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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Grey Gallows, the darkwave male duet from Patras, Greece have just released their second album. This was much anticipated, as the band had already released a digital 2-track single just before summer and also contributed two brand new songs on compilations earlier this year. On their various interviews, the band had already confirmed their work in progress, so the release of "Shades" this autumn was a pleasant announcement.

"Shades" consists of 9 songs and lasts about 37 minutes (which is one good reason why the album should be listened repeatedly). Grey Gallows, having already established their musical style on their debut album "Tears", continue to evolve their sound in "Shades", a pure darkwave album with gothic rock elements, which manages to stand out and have its own personality.

Unlike the majority of modern bands, Grey Gallows give great attention to the fundamental sound: the drum machine. First the rhythm, then the melody. The drum machine coupled with deep baritone vocals produces a solid sound that can't be ignored. Konstantin's commanding -yet expressive- vocal perfomance fits perfectly with the ever-changing pounding rhythm, as well as with the constant synth sounds on the background and Dionisis' selected discreet guitar and bass contributions. Another pleasant surprise, is the exclusive use of female vocals on two songs, ("Nothing Will Remain" and "She Ends Herself") kindly provided by Fay Tsigka, which makes the album richer, more balanced and overall far more interesting.

Lyrically, most songs deal with personal emotions and relationships, mainly addressed to "the other half" than to the inner self. In two songs (which I consider the best) Konstantin obviously writes about real memories and past experiences: "1982" and "On the Dancefloor" are about night scenes, club locations and certain moments that seem attractively unforgettable and timeless. On the other hand, the last song titled "Black Death" speaks about the bubonic plague, the well known historical fact that struck Europe during the Middle Ages.

With this album, Grey Gallows seem ready to open themselves to a wider audience and explore their musical pursuits further. They seem willing to experiment and take risks, whereas they feel confident and self-aware.

"Shades" comes in cd digipak, with a nicely designed booklet including all lyrics and band photos. The album's elegant artwork is based on mysterious surreal outdoor photography by Greek artist/photographer Marilia Fotopoulou.

The album is released by the UK label Secret Sin records Ltd and is available for your listening pleasure here. (https://greygallowsgreece.bandcamp.com/album/shades) For your further enjoyment, see also the band's interview on DieSeele here. (http://www.dieseele.net/2019/06/interview-with-grey-gallows.html)

 review by Stefan Stavrides
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"Sing Me Something Sinister" is a compilation sampler by the independent record label Seja from the Netherlands with 13 European artists active in the electronic underground. It is like a cinematic sound document of what is happening in the scene lately, with a nice mixture of electronic, darkwave, electro, industrial, minimal and post-punk.

The first side starts with Belgium act Hidden In Treetops (Geert Vandekerkhof) with a live version of the track "The White Container" that was released originally in 2016 on cassette. A great opener with an ambient sythpop instrumental tune, that sets the tone for the rest of the compilation. Next, we have Imiafan, an electro synth pop project from Slovakia, with their 2019 version of the moody low-key track "Nočná Alchýmia". Zwarte Poëzie is the ongoing band project of singer/songwriter Edwin van der Velde, a Dutchman currently living in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Zwarte Poëzie’s music is a mixture between wave and alternative rock, though uniquely brought with neo-romantic Dutch lyrics, as we hear on his contributing track "Grijs Verleden". Adam Tristar from Amsterdam follows with the electro pop track "The Red Pill" taken from the album of the same name released in 2018. The Belgium minimal synth / dark electro project Story Off (a solo project of Chesko Geert Vandekerkhof of Der Klinke) follows with "A Dark Romance", taken from the album "Facing Forward". Things change a bit with the track "B-City" by the new Greek minimal darkwave project Das Noir. A diy minimal post-punk track very reminiscent of 80’s European coldwave bands. The side ends with "Complete Strangers" an exclusive track by synth project Sololust (Peter Baarends).

