My first experience of October Noir, is via this new album, Fate, Wine And Wisteria, that was released on September the 22nd. It is rather confronting at first to think of a band actively trying to take up where Type O Negative sadly could not due to the untimely death of lead singer Pete Steele, especially when the band themselves could not find the heart to continue without him and followed with other projects such as A Pale Horse Called Death.

OCTOBER NOIR

Down in Pensacola, Florida, the weather is warm and the wisteria grows wild in the lost places, so to the album has thirteen tracks, though to be fair the tracks “Fate“, “Wine” and “Wisteria” are kind bridging instrumental pieces and maybe a minute long at the most. “Windows” is the first track with vocals and the single off the album. Fairly taken aback how much this actually sounds like a Type O number, There is the longing in the deep vocals and the long guitar riffs that drift away to then crash back in a revisit.

This is indeed a strange experience. It pays to read the lyrics at times as well. “Effigy” almost seems to be based on one of those teenage horror movies where they go down to the lake and the main character is lured away with the promise of carnal delights, only to find all their friends have been murdered and being Halloween, did they do it?! Equal parts defeat and howling anger in the Greek inspired “Persephone” and “Wanderlust” really reminds me of the iconic “Everything Dies” in places.

Really liked “Sistinas” with the moody harpsichord and the extremely low vocal range that was being plumbed. Anyone that ever listened to Type O Negative, would know that often Steele would firmly have his tongue placed in cheek and liked to create songs about forbidden encounters or the nitty gritty of sexual lust and October Noir have followed post haste in their footsteps with the tracks “Reverence (Make You Love)” and “Proverbs“. Whatever the theme, there is always that underlying darkness that humans are fallible and prone to causing great pain and misery as well as picking others up from the deepest pits of despair in this album.

It was the first time hearing their sound which floored me a little to hear a band that sounded so like Type O Negative, from the bass lines, to the guitar chords and unmissably the vocals so hauntingly like Pete Steele’s. Now some will say they are copy artists and that often happens a lot, ie all the bands that want to be Sisters Of Mercy, though unfortunately they are flawed and normally unable to do this well. October Noir don’t hide the fact they are standing in Type O Negative’s shadow but rather embrace the fact and actually create new music I think that even Steele would have been impressed by.

https://octobernoir.bandcamp.com/album/fate-wine-wisteria

October Noir | Facebook

Slated to be the second track on the soon to be released full length album, Horses In The Abbatoir, TRAITRS‘ latest single, “Mouth Poisons” is yet another teaser with yet another very slick, very professional video of an eerily macabre nature. The single was released on September the 17th, 2021 on Freakwave Records by the Toronto duo, Sean Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker.

TRAITRS

The core sketch of this song was written late at night at a very good friend’s place in Frankfurt, Germany. ‘Mouth Poisons’ is an extremely personal song and lyrically I set myself up as the main target. It carries an air of ‘come see what’s going inside of me that wants to burn down everything in sight’. Definitely my favourite single we have ever released to date,” says Shawn Tucker

“‘Mouth Poisons’ was initially supposed to be a fast, angular punk track and it remained in this form for several months until Shawn wrote the bass guitar part and completely changed the way I heard the song. His melodic bass line brought out a sadness and vulnerability in the track that I didn’t know was there. All of a sudden this frantic punk song sounded more like The Smiths or New Order, so I completely rewrote my synth part to tease out those elements even more. The break before the outro is one of my favourite parts on the album,” says Sean-Patrick Nolan

Nolan was not joking about sounding like New Order, though for my money, I would have to say The Cure has to have been a big influence. The vocals are like listening to Robert Smith himself, mournfully gliding over the top of the insistent guitar while the synths gleefully run rampant in this still rather upbeat piece, in that joyfully manic way. For added extra enjoyment and killer chiller vibes, don’t forget to indulge in the sumptuous video.

https://traitrs.bandcamp.com/

(6) TRAITRS | Facebook

Kimberly Kommeier is the founding member of the band Bow Ever Down, which was formed in 1998 and in 2020, a full length album, Lost In The Woods was released. Now we have the June release for the huge electronic/darkwave album, Let It Burn.

From the get go, the title track, “Let It Burn“, will set the tone for this album. There is an electronic simpleness that adds to the sorrowful and yet defiant storytelling. It is of no longer taking the blows life has handed out, yet proudly showing those scars. For me the standout number is “Cold Machine” which it’s wonderful swirling and tinkling chorus that rises up to proclaim I would give anything to be human because they are the machine. Truly a lovely and yet so mournful sentiment. “Born Into Darkness” continues the dance of damnation.

