End of November, 2019 saw the release of goth rockers, Her Despair’s latest EP, Exorcisms of Eroticism. This 6 piece band are based in London and currently not signed to any label, though I wonder how long that will last.

Pandaemonium” is a banger of a number to start off with. Those crystal clear vocals that draw you into the heart and heat of song. Author, John Milton, wrote the novel, Paradise Lost and created a capital of Hell called Pandaemonium, city of fallen angels and daemons. This builds in its terrible beauty of a soul left bereft and shunning heaven’s God .

A single off the EP is “The Exorcism“. Again you hear the wonderfully crafted lyrics with the musical sensibilities of Ville Valo (HIM). A few goth girls are going to melt with this and I can see why. The guitar riff in this is a killer.

Third track, “In That Moment”, has the orchestration wooing you whilst giving you a sense of wonder at how they manage to make this sound so grand and polished. The electronic aspect is spectacular.

For such a darkly named song “Like A Crucifixion“, it feels so light and up beat with a great, catchy chorus. If this is the next single, I would hardly be surprised.

I think English icons, Paradise Lost might have misplaced a track in “Beyond The Veil” as it really reminds me of their goth phase. This is a slightly slower number and I’m not sure if the reference is a veil of mourning or the distance between death and life, though no matter as it all works.

Of course all this commentary of passing to the land of the dead leads well into the final track, “Final Rest”. The sentiment is beautiful as the music swells with the acknowledgment of going to a place of peace… their heaven.

HER DESPAIR

For Her Despair, this is the second EP since the band first released Mournography in 2018. There is great wealth of literary expression and the use of poetic English language is lovely to see.

The band cites influences like The Sisters of Mercy, My Dying Bride and Karl McCoy’s wonderful, Fields of the Nephilim and honestly you can hear touchs of these 80’s iconic goth bands but also more recent acts like The 69 Eyes, Lacrimosa Profundere and more than a passing nod to tragic love hero’s, HIM.

Goth rock needs shots in the arm like this every once in a while because what the world doesn’t need is another Sisters of Mercy clone, yet this is a classic example of love lost, longing and dwelling in darkness, set to a backdrop of heaven and hell. Beauty is in the darkness and in the music of Her Despair.

https://herdespair.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/herdespair

https://m.soundcloud.com/herdespair

Neon Tzigane are a London based duo, comprised of vocalists Howling Mina, who also handles percussion and Samson Deluxe on guitars and programming. They have released a third EP, Paramisha.

“The Lost Cities” has tried to incorporate a middle eastern sound which weaves through the song as this duo sing us a tale of civilizations gone forever beneath the shifting sands of mysterious desert climes.

You can hear the old 80’s goth wave jangly guitars on “lost without you”. Deluxe takes the reigns on this track vocally, with Mina doing a fine job backing him. This is a really good pop tune, though short, rather upbeat and quite unlike any other track on the EP.

“Nothing Is Forever” begins with a guitar riff that Pete Steele from Type O Negative would be proud of. Howling Mina and Deluxe harken back to parts of 60’s psychedelia mixed with Black Sabbath.

The last track on this EP is the title, “Paramisha” with its slow build up before the guitars chime in, laced with synths as the sound winds up. This is a purely instrumental piece, that we are confronted with, which leaves you wondering if there is more to come.

All four tracks are fairly different from each other, which isn’t always a bad thing if you like variety and hearing how a band can challenge themselves. Should be interesting to watch Neon Tzigane develop and anticipate what they will release next.

https://neontzigane.bandcamp.com/

http://open.spotify.com/album/15j4tBUh 

http://www.deezer.com/artist/55951002

Pablo Zumarraga is the man behind the act known as Trust In None. He hails from the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires and this year released his EP, Inhale, with five tracks in all on it.

“The Law of the Weak” is the intro track with a near imperceptible beat before a sudden explosion of guitar. I feel like I’m listening to some lost Trent Reznor track from the Pretty Hate Machine era.

