The Moscow based label ScentAir Records has released the CD compilation "The Lighthouse Saga", as a limited edition. The lyrics of each piece here were written by the poet Lory Fayer and set to music by groups from various countries. The lyrics tell a sort of romantic saga with the romantic protagonists par excellence, a siren and a sailor. They illustrate the love between the two, starting from the poignant call of the magical creature who seeks his sailor, while in the background enchanted shores are outlined, albeit pervaded by melancholy, to arrive, after the painful collapse of all illusions and the end of hopes, to a union of souls, the overcoming of the material world and the triumph of the dream.

It was Lory who offered the lyrics to artists she considered suitable to interpret and put them into music and the results showed the validity of her choices. First, we have the Greek vocalist Elisabeth Kotronia (known also from her previous band En Garde) who opens the compilation with her refined 'classical' piano piece "Sirens Sing For Love" that interprets the siren's yearning for love. Then, with "The Lighthouse Dream" we find a collaboration between Lory who also presents the vocal part, and Silentport (Roman Rütten solo project), who knows how to give the song the right dose of gloomy evocation while on the atmospheric and melodic "Lost Sailor" the act Winter's Course collaborates with Francesca Nicoli (of Ataraxia) on vocals, the only piece in Italian. Deus Faust (aka André Savetier and Raymond Nelson) on "Al Di La Del Mare" cover the touching words with soft scenarios and poignant piano notes. Then, with the song "Awakening" we have the collaboration between Eirene and Paris Alexander, that offers a short ethereal and spooky interlude. The act Afterglow on "From Our Prison" cloaks in darkness what has now become a prison for the soul.

Halfway through we find Cendre Froide that present a post-punk arrangement for "Mal de Mer". On the next rack "Tomorrow Became Never", Nouvelle Culture with singer Carissa Denee, sing about solitude and despair in a more electro mood. While on "A Promise Left Behind" we have a classical arranged piece set to music by the Mexican Condemnatus. Immediately after, the Portuguese act The Dreams Never End with Sandra Pereira on vocals designs the most dramatic atmosphere for "Dangerous Game". Sadaemon, places the suggestive words of "Until The End Of the Years" in a heavenly background. The Italian Vestfalia’s Peace that gives life to one of the most beautiful episodes, "The Ghosts of the Lighthouse", romantic and evocative. The sad story of the mermaid and her sailor finally comes to an end with "Play A Serenade To The Moon" arranged respectively by the melodic coldwave act Antipole (featuring Eirene and Paris Alexander) and "My Little Siren" by Silentport.

Text by Nick Drivas with reference to MRS. LOVETT Italian review for ver sacrum

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Sonsombre, the Goth Rock project of Brandon Pybus from Northern Virginia, is back with his third full length album "One Thousand Graves" released in January 2020 on Cleopatra Records. This album came only six months after his previous "The Veils Of Ending". Sonsombre is by many the most exciting thing to happen to goth music in a decade. One can say he is creating a rival with this old school goth vibe with modern twists. Brandon Pybus has a classic gothic rock image too, dressed in black with big brimmed hat, crucifix and shades but with the new touch, that of a catholic preacher.

The album kicks off in a dynamic way with "Fire". A track characteristic of Sonsombre’s sound, classic 90’s guitar driven gothic rock with deep and slightly harsh vocals. The tempo speeds up on "No Warning" that is a fine example of old-school gothic rock, with exquisite production and clear and crisp guitar melodies. This type of multi-layered guitar-heavy goth rock with drum machine continues with tracks like "Until the Sun Goes Down", "Like Rats" and the rocker "Darker Skies". While on "Lights Out" they deliver a catchy tune that could be a dance floor anthem. A track that first premiered in December 2019 with a nice black and video featuring the band playing in a dark lite room. The entire album is general is dripping with dark and creepy atmosphere, enhanced by a large part by the addition of pipe organ on tracks such as the slower song "Slumber" and "Highgate" with its cracking guitars riffs. As we draw towards the end, the tracks still retain an intensity, with tracks like the album title track "One Thousand Graves", "This Procession" and the mid-tempo "Remember Me".

Review by Nick Drivas

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The Greek synth punk project Mechanimal is back with the new album "Crux" released today January 27, 2020 on Inner Ear records. This is Mechanimal’s fourth album following the 2016 album "ΔΠΔ" that had featured Eleni Tziavara on vocals. Here we have the return of original singer Freddie Faulkenberry back on vocals with his characteristic spoken word.

