Need an injection of gothic rock to perk up your dark soul? Then the debut track “DarkenedEyes” from st///ll might stoke the fires. The three members are scattered between the UK and Ireland but have the common love for the post-punk genre.
The drum machine starts pistoning away, joined by the chiming out guitar, before the Ian Curtis like vocals invade your concious. Then you are plunged into a sonic sweetness, due to the bass being there, ramping up the tension and dueling the lead guitar. It’s a bit like being transported back to the early 80s.
I think there is not only a love here for Joy Division but I can also hear Pink TurnsBlue, which is tangible in both the vocals and guitar. Given a chance, “Darkened Eyes” could easily become a gothic dance floor anthem. There is no excuse for not popping off to Bandcamp to secure this little beauty as it is name your price, for a seriously strong debut track from st///ll.
Today I added a new tag to my list. Industrial space music.…. I’m pretty chuffed about that. The reason behind the new tag is the debut EP from Perth ambient electronic/industrial project, Open Mirror, called Contact Void, out on Western Australian label, Lightarmour Editions. Grant Slee is the human component of OpenMirror, as they windup for the release of the full length album, Contact Mortis.
The three track EP starts with “Contact Void” with its vast tendrils of sound and synth wavering out into the reaches of unknown universe, amongst the stars, quasars and heavenly bodies. Expansive and glittering. Somewhere in the back of my head, “Oxygene Pt 4” by Jean-Michel Jarre is prickling at my concious, because it reminds me very much of the space sound scapes created by the electronic French genius. The next track is “Contact Void” revisited as the Liminal mix, longer than the original. Brusque, more drawn out, as if this wasn’t the shiny and smooth trip expected. There is hesitation in the music as it plucks up the courage to sail forth. Those brighter synths are there but also an underlying ground swell of harsh noise creeping into the rhythm. Maybe contact with aliens beings, in the transmissions.
Sequentially, the tracks keep getting longer, with “The Dead Hotline“, clocking in at 13 minutes and 40 seconds. This is the Signal Extended mix, a different concept in some ways as it is not space related. There is a sadness in the music and the harsh noise is making its presence felt now, like the static on the radio, unable to find a channel. The music is now a spirit box, a conduit for the voice of the dead. A very Australia voice asks the aether questions, with the hope of a rely.
Though one is Earth bound and the other about space, there is a common theme… discovering what is it, there in the dark, or rather who. Well played OpenMirror because not only is this EP thought provoking, it’s genuinely both fascinating to listen to and very enjoyable. So how will you ContactVoid?
This month we brought you the review of “RIP (Dead To Me)” by AILSHA and the 28th of October has seen the spooktacular release of the accompanying video. Electro goth pop about the modern inconvenience of ‘ghosting’, which means baby…. you are Dead To Me. Don’t say we never give you anything nice!
What better way to celebrate Halloween, than to release a vampiric cover song, so that is exactly what BeautyIn Chaos have done with the Concrete Blonde track, “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)“, which was from the 1990 album of the same name, Bloodletting.
Is that buzzing sound a blood sucking mosquito in the room? Not exactly as it resolves into revealing itself to be the sax of Mars Williams (Psychedelic Furs), to accompany the flourishing guitars. There is a drawn out sassiness that only increases with the introduction of the vocals from Michael Ciravolo, the man behind the creation of Beauty In Chaos, inducing the feel of New Orleans, because as a native, he has that Southern drawl. The progression becomes almost like a drug fuelled dream, as everything wavers, intoxication settling in and we become part of the undead parade march, into the nightmare that is the lair of the vampire, with the lovey ladies, Whitney Tai, Kat Leon and TishCiravolo joining in on vocal duties.
For me, there are two female singers that I hold in very high esteem. The first is the iconic Siouxsie Sioux and the other is the amazing Johnette Napolitano, so Concrete Blonde is very close to my heart. Her vocals alone were a good reason to love the band. I am going to say I am glad that it is different but kept to the essence and core of the “Bloodletting“. A new spin to a classic and you can see the love not only for the song but the inspiration, New Orleans and Anne Rice’s vampire’s who often called it home, conjuring visions of warm nights, strong brews, voodoo and the smell of wisteria and death. The video is also a treat so you should also check it out as well, full of shadowy characters, sexy vamps, obligatory vampire hunter and the secrets a mask can hide.
