Posts Tagged ‘Prophecy Productions’

HAAVARD, the acoustic brainchild of mastermind and sole member Håvard Jørgensen (aka Lemarchand of early ULVER and SATYRICON fame) has released the melancholic yet optimistic track ‘Niende Mars’ ("9th of March") as the second single taken from the Norwegian’s self-titled debut full-length Haavard, which has been slated for release on November 11.

Listen here:

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HAAVARD comments: "The track ‘Niende Mars’ deals on one hand with the fear of losing what’s most important to you, and on the other with reconciliation", the guitarist and singer reveals. "It moves through the cloud of unknowing, and the painful turmoil leads to an opening – a new view, a new perspective, a new path to follow as well as ways to evolve through hopes and fears. In my eyes, the expressive dynamics and dense instrumentation of this piece are a reflection of all of those feelings. After the storm comes calm."

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CRONE are now revealing a lyric visualiser for their new single ‘Abyss Road’ taken from the German dark rockers’ forthcoming album Gotta Light?, which has been slated for release on September 23.

CRONE comment: "The new single, ‘Abyss Road’, is our hymn to shattered dreams and never achieved goals in life", lead guitarist Kevin Olasz explains. "In one way or the other, we can probably all identify with this topic. Some listeners might be surprised about the song’s musical direction as it has an almost punk-ish vibe that is quite a change from our well established mid-tempo dark rock style. ‘Abyss Road’ was the first song, that we wrote for this album. It is also one of the few that we were able to arrange together as a band in our rehearsal room before a weird virus brought the world to a standstill – and with it a part of our plans. Anyway, are you ready to follow us down this road?"

Watch the video here:

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GOSPELHEIM have released a sinister video exorcism that illustrates the first single ‘Praise Be’ and is taken from the British dark rockers’ forthcoming new album Ritual & Repetition, which has been slated for release on October 21.

The video ‘Praise Be’ in the style of an early Boris Karloff horror movie.

See the video here:

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GOSPELHEIM comment on ‘Praise Be’: “This dark ballad teases the listener with erotic undertones and speaks about the inner revolution of moral value”, singer and guitarist Ricardo explains. “The lyrics of ‘Praise Be’ reflect on the very fabric of spirituality, and the connections between the human mind, body, and soul.”

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GOSPELHEIM were formed by singer and guitarist Ricardo and bass-player and vocalist Coco in Manchester back in the dark days of 2020 while the world came to a grinding standstill. The core duo took inspiration from the morality of the human condition, silent era horror movies, and the transformation of existential concepts such as good and evil.

In early November 2020, GOSPELHEIM recorded their debut album Ritual & Repetition at No Studio in Manchester with Joe "Doctor" Clayton. A video single of the track ‘Into Smithereens’ was filmed, self-released, and well received by critics and fans alike. Despite the known adverse circumstances, the band managed to perform a first live show at Factory 251 in Manchester in September 2021 and has every intention to perform live as much and as soon as possible. The line-up was later completed with the addition of second guitarist Jordan and Rob on drums.

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CRONE have released a pro-shot video illustrating the first single ‘Gemini’ taken from the dark rockers’ forthcoming new album Gotta Light?, which has been slated for release on September 23.

Watch the melancholic and longing video for ‘Gemini’, which perfectly mirrors the mood of this track here:

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“I wrote all the basics for ‘Gemini’ on an old acoustic guitar”, vocalist and guitarist Phil Jonas reveals. “It is amazing to look back and see how the song eventually developed into the piece that it is now. The lyrics came to me very quickly. I am sure their meaning unfolds with a little digging. The video by director Robert Piel at least in my mind tells the story of a lost twin and its inevitable return in some kind of a rebirth. This can be interpreted in many directions. I think each of us has already had to leave someone behind.”

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VALBORG have unveiled a visualiser for the first single ‘Sehnsucht nach Unendlichkeit’ ("Longing for Infinity") that is taken from the German sludge monster’s forthcoming album Der Alte ("The Old One"), which has been slated for release on September 9.

