The Greek new wave/minimal synth band Convex Model released today, March 28th, their second album "Quantity Of Motion" on the German label Kernkrach. The project started in 2017 by Nick K. Maldoror (a.k.a. Nick Kapantzakis, member of Human Puppets, Plexiglas and Dislocation Genders). The sound landscapes of Convex Model are created by analogue equipment, instruments and plastic toys. Their self-released debut album "Life In A Glass Cube" was released in 2018.

The band from the northern city of Thesaloniki, Greece, have a love for 80's new wave, minimal synth and early post-punk. From the begging of the album, with "Sightless Open Door", we are introduced to their poppier side, a kind of nostalgic pop that has a slight melancholy feel. It’s the kind of music that seems appropriate for cloudy grey days. Following in the same footsteps we have "Distant Call", that’s a bit more minimal and then the darker "Hollow Inside". The first side of this limited edition vinyl LP ends with "Night Visit", a more up-tempo track that’s still haunting with its icy synths. What is evident by listening to this first side is the use of live drums, compared to the drum machine used on their first release. This has changed the sound of the band, making them sound more organic, as they do when performing live.

The second side opens with the punkier track "Politics Of Lust". Here, the lyrics are more political as the title suggests. We hear Nick singing “You don’t know how many tried surviving today, You don’t care how many died on this day, You don’t know how many were sent away, You don’t care how many cities were burnt away… Politics of lust they bring to you with glowing gold in their hands”. The melodic "Strange Machine" follows, characteristic of their minimal approach, with the melodies played on the keyboards standing out and Nick’s voice hovering in the distance. The tempo steps up on "Cracks In The Ceiling" where the rhythm section come to the foreground. Their dreamy "Illusions Made Of Solid Ice", sounds as if it came straight from the early 80’s, with its melodic bassline and retro synth sounds. A real trip down memory lane, with the words going “Walking down these corridors so long this line of sight, Looking back with eyes that hurt from artificial light”. The album ends with the more experimental piece "Almost A Song". The tone here is darker, with a dominating bass that thuds like a stressful heartbeat

Convex Model for these recordings are Nick Kapantzakis (synths/voice), Stavroula Tsiara (lyrics/visuals), Eleni Tzouna (synths), Kyriakos Tsakalidis. (drums) and George Papadopoulos (bass). The very striking cover design, which is very appropriate to the music it holds within, is designed by Manolis Nikitianos. The album is a limited edition release of 350, pressed in 180gr black vinyl, with added printed lyrics vinyl insert.

Review by Nick Drivas

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KalteNacht (Cold Night) are a minimal/dark synth duet that has emerged from the Athenian underground the last couple of years. Their first self-titled full-length LP "Kalte Nacht" was released on March 12, 2020 amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic and the lockdown of everything. Composer Nikos Konstantinidis and singer Myrto Stylou have revealed all their sins and inner thoughts through the eight tracks that make up this 80’s inspired sounding album.

Opener is "GhostDance", a dark track with Myrto’s deep vocal dominating over the synthetic sounds and beats. While on "Humans Are Mistakes" we have a pure minimal track that also has some synthwave passages. Things get more rhythmic on "Sanctum", that builds a nice atmosphere with Myrto providing one of the best and more soulful vocals of the album. The first side ends with "Inmost Desire?" where the pace quickens A kind of punky minimal synth track with sharp abrupt sung vocals that sit perfectly on the rhythm.

The second side begins with "Nychta Skia" (Night Shadow), the first of two songs sung in Greek. This can be considered the single of the album, and as such, a video clip was made for it directed by Nikos Chatzis (of Press Eject and Give me the Tape productions). Like the whole album, the themes lyrically and sonically here rotate around the night, something that conjures up visions of urban night scenes. This is also very evident on the next track "A Rare Obsession" where the beat calms down and which also differs with its distinctive bass played by Nikos. The next track "Voices In Silence" is not new to us here at Die Seele, since it was on our "Stimmen Der Seele Vol. 3" compilation two years ago. But here on the album version, Myrto’s vocals have been added over. The album closes with the short two minute "Kalte Nächte", a spoken word piece in Greek filled with sounds and noises as if from a movie soundtrack.