The album starts with "Ghetto Level", a synthwave track with a very urban vibe. Headman Giannis Papaioannou, who is responsible for the electronic beats and tapes, is very experienced in this field of electronica in general, combining post-punk, darkwave, industrial and urban elements in his music. With "Sharon" we have a track that has a taste from the 90s and 00s, trippy electronica with shoegaze elements. On the acoustic rhythm guitar track "Stolen Flesh" that follows things get poppier musically, although lyrically it deals with lose, dedicated to the loving memory of a dear friend of the band. Next up is "Easy Dead" that was released on "White Flag Single" 7" vinyl in June 2019. Here we have the album version that is included only on the cd/digital format. Here we have a more industrial track, motorik drone n’ roll which Mechanimal has defined, with Jimmy Polioudis (Vigina Lips, Mazoha) playing distortions on guitar. This more industrial feel continues with the intense "Scavengers" that has a monotonous rolling beat and some eastern flairs with violin and cello added to the mix.

With "Razor Tube" we have a swift change to a more techno styled track. While on "Red Mirror", another track from the "White Flag Single" they return to their rawer sound. According to Freddie F. “Red Mirror is a hymn to reconstruction, rebirth, and all that comes hand in hand with that, destruction, erasing and rebuilding. It’s about decline, but not necessarily with a negative outcome”. Here the guitars are provided by George Theofanidis. On "Hospital Of The Storm" we have a more atmospheric track while with the trancy "Vanquish" the beat returns. The album closes with the atmospheric "La Poverina Della Ossa", a classical cinematic piece showcasing violin and cello with Freddie’s spoken work heard more in the distance.

With the album "Crux" the band does an in-depth exploration of the past, present and possibly the future of everyday life with the aim of personal awakening. Inspired by the harsh reality of today, “fake news”, climate change and at the same time criticizes. An album that has a broad pallet of sounds, crossing over many genres, providing the listener with something so up to date and modern.

Review: Nick Drivas

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Opened Paradise are a Greek occult goth band that formed in 2003. Since then they have performed live a string of shows and have released two full length albums and one EP. On February 22nd, 2020 they will open for The Nosferatu at Temple club in Athens.

You have performed live with many foreign bands such as Clan Of Xymox, Garden Of Delight, Voices Of Masada, Moonspell, Nosferatu, Type O Negative, Paradise Lost, Fields Of The Nephilim, Rhombus and The Faces Of Sarah. How is it being able to play together with such bands? Do you have any special moments you would like to share with us from any of these shows?

Hanging with these people whose music actually followed us through every day…
Getting to know the bands with which we‘ve grown is truly an amazing experience.
The whole thing of meeting the bands is the “special moment”.

In 2016 you released your second, and latest, album "Buried In Rain". Why did it take 12 years to release it after your debut "Occult"?

If you count the "Tides" EP which was released in 2012 it’s actually 4-5 years until the "Buried In Rain" album. Opened Paradise is our passion. Our inner child and shelter of our souls. We do not gather under pressure nor because we have to. We do as our heart feels fit. I believe this explains the reason why the releases took place at the times they did and not earlier.

The album "Buried In Rain" was a great piece of work that showed the band mature in sound, performing some really memorable songs and with great production. How was it creating this album in the studio and how did it feel performing it live after its release?

Thank you for your kind words Nick.

As we’re getting older, we mature through our experiences in life. We evolved as individuals and that had an impact on our sound.

The album was recorded and produced at Top Floor studios of Panos Tsekouras. They worked together with Babis Nikou and the result is presented in "Buried In Rain". Both are really cool guys and great to work with. The whole recording/production session turned out easier than expected.

"Buried In Rain" is emotional. Anger meets regret. Bitterness and loss of hope. It is a reminder that mankind is destined to wither. There are no joyous moments there. This is what I felt the first time we presented the album live and this is what I feel every time we’re on stage. Even while just listening to the songs.

How do you see the Dark scene in general? Every few years the music genres in scene shift and we also have various revivals. Are Opened Paradise open to experiment with new sounds and styles according to what is going on today?

I can’t say that I’m following the scene nowadays. Nostalgia has gotten into me lately and I mainly focus on past releases.

We don’t really mind of “what’s going on today” as far as it concerns our sound. We’re not into trends. If an idea pops up, and seems to fit to our overall image of the project, we follow. We experiment and see how it goes. If the outcome is satisfying, we keep it. If not, we discard it. All sounds are welcome. Quite frankly though, I can’t imagine Opened Paradise experimenting with electronic sounds.

Your live performances are rare the last few years. Is this something that the band has decided for itself or is it the difficult for a band like you to find venues and a wider audience to appear to? Would you be interested in performing live in other countries?

We wouldn’t want to give a live performance just for the sake of a live performance. We believe that we need to have something new to offer/give to the people who pay money to watch us on stage.