Watch the video here:

VALBORG comment: "The working title for ‘Sehnsucht nach Unendlichkeit’ was ‘Techno’ due to our use of a steady kick drum", vocalist and bass player Jan Buckard explains. "The tune originates from the idea of writing a super simple song regarding its structure, but with rather complex and deep harmonics. In this respect, ‘Sehnsucht nach Unendlichkeit’ can be regarded as an experimental piece from our end, which turned out to be worthy to be picked as the first single. The title is actually derived from the name of a spaceship in one of Alastair Reynolds’ hard science fiction novels."

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PENCEY SLOE are now premiering the video clip ‘Smile to Zero’ as the first single taken from the dreamgaze rockers’ sophomore full-length Neglect, which has been slated for release on August 19.

The band comment: “At first you think that the comfortable zone of emptiness is your friend, until it grabs you so hard that your mind twists and locks itself up”, writes singer and guitarist Diane Pellotieri. “It was important to create a video in a dimension other than reality as we all embody a virtual profile these days. The repetitive movements of the characters and their aesthetics echo the underlying problem of the digital age that is imposed on us. I view surrendering to the virtual space as a self-surrender. The video’s characters are gradually drawn into a horror, which does not even frighten them anymore. I see the same mechanism in real world situations like depression or dependency.”

Watch the video here:

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Pic by Nicolas Di Vincenzo

Venus Principle are premiering the melancholic and powerful new track ‘Drag Nets’ as the final single taken from the dark psychedelic rocker’s debut full-length Stand in Your Light, which has been scheduled for release on May 27.

‘Drag Nets’ makes subtle use of a wide range of instrumentation from sax to mellotron vibes and Mini Moog, and the stunning vocal chemistry between Daisy Chapman and Daniel Änghede comes into play again as well.

The band comment: “After the initial recording sessions for Stand in Your Light were postponed, we had a chance to write a few more songs”, guitarist Jonas Stålhammar tells. “The last one written was ‘Drag Nets’. It turned out to be by far the heaviest track on the album. ‘Drag Nets’ represents the waste and rejects of man. You can trawl the sea for food and treasure, but humankind will always carelessly discard all unwanted matter only for it to be rediscovered as flotsam and jetsam. The idea of adding saxophone was a last minute thought in the studio when I reached the conclusion that we had too many guitar solos on the album already. Our amazing guest on the saxophone, August Eriksson, copied my guitar solo note for note and then added some improvised sprinkles.”

Listen to ‘Drag Nets’ here:

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Prophecy Productions / Auerbach Tonträger – 13th May 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Anyone who tells you Germans lack a sense of humour probably doesn’t have one themselves. Many of the Germans I’ve had contact with have been wry wordplayers and incredibly droll. Who could deny the humour of a nation that gave us Die Toten Hosen? And so it is that St Michael Front showcase a certain tongue-in-cheek amusement, and while their debut album revelled in the preposterous, their latest, which also happens to be the first in their native tongue, exploits the disparity between drama and drollery. For a band who play small venues domestically, and with a minimal setup beyond the projection of movie clips, their sound and presentation is very much a cinematic widescreen and 5.1 sound that’s bold and ambitious – and not just a little self-aware of the pomp and extravagance of their songs.

I have to confess that the arrival of ‘Knochen und Blut’, the second single from Schuld & Sühne completely skittled me, and I immediately found myself somewhat obsessed by the song, and its accompanying video. The song is so magnificently poised, balanced, dramatic, theatrical, while the video… the video is weird. Lifting clips from vintage movies is nothing new, but there seemed to be a certain revelling in the brutal here, and it cut a path from the previous video, suggesting that these guys have something of a fascination with clips of people pummelling or shooting the crap out of one another and scenes of destruction by fire and extreme weather. I’m actually reminded a little of Home Alone, and can picture them glued to all the old black and white gangster movies.

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Schuld & Sühne seems to revel in being overtly German, in the way that Rammstein are – yes, I know – more German than German (although it was Hanzel Und Gretyl who took this comment on the Jewish community prior to WWII and the label ascribes to architectural historian Niklaus Pevsner for his dubious support of the Nazis as a song title for a technoindustrial banger). St Michael Front are a hell of a lot more subtle than Rammstein, and a lot more fun, too: it’s far smarter than ‘Amerika’, but no less German, and no less bold or steeped in pomp.