All songs where written and performed by Kalte Nacht, with Nikos Konstantinidis on synths, bass, backing vocals and Myrto Stylou on lead vocals. The guitars on tracks "Inmost Desire?" and "Kalte Nächte" where provided by Panagiotis Dedepsidis (of the post-punk band Data Fragments). The album was engineered and mixed by Nikos Triantafyllou at Sonic Playground and mastered by Iraklis Vlachakis. The cool minimal artwork that fits perfectly with the music was done by Danai Margariti. The album has been released by Geheimnis Records in 300 copies, half of them on black and half on yellow vinyl.

Review by Nick Drivas

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The Swedish post-punk band Isolated Youth returned with their second EP "Iris" released on Fabrika records, a year after their debut EP "Warfare". Since then, they have only released the digital single "Voodoo" released in December 2019. With this second extended play, they present us with 5 new stunning tracks.

First track is "Iris", a song that follows in the footsteps of the debut EP "Warfare" and reaches ever deeper into the fatalistic world of the band. Again, we get those forceful guitars, hunting basslines, thumping drums and Axel’s sentimental unique voice. The video for "Iris" was created by guitarist William Mårdberg, showing cold evening landscapes and some nightlife snapshots besides the band. The track "ICT (Instalment Credit Transaction)" that follows, was the first sample we heard from the EP, released on Youtube a month earlier. A track in which we see that they still retain those ritual and tribal aspects of their older songs "Oath" and "Safety". Also, they still manage to have their distinctive post-punk sonic aesthetic, with sparkling jangling guitar melodies, melancholic rhythms, that exude raw and heartfelt emotions with a voice that seems so fragile and human.

With "Humanoid" things get even more melodic with Axel singing even more emotional and fragile. The song gives you the feeling that the band members have let themselves get carried away by the music, like as if playing in a long emotional jam. Their melodic songwriting is also found on "1984", that also has a nice 80’s indie vibe. It’s as if we have the perfect mix of Morrissey and Brian Molko of Placebo in the same song. By saying this, I don’t want to underestimate Axel’s vocal performance. His singing is unique, full of his own personality. It’s just to give the reader a quick understanding of this upcoming band’s sound. The EP ends with the more energetic and jumpier "Ferris Wheel". Here we have more dynamic drums and guitars strumming with more nerve but still retaining the overall mood of the other songs.

Review by Nick Drivas.

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“Loveless Adventures” is the third full length album and the most ambitious artistic output in Neon Lies’ discography, which will be released April 20th on multiple formats. Wave Tension Records, Cut Surface, Cosmic Brood and Black Verb Records teamed up for the 12” vinyl, while cd and tape are released on Periphylla and Mental Healing, respectively.

Neon Lies started as a synth wave bedroom one man project in late 2015 by Goran Lautar while he was still singing and playing guitar in Modern Delusion and The Celetoids, prominent bands from Zagreb D.I.Y. punk and post punk scene gathered around label Doomtown Records. Soon after that initial period, the project already became a full time one man band adventure. Since then, Neon Lies toured and played shows endlessly, releasing two albums (“Neon Lies” and “II”) on Black Verb Records and Cosmic Brood Records. Also some limited lathe cut 7"singles for Vinylograph and tracks on numerous compilations, including couple of digital only EP's for Balkan Veliki and Detonic Records have been released.

“Loveless Adventures” with its 9 tracks is a result of one year making and relentless touring and it's a perfect blend of minimalistic lo-fi darkwave sound of Neon Lies’ early stages when Goran was revisiting his teenage crush for early minimal synth punk and proto-industrial, and the second album, when he was more into exploring experimentation with repetition, noise, electro and up to date sounds and ideas from European underground dance floors. This album, recorded and mixed, as always, directly on tape by the man himself, finally brings all of this together in one deeply moving and authentic intimate disclosure of personal loss and gain, euphoria, happiness and sadness. But no matter how much this journey was loveless, it was profoundly lovefull. Dedicated to all the loners and their dealers.