If you are into gothic/deathrock music then you should know the name William Faith. If you don’t then I am giving you the hard stare….now. Faith’s (vocals, guitars) current project is The Bellwether Syndicate, created with his equally famous wife Sarah Rose Faith aka Scary Lady Sarah (vocals, guitars), which will see their debut album, Vestige & Vigil, released next year. Meantime, there is the newest single, “Dystopian Mirror“, giving you a taste of what is to come. The band is rounded out with musicians Philly Peroxide (keyboards, percussion), Stevyn Grey (drums) and Corey Gorey (guitars)
Kicking arse from the beginning, no small intro but rather straight into it. That amazing wall of guitar in the chorus builds the tension and swells, before the drops to rebuild again. What can I say about the chorus other than breath-takingly monumental, especially with the passion in Faith’s vocals. The bass and drums are tight, giving the track a great rhythmic platform with the synths..
Faith has said that the track was written about a friend from his younger years, that was caught up in mental health issues and spiralling out of control with the use of drugs and alcohol, which eventually brought them to an early demise. There is definitely that feeling of being out of control, of manic highs and deeps lulls within “Dystopian Mirror“. For many of us that lived this lifestyle in black for many years, we have survived many of our peers and watched them disappear down that dark hole, never to return. There is a certain pain that goes with those memories but we honour them in those recollections. And if nothing else, it is a rip snorter of a gothic rock song.
Beware, there is something in the air, in the night breeze. The Contagion Collective are a group of dark alternative musicians and producers, from around Australia, under this banner for the purpose of supporting each other and the scene. Their first compilation came out on the 22nd of October, titled Outbreak Vol. 1, which indicates that there is a lot more to come. This has all been facilitated by Brisbane label Viral Records but all proceeds will go back to the Contagion Collection, for they are legion.
I am not going to breakdown the whole release because there are thirteen tracks but also I want people to get curious and have a listen as they won’t be disappointed. From New South Wales musicians, Cheap Coffins, with his glorious metal infused industrial track, “Liminal Self” and ALUCVRD’s “Nail Fetish Hate God” with those drum and bass drops.
Queensland is well represented with dark rock juggernauts Killtoys with “Come Alive“, the amazing electronics in “Black Summer” by HOSTILE ARCHITECT and eat the sensual “BrainCandy” on offer by Jerm. Other artists include Dirt Factory, DisfiguredMistress, Isserley, NyteShayde, Shadowbox, The Grey, Vargil and ZCLUSTER. This lot pack a punch and like assorted chocolates, not all will suit your taste but some will become firm favourites.
You might notice that you can’t buy individual tracks on Bandcamp and there is a good reason for this. First off, if you really like a song, then you have the chance to go to the band’s Bandcamp page and purchase it directly, perhaps even checking out more of their stuff. Secondly, the compilation doesn’t cost that much and you are getting a big slice of music to sit down with, possibly finding new favourite acts to follow. That’s called winning.
This is something close to my heart and kudos to Viral Records having put a lot of effort into the compilation. Australia literally has a plethora of talented darkwave and industrial musicians but often they go unrecognised both overseas and even in their own country.
We are putting you on high alert, raising awareness, raising the stakes. Catch the infection and give it to your mates. The is the ContagionCollective and this is only the beginning.
When i was younger, Ministry and Rammstein were considered industrial metal. Meet DunwichDreams of Albuquerque, who dropped the single “Rise Of The Seventh Sun” on October the 21st.
The beginning seems pleasant enough with synths playing until the drums come in and it all changes. The vocals roar and bellow at that unnaturally low tone that constitutes death or black metal, though you can still understand the lyrics.
“Rise Of The Seventh Sun” is heavy, visceral and like a punch to the guts. It bangs along, savage and cryptic. I have the disclaimer of not being a metal expert but have the feeling there are others out there that will love this heavier style of industrial metal from Dunwich Dreams.
When it became October the 15th, Orrphoiz dropped his debut album, Kill The Gods. German based, Orrphoiz, is a mixture of dark synthwave and EBM with a much harsher edge.
It’s an angry and emotional album, raging against the injustice of the world we live in and the systems we live under. – Orrphoiz
When they tell me they have an album and it turns out to have a lot of extra stuff on it….this is Kill The Gods, chock full of original tracks, some featuring guest artists and guest remixes, with a rich variety of styles. There are eleven original tracks, with feature artist, grabyourface, plus a further six remixes, done by ES23, SynthAttack, STAHLSCHLAG, Miss Suicide, BolPaVoX and RNZR.
