Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Darkwave project, Distance H has dropped their new single & video featuring Marita Volodina, ‘Waters Of Woe’.

‘Waters Of Woe’ addresses the necessity to overcome the pain and anguish of broken promises, by others or by oneself, making the promised lands inaccessible. It’s the saving distance to escape collapse when the time comes for resignation and abandonment. It’s also the distance to be taken with our ghosts, (past or present), which haunt the mind and the memory.
To free yourself from the stigmata of the past, to emancipate the psyche into the present. That is ‘Waters Of Woe’.

Parisian producer/artist, Manuel H once again invites a feature singer, Marita Volodina, for the new single.

It’s vintage goth with a contemporary spin. It’s also a cracking tune. We dig it, and you can check it out here:

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To celebrate the release of debut album Presence, Attawalpa has today unveiled the video to new song ‘Get Down’. Directed by photographer Dan Martensen and creative directed by Emma Chitty, the video was shot at Drop Studios in north London and Hampstead Heath. Attawalpa, who recently supported The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park and performed at All Points East, is featured on Edith Bowman’s ‘Play Next’ podcast.

“’Get Down’ was me trying to write an upbeat song about depression!” explains Attawalpa linchpin Luis Felber. “I was in a pretty detached and in a neither here nor there place when we cemented the chorus ‘I’m like someone else, when there’s no one here, if I am myself will I disappear? I keep calling out until someone hears, they got to be somewhere, gotta be somewhere!’. I think it describes my ability and tendency to disassociate pretty well! I came to get down but now I get down lolz. It’s funny because it is true! I partied my youth well into my early thirties. And lived at least a decade with a hangover, many not great decisions and a certain uncertainty of who I was. I got down and it got me down! Dan Martensen made the video with my long-time collaborator Emma Chitty as creative director. We also shot the album cover over these couple days. The video is a very simple interpretation of ‘anglofying’ my Peruvian roots".

Watch the video here:

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Christopher Nosnibor

With Jeffrey Dahmer being all the rage on Netflix, hot on the heels of David Tennant’s portrayal of Dennis Nilsen on ITV, serial killers are no longer the domain of weirdoes and fans of industrial music: this shit is now completely mainstream. So while Le Cycne Noir’ss latest effort may have previously been considered in dubious taste, that’s no longer the case. It’s not even ‘edgy’ now: it’s regular evening televisual entertainment. This is, in many ways, more disturbing than the subject matter itself. What happened? When did so many become so twisted? When did this shit become mainstream, and why?

And so, here we are: to mark Halloween, Le Cycne Noir is planning a special seasonal new EP release entitled ‘Death & Consequences’ (out 28th October, via Anger Management Records), which they pitch as “Returning with a harrowing set of songs all about serial killers, the renegade electronic/prog artist is leading the way with the featured single ‘Burn Bundy Burn’”. A nonstop lasughriot, then.

The cover art is as tasteless as the topic, and it’s a trashy slab of crisply-produced punk-tinged hard rock with a ska-tinged rhythm and piano and lyrics that rhyme ‘clinically insane’ and ‘10,000 volts right through your brain’. The semi-spoken verses remind me of something I can’t quite place and it’s a shade derivative, but for all its faults, it’s a solid tune and kinda fun.

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‘Phenomena of the Mind’ is a re-mastered EP of selected tracks from the album of the same name released by Mieko Shimizu in 2006, the year after the London Terror attacks. Something dispirited and unexplainable lay heavy in the air off the sprawling city we lived and breathed. In the title song, ‘Phenomena of the Mind’, her intense Japanese rap echoes the deafening noise of the chaotic streets we walk each day. “Visualise”, she said, try to imagine a way to fight your way out of this ominous, dystopian world.

In the track ‘Signal Found’, the theme continues to shattered Dance Hall beats that reverberate to the “twisted sound of broken down London town.”

“Have you lost the plot? Are you ok?” she asks.

In the track ‘Black Salt’, a dark melancholic theme floats over fragmented, glitchy beats, compounded by the repetition of “black” which hammers the constant bombardment of racism prescient of the call for freedom that Black Lives Matter.

Wonderland Magazine has described Mieko’s music as, “beautiful poetic verses and stunning musical arrangements” and Mark Taylor of Record Collector as “An avant garde artist pushing boundaries.”

Mieko Shimizu is a London based Japanese singer, songwriter, composer and producer. Mieko first erupted onto the UK electronic scene as Apache 61; her searing alter ego. The self-titled album garnered plays by John Peel and she quickly build a name across the London & Berlin underground scenes.