Greece is a small country. Our shows take place mainly in Athens.
I can’t say that we ever had a problem to find a venue here. The people who are into this kind of music are few but they’re dedicated. Black hearted and loyal. Least that’s the feedback we receive.

We once played abroad in the UK. Throughout the years there are several times that we received messages from fans asking us to play in their hometowns. Surely, we would gladly do that.
Unfortunately (?), Greece stands as the last frontier of Europe (we’re located in the southern/eastern part) and this makes things difficult for the promoters. I guess that booking a band from Greece is costly.

What is the band up to at the moment? Are you preparing a new album?

We recently welcomed in our ranks our second guitarist Gregory (Anima Triste) and we’re currently preparing for the live show alongside with “The Nosferatu” at The Temple on the 22nd of February.
The same time, we’re working on ideas for a new project.

Interview by Nick Drivas

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On Saturday 22th of February, the Gothic rock band The Nosferatu will be playing live at Temple club in Athens featuring original members Vlad Janicek and Louis DeWray from the original 90s era line-up.

First of all, what triggered the formation of The Nosferatu? Was it a need to express yourselves and create new music again or to fulfill something that was long ago left unfulfilled?

This is a long-complicated set of circumstances but to be brief it was instigated by myself. Some sudden life changes made me re-evaluate myself and I realized I missed music too much to keep myself any longer in a self-imposed exile.

Witnessing the “official” band (a term I do not recognize as it was not authorized) descend into a shadow of the original concept also contributed to my decision to resurrect my vision of the band.

Your lineup consists of original members Vlad Janicek and Louis DeWray from the original 90s era line-up together with Rob Leydon and Chris Clark. All of you have been involved in the Nosferatu story in various eras, but now for the first time all together with this particular lineup. How do you feel that this lineup of the band stands?

Both from a professional and personal point of view this is possibly the most harmonious and slick lineup I have played in. All members have a very dedicated attention to detail and quality and integrity permeate every aspect of our performance and writing.

Rehearsing has been an absolute pleasure from the start with the guys.

Nosferatu was considered one of the major Goth bands of the 90s. Your overall image and sound, blending old horror films with esoteric dark music with a romantic feel, a flare for the theatrical and the dramatic, has left its mark. Do you feel that this type of Goth needs to be served to the audience of today as a reminder of what once was?

We always stood alone during a time when the scene began to fragment and dilute. From the start the aim was to present a vision and style that connected the lyrical and musical elements to a visual expression in artwork and stage presentation.

I still believe we fill a void missing in the scene, but time will tell how big that void is!

This isn’t the first time that two bands share the same name. The same has occurred with Gene Love Jezebel for example. Although this can be very confusing for your fans, who also witness the rival between members, it’s the music that will justify each party in the end. What’s your opinion?

Firstly, I am a 50% owner of the band name Nosferatu, I never gave any authorization or permission for Damien to use the name.

But we decided rather than create a war to take a higher moral stance. The reason to use The Nosferatu has many facets but the prime one is to indicate a difference.
We felt we had to demonstrate a difference although minor and the use of “The” is partly to indicate we are the real band. Real in terms of attitude and aspirations.

Apart from live appearances, should we be expecting new material from you in the form of a new album?

It is very much our aim to complete a new album, currently 3-4 new songs have been composed and are already mostly completed. Perhaps I am being too ambitious but having my creative energy revitalized I firmly believe its possible fans might see something by year end.

How do you feel that you will be playing live in Athens? What should the Greek audience expect from your upcoming show at Temple?

We are very excited and honoured to be playing Athens, I know first hand the affection and loyalty of the Greek fans in the scene to our songs. Being able to finally present them with a show rammed full of classics as well as an opportunity to air some new songs is very nice.

Our Hellenic audience should expect a professional, dramatic performance with many classic songs some of which were rarely performed live previously, played with a style and panache in keeping with the founding principles.

Interview by Nick Drivas

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On Friday the 20th of December, 3 upcoming local bands of the dark electronic scene shared the stage of Death Disco club. The three bands, Lip Forensics, Strawberry Pills and The Man & His Failures are no strangers to the local Athenian scene. Their members have been active for many years in various projects and they all have collaborated together in one way or another.

