DieSeele

 


Exactly a year after "Spider On The Wall", legendary darkwave / goth band Clan Of Xymox returns with the new album "Limbo". As 2020 saw the world shut down, and Clan Of Xymox unable to tour, the band began crafting new material, influenced by the pandemic. On the album "Limbo" the band expands its signature sound to create a captivating take on this moment in our history. The album was officially released on July 23rd 2021, digitally and on CD.

 First single "Brave New World", named after the dystopian social science fiction novel by English author Aldous Huxley written in 1931, is a rhythmic guitar riff driven track with a worried melancholy vocal by Ronny Moorings. It is followed by it’s b-side "Lockdown" a bleaker electronic track. Both portraying a bleak and dystopian setting. The second single "Big Brother" continues the conceptual work, yet again inspired by what’s going on in the world the last year, and all that has changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With Ronny expressing his concerns on state control, the restrictions and the vaccination process, here he continues in dark electronic mood with dashes of classic Xymox songwriting. The next song "The Great Reset" was also on the "Big Brother" EP and here they give us yet again another classic of their darkwave synth driven songs with touches of guitar but here with a more optimistic tone. Things get more atmospheric on "Forgotten", while on the title track "Limbo", Clan Of Xymox deliver a classic wave track by their standards, with the arpeggio picking guitar and synths balancing nicely

 In the second half of the album, the tracks continue in the same vein, as "No Way Out" and the more upbeat "In Control" with its more electro backbone, topped with atmospheric synths, melodic keys and Ronny’s melancholy vocals. In darker mood we have "The Great Depression" and "The One Percent" that are drenched in reverb. The next track, "Dystopia", has a different feel and mood with its more poppy and swinging rhythm, making a nice shift of style. While on the closing track "How Long?" Ronny expresses his frustration asking the critical question we all have. How long will this pandemic continue altering our live, and when will we be able to get back to normality?

 In all, Clan Of Xymox have delivered another album, continuing their long and remarkable legacy. As mentioned in the beginning, Ronny, unable to tour with the band around the world, found the time to write new material during the lockdown and reflected all of what was going on in real-time in his songs. Making this an album very current to the world situation.

Review by Nick Drivas

 

 

Read More …

 


Alien Creation have returned with their new "Lust Locked Down" E​.​P. featuring DJ Lady Davinia, containing 4 different mixes of the title track plus two more tracks. This electronic, gothic, industrial project is fronted by percussionist Chris Clark and is based in London. Chris Clark is known also for being the drummer of the 90’s gothic rock act Nosferatu and was recently involved in the new reincarnation of The Nosferatu. Their first EP "Unique Lab Accidents" was released in 2019.

 The opener is Lust Locked Down (Assault On Paradise)". The vocals sound a bit like Marilyn Manson but musically closer to the likes of NIN. The strings give a retro lounge cinematic feel until come the outbursts of industrial terror. Lady Davinia’s backing vocals give a more eerie vampiric feel to the whole atmosphere. Next, we have "Lust Locked Down (The Sheila Mix)" a more electronically fueled take that’s almost instrumental, with only Lady Davinia’s haunting vocals left in the mix. While on the "Lust Locked Down (The Geezer Mix)" the vocals are more distorted drenched in a noisier take of the song. The fourth mix, "Lust Locked Down (Going Insane Mix)" again has a more oldschool electro approach. Things get more cyber punk on the following "Alien Machines (Messed Up Mix)" where over the electronic rhythmic drumming, distorted synths and sounds pump up the track. The last track "We Are The Weirdos (No One Cares Mix)" features Steve Perry on additional live bass. Here, Alien Creation present another oldschool groovy electro track, more upbeat, with industrial elements and a catchy chorus.

 The tracks where written and recorded in London during lockdown in 2020/21 and released on the 8th of May in 2021 as a digital release and on digipak CD. You could say that this release gives a small taste of the current London goth/industrial scene. Surely something you will hear or dance to in some underground alternative club.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 


Lupe is a solo project of Michalis Latousakis, lead singer of the Greek gothic rock band Mosquito and co-founding member of the project Onism. His debut album "Burn" was released in October 2019 and now he has returned with the sophomore album "Dark Room" containing nine tracks, released in May 2021.

 On this second album, Michalis continues in the same style as his debut but there are some small differences. The new album is less experimental and more straightforward. It is largely a piano driven album, with less percussion and is more symphonic and less cabaret in style. Also, the tracks on "Dark Room" are a bit more melodic and slightly less dark.

 The opener is the instrumental "The Corridor". An ethereal rock opera song with the guitars provided by Nikitas Kissonas (of the progressive rock band Methexis). Next is "Eyes Cold", the first song to appear with its animated video, a classic example of Lupe’s style, with his characteristic deep vibrato vocal. On "Long Train" the atmosphere becomes more haunting, with the vocals becoming even more tormented and heartbroken, as on "Yet". Next is "Torment", a dynamic track that surely stands out of its more rock orientated style. Then on "Mind Interval", Lupe delivers a small vocal symphonic piece showcasing his operatic vocals. This then continues into "The Crown", the most rock opera track of the album. While on "Last Dance" the strings take on a more prominent role. Last is the album’s title track "Dark Room", a ballad that sums up all his neoclassical, art rock and darkwave influences.