There’s more than a hint of Sparks or even Pet Shop Boys here, and St Michael Front clearly ‘get’ the essential dynamic of the quintessential pop duo: impassive, static, stone-faced guitarist Bruder Matthias is the perfect deadpan foil to the subtly flamboyant and vaguely campy trenchcoat-wearing Bruder Sascha, and the interplay between the two across the songs is entertaining. They build drama, and there’s a keen theatrical element to the songs.

It helps that St Michael Front don’t resort to force, lyrically or sonically. Instead of bludgeoning the listener, Bruder Sascha has a knack for an expansive gesture, a raised eyebrow that’s arch and disarming, vaguely absurd, and knowingly so – and it translates beyond the videos – you can actually hear this coming through in the songs themselves. At times incongruously jaunty, at others giving a knowing nod, there’s a dry comedic element to the performance.

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Schuld & Sühne is at times brooding, at times breezy, even borderline cheesy (none more so than third single ‘1000 Namen’) – but for all this, there is something aching and beautiful about so much of it that makes it a magnificent and really quite special album.

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Prophecy Productions – 15th April 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

As Darkher, Jayn Maiven lives up to her moniker. Since beginning her career in 2012, progress has been slow but steady, with an eponymous debut EP in 2013 being followed by a second EP, The Kingdom Field in 2014 paving the way for her full-length debit, Realms in 2016. The Buried Storm, then, has been five years in the wait, but it was most definitely worth it.

‘Sirens Nocturne’ sets the bar with a low, slow, brooding drone of strings providing the backdrop to Jayn’s haunting vocal. That backdrop gradually swells with layers of tremulous violins, and her voice heads skyward, a glorious choral sound that’s spiritual beyond verbalisation.

What’s striking is just how deeply steeped in folk this is, the sparse, haunting melodies evoking rugged moorlands and windswept mountainsides. This isn’t a matter of cliché: this is music that touches the naked soul. A tribal drum thumps way off in the distance on the funereal ‘Lowly Weep’; it’s majestic and it’s moving, and over the course of its eight-minute duration, the swelling sound conveys so much more than mere words. Utilising post-rock tropes, it tapers down to quiet chiming guitar around the mid-point before bursting into a monumental thunder of slow, overdriven power chords, a slow-burning crescendo that’s both heavy and mesmerising in its graceful execution.

For its brevity and simplicity, built around a picked acoustic guitar and mournful strings, ‘Unbound’ is intense, but it’s on ‘Where the Devil Waits’ that we really feel a closer connection to Jayn; the vocals are more prominent, and we feel as it we’re riding the waves of a tempest – both literal and emotional – with her.

The true power of The Buried Storm lies in just how much Maiven does with so little. That said, ‘Love’s Sudden Death’ packs a dark density, and brings with it a slow, doomy trudge that invites comparisons to Chelsea Wolfe and Emma Ruth Rundle, and not simply because these are female artists exploring heavy terrain – although I suppose that is a factor, in that we have a crop of artists who balance weight and ethereality, all wrapped in a mist of gothic enigma.

It’s on ‘Immortals’ that everything comes together in a slow-building crescendo – the distant rolling thunder of drums and growing tension that finally breaks into a bold sweep of sound at around the mid-point of its eight-minute expanse.

The piano-led closer, ‘Fear Not, My King’ plods down into the darkest depths. It’s dolorous and dank, and sucks you down toward the depths of reflection, and places you may not want to go.

The Buried Storm is truly beautiful, elegant, with grace and poise and power – and for all its softness, its gentleness, it’s a difficult and at times harrowing album, and a magnificent artistic achievement.

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DARKHER are now premiering the bitter-sweet video single ‘Love’s Sudden Death’ taken from the beloved Northern English doom act’s sophomore album The Buried Storm, which has been chalked-up for release on April 15.

The black and white clip ‘Love’s Sudden Death’ was filmed on location at Long Dike Moor, which lies between Hebden Bridge and Haworth in West Yorkshire – and is also very close to Top Withens, the moorland that inspired the Brontë Sisters’ novels and poetry.

Watch the video here:

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Photo: Catherine Pogue