First up was The Man & His Failures who appeared as a four piece fronted by main man Manos Karakatsanis. They began their set with tracks "Bathed In Moonlight", "Persona Non Grata" and "If Mississippi John Hurt Knew What I've Done" from their debut cassette that was released a year ago. Then they played a dynamic take of "Weird, Wild & Free", an A.R.E. Weapons cover that was a real shot of adrenaline. They ended with two new songs, "She Comes With The Dagger" and "Nothing" (the first single from the upcoming debut album "Survival Kit") that sounded really promising showing a more minimal synthwave direction, adding to their post-punk style, making us anticipate to listen to their future release.
By the time Strawberry Pills took to the stage, the club was packed. The duo, consisting of singer Valisia Odell and Antonis Konstantaras on guitar have resurfaced after a 6 year hiatus. After an intro, where on the stage backdrop a visual of their shadowy images was projected, they preformed some new songs like "Scooby", "Icarus", "Porcelain Face", "Dreams", "Voyeur" and "Verbal Suicide" from their forthcoming debut album "Murder To A Beat". Some of which have already gained fair airplay and have created quite a stir. The post-punk/minimal wave duo performed well with Valisia being the main focus with her characteristic singing style and stage performance and Antonis backing up, banging out the riffs on guitar and bass. They continued with the already known songs like their first ever hit "Sad Eyes" and "Disgrace" from their 2013 EP "Conversation Piece".

Last up was Lip Forensics, a duo that plays electronic, idm, electro, glitch music. I wasn’t familiar with their music and this was the first time I was seeing them live. They started their set with "Fo(u)r", a track from their 12"single "Cheiloscopy". Their stage presentation was spectacular, with both members wearing illuminated suits! They reminded me of acts such as Orbital and the 90’s English rave scene in general. They continued with "Ro(a) rschach", "The Awful Truth", "Talos", the digital single "Hybristophilia" released in 2017, "Senescence", "Forsaken" and "Prosopoagnosia".

Review by Nick Drivas.

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The darkwave duo, Twin Tribes, from Texas consists of Luis Navarro (voice/guitar/synth) and Joel Niño Jr. (bass/synth). In 2018 they released their debut album "Shadows" to critical acclaim. With their pop aesthetic and romanticism, they balanced well their chiming guitars, restless bass, and synths, bringing to mind acts like Drab Majesty. With their sophomore album "Ceremony", released in December 2019 on Manic Depression records, they continue in the same vein of their debut with dark melodic sounds.

The album opens with "Exilio", characteristic example of their dark melodic style, with 80’s synthesizers and drum machine sound. The next rack "Heart & Feather" is more danceable with a great shimmering guitar playing melodically throughout it. It was the first single to come out a few months prior to the album’s release. On the darker "The River" the duo delivers a moodier track. Here things get heavier with more melancholy vocals but still retaining their nice melodic lines. We notice that with their second album, their songwriting has matured and the band seems more confident. The beat speeds up on "Avalon", a track featuring nice guitar that plays over the driving rhythm section. Things slow down on "Obsidian". A song with deep moody bass, airy guitar and a low tempo drum beat with a lot of depth. The keyboards put a nice touch to the whole atmosphere, with Luis’s vocals fitting in nicely, adding to the moonlight mood of the song.

With "Fantasmas", one of the album’s stand out tracks, they sound like the new breed of darkwave/goth bands such as She Past Away, a band they recently performed live together in the United States. This was the second single to come out from the album and made us even more impatient, looking forward for the album’s release. The album in general doesn’t seem to falter, as the good tracks follow one after the other. Like "VII" that follows, the more dream pop of "Upir", the upbeat "Perdidos" finishing with another dreamy track "Shrine", this time more dark, ending the album in an appropriate way. Twin Tribes have proved with their new album that they are rightfully considered one of the hopeful acts of the genre, managing to contain elements of alternative, cold wave, gothic, indie, new wave and post-punk in the 10 songs that consist "Ceremony".

Review by Nick Drivas

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Mark E Moon is a new band that came together as a working project in the Autumn of 2018 by Mark Sayle and Phil Reynolds. Their songs are about sex, death and addiction and they describe their music as dystopian post-punk/wave . Their debut album titled "Refer" was released on CD on the 29th of November 2019 on the German Cold Transmission label. The album turns a lens to the darker side of life and peers at the seedy underbelly. As the name of the album suggests, the songs are full of references, some hidden/some obvious, to literature, musical genres and the works of great artists that have gone before.

The duo from Isle of Man, came together over alcohol and a shared love of music, such as Joy Division, The Sisters Of Mercy, The Chameleons, late 70s and early 80s electro. All these influences can be seen on the opening track "Into The Arms Of Entropy", which is a very impressive example of their sound. It’s accompanied video directed by Marie Reynolds was done on a budget of absolutely nothing! On "Time Enough For Love" that follows, things get more rhythmic. Each song on the album examines a particular issue. For example, the synth driven "Electronic" is about the power dynamic between cam girls and their viewers. While the more upbeat "Hollow Eyes" (featuring guitarist Kieran Ball) is about the death of a relationship.

