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'

PSY'AVIAH 'Lightflare' ALFA MATRIX

Review: Caustic – 'American Carrion';

CAUSTIC 'American Carrion' NEGATIVE GAIN PRODUCTIONS

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Review: Suffering For Kisses – 'Forever Waiting'




SUFFERING FOR KISSES
'Forever Waiting'
SELF-RELEASED

With a name like Suffering For Kisses, the expectation for some classic melodramatic goth is pretty high, and it is something that is thankfully delivered in droves. SFK is the brainchild of Tony D'Oporto aka The Gnome, also known for his projects Gnomes of Kush, Gnome & Spybey (w/ Mark Spybey of Dead Voices On Air / Download) and Crisis Actor (w/ David Thrussell of Snog).

With a strong new wave meets darkwave core and a slow methodical delivery, the projects debut album 'Forever Waiting' channels the sombre dancefloors of the 1980s and transposes them into 2018. Tracks such as 'Touch', 'The Waiting', 'Beautifully Dark', 'In The Night', 'Lust', and 'The Only One' blend steady drums, classic gothic bass and clean new wave synths and jangling guitars with lots of delay to conjure up images of dark clubs full of dry ice and back-combed hair. There isn't much variety in terms of pace to the album though the track 'Interlude' adds a shot of melancholic cabaret to the proceedings.

The production is clean and simple. Perhaps a little too simple though. It has a cold synthetic edge that would suit it more if there were more layered electronics. But otherwise makes it sound a little too nostalgic.

It's an interesting first release that is heavy on atmosphere and retains a lot of dance appeal that will find favour with fans of the traditional goth sound. It could use a little more variation in the pacing of the album and a thicker, warmer sound as well. But otherwise its a catchy offering that draws you in and delivers a classic slice of goth to get your teeth into.

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THE FALL OF VERSAILLES




Needless to say, I did not expect my column from last month to be quite so prescient...

To be so spectacularly dramatically outgunned by reality has come as a great surprise to your humble scribe, unaccustomed as I am to events and happenings of any description. I'm therefore going to have to raise my lyrical game a notch to fully capture the tension of the current hour.

So, let us discuss the political and cultural legacy of Versailles, the orgiastic epicentre of royal power that orbited around the pernicious and mercurial moods of the Sun King. The small hamlet outside Paris became the prison of ambition and scandalous decadence for three entire generations of French nobles, a terrain created for the simple purpose of holding the political class of the nation - whether powerful, talented, mediocre or inept – to ransom, miles away from their family and estate strongholds and dependant upon the grace and favour bestowed by the Bourbon dynasty. One minute you were the lord of a large manor in the country, the next you found yourself applying His Majesty's cuff links for him as your first court act of the day. Your connections meant nothing when you found yourself competing for a place diagonal to the King at dinner.

Stranded in the sticks, members of the court sunk into a morass of drink, sex, debauchery, drugs, parties, gambling, witchcraft and war. Careers rose and fell on the unpredictable whims of the Louis', former favourites were exiled to nunneries and Spain, nations rose and fell, and the people gradually fell into poverty and despair. The nation sunk into debt, as even the victories of the state turned out to be ruinously expensive. And eventually it ended - suddenly, spectacularly, bloodily.

What can we learn from this? That there are limits to autocratic power; that ultimately the creditors take control; and that every party has to end sometime. But the original concept of Versailles – as corrupt, mismanaged, inhumane and disastrous a waste of human talent, effort and life as it turned out to be – did still have the seed of an idea of an ordered, balanced and enlightened utopia of human endeavour. Could Versailles have lasted longer if it was better run, more accountable, more democratic? Is there a way of having power and fun at that same time, and keeping them both?

Of course, we would need to have power – and fun – to find that out.

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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Review: Nine Inch Nails – 'Bad Witch'



The third instalment of the EP trilogy that began in 2016, 'Bad Witch' finally emerges. Though classed as an LP by Trent Reznor the album is still of comparable EP length featuring a total of six tracks which is only one more that the previous two.

