - 
Verena Marisa (BR) - 
Vocame (D) - 
Vogon Poetry (S) - 
Vomito Negro (B) - 
Wardruna (N) - 
Wolfchant (D) - 
Xenturion Prime (N) - 
Yasuko Bouvard (J) - 
Ye Banished Privateers (S) - 
Zanias (AUS) - 
Zeraphine (D) - 
Zeromancer (N) - 
[:SITD:] (D) 

The festival will take place this year from 18th May until 21st May. For more information please visit the official Wave Gotik Treffen website.

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First names confirmed for Damnation Festival 2018

Norwegian metal royalty, IHSAHN, and Polish black metal pilgrims, BATUSHKA, are the first acts announced for this year’s Damnation Festival.

Both bands will play exclusive UK shows at the 14th edition of the event, hosted over four stages at Leeds University Union, on Saturday, November 3.

Berlin-based post-metal collective THE OCEAN will return to Damnation Festival, while Birmingham’s necropunk grind misfits FUKPIG will unleash hell for the first time in seven years with a rare live outing.

Ihsahn comments: "I'm very excited to be playing the Damnation Festival for the first time! I’ve always had a very strong connection to the UK scene, and always enjoy playing there."

Fukpig said: “Since 2011 the world has turned to such absolute shit that we can no longer keep quiet. Damnation is the first show we will be playing and it will get all of our fucking anger poured over it.”

The announcement of the first four bands follows back-to-back sell outs of the UK’s premier metal showcase, with 23 more bands to follow.

Festival Director Gavin McInally said: “Tickets went on sale this year before a single band was announced and we were stunned by the swell of loyal fans who put their faith in us.

“It has, however, added extra pressure to deliver, so we’re delighted that the first flavour of the 14th Damnation Festival includes debut and exclusive performances from Ihsahn and Batushka, the return of The Ocean and the much-missed chaos of Fukpig.

“The next 23 bands to come will feature the best death, grind, doom, sludge, prog and post rock we can possibly get our hands on.

“Following the resounding success of our two most previous sell outs, capacity will also remain capped at 3,000 to allow easier flow between venues, so we fully expect to hang another Sold Out sign over the door in 2018.”

Tickets priced £43 are on sale now from damnationfestival.co.uk and facebook.com/damnationfestival

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Thursday, 3 May 2018


The average follower of the dark alternative subculture and its adherents would be forgiven for believing that the scene has taken on a strangely Machiavellian dimension. Everything from the booking of acts to the scheduling of events is imbued with a political subtext which is often merely a skilfully subtle (or not so subtle) expression of opposition; and the body count – not to say the lack-of-body count – is starting to pile up.

In fact, there is more to this comparison that we might think. The UK goth scene is increasingly resembling the warring city-states of Renaissance Italy, locked in a constantly destructive battle for supremacy. Some of these states are republics, others are hereditary monarchies, but all are constantly eyeing up the chance to form alliances or seize territory at anothers' expense. Everyone is wondering how they can claim Scunthorpe, or take Norwich into their sphere of influence. Clashes of events become de facto declarations of gothic war. Flock with the enemies of others and you may soon find a beheaded Pokemon in bed beside you. Friendships and alliances must be chosen carefully, and power blocks bolstered and maintained, all exercised through the power of social media. Plus, also like Renaissance Italy, everyone is drunk – so it all gets deadly (and hilarious) very quickly.

For the nobility who engage in this there is a great hidden cost – that the vendetta is endless, exhausting, and ultimately self-defeating. You can land, you can expand, you can spin a complex web of political intrigue, but a simple 'costing error' and you are wiped out. Every Cesare Borgia, carving up a kingdom of their own with each battle and conquest, can find their empire collapse with the withdrawal of the key support of others; power is tenuous, and gothic power even more so. Overstretch, and you lose everything; fail to grow, however, and you also fail – for, in this 'game of goths', you either win or you die.

But, obviously, that is not the case. Although maintaining the purity of our social circle and the ethics of our music policy are important, we are all still part of the same scene, drinking from the same trough, ploughing the same gloomy furrow. Our musical taste is still, collectively, terrible. We need centres of unity, participants who resist the Balkanisation of the scene and bring people together in a joint subcultural endeavour. The fight is only part of the fun – the real joy is to play. And to do that requires a determination to have a good time – a commitment to rise above the crap and see the world for what is is.

So don't let the drama grind you down, and resist the factional forces of feck. Or, as Cesare himself would say - “Make your choice: death, or joy!”

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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Review: Flesh Eating Foundation – 'We Are Fucked'

'We Are Fucked'

Flesh Eating Foundation make a welcome return with their seventh release, 'We Are Fucked'. Never ones to shy away from expletives, bizarre sounds, and general craziness, 'We Are Fucked' is a great example of cyberpunk madness executed in a particularly British idiom. Experimental, confrontational, occasionally tongue-in-cheek, and always fierce in intent. The band are a law unto themselves that doesn't quite fit into one particular scene and so have been rather criminally underrated.

Originally a duo, the band is comprised of John E. Smoke (songs, noises and shouting, deafness and blindness), The Juddaman (writing, voices and noises) and Jules (axes and shouts), with Mash and Big Un joining on guitars when the mood is right. Co-founder John E Smoke is known as one of the few deaf/blind musicians working on the scene and can often be seen with his lovable noise loving guide dog JJ.

'We Are Fucked' doesn't shy away from anything (as you'd expect with a title like 'We Are Fucked'). The vocals are often shouted rather than sung, giving choruses a shout-a-long quality, the beats are massive, the distortion is thick, the synths range from circuitbent to classic industrial, and there is even some piano in there.

Songs such as 'We Are Fucked', 'Having Fun', 'Scumbags And Slags', 'Punch Drunk', 'Slick Dick Prick Lick', and 'Stand Up And Be Discontinued' give the album a relentless backbone of big beats, savage synths, infectious vocals and utterly chaotic yet infectious melodies. Whereas the likes of 'Futurelast', 'The End', and 'Capacity' see the band push their experimental sides into near ambient territory and taking the tracks on a cinematic escapade that is somewhat unexpected but very welcome.

The album is then rounded off by a series of remixes of 'We Are Fucked' and 'Having Fun' which sees the likes of AlienNation, Mr. Strange, XSRY, Paresis, and Inertia give each track a radical overhaul. This serves to rein-in the madness a little and re-work the tracks into far more club-friendly offerings.

In terms of the production this is perhaps one of the band's most accomplished outings so far. It's still vehemently DIY and rough around the edges – there's plenty of punk in these cyberpunks. But it isn't swamped with noise and distortion, the beats power the tracks ahead and the vocals slice through for maximum effect.

This is the band's strongest release so far. It's balances its experimental nature with solid and direct songwriting that overflows with anger and outrage. It's a perfect blend of the technological uncertainty and social repression of the modern age and has some pretty sick beats to boot.

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