It seems the guys from Biomechanimal have slapped us with the single, “From The Mouths Of Beasts“, the latest unnatural, animalistic track from the London based band.

The sound from the outset is huge. There is their signature hardstyle mixed with industrial but also there is the introduction of something akin to symphonic metal, swirling in morass, while the vocals snarl and growl, for there is no taking back that which comes from the mouths of beasts.

I don’t think it’s my imagination, when I say, Biomechanimal are getting heavier. Sure there are the bass drops that you expect but a bigger, more epic metal aspect has been creeping in. How much heavier can they go? Watch this space.

From The Mouths Of Beasts | Biomechanimal (bandcamp.com)

Biomechanimal | Facebook

https://www.instagram.com/biomechanimal/

French duo, The Shadow’s Gone Out, are sounding the Final Alarm, an EP released on the 23rd of September. From Tours, Nourtier Julien (drum, samples) and Enault Anthony (bass, samples) are bringing the instrumental industrial to you.

Sped up ragtime frivolity, followed by industrial tribal rhythms introduce you to the single ”Pills“. It is angry and voluminous, see-sawing with bridled near contempt. Welcome to the crazed circus of “Sous La Pluie” which means in the rain, as it climbs from peak to peak, gathering strength with the military cuts pervading the rising pressure. “Final Alarm” is the last track, full of foreboding and the promise of annihilation, klaxons calling out and military chatter join the ferocious drumming and underlying bass.

Always nice to hear a real drummer in the industrial scene, as it adds a richer tone to the music, especially when joined with heavy bass. There is a strong military feel induced by the samples as The Shadow’s Gone Out seems to be issuing an ominous warning. So beware the Final Alarm.

Final Alarm | The Shadow’s Gone Out (bandcamp.com)

The Shadow’s Gone Out | Facebook

https://www.instagram.com/tsgo_officiel/

Who is Andrei Rikichi? Hmm, even with the bio, we think he might be a bit dodgy. A multi-instrumentalist son of a Japanese diplomat, working between Switzerland and Belgium. Seems legit. His album, “Caged Birds Think Flying Is A Sickness” was released on the Scottish label, Bearsuit Records on August the 31st

From the first track, “Theme From The Butcher’s Parade“, the first salvos are fired, giving one an insight to the unbound lunacy and charm within this very short album, the whole thing weighing in at just over 26 minutes, for fourteen tracks. Tastes of hurdy gurdy classical music, warbled operatic singing and crazed hazed guitar barrelling through. Some tracks are like sitting inside someone’s head while they trip out on acid, glitching electronics binding it all together.

Whatever Happened To Whitney Wallace” assaults your senses, “This” literally being a 10 second noise, which amused me to no end, and “They Hide In The Dark Forest,” is kind of like Laibach on mind altering drugs married to elevator music. The title track, “Caged Birds Think Flying Is A Sickness” is slightly more winsome and thoughtful, similarly for “Death Of A Postmaster” in a wandering, ambient way.

We have no pictures of Rikichi and some say he only comes out at night to hunt for food and record. Who honestly knows and unless you are willing to set bear traps to find out……. probably no point in losing sleep about it. For some reason, I fully believe the fellows from Monty Python’s Flying Circus would have found it all rather inspirational, due to the psychotropic qualities, which may well have you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what could happen next.

Caged Birds Think Flying Is A Sickness | Andrei Rikichi | Bearsuit Records (bandcamp.com)

Andrei Rikichi | Facebook

Bearsuit Records | Facebook

UNFEELING is one of Derek Rush’s projects, a New York electronic artist who has recently been on the road touring. His latest ambient album, VERTICAL SLEEP, is out on the CHTHONIC STREAMS label, created between June to October 2022, on the previously mentioned US tour.

Ever been so tired that you drag yourself around while everything and everyone is conspiring against your ability to shut down? This is the premise behind VERTICAL SLEEP, where one’s sleep cycle is so contaminated, nothing seems real. The music is slow like being caught in a nightmare, every movement laboured.

Even the names of the tracks conveys the near death like state of the subject due to the trauma of not being able to rest. There is “PAROXYSMAL” which is at such a low level of noise, that when there is a change it actually seems like a big deal, to “BAROTRAUMA” slowly pulsates and grows in seeming pressure, from the void, that slowly dissolves into the state of near nothingness.