NIN's post 'Year Zero' output has often been criticised of being a bit safe and samey despite of its prowess. With that in mind this trilogy has been really refreshing with each offering possessing a frantic unfinished and raw energy that is at odds with the perfectionism that coloured his 90s and early 2000s output. The album has the noisy, low-fi edges of 'Not The Actual Events' and the analogue synth playfulness of 'Add Violence', and throws in overt saxophones that gives the album a hint of 'Outside' and 'Earthling' era Bowie. But most importantly out of the albums in the trilogy this one feels the most complete and well-rounded.

The Bowie influence is at its most overt on the brilliantly tense and frenetic 'God Break Down The Door' which sees Trent break out his best croon for the occasion. Tracks such as 'Shit Mirror', '
Ahead Of Ourselves', and 'Play The Goddamned Part' are a little less-user-friendly and employ more of the noise rock vibe from the first EP. However, there's a sudden turn with 'I'm Not From This World' with it's gritty and dissonant synths over a throbbing rhythmic bass line to create a haunting industrial instrumental before the album finishes on the which once again returns to Bowie territory with a nod to his late hero's final album 'Blackstar'.

The production maintains the raw and gritty atmosphere of the previous two outings. It's unpolished and almost live in its energy. But still crafted and mixed with a masterful hand and certainly doesn't feel rushed. Just honest and urgent.

'Bad Witch' pushes out from the safety of classic NIN. There is a cosmic anxiousness at play here, a sense of existential tension that permeates the tracks with discomfort and subversion. Out of the three releases in this trilogy it certainly stands apart as a stronger and more rounded release.

The trilogy as a whole, has led to a more revitalised NIN sound that raises the question that had these songs featured on one album, would the effect have been similar? Also, will we see the staggered format from Reznor and Ross again in the future? Time will tell.

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Metropolis Records announce Legendary Pink Dots reissues




Metropolis Records has announced the re-release of the classic Legendary Pink Dots albums 'Any Day Now' and 'Shadow Weaver' on CD and vinyl.

'Any Day Now' stands as one of the Legendary Pink Dots' best albums, and certainly among the best of the '80s. The Dots were often called an unlikely link between prog rock and industrial. "Any Day Now" lives solidly in a world of synthesizers & British goth & Syd Barret & psychedelia.


TRACK LIST
01. Casting The Runes
02. A Strychnine Kiss
03. Laguna Beach
04. The Gallery
05. Neon Mariners
06. True Love
07. The Peculiar Funfair
08. Waiting For The Cloud
09. Cloud Zero
10. Under Glass
11. The Plasma Twins
12. The Light In My Little Girl's Eyes
13. Neon Gladiators (Version Apocalypse)


THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS’ classic 'Shadow Weaver' is now presented in a 2018 Remastered & Expanded version. Reflecting the DOTS moving away from their electronic-based origin, organic instruments knit rich yet fragile tapestry throughout. Still as vital & relevant as band’s primary influences — Can, Faust, Neu & Meddle-era Pink Floyd, Shadow Weaver shows the bands mastery of psychedelic sound designs.

TRACK LIST
01. Zero Zero
02. Guilty Man - Ghosts Of Unborn Children
03. City Of Needles
04. Stitching Time - Twilight Hour
05. The Key To Heaven
06. Laughing Guest
07. Prague Spring
08. Leper Colony
09. Stitching Time First Version



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Ventenner announce 'Atraxia' single




UK alternative metal band Ventenner are releasing a new single, 'Ataxia', on June 29th. The new track is coming unannounced to the public and fan base and is the first part of a double A side single release, with the second single coming later in 2018, both released through Syndicol Music.

Harking back slightly to their more electronic and industrial roots, 'Ataxia' is a hostile and aggressive statement influenced by an increasing amount of time spent on tour. This is their first studio output since 2017's critically acclaimed album 'Invidia', a far more guitar driven album than their previous material that divided opinion but expanded their creative horizon.