With "Delta Of Venus" we start to see their more gothic rock side. Things get heavier with "Out In The Dark" that brings to mind the song "In The Flat Field" by Bauhaus. Next, we have "Amanda" and "Euphoria", two mid-tempo tracks with subtle synths, dark basslines and nice guitar riffs. The track that really stood out for me was
"Abandon". A ten minute long epic track reminiscent of early Sisters Of Mercy from the Reptile House era. The album closes with the "Strange Fruit", a sparse dark track with a lone bassline and echoey vocal and drum beat that gradually progresses with more electronic elements.

Review by Nick Drivas.

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On Saturday, November 23rd, the Greek duo Incirrina did a live presentation at Death Disco club of their debut album "8.15" that was recently released by Geheimnis records on vinyl. Special quest and opening act were the Greek darkwave / post-punk band Ghostland.

The guest act Ghostland appeared first presenting us a set that featured a wide collection of songs from their debut LP "Dances On Walls" released last year on the French label Manic Depression Records. The three piece, with Makrina: vocals, Argyris: guitar and Nikos: bass, also performed many new songs. They began their set with the new song "Tuoemtel" followed by slower darker tracks "Ice Song" and "Wind Of Knives" from their debut album. They continued with the new tracks "No Place", "Burning Skies", "Strange Ones" and "Trick Of Light" giving us a pretty good idea of what to expect from their new album. The band continues in the same vein as their debut and sounded very promising. They continued their set with more known songs and albums favorites as "Don’t Wait", "Leave Behind", my personal favorite "The Dancing Crowd" and "Lifeblood" that really arose the crowd. For the end they played another new song called "So Far" on which Argyris and Nikos left their guitars and basses and took to keyboards presenting us with a more minimal track, showing a different side of the band, with Makrina also displaying some abstract vocals.

Incirrina, having recently released their debut album "8.15" on vinyl, presented their songs live for the first time after its release. George Katsanos and Irini Tini took their positions behind their synthesizers and performed their debut almost in its entirety, except for one song. They began with the album titled track "8.15" followed by "The Tyger", "The Angel", "The Smile", "A Little Girl Lost" and "The Sick Rose". All great songs showcasing their dark/minimal wave sound, featuring the poetry of William Blake used for lyrics. They created as mysterious atmosphere with their dark 80ish music made with their analogue equipment that was set up nicely on the stage presenting a pleasant sight.

They also performed for us some new songs like "Giskard" before continuing with more album tracks like "True Love Doth Pass Away" and "The Chimney Sweeper". The duo gave a good performance, with Irini and George taking turns on the vocals. Amidst the warm sound of their synths and drum machines, their drenched in reverb voices emerged through the smoke and stage lighting that enhanced their show. Another new track, "Daneel" was played, giving us another taste of their new material. The tracks "Holy Thursday" and "London" from the album followed ending with another new song, "Till The End Of Time".

Review by Nick Drivas

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American artist, Silent EM (Jean Lorenzo), based now in New York City released his debut album "The Absence" on the New Orleans underground label Disko Obscura in July 2019. After having played guitar and bass in post-punk and punk bands but in 2010 Silent EM found, upon his transition to a new city, that he could create music singularly with synthesizers and drum machines. His songs explore themes of disillusion, disappointment with religious views, war and lost love utopias. Up till now he had released various, 7inch singles, cassettes and has participated in compilations gaining cult status.

From the opener "Machine" we are acquainted to his minimal darkwave style that is fit for the dancefloor. The next dynamic track "Don't Crash So Fast" served as second single from the album. Its video clip was filmed live in New Orleans at Technoclub in September where he kicked-off the No Rest, No Heaven USA tour. The influence of 1980s French coldwave and post-punk is apparent in Jean Lorenzo’s songwriting. In places we have a perfect mix between EBM and Wave, reminding a bit of Front 242 and at times of The Frozen Autumn. Apparently, his choice of instruments is vital to his sound, seeing he uses Roland SH-2, Linndrum, E-MU Emulator III, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Sequential Circuits Pro-One, Novation Peak, Behringer Deepmind 12D, Waldorf Blofeld, Korg MS-20, Korg X5DR, Akai MPC 1000, Roland D-50 and Eurorack Modular.

The album continues with "Last Rites", "Virtues Of Our Age", "No Rest" that is more synthpunk and "Return Of Yesterday" that’s more goth synth pop. The song "Wraith" that follows is my favorite and is surely a standout. It was the first single taken from the album and was accompanied by a great video shot and directed by Dino Kuznik, showing Lorenzo, dressed in a long black jacket, walking with around New York City. The album closes with "No God's Land", a nice dark synth track.