On the second side we have m1nk, a duo consisting of Barry Snaith and Erika Bach, who unleash their dark gothic industrial electronica with "Do You Want Me". Then we have Bragolin, a two-piece post-punk / dark wave band from Utrecht, with the upbeat track "Into Those Woods" that has a very 80’s feel. The band The Arch from Breendonk Belgium follow with "Alien Ann", a song taken from their new album "XII" that has many darkwave, EBM, new wave and synth-pop elements. The Belgium coldwave band Der Klinke follows with a radio edit of their darkwave almost gothic rock song "Curtains" that’s taken from their latest album "Decade". The industrial Dutch act Xtort continues with "Fire (Black Rituals Mix)" that contains the classic vocal line “I am the god of hellfire!” reminding us the good old days of oldschool industrial. The side and compilation closes with the track "Arctic" by Belgium gothic rock band Ground Nero, a song taken from their 2016 EP "Beyond".

This limited-edition vinyl compilation was curated by Nel Mertens (Luminous Dash) and Johan Buurke (Seja Records). They have managed to compile a great bunch of songs that all together fit under the album’s title, having all something “sinister”. It’s an ultimate overview of the European dark underground scene of today. The atmosphere of this album has been masterfully translated by artist Mo Arab, with his painting ‘Domina Corvus’, an extract of which has been used for the cover.

Review by Rise&Fall

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The Greek dark rock band Anima Triste released their sophomore album "Humanity" a few months back. This CD release was done by the band itself. The band, that has been active since 2014, gigging constantly around venues in Athens but also in other parts of Greece, released their eponymous debate in 2016. They attracted the attention of the local scene with their passionate intense shows and their dynamic mix of darkwave and post-punk.

For the second album, Anima Triste tried new things to enhance their sound. First, they used keyboards for the first time. Something that helped bring an eerie atmosphere to their music. Secondly, they stepped out of the strict post-punk of their earlier work and let more of their influences into their songwriting. Something that is instantly noticed on the opening track "Humanity". A bombastic track with a heavy guitar riff, that shows their more rock side. Its one of the stronger songs on the album, with its theatrical vocals by Mad Sad who sings very passionately. The next tracks "The Underrated Mob", "Scars Of The Moon" and "Hades" continue in the same vein, showcasing their dark rock, which they seem to have mastered, sounding very oldschool at times, reminiscent of past classics. On "Shadows", we have a more subtle song, almost like a ballad with a glam feel, but progresses in a more dynamic way.

Their lyrics are about the human struggle, the weight of today’s society, isolation and despair. Delivered in a painful and heartful way but with an aggression that at times indicts some sort of revolt. The track "UOY" is another standout with its characteristic opening guitar lines and its upbeat dynamic. One of those tracks that has all the elements that represent the bands sound and style. The album continues with the slower songs "Everything Tasteless" and "Intoxication" but also, we get "Falling" with its darkwave bassline. The album closes in the best of ways with "Face In The Mask", a lovely track, with nice guitar work and thumping drums. A track that will surely thrive played live on stage. Anima Triste with this album have proved that they are rightly considered one of the best post-punk bands around. A band that plays tight, with passion and love for music.

Review by Nick Drivas

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Wayne Hussey, frontman of The Mission, visited Greece once again, this time promoting his autobiography entitled "Salad Daze" that was published by Omnibus Press in May. After a UK tour he was now on the road of a full European acoustic tour making a stop here in Athens at Second Skin club. Wayne, alone on stage gave a really great acoustic show, performing a wide range of songs from his career.

Opening act was Phoebus Water, a new Greek duo that consists of Tatiana Stavroulaki and Apostolos Lagarias. Tatiana is known to the local scene since she was the singer of the 90’s alternative band Common Sense. With Tatiana on vocals and acoustic guitar and Apostolo on electric guitar they performed a small set, introducing us to their fragile acoustic and atmospheric songs, topped with Tatiana’s melodic and emotional voice.
Seated on a low stool, wearing his shades at legendary hat, Wayne Hussey took his acoustic guitar and played us many Mission songs such as "That Tears Shall Drown The Wind", "Garden Of Delight", "Severina" and "Like A Child Again". He was very talkative with crowd, in good humor and also told us a small story of how as a young kid he wanted to play football for Liverpool but after seeing Marc Bolan on Top Of The Pops he found what he really wanted to do. Having said that, he played us his first song he had ever written.