Ventenner can also announce that they are in the process of writing a new album and after a handful of shows towards the end of 2018, they will be once again entering the studio.

'Ataxia' is released worldwide Friday June 29th, and will be available on all major digital platforms. Both 'Ataxia' and the follow up single will not be appearing on any future studio albums. There will also a limited physical release of both tracks in the near future.


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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Infest announces first DJs and Charities




This year's Infest is already shaping up to be the must see UK festival of the year with a knock-out line-up of bands already announced. Joining the band's are some of the scene's top DJ talents with the first announcements already coming through.


DJ ZONE – UK – !!INFEST DEBUT!!
Frontman of rising dark-wave act ‘They Called Him Zone’ and DJ on popular radio show ‘The Dark Hour’ on BCB Radio 106.6FM spinning the darkest most melancholy tunes from the 1960s to the present day. Be prepared for serious eclectic, haunting, alternative sounds.


DJ SLACKERBITCH – SE – !!INFEST DEBUT!!
Swedish gothikon, former co founder of Klubb Död and dj at festivals such as Electronic Summer, Kalabalik, Subkultfestivalen and Gothic Pogo Festival. Be prepared for a very special mix of goth / 80s / electro / modern goth that will turn the dance floor into… A GOTHTASTIC POGO – PARTY!!


DJ KOHL – UK – !!10th ANNIVERSARY SET!!
Stomping his signature style all over the Industrial / Fetish / Hard Dance / Hardstyle scenes… Expect an unforgettable stage presence, an infectious, powerful, dark energy, and a mix of styles ranging from dirty industrial to techno… Join us on the dance floor in celebrating a very special milestone in his career!


DJ CONOR – IE – !!DECRYPT DUBLIN RESIDENT!!
Spins whatever he can get away with in Dublin’s dark alternative scene… old-school goth to classic EBM to darkwave to electro to neo-folk to deathrock to industrial to witch-house to techno to whatever! Wish’s he’d picked a cool DJ name all those years ago, but c’est la vie, he’s just Conor!


DJ MAX SPEED – UK – !!INFEST DEBUT!!
Resident DJ and promoter at Manchester’s Sentinel, Something Good 90s Night and MCR Nights online radio Synthwave mix show. A varied repertoire of musical styles will surely include something for everyone… Expect nothing but be prepared for everything!


DJ XYMOX – AU – !!INFEST DEBUT!!
A 2008 DJ debut in Australia led to involvement in a number of clubs and events before heading to London in 2012. Since then her varied repertoire has lead to regular Slimelight slots and guest slots at Club Antichrist, M2M2 (Northampton), Synergy (Brighton) and Makabra Gothic Dungeon (Milan).


Once again the festival will be supporting a number of charities as well.

YORKSHIRE CANCER RESEARCH

In collaboration with our friends and fellow noise-mongers at Beat:Cancer we’re supporting Yorkshire Cancer Research, who help people in and around Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer. Working in partnership with researchers, scientists and clinicians, the NHS, Public Health bodies and other charities, Yorkshire Cancer Research make life-changing improvements to cancer outcomes.

SAMARITANS

Some of the Samaritans crew from the Bradford branch are planning to attend the event, so you can chat to them about the invaluable work which they do. Providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, we think they’re a really important organisation that deserve our fundraising support.
 
Festival regular and friend Simon Barber is again going to do the Edinburgh Ironman Triathlon, this year in aid of Samaritans, with with the support of his employer the Royal Bank of Scotland who will match his sponsorship fund. He has some scores to settle and a finish-time he wants to smash this year after some spectacularly rough weather last time. GOOD LUCK Simon!

GUIDE DOGS

Last but by no means least, we are continuing our long-standing support for the Guide Dogs Association. Our unofficial mascot JJ will be in attendance for you to fuss over, and his human John-E-Smoke will be on stage with his band Flesh Eating Foundation. 


