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

Miami based goths, Astari Nite, last single came out in May of 2022 and so behold there is now the new single “Bowie In Daydreams“. Inspired the legend that was David Bowie, the recent movie and his many roles that Bowie wore like a glove.

A march into the echoes of another time, guitar driven rivulets taking you into darker places. The vocals permeate the swirling music, while the heavily symbolic lyrics paint a picture, with mounting fervour.

There are references to the decadent West Berlin period, the Ziggy Stardust era and the vampiric role Bowie played in the iconic movie The Hunger. And “Bowie In Daydreams” is also a referral to the beloved track “Moonage Daydream” from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and Astari Nite pay homage to his memory through conjuring up his spirit.

https://astarinitengp.bandcamp.com/album/bowie-in-daydreams

https://www.facebook.com/astarinitemusic

https://instagram.com/astarinite43

There is a lot of excitement in the electro-industrial world currently with the fact that Germans, Beborn Beton just released their new single, “Dancer In The Dark“, however the big news is that the single is linked to a brand spanking new album, titled Darkness Falls Again which is slated to drop on the 17th of March, with Dependent Records.

Wonderful, danceable beat, sprinkled light synths that harmonise with the vocals. Speaking of vocals, the last time we heard Netschio singing was on a track with Kill Shelter and it so nice to hear his dulcet tones. The electronics court with the guitar, spinning and melding into a track of perfection.

Oh, Beborn Beton…. how I have missed your eloquently smooth synthpop. There is a real human warmth in their music considering they use electronics and I can guarantee that “Dancer In The Dark” is going draw you in and satisfy your craving for beautifully crafted music.

Darkness Falls Again | Beborn Beton (bandcamp.com)

Beborn Beton | Facebook

French gothic rock group, Divine Shade, is finishing off a year that saw them with a remix by ex-Nine Inch Nails 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, Devine Shade, through belief and heart, are bringing you the “Stars“.

Stars | Divine Shade (bandcamp.com)

Divine Shade | Facebook

Divine Shade (@divineshade) • Instagram photos and videos

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.

A Sickness | Mach FoX & Zeven Odd Gods | Mach FoX (bandcamp.com)

Mach FoX | Minneapolis MN | Facebook

Zeven Odd Gods | Facebook

Alexander Leonard Donat... teacher, marathon runner, musician, man behind the label Blackjack Illuminist Records, 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)

https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/album/menschenleere

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

https://www.facebook.com/Blackjack.Illuminist/?mibextid=ZbWKwL

December is the time to catch Lunar Paths 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.

http://www.lunarpaths.com

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

A new single was released on the Machina Ad 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 “The Waves” take you.

The Waves | Edge of Decipher | machina ad noctem (bandcamp.com)

https://soundcloud.com/babybee-kiernan

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

Parisian, ManuH’s darkwave project, Distance H, has released the next single, “Reason To Rush“. In line with their previous singles, which feature a female singer, this time they have Cuban born and French based Liset Alea, gracing their track.

Alea’s dulcet tones are warm and inviting, like a lover’s breath, skipping over bare skin, drawing you into promise of more. The electronics are running there, besides the vocals, with the electric guitar breaking through, respectfully and even hauntingly in the background.

This is definitely music to zone out with, escaping the humdrum of regular life. Alea’s voice and lyrics are both soothing and inviting, coupled with ManuH’s music, it all becomes sensuous and a “Reason To Rush“.

https://distanceh.bandcamp.com/track/reason-to-rush-feat-liset-alea

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