Previously she had released 2 albums in her own name, Totem & Road of Shells, then the album Minimal Dance as Mekon Zoo and in 2020 she released her latest album I Bloom.

Watch ‘Phenomena of the Mind’ here:

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Industrial band Panic Lift continues the unraveling of its themed EP release cycle with the band’s first release of 2022 titled Stitched.

This four song EP features two new songs titled ‘Every Broken Piece’ and ‘Bitter Cold’ with remixes from Mechanical Vein and Tragic Impulse.

Lyrically, “Every Broken Piece” and “Bitter Cold” continue with the familiar themes of stress, coping, and concerns of self-image. Hardcore Panic Lift fans may remember “Every Broken Piece” from Panic Lift’s lockdown shows in 2020 that were broadcast online during the height of the COVID19 Pandemic.

For Stitched, Panic Lift explores a harsh ebm sound more stylistically similar to their landmark debut record , Witness To Our Collapse. James Francis explains “I’ve always tried to find a happy medium between what I’m doing now, and where I started” he continues “but now that I’m doing smaller releases, I have the ability to experiment with different styles without having to worry much about how they fit with the rest of my catalog.”

Watch ‘Every Broken Piece’  here:

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Italy’s Red Rot is the new extreme metal band of Luciano Lorusso George and Davide Tiso, formerly of Ephel Duath, and their debut Mal de Vivre, is a relentless opus of technical beauty and bludgeoning grace.

Dubbed after a French expression to describe a sense of profound discontentment, the idea of losing the taste for life, Red Rot’s Mal de Vivre was written, recorded and mixed between October 2020 and May 2021 as the world was reeling in the throes of pandemic. Featuring eclectic drummer Ron Bertrand and bass virtuoso Ian Baker to flesh out their powerhouse of cutting-edge extreme metal, Red Rot are an emerging force to be reckoned with.

The seventeen songs in Mal de Vivre are musically intense, raw and passionate, but with a multi-faceted elegance that envisages Red Rot appealing to fans of radical and heavy music right across the spectrum. Engorged with elements of Death Metal, Doom and Thrash: Mal de Vivre sounds like a twisted blend of the roots of early Morbid Angel and Paradise Lost with the experimental discord of Voivod and the hardcore clash and klang of bands like Converge. Lorusso’s lyrics on Mal de Vivre explore themes of mental illness, psychological deviance, rage, gloom and paranoia, all delivered with agonized and emotional conviction. Davide Tiso further illustrates their themes and origins in his concept for Red Rot by explaining:

“When it was time to give a name to the music coming up, I thought about two elements: something sulphuric, malignant in its essence, combined with the idea of rot.

I found out that the Red Rot present in the vegetable tanned leather of old books that remain stored and untouched in humid locations is a result of binding components turning into sulphuric acid. This idea of old knowledge left rotting into itself created sulphuric essence clicked with me. It took quite a long time for me to start playing rotting sounding music: my career started playing sophisticated jazzy sounding metal. Now I feel I added sulphur to my music and Red Rot is the result of it. Apparently the damage caused by red rot is irreversible, I like to think that Red Rot’s music could do the same”.

Red Rot have also shared the video for first single "Ashes” directed by Niklas Sundin. Watch it here:

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North Wales Psychedelic rock band Holy Coves announce brand new ‘Druids And Bards’ 24-date UK Tour and are set to release brand new ‘Desert Storm’ single which  on Friday 29th of April via prolific North Wales Label Yr Wyddfa Records.

Dropping swiftly into the slip-stream and following on from the successful ‘The Hurt Within’ which was released last month, ‘Desert Storm’ sets the psych mood with droney riffs, hazy vocals on an epic musical landscape.

Lead by Welsh Singer-Songwriter Scott Marsden, Holy Coves find themselves crossing an unseen threshold on a fantastical new journey where new psych-hazed material spells an exciting new era for the collective.

Through long time friend and Producer David Wrench, Holy Coves were put in touch with Texan Producer Erik Wofford (The Black Angels / Explosions In The Sky) and have built quite a magical working relationship, one where Wofford found himself on Mixing and Mastering duties for the material and certainly contributes to their new sound.

Listen to ‘Desert Storm’ here:

Tour dates are below:

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Temple Invisible have unveiled their arresting new single ‘Over My Feet’, taken from new ‘Chiasm’ EP coming next month.