 The album was solely written, produced and performed by Michalis Latousakis himself, with the mastering done by Ilias Doumpakis. Apart from the digital release, the album comes as a limited-edition compact disc in a digipack case, with artwork made by George Kastanakis.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 


The Greek dark ambient / industrial act Conjecture has returned with the new album Hydra". Here on his fifth album, first for the Zoharum label, Vasilis Angelopoulos (also an avant-garde visual artist) pays homage to Greek mythology. Every track and the album itself, is titled after more or lesser known mythic creatures and tells its own story. Thus, leading the listeners imagination to visualize these tales with the music serving as a soundtrack. All these creatures are also constellations in the universe with these names. A second common denominator is that most siblings are from the same mother. Another commonality we will see is that Hercules killed them. In art, these monsters are often used symbolically to show something terrifying or something scientific, such as a virus or some extreme political ideology.

 First up is the title track "Hydra", named after the serpentine water monster, killed by Hercules according to Greek mythology. A mysterious atmosphere is built here that gradually builds up forming an ambient ritualistic piece of music with industrial and cinematic flairs. Like on the entire album, delicate textures of sound are woven together masterfully creating an otherworldly soundscape. The next track "Cerberus", the name of a multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from leaving, is another dark track with a nocturnal and adventurous feel to it. One that would make this an excellent soundtrack to a related story themed video game. The dronelike "Chimera" that follows, has a more frightful mood, as the creature it is named after. A fire-breathing female monster resembling a lion in the forepart, a goat in the middle, and a dragon behind. Here the soft soundscapes are interrupted by telephone beeps and industrial percussion. Next is "Ladon", the serpent-like dragon that twined and twisted around the tree in the Garden of the Hesperides and guarded the golden apples. Another creature that was killed with a bow and arrow by Heracles. Here musically the dark ambience is chilling, where the soft sonic droning is only escorted by intermediate hissing and thumping sounds.

 The tension starts to build even more on "Atlas", the Titan condemned to hold up the celestial heavens or sky for eternity. On this track, which could easily be credited as the album’s standout, a beat is incorporated into the piece, with the metallic breaks highlighting the rhythm, creating a hypnotic kind of mantra with its industrial percussion. While on "Orthrus", the two-headed dog that guarded Geryon's cattle and was also killed by Heracles, continues in the same vein but here Vasilis also adds some machinery sounds in the mix. Same on "Centaur", another creature from Greek mythology which has the upper body of a human and the lower body and legs of a horse, but here a synth melodic theme runs through it making it one of the most memorable tracks on the album. Where ancient myth and post apocalyptic industrial elements are combined, forming a solid piece of work that serves the general concept. For the first time we hear some distorted vocals on "Greae", who were the three sisters who shared one eye and one tooth among them. The last track "Cycnus", a bloodthirsty and cruel man who killed all of his guests until he was slain by Heracles, is a soothing ambient piece that features also Kostas Papadimitriou on trumpet, giving this amazing album the closure, it deserves.

 The CD edition of 300 copies comes in 6 panel digipack with the artwork photography and layout provided by Vaia Pilafa, of the installation sculpture "Hydra" by Vasilis Angelopoulos.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 


The Legendary post-punk / goth band Sex Gang Children have returned with a new album, "OLIGARCH", released officially digitally on the 24th of April 2021, with the CD format released on their own Liberation London label. This is the bands first offering since their 2013 album "Viva Vigilante!". On this recording, founder and frontman Andi Sex Gang is joined by original drummer Rob Stroud, John Rigby (bass), and Jerome Alexandre (guitar). According to the bands manifesto, Oligarch is where the ghosts of Orwell and Huxley come together in this dark vision of our dystopian world. True to their uncompromising style and spirit, Sex Gang Children have released an album providing an audio foray into the dark times thrust upon us. “Take a break from the nanny state. Be on the outside looking in. Lopsided global monopolies and top-heavy capitalist philosophies do not make sense. Voice a challenge to those that would keep you down. Battle the spectre of our times - the Oligarch”. The powerful cover photo is work of photographer/artist Bari Goddard.

 First track is "Dead Peasants", a dark piece featuring Andi’s dark poetry with a spoken word approach, giving it a creepy and sinister feel. Next is "Cannibal Lives", a largely guitar piece, containing some really great vintage guitar styles reminiscent of very early post-punk. Things start to kick in on "Masquerade" with the drums taking a more rhythmic tempo, with the razor-sharp guitar riffs spilling throughout. In the same vein we have "Bang!" a great example of their original post-punk style, so very authentic sounding. The only difference to their early dynamic works is the more subtle drumming compared to tribal thumping from that era. Something that makes the tracks sound fresher and more modern. The atmospheric "Seraphim Fall" flows gracefully over a melodic but hypnotic bassline.

