DieSeele

 

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

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

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

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

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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

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

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

 

Review by Nick Drivas.

 

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

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

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

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

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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

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

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

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

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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

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

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

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

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The Greek electronic darkwave duo Selofan have returned with their sixth album "Partners In Hell". The album was released on October 20, 2020 on their label Fabrika Records. The record contains 10 new synth-based tracks drenched with their dark theatrical aesthetics all having a homonymous sound.

 The opener "The Grey Garden" starts off gently with a kind of atmospheric romantic film noir feel to it and Joanna Pavlidou’s tormented voice floating over it. The beat kicks up on "Almost Nothing" but still retaining the same feel. Soft synth-scapes and vocals full of depth drifting in the background. Next is "There Must Be Somebody" that was the first album teaser, released as a digital single in April, accompanied by a video directed and edited by Dimitris Chaz Lee. This catchy track with its synth arpeggios was mixed by Serafim Tsotsonis. Here, Joanna’s vocal style is reminiscent of that of Anja Huwe (of XMal Deutschland). The more sythpop German spoken "Nichts" is filled with synths and darkness, owing also to Dimitris Pavlidis’ throbbing bass guitar and Joanna’s haunting vocals. In the same vein we have "Zusammen" and "4 a.m.". While on "Happy Consumers", although it has a more playful approach, it still retains the albums dark desolate icy feel. The same could be said for "Absolutely Absent" despite that the tempo speeds up. By listening to the track "Metallic Isolation" you think that this could be the bands nod to the Joy Division songs "Isolation" and "Heart And Soul", here as a more minimal electronic take of these two classics masterfully entwined into one. The last track "Auf Deiner Haut" was the second single taken from the album released in September with the filming of its video to have taken place at the Asilo Bar in Bogota, Colombia. It ends the album on a high and is probably the standout track. With its pulsing rhythm, Joanna’s dominant vocal and Dimitri’s characteristic saxophone.

 The album comes as a limited-edition vinyl with an edition of 500 copies in splatter black with fuchsia vinyl and another 500 copies in splatter red with black vinyl. Also, there will be a deluxe digipack CD edition that comes in special digipack cover with UV spot and emboss touch.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The French act Venin Carmin have returned with their second album "Constant Depression" released in May 2020 on the independent label Seja Rrecords from the Netherlands. After their acclaimed debut in 2015 with "Glam Is Gone", this new album, released on vinyl, is again full of post-punk / coldwave catchy tunes. The front cover features the painting ‘Lucretia’ by Niek Hendrix.

 From the start of their sophomore album with the track "It's Gonna Be Wild", we are introduced to their personal take on post-punk with their somber synths. While on "Sidekick Punchline, more electronic and darkwave elements have been added in the mix. The playful track "Willkommen To The Masquerade" that follows had a video made for it featuring the trios main female members Lula and Valentine in similar mood. Their dark pop is best expressed on "Twinkle In The Eye" and on the title track "Constant Depression" the band sets their attitude of today with lyrics such as “Unsatisfaction nowadays, constant depression anyway and nothing gets better…”. The first side ends with "For The Sublime" another fine example of their experimental, minimal electro pop.

 The second side of the album starts with another great track "Outsiders", where post-punk is mixed with synth pop and new wave, as on the next rack "Problem Issue" that sounds like it jumped straight out of the 80’s. We have a change in atmosphere on "Abysses" where only synths and vocals create a dark moody tune. Then on "Sketches" they return in full form with a bass that paves the way of the composition. The playful element returns on "Waterlillies" with its minimalistic pop structure. On "Dreaming Valentine" we have seductive vocals over a mid-tempo synth track with nice additions of bass. The last track "Berceuse" (Lullaby), is an instrumental and as the title reveals, it is a dark lullaby as if taken from a haunting childhood memory.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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Dark-o-Matic formed in 2017 by Greg Dovas who was later joined by the vocalist Piero Delux from the project Elsehow. Enlisting the help of sound engineer and producer George Nerantzis, the duo started recording their music best described as a cross between 80's wave music and synthpop but with also a darker edge to it.