Fusing chiffon vocals with impending electronic beats, ‘Over My Feet’ comes as the third single plucked from Temple Invisible’s forthcoming ‘Chiasm’ EP, and boasts the breadth of the genre-defying duo.

Showcasing the two-piece’s knack for creating evocative electronic-tinged tracks that are as dark as they are diaphanous, “Over My Feet” feels eerie and overcast yet optimistic and inviting all at once.

Speaking of the inspiration behind the track, vocalist Irina Bucescu explains:

“’Over My Feet’ is like a walk in the forest. It draws its roots from the deep and rich life of the underground — the mycelium. As you progress deeper into the forest, you connect with the life force, inside out, and blend the deeper and more disturbing truths into a multi-layered view of reality. The metamorphosis of death can be a beautiful thing when you walk in the forest.”

With its opening moments unfolding like a silken ballad — gauzy vocals and gentle key taps wind themselves around one another with cushiony ease — the docile ambience is soon underpinned by swirling electro rhythms that steadily threaten to erupt, before overflowing into a meticulous amalgam of rippling instrumentals.

Watch the video here:

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Christian Death – Quicksand

10th January 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Christian Death have long shown a love of Bowie, which has subtly permeated their work but was rendered concrete with their version of ‘Panic in Detroit’ in the Rage of Angels album. But anyone who would think that the Bowie fandom was specific to the Rozz Williams era of the band would be mistaken: Valor has long embraced androgynous elements in his style, and never shied away from pop / art rock elements within the music itself.

There have, of course been numerous covers of ‘Quicksand’, and the one thing that’s apparent from all of them is that a great song is a great song, whoever’s playing it, even Seal. If Dinosaur Jr’s cover was a brilliant example of reconfiguring the song into a slacker anthem, Christian Death’s take, which stretches the original five-minute song well past the seven-minute mark is remarkably faithful to the original and doesn’t goth it up in the slightest. This isn’t a complete surprise: their previous covers, from Garyn Numan’s ‘Down in the Park’ to Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Angel’, which appeared on All the Love, were straight and sensitive, even reverent in their approach.

Performed by Valor and Maitri, it’s predominantly acoustic guitar and piano, but there’s a full backing with drums, bass, and sweeping string sounds, making for a take that’s bold, theatrical, and yet, at the same time, intimate, and fitting at a time when Bowie covers and links to his songs are proliferating on social media: it may be the fifth anniversary of his death, but the week also marks what would have been his 75th birthday, and it’s fair to say few, if any artists have had quite the impact he did. Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones, may have all broken immense ground, but Bowie was an entirely different proposition, on so many levels, and it’s clear the shock and grief are still strong for so many. This, then, is a fitting and well-executed, heartfelt tribute.

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Iranian groove metal/hardcore band Confess describe themselves as a “five-piece street protest”. It’s not a figure of speech: Nikan Khosravi (vocals/guitar) and Arash Ilkhani (DJ/Sampler) have experienced political persecution first-hand. Theband’s upcoming album “Revenge at All Costs” is a cry of outrage in the form of chunky down-tuned riffs marinated in the Norwegian winter.

The journey started in junior high school in Tehran when Nikan got a CD from a classmate. It contained music videos by metal bands from the 90s and 2000s. "I was fascinated by the sound of the genre," he states. "Ever since this music has been the centre of my life." Nikan and Arash started the band as
teenagers in 2010, releasing their first album "Beginning of Dominion" in 2012. Their early sound gravitated towards old-school death metal and 90s hardcore, always with some grooviness to it.

Nikan started his own label "Opposite Records" in 2014. Up until now, this could sound like the story of any European band. But change the context and being a metal musician in Iran could mean anything from government surveillance to execution. Arrest and prison followed the release of the band’s second album
In Pursuit of Dreams in 2015. This led to the pair being arrested and facing execution on charges of blasphemy in one of Iran’s harshest prisons.

Fast forward to 2018, when both Nikan and Arash obtained refugee status in Norway. Confess started experimenting with seven strings and adding modern death metal sounds. But the groovy headbanging spirit of their musical DNA is very much alive. Confess has played in public without fear of repercussions ever since. After several concerts in Norway, their latest milestone has been opening for Mayhem at Festspillene i Nord.

As a taster for the 2022 album ‘evenge at all Costs, they’ve given us ‘Ransom Note.’ Watch ‘Ransom Note’ here:

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