The burbling and twittering of “SURRENDER” definitely conveys the loss of one’s senses, as the conscious stream goes for a wander due to the inability to turn off, or in other words that unhinged feeling and spacing out. The whole point of this electronic quest is to express how the mind reacts once it has passed the limits of regular sleep patterns, into the realms of mental torture and numbness. UNFEELING might be not as unfeeling as they pass into VERTICAL SLEEP.

VERTICAL SLEEP | UNFEELING (bandcamp.com)

Riveting Music are a US label, whom have decided to make a stand and with the help of a whole bunch of artists, created a compilation of twenty-one cover songs, all previously recorded by powerhouse women of pop/rock. The recording of this compilation is in reaction to the overturning of the historic Wade Vs Roe and the degradation of a woman’s rights to have autonomy over her own body.

There are three singles off the album consisting of The Joy Thieves robust kick arse version of Pat Benatar’sLove Is A Battlefield“, Laurie Anderson’sThe Day The Devil” by The Blue Hour, which I think is much better than the original, and File Transfer Protocol with their rather stunning recreation of Eurythmics’, “Here Comes The Rain Again“. Of course there are plenty more musicians and their cover versions to encounter here and most of the song’s originate in the 80s, going into the 90s, so there is a chance to find music you do or don’t know, as well as checking out current electronic/industrial musicians.

All money raised will go to the Global Fund for Women but not only that, it is about raising the profile of this subject and saying that this new trend against the rights of women is not okay, because if this is happening in a first world country such as North America, then how long before other countries decide to go down the same path? My body, my life. So fucking Regulate This!

Regulate This! | Riveting Music (bandcamp.com)

Riveting Music | Facebook

Melbourne’s Snog, with David Thrussell firmly at the helm, stole a place in our industrial hearts, from the first time we heard “Corporate Slave” back in the early 90s. Now in 2022, a new EP, Jaded has been released on the Australian label, Lightarmour Editions, in both digital and limited coloured vinyl. The track “Jaded“, was previously released on the album Eight Offerings For The Undead, but now you get to hear it remixed, with others, rounding the EP to six tracks.

Jaded” is a bit like rant poetry but with an electronic twist. Thrussell airs his grievances about a world that had left him more than a little dusty. Hushed tones creepily balance over the music. Brisbane based, Nam Shub Of Enki remixes “Jaded“, with his style described as grimecore, though I like to think mad man let loose and having a damn good time. Nam Shub lays it down with his signature tones and enthusiastic rhythms. One last remix by Sir Real, of “Jaded“, gives us an almost darkwave feel with those synths mixed with a modern tribal beat, lulling you into a trance.

Oh my, it’s the “Spaetzle Machine” the DiscoMachine RMX!. As expected, one machine mixing another is going to result in a robotic love fest. The Morpho RMX of “The Sweet, Sweet Treacle (Of Surrender)” trickles through your senses, the electronics burying into your brain. Last track has a near magical aspect to it. The Theme to “The Great Reset” has never been released. Brooding and languid, it runs at its own pace, which highlight the brighter synths that meander. It reminds me very much of work the late Vangellis.

I might be a bit biased as Snog gave the Australian electronic and industrial scene a good kick, back in the 90s, showing that world leading quality music was not something just from Europe and the USA. Thrussell has been at the forefront of some pretty kick arse albums since then and this special edition EP proves he’s still forging ahead with some powerful allies.

Jaded E.P. | Snog | Lightarmour Editions (bandcamp.com)

Snog | Facebook

Lightarmour Editions | Facebook

The label Machina ad Noctem, is back with another compilation, inspired by author Philip K. Dick, called PDK II. As like the first compilation, this is a group of musicians whom have pursued their love of the science fiction, written by Dick, though the music they compose.

The beginning of “VALIS” by Edge Of Decipher, starts off hesitantly but soon grows in sweeping assurance, waking out of dream perhaps, into another plain of reality. Cumsleg Borenail gives us “Man Has Not Eaten God, God Has Eaten Man” is as quirky as the name suggests, synths like synapses sparking in a metaverse, unable to be contained by man or God.

A train has set the rhythm in “Second Variety” by Non Union, on a journey to who knows where, but it seems otherworldly and ominous, before we are met again by Edge Of Decipher. The track, “The Future We Create“, inspired by Ubik, speaks of stars, moons and whirling galaxies beyond ours. The experimental HyMettus Woods, bleeps, fades in and out of static in “A Scanner Darkly“, trying to find the rapidly fluctuating channel but constantly on the knife’s edge until the fuzz clears momentarily, rapidly gaining veracity.