 As they usually do on all their releases, "Asia Divine" has that eastern element joint together with glam rock. While on "Puritan Now", things couldn’t get more post-punk, but with a darker more claustrophobic vibe. In similar style we have "The Gorgon & The Sow", a song that thumps and stabs, giving it a nocturnal feel. Then we have a change in scenery with the acoustic "Berlin Kiss". A song that was known to me, since it has been played live for many years now. "Death Mask Mussolini" that follows, was the first single from the album and is a killer track! An instant danceable classic! It is a remake, originally recorded by Dirty Roseanne (an Andi and Piero Balleggi collaboration) back in 2009 and then also with a different version on Andi’s 2011 solo album "The Devil's Cabaret". The album ends with "Barbarossa Revisited", originally on their third 1993 album "Medea". Here they have transformed it completely, a much slower take, making it sound more like a cursed southern blues song, something you would expect to hear from The Birthday Party, but with Andi’s characteristic voice and storytelling singing style. The whole album is grower, the more you listen to it the more it gets addictive.

 The CD version also features 3 bonus tracks. You will find three different remixes of the single "Death Mask Mussolini". The "Cutter & Bone - Dominic Hawken Remix", "MIlitia Babe - Kitty Lectro Remix" and "Mouth Of Hell - MGT Remix" by guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite (The Mission, Peter Murphy).

 

Review by Nick Drivas

Read More …

 


Paradox Obscur is a dark electronic duo from Athens Greece. They formed in January 2014 by Toxic Razor and Kriistal Ann in order to step into a more minimal direction than their previous projects. They have released four full length albums and five Eps and they have just signed their collaboration with Metropolis Records, and on March 12 they released their latest album “Singles and Rarities”, a collection and not a studio album of 12 individual songs they had written throughout their existence.  The band experimented on dark wave, cold wave, synth pop and minimal tunes.

I really like this album, the old school synthesizers, the drum machines, the cold and other times passionate vocals remind us of the 80’s atmosphere.

The album begins with the “Existence” with 80’s synth pop electronic elements and Toxic Razor on vocals and continues with “Visions” with a more minimal approach and Kriistal Ann on vocals.

“Do you really want to go there in the darkness and crowds?” the third song “Boulevard Voltaire” is one of my favorites of this album, both artists sing, Kriistal Ann whispers "Je t'aime mon coeur " a desperate cry of love and hurt.  On “Fatal” there is a bit more electro direction due to the music and on “Tranquil” we enjoy again both artists on vocals and more cold wave vibes. I loved the “Tale” a more nostalgic, romantic and also “cold” song speaking about the past. Here the vocals are more dramatic, the yodeling surprised me but I also liked it a lot and that proves Kriistal’s Ann voice skills, the dark synth melodies sounds perfectly over the rhythm. “Perpetual” reminds the first steps of EBM music and the “Resurgence” drives us again in emotional and dark roads, “Everything inside Burning in your mind”. “Superbia”, “Punished wisdom” and especially “Entropy” made me want to dance for hours and the last song of the compilation “Throbbing Gallows” is the darkest song of the album “As your heaven cries Far beyond the light”…..

I strictly recommend it to the fans of this genre.


Review by Christine L

Read More …

 

The Greek darkwave duo Grey Gallows, having spent almost a year during the pandemic producing their latest material, has just released their new album "Garden Of Lies". This time they have joined forces with the German label Cold Transmission Music, in order to release their brand new third album. Since 2017 when they first appeared with their self produced debut "Beyond Reflection", they have made a name for themselves with every new release and live appearance. Their sound has evolved since then and as we can see and hear on the new album, their collaboration with sound designer Nick (TheMute) Chalntoupis, has brought out the best of their dark 80s and 90s sound.

 First up is the album title track "Garden Of Lies", a dark gothy addictive tune that shows how the band has evolved production wise. On "Love Moan" that follows in the same vein, the brooding bass haunts all the backbone of the track. Like on all tracks, Konstantin’s deep vocals set the emotional tone of the songs. This is evident on "The Fall" where his singing matches perfectly with his synths and Dionisi’s nice atmospheric guitar work. The same could be said for the slower "At The Crack Of The Dawn", a majestic dark song that really stands out. The next track "Dissociation" features Cleopatra Kaido, singer and front woman of the dark electro band Meat Injection. Her voice here blends perfectly with the band’s sound bringing in a different element, that of female sensibility. Things return back to normal with "Don't Bring Flowers", with Konstantin’s classic vocal, cold synths and Dionisi’s dark basslines and melodic new wave guitars. Things get more electronic on "Cold Hearts", that is more synth-pop but still dark and romantic. Then on "Grey Is Our Colour" the beat drops and the duo delivers an epic dark atmospheric track that has some very nice eastern elements. As in all the songs, their lyrics deal with the pain of human existence, as it can be seen through love, life and death. They themselves say “Grey is the color of life, for all things that die…’’. Their matured songwriting and great production, as on the whole album, is also showcased on darkwave track "Peels Of Time". The last track "All Men", an instrumental with only a sampled voice at the beginning, shows the band experimenting more their dark electronics.

 The album already comes as a compact disc in 6-panel digipack, including 8-pages booklet. Pre-orders have begun for the limited edition 12" violet transparent and black vinyl that will include a lyrics sheet. Shipping for the vinyl formats will start approximately in mid May 2021. The cover photo is by Marilia Fotopoulou with the artwork done by Infrared Media. Ending this review, I will like to say that for all darkwave and goth fans, this album is a real treat.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

 

Read More …

 


The Greek minimal synth artist Doric has returned with his new full-length album "Great Dead Cities" released digitally in February 2021 and with the vinyl (transparent clear and black) format to follow, out on the German label Cold & Young records. Doric (aka Stathis Leontiadis) has delivered a great piece of work, true to his DIY and analogue spirit, stating that “The Time has come, to lock yourself, to face the void, to lose yourself”.