Artwork for “Loveless Adventures” created by Sven Sorić, audio mastered for vinyl by Ruud Lekx.

                                                    Release Data
              Labels                                                                           Format
Wave Tension Records (NL)                                           LP/Tape/CD/Digital
Cut Surface (AT)
Cosmic Brood (HR)
Black Verb Records (DE)                                        Release Date : Apr 20th , 2020
Mental Healing (US)
Periphylla (ES)

            Labels                                                                               Band
wavetensionrecords.bandcamp.com                            www.facebook.com/neon-lies
cutsurface.bandcamp.com                                           neonlies.bandcamp.com/

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Lupe is a solo project that was created when the album "Burn" happened to be born. The album is the outcome of many strange, unusual days, based on improvisation, spontaneity and pure expression of thoughts and feelings. The man behind this is Michalis Latousakis, lead singer of the Greek gothic rock band Mosquito. He describes his music here on his first solo attempt as gothspel.

The nice thing about solo projects is that the artist is freer to improvise and not getting trapped in the usual norm of a band or some genre stereotype. The album begins with the instrumental piano piece "The Door", serving as an introduction to his music. While with the next track "Burn My Desire" we get to hear Lupe’s voice that sounds very haunting. His deep vocals in general sound spooky with his characteristic vibrato. The song "Why" could have been a theme from a dark (goth) rock opera. The piano in the intro sounds like it’s from and empty mansion. The guitars and bass where provided here with the help of his fellow band mates from Mosquito, James and Jare. In the same tone we have "Dedicated Rain" that as it  gradually grows, it reaches a peak.

"Have You Ever" was accompanied by a very professional video directed by Domniki Kastanaki. Showing urban scenes of decay, displacement and the main figure feeling unoriented in its surroundings. Lupe’s vocals here are even more passionate and distressful. While on "Cold Surrender" the crisp beat of the drum machine is accompanied by strings giving it a more dark romantic tone. The next song "Timeless" is another piano piece that has Lupe’s deep baritone voice that later transcends into a more synth track with some really high pitched vocals. On "She'll Burn The Dawn" things get a bit more classical. The same could be said for "Till That Day" that also features guitars by Kastan (George Kastanakis) who is also responsible for the artwork. The last track "Burned Down" due to the piano, synths and strings, make it sound so neoclassical in style.

In general, we find here many elements of electronic rock, dark cabaret, darkwave, gothic with a dramatic, almost theatrical and cinematic feel. The album was released on digipak CD in October 2019 by Alcyone Records, from Thessaloniki, Greece. The booklet inside contains all the lyrics of the songs.

Review by Nick Drivas

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The Australian band Eden, with the release of "East Of The Stars", celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band’s first release "The Light Between Worlds". This album contains all new recordings of Eden material - classic and rare material from Eden's legacy and new tracks written and recorded in the past year. The band is also getting ready for their forthcoming European Tour with dates in the Netherlands, Germany and Greece already confirmed.

The album begins with the instrumental "Choral Matins". A fine example of Eden’s ethereal sound with lush guitars. While on "Searching for Angel's Hands" that follows, a song that was originally released as a single back in 1990, we have Sean Bowley’s characteristic imposing vocal. The second new composition we find is "Guardian". A great song with nice moody guitars melodies. Next, we have the impressive "Rain Washed" from the "Gateway To The Mysteries" debut album. The title track that follows "East Of The Stars" is the third new song here. We find here also a new take of the "All the Time In The World", a slower dreamy track that is found on their 2017 album "The Edge Of Winter". The wonderful "Hymns And Mist" from 1994’s "Earthbound" follows, filled with layers of majestic melodies. Last track is the more eastern influenced "Stone Cat" from the EP of the same name released in 1996.

