Around 1990/91, Gerrie Brand, started his gothic project, Life In Sodom, which was heavily influenced by the theatrical element, though this soon became a more serious musical affair, as the Florida based band picked up attention and airplay. Over the years, Brand has been the lynch pin with the group making sporadic releases. 2022 saw the line up of Brand (vocals) Danny Heinze (guitars) and Virginia Fuillerat (female vocals) release the new EP, Fate on Nutrix Records. Other artists that have contributed to the EP include Loach (synths, keyboards, programming), Mike Vullo (drums on “Room 212“), Dennis Fuller (drums on “Lie“) and Denis Everest (electric guitar on “Heaven’s Gates“), with the recording and mixing done at MBRS Studios by Loach and mastered at Fullersound Inc.

The title track, “Fate” is a retrospective way to start the EP, the argument that are we beholden to a destiny as judged by religion or do we make out own? The vocals of Brand yearn for more, more than fate and angelic Fuillerat punctuates the beautiful simplicity of the track. There is something deliciously familiar about the wonderful “Lie“. It might be that both the singing and instrumentation remind me a lot of Stan Ridgeway (ex-Wall Of Voodoo) and his ability to incorporate a slightly Western edge, so you can feel the languid desperation, where the bass takes the lead and you can wonder where were they hiding the Mariachi band? “Heaven’s Gates” is a very sombre affair with acoustic guitar and piano, whilst in the background a crying electric guitar is in full lament. Why does it cry? Because as we age we start to lose the people around us to the ultimate end.

Changing things up, we start with Fuillerat taking the lead in the emotional filled “Restless“. The guitar is the light lighting the way and then crosses the veil, as we wait for death to bring us to the end. The last track is “Room 212“. I could be wrong but I think this is a reference to a hospital room, where family congregate to sit with the dying, waiting for that last breath, and often using their own to give up prayers to whichever god they follow. Brand’s vocals are superbly warm and entrancing, enhanced by the beautiful guitar work and drums punching through.

Have you ever listened to something and then thought, how did I ever not know about this? Utterly amazing and utterly enjoyable to the last strains. This is voyeurism at its darkest, following the theme that flesh and blood decay, such is the impermanence of life. The subject matter is treated with a reverence and care, maybe in the knowledge that they also will cease on this plain of existence. If you are a record junkie, then you will be thrilled and fulfilled with the knowledge that the EP is also out on shiny vinyl….. But I digress and will simply say that if you like guitar and vocal lead darkwave then you need Life In Sodom and to check out Fate.

https://lifeinsodom.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/lifeinsodomMusic?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Well, if you are going to do Christmas music then may you Have Yourself A Noisy 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 “White Christmas” (no Bing Crosby in the mix), “Frosty The Snowman” and “Santa Claus Is 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, Have Yourself A Noisy Little Christmas.

https://stahlschlag.bandcamp.com/album/have-yourself-a-noisy-little-christmas

https://www.facebook.com/STAHLSCHLAG?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Ludovic Dhenry is back with his darkwave project, Eleventh Fear and a new EP. Out on Neris Records, the EP is called Waldhexen, and released on the 29th of November.

From the outset of “Waldhexen“, the build up alludes to a electronic trip of beat filled ebony darkness. The hissed whispers are the promise of portent. The flickering and stalking atmosphere of “Wald der Seelen“, has those beautiful synth chords that choke the air around you like a smoke imbued room. Tod basically means death and maybe death is awaiting you in the track, “Wie im Tod“, as it slowly creeps through and it is followed by “Waldhexen“, the remix version with its far more dance floor stylings, which sounds amazing.

As far as gothic electronic projects go, Eleventh Fear is really interesting, with the use of German lyrics by the French Dhenry, that gives the ambiance of a movie like Metropolis mixed with dulcet tones of Voldemort concocting a dangerous spell. You might need some Waldhexen in your life.

Waldhexen – EP | Eleventh Fear (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/EleventhFear?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Soooo, fancy a bit of gloom with your goth? I may have the answer to your lachrymose prayers, in the shape of Sacramento duo, Venetian Veil and their EP, released on November the 11th, called The Lands Of The Living And The Dead, on the Dune Altar label. That title alone should have peaked your interest dare I say. The EP was recorded by Jim Willig in the Sinking Room between 2020-2021, and then mixed & mastered by Patrick Hills at Earth Tone Studios.

First we must be “Asleep In The Land Of The Living“. The guitar strums delicately over the droning noise, an electric guitar in sonic overload in the maudlin atmosphere. The shotgun drum machine rhythm and understated synths in “Quiver” really harken back for me to the early 80s. So simple and so effective, especially with the male vocals. There is something so utterly gentle about “The Lamb“. The soft, feminine vocals, the low and controlled bass belie a great sorrow and shame, for the blood of the Lamb was supposed to wash away the sins.