 The album begins in the best of ways with the monumental track "Shades". A desperate cold wave tune, that’s still filled with humanity, with Doric’s despair found all over the bleak lyrics. “In your heart, in your coal black heart, you close the door and shut the world away...”. After that, we have the addictive "Start Of The Lie", that just shows that Stathis was in great form when recording this. On the next "The Breach" we have all those 80’s synth pop electronic elements with a little touch of 70’s Kraftwerk. While on the following "A-Live" and "Images" he displays effortlessly his beloved minimal wave, synth punk style. He expands the atmosphere on the instrumental "Ορχηστρικό Νο.5" where his synth melodies float lovely over the synthetic rhythm. On "Something To Hold" we have a shift to a bit more new wave direction, mainly due to his singing. Reminiscent of decades long gone by, but still heartfelt. The album closes with "Cities Are Dead", the last of eight tunes, showcasing yet again Doric’s expertise in cold, desolate soundscapes with live electronics

 All the songs where written, performed and produced by Stathis Leontiadis in Athens, 2020. His signature sound is dependent on the equipment he uses. All analogue machines such as Korg Kr-55, Roland Tr-505 Rhythm Composer, Roland Tr-8s and Dreadbox Typhon, Korg Arp Odyssey FS, Moog Minitaur, Minimoog Model D, Octave The Cat Srm, Sequential Circuits Six-Trak synths. The album artwork is by Demeter of 5th Floor Entertainment.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

Read More …

 

A new Greek electronic act has emerged called Πύργος Αθηνών / Pyrgos Athinon. The name translated in English is Athens Tower, taken from the tallest building in Greece, located near the center of Athens. A picture of the tower is also depicted on the cover. The duo’s debut "210" was digitally released in January 2021 containing three tracks.

 The first track "Έργο Ανεκπλήρωτο" (Project Unfulfilled) is a lengthy piece of pure futurepop, taking us back to the 00’s when this genre was at its peak. After a noisy intro, the synths and beats steps in revealing a futuristic score that is also enhanced with the robotic sounding vocals. Their electronic waves go hand in hand with city inspired poetry of anthropomorphism. On the second track "Λιμάνι" (Port), the beat gets stronger. Here we have an EBM tune that’s more dynamic and is even more pumped up with the more aggressive, desperate claustrophobic, drowned vocals hailing in the background. Third and final track is "Χάλκινες Λεωφόροι" (Brass Avenues), is a darker piece that has a more nocturnal urban vibe. This one is a more oldschool industrial synthpop in style, with heavy vocoder used on the vocals.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 


The Man & His Failures released their second EP titled "ΜΜΧΧ". Apart from being available digitally, it has also been released physically in limited cassette format by the Thessaloniki based label Smash Records. With this release, Manos Karakatsanis, the main figure behind The Man & His Failures, has compiled all his work from the year 2020, hence the name.

 First up is "Persona Non Grata (Ver.MMXX)", a track that introduced us to them from their first EP back in 2018. Here we have a new, more updated version of the song, that’s has been enhanced with better production and more electronic elements. Next is  "Nothing" that was originally released as a video in June 2019 and then as a digital single in January 2020. Here is when Manos presented us with his new direction, that of a more electronically fueled alternative rock, retaining his minimal and darkwave elements. The upbeat "The Dagger" that follows was also a digital single released in April 2020. This track also continues in the same revamped style of its predecessor and has a groovy bassline running all the way through it. It is followed by "The Dagger[Conjecture Remix]" that was its b-side. Here, Vasilis Angelopoulos (Conjecture), has transformed the track into a dark post-apocalyptic theme, where only Manos distorted vocals are recognizable from the original. Next, we have "Nothing [George Nikas Remake]" another b-side. This more atmospheric take was treated by George Nikas (The Noise Figures, Holy Monitor) with vocals by Eirini Argyri (of the band Church Of The Sea) that really take the track to another level. The closing track "P.N.G. Ver.MMXX [Instrumental]" in an instrumental version of another older track taken from the first EP "Persona Non Grata". This version is much more dynamic, and dance orientated.

 The tracks where mixed and mastered at Top Floor Studios, Athens by Panos Tsekouras (Mani Deum), while the artwork was provided by Nun Other. Apart from main man Manos K. (voices, lyrics, music, vision) he is backed up by Alekos Sorros (beats, synths, loops, music), Memos Pilaftsis (electric guitars, FX) and Dimitris Georgopoulos (electric bass, FX) who also appear with him on stage.

Review by Nick Drivas

Read More …

 



NU.N (Francisco Vaudeville [bass and live back vocals] Pedro Eternal [guitar] and Tarannis M. [vocals, synths, and studio overdubs]) are a band from Portugal formed in 2014. The name of the band was taken from ancient Egyptian mythology, NUN is the meter that represents the cosmic liquid that gave rise to the universe, it’s the liquid abyss, the abyss that we sink while listening to their melodies by their EP called "I will show you fear in a handful of dust". NU.N manage to combine the modern and the old school goth in an excellent way. This Ep is a part from a trilogy, It was only released in vinyl, with three different covers, which make a puzzle of an image. Apart from that, the band will release 2 singles in March, songs that would be included in the last album of the trilogy in September.