As ever the bands sonic pallet ranges from coldwave, darkwave, dream pop, gothic, post-punk and shoegaze. With this release they surely combine these elements majestically, making it also a great introduction to people who are not yet familiar with their work. The personnel on this release are Sean Bowley (vocal, electric guitars) and Anthony Cornish (guitar, keyboards, drum machine). It was recorded in Fryerstown and Toyland Studios, engineered and mixed by Anthony Cornish at Horizon Sound Studios and mastered by Adam Calaitzis at Toyland Studios in Melbourne Australia. The album is pressed on 180gm coloured vinyl in two versions - a superb maroon and a green with smoke effect. The release is scheduled for release on the 11th of April 2020 and is strictly limited to 150 copies. The pre orders have begun.

Review by Nick Drivas.

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The 200 people that gathered at Temple Athens on Saturday 22nd of February were fortunate to witness a rare demonstration of pure gothic rock. Two bands that shared the stage, gave fantastic performances in front of a passionate crowd. I consider us Athenians to be very lucky, having been given the chance to see The Nosferatu (who reformed recently with their original founding members) perform their second only live show here in our city. The band that supported that night was none other than Opened Paradise, the leading gothic rock act in Greece.

OpenedParadise stepped onto the stage precisely at 9:30 as scheduled, starting off with "Senseless" from their debut album "Occult". With them was their new member Gregory (of post-punk / darkwave band Anima Triste) on second guitar. They continued with "Reverence" from their second album "Buried In Rain" and then with a nice selection from their discography, with "Deep Waters", "We Burn The Sky" that was played with great dynamic, "Leaving Dreamland" a personal favorite of mine and "Omega", a track from their EP "Tides". The band gave a really good performance, with great sound, delivering their heartful goth rock with singer Periklis dominating center stage delivering his passionate vocals. The songs "Sin" (a new song), "Visions Through The Circles Of Chaos" followed, closing their set with "Upon The Vast Universe".

TheNosferatu, were interviewed recently by Die Seele, prior to their live appearance here, telling us about the reasons of their reformation. At exactly 10:30, punctual like true Englishmen, the four band members Louis DeWray, Vlad Janicek, Rob Leydon, Chris Clark with backing vocalist Anastasia Resurrection started slowly appearing on the candle lighted stage, taking their positions, before launching into their set with "Alone". Immediately we were transported back to the early 90’s! From that first song we knew that we would be witnessing a very long overdue show by one of the iconic gothic rock legends of the 90’s Goth scene. Before we could catch our breath, they played us their ultimate hit "Dark Angel" with its characteristic heavy guitar riff. When playing this we saw the first human tower made in the audience, a goth tradition amongst diehard fans. They continued with the slower and beautifully romantic "Crysania". Singer Louis DeWray, wearing black shades, sung perfectly with his tortured heartbroken voice, moving with gentle moves, floating to and fro on the stage covered by the smoke. His fellow band mates, Vlad Janicek on bass, in true vampiric garb, was on his right and guitarist Rob Leydon (know also from his band Red Sun Revival) was on his left.

At this point they played us some new songs like the heavy "Demonicus" and the more atmospheric "For Eternity" and "Soliloquy", a song played for the first time live. Older tracks followed, such as "Abominations" from the album "Legend" and "Rise", "Vampyres Cry", "Lament", "Siren" from their legendary debut album "Rise" released way back in 1993. The band performed the old classics as they ought to be, true to their original form, backed by the great drumming of Chris Clark and the siren like backing vocals of Anastasia. They ended their set perfectly with "Close".

After a short break, where they introduced their band members and thanked the crowd for their warm welcome reception, they played for an encore the songs "Inside The Devil", "Lucy Is Read" and "The Wiccaman" leaving their fans surely satisfied.

Review+Photos:Nick Drivas

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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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