The only track with vocals is Priestessdeath and their “Like Tears In The Rains V” with smoldering female singing that meanders like rivulets of water down a pane of glass, inspired by the Orient. A change of pace for Edge Of Decipher as the music becomes urgent and the synths are trying to catch your attention for “The Agentic State“. There is a movie like quality to this track which leads onto the final number, “Eye In The Sky” by Non Union, as the electronics reach out in waves, invading all spaces and detecting all.

The music is eclectic, electronic and often experimental just as science fiction is. The tracks are like points of light in a sea of literature and dark electronic music, bidding you to further sink into the worlds of Philip K. Dick with them. So I bid you adieu on your journey as you experience this new adventure with PKD II.

PKD II: Philip K. Dick | Machina ad Noctem | machina ad noctem (bandcamp.com)

ManuH of French Darkwave act, Distance H, is back with a new single, “Waters Of Woe“, featuring the lyrics and vocals of Marita Volodina from STRIDULUM, Burial Fields, Blood Tears After. Known for working with different female vocalists, he has also on drums Amélie G and Louise Decouflé on bass guitar.

A hail of guitar hits your ears, marking the launch point into “Waters Of Woe“, with murky synths before it all resolves into a charmingly wondrous, spinning culmination. Marita Volodina’s voice slides like silk between the jangling guitar.

A gothic shoegaze haven of swirling guitar, mixed with the undulating, dulcet tones of Marita Volodina, create a heady mixture. “Waters Of Woe” is the second single from the soon to be released EP, Infinity,

Waters of woe (feat. Marita Volodina) | Distance H (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/DistanceH

From whence Robin Hood made his name, we can find the Nottingham gothic group, In Isolation and to celebrate fifteen years of making music, under this moniker, they have compiled an album with twenty-eight of their songs. That is a lot of music! All four members of the group have been in notable goth bands in the 1990s, so introducing Ryan Swift (vocalist/guitars), John Berry (guitar), Mike Sinclair (bass) and Tony Ghost (drums/percussion). This bunch of likely lads have indeed also written music for/or had music chosen, for both movies and television, which isn’t a bad accomplishment for some Notts boys. Their music is beautiful and contemporary, with fingers trailing back into In Isolation’s gothic roots and I was able to ask a few pertinent questions of the band, with the wonderful Ryan (congrats on getting married!!), answering for the whole. What makes a band like In Isolation tick?…. apart from antioxidants, you will have to keep reading to find out all about everything.

Welcome to the crypt, British goth-meisters, In Isolation. There is tea and biccies, but don’t mind the spiders, they just get a little grumpy when ignored.

Thanks for the biscuits, we’ll have chocolate digestives (dark).

You are celebrating 15 years of being a band and releasing albums under the In Isolation name. Did you think the project would last as long as it has?

We had no idea what to expect when Ryan and John decided to combine their differing songwriting approaches, or what form the music would take. We would have hoped for more albums out after this long, but we do like to take our time to get things sounding right, and being self-funded always adds a frustrating edge to releases in terms of lead times, so we’ve probably done pretty well to get out a 28-track album this year!

The band is made up of Ryan (ex-Emma Conquest), John (ex-Die Laughing), Tony Ghost (ex-Every New Dead Ghost) and Mike (ex-Dick Venom & The Terrortones). You all really cut your teeth in the UK gothic scene in the 90s, when we were seeing the second wave. What was it like being in the scene at that point, especially in your home town of Nottingham?

It was pretty great. Nottingham was a good hub for all things goth, and even now after 30 years or so we’re seeing many of the same faces frequenting local goth nights (such as Spellbound and Nightmare). We always had touring 90s goth bands visiting the city, such as Rosetta Stone, The Marionettes, The Ancestry, Litany Of Fear, Autumn Of North and Space Rats (guess who’s been rifling through their demo collection) and you were always guaranteed a good night at The Old Angel, The Salutation Inn and Rock City. Way too much alcohol was consumed, but we could take the vicious Newcastle Brown hangovers in those days!

It seems Notts was a hot bed for young goth bands. Why do you think this was and what is the scene like now?

It just seemed that everyone in the Nottingham scene had an artistic soul, many in a musical sense, so new goth bands were being formed every other week. Nottingham is an incredibly creative city, I think that’s partly why many of us have hung around for so long. The scene hit a bit of a dry period in the late-Noughties and into the Teenies (or whatever those years were called), but out of nowhere around five years ago, the alternative club nights were swamped with young goths, and now the scene appears to be flourishing.