The EP begins with the Toutouic, a dark and hypnotic lullaby, with Eve Doyon and her sweet voice travelling us to the unknown.The First official single from the EP maybe is one of my favorites of the band, “Shadows of love...in contempt'', a song of love but not a typical one, the lover is a goddess before his eyes who uncovers and feeds all his sins. The stunning backing vocals of Tarannis transmit to us his tense and the music drives our souls to a higher level.Νext track “Midnight's Inertia” is a dynamic track that really kicks in, with strong and fast guitars riffs.  The song is followed by the “Brave New World” with a fine combination of synth and guitars. Things change on “Tomorrow we will say our goodbyes ( a nocturnal Fragment)”, an atmospheric and hazy ballad and they change again on “Gotas de la remembranza”, originally recorded in the CD "Oblivion" by Remembrance, a melodic song that I loved the first time I heard it.

This Ep doesn't stick to a monochromatic texture throughout the whole album, It’s a combination of 6 tracks that managed to fit all the qualities of the goth genre.





Read More …

 


The Texas duo Delphine Coma returned with their second album "Tortuosa" released in October 2020, on the Swiss Dark Nights label, two years after their debut "Leaving The Scene". Delphine Coma combines elements of post-punk, shoegaze, and darkwave to create their own unique and entrancing sound using lush atmospheres and harsh guitars to create entrancing soundscapes that blur genres. It’s members Ashe Ruppe (former The Elysium Facade, Trance to the Sun, Nocturn) and Amendoa Lizzbeth Tamburri have described their music as "The ideal meeting between Sisters of Mercy and My Bloody Valentine".

 The album begins with the dark and hypnotic "Light And Shadow" where the guitar sonics really bring to the atmosphere. The rhythm kicks in on "Dissolve" although hidden behind their solid wall of sound of synth and guitar with Ashe’s vocal mixed in the misty haze. In the same lines we have the song "Lost All Feeling". While on "Plastic Flowers" the guitar riffs step to the foreground and Ashe’s singing get more melodic. Things change on "Arrival" that features vocals by Eric Cope (of Glorious Din) and has a jumpy bassline. The next track, "Secondary Eyes", a dynamic track that stands out has a more upfront vocal. Although things step back again into more atmospheric more with "Desolation", the track is a treat. As the album progresses, things get more addictive as they enter more gothic rock territory on the desolate "Mirror Of Ice". In similar gothic mode we have "Death Of" with its throbbing bass, icy synths and Ashe’s voice sounding even more like Andrew Eldritch. The album closes in similar vein with "Tension", a bleak track driven by a brooding bass and a minimal stark drum machine with all the instruments building a heavy atmosphere over them.

 This collection of ten tracks has managed to fit all the qualities of the darkwave and goth genre. The band delivers all these known to us sounds and styles with their own personality, bearing fruit to a great record for fans of dark scene. The album "Tortuosa" has been released on CD and 12" vinyl in various colors. In red marble vinyl and white with black splatter.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 

The darkwave/post-punk band Push Button Press from Tampa, Florida, have just released their third album "Black Swan" on Cold Transmission. On previous releases, the band provided a catchy, moody blend of '80s synth-goth, in the lines of She Wants Revenge. By listening to them, you are transported back in time to the likes of The Cure, Cocteau Twins and Echo & the Bunnymen. Stylistically the band draws from the early days of guitar driven post-punk from bands like Joy Division, Bauhaus, Christian Death, and The Buzzcocks. They accomplish this while creating engrossing and polished songs that you will listen to more than once.

 On their new album, the band has a more 90’s gothic rock style but still maintain their 80’s feel. All this but still sounding fresh and up to date. Something that is evident from the first track "The End of Time". Catchy guitar driven tunes, with upfront vocals and great glossy production. The upbeat tempo doesn’t stop and continues with "Trace", another dynamic track that brought me back memories of early Gene Love Jezebel. Next is the moody "Vril" with its thumping drums and atmospheric synths. The song structures are brilliantly formed, making the tracks sound very interesting and if anything, they don’t ever let you get bored. The warm vocals are nicely placed and crystal clear. Like on the track "Dim" that follows with its singalong chorus, that to me, could have been something from the Killing Joke in their mid 80’s. The tempo slows down on the darker "Broken Faces" but steps up again on the title track "Black Swan". They deliver another moody track with "Spectacle", where the synths and bass weave together with the sporadic guitar riffs. The thumping drums are back on the guitar driven "Scars (Within Walls)" and without taking a breath the band ends the album by launching immediately into "Cold as the Ground that Lie Above Me", ending with one of their more dynamic songs.