This stunning release by Silent EM is available on fire red variant or grey stone color type vinyl and comes with a custom printed double-sided 11x17 fold-out poster.

Review by Nick Drivas.

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The Greek duo Incirrina founded in September 2017 by George Katsanos (synthesizers, samples, drum machine, vocals) and Irini Tini (synthesizers, vocals) released its debut album "8.15" on vinyl. Their music combines elements of dark/minimal wave, electronic, ambient and experimental sounds. Another characteristic of theirs is that they have been greatly inspired by William Blake and have musically arranged a selection of his poems here on this record.

The album opens with the track "The Smile" with Irini Tini on vocals. A song that serves as a great introduction with its electro rhythm. With "The Tyger" that follows we hear a more synth pop styled track featuring also George on vocals. They have a way of making their synth pop moments sound so very dark. In general, all the songs are dark and have an early 80’s feel. On "True Love Doth Pass Away" the tempo quickens with Irini’s whispery and haunting vocals dominating the track giving it an eerie feel. The mood changes with the sturdy drums of "A Little Girl Lost" on which George Katsanos takes on the lead vocals. The first side of the record closes with "Mad Song" with Irini singing in a very distant way.

On the second side we have "The Chimney Sweeper" that was known to us since it was included on the Die Seele compilation "Stimmen Der Seele Vol. 4" earlier this year. A nice piece of night music that combines very nicely the airy synths with Irini’s voice. With "Holy Thursday" the music speeds up again, while on "The Angel" we have yet again another song with a very 80’s atmosphere. The pace steps up again with "London" which is like a rollercoaster ride with its bouncy chords. On "The Sick Rose" that follows they deliver us another dark synth pop track. The album closes with the album title track "8.15". An instrumental piece the shows their more 70’s style synth atmospheres over a minimal synth rhythm backbone with classic 80s’s drum machine.

All songs where written and recorded in Athens during 2018 and 2019 with the use of mostly analogue equipment. Something that gives their music a unique sound. Although their music is categorized in general as electronic and minimal it surely fits in with many genres such as avant-garde, coldwave, dark wave, new wave and synthwave. The album, released by the Greek independent label Geheimnis records, is a limited edition of 308 hand-numbered copies, of which 153 copies are on black vinyl and 155 copies on grey vinyl. It comes with insert with lyrics, credits and pictures of the band. All black and white photography used for the cover and of the band is done by Gwgw Galanopoulou, that suits the bands imagery perfectly.

Review by Nick Drivas

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On Saturday, December 14th, 2019 Wolfrune Fest, Nox Music & Voodood Promotions Present the Danish gnostic occult rock band Parzival live at Death Disco in Athens, Greece. Opening act will be the Greek alternative rock band ULiar. Founded in 1999, Pazival is a Russian electro-industrial group based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Heavily influenced by Kapital-era Laibach, the group creates a bombastic neo-classical music with electronic percussion, plenty of string and horn samples, and dramatic vocals mainly in German. They will be performing here as part of their promotional tour of their latest album "The Golden Bough".

You started in 1995 as Stiff Miners and have already released under the name Parzival 10 albums that have experimented various genres such as martial industrial, symphonic EBM, atmospheric metal, darkwave and electro with influences from Russian and European traditional music. Did you ever think that the band would have had such a long history, and did you have from the beginning a clear picture of what direction the band would have?

Parzival: It’s a good question. Actually Stiff Miners started way earlier than 1995. The first album “Giselle” was released on Cleopatra Records in 1995, but the band started already in 1992. If you asked us in 1995, it would be very hard to imagine that we would be releasing a new album in such a distant future as 2019, but on the other hand we already had some visions and ambitions for the future development of Parzival. Music is a vision of art, and as long as you always have something to say with your art, you can go on as long as you have this artistic vision burning inside you. We have been going through a lot of different musical styles, but we enjoy to achieve something new with our music each time. We can not do a copy of our own music all the time, like AC/DC, but on the other hand you can hear the spirit and atmosphere of Parzival on all our albums. Basically it’s the same concept on all our albums, just with different colours”.

On your latest album "The Golden Bough" we see the return of electric guitars and acoustic drums making your sound more 70s rock - doom metal, but always retaining your epic and pompous style. What would you like to say about this change in direction?

Parzival: As we just spoke about, it’s very important for us to reach some new musical borderlines. And test ourselves on the things we never did before. So for Parzival it’s definitely new with the current influences, which put fresh blood in our wines”

In previous works you sung in German, Russian and Latin. The new album is mainly in English. Is this due to you broadening your horizons and taking it to a wider audience?