Awake In The Land Of The Dead” is the instrumental bridge and the mirror image to its sister, “Asleep In The Land Of The Living“, where now most is quiet but for the strumming guitar. “Treeline” offers perhaps the view point of a soul leaving it’s earthly bonds, heading for the void. Slow and thoughtful, with stirring vocals. The Cure like “Phantom“, tinkles with those sweet guitar notes and sweeping synth chords. The lyrics are not so much sad but almost an acceptance of something that can never be.

I hear the experimentation and in a way, it greatly reminds me of the early 80’s when The Cure created Faith, 17 Seconds and Pornography, albums that truly pulled you into their misty, Victorian era like, dark and tragic romanticism. Light the candles, a drink of what you please and settle down to the Venetian Veil, as they take you to The Lands Of The Living And The Dead.

The Lands of the Living and the Dead | Venetian Veil (bandcamp.com)

https://www.facebook.com/venetianveil

http://venetianveil.com/

https://www.instagram.com/venetianveil

http://dunealtar.com/

http://facebook.com/dunealtar/

November 15th was the one year anniversary for the creation of Lunar Paths, so to celebrate, they have packed up their five singles, into an EP. Appropriately, they have called the EP, Fused, which includes the single “Rise“, that we featured previously. The group consists of Diane Dubois and Kevin Hunter, whom in the 80s were bandmates in the goth rock band Cold Dance. Life moved on, Dubois living in the US but a year ago, technology reacquainted them and Lunar Paths was the result.

From the beginning, “Dérive” is star struck with the keyboards twinkling. When the vocals arrive, the track becomes ethereal and beautiful, slowly consuming your will to escape with siren song. Hmmm, I could tell you that “Rise” has a Middle Eastern tone but then, you could also go read my previous review or more wisely, listen to it.

Imagine falling backwards into the world of Dead Can Dance, circa Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun, and that will give you the feel and sound of “Altahilili“. Monumental and yet incredibly fragile. Next you are somewhere tropical, with the birds calling out and the natives drumming away to create “Lo Oa Soa“. Maybe the witchdoctor had you in his sights!

MetaGoth#1” starts low and bassy, while the electronics like to remind you of their presence, but then there is that magnificent guitar. Like a tether to previous era that glitches and morphs with the electronics, unable to remain in the past.

Dubois has an angelic voice and even though Lunar Paths has a modern sound, I hear a harkening back to the 4AD period, tinges of Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance merged together, on the experimental edge. They are plumming the depths of your soul, evoking dreams of shores yet to be touched.

https://www.lunarpaths.com/

https://m.facebook.com/LunarPathsMusic/

https://m.soundcloud.com/user-215916315

In the City of Ekaterinburg, you will find gothic rockers, Raven Said, and October saw their new EP, Chants To Dissolve released by Moon Coil Media, plus they had the very talented Pete Burns (Kill Shelter) on mastering. Raven Said are Andrey Agapitov (vocals, guitar, bass, acoustic guitar) and Maria Agapitova (piano, synth, percussion).

The first track has a very interesting pulsating marrying of almost techno beats and gothic rock. There are sparkling synths with flourishing jangly guitar in “A Flowering And A Flattering“.”Transparent Sorrow” features the beautifully sensual vocals of Aeleth Kaven from La Scaltra, so very light and angelic in stark contrast to Agapitov’s deeper tones. This track reminded me of the bands coming out in the second goth wave of the early 90s.

Really amazing bass lines wander through “Except My Love For Her (Cold Desire Version)“. I dare you to forget the chorus as it pretty unique and a very sweet way to admit to being very much in love…..in a very goth way. There is such a violent life to “Srendi Vashtar“, from the guitar and the voracious electronics, to the urgently lowkey vocals spurred on by the smashing percussion. The last track is the shimmering “Immersive Waves” with the haunting guitars and vocals. The guitar work is simply delightful, tinkling like broken glass, over and over again.

Music brings us together like virtually nothing else on the planet. It can feed our souls and connect us on such a primal level. Raven Said are creating dark gothic rock that really is like broken glass, fragile and shinny but if you try to take them into your heart, you might slowly die from the way they cut you up…. or not. It is about depths you feel this style of music in your psyche. New and yet familiar to those of us that live our lives in black. Now there are Chants To Dissolve with, so the Raven Said.

Chants to Dissolve | Raven Said (bandcamp.com)

Raven Said | Yekaterinburg | Facebook

Raven Said (@ravensaidband) • Instagram photos and videos

MATT HART is your friendly, neighbourhood cyber industrialist and his latest block rocking release, came out on October the 24th, in the form of a three track remix EP, titled INFINITE HORIZON REQUIEM. One and three are mixed by Adi Calef while track two is mixed by the man himself.