 If you are a fan of post-punk, there will be a song on "Black Swan" that you will love. Every track here can stand out on its own and is a candidate for a single. This is also the band’s first physical release, that comes as a compact disc in 6-panel digipack including a 12-page booklet.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 


The Greek artist Nick Frontman has returned with his sixth album "Nostalgia" released on his own Mystery Records label. The album contains eight new tracks, 6 in English and 2 in Greek, all in gothic and electro goth style. It was initially released on a small scale in limited copies a year ago in December 2019, but it wasn’t until this year that it was pressed on CD. Nick Frontman managed to present the album live at Death Disco just days before the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 Nick Frontman is no stranger to the local Greek underground scene, with a career spanning from the early 90’s having performed live in numerous events. As on his last two albums, "Φαντάσματα" and "Today Is The Tomorrow Of Yesterday", he continues in the same vein binding goth and electro. The opener "The Healer" is low key electronic piece drenched with distorted guitar and Frontman’s harsh voice. Things get more rhythmic on "Live Now & Die Later" a darkwave/synth track. As on most of his songs, the main themes revolve around the lust and loss of love. As on the sentimental "Nostalgia" which is musically one of the best tracks on the album, with some great keyboards and matching guitars that create a romantic atmosphere. Next there is a change of style with the guitar driven rock track "The Night" with Nick’s nicotine and whiskey soaked voice. Then again the tone changes with the melancholy piano driven "Κύκνειο Άσμα" (Swan Song), the first where he sings in Greek. After an epic synth intro, "Border Line" transforms into a more dynamic track, one that has stood out at his latest live appearances. The second song sung in Greek is "Το Βλέμμα" (The Look), a dark post-punk track with a very 80’s sound. The last track, "Gothic Fans", is a classic 90’s danceable electrogoth track that as the title suggests is a tribute to all gothic fans around the world.

 Apart from Nick Frontman on lead vocals, the album features Dimis Levidis on guitar, bass, synths, programming and George Gavras on synths, keyboards, programming. It was recorded at Sound Machine Studio and mastered by George Scordilis.

 Review by Nick Drivas.

Read More …


 

The dark electro / industrial band from the Greek island of Crete, PreEmptiveStrike 0.1, have returned with the concept EP "The Dread Files", just 9 months after their latest album "Progeny Of The Technovore". Here we find 4 brand new songs, plus 4 remixes from exclusively Belgian artists. It was released in September by the Japanese label Digital World Audio as a digipak limited edition compact disc, designed by Vlad McNeall. It was also available on its release on black and clear lathecut Vinyl 12", with only the 4 original tracks, but these very limited copies are already sold out.

 This is the first release since the departure of longtime member George Klontzas, leaving the core duo consisting of Jim “The Blaster” and Yiannis “Dseq” Chatzakis (who has his own project Degenerated Sequences). Frontman Jim is on vocals and drum programming, leaving songwriting duties falling now fully on the shoulders of Yiannis. The very name "The Dread Files" is suggestive of both primal fears and the investigation of paranormal phenomena so often a feature of science fiction in Western popular culture over the centuries. Musically, the EP is more based on old-school dark electro patterns, a back to the roots approach. Something we see on the opening track "Evolution/Retribution". An upbeat stomping track with Jim’s characteristic harsh vocals that speaks to mankind’s fears of alien invasion. It has a sci-fi theme with samples taken from the 1964 British black-and-white science fiction horror film The Children of the Damned.

 The next three tracks are dedicated both from lyrics and corresponding samples to the three major works of Italian film director Lucio Fulci. The more atmospheric synth textured "Wormfaced Cadavers", deals with the undead and has a sci-fi theme with samples taken from Zombie Flesh Eaters. While on "Doctor Dread", the familiar figure of the mad scientist, samples from House by the Cemetery are used. On "And You Will Wake Up In Terror", where the bpm’s are even lower, nightmares of the eerie and inexplicable are all set to a dark electronic soundscape simultaneously smooth and punchy. Here they have incorporated samples from the movie The Beyond.

 The second part of "The Dread Files" EP features four remarkable remixes of the initial four original tracks. The songs where left in the hands of four different Belgium acts to synthesize a hybrid of two completely different cultural takes on EBM. Implant, Llumen, The Juggernauts and IC 434 were all willingly enlisted to work their own dark electronic magic on "The Dead Files" material and the results have created an exact mirror image of the original, as seen through their own eyes.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 

The German goth rock act The House Of Usher, were founded in 1990 by Jörg Kleudgen (the only permanent member) and Markus Pick. After thirty years of uninterrupted creative work, they are like a good old port wine that unfolds its full maturity on the eleventh album "Holyghost" and shows the band in a consistent further development. The album was released digitally on December 15, 2020 and the CD edition will follow.

 A total of fourteen songs consist the tracklist of this album, with its main focus on aging and loss. Many of which cannot deny their origins in the Wave of the 1980s. The hymnic instrumental "Lights Go Out" opens the album, followed by "Let It All Be Mine" that really kicks in and sets the pace and then fades out into a piano piece at the end. Next is "Summer Rain", a track that definitely has associations with old Fields Of the Nephilim and from what we read on their social media, a video production for it is on its way. It is followed by "Can You Tell Me?" an emotional gothic rock track with Jörg’s expressive vocal in great form. On "When Dreams Come True" we have a change in mood. A more melodic pop rock and atmospheric ballad of sorts in true 80’s style. Next is "Now Or Never", that’s starts with more electronic elements, then transforms into a classic Wave track with some very sensual backing vocals by Rafunzel. The acoustic guitars come out on "Meadow", while on "Footsteps In The Snow" the band convinces once again with catchy melodies and beautiful guitars that are rarely heard today. In the same vein we have "Beside You", "Invisible", "God And All Of His Angels" that features bass and additional guitars by Barry Galvin and "View From The Hills". The album ends effortlessly with one of the best songs "With The Eyes Of A Stranger" and ending in the best of ways with the lengthy "Rocket To The Moon".