A nice piece of guitar work and the second track that seems to be nameless brings in the drum machine. The whispers become musical screams that say “I never, never trust you!”. This has an extremely bluesy feel even though it is also very industrial at the same time.

pablo Z
Trust In None (photo – Zoe gouzene / @zoilandia)

“Inhale” has echos of White Zombie/Rob Zombie with the drum machine having little metal blast beats and is quite a heavy number. Lots of distortion and feedback with a revisitation at the end just to remind you of where you have just been.

The rather interesting named “Squirt”. Pablo mixes his violent whispers whilst dueling with his guitar work. This is full on rock and roll and you could roll on down the highway with this blaring out. The guitar riffs just keep on coming and persistent, spiraling out of control.

Last is the single, “The Circle of Shame”. Again you here Zumarraga’s love of the blues coming through. Heavy and dirty. The vocals are distorted and pain filled. The guitar work here reminds me of the old Soundgarden sound from BadMotorFinger

Not kidding when I say it reminds me very much of the early industrial days of Nine Inch Nails, especially vocally. This is brooding and dark and with the distorted guitar work, is indeed heavily blues influenced and yet this adds to the sinister heaviness of it all.

So if you are looking for something that ignites your blood with punk attitude and industrial smarts, then check out Trust In None.

http://www.trustinnone.com

https://www.facebook.com/tinpunks/

 

Adam Majdecki-Janicki is an artist from Darlowo, Poland, who creates ambient/experimental industrial music and he has a new album out on Bandcamp called Next Bardo.

Distortion, static and grinding/high-pitched squealing industrial is the basis of “Work, Consume, Die, Become Cremated”. A commentary of what daily life as an adult in the modern world is really like. A drudgery of endless monochrome, until the human machine fails and is no longer of use.

“The Flower Thief” is an ethereal floating experience. The almost sound of bells tolling in a strange ambient world that feels not quite in focus and drifting. What could be strings can be heard in the distance, trying to call your attention.

A slight 1950’s science fiction feel mixed with Hammer Horror style pipe organ music heralds “Melancholy Baby Dies from an Overdose of Time”. Dark gothic overtones with a pounding beat that never slows or stops but just when you are used to that beat, it disappears into the dirge, though later reprised without its former strength..

“A Thunder of Eternal Music” is like a hypnotic drone trying to lull you. The drum machine keeps time while the distortion wends it way into your brain. Most definitely almost tribal and ancient, a calling to our primitive past.

It has the avant-garde feel of Cabaret Voltaire. Being experimental means that in the end, everything is up for interpretation and reinterpretation, so what you perceive this time may not be the same on a second listen. So get a bit old school dark/ambient/electro.

http://adammajdeckijanicki.bandcamp.com/album/next-bardo

 

From the online publisher, Ton Doigt Dans Mon Cul Netlabel, we have an E.P. with two artists. Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks (Anne Sulikowski) from Canada and Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt of the USA with the rather intriguing title….Why Should I Give You The Cure, When I Can Always Give You The Treatment.

building
Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks (Anne Sulikowski)

Swirling noise with reverb pulsate cosmically, like an epic space trip into the unknown. Why unknown? Because we, as the listener, are unsure of this journey and we are here for the ride and experience.

Like twinkling stars and beating quasars, this transfixed you though sound alone. It is imagination unbound and the composer might be the alien hand guiding us.

It is hard to imagine that Sulikowski can make many of these amazing sounds on a guitar but then “Differential Diagnosis” is a 13 minutes and 42 seconds piece of electronic beauty and the only number by Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks.

 

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Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt

 

 

Someone is leading a crowd in unity in “Dreamers” and so starts Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt‘s contribution. Laid over the top is discordant piano and feedback, then it suddenly……stops.