Then he switched position and seated at the piano he played us some more Mission songs like "Dragonfly", "Naked And Savage" and the covers "Mr. Pleasant" by the Kinks and the Nine Inch Nails classic "Hurt". He performed really well all the songs, his voice sounded great and in general he delivered with passion and in a very intimate way. We bared witness to his songwriting skills that have penned down some of the most iconic compositions of the last decades.

When he took to center stage again, this time taking an electric guitar he performed some more dynamic takes of songs such as "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan and "Jade" from the Mission last album "Another Fall From Grace". At this point we got to hear his slow version of The Sisters Of Mercy track "Marian". He made a lot of loops with his pedals and also he was backed on some tracks with drum machine.

Towards the end he also played the Liverpool football anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" with some of the crowd joining in. For a finale he changed again to acoustic guitar and played a medley of songs consisted of "Beyond The Pale", "Never Again", "Tower Of Strength", the Depeche Mode cover "Personal Jesus" and "Wasteland". In this way he ended an extraordinary set that lasted for about two and a half hours!

Review and photos by Nick Drivas

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This double album forms a trilogy that began with the albums "Push The Sky Away" and "Skeleton Tree". All tree albums are much milder to Nick Cave’s previous work, very atmospheric with many almost ambient elements. It is very much as a continuation of "Skeleton Tree", an album released after his son’s death, reflecting his then grief. With the new album, he takes a step even further, dealing with deep emotions of someone who has experienced a tragic loss but fights to balance his sanity and finding relief of some kind to continue with life. The result is stunning!

The whole album consists almost entirely of Nick Caves voice, piano and Warren Ellis’ synthesizers, loops and backing vocals. The rest of the Bad Seeds have a minor role. Nick Cave describes to album “The songs on the first album are the children. The songs on the second album are their parents. Ghosteen is a migrating spirit”.

On Part One, all eight songs are in the same vein. From the beginning, with the opener "Spinning Song" we are introduced to how the whole album will sound, with Nick Cave delivering very fragile and emotional vocals. The second track "Bright Horses" is a great piano piece with velvet violin that sounds at points, where the voice is high pitched, like Sigur Ros. Both these songs stand out on this first part of the record. The music on the album in general is very sparse, dreamlike, very ethereal and spiritual like, as if made for meditation.

Part Two has three songs. The twelve minute "Ghosteen" is very ethereal and heavenly, backed with a choir with a very uplifting spiritual feel. Then we have "Fireflies" that is a spoken word piece. The album ends with the fourteen-minute-long "Hollywood", that is probably the best song on the record in my opinion. Here we can hear the rest of the Bad Seeds contribute their part since we hear bass, guitar and percussion. The album was released digitally on October 4th, when it was premiered worldwide on Youtube. Physical formats, vinyl and CD will be released on November 8th.

Review by Nick Drivas

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The Merciful Nuns have released today, September 20th 2019, a new EP titled "Black Halo" on Solar Lodge Productions, a month before the bands final show at Autumn Moon festival in Hameln, Germany. The EP contains five tracks retaining the sound of German goth rockers prior work, but with some new additions making things much more interesting.

The opener "BlackHalo" has a Cure like bassline that kind of sweetens their sound a bit compared to their strict usual tight solid sound. So, we see a change in their approach this time. Artaud Seth’s voice though in general still sounds the same. The second track "The Frail" is a bit more atmospheric due to the use of synthesizer which together with the bass creates a nice atmosphere. Sounding much more new wave. The next track "Disorder" was completely written and recorded with original synths, machines and instruments from the decade around 1980. It sounds like a tribute to Joy Division, whereas the drums and bass especially sound so reminiscent of the legendary post-punk bands characteristic signature sound.