Silence In Machine aka  Wess Fowler lends his harsh vocals to the songs, “Shed My Skin” and “Not Your Victim“. While the former is a pulsating piece from start to finish, the latter is like waves on the shore as it draw back, then comes crashing in. The common theme though is owning your fate which again can be seen in the track, “Burn You Alive“, and it has some really nice synth transitions. “Burn Them To Ashes“, has a certain, reflective quality and a anger that is almost palpable in the chorus, while “My Last Day” is such a despondent expression of the inability to go on, this is still quite full of great, infectious beats.

The remix for “Cold Machine” is a jewel and Assemblage 23 has really outdone themselves. Miss Suicide from Germany remixed both “Shed My Skin“, giving it a far more aggressive sound and “Glass Doll” which has those synth lines dancing all over it. “Burn You Alive” remix by Replicant RME, takes this song into new territory while the John Ruszin III, whom plays on the album, gives us a version of “Not Your Victim“, and it feels more pensive than the original. The Stahlschlag remix of the title track definitely has teeth, as Sebastian Sünkler is the master of that wonderful crunchy power noise, while the Silence In Machine retake of “Burn Them To Ashes” feels very off kilter, as if the insanity is too much. Continuing in this vein is the forever haunted remix of “Not Your Victim” by Adian Caine with it’s introspective and quiet defiance. The album is completed by the new version of “Glass Doll“.

The prominent concept is the use of the word burn. Fire is not only thought of as dangerous but also as cleansing, to wipe away completely what was. A renewal like a phoenix dying and coming back to life through fire. These are songs about survival and coming from a dark place. Kommeier has a big voice that is quite delightful and garnered a host of talented musicians to remix her tracks, so you should check out Let It Burn by Bow Ever Down.

https://boweverdown.bandcamp.com/album/let-it-burn

https://www.facebook.com/nora.hazeena

https://www.facebook.com/silenceinmachine/

https://www.facebook.com/misssuicideofficial/

https://www.facebook.com/Psiactive1/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100044546464584

https://www.facebook.com/STAHLSCHLAG

The Latin American gothic music scene never fails to give us some sparkling musicians. From San José, Costa Rica, Ariel Maniki And The Black Halos are a seasoned darkwave band with several albums under their belts and currently signed to Deepland Records.

August brought us the release of the latest album, Black Light. This is where you are going to get your value for your money. No less than fifteen tracks and there are no remixes from this trio made up of Ariel Maniki (vocals, guitar, synths, bass, programming), Janice Black (synths/keyboards) and Eva Red (bass and vocals).

ARIEL MANIKI AND THE BLACK HALOS

The first guitar lines are reminicent of London After Midnight, on the title track, “Black Light“. There is something just spine tingling about the progression which climbs and swells. “Strangers” is a wonder piece as it feels uplifting and dark at the same time. The guitar riffs will become highly recognisable once you have heard them.

The bassline harkens back to The Cure’s Faith period in the song “Emptiness“. The synth swirls and entwines you. “Sadness” is a bitter-sweet ode to losing a loved one to a depressive melancholy, waiting with them to come back to you. It’s is slower and more delicate yet the chorus soars through the pain.

All the spookiness is with “Oh Milena!“. Is she alive or dead or, perhaps, even the undead?! Cue the dead sexy saxophone from James Perry, which is an interesting juxtaposition to the Hammond organ sounding synth, so prominent in Hammer Horror movies.

Again the spook factor is present in “Mirror“, with creepy laughs and a slightly more manic feel with Caro Campos, not for the last time, joining Maniki on vocal duties. “We Only Have Tonight” is a touching, gothic tribute to a forever love. It is sweet and seductive with the guitars, both acoustic and electric aplenty.

The beginning of “Absence” is misleading. It seems all so quiet but will soon reveal the surging synths that roll into the vocals. Campos‘ voice is angelic as it accents the interludes. Maniki has been to the Robert Smith school of creepy whispers in a song where something is going to drive you insane with the wait. So in a way the torture is “Pain“.

The Pale Horseman” sounds exactly like modern, gothic, western should. That iconic guitar made popular by Ennio Morricone in the spaghetti westerns is there but all prettied with synths and a helping of dark sarsaparilla, if you please bartender. It’s mighty dusty. The guitar work is beautiful in “Sleep” and with the vocals, it is a reminder of The Wake in the early 90s. It really is a lovely throw back and the song is truly a succulent morsel.

Flowers have meanings. “Lilies And Carnations” can be flowers that mean a deeply desired love and they can also represent death of a perfect love and terrible grief. The latter is the premise of this track, the fleeting time lovers have together, which is a complete difference from the more dirge like “Shelter“. Maybe he’s the dark shaman that lives in the woods destined to never leave but in any case this is a far more gritty piece.