Parzival: Again, we would like to explore something new. All our previous albums have been in languages such as German, Russian, Latin, Sanskrit and even a selfmade language made by our friend Maxim, who helps us with the lyrics. We had one song in English, “Lord Of The Sea”, on our previous album “Urheimat Neugeburt” as a test, and we really liked it. So we continued with the English language on the new album. Not to get on MTV, but to try something new 😊

The texts used for the album "The Golden Bough" are based on the book of the same name by Scottish social anthropologist and folklorist Sir James George Frazer. What can you tell us about your choice for this?

Parzival: “The Golden Bough” name is indeed taken from the book by Sir Frazer. The thing is, we disagree with the author and his scientist work. Because in the view of Parzival, he put all his ideas in a very primitive way. In the way our album is called “The Golden Bough”, it’s almost like a reverse engineering of his work, but it’s only our personal view on his book”.

We saw recently you participated in festivals such as NCN (Nocturnal Culture Night) in Germany, Zagovor Festival in the Ukraine, the Wave Gotik Treffen and at Entremuralhas. How is it for you to perform live in various countries? Do you manage absorb any cultural influences during your short stay in the countries you visit?

Parzival: “We really enjoy visiting and performing in different countries. Actually, we always insist on staying a couple of days more in each country, even on our own expense, to experience the atmosphere and culture of each country we perform. To learn and know more about the place we visit. The same with Greece – we will of course stay some extra time before and after the show to explore Athens, and keep our Parzival tradition concerning this”.

The Dark scene worldwide has been going strong for the last 40 years! How do you see the scene today and the way it has evolved especially with the domination of the internet?

Parzival: “We think it is much more easy to promote the band and communicate with the fans than in the past. But on the other hand, everything is way too easy with just one click. People in our time demands news and entertainment from the artists on a daily basis – elsewise they will be forgotten. It is a very hard job for musicians to keep up with the audience at all times. About the scene, there is still plenty of good bands, but it seems like the “dark scene” have been going down for the last 10 years. Less and less people are coming to the concerts, atleast in Scandinavia, but also other countries. And this goes for both goth, neofolk and industrial scenes unfortunately. Because the artists within these genres can not produce news and videos each week to entertain audience in Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and all these SoMe channels”.

As a band that has sunk deep into European tradition, history and symbolism, how do you see the state of Europe today? Although one can say economically Europe is better off than other regions of the world, do you think ideologically it has lost its path, focus or vision?

Parzival: “We see things like that MAYBE it’s easier for smaller countries to stay together shoulder to shoulder with each other as far economy goes. But it’s also only MAYBE. From another point of view, economy is not everything that unite us. It’s not an axe of everything. For us, the way we see it – culturally roots of the European people is more important than economy. Because it is the roots where economy grows from. And as we know, European countries are also very different, and it’s bad when economy dictates over culture and religion. So it’s a very big question that will be too long to go way too deep into. We feel connected to all European countries, and enjoy the diversity of all European countries. But some cultural issues can also split. Let’s see how things will turn out the coming years. Question is short, but answer could last for years. We as Parzival can not make a certain statement about this, as these questions could turned to interesting discussions over an Ouzo or ten!”.

This will be your first performance in Greece. Have any members been here before? As a band, what will you be expecting to give and take from the Greek audience?

Parzival: “Yes, all members have been to Greece before in different parts of the country. We really look forward to perform in Athens, and meet all our Greek friends. We will perform our best show as possible to entertain our Greek audience, who will be the first ones to hear new versions of a couple of older Parzival songs. See you in Athens soon! Thanx for the support to Die Seele”.

Interview by Nick Drivas.

Photos 1 & 2 by: Maiken Kildegaard.
Photo 3 by: Falk Scheuring.

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A new music group has been created on Facebook dedicated to the Ethereal Wave scene. A music genre that has developed from the 80’s until this day with many fans around the globe. Check out the group and join in at the following link:

A brief history…

Ethereal wave, also called ethereal goth or simply ethereal, is a subgenre of dark wave music and is variously described as "gothic", "romantic", and "otherworldly". This music genre developed in the early 1980s in the UK as an outgrowth of gothic rock, ethereal wave was mainly represented by 4AD bands such as Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, and early guitar-driven Dead Can Dance. In the second half of the 1980s, the genre continued to develop in the United States. Ethereal wave, especially the music of the Cocteau Twins, was one of the key inspirations for the British dreampop/shoegazing scene of the late 1980s.

