French gothic rock group, Divine Shade, is finishing off a year that saw them with a remix by ex-Nine InchNails member Chris Vienna, a twenty date European tour as support for Gary Numan, with the release of the newest single “Stars“, that also features the vocal talents of Shan Moue and production by Ren Toner.
Sometimes there is a longing to go back to our childhood, a time that is meant to have a blend of safety, everything was new and dreams seemed possible, like starring at the star laden sky in wonder. In this vein, the longing in the vocals builds, with the rising of the heavy electronic influence and Moue’s singing, gently caressing the lead vocals in the chorus.
Chic cool darkwave, mixed with an electronic sound bearing the marking of 90s era NIN is how I would I describe “Stars“. Brooding and full of of wanting to be able to touch those lights in the heavens again, DevineShade, through belief and heart, are bringing you the “Stars“.
The industrial machine that is Mach FoX, has teamed up with producer/EBM musican, Zeven Odd Gods, aka D.Corri, and the end product is the single, “A Sickness“, released on the 16th of December.
Slick EBM beats ooze into your ears, picking up your heartbeat. Subtle synths waver in the background, while the electronics deliver the jolts to make your body move and FoX’s vocals are the mantra. The sickness is all consuming, a fever of needing to replace the soft human flesh, that is so unreliable, with cybernetics.
The constant augmentation to become more machine has become “The Sickness“. FoX’s vocals/lyrics/arrangement, really blends in very well with the music production of Zeven Odd Gods, complimenting each other. So, if this is the sickness, hopefully there is no cure.
Not all darkwave heroes run around, brandishing you over the head with big beats and synth confectionery. Today, we are introducing you to German solo artist Meersein and his new single “Speechless” which is an acoustic version, and third single to date from this project.
There is such an extraordinarily palpable melancholy to Meersein’s beautifully clean vocals, only supported by an acoustic guitar and piano. His singing is beseeching to one he loves, to recognise the fact that he isn’t like other people and desperately wants to talk to them but has become speechless.
“Speechless” was Meersein’s debut release, back in around June of this year, and it was a far different track in a completely electronic vein. The Germans seem to have this affinity to take a song, break it down to the bare bones, and imbue the track with an even more eloquent heart. It made me think a lot of Lord OfThe Lost and the times they have done this with tracks or orchestrated them. A yearning heart from the dispossessed is “Speechless“.
Alexander Leonard Donat... teacher, marathon runner, musician, man behind the label Blackjack IlluministRecords, co-conspirator for several musical acts, driving force behind his own project Vlimmer and very possibly a crime fighter by night (just saying Vlimmer man has a certain ring to it!). November saw Vlimmer’s second, full length album, Menschenleere, enter the watery light of day.
The first tastes of forbidden fruit came our way in the form of the two singles, the rhythm filled darkwave tendrils of “Erdgeruch” and the wondrously 80s inspired eccentricity of “Kronzeuge“. There are such gems hidden within, such as “Mathematik” with its giddy synths that remind me so much of the electronic trailblazer, John Foxx, even more so for the fact his backing band were The Maths.
“Noposition” has a magical trance like quality within its warm embracing beats, while “Schwimmhand” leaves you not only amazed by the sheer brilliance but also experiencing tingles through your extremities. Even the title track has an ancient feel, whilst playing with time signatures. “Menschenleere” is vast and echoing in the chamber of what might not be a pained reality.
Yes you can dance to Vlimmer, but for me, there is something akin to multiple storylines. Each track is crafted just so, this one with a more science fiction vibe, another with more sombre tones and yet another with a spinning glorious shoegaze vision. All held together by Donat’s vocals, be they happy, sad or even imploring.
Vlimmer is the centre of this world he has created, and has the knack of spinning his musical tales that capture us up into this web of darkwave delights. Even better is the fact that Alexander touches back to the styles that have influenced him but he never let’s them consume him, rather experimenting to create tracks that encapsulate his music journey. Beautiful, fragile and ashened songs to drink, dance to, and watch the moon…Menschenleere(Deserted)
Based in the US is the alt band High HorseCavalry, creating their own blend of post-punk madness. Their debut, self titled album features Kalvin Oudou (vocals), Ron Hayden (guitars), Christian Johnston (bass) and Mark Fleagle (drums).
The band is somewhat inspired by KillingJoke, and honestly KJ are a bench mark band for many in the alternative music industry, melding post-punk finesse with heavier industrial tones and Coleman’s vocals that can be like that of possessed, screaming madman in his pulpit. The track, “Cult OfCongregation” most certainly runs in this vein.
There are also more than just hints of punk influence, such as the tracks “Wounds Of Separation” and “Spy Song” or driving mid west heavy rock crossed with the Sex Pistols in “LastLullaby“.
The vocals are unapologetically guttural, while the guitars churn and grind, pushing ever forward. I can say I hear the darker side of grunge in High Horse Cavalry. A nod to such bands like The Melvins, whom consistently deliver bone bruising riffs with consistent enthusiasm, not to mention lack of regard for playing by the rules. The album came across, in a way, more punk, especially in attitude. So son, get off on your High Horse Cavalry.