 Their debut album entitled "New Hope", consists of ten tracks, including "Zugzwang", "Make Me Blue" and "Authentic?" that have already won many synthpop fans over. It was released November 2019 on Skyqode, the Russian independent record label established to promote new artists in the synthpop, electronic dance, and industrial genres. On the 21st of February 2020 they managed to present the album live by performing at Death Disco in Athens, participating at the Future Sonic Fest, just before the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 The album begins with "New Hope", a wonderful track that sets the vibe of this album, dark and poppy with a soul. Next is "Zugzwang", a catchier track that was released as the first single in March 2019. Things get a little darker and minimalistic on the emotional "Ever After", while on "Rather Be" we are transported even more into the vast 80’s as on the second more poppier single "Make Me Blue". On "Authentic?" the beat is turned up with Piero’s voice sounding really smooth over Greg’ synths. We have more synth-pop grooves with "Past Trip" and "All We Do Is Wait" where Piero showcases his wide vocal range and then the lovely "A Cage With The Door Wide Open, third single to be taken from the album. The last song "So Real" is a slower track, ending the album with a more atmospheric and emotional feel. Overall, a nicely crafted album for fans of synth music worldwide.

 The CD also contains the following four bonus remixes, "Zugzwang (Unity One Remix)", "Make Me Blue (Requiem4FM Remix)", Zugzwang (People Theatre's Drifting Remix)" and "Make Me Blue (Purple Fog Side Remix)".

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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Meat Injection released their debut album "System Anomaly" in June 2020 on Brazilian Wave Records based in São Paulo. The album comes as a CD ecopack with 4 panels, limited to 200 copies. It can also be found digitally. The band was formed on February 2016 in Athens, Greece and has played live in numerous gigs. Their debut was the "Death For Fun" EP released in 2016 on InClub Records with former singer Plasticine K. On this release, the band now consist of Dimitris Katsikadis and singer Cleopatra Kaido (formerly of the band Drama Queen).

 The album was mainly created by the need to express the paradox of our times. It was recorded between 2019-2020 and contains 10 songs. The album kicks off with the title track "System Anomaly", an up-tempo track that combines all the bands influences from alternative rock, electro, new wave, coldwave, darkwave and goth. The tempo drops on "Dead Santa" and steps up only on the chorus. The impressive "Chemical Romance" is a dark track with an aggressive trip-hop beat (recalling acts like Massive Attack). On "A Heart Made Of Sand" we have another electronic driven tune that has a somewhat angry and disillusioned vocals from Cleopatra.

 Halfway through we have more rocker "Last Endlessly Lust" followed by the more emotional "A Touch In A Dungeon". Next, we have an instrumental with the provocative title "Deadly Horny Priest", a kind of electronic improvisation. Things get rhythmic again on "Chaotic Ride" and "Black Out Sentiment", ending with the dynamic, passionate and upfront assault of "Time Infection".

 

Review by Nick Drivas

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Misfortunes is a one-man synth project based in Thessaloniki, Greece and formed in 2014 by Ioakim Vasileiadis. On September 24, 2020 he released his second album "The Isle of Tomorrow" on Tonn Recordings, an independent record label based in Belfast. The LP comes in 12" black vinyl with printed inner sleeve and lyrics, but also as a digital release. The lyrics, some of which are in Greek, have been written by various contributors featuring poems by Markos-Valsamis Lyritsis, Constantinos Georgiadis, Nikolina Chatzipantazi, Kosmas Lazaridis and Ioakim Vasileiadis.

 The opening track "Blood Disco" had already been released in 2019 as a digital single. A great track that captures your attention immediately and showcases Misfortune’s nice combination of minimal synth and modern darkwave. Then we have the majestic sounding "Είμαι Εσύ" (I Am You) and "Sealed Windows". While on "Στο Τέλος του Δρόμου" (At The End Of The Road) Ioakim’s vocal is deep and dark. The first side of the record ends with "Forever And A Day", another example of his 80’s inspired synth sound, combining coldwave, minimal synth and synthwave.

 On the second side we have "Mercury" that starts as spoken word piece with textures of synthesizers in the background, before the 80’s pop beat steps in. The next track "Diomede Islands" has that early EBM sound, reminiscent of Front 242. The Eighties decade of the previous century are also praised on the 80ish "Directed Lies" and on the last track "Μαύρο Τσουκάλι" (Black Cauldron) that sounds literally as if recorded back then.