“We Destroyed All the Mirrors and Glass Out of Fear That You Will Forget Us and Fall In Love With Yourself” could be the longest song title I have ever had to write and this is a low cacophony of sound, which when you listen you can hear drums and chanting within, like Tibetan monks and their throat music, within a storm, within a can.

Bells chime, clear and bright over a haze of noise. This is “Instant Karma” which is the segue way, even though it suddenly stops for the last piece, “Tod von Heike Klar”. Buddhist monks chant with german spoken word, not so much vying for attention but running in harmony with the chanting. You just accept the words and sutra rather trying to understand them or garner meaning.

These pieces take you on journeys to feel and hear whatever you take from them but ultimately, let it take you away to new realms.

Yes, this was released 2 years ago but then this is the whole point about music is the search for what gives you pleasure and bringing things to the broader attention.

All music on the Ton Doigt Dans Mon Cul Netlabel is for free download, so why not indulge your senses.

soundcloud.com/buildingcastles
buildingcastlesoutofmatchsticks.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/seanderrickcooper.marquardt

www.facebook.com/tondoigtdansmoncul

http://tondoigtdansmoncul.bandcamp.com/


 

This band called October Burns Black or OBB is an interesting creature. Created in 2015, the members are diverse as they are spread out around mostly Europe. This year we saw the release of their EP,  fault lines…..yes it is all in lower case if you were wondering.

This 4 track EP starts with “With You”. This is a sound of guitars that I associate with my misspent youth. Nice smooth vocals that bring up images of Wayne Hussey and guitars that hauntingly echo The Mission or The Wake’s jangly signature sound. Quite delightful.

“Shimmer” drives along nicely. A hauntingly pretty, swirling guitar piece. The words “Black shimmer” make me think Siouxsie and the Banshees would have liked this.

Next is the excellent “Arrowhead”. I don’t know if I would want to walk with an arrowhead and certainly not wanted to be hit with a real one but this song will happily puncture you with its wonderfully interesting lyrics and changing time signatures. Definitely a number I could see myself out on the dance floor doing the old gothic/new romantic two-step.

The last track is the visually, fairground inspired “Light On Light”. The swirling giddy carousel with it’s blinding and confusing light show and childish pleasures and pains. The guitar in this is perfect and resonates with the number.

This is a great EP as it is a new spin on the gothic rock genre. Great production, the guitars are superb in my opinion and each song is interesting. You can hear the influences of the past yet they are creating fine new music, keeping this style very much alive.  So please have a listen to October Burns Black as they are well worth your support.

https://octoberburnsblack.bandcamp.com/album/fault-line

 

 

Midnight Creatures is a two man gothic/metal rock band from Australia with Jordan Von Grae on vocals and Lachlan Blackwood bringing the guitars and programming. Together they have brought their first born offering to the table on the form of an E.P. called I.

This is a 3 track E.P. and the first track is “Hope and Faith” with a strong piano and guitar sound. Waiting for love to be returned when given. Though as we all know that this never always the case.  Heavy on the symphonic gothic guitar sound on this number.

“Daylight” starts and continues with a solo piano and in some ways this reminds me of Muse and could be the whimsical way it is sung. A song of love lost and a female remembered by the way she moved in the daylight.

This could be a tribute to Valo and HIM from the Love Metal period, “Salt of My Earth”. This is in no way a bad thing as this ode to woman being his part of his existence, is very sweet and romantic in that dark and not gooey way goths do.

So a three part ode to love. Waiting for requited love, memories of love lost and bound to a great love. What more could you want? You can most definitely hear the influence of HIM and Von Grae‘s vocals do remind me a bit of Muse‘s lead singer, though Jordan‘s voice rings clearer I feel and not so nasal. Lachlan Blackwood also does a great job on guitar.  

These two lads seem to be stuck in the gothic romantic era and if Lord Byron had been a gothic rocker, he would have joined them. Do check them out on Bandcamp.

https://midnightcreaturesband.bandcamp.com/releases