How did In Isolation come into being?

Ryan and John initially hooked up as two separate bands, one as a semi-continuation of Emma Conquest and the other to follow on from Die Laughing’s heritage. Neither successfully worked out, but the writing partnership between John and Ryan seemed to have potential, so a brand new project was started. It took a whole year to decide on a band name – originally ‘Isolation’ was the only name that could be agreed on, but after a quick check on the newfangled ‘internet’ thing we’d heard so much about, we realised that disappointingly there were five other bands with the same moniker, so we plumped for ‘In Isolation’.

The cohesive, wonderful sound of In Isolation speaks of a creative friendship between the band members. Am I correct in assuming this?

Thanks, you are correct. We rarely come to blows when writing and I think that we all act as mediators to achieve the best results. There is little ego involved in this band, which helps with the composition. Even though we give it our all at gigs, we always hope the quality and earworm-ery of our songs will help to entice our audiences in to balance off the lack of ego-driven performances.

You have put together an album of 28 tracks, titled ‘Albums | Singles | Soundtracks – an Anthology 2007 – 2022’. How did you go about sifting through all your music and coming up with these 28 tracks? What was your criteria?

If we’re honest, as we’ve not altogether been the most prolific of writers the compilation consists of pretty much our entire 15-year output; two albums-worth and an expanse of singles. We only excluded our early song demos (‘Primordial’, available from inisolation.bandcamp.com), a couple of prior ‘extra’ tracks, and the average single ‘High Art’ that was previously semi-released. We also omitted the excellent remixes which were produced by Matt Pop who has worked with a host of well-known bands; many who had hits in the 80s such as Erasure and Kim Wilde. We didn’t feel that Matt’s dancefloor-based hi-NRG remixes matched the tone of the Post-punk/New Wave/Darkwave tracks on the anthology, so our 4-track EP of Matt’s remixes is available as a standalone release.

The cover is photos of you guys, as youngsters. I must say my heart is with the child with the ice cream! Who is who?

John (guitarist) is the Mr Whippy fan! Ryan (vocals and guitar) is the seated 11-year old in the repulsive brown jumper, Tony (drums) is in his preferred position behind a drum kit and Mike (bass) is the one playing the guitar. It is a departure from our usual record covers, but it fits the brief and the archival nature of the shots meant we didn’t have to book a photographer!

Out of all those tracks, there is only one cover version, Bauhaus’ “She’s Into Parties”. How influential was Bauhaus for you?

Tony was the biggest fan of the original song, but we all acknowledge Bauhaus’ huge standing in the scene. We’ve covered a multitude of songs in a live capacity, such as ‘Love My Way’, ‘Just Like Heaven’, ‘Love Is A Wonderful Colour’, ‘51st State’ and ‘Treason’ – they always seem to come from the 80s, but we may surprise our audience at some point!

I am fairly impressed that you have had quite a few tracks included in movies and TV series. How did this come about and is it something you would like to pursue?

Our single ‘The Wrong Girl’ was chosen by the producers of ‘Zombie Hood’ (still streaming on Amazon Prime) as they were fans of the track and felt our appearance matched the feel of the movie (we still don’t know what they meant by that!) The director decided to cast us performing the track in the film and offered us a snippet of dialogue opposite some chap that was a Big Brother contestant. Hilarious! They cut out Ryan’s improvised line, ‘What is this place?’, which was a huge error of judgement as one of Hollywood’s best-kept scriptwriter secrets/superstitions is that a movie will definitely become successful if that particular line is included. Check out every movie you watch from now on – you’ll rarely not hear it somewhere along the way. 😀

The director of ’Seepers: A Love Story’ requested a song for their soundtrack because of our work on ‘Zombie Hood’ and a filmmaker in Canada used a couple of our tracks for his horror shorts as he was simply a fan of the band. We continue to keep a lookout for new films that might be interested in our stuff. As NASA’s newly-launched James Webb Space Telescope is using much of its time studying the TRAPPIST-1 solar system in the Aquarius constellation, we’re hoping that newfound information will inspire movies and TV shows to be created on the subject – this in turn may generate interest in our song ‘TRAPPIST-1: A Space Anthem’, particularly as NASA are already aware if it (“here at NASA we are thrilled by your anthem”), and because the astrophysicists who first discovered that the conditions are correct for water to exist on the TRAPPIST-1 planets have got behind the track on several occasions.