This years festival will take place from Thursday 23rd until Sunday 26th August at University of Bradford's Student Union and marks its 20th Anniversary. More lineup details and tickets will be available from the festival's official website: https://infestuk.com

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Cold Spring Releases Coil / Zos Kia / Marc Almond 'How To Destroy Angels' CD & LP





COLD SPRING are proud to announce the complete recording of 'A SLOW FADE TO TOTAL TRANSPARENCY'. Recorded 24th August 1983, at the AIR GALLERY, London, UK.



Personnel for the performance - John Balance (Coil), John Gosling (Zos Kia), Marc Almond (Soft Cell) and live mix by Peter Christopherson (Coil, Throbbing Gristle).

Liner notes by Michel Faber ('Under The Skin', 'The Crimson Petal And The White').

1. "HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS" - the complete 23 minute piece.
2. "HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS - ZOS KIA REMIX" - a 9 minute unheard remix by John Gosling.
3. "BAPTISM OF FIRE" - unreleased recording of Zos Kia / Coil at Recession Studios, London, England, October 12, 1983.


CD Release Date: 23rd July 2018.
Vinyl Release Date: 10th September 2018.




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Psy'Aviah Release Music Video For 'The Great Disconnect'




Belgian electronic artist Psy'Aviah has released the new music video for the track 'The Great Disconnect' taken from the band's latest EP 'Looking For The Sun'.




The video for 'The Great Disconnect' was shot in "Doel" (Belgium) - a village which is largely abandoned, and lies next to a nuclear power plant. If you want to read more about this history of Doel, please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doel.

Bandcamp: https://alfamatrix.bandcamp.com/album/looking-for-the-sun-ep


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Juno Reactor Release 'Let's Turn On' Single





"The Mutant Theatre is named for the stage show that I was originally contacted to create for the 2016 Ozora Festival. I always wanted to have a big show, a Barbarella meets Pan's Labyrinth tableau with a sci-fi edge, set to trance and psytrance music; a huge, Las Vegas-style spectacle for the eyes, ears and imagination. We have staged The Mutant Theatre many times since and it has developed with each show. 'Let's Turn On’ was inspired by the 3000 LED, wifi controlled costume designed by Sasha of Stigma [one of the dance troupes that comprise The Mutant Theatre]. It is a trancification of my love of 70’s disco, a fusion of my musical style and tastes. I brought in Shpongle vocalist Michelle Adamson to round out the song and play to that larger than life spectacle that I had imagined. I love her very British voice and the way she is a virtuoso with the TC Helican Voiceworks.”  Ben Watkins - JUNO REACTOR 





The Mutant Theatre is an interactive live show created by Juno Reactor where music, theatre, dance, wifi-controlled LED costumes and a vast array of stage weaponry en-trance the audience into a fantasy world of adrenalin fuelled dreams and hard wired adventure. ‘Pans Labyrinth’ meets ‘Barbarella’ in a sci-fi invasion of the mind and body.


Ben Watkins aka Juno Reactor is a pioneer of the electronic trance scene. From the back streets of 
London to the Hollywood blockbusters of The Matrix trilogy, his group has constantly morphed and evolved, exploring new areas visually as well as musically.


Juno Reactor will release its new album, ‘The Mutant Theatre’, on Metropolis Records in June 2018, which will be followed by globe-spanning shows in the summer and autumn, from Caesars Palacein Las Vegas to Mt. Fuji in Japan.   

http://junoreactor-mutanttheatre.com/ 

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Sunday, 10 June 2018

ES Promotions release 'Independent Synthetics Vol. 2'




Following up on last years successful debut of Volume 1, ES Promotions release 'Independent Synthetics Vol. 2'.

Once again, the compilation is STACKED top to bottom with the best in independent electronic music. This year brings an even more international cast, with artists from Germany, Poland, Norway, Canada, and the USA.

The diversity in sound is also again very strong, with everything ranging from hard-hitting dark electro to some of the most dance-inducing synth pop around!