Let us kick off with “Impostor” with a message of doom and Orrphoiz’s rate of verbalization really impresses me, like a machine going off and without missing a beat. Vocally, “The Lost Ones“, is creepy, dissolving into far more soulful tone. All the while, the synths hypnotise your senses. “Electric Crash” might be the song to sum up the album with its pumping beats and circular rhythms, about being under the influence of electronic music, unable to get enough. The intricate and sparkling instrumental track, “Gathering The Tribe“, wends it’s way like an Arabian tale. The grabyourface collab, “Eat The Rich” makes you wonder how one can say so much without seemingly taking a breath. There is a venom within the overwhelming sound and the vocals. The dance grooves let fly in “Kill The Gods“, pounding, pounding, pounding to remind you that those smiling plastic faces, want to lull you into a false sense of security.
The premise that all human bleed the same and have all the same fears and needs, so why do we feel the right to wage war and take another’s life is “Industrial Hate Machine“. It is abrasive and feels like splinters of metal under your skin. “Synth City” is yet another instrumental tracks with a beautiful array of whirling electronic synthwave, pulsating and seductively warm. The synthesized Hatsune Miku features on “Plastic Popstar“….wow, so smooth and the vocals are to die for. How do you express the perfection of a track? We are somewhat back to harsher vocals, intermingled with the smooth in “Femboy Incubus“, and I have to say I have flashbacks to early Eisbrecher. Last of the original tracks is “Dancefloor Annihilator” and a instrumental to finish off with. Musical sirens and techno inspired beats consume you.
The RZNR mix of “Kill The Gods“, throbs with demonic intent, while the keyboard work on “Electric Crack“, has SynthAttack’s fingerprints all over it. ES23 also gives us another version of “Electric Crack”, heavier and dirtier, then we get the crunchy beats of STAHLSCHLAG, as the light and darkness of “The Lost Ones“, are given an epic soundscape platform. MissSuicide imbues “Femboy Incubus“, with a glittering synth dance makeover and “The Impostor” mix by BolPaVoX, has a rather enticing rhythmic noise attitude.
First of all. I was not expecting that voice. When Orrphoiz drops the growling and sings, that voice is as smooth as silk and as deep as a placid, dark lake. Utterly stunning. The album itself is a tapestry of styles, carefully woven together and it works. The feature artists and mixers have really gone to town with the tracks allotted to them and it is a treat to get to hear their work and interpretations. Well worth the money as you get a lot and there is so much to explore inKill The Gods by Orrphoiz.
Did AL1CE meet the White Rabbit, with his pocket watch, muttering about ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be toolate!‘, for their latest single is about “Time“. Tash Cox (lead vocals), Sasha Travis (vocals, slapper 👀), Gordon Bash (vocal, bass guitar, moog synth), Carl Garcia (synth), Steve Kefalas (drums) and Scott Landes (guitars, synth) are the full compliment of AL1CE.
The measured beginning, blooms into the chorus of harmonising vocals in sweet lament of before I fade away. The guitar cries out in its torment, consoled by the synths.
In essence, “Time” waits for no man. We think there is an endless supply of it but soon find ourselves running out of time but with it you can gain knowledge, wisdom and love if used wisely. Time gives with one hand and takes with the other, which is kind of what this track is about, written in the Covid-19 lockdowns. The vocalists are the gems, set in the crown of a beautiful song and the musicians the weavers of magic.
Is it worth revisiting a relationship to see if it can be rekindled? Harlow Syndrome actually exists and is about craving either the attention never received as a child or spark lost, the subject matter touched by Denver duo, A Shoreline Dream in their latest single, “Harlow Syndrome“. This is the third single off the Loveblind album, released on October the 18th on LatenightWeeknight Records.
And it is straight into the track. No mucking about, you are thrown into the swirling dirge of heady reverb with drums and the vocals echo angelically, through the layers of electronic haze. It touches your senses and caresses your ears with the suggestion of Cocteau Twins.
There is that robust wall of sonics and yet, with the singing, this track feels as delicate and fragile as glass, which could break if the wrong note is hit….though it never comes to that. A perfect mixture of shoegaze and darkwave together is A Shoreline Dream and their “Harlow Syndrome“.