 The digital release has a further two tracks, "Another Me" and "First Light" that are in the same vein as the main tracks of the album.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The electronic, avant-garde, dark ambient, experimental, industrial noise project from Greece, Conjecture, has just released a new EP "∫V". This is a companion EP to his full-length LP "V" (released on Amek in 2019). According to the artist, in mathematical language the “∫” means “complete” and so the record contains previously unheard music, written during the recording sessions of "V".

 The EP consists of three previously unheard solo pieces of Conjecture's signature introspective yet powerful take on post-industrial music, but also features three guest interpretations (remixes) of the same material. First is "ΛΑΣΠΗ" (Mud), with Conjectures familiar apocalyptic soundscapes. A kind of nocturnal track filled with distant industrial noises in a dark ambient setting. On the next track "ΦΟΝΟΣ" (Murder) things get a bit more intense, dominated by a monotonous drum strike and an icy synth line. The third new composition is "ΛΥΜΗ" (Great Depression) where the noises get louder around a revolving motoric synth rhythm that later intensifies with the addition of a metallic sounding drumbeat.

 The second part of this EP features the three remixes, that re-envision Conjecture's music and bring its already deep and nuanced sound to a whole new level. The track "ΛΑΣΠΗ (Antechamber Remix)" is treated by the Viennese producer Mahk Rumbae, who amplifies Conjectures more delicate ambient approach with more emphasis on the industrial noises. The same could be said for "ΦΟΝΟΣ (Tалос Remix)", mixed by the audio visual project duo Tалос, that also has added vocals provided by Glen Tartaglia of the project ]interstice[. While on "ΛΥΜΗ (Late Remix)" by Emil Mitov of the experimental music project Late from Sofia, Bulgaria, we have yet another take on an original filtered through the remixer’s own prism.

 All music was written by Vasilis Angelopoulos between 2018-2019 and was mastered by Sotiris Laskaris. The cover photo is by Vaia Pilafa, with cover model Hawk Stigmata (of the project Liebchen). Apart from the digital release, "∫V" will also be available as a limited-edition cassette C30, limited to 66 copies.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The Beauty Of Gemina is a band from Switzerland founded by Michael Sele in 2006. They just released their ninth album "Skeleton Dreams" on September 4th, 2020. The Zürich band are known for their blend of darkwave, americana, alternative rock and indie-folk wave.

 The opener "A Night Like This" served as a single with its video released a few days before the album. A classic example of their dark alt. rock with melodic guitars and Michael Sele’s characteristic voice. Then with "Naked" we have a semi-acoustic stripped bare track. Like much of the album, the songs are very emotional and dreamy in feel. On the acoustic "Maybe God Knows" things get more American folk, while on "Friends Of Mine" we have an even more stripped down acoustic track with a haunted feel, with some nice strings adding to the atmosphere. In the same vein we have "Resurgence" but more electric. The atmosphere is more subtle again with "Where Has It All Gone" that has some nice strumming guitars and icy keyboards.

 Halfway through we have "Rainbow Man", another dive in dark Americana territory. Followed by "Dark Suzanne" on which they pick up on the pace. Next is their brilliant cover of the Sisters Of Mercy song "Nine While Nine" where they have brought this classic to match their own sound. We have a return to the acoustic set up with the gentle "I Come To Grief" before the band burst into the melodic electric guitar driven "Apologise", a song that had premiered earlier in July when it was released as a first single and the official video was uploaded. The album finishes with the gentle bare acoustic tracks "The World Is Going On" and the ending piano piece "Hold On To This Night".

 Overall, a great sounding album by a band that has left nothing to chance. The band here consist her of Michael Sele (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, grand piano, organ, keyboards, arrangements and programming), Philipp Küng (bass guitar, percussions, keyboards, arrangements), Andi Zuber (bass guitar) and Mac Vinzens (drums). The music was recorded, mixed and mastered by Michael Sele at Icecube Studio Mels, during March - June 2020 and was produced by Michael Sele and Philipp Küng.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The dark electronic project Metal Disco released their third album "Sex, Drugs & Hardware" on September 8th, 2020 on Werkstatt Recordings. On this release Metal Disco (main man Toxic Razor) has collaborated with various artist from the indie dark electronic scene.