Coming to the end, the last two tracks are “Afterthought” and “Cocoon“, with the former being a meandering tribute to the power of being so caught up in love and all else fades away. “Cocoon” is a trippy little piece that plinks away like a child’s music box with ghostly intent.

From the first time I heard Ariel Maniki’s voice, it reminded me of another, then it hit me. The ever youthful Sven Friedrich of Dreadful Shadows/Zeraphine has a very wonderful rich tone and Maniki is scarily and delightfully similar. The album is a velvet tapestry of lush tracks that contain a nice balance of electronic along side more traditional instruments. Full of gothic romance and horror, which for most of us is the same thing, it paints a delicate fog drenched background for the children of the night to fall in love with. Definitely do check this out if your little dark heart beats within Black Light.

https://arielmaniki.bandcamp.com/album/black-light

https://www.facebook.com/ArielManikiMusic/

Post punk duo, The Cold Field, released the album Hollows on August 6th, on the label Cold Transmission Music which is famous for their darkwave retinue. Their debut, Black River, was warmly greeted and so Hollows has been much anticipated by fans.

THE COLD FIELD

The emphasis is very much on the atmosphere which is created by the echoing vocals, the deep bass plus jangle and buzz of guitar. The album is comprised of ten tracks and notably, two are instrumental pieces for the most part. “Ride The Breeze” is the intro to set up the feel whilst, “Floating Above The Wasteland” is filled with gorgeous bass lines and guitar work, whilst the faint ghost like whispers are seemingly unintelligible and beyond deciphering.

“Reaching For Things Things You Cannot Hold” is a great example of the style, with the low echoing vocals, delicate guitar work which is layered in synth. Other stand out tracks are Beauty Expired”, with its rapid pulse and its variance in tone, while “Into The Light” actually does have a slightly more airy feel to the music, a

From the get go, you hear the influence of Joy Division, Lebanon Hanover and Ritual Howls in their music and the common themes in post punk music of isolation, a longing for what is denied and the nature of addiction. There is the ever present spectre of existential dead that pervades all, for this is music that sits on the edge of dusk asking how did this all come to pass.

https://thecoldfield.bandcamp.com/album/hollows

https://www.facebook.com/thecoldfieldadelaide/

https://www.facebook.com/coldtransmissionmusic/

https://www.coldtransmission.com/

https://coldtransmissionmusic.bandcamp.com/artists

If you are old enough to remember the gothic rock revival of the early 90s, you would most definitely remember the English band Nosferatu. The original founder, Vlad Janicek, has been fairly quiet since Nosferatu imploded on tour, though recently reformed as The Nosferatu and also a new band called Vampyrëan. A debut single was released on the 27th of August 2021 called “The Hunger” which heralds a soon to be released album of the same name on the 29th of September.

VLAD JANICEK – VAMPYRËAN

From the first guitar notes, this is definitely a flashback to the goth rock sound of yore. It is rings clear and true, a guitar sound we associate with The Mission’s Wayne Hussey. Janicek has taken on the role of lead vocalist and as the vampire protagonist. We will let the cat out of the bag and say he has the hunger… the hunger for the love of a sexy human victim and their life blood. The piano line wends through adding a delightful and winsome air.

Frilly, costume goths and those who have fond memories of 90s are going to love this. Drama, vampires, velvet, romance and a danceable beat which will more than likely also introduce Janicek to a new set of fans as well. If you have “The Hunger” then you might need some Vampyrëan.

https://vampyrean.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/vampyreanofficial/

http://vampyrean.com/

Auger have been going from strength to strength since they hit the scene in the UK in 2017. With three albums under their belts, previously signed to the Dark Tunes label and a dedicated fan base, Kyle Wilson (vocals, keyboard, programming) and Kieran Thornton (guitar, backing vocals) have come a long way. August saw the release in a new single, “Sound Of The Machine” on The Big Chair label.

KIERAN THORNTON & KYLE WILSON – AUGER

The beginning is a little depressing in its ambience though there sparks of electronics that hint at this being a set up for the chorus. The guitar amps up and synths chime in, with the use of vocal distortion. This is the rally, the cry to arms because if it can happen to me it can happen to you. They ask for a rope to pull them out from the dire onslaught of the machine.