I know it is a bit like asking which is your favourite child but is there a particular track that stands out or is something close to your heart?

John has a fondness for ‘Infinite’ and ‘The Man Who Hides From Love’, but his favourite is ‘Berlin’, and Mike’s choice is ‘Parlance’. Ryan has an affinity for ‘Loving The Ghost’ and asserts that ‘Estrangement’ has appealing Smiths-y vibes as well as a nice string arrangement, although the track and music video that stands out to him most is ‘The Man Who Hides From Love’. Tony also votes for ‘Berlin’ and ‘The Man Who Hides From Love’. As a slushy footnote, ‘Infinite’ is close to Ryan’s heart as he wrote the lyrics about his then-partner whom he married in August of this year.

Looking back so far on your musical careers, do you feel this is the most productive and sustainable project you have been involved in?

Certainly, in as much as it brought back memories of our various projects, such as filming, directing and editing the video for our cover of ‘She’s In Parties’ and the time spent working with 15+ animators around the world on the music video for ‘The Man Who Hides From Love’. However, we’re currently working on the next album, so although we are proud of the current anthology, our creativity and energies are being focused on bringing to life a whole new chapter of recordings.

Has Covid had an impact on the band performing live and recording over the last few years?

Sadly, yes. We had to cancel a few shows, but on the bright side, we had time to reflect on what In Isolation was as an entity and, going forward, the type of songs we’d really like to listen to ourselves. Our writing skills have improved during that period, so we are having a good time coming up with new ideas for future output.

What acts/bands drew you into the gothic scene and influenced you to become musicians?

John was inspired by Punk bands of the late 70s, which ultimately led him down a slightly skewed path into goth, including his favourites The Cult. Tony has a fondness for Adam Ant and Japan which again paved a way into the darker side of 80s music. Mike has a synth-based background and is eclectic in his tastes, and Ryan is a fan of New Wave chart sounds of the 80s which pointed him to The Sisters Of Mercy and ultimately to 90s bands such as Rosetta Stone. We all had a drive to write and play music, and the dark/romantic/energetic aspects of goth suited our musical temperaments well.

What do you find yourself listening to these days?

A hugely mixed bag reaching back to the 60s. Movie soundtracks are inspirational, and although Top Of The Pops is no longer around to bring the country together with the best music available, there are a few good bands out there to be found such as CHVRCHES, Desperate Journalist, Drab Majesty and Zola Jesus.

If you could choose a movie to write songs for, what would it be about?

Maybe a dark-flavoured rom-com (not one of those really cheesy unfunny ones, of which there are so many). Something intelligent with clever humour and interesting plots and twists, utilising classic actors that recognise thoughtfully-written independent films, such as Tilda Swinton or Gary Oldman. We could bring contemporary dark tunes to the soundtrack as well as scoring the movie (we dabbled in orchestral arrangements for some of our more recent outpourings).

What is in the future for In Isolation?

Tony would like to tour the world, given half a chance, and we would certainly be keen to hop over to Europe to play the likes of the Wave-Gotik-Treffen festival. We are feeling pretty prolific at the moment in terms of songwriting, so we should have something exciting for your ears soon!

Thank you from the bottom of my dark little heart for your time

And cheers, Adele, for letting In Isolation loose on Onyx Music Reviews!

Albums | Singles | Soundtracks – an Anthology 2007-2022 (28 tracks) | In Isolation (bandcamp.com)

In Isolation | Facebook

What is dead sexy and chic? Saigon Blue Rain and their latest single “The Mort“, released the 7th of October. Based in Paris and Prague, this is a taste of what is to come on the duo’s soon to be released album, OKO on Icy Cold Records.

From the start, “The Mort” is synthwave bliss as the synths tumble over each other in a majestic stream and Ophelia’s vocals are simply dreamy, a lure to your certain doom if you let her into your head. The bonus track is “J’t’aime pas“, a rush of emotion, and a mixture of breathy and demanding vocals to raise your flesh to goosebumps.

The Mort” quite literally means the death and with the sumptious vampiric video, leaves you in no doubt about how this fate was met. Both tracks are equally as enjoyable, the first a sensuously provocative track and “J’t’aime” hits you like a burst of hot and cold rage. You are never so alive as when faced with death, so check out Saigon Blue Rain.

The Mort | Saigon Blue Rain (bandcamp.com)

Saigon Blue Rain | Facebook