On the fourth track "The Closure", we see a bigger change with a synth driven track with a great dominant 80’s bassline. Another thing that struck me on these songs is the sound of the drums. They have a more real sound this time than the manufactured sound of the typical drum machine. The EP closes with the longest track on this extended play, "The Alienist", close to seven minutes long. A slower track, again with the synths creating all the atmosphere, with an 80’s sounding bass and some dialogues thrown in probably from some film.

Review by Nick Drivas

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The post-punk band Isolated Youth from Stockholm performed live for the first time in Athens Greece at club Death Disco. The four-piece, consisting of brothers William (guitar) and Axel Mardberg (vocals) together with Egon Westberg Larsson (bass) and Andreas Geidemark (drums), gave an intense emotional show.

They started with Andreas drumming the intro of "Oath", one of their more known songs. Then singer Axel stepped onto the stage joining the rest of the band and started singing with his characteristic style. Their set list had songs like "Seasons", "Warfare" and "Safety" from their stunning debut five track EP "Warfare" that was released earlier this year on Fabrika Records, together with many new songs. Surely their already known songs stood out but we got a chance to listen to their unreleased material. Many of which sounded very promising. Singer/frontman Axel drew the attention of the audience with his stage theatrics. Performing passionately and expressive, moving and dancing in his own way, singing his vulnerable doom gloom emotional lyrics. He also played guitar and keys on some of the new songs.

The band, that has already created its own distinctive sound (a mixture of post-punk and indie), performed well. Especially if you consider how young they are, having formed in 2017, having released only one EP and a handful of shows. Guitarist William stood tall in his black suit strumming and playing his ringing guitar lines. While bassist Egon Westberg Larsson and drummer Andreas Geidemark played tightly together their strong and evocative, bass lines and sometimes haunting drums. After a fifty minute set, they left the stage to return a while later to perform two last new songs that left a really good impression. We will surely be expecting greater things from this band in the future.

Review + photos: Nick Drivas

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The neofolk and martial industrial music group Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio from Stockholm, Sweden released the 4 track EP "Ménage À Quatre" in July on CD and vinyl 12", as an appetizer for their new full-length album "Let’s Play" which is meant to be released in September. Once again, the band have gained their inspiration from “the place where Life and Death come together, where the fire of sensualism rises to the skies, where the orgy of the unregretted sin becomes the celebration of doom”.

The EP has 4 epic sounding tracks, where sensuality and heavenly melancholia become one. The opening track "Ménage À Trois (There Is Nothing To Regret)" first appeared when we witnessed the official video director by Vladimir Epifantsev. An impressive video with adult content that portrays ORE’s visual and lyrical content perfectly. This bombastic song, with its slow pondering drums, calm acoustic guitar, elevating chorus and danceable rhythm, is yet another characteristic example of their songwriting. Continuing in the same vein as their previous work.

With "Believe In Me (We Are One)" and "Kiss Me Now (And I'll Be Silent Just 4 You)" that follow, Tomas Pettersson’s vocals are once again mesmerizing. His storytelling style has a hypnotic effect backed by martial rhythms and neoclassical orchestration. The last song, the darker "All Our Scissor Sisters", is another wonderful track that first appeared on the compilation "Ashes Ov Angels" released in 2017.

Review by Nick Drivas

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English band New Model Army released their fifteenth studio album "From Here" in August 2019. The follow-up to 2016’s "Winter". The new album is altogether more mellow compared to their latest albums. It was written in two months and recorded in nine days at Ocean Sound Recordings on the tiny Norwegian island of Giske, making it an atmospheric and haunting piece of work. The desolate island was an ideal setting for the band who said: “One thing we have in common is the love of bleak, open, cold, rugged landscapes – water, snow and rock”.

