Covid decimated the music festival scene, around the world for 2020, 2021 and a good chunk of 2022. Things are coming back to normal and in fact, you can add a new festival to endeavour to attend. Dark Force Fest will kick off in 2023, over three days, March 31st to April 2nd, in New Jersey, USA.
The event is being run by VampireFreaks, at the Sheraton Hotel, in Parsippany and this is not the first time the venue has been used by the VF crew. The hotel was built like a castle, including crenulations (just in case you find yourself in a siege situation with all those goths).
There will be over 100 vendors, to buy things that make your little dark heart happy, clubs, costume competitions and sideshow performances. However, the most important thing is the music… there will be 30 plus bands/artists ranging from darkwave through to industrial. A chance to see pioneers such as Das Ich and Suicide Commando, big hitters Combichrist, Solar Fake, HEALTH, EmpathyTest and ACTORS plus brilliant acts like MORIS BLAK, Third Realm, Bootsblack and Rabbit Junk.
That is a whole lot of music and an amazing line up, so you are spoilt for choice. As the inaugural show, you want to be able to say you were there for the first ever…. unlike myself, stuck in another country, half way around the world, who will have to live vicariously through others, and the buckets of fun they are having. (Insert gothic weeping).
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.
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.
Did you like the last single from Germany’s FabrikC and the UK’s j:dead? Did i hear you say yes?! Well, then we have a treat for you, as September the 30th, there is a new single, “Perfect Happiness” where we get to hear the lads getting down and heavy.
The rhythm is that of a laboured thundering heart beat, joined by the screaming vocals of Taylor, when he isn’t whispering his snarling discontent. The synths break out, through the vocals, prodding and urging on the cyclone of noise.
Thorsten W. D. Berger is the composer, while Jay Taylor penned the lyrics in this flying aggrotech track that is meant for the dance floors. Is there such a thing as “Perfect Happiness“? Only a fool would think so, or even want such a thing. But music is pretty close to pure joy, so get yourself some FabrikC vs j:dead.
FabrikC is Thorsten Berger from Germany, and he has joined up with the UK’s Jay Taylor of j:dead, to create “High Time (Chinese Takeaway)“, which was released on August the 19th, on Stay Beat Productions. But hang on uno momento…… many moons ago, FrabrikC had an aggrotech track called “Chinese Food“. Coincidence? I think not, as this seems to a modernised and vocally weaponised version, hence the Chinese Takeaway byline.
Taylor is screaming and cajoling us magnificently, sweetly singing to you before slapping you vocally around the ears. The music definitely has a far more smoother feel to it, less static filled but still rhythmically hard hitting and punchy.
This is guaranteed to fill a dance floor with happy campers of the dark kind, just as the original did. It is a really nice mix of vocals versus electronics and Berger’s ability to re-invent this track, married to Taylor’s singing talent is a winner. So if you like Chinese food, then “High Time” to get some Chinese Takeaway.
What do you get when Mexico meets Finland? The single “Verenkiertohäiriö [Circulatory Disorder]” is the outcome. Mexico’s Exemia in conjunction with the Fin, TFG from TONTTU, have thrust into the world, this single on April 13th, 2022.
An merry dance you will get from this track as it bursts to life in all the vocal ferocity TFG gives to his performance, while Exemia simply kill with the amazing electronics that assault your senses. The whirl of angst and synths is a brilliant cacophony.
Industrial beats definitely make this feel so utterly alive and ripple under the skin. Great aggro-techno industrial music is often hard to get just right and this definitely ticks all the boxes. It is out on Bandcamp for name yourprice if that helps curry your fancy, but most importantly….. beware of the gnomes and their nefarious ways.
Most people have a fairly good grasp of what OMG stands for in social media, however the EP title of FredrikCroona’s new project, Against I, it stands for Obscene Morbid Gore. Many would be familiar with the Swedish Croona’s other bands, Menschdefekt, Croona and Cynical Existence. The EP hit us on March the 11th, 2022 and it is out on Insane Records.
Title track straight up. “O.M.G.” As soon as you hear those harmonic synths, you know you are about to hear something big and it doesn’t disappoint. The hoarse aggro vocals with the backing speeding guitars and fuzzing tech. The anguish about a society that will watch on while others suffer, no matter how bad it gets. I always shake my head in wonder how this style of music has such harsh vocals and yet there is this wondrous techno-cyber light keyboard refrains backing up all of it. The “Other Half” is a perfect example of those keyboards while Croona screeches out the lament of the loss of humanity due to people no longer finding connection to others.
“Disgust” is a really bouncy maelstrom of discontent over overtly judgmental types. It has such good momentum, The single is “Scum” which swirls and picks up pace. Croona invites you to call him scum if you want to though I feel this is a mirror reflecting the actions of other. You know the Tecknovore remix of “Scum” is going to kick arse and it just pops! Klontzas has cut back on the guitars and just gone for full on electronic immersion. “Scum” by Death Verified is a glitch tech fest, again the guitars have been dropped in favour of synths but there is no loss of veracity.
It is very angry but that is what Croona does very well. That miasma of pained, screaming vocals, guitar distortion, those fabulous synths and techno beats that underpin it all. Most of this would easily make it onto club floors and dance mixes. But when you have the time, listen a little more closely to messages as there is something in that as well.
Biomechanimal are a EDM/aggrotech/industrial group from London who released in February a new single, along side fellow London drum & bass musicians, Mechanical Vein, called “Waves“.
There are three versions of this song, so hold onto your hats because this is not a carousel ride.
The original single version is fabulously raw and angry. The bass line is turned right up and it’s an instant assault on your hearing. You can almost feel the hardstyle techno within.
Second version has been remixed by the Netherlands drum & bass duo, SinisterSouls. This is hard and fast aggrotech pure and simple with a mad EDM beat ripping it up. This is a great remix to hear on a dance floor and never lets up for a second until the fading end.
Third remix had been done by industrial master, Grendel. This is slower and starts off more like a rap number then the growled vocals, heavy guitars and almost metal blast beats kick it hard in the balls. And so, in an almost bipolar fashion, this track goes from one to the other but the industrial synths always remain true.
So three versions of “Waves” with the imput of four different artists definitely shows in how influences can vary the sound of each track. When all is said and done, it’s a banging number. “Waves” is about the ebb and flow of creativity but this song is a force of nature.