 First, we get into the electronic vibe of the album with "Nowy Wymiar", a track featuring Marta Raya (known to us from her previous band Monowelt) on vocals and lyrics. On "Inexorable Romance", we have Toxic Razer singing a more oldschool electro/EBM track. In the same vein we have "Aurora Resurgens" with lyrics by Keren Batok (courtesy Of Psi, Isotropia & Red Sol). The tone changes on "For A Ghost Named Lothario" that features Sky Lesco (of Tearful Moon) on vocals and lyrics. Here the analog synths are more evident, giving it a more retro feel. Next is "Addiction" a night synth track with Toxic Razer himself again on vocals.

 The mood changes with the more danceable "Excess (feat. Night Haze)" where we find PlasticineK taking lead vocals. On the next track "Sore Heart" the lyrics are provided by Chroma Carbon (courtesy of Factice Factory / Sine Silex). We have another collaboration on "Dimensions Of The Eye" that features the Greek dark/minimal wave duo Incirrina and especially Irini Tini’s characteristic vocals. Toxic Razer steps up again to the mic stand for "Burn It Down", a track that has all the elements of the darkwave, minimal, new wave and synth-pop genres as on the ending title-track "Sex, Drugs & Hardware".

 This release comes in a limited-edition CD professionally duplicated cd in shrink-wrap, in a standard jewel case with an 8-page booklet with lyrics. Also, it comes as a limited-edition cassette in black shell, in a clear case and a double-sided printed 3-panel j-card with lyrics.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The project Liebchen was setup in the mid 2010s in Berlin by Hawk Stigmata (Apostolis Zanias) known from his previous bands Phoenix Catscratch και Flesh United. Now having returned to Athens he has teamed up with Vasilis Angelopoulos (Conjecture) and released on September 3rd, 2020 their first EP "Daemon". So, the electronic hybrid duo featured on this release is Hawk Stigmata, who provides the lyrics and vocals and Conjecture who produces the electronic punk-industrial EBM sounds.

 First track is "Sickness". A track that was first heard back in March when uploaded as a video directed by MarIa Damkalidi. The track is a powerful breed of electro and industrial EBM with Hawk spitting out passionately his esoteric but socially political lyrics like “I was a witness, to this sickness”. Next is "Hold Me Tighter", a more industrial based track with a deep metronomic stomp. Lyrically, the song is emotional set, with feelings of despair “Like a liar on a witch trial, drink the fire and take the blame, like a liar on a witch trial, don’t you feel the same?” and longingness “If you wanna hold me tighter, I will ask you now to stay, If you wanna hold me tighter, you can always call my name…”

 On "Embrace My Blood" we have a danceable synth track with a rhythm enhanced with break beats, while on "ΠΕΤΡΑ (Petra / Stone)" the duo has managed to bring a nice sense of brutality and sensitivity in the same song. The inspiration for "ΠΕΤΡΑ" came from an important life event that happened to Liebchen and is dedicated to all the children that have been bullied out there, all the freaks, the free spirits, their LGBTQ brothers and sisters and to all the children that didn't make it and never saw the light “But please stay alive, I’ll promise you the light…”. The EP closes with the electronically fueled up "Desire". Here things get more techno fused with Hawk all fired up singing “There’s fire now in the temple, a sadness in your eyes…” and “Desire! Fotia! Can you taste that desire?!”.

 The lyrics written by Hawk Stigmata in general are an expression of the hunger that human brain has in order to complete the journey of the heart. All the songs, according to the band, are an electronic political statement about freedom lgbtq/human rights and a big respect and dedication towards freedom that bring us closer to the great divine.

 Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The pioneers of deathrock, Mephisto Walz, have returned with the new album "All These Winding Roads". The album is now available digital, released September 2nd, but will also be out on CD by Dark Vinyl Records. Mephisto Walz was formed in 1986 by Barry Galvin (aka Bari-Bari) after his departure from the influential deathrock band Christian Death. After a long career Bari-Bari is now with Myriam Galvin on vocals and had first worked together on their previous album "Scoundrel" in 2017.