 The current line-up with singer Jörg Kleudgen, guitarists Markus Pick and Georg Berger, as well as Ralf Dunkel on bass and Gerwin Spalink on drums are reinforced a plethora of guest musicians such as Barry Galvin (ex-Christian Death, Mephisto Walz), Tom O'Connell (ex- Garden Of Delight, All Hallows Eve), Ingo Klemens (The Escape), Boris Brosowski (Cream VIII), Oliver Pietsch (Violet), Keule (Reptyle) and Dominic Daub (Qek Junior). The album was mixed and produced by Jörg Kleudgen. All lyrics are from Jörg Kleudgen, with additional lyrics on "Let It All Be Mine" by Boris Brosowski. The great well-matched artwork was also done by Jörg Kleudgen.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 

Athens based artist DSTRB released his second album "Human" on the German label Raumklang Music today November 26th, 2020. Five years after his debut album "Imaginary Life" released in 2015. The description of this second release by the Greek IDM act, states: In a bleak and faceless world, devoid of compassion and meaningful human contact, in a society that worships material gain over collective wellbeing, "Human" aims to disturb the illusion of systemic normality and sets out to discover the primeval humanity that lies buried under layers of cold steel and fibre optic cables. Something that is evident in all 12 tracks that are included here. 

 His electronic experimentations kick off with "Crisis In Consiousness", where amongst distorted beats and voice samples, a creepy dystopian atmosphere is created. On the more somber "Depression", the urban vibes take a low-key tone making a theme destined to evoke nighty cityscapes. Into deeper spheres of the subconscious, the track "Είσαι Μόνος (You Are Alone)" sets a more cyber driven journey into solitude. With "Eternal Fear" we have a humane sentimental touch amongst all the glitches and post-industrial soundscapes. Next is "Kill Hate", following even more this downward spiral search of emotions.

 Half-way through we reach "Martin's Dream" where with it’s more playful beats and samples, Dimitris Strambis presents us with a more political statement by using bits of Martin Luther King’s famous speech. While on "Metamorphosis" the darkness of inner search returns with a sci-fi feel. On the other hand, with My Silver", the warm string layers make a very emotional track. With the urban beats and distorted vocal samples bringing a humane touch. "Never Be Forgotten" that follows is another fine example of DSTRB’s IDM style. The kind that is suitable for inner thought and suitable for night rides around the city. His thoughts on religion are set on "Religion Ist Heilbar", German for curable. Somewhat relevant in a time where mankind is in search for truth and compassion, in opposition to the retrospective and medieval stance of various religions. In the same vein we have the compelling melodic "Remember This" that gradually evolves from a monologue intro. The album ends with the lengthy rhythmic "Struggle". A more dynamic track that brings more fierce beats to the forefront with some almost eastern key arpeggios driving the melody. 

 The whole album is a pleasurable listen. DSTRB manages with his music to suck you in. A deep introspection that takes us from Crisis to Fear, from Love to Metamorphosis, leading to the ultimate Struggle to leave behind the brutal and violent aspects of ourselves in an effort for humanity to claim victory over the machine. And this he does in heartful way. The album was written and produced by Dimitris Strambis, mastered by Anatoly Grinberg, with the cover and artwork done by Dirk Geiger.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 

The Greek music project Onism was created in February 2020 as an attempt, according to its members, to express the realization that we, as human beings, are finite. They consist of Lupe (Michalis Latousakis, known also from his band Mosquito) and Efremia Michou. Their first release, the EP "Leyes", was just released in November 2020.

 The EP contains 4 tracks, all following a darkwave, neoclassical mood. The opener is "Smoke, Light & Dust", a ballad that over a light drumbeat, piano, violin and a few stabs of electric guitar, the voices of Lupe and Efremia intervene together in sorrowful way. The next song, "Let Me", is a piano driven track that is more rock orientated, with a more dynamic chorus. Like on all the compositions, the male/female vocals continuously interact. While on the romantic and atmospheric "Lies", the mood is more ethereal and haunting, with the addition of some nice layers of synths. Things get a bit more bombastic on the last song "Catharsis". Here they reach their neoclassical style peak with a much more dramatic track, that climaxes with the two singers acting out their part to the full as if in some opera.

 The release is only digital and will be officially released on all platforms on 27th of November. All music and lyrics are by Onism, recorded and mixed by Lupe himself. The lovely artwork is by George Kastanakis. Besides this release, the project has covered the songs "Roads" by Portishead and "Believer" by Imagine Dragons.

 

Review by Nick Drivas.

 

Read More …


The US goth-rock band The Wake, founded in 1986 in Columbus, Ohio as part of the so called “second wave” of goth in the early '90s, released the new album "Perfumes and Fripperies" on October 30th, 2020 by Blaylox Records. Almost 25 years since their last full-length album "Nine Ways" in 1996. The masters of American Gothic Rock have returned, and they have brought everything back: the bold voice, walls of dark guitars, pounding drums, huge bass lines and their unique songwriting skill.

