Friday January 18th was a special night for DeathDisco's live stage: A music concert/recital by classical trained musicians with adaptations based on well-known songs of various aspects of the dark alternative scene (darkwave, postpunk, gothic rock, neofolk).
DeathDisco's stage was decorated accordingly: royal carpet covering the floor, plenty of pillar candles giving a warm atmosphere, a grand piano dominating the set, along with beautiful antique victorian style armchairs, as well as a stylish cello. The whole stage resembled a cabaret lounge. Upon arrival, everyone was handed a well designed printed programme, containing the setlist and credits. So, as everything seemed to have been prepared in great detail, my initial skepticism about the whole project quickly transformed into curiosity and anticipation.

The concert, executed in two parts with an intermission in-between, was arranged and directed by baritone/pianist Constantine K. ("El Fantasma"), aided by cello player Elli Filippou and female guest vocalist Elisabeth (En Garde). As was prologued, this project was actually based on an idea that was on Constantine's mind for about 15 years, waiting for the right time to be accomplished.
20 songs in total were performed, notably from classic bands like Dead Can Dance, Sopor Aeternus, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Clan of Xymox and even Depeche Mode and David Bowie! Watching and listening to all these beloved songs by all these beloved artists, arranged and adapted for piano/cello and performed in opera-like baritone vocals, was quite an experience. It was very interesting to see and realise that each song has a soul of its own, and that soul can be transmitted with an alternate form of musical execution. Of course, trying to distinguish which songs were performed best and which weren't, is a totally subjective matter.

What matters instead, is that the three musicians offered us a passionate, emotional, well-organised and successful entertaining show, based on a concept never seen before. Many congratulations should also be given to DeathDisco, for undertaking and nicely delivering such a special event!

Review : Stefanos Stavrides
Photos : John Kokkonakis
Read More …

The Greek darkwave post-punk band Ghostland finally released their debut LP "Dances On Walls" on French label Manic Depression Records. The album has been released on vinyl and digitally. Although they have been active, playing live since 2015 (we saw them opening for She Past Away in December 2017 at Death Disco, Athens), they still hadn’t released any material till this day. As a four piece, with Makrina: vocals, Argyris: guitar, Nikos: bass, Stavros: keyboards, the band present us with what one could say oldschool post-punk/goth rock but with a freshness that makes them sound very relevant to the scene of today.

The album’s eponymous opening track "Dances On Walls", is an moody instrumental one minute track that serves as an intro, preparing for what will follow with "Leave Behind (Hollow Moon)". A classic post-punk track with a very tight rhythm section with brooding bass and crisp drum machine topped with distorted guitar outbursts. Makrina delivers her vocals in a laid back but passionate way giving an atmospheric tone to the songs. On the third track the mood changes with the slower track "Wind Of Knives". From the first thumping of the drums and hearing the baseline one can see the connection with The Cure’s "The Figurehead" from their ultimate dark masterpiece "Pornography". It stands as an instant classic, darkwave at its best, that surely makes it an album standout! Next, they turn up the beat with "Don’t Wait" that stands out with its bouncy synth line but still retains the atmosphere of the rest of the tracks, something that the keyboards and neat guitar work provide. The first side closes with "Sway", another moody haunting track that contains all the elements mentioned above, but here the vocals are even more spread out making them even more atmospheric.

Side two of the album kicks off with the dynamic "The Dancing Crowd" with its very emotional vocal. An instant hit that will surely be heard and danced in clubs all around the globe. One gets stuck by its pace, its guitar riffs and of cause by the heartbroken vocal. The tone grows darker on the following "Ice Song". A sparse arrangement that gives it that icy feel, leaving plenty of space for Makrina’s vocal to echo, through its cavernous structure. The track "Lifeblood", that was released a video prior to the album and could be regarded as a single, shows the band at its best and more powerful. Musically the track is a driving force, with all instruments equally giving it everything it needs to set a desolate landscape for the vocals and lyrics to deliver a cry of despair and painstaking loneliness. After left breathtaking, "Against The Light" follows and closes the album. Another sparse track filled with dark stabs of bass and an icy snare, that slightly climaxes with guitar.

Overall, a great debut album by a very promising band. An album that seems to grow on you the more you listen to it. Dynamic, passionate and atmospheric at the same time, it makes it an enjoyable listen. So, for the lovers of post-punk / darkwave, this is it! Enter the world of Ghostland and find the soundtrack you were looking for.

Review by Nick Drivas

Read More …

Remain In Light from the northern town of Thessaloniki, Greece, released their third album in October 2018 on the Brazilian label Deepland records. The band has worked hard these last years to establish themselves on the local and global scene. Always trying to release new material and playing live, like opening for And Also The Trees in their hometown. Since forming in 2010 they have managed very well indeed, having released three albums and two singles. The recordings for their latest album took place during the summer of 2016 and then again in summer of 2017. It took a year for them to eventually have it out officially on Deepland.

Here with their third effort "The Sentinel Diaries", the band presents us with 10 new tracks. All tracks were recorded live with some overdubs added later. Something that gives the songs a more live sound and band like quality. By listening to it one can see that all the songs have a cold wave, dark punk, dark wave, gothic rock, post-punk, alternative rock direction. It’s not easy to describe their sound without listings all those tags since it is a mixture of them all. Surely their love for early 80s goth cannot be hidden.

Opener "Green Book" kicks off in a dynamic way, setting the pace for the rest of the album. Immediately one is taken by Y’s guitars that shimmer the melodic lines above the rhythm section by Constantine (bass) and Ghoul (drums) while the synth work by Joseph D' Anjou adds the final touches to the whole atmosphere. Atop we have Elder K with his characteristic, high pitched vocals, spitting out the lyrics with determination and passion. "Sons Of Terra" that follows is a great piece that has all the elements of the golden era of early goth. On "Hollow Mountain" the tempo speeds up to a more punky groove. The next tracks "The Core/The Void", "Sailing Through Empty Skies" and "One Believer" continue in the same vein more or less offering something different to the whole, with the two later ones having a slower tempo. Prior to the album "The Kiss" was also released as a digital single remixed by DJ Cruel Britannia, but here we have a different mix. The danceable new waver "Urban Traitor" has some early Cure guitar and is one of the catchy songs of the album, while "Mercury Walk" differs with its grand rhythmic stoner style and is also another album standout. The album closes with the two minute instrumental track "Brilliant Blue", a calm atmospheric piece of melodic guitar and synth.

The artwork done by graphic artist why9.gr. is yet another fab example of great aesthetics that adorn their covers. A mixture of early 80’s goth and that of the 23 Envelope graphics group of 4AD fame. The booklet also contains lyrics, credits, info and photos of the band. 

Review by Nick Drivas

Read More …