The defining characteristic of the style is the use of effects-laden guitar soundscapes, primarily based on minor key tonality (which unfolds a serious, dark and wistful atmosphere), frequently post-punk-oriented bass lines, restrained tempo (ranging from down- to midtempo) and high register female vocals (sometimes operatic and with hard-to-decipher lyrical content), often closely intertwined with romantic aesthetics and pre-Raphaelite imagery.

Within the gothic/dark wave scene, the genre reached a higher level of popularity throughout the 1990s, especially in the first half of the decade. During this time, ethereal wave and rock genres such as shoegazing (aka dream pop) interacted with each other, with many artists being influenced by 4AD bands, such as the aforementioned Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil as well as early All About Eve.

Since the early 1990s, the "ethereal" tag is primarily associated with the Projekt label, which had already used the term in 1987. The label featured some of the most well-known acts of the U.S. music scene such as Love Spirals Downwards, Lycia and Black Tape For A Blue Girl. But also, with the German label Hyperium Records for its Heavenly Voices compilation series. More recent bands who partly represent the genre are Autumn's Grey Solace, Tearwave, Mercury's Antennae, Faded Sympathy and Saigon Blue Rain.

Notable artists are:
A.R. Kane, Aenima, All About Eve, Area, Autumn, Autumn's Grey Solace, Bel Canto, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Blue Dahlia, BlueScreen, Box And The Twins, Cocteau Twins, Collection D'Arnell-Andrea, Cranes, Dark Orange, Dead Can Dance, Eden, Elizabeth Fraser, Ethereal Movement, Elysium, Excession, Faded Sympathy, Faith & Disease, Faith And The Muse, Friends Of Alice Ivy, Funeral Party, Heavenly Bodies, Isiphilon, Lights That Change, Lisa Gerrard, Love Spirals Downwards, Lovesliescrushing, Luna in Cælo, Lush, Lycia, Mercury's Antennae, Mistle Thrush, Mors Syphilitica, Numeralia, Opium Den, Orange, Ostia, Qntal, Rhea's Obsession, Robin Guthie, Siddal, Soul Whirling Somewhere, Speaking Silence, Stare, Swallow, Tearwave, The Bel Am, The Machine In The Garden, The Moon In June, The Violet Hour, This Ascension, This Mortal Coil, Trance To The Sun, Translucia, Trees Dance, Vazz, Where I Wake Warm.

Besides these artists, a number of darkwave-oriented bands have been worldwide loosely associated with the ethereal wave genre, such as The Dreamside and Sophya (Netherlands), The Breath of Life (Belgium), Crimson Joy (Germany), Rise and Fall Of A Decade (France), Cello (Portugal), Faith & the Muse, The Shroud and Sunshine Blind (United States), This Burning Effigy (Ireland), and Mellonta Tauta (Argentina). Most of these artists were heavily influenced by the music of the Cocteau Twins and the 4AD record label.

Main source: Wikipedia.

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The darkpop / dreampop duo, Box And The Twins, consist of members Box von Dü (voices, guitar) and Mike Reichel (guitar, bass) and are from Cologne Germany. After releasing their debut album "Everywhere I Go Is Silence" in 2016 they made a name for themselves and toured around Europe and America with Hante. Now they are back with their sophomore album "Zerfall" that contains 10 songs of “Pain and Boredom”. Released on the French label Synth Religion, on October 31st, 2019.

The opener "Shadows" continues in the same vein as their first album, a hypnotic track, with deep bass and melancholic guitars, that build a moody atmosphere together with Box’s voice. Next up is the melodic track "The First Dream" that first appeared with a kaleidoscope video prior to the album’s release. It has a synth bass intro, layers of atmospheric guitars and a nice synth line that enhances the sweet melancholy feel of the chorus. On "Dein Herz Schlägt Noch" that follows, Box sings in German. Here they sound a bit like Lebanon Hanover, a band they have played live together, sounding very much like the ice-cold music of an alienated world made by them.

On "Lovesong For A Ghost" the mood changes and lightens up, being the ethereal pop moment of the album. The return to their familiar style with "Ashes" and "Frozen In Time" before we get the darker "No Hope" with its dark electronics and ritualistic mood. With "Lovesong For A Boy" the mood shifts to more positive mood again. Then with "Zerfall", meaning decay in German, we have a lovely track worthy of being the album’s title track. The album closes with "Salt", an atmospheric track dominated only my Box’s vocals and layers of airy guitars.

In general, "Zerfall" is more upbeat than its predecessor that was denser and bleaker. With this album, apart from the great production, their songwriting and has matured and evolved proving that they have mastered their art. The same can be said for Box’s voice that sounds more worked and using a broader pallet of her vocal cords.

Review by Nick Drivas

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