 The album begins with the slow burning "Daisy", showing that the band have returned with their classic signature sound. Then, with "Hammer Hall" that follows, we bare witness to an epic track, with their monolithic wall of sound of guitars. While on "Marry Me" we have a great gothic rock tune with some really nice melodic guitar lines. On "Break Me Not", another favorite, the guitars get more chaotic, as on the title track "Perfumes and Fripperies" where the guitars step a bit back revealing the rhythm section.

 Hallway through we have "Rusted 20" continuing the album’s great flow of songs topped with singer’s Troy Payne bold voice. On "Everything (feat. Wolfie)" the band collaborated with David Wolfenden of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry who played second guitar. Here Troy’s voice gets more atmospheric bringing even more gloom to the mix. We have a change in sound on "Emily Closer (MH direct-drive mix)" where the phased bass comes to the foreground and is enhanced with some synths. As on "Big Empty" where the thumping drumming is backed with guitars full of reverb and distortion. The album closes with the slower tune "Figurine" that’s has a darker, painstaking mood to it.

 By listening to the whole album, you are left only with the exciting taste that The Wake have released yet another goth classic. Recorded over many months in different locations and various circumstances in the band’s native Ohio, the album comes together to speak with one voice. The album cones as a limited-edition Compact Disc in a gatefold with 4-page lyric sheet and liner notes. Includes also an additional track, "Rusted (Hz Healer Mix feat. Caroline Blind)".

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 


The Greek dark duo Strawberry Pills released their debut album "Murder To A Beat" on October 30th, 2020. The duo, consisting of singer Valisia Odell and Antonis Konstantaras on guitar, had resurfaced after a 6-year hiatus. Sonically, with this album the band aim for a fresh dark sound while paying homage to the 80’s, with its title inspired by the queen of crime, Agatha Christie.

 The opening track of the album, "The Voyeur", is an ode to Guy Bourdin’s voyeuristic photography. A classic example of the duos sound based on minimal electronics as a backdrop with flashes of guitar and Valisia’s characteristic singing style. Almost spoken word, with her individual pronunciation. All these elements of fiction, horror, death and romance as stated by the band are combined on "Private Nightmare" that has a more oldschool feel. Next comes "Verbal Suicide" that was actually their comeback song, released in February 2019 gaining major airplay. This low tempo minimal track gets addictive especially when the groove kicks in during the chorus and the sci-fi synth sounds at its climax. The first side ends with "Enter The Void", another 80ish track that’s more guitar driven.

 On the second side of the album, we have the new wavy "Dreams" with its synthy verse and a more dynamic chorus with chaotic guitars and Valisia singing “Murder, murder…”. Thing calm down on "Porcelain Face", a song about an alluring femme fatale. Again here, after a calm nocturnal sounding verse, the chorus comes in a bang. On the next track "Icarus" that was initially released in May 2019, has a more pop sensibility with electro sounds and a more playful vibe. In the same vein we have the closing track "Set To Rise Again" but with a more minimalistic approach.

 The album was recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Panos Tsekouras at Top Floor Studio. The duo was also assisted by Aristomenis Theodoropoulos, an old fellow artist who had previously worked with them in their previous band Phoenix Catscratch. The artwork and photos are done by Aris Athanatos. It comes as in black and clear vinyl 180 gram but will also be available digitally.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …

 


Darkwave revivalist sweethearts Lebanon Hanover have just released their sixth album entitled "Sci​-​Fi Sky" on Fabrika Records. The duo of Larissa Iceglass and William Maybelline appear as true romantics of the modern age, an ice-cold reply to the alienated and pandemic stricken world coming from two warm beating hearts.

 What is immediately evident by listening to the album, as on the opener "Living On The Edge", is the wall of sound provided by distorted electric guitar. A step away from their more minimal, stark approach on previous works. On the second track "Golden Child", after an intro with bass and xylophones, the guitars step in and William takes over lead vocals. The distorted guitars are even more upfront on "Garden Gnome" where Larissa sings. The first time we got to hear their new sound with the doom-laden electric guitar brought so upfront was in September when the video for "Digital Ocean" was uploaded. The video was filmed by the sea somewhere in Greece with an original 80s VHS camcorder. "The Last Thing" that follows was the first single from the album released in March during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The video was filmed in the industrial area of Neckarau, Mannheim in Germany amongst other places. A classic example of the duo’s musical cold tones with Larissa’s characteristic melancholy, almost depressed vocal expression.

 Halfway through we have "Angel Face" where William sings accompanied by acoustic guitar offering one of the most emotional moments of the album. While on "Hard Drug" Larissa’s warm voice floats gently on a melodic piece brought by brooding bass, jangly guitar and a minimalistic thumping drum. Both members take turns singing on "Third Eye In Shanghai" a dark piece driven by a flanged guitar line. Things get captivating with the mantra like "Your Pure Soul" and even more spiritual on the closing track "Come Kali Come" with its eastern elements, sounding like nothing they have ever done before.

 "Sci-Fi Sky" comes as a CD in a lovely gatefold case with booklet and also as a double vinyl. The vinyl issue will be featured in three colored variations. On splatter moon grey and yellow, splatter white and blue, splatter white and dark green.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

Read More …