This year, the band, Amaranth, in conjunction with Sounds And Shadows, released the epic goth/EBM/industrial compilation, Tiny Gods Who Walk Beside Us. All songs were donated by the bands for a rather wonderful cause.

Most dark alternative types will tell you they are very fond of animals and especially cats. When band member of Amaranth, Ken Magerman found out his young cat, Freya, had cancer in her leg, Ken was devastated and desperately wanted to save his feline companion’s life. This is an expensive procedure, so musician friends from around the world offered songs to help pay for this treatment, so began this complilation.

The classical undertones of Lorelei Dreaming bring us “Edge Of The World” (I.X.XI Remix), which is grand beginning with beautiful choral touches that give this great depth and a glittering beauty.

For Freya” is a very raw piece from Amaranth, but then this is understandable knowing where this song is coming from. With bluesy overtones that expand to anguished gothic rock.

A quieter synth lead piece from US act, Covenant Of Thorns in “Dahlia” (The Joy Thieves remix). A sweet number that is both darkness and light at the same.

Got to say, Corlyx‘s “Deform” (ESA remix) is a really a great song and remix. A mixture of trap syncopation and lazy beats keeps this very entertaining.

Antipole and their sexy song, “1983” featuring the completely sexy Eirene (People Theater remix) show you their brilliance. Danceable, pop electro synth number which you can’t help but enjoy the airy joy it exudes.

Like silk, Ego LikenessDarkness” (Dracos Deep Mix) will grace your ears. This is smooth, electro beats and oh so catchy to boot with this remix.

Machinery Of Desire drip with gothic honey in the form of “Forever Remain“. I would not be surprised in the least of they were influenced by Wayne Hussey’s The Mission. That similar winding flowery style.

The synth musing of Adoration Destroyed in “Both of Me” (Authentic Impulse Remix) as they try to reconcile the two sides of their personally. Those that like Third Realm will really enjoy this number.

Crying VesselIllusions” (remix Dead Agent) is a throw back to the early 80s electronic period. A simple, clean track with a light touch in the remix, making this a really danceable track.

The haunting number of “Code Blue” by I Ya Toyah (remix Arcontas Blank) rings out with that wonderful heavy organ based synth filling it out. A song close to singer Ania Tarnowska’s heart, about the loss that comes with suicide.

Really digging Twin Tribes the more I hear them and “Dark Crystal” is a great example of their post punk, goth electro sound. Really fabulous tune that chimes away and gets into your head.

Radiograph is in essence John Edwards from Palais Ideal and he has contributed “Catnipped“, an instrumental piece centred on an electro beat/ synths with guitar accompliment. Edwards is well known musician in the scene and a deft hand at penning a tune.

Silver Walks has remixed “Fuck That Fascist Beat” by Caustic. This already a good song which now is even more urgent in the remix. The song is probably more poignant than ever before and is old school style industrial done well.

Straight from the beginning, you hear that this is going to be a bit special. Seven Federations gives you “Syzygy” or a celestial alignment. It is reminiscent of Attrition’s classic “Into The Waves“, with its simple beauty.

VlimmerSchnittstelle” is ethereal and unearthly as they try to interface. Even though ethereal, it feels so organic at the same time, natural.

Dogtablet are kind of a mini super group. “Showtime” (Melodywhore Slave Remix) is a rhythmic groove piece with piano as the standout instrument amongst the electronica.

If you like pure instrumentals with some sublime synths and an interesting configuration, then Kiss Of The Whip has “This Pain Is Ours” for you.

Welcome to Steven Archer’s The Showroom“. It’s s little dirty and has a bassy chorus which is never a bad thing. Archer who is also Stoneburner, is all class.

This isn’t even mixed and Cliff and Ivy have a tremendous earworm in “Will To The Power“. I have to say, Christian Death. It smacks of many the great things about Rozz Williams and company in the 80’s.

The off kilter start by Orcus Nullify, launches “March Of The Lost“. Very much in the vein of the Bauhaus vibe with a experimental edge. A dirge to the those forever destined to wander without end.

The sombre tones of Ritchual‘s “You Lied” lilt with a plaintiff anguish. This is clean, delightful synth wave with a European flavour even though they are based in Austin.

Sister Sarin is the project for Hemlock and she gives to you “Split“. This is a percussion heavy piece with all the keyboards rounding out the beat heavy sounds.

Get ready for the nightmarish spokenword performance of Swansect with “Clovermouth“. This is claustrophobic and sinister in the modern era electro.

Rob Early and Simeon Fritzpatrick are 11Grams and you are going to feel them in your “DNA“. This is a blend of old school industrial with a clever reinvention, which they are well known for. Slow and menacing, as it gets under your skin.

Ego Likeness is the last track on the album for the digital download with “Breedless” (Sombre Remix). The lyrics are truly interesting to listen to, with ‘maybe my mother was a hydra‘ as well fae folk and other such creatures making Ego Likeness the crooning sexy beasts they are.

This is a great showing of gothic, synthwave, EBM, darkwave and industrial being represented and definitely worthy of many listens. The best part of this story is that Freya may have lost a limb but she is still with Ken and a truly loved being.