Track List:
1.) Jihad- We Believe
2.) Sun Goes Dark- Desolation
3.) Kist- Feel Free
4.) Hand in Waves- Burn Down in Tears
5.) Holon- Unauthorized User Access
6.) Gatherfire- Circles
7.) The Electric Witch- Hallowed
8.) Norderney- Sense
9.) Switchface- Nothing in Between (feat. Andrell)
10.) Pain Gauge- A Broken Silence

This is again a FREE download on Bandcamp, so stream or download in any format you like!


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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Review: Poptone – 'Poptone LP'



The reunion of former Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, Love and Rockets, and The Bubblemen founders Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins can only be a good thing. Even if their new incarnation as Poptone (also featuring Kevin's daughter Diva Dompé on bass) is more of a resurrection for old material. But considering that material leans heavily on their Tones on Tail output, which hasn't been performed live for over 30 years, it's nevertheless a welcome return.

With this heavy lean on the ToT material, and the fact that Dompé faithfully reproduces the performances of Glenn Campling you could be forgiven for thinking this is just Tones 2.0 and an exercise in nostalgia. Yet the band's debut EP is a raw and energetic re-appropriation of that old material. The songs feel fresh and exciting and are performed with passion to bring out different nuances from the classic recordings.

In particular tracks such as 'Mirror People', 'Movement of Fear', 'No Big Deal', 'Lions', 'Christian Says', 'Ball of Confusion', 'Go!', and 'Slice of Life' sound great. Dirty distortion, fresh electronics, and a real zest to forge a new identity are ever present elements that cement the Poptone sound as a new and exciting. The only time it doesn't work is on the albums opener 'Heartbreak Hotel', which while a stripped-back and psychedelic garage style cover just feels a little clumsy and lumbering for an opening track.

With the songs originally recorded for a recent Part Time Punks session on KXLU there is a raw live energy that is akin to the early Bauhaus Peel Sessions. It's a strong approximation of what is undoubtedly a tight live sound that plays well to their post-punk origins.

It's great to hear this material get an airing again, Tones on Tail may have been a blip in their career but it still yielded great material. It may be nostalgic at heart but there is so much promise here that it would be a crime if a future release didn't yield some new songs or revisit some lost demos. One can hope. In the meantime this should create more buzz for their live shows.

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ACTORS release video for 'We Don't Have to Dance'



Vancouver's post-punk rising stars ACTORS released a new video on Friday for "We Don't Have to Dance." The video can be watched here:



ACTORS' new album It Will Come to You was released on March 9th, on Artoffact Records. The album's anthemic songs evoke the urgency of early-'80s U2 (Boy, October, War) as well as the driving, synth-drenched scores that emanated from that era's movie screens. Songs like "L'appel du Vide," "Slaves," and "Face Meets Glass" are bangers that glisten via frontman Jason Corbett's production job: slamming beats propel warm layers of synth, guitar, and vocals. Corbett writes, produces, mixes, and masters all ACTORS music at his own Vancouver studio, Jacknife Sound. 


ACTORS live 2018
Sun June 17 - Car Free Day Festival, Vancouver
Sat July 7 - Khatsahlano Festival, Vancouver 
Fri July 27 - 99ten, Edmonton
Sat July 28 - Terminus Festival, Calgary 
Sat August 25 - Infest Festival, Bradford, England 
Sat Sept 15 - Cold Waves Fest @ Gramercy, NYC
Sun Sept 16 - A Murder of Crows Festival, NYC
Tue Sept 18 - The Brillobox, Pittsburgh  
Thu Sept 20 - The Summit, Columbus  
Fri Sept 21 - Detroit TBA
Sun Sept 23 - Cold Waves Fest @ Metro, Chicago 
Mon Sept 24 - JBTV Studio Session, Chicago 
Fri Sept 28 - Sacramento TBA
Sat Sept 29 - Cold Waves Fest @ 1720, LA
Sun Sept 30 - Part-Time Punks @ The Echoplex, LA




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Monday, 4 June 2018

Review: Pig – 'Risen'




PIG
'Risen'
ARMALYTE INDUSTRIES / METROPOLIS RECORDS 


The years spent in the wasteland of creative inactivity are well and truly behind Raymond Watts as we get another hot slice of pork a mere 2 years after the last. Pig's latest full-length studio offing 'Risen' sees the lord of lard Watts continue his creative fervour that was kicked off in 2015 with the 'Compound Eye' sessions with Marc Heal and has continued across several releases in the intervening years. But has this rapid creativity left the well dry?