The DNA mix of “INFINITE MARCH” fair rattles your teeth with the crackling bass, sweeping all before it with monumental contempt. EVENT HORIZON is named for the movie and it feels like we are going to hit the black hole at maximum warp speed accompanied by the blood curdling screams and voices of dissent.

The final track is the TERRA TANZ mix of JUDGEMENT (REQUIEM). A requiem is an orchestral piece for death or loss, stately and noble which is exactly what you hear but the angelic chorus has been hijacked by screaming electronics and the distorted vocals. A perfect vision of terminators in their robotic cold fury, wiping the fleshy humans out of existence.

HART’S music already has that harder edge which translates well to ramping the industrial to a grandiose flurry of rhythm and noise. I love how JUDGEMENT (REQUIEM) turned out, both powerful and fragile. It is name your price on Bandcamp so now find your INFINITE HORIZON REQUIEM.

▶︎ INFINITE HORIZON REQUIEM | MATT HART (bandcamp.com)

https://m.facebook.com/djmatthartuk/

https://www.instagram.com/matthart3808/

Halloween brought us the spooky release of the latest Simon Carter & Fabsi EP, Witch But Not Famous. With two new tracks, nine remixes and three guest mixers in the ghoulish countenance of Studio-X, C-Lekktor, Teknovore and Ruinizer, what is there not to love?!

Omens” is just a smooth techno/ electronic filled track with Fabsi’s vocals meandering through the mix, predicting your doom. There are three remixes of this track but we will turn our attention to the Studio-X mix. You can picture the light show on the dance floor for this reimagining and Studio-X almost literally wind this up to maximum effect, before dropping the explosive techno.

The next new track is “Witch Hit” like an out of control steam train on its way to wild woods where you just know some crazy shit is going to happen. Again there are three remixes and we take the guest artist’s version, C-Lekktor doing the honours. They have taken the wonderful Fabsi’s cackle and used it to perfection in this heavier industrial customisation.

Next we have the track “We Are The Witches“, that was previously released on, The Bitches Potion. So we look to the last two remixes of the three by Teknovore and Ruinizer. Teknovore just has this beautiful symmetry between mesmerising soundscape and glorious danceability. He has stripped back the track and injected a magical night ride. Love the hint of something exotic within while launching into a rhythm infused piece of joy by Ruinizer.

Fabsi brings the Witch vibes with her vocals and lyrics while Carter pulls it all together with his enormous talent for amazing techno industrial music. With that talent also comes some wonderful friendships, and these musicians definitely help showcase that artistry as well as their own. More fun than a naked night dance in the moonlight because we are Witch But Not Famous.

https://simon-carter.bandcamp.com/album/witch-but-not-famous

https://www.facebook.com/FabsiMoon

https://www.facebook.com/HumansCantReboot

When things go bump in the night, you are sure to get music to remind you not all is known or seen. October 31st or All Hallows Eve, saw the new EP, Avernus, be unleashed by In Tenebris, upon the world while the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest. This is the more ambient product of German electronic musician, Sebastian Sünkler, whom is better know for his power noise project, STAHLSCHLAG.

Something unnatural this way comes, in the form of an ancient “Relic“. The synths waver in high pitch warning and the clash of tones signal there is something that feeds on the darkness, an aberration has become unbound. Sinister electronic overtones, coalesce with slow rhythmic beats… a heartbeat from a demonic being, in the cathodic noise, casting a foreboding shadow for this is the “Dynastic Cult“.

The beginning of “Traits” is almost transcendental, though almost immediately drenched in a claustrophobic pall of dank noises. The ringing, instead of being enlightening, joins the overbearing build up of portent. The final track is “Iconoclast” and the beast waits, no longer in torpor, as the music oozes with sharp edges, stalking so that you can almost feel the fetid breath on the back of your neck, though nothing can be seen through the mists. How long do you have?

Avernus strikes a chord somewhere in your brain that stores your animal ability to sense danger. Something dark and threatening lurks within, nothing like us and with evil intent. The music conjures a myriad of feelings and visions, like a good horror movie, never showing you the monster but rather letting your imagination run away with the subtle suggestion simply in the tone or noises within each track. And each listen will reveal more than you previously heard. Sünkler’s famous crunch is bleeding through a little into this EP, giving the ambient tracks a rather delightful texture and most definitely increasing the menace.

Avernus | In Tenebris | STAHLSCHLAG (bandcamp.com)

In Tenebris | Facebook

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 Open Mirror, 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 Open Mirror because not only is this EP thought provoking, it’s genuinely both fascinating to listen to and very enjoyable. So how will you Contact Void?

https://lightarmoureditions.bandcamp.com/album/contact-void

https://sptfy.com/M2mQ