The album begins with "Passing Through" where Justin Sullivan, singer and founding member, as always sings with passion and feeling, making him one the most honest voices of his generation. A slow piece that towards the ends breaks out with thumping drums. The more upbeat "Never Arriving", that follows, stands out for its driving rhythms, chiming guitar lines and atmospheric passages, making way for the deeply evocative lyrics about what is happening in the world and where the band as people stand today, in their typical storytelling style. The pace is kept with "The Weather", followed by the single "End Of Days", another upbeat track that mixes the spirit of punk rock with folk protest undertones, that captures the pessimistic outlook of the times we live in that lead to some sort of apocalypse.

On "Great Disguise", "Conversations", "Where I Am" and "Hard Way" we have typical NMW acoustic guitar driven tracks that retain a dynamic since backed by the rest of the band. The tempo speeds up on "Watch & Learn" before it once again drops for "Maps", a slow, dark soundscape of a song consisting of rolling drums and wailing guitars. The tempo picks up again on the rhythmic "Setting Sun" before closing with the album title track "From Here". A song that starts off with sole piano before the rhythm section takes hold driving the 8-minute track to its end.

It is said that New Model Army were to goth o be punk and to punk to be goth. That just goes to show that they were never trapped by any name tag in particular. Their mixture of post-punk, folk, indie music, together with their tribal element, gave them a kind of commune substance, a gathering of various tribes together. From the beginning they nurtured their own sound. Something we still listen to here on their new album. An album that will make new fans join their faithful legion of devotees and proud following.

Review by Nick Drivas

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The American dark indie rock band She Wants Revenge, from the San Fernando Valley California, visited Greece for the first time. Their first live appearance in Athens at club Gagarin 205 was a huge success since the place was packed. This gig, organized by club Death Disco, started the new concert season early since it is still August. The support band was the relatively new local alternative rock band Melldrop who gave a half-hour performance, playing songs from their self-titled debut album that was released in February 2019 leaving a good impression.

She Wants Revenge, after a long hiatus, started touring again. On this Forever Summer Tour, founding members, singer Justin Warfield and bassist Adam Bravin, stepped onto the stage with an additional guitarist and drummer. They started with "Killing Time" from their debut self-titled album, that has become a dark wave classic for the 00’s, continuing with another of their known tracks "These Things". Next was the popular "Take The World" with its more beaty rhythm from their third album "Valleyheart" followed by "Little Stars" from the same album, both reminding us their alternative sound of the 00’s. The two tracks that followed, "This Is the End" that had a more new wave feel to it and "Written In Blood", where from their second album "This Is Forever".

The atmosphere changed with the slower song "Not Just A Girl" that had a more shoegaze style. Followed by "Someone Must Get Hurt" and the darker "Sister". After a long intro "Red Flags And Long Nights" began, another favorite from their debut. The song "Rachael" left a good impression with its dark synths and hard drumming. On "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not" Justin started singing midway lyrics from the Siouxsie & The Banshees song "Christine". Then they played "Replacement", a song from their second album.
 At this point the band had a small break without leaving the stage. Singer Justin Warfield found the opportunity to apologize for giving the finger earlier on to someone in the crowd who was smoking somewhat showy and unproper, although the band had asked kindly at the start of the show for the audience to not smoke so that they could perform in a better conditions. He also told the crowd to show them their energy and enthusiasm as this would make the band give on their part their 100% ability for the last three songs of the show.
So, when they began "True Romance" (a song they hadn’t played in a long time and Justin Warfield had checked out the lyrics on his mobile to remember them) the crowd went wild, especially the females who where screaming ecstatically. "Out Of Control" followed ending with "Tear You Apart" in which the whole club was clapping to its beat. A song that was brought back to attention when it was chosen by Lady Gaga to play in the opening scene of the series "American Horror Story - Hotel". In general, the American band gave a good show and the audience was left satisfied. As Justin, told the crowd during their set, he was thrilled when he was told backstage that their popularity in Greece wasn’t from hype but from word of mouth and by their songs being played in the clubs.

Review + Photos : Nick Drivas

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