A little before the year’s end, we attended a new festival that took place at Death Disco club in Athens. The lineup consisted of three bands, Meat Injection, Grey Gallows and newcomers Peachblow. It was a good opportunity to check out upcoming bands of the local dark alternative scene.

 Peachblow formed as a trio in the spring of 2018. They create dreamlike atmospheres that combine ambient guitars and synths with acoustic instruments and ethereal vocals. This was their first time on stage. The trio, Tonia Ralli (vocals / keys / guitar), Eleni Liora (violin / vocals / guitar) and Thanos Antonopoulos (electric guitar / effects / loops), played their own kind of dark folk and dream pop in a delicate way. They covered the Cocteau Twins track “Ivo” with Tonia delivering the vocal part very satisfactory. A sure standout moment by a promising band that we will be keeping an eye on in the future.

The dark wave duo Grey Gallows from the town of Patras Greece, formed in 2016, returned once again to the friendly stage of Death Disco. As always with Konstantin (vocals / keys) and Dionisis (guitar / bass) they played what one could say a greatest hits set. Their songs where mostly from their debut album "Tears" that was released on cassette and digitally by Peruvian InClub Records. They started with "Where Joy Hides", "In My Time Of Sorrow", "Grey Gallow" and their digital single "Autumn Leaf". A good mixture of melodic darkwave with goth elements backed by Konstantin’s deep vocal. The continued with the new track "Fuel For Rage", the old school goth rocker "Pure Lust" before they played their cover of "Jasmine And Rose" by Clan Of Xymox. They ended their set with "Ice" and "Under The Grey Sky" as they do lately. A song that has a more electro beat, bringing to mind Anne Clark.

Last up on the bill where Meat Injection,a darkwave synthwave band formed in 2016. They have released 2 EPs and are currently composing their first album ''System Anomaly''. This was the first time I was seeing them as trio, The band consisted of new singer Cleopatra Kaido (ex- Drama Queen), J.Fishbone (Dimitris Katsikadis) on guitars and Giannis Christidis on live drums. They kicked off with an instrumental track “Poison Time”. With live guitar and drums their sound was more alternative rock orientated compared to their more electronic studio recordings. On the second track Cleopatra joined the others on stage and together they played “CockRoaches”, “Death For Fun”, “Hang Me” and their Wipers cover of “Window Shop For Love”. The band gave an very energetic performance with Cleopatra dancing all through their upbeat set. Guitarist J.Fishbone then switched to bass and they played their newer tracks “Dead Santa”, “Lust”, “System Anomaly” ending with “Black Out”.

Review / photos: Nick Drivas

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Kriistal Ann has already established a well known name in the modern coldwave scene, through her notable collaborations with various artists/bands from all over the world, as well as with her participation in Paradox Obscur and of course with her various solo albums.
"Touched on the Raw" should be regarded as her fourth proper solo album, leaving aside the album "Muse" (a collaboration with Aidan Casserly, in a more jazz oriented direction) and the very limited mini-album "For the Sake of Thee", both released in 2015.
Kriistal Ann, a very prolific and active music artist, manages to deliver her best and certainly most sophisticated work to date. Combining elements of minimal synth, modern coldwave and darkwave, along with saxophone and harmonica sounds in a more classical song instrumentation, under a floating dark ambient atmosphere, Kriistal Ann uses simple melodies in crystal clear fresh electronic sounds that match perfectly with her expressive vocal style.
"Touched on the Raw" is an album that doesn't limit itself in a specific music genre, instead it expands towards a very personal unique style, a true characteristic trademark sound one should say. The album consists of 9 songs plus 2 bonus remixes, running total about 46 minutes. Available in numbered limited edition digipak CD, as well as limited edition vinyl (omitting the 2 bonus remixes), the album comes with nice artwork, featuring top style black and white self-portrait photography and contains the lyrics to all the songs.