It’s a catchy chorus and Wilson has a great voice for it, smooth, deep and even on occasion a bit menacing. The Big Chair label is a new, independent record label created by the lads themselves and this can only be a good thing for dark music scene. This is the “Sound Of The Machine” that is Auger and it can be found on Bandcamp so make sure to have a listen.

https://augerofficial.bandcamp.com/track/sound-of-the-machine

https://www.facebook.com/AugerOfficial

https://thebigchair.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/bigchairmusic/

Toronto based, post punk duo, TRAITRS, only just released back in July the EP, The Sick, Tired And Ill, and now have a full album to unleashed on fans in November called, Horses In The Abattoir. August sees the first single, “Oh, Ballerina“, off the new album, a sample of what is to come. Sean-Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker are the fellows behind TRAITRS, with the former on synths, piano, programming, sequencing and the latter with vocals, lyrics, guitar, bass.

TRAITRS

The lyrics on their own are a little creepy and this may have lent itself to the grim and horror like video that accompanies it. It is all summed up in one line, I need to know you are scared. From the dirge piano at the start and lonely vocals from the void, build the atmosphere. It takes off, doesn’t look back with a life of its own, as the keyboard cries and the guitar accompanies it.

Released on the label Freakwave Records, TRAITRS can be found on platforms, such as Spotify. “Oh, Ballerina” might be spooky but that’s the appeal of darkwave/gothic that you can have high energy beats with fresh synths and it will still be macabre and enthralling. The video is slick and beautifully made just as the music is, so check it out before the album gets here.

https://traitrs.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/traitrs

https://www.facebook.com/freakwaverecords/

http://freak-wave.com/

https://open.spotify.com/album/6CTvfaa0I6B5VpzFNJ4Dgu

As we have slipped into another year with the spectre of covid, overshadowing everything, it can be expected that most music has been influenced by this current climate and the new EP by darkwave duo, Johnathan|Christian is no exception. together, we’re alone, is the latest offering from Christian Granquist (lyrics and vocals)and Johnathan Mooney (composer, piano, instrumentation), who are based in Los Angeles, California.

First song off the block is the flag waving “My Dying Words“. This is the line in the sand number about never giving up no matter the odds and it is rollicking piece. Sung with conviction and gusto, it weaves and rolls with the punches.

The title track, “Together, We’re Alone“, is a duet and fractured ballad between Elisa Mammoliti and Granquist. The theme of loneliness, a life lived without trying to find love that could have been a hair’s breath away. Longing and sadness prevail, like a weight on the heart.

A fair ground organ opens the track, “My Beautiful, Broken Butterfly” and it rolls on fantastically after that. An instrumental piece that is slightly disjointed, giving the impression of being broken and yet, still beautiful in its composition.

Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)” is classic Adam Ant from the 1979 album Dirk Wears White Socks. Who can resist a song about beings from space giving advice about men with chicken zygote, firmly implanted on their countenance? Not me. This is whimsical and oddly satisfying in a proper sort of way. I don’t think Stuart Goddard aka Adam Ant, would disapprove at all.

together, we’re alone” is a quirky and interesting EP. Complied of an anthem, a ballad an instrumental and a cover…. it works oh so well for Johnathan|Christian. They definitely seem to be influenced by the late 70s and 80s British music scene making them a bit darkly dapper and you should check them out.

https://johnathan.bandcamp.com/album/together-were-alone

https://www.facebook.com/jchristianmusic

The name Pink Turns Blue, for many, conjures to mind guitar lead, post punk 80s music. Initially influenced by Clan Of Xymox, Joy Division and The Sounds, Pink Turns Blue in turn became a touch stone band for many others. The legendary German, three piece, released on the 30th of July their third single, “You Still Mean Too Much To Me“, off the album, Tainted, which will be unveiled in September.

Pink Turns Blue at the W-Festival on 18.08.2019 at Expo Waregem (Belgium) – Wave Cave

As the title implies, this is melancholic with the pain of love rescinded and no longer reciprocated. A naked ballad about the inability to understand what happened and not being able to cope with that loss. This is a quieter track, full of emotion, made all the more raw with the simple guitar work and Mic Jogwer’s imploring vocals.

“How to overcome the grief / pain of lost love, torn between hate, very bad feelings and, at the
same time, not being able to let go at all. As there is no understanding why you fall in love with
someone in the first place, there is also no reason / understanding why love does end or your
love of life starts to feel attracted to someone else. It all dissolves into nothingness
” – Mic
Jogwer.

Still Mean Too Much To Me” will really strike a chord with anyone who has lost or been denied the love of the person they thought was their forever companion. The band is older and not the angry young men they were, now far more worldly and this translates into being able to craft music that touches the soul.

https://www.facebook.com/Pink.Turns.Blue.Official

PINK TURNS BLUE