No. It hasn't. 'Risen' picks up where 'The Gospel' left off with slow grooves and heavy riffs blending industrial electronics, alternative rock while Watts takes on the mantel of an apocalyptic preacher with his chant-a-long lyrics and seedy vocal delivery. Tracks such as 'The Chosen Few', 'Morphine Machine', 'The Revelation', 'Rise & Repent', 'Leather Pig', 'Prey & Obey', and 'Hard Machine' give the album it's hard industrial rock backbone. While the likes of 'Loud, Lawless & Lost', 'When I', and 'Ecstasy & Exorcism' get a bit weirder and more playful in the way that Watts has always had a penchant for.

Production-wise the album maintains a nice balance between it's gritty industrial rock core and more experimental embellishments that have always coloured his work. It's hard to say the album conforms to the “classic” Pig sound, as it has always been an esoteric entity. However the classical elements and more playful electronic experimentation come to the fore quite often which will please long-time fans.

'Watts and co. have been on a creative role for the past three years and it shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. 'Risen' is another great industrial rock album that is well-rounded, expertly crafted and captivating. Watts may be a veteran but he can still bring new ideas to the table and that's exactly what the industrial rock scene needs.

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Book Review: Anne Rice – 'Taltos'


ANNE RICE
'Taltos'
ALFRED A. KNOPF


It is a strange thing when you reach the end of the book. Even more stranger when that is also the end of the series. To be done with Taltos, by Anne Rice, the third and supposed final instalment of the Lives of the Mayfair Witches series, was bittersweet in more than one sense.
Despite the fact that this is the last book, it has a major difference when compared with the past two, mostly in terms of genre. This time, Rice doesn’t present a lot of horror content, but more of a reflexive, philosophical narration that deals with the race of the Taltos. That was an initial shock I had to overcome, since I expected this to be a heavier, more gruesome reading than The Witching Hour and Lasher.
However, when I got used to the main idea, the Taltos’ history, I started to enjoy this book even more. Rice filled it with countless details that, despite made it a reading hard to follow, enriched it.
At this point, I knew I wouldn’t get an explosive battle between the witches and some hidden enemy, yet I still feel it would have been a good addition given the “conspiracy” or sort of that is presented.
Each of the characters felt the same as in the previous books, I couldn’t see a real development on them, maybe only on Mona Mayfair, who acquires a more protagonistic role on this novel, but Rowan, Michael, and the rest of the cast feel just the way they did before, which is a shame.
It is also said that you have to respect the author’s end for the story, but this time Anne Rice take a safe bet for it. It was like she was in a hurry to finish it, fixed whatever was going on with each characters, solved the problems in more time than I expected and took the emergency exit in order to be done with Taltos.
Her followers will tell me that this is not the last time I will see the Mayfair witches, as their universe merges with The Vampire Chronicles’, and I even started with this series before getting to meet Lestat since several blogs said that Interview with the Vampire would tell me what will happen with the witches, but I do find them disappointing when I think about the last chapters of this novel.
I would lie if I said I won’t give Lestat a chance, in order to recover the joy these women gave me, or so I hope, but that won’t be now, maybe not even this year. It will take six books before the stories entangle, and I’m not particularly interested in waiting this much in this moment.

Despite that ending scene ruined the story, I’m sure many will like to dwell on it for a while. I certainly find it pleasurable to have a refuge of daily life in such an interesting universe. There were some unanswered questions that also bothered me, and yet Rice managed to entertain  me for a long while. It is just a matter of time before I return to her. In the meantime, I’ll get some fresh air and a more light, softer reading.

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