So you went out drinking last night… what do you remember, where are you now and what is that smell? Brisbane’s Dream OfMachines, has delivered the debut single, “Nocturnal Omissions“, on the Viral Records label. The fact that you might be scratching your head and wondering if this is a dirty title, probably tickles the fancy of Zane Seymour, the man behind the machines that dream.
Your journey is first greeted with an excerpt from “The spiritual consequences of alcohol“, by Jason Christoff, the vocals floating in the aether but not for long as the guitars plunder your senses. What thefuck happened last night? is the question that haunts him. From silken singing, to enraged screams, because while he was entoxicated…. was his body taken over by an outside force intent on creating havoc?
There is the seven minute opus or the more radio friendly edit, but both are worthy of your listening, for there is never a dull moment. There is everything from simple piano playing, Seymour’s brilliant vocals, all the way to an explosive cacophony of sound and it is all quite glorious, helped along by the mixing & mastering of Roger Menso. Alcohol can really be evil (even influencing a human to eat liquid soap) yet is the drink the devil or is something even more sinister waiting in the shadows to take over…..? You will have to make your mind up when you listen to “Nocturnal Omissions” by Dream OfMachines.
Well, if you are going to do Christmas music then may you Have Yourself ANoisy Little Christmas care of STAHLSCHLAG. Sometimes I think German, Sebastian Sünkler is half man, half machine, the way he puts out music and tapping that vein of cybernetics, the noise master has graced us with an EP of Christmas covers.
Honestly, you really haven’t lived until you have heard a rhythmic noise version of “Jingle Bells“, which does seem to be a firm favourite with people, as Sünkler ramps up a screaming sleigh ride to get the heart pumping, in a most delightful way, hey! For me, however, my interest lay with the rendition of “Carol Of The Bells“, which is a beautiful track, even if it is a Christmas tradition and one can appreciate the intricacies of its splendour. Could Sünkler really pull this off? Let’s just say that I was not disappointed. Like razor edged snowflakes, perfect in their icy glory, both beautiful and full of cold fury.
There are also covers of “WhiteChristmas” (no Bing Crosby in the mix), “Frosty The Snowman” and “Santa ClausIs Coming To Town“. If you don’t particularly like the Chrimbo music but want to kind of participate, then this is perfect. Christmas cyber party…. then you can’t go past STAHLSCHLAG’s, HaveYourself A Noisy Little Christmas.
People that know me well, will tell you….I don’t much like Christmas tunes. Might be a leftover from being made to listen to the Chipmunks (I blame my brother for that one) and that I only really endure the classical ones. UK bunch, In Isolation told me about their cover of a Greg Lake festive classic called “I Believe In FatherChristmas” just in time for the crinkly season. I am guessing Greg Lake was a member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer but this song is completely new for me. After research, the single was originally released in 1975, highest chartings at Number 2 in the UK, 17 in Ireland and 98 in Australia.
I hear the sleigh bells ringing and I wonder what I’m getting myself into…. actually the guitar work is really beautiful and of course the vocals aren’t cheesy. As bright as the music is, there is something of a sad quality to the lyrics. There is also the Matt Pop mix you can check out, which is an electronic version, that is sure to warm the cockles or you folk that like their synth music.
Trust these guys to pick a song that they could rock out to a bit but also has a much darker meaning. Even with the bells and explosive orchestration, the lyrics actually talk about that loss of childhood belief. Okay I’m not reviled by this track, and in fact could listen to it a few more times as it isn’t the normal Christmas fare. Still not sure if “I Believe In Father Christmas” but I believe In Isolation.
December is the time to catch LunarPaths new single, “Shine“. The transatlantic darkwave duo are back after the launch of the EP, Fuse.
There is a crunchy, broken glass like texture in the rhythm at times from the electronics. The vocals are beautifully clean and clipped, holding your attention, until they drift into another dimension, sliding you with them.
Currently, I cannot put my finger on what exactly but this track reminds me a lot of Siouxsie And The Banshees, around the time of A Kiss In The Dreamhouse (1982). Lush, charismatic and experimental might be some of the reason why. The way they have distorted the rhythm, giving it a modern industrial feel, mixed with the gorgeous singing. “Shine” is possibly my favourite Lunar Paths’ track to date yet.
A new single was released on the MachinaAd Noctem label for electronic project, Edge Of Decipher, which features the vocals of Priestessdeath. “The Waves” will also appear on Edge Of Decipher’s soon to be unleashed album, in February 2023.
The cool electronic waters wash over you, submerging your senses, while Priestessdeath is the voice and embodiment of the waves, giving them a spiritual quality…. deities that are free flowing and unquantifiable. The poetic lyrics are by Edge Of Decipher, an ode to an unquenchable passion.
The b-side is a track called “High Rise“, lyrics penned and performed by Priestessdeath. Shimmering synths are at odds with the fuzzed vocals, singing spiralling through space, caught by the gravitational pull of heavenly bodies, leaving a trail of tinkling notes in the wake.
The last two tracks are instrumental versions of “The Waves” and “High Rise” which are Edge Of Decipher’s bread and butter, flowing effortless, a journey on space tide, controlled by moonbeams. That’s the beauty of these tracks. The vocals by Priestessdeath give the music another facet and yet you can easily let your imagine run away with the instrumental. I suggest you let “TheWaves” take you.