My last cat passed away at 20 years of age and I mourned her death for many years until l adopted a rescue cat and to be honest, fell in love all over again.

Once cats were revered as celestial beings in Egypt and one can understand why. We love their arrogance, sass and let’s face it, they can be completely selfish pricks yet if you do love them, they will give you so much in return.

So show some love for Freya and her kind as well as all the wonderful bands that have been so generous.

https://theamaranth.bandcamp.com/album/tiny-gods-who-walk-beside-us

https://loreleidreaming.bandcamp.com/

https://acot.bandcamp.com/

https://corlyx.bandcamp.com/

https://antipole.bandcamp.com/

https://egolikeness.bandcamp.com/

https://machineryofdesire.bandcamp.com/

https://adorationdestroyed.bandcamp.com/

https://cryingvessel.bandcamp.com/

https://iyatoyah.bandcamp.com/

https://twintribes.bandcamp.com/

https://palaisideal.bandcamp.com/

https://causticngp.bandcamp.com/

https://sevenfederations.bandcamp.com/

https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/

https://dogtablet.bandcamp.com/

https://kissofthewhip.bandcamp.com/

https://stoneburnerofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://cliffandivy.bandcamp.com/

https://orcusnullify.bandcamp.com/

https://ritchual.bandcamp.com/

https://shadowsandrust.bandcamp.com/track/tripwire

https://swansect.bandcamp.com/

https://11grams.bandcamp.com/

When you talk about industrial electronic noise acts like Coil, Throbbing Gristle and In The Nursery, you have to add Coventry band, Attrition. January saw the release of a new single, “The Great Derailer” from the album, The Black Maria, which is due out in the coming months.

Martin Bowes is the one member who has been continuously part of the group from the beginning in 1980 and has always steered Attrition to being a much lauded and still viable act now, even in 2020.

Martin Bowes

Of course the title song is first, “The Great Derailer” which is exactly five minutes long and begins with the jangling of guitars, juxtaposted with female vocals. Bowes‘ gutteral tones gravel along with Emese Arvai-Illes as the female lead, almost floating above Bowes. Who is “The Great Derailer“? There is a sound bite that seems awfully like one U.S. president called Trump. The violins are discordant and almost manically high pitched with fervour, off-set by the mellow tones of the cello, all heightened by the soprano wailing, rising and falling. Whoever this Great Derailer is, they revel in the turmoil created by the direputable and unruly.

The B-side is “The Pillar (For Ossington)“. Ossington Subway Station is located in Toronto, Canada and also the place that Martin made field recordings of the trains as they pass by and stop. This is a much more sublime piece, almost clasical in nature, with female vocals like the calling of the sirens to lure you into their world within a hurtling steel carriage.

There are a bonus four remixes of “The Great Derailer” on the digital format. There is “The Great Derailer” by Planetdamage remix, “Entertain YouDead Happy remix, “The Great DerailerMr Toma Vs Noirmagnetik remix and Khost‘s remix “Derail“. Each is diverse and a new surprise from Planetdamage’s laid back dismantling to Khost’s reimagination in industrial power noise.

My first real introduction to Attrition was in the early 90’s with the compilation Recollections ’84 – ’89, put out by the label Projekt, who are well known for their electro ambient releases, even though I had heard the odd song here and there. As leaders in their field, they have released some powerful albums full of creativity and dark beauty.

Now in 2020, on the Two Gods label, Attrition is about to grace our ears again. Martin Bowes is threatening us with another single and new album….. and I for one can’t wait to hear what comes next.

https://attritionuk.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-derailer

https://www.facebook.com/ATTRITIONMUSIC/

http://www.attrition.co.uk/

From across the southern oceans, the New Zealand capital of Auckland, in November 2019, Death With Machines released their latest EP, Leech. Lawrence Legacy (aka Lawrence Baniecivich) is mastermind and/or overlord

Let me introduce you to the murky, sleazy beats that is “Born Evil“. Baniecivich forcefully whispers to you which is punctuated by the gutteral groan saying ‘born‘ with the follow up whisper ‘evil’. This is reminicent in some ways of Aesthetic Perfection. It is catchy and a good start to the EP.

“Leech“, the title track is just begging for you to groove along to as the lyrics are puncuated out. This is reminicent of industrial bands from the 80’s and 90’s like Front 242 and Suicide Commando, who often had sado-masochistic themes.

‘I hate the way you make me laugh, I hate the way you make me cry’ and we have the song aptly titled ‘Hate’. This is a smoldering beat that is even and constant…. even insistent. If you hate someone then you can’t love them and they can’t break you, except that hate turns inwards.

Last song is “The Gallows“. This is slow and if you can’t guess, a song about death and cold bodies. All returns to nothingness and all are equal in the eyes of death. A nice depressing little number.

So gravely growling is Lawrence’s trade mark vocal and it works for an EP of lust, loss, anger and something just a bit demonic. Get into some Kiwi cyber industrial, listen to Leech by Death With Machines.

https://www.facebook.com/DeathWithMachines/

https://deathwithmachines.bandcamp.com/