DieSeele


And Also The Trees are no strangers to the Greek audience. Throughout the years they have performed live in Greece many times. Last night was their second appearance at Death Disco club and as the first time the show was once again sold out! This was also a very special show for the band since it was their 500th gig.Opening act was the darkwave synth duo from Houston Texas, Tearful Moon, who are touring Europe at the moment.


The duo Tearful Moon stepped onto the stage at 10:00pm and played a 40 minute set with Manuel Lozano on electronics and Sky Lesco on vocals. An interesting act that’s starting to make a name for itself with its dark synth compositions. Singer Sky Lesco stood out with her cabaret style blonde bob haircut. Her deep voice and her slow moves where quit captivating. They closed their set with the track "Set Me Free" that was featured on the "Stimmen Der Seele" compilation by DieSeele.



After a short break, while intro music prepared us, And Also The Trees walked through the crowd and took to the stage at 11:00pm. As always, elegantly dressed, the band took their positions and started off in the best of ways with "Slow Pulse Boy". And as if things couldn't get any better "Dialogue" was played second. This band has through the years showcased a rare quality. Away from trends and the mainstream spotlight they have managed to gain a loving and loyal following. Brothers Simon and Justin Jones always know how to deliver on stage. Together with the new members, they performed as they always do with passion. Just to name a few tracks since one tends to get lost in the moment, they played "Your Guess", "Untangled Man" the older "Wallpaper Dying" was a pleasant surprise and "Gone..Like The Swallows" sounded majestic as ever. After leaving the stage, they returned for an encore with the classic "Virus Meadow" leaving the crowd clapping and cheering for more.



Review + photos: Nick Drivas
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Drama Queen are a dark alternative band from Athens, Greece. They have been active since 2002. "Going Nowhere" is their second album released on their own label, Pyramid, five years after their debut "Artificial Galaxy". The new album features two new members. Iliada Kalamara on vocals and Kiki Karanikola on bass. Together with the older members, Dimitris Metania (songwriter / guitarist) and Chris Apergis (drums) they manage to keep the outfit’s tight sound in vein of what we heard on its predecessor.
 The album kicks off with the instrumental track "Cassini" that showcases their signature sound, straightforward gothic rock with post-punk elements. Nice guitar riffs, steady drum beat and brooding bass. What I really like about this band is the guitar work. Dimitris has a very unique sound, managing to play rhythm and lead guitar as one. The next song "Regrets", a darker track, was already known since the band had been playing it live. "This Narrow Place" that follows is one of the more up tempo tracks of the album that will surely catch you attention, especially I recon when preformed live. After a few listens the track "Greater Love" is a real standout. A heavy guitar riff reminiscent of Killing Joke paves the way for a dynamic track, rich with thumping drums and a nice vocal by Iliada.
 Midway with "Nuclear Winter" the tempo drops, revealing one of the softer moments of the album still keeping a dynamic touch with the help of the thumping tribal drumming before it burst to a rock steady tempo. The next three tracks "The Dance", "My Lucid Dream" and "Time Goes By" are more emotional, calmer, but without loosing the band's edge. The ending track, the eponymous "Going Nowhere" is in general the standard standout single. I was more familiar with this since it was uploaded on Youtube prior to the albums release. It sums up all their sound. Driving tight rhythm section, here with a more melodic approach, topped with Dimitris guitar layers of distorted and lush sounds.

Bandcamp:

Review by Nick Drivas


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"Fragmented Identity" is the title of the debut album of Daria Leere (ex Monowelt). Initially released as a 5 song EP in digital format in early 2018, acting more like a preview sampler and establishing Leere as a new act, the album was properly released in CD format via Young and Cold Records during the summer, containing 9 songs (plus a bonus track). The album is now released in vinyl format.

Daria Leere ("Leere" meaning "emptiness" in German) manages to evolve Monowelt's sound to something completely different and new: a full electronic synth sound, based on various music styles, combined with multilayered vocal treatments, producing a fresh, powerful album full of energy and emotions, requiring attentive and repetitive listening.

Musically, some songs are minimal synth while others are pure industrial. Emotionally, the whole album has a cold wave atmosphere, giving an impression of sadness, incompleteness and desperation, but at the same time a feeling of total control and self-awareness. Vocally, great detail has been given in vocal tone variations and recordings. Daria speaks, whispers, sings, screams, shouts at different sound volumes in one song, even in different languages, giving an impression of various personalities and characters behind the microphone. Lyrically, songs are performed in English, German and Russian.

Actually, this is the album's main idea (and Leere's personal concept as an artist, as beautifully pointed out by herself while interviewed): The "Fragmented Identity" of a person, who was born and raised in one country and now lives and works in another, trying to communicate in a new language, let alone fit in a different culture, resulting in a person with various fragmented identities, usually using just basic english to make contact and be entertained or amused. A victim of globalisation one might say, otherwise a new privileged breed but with a fragmented identity.

The album starts with "Kirschbluten" ("Cherry blossoms" in English), a perfect bitter-sweet starter, featuring Daria's sensual singing over melodic cold wave synths and stable drum beats. Then comes "Viereck" ("Square" in English) one of the most representative songs of the album, with solid synth sound and deep esoteric lyrics, accompanied with a well-made promotional video, capturing perfectly Leere's artistic concept. Then comes "Rebell", a fast paced song reminiscent of the 80s Neue Deutsche Welle musical style, nicely executed, featuring also guest female vocals. "Moh" incorporates an electronic bass sound, while providing interesting combined double vocal work: Daria's familiar low tone voice over unusual high pitched vocals. "Baustelle" ("Construction site" in English) seems to have emerged from an old Einsturzende Neubauten lost recording: unaligned drum patterns, random backgound noises, unusual vocal treatments, repetitive minimal sounds. A very bold and impressive track, acting as a scary intermission in the middle of the album.



Next comes "Erik Voltage", an electronic twist, a weird song with such hidden energy that will make you dance or simply move your hands or legs to all directions. Then comes "zerbrechlich" ("Fragile" in English), another expressive emotional song based on Daria's personal lyrics and inner thoughts sung in German. Next is "Tod" ("Death" in English), a powerful pompous track featuring guest male vocal narration in Latin language and again a great vocal perfomance by Daria in German and Russian. Finally comes "Gleisdreieck" (actually an existing multi-platform railway station in Berlin) which is the most powerful track of the album, a musical industrial hurricane with nervous stressful singing in Russian. A track I personally find enjoying while driving. The CD version concludes with a bonus track: "Lach, doch!" a slow paced minimal synth track focusing mainly in the lyrics performed in German.


"Fragmented Identity" sounds surprisingly good and substantial, even after repetitive listening. A great selection of songs, making a solid album resembling a personal musical diary of a young woman, or -if you like- a fragmented identity.

Review by Stefanos Stavrides

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