 As stated by Bari-Bari, who has done all the production, the album is described as “New vocalists, new songs, unreleased tracks, old vocalists merged into a new release”. Something that is obvious from the first track "The Lost And Haunted" that features Veronica Campbell (of Death Loves Veronica) on vocals and words. Then on "They'll Never Find You", a great track that shows that Mephisto Walz still have what it takes, we have Mari Kattman on vocals with Myriam writing the words. Next is the cover of The Hollies pop song "Stop In The Name Of Love" featuring on vocals Christine Leonard, Mephisto Walz’s first female singer. While on "Is This Really My Life" with Mari Kattman on vocals and Myriam writing the words we have one of the more ethereal songs of the album. As on all the album, we hear Bari-Bari's signature songwriting style and distinctive wall of chorus/delay-effected guitar sound. Another cover follows with the 1960’s instrumental "Apache" written by Jerry Lordan.

 Veronica Campbell appears also on "When No One's Left To Hear", a classic upbeat oldschool deathrock track. The cover "Like The Wind" follows with vocals provided by Alastrelle Delyon (of Dead Souls Rising). A 80’s rock song written by an unknown artists that has become famous as “The Most Mysterious Song On The Internet”. Things calm down and get darker on "Here Lies Forever" featuring Veronica Campbell who provides once again vocals and words. In the same vein, but more atmospheric, we have "Firefly" with vocals and lyrics provided by Johna. We get to hear beloved Christine Leonard again on "Skin", the classic Madonna cover originally released on the "Virgin Voices / A Tribute To Madonna" in 2000. The album closes with the more dynamic "Suntanned Satans", with thumping drums, screaming guitars and Bari-Bari taking lead vocals.

 Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The Greek post punk / darkwave, legendary band Leyki Symphonia have returned with a new single and official music video for "Black Twilight". This brand-new single was released on August 20th, 2020 just a few months after their latest album "Like The Sun". The new song is sung in English, something new by the band that until now only sung in their native Greek. The video was filmed by Yannis Margetousakis and the video was made by Lukas Stumpf. 


Bandcamp: https://lefkisymphonia.bandcamp.com/track/black-twilight-single


Links:

http://lefkisymphonia.gr

https://www.facebook.com/lefkisymphonia



LYRICS:


BLACK TWILIGHT


So far away

a deserted land

the skies torn apart

and a heavy rain

will drown the sins

Remembering

visions of the fall

The cities will burn

the vast horizons will call

Our breaths echoing in the dead of night

Our shadows melt together as we run and hide

Forever and never

and out of sight

Our souls crying and

longing for the black twilight

We stand alone

One by one we die

In rooms with no doors

we kill the love

we chase the light

There where the seas of time

rage and disappear

the serpents call the sun

and the angels lay and wait

The endless pain

forever by my side

until the eternal ice

will heal the wounds

and hide the tears from my eyes

Our breaths echoing in the dead of night

our shadows melt together as we run and hide

forever and never

and out of sight

Our souls crying and

longing for the black twilight

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The English goth/rock band Rosetta Stone returned with the new album "Cryptology", released on August 6, 2020 by Cleopatra Records. They had reappeared last year when after an 19 year absence, they released "Seems Like Forever", an album with material from frontman’s Porl King solo project Miserylab. A year later he has returned with an album containing 10 original tracks.

 The album opens with "Shock", a track that immediately sets the tone of the whole album. A classic Rosetta Stone composition, where Porl King has managed to merge oldschool 90’s goth with the present darkwave/post-punk scene. He has kept the sound minimal, using only drum machine, bass, guitar and some keyboards. The next track "Valiant Try" sounds even more like their older classical era and is surely an album standout. The only difference, compared to the old days, when they had  a heavily guitar driven sound, is the use of one guitar instead of two, with the keyboards taking one’s place. Making the songs sound a bit sparser and more atmospheric. This new approach is even more evident on tracks like "With This [I’m Done]", "In Black" and the more upbeat "Soon".

 Halfway through (opener of the second side of the vinyl issue) we have "Remember (Don’t)", one of the darker tracks of the album, with some really great interplay between the bassline and the guitars. Other great examples of the new sound that binds their old sound to modern day standards are "I Put It To You" and the darker "Doesn’t Bode Well". Another great track is the more melodic "Smoke & Mirrors" with its nice piano arpeggios. As on all the record, Porl’s characteristic voice sounds great, haunting all the songs, sounding dark and troubled in a mysterious way. The album closes graciously with "Always Always" where Porl’s echoey vocals intervene nicely with the guitar melodies.

 The album is available on both CD as well as vinyl in your choice of purple or classic black, via Los Angeles based Cleopatra Records.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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