The album starts with "Lost in Frame", a perfect starter featuring Kriistal Ann singing in great mood and full welcoming confidence from the start. Then comes "Silver Rain", a more minimal synth oriented track containing saxophone and piano tunes, establishing a sweet nostalgic positive atmosphere. Next follows "Black Art", one of the best and most representative songs of the album. A song easily recognisable from the first listen, mainly because of Kriistal Ann's repetitive chorus lyrics. Soon after comes "Talking to the Beast", having possibly the best tune and lyric line of the whole album, this is probably the album's finest. Next comes "Solemn Disguise" a personal favorite of mine, a very smooth track featuring whispered vocals and trembling saxophone, producing such a great shivering atmosphere.
Then follows a very dynamic track called  "A Hundred Miles", based on a poem by 19th century Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, featuring Kriistal Ann's singing in full vocal range and secondary guest vocals by members of Italian band Spiritual Front, as well as notable saxophone solo parts by Dimitris Akrivoulis. Next comes "Going Back" a bittersweet song with a retrospective feeling and regretful lyrics. Then follows "Touched on the Raw" a track lyrically based on a quote by the famous American poet Sylvia Plath, acting more as a balance on the album's entity. Finally, the album ends with "Secret Shore" a spectacular track, starting shyly to later blossom beautifully into pure magic, featuring incomprehensible sampled vocals over irregular saxophone tunes. A perfect ending for sure!
The CD version concludes with 2 longer and well-made remixes of "Black Art" and "Talking to the Beast", that fit nicely without affecting the album's balance and atmosphere.
 Overall, "Touched on the Raw" is an album where the music gets the main role, leaving the vocals and vocal effects to a subsidiary role. Music is enriched with new layers of sounds, saxophone and harmonica, based on musical compositions that evolve and grow flowing beautifully. All songs are perfectly blended together, making a solid well-balanced album that won't tire you even after repetitive listening.

Review : Stefanos Stavrides
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Last night was a great opportunity for fans of the new darkwave scene to attend an interesting gig at club Death Disco in Athens, to witness 3 promising acts of the genre. It was also a special Saturday night for the bands as well since it was the last date of their European tour together.

 Box And The Twins from Cologne, Germany came up first on the bill. They appeared as a duo, with Box von Dü on vocals and Mike Reichel on guitar. It was nice seeing a band that plays darkwave in a shoegaze, dreampop feel. They created a very dreamy atmosphere playing songs from their album "Everywhere I Go Is Silence" with standout for me the better known track "This Place Called Nowhere". Box, the singer, was very emotional and esoteric, moving around singing in a trance like state with Mike on the right side of the stage picking classic ethereal tunes on his guitar. At one point he switched to bass giving a more 80’s tone in the vein of older The Cure.

 Next up was Buzz Kull, a one man act. Marc Dwyer from Sydney, Australia took us by surprise with his electro tunes. This was his first time in Greece and he seemed very happy to be here and it showed since he gave his best on stage. His sound is described as a cinematic blaze of industrial darkwave, minimal synth and post punk. From the beginning he attracted everyone’s attention with his great blasting oldschool beats, dynamic vocals and flashing projections on the stage backdrop. He played a great set with tracks like the newer "New Kind Of Cross" but also from his first album "Chroma" the songs "We Were Lovers" and "Into The Void" with which he ended his set with.

Third and final act was Hante. from Paris, France. This was Hélène de Thoury second appearance at Death Disco. She had visited the venue a year before in November 2017 so she had already created a fan base here. As soon as she took her place on stage she welcomed us to her world and began her journey with minimal synth tracks such as "Le Point De Non-Retour", "This Morning Of September", "Empty Space", "The Storm" and "Noir", ''Il n'y a qu'n pas'', something from all her releases. Hélène was very radiant singing her sighful minimal melodic tunes from behind her control board with projections constantly changing in the back. She created a very captivating atmosphere with her music and she visually gave the right touch of calm moves that the music required. On the track "Living In A French Movie" she took hold of the microphone and moved in front of the stage singingright in front of the audiance. She ended her set with a new song that she told us will be her new single, due to be released in a few weeks.You can enjoy this song and the best moments of the gig in the following videos.

 Review : Nick Drivas
Photos +Videos : Nick Drivas / Rise&Fall

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