Lycia, the darkwave atmospheric band formed in 1988 by Mike VanPortfleet that has changed the landscape of modern darkwave, returned with the new album "In Flickers" three years after the previous "A Line That Connects". Having released 11 stunning full-length studio albums they returned to Projekt records for the 4th release of their second era. The current lineup that also performed on the album is Mike VanPortfleet (vocals, guitars, synth & drum programs), David Galas (bass, synth & drum programs), Tara Vanflower (vocals) and John Fair (synth & drum programs).

From the very first track, the homonymous "In Flickers" we are reminded of Lycia’s captivating music and why we have loved them all these years. We are introduced to their melancholic, cold and desolate sound that has coexisted with as all this time. Emotionally charged as ever, with Mike’s deep vocal and guitars drenched in reverb and Tara’s vocals following are just magical and captivating. Next, with "A Failure", we are introduced to a new more electronic sound. A rhythmic piece that initially seems different to anything they have ever done before. But as the track progresses, we just get to see how this is so them. Its great to see band trying out new things, sounds and direction, but still retaining their character. On "The Path", we have a nice haunting track that features a great mix of the drums and ethereal voices. Things get more acoustic with "She" with the strumming acoustic guitar, while on "25 Years" they get darker and more desolate.

The second side begins with "Mist", another track with a more electronic beat, yet again, another fine example of dreamy vocals and layers of distorted guitars. "34 Palms" is a dreamlike piece that has a more psychedelic feel, whereas with "Rewrite" we have the “heaviest” sounding track, with its stumping drums and distorted buzzing wall of guitars. With the next track, "Late Night Solitude", things fall quiet again, an almost ambient night piece with drones and the trademark monotonous drum beat in the distant background. The album closes with "Autumn Into Winter", a lovely track that sums up a brilliant listen. Here, the band has experimented more with the guitars and synths and as a supporter of theirs commented, its “As warm as the warm rays of the sun over the cold cloudy sky”.

With this album, Lycia have made a real meditative masterpiece that captures the band at is best. The ten tracks are intriguing, pushing the Lycia sound forward while retaining the familiar vibe that has existed since the beginning. The music in general is gloomy as the lyrics themselves but with some psychedelic moments, making it a touch more interesting and as always, we have those adorable soothing vocals.

Review by Nick Drivas

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The legendary post-punk/goth band Sex Gang Children have re-released "Re-Enter The Abyss (The 1985 Remixes)" on their own label Liberation London. This limited edition has new cover artwork by Lara Gaudio and is pressed on collectible red vinyl. The album is a collection of tracks remixed by Baz Voce and originally released in 1985. Songs here were remixed for sonic quality only and are not dance remixes. The tracklist features tracks from the bands early period. We find two tracks from their first EP "Beasts", a few from their seminal debut album "Song And Legend" (which the band recently played live in its entirely during their May 2019 UK tour "Electric Jezebel") and tracks from their first singles, a-sides and b-sides.

On the first side of the record, we find "State Of Mind", "Killer K", "Shout And Scream", the classic "Sebastiane" and "Beasts". It is evident from the first listen that the mixes do give justice to the original versions, having a clearer sound, reducing especially the harsh guitars and bringing to the foreground the magnificent rhythm section. On the second side of the lavish red vinyl disc we first get "Into The Abyss (Extended Version)", here as a much longer version compared to the original single version. Next up we have the all-time favorite crowd pleaser "Deiche", "Times Of Our Lives" ending with a nice instrumental version of "Draconian Dream (Instrumental)", a more atmospheric mix that has jazzy piano added to it, making sound like the appropriate soundtrack for some dim illuminated bar. Although the tracks here are remixed, they still retain the raw energy and commitment of punk rock with the dark theatrics of goth, as the original takes.

Review by Nick Drivas

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Incirrina is a Greek duo project founded in September 2017 by George Katsanos (synthesizers, samples, drum machine, vocals) and Irini Tini (synthesizers, vocals). Their music combines elements of dark/minimal wave, electronic, ambient and experimental sounds. They have been inspired by William Blake and they have musically arranged a selection of his poems. Their first digital album "8.15" was released in December 2018.

By seeking the meaning of your name Incirrina, I found out it is suborder of the order Octopoda. A fascinating name choice, full of mystic. How did the name come about and what did you have in mind for the group?

Irini: First of all, we would like to thank you Nick and DIE SEELE for this interview!
Well, the group’s name history is that: when we first started to play together as a synth duo in the autumn of 2017, we wanted to find a name that would depict our love for synthesizers, or something that would “fit” to our style of music, but we could not find something appropriate that didn’t exist already. Then we thought of searching in the field of marine life, as we are both fascinated by dolphins, whales, strange sea plants and animals of the ocean’s mystery world…so we came upon “Incirrina” which is, as you said, a kind of octopus. This strange-looking creature, with its unique behavior and its moving agility, is known to be symbolic of grace and flexibility (something we all musicians need, as far as fingers are concerned!) also of logic and intelligence. We had in mind that we would be inspired by such a symbol and that we would do our best to express our deeper thoughts, emotions and musical ideas through our music.

Your music is described as electronic/new wave/minimal synth, genres that originated in the 80s. How would you describe your music?

George: The music of this decade is deep in our hearts and minds. We both grew up listening to bands like The Cure, Joy Division, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees – just to name a few of them -also Jean -Michel Jarre -whose electronic compositions were a great inspiration for us at that time - Nina Hagen, Japan, Tuxedomoon… We would describe our music as “electronic” and “minimal” because we use exclusively electronic instruments (mostly analogue synthesizers and drum machines of the 1970s and 1980s) and our songs have minimal musical structures, short repetitive patterns, plus monophonic melodic lines. Although musical terms and genres sometimes are not quite “appropriate” for all of the songs or pieces a group creates, the general aesthetic of our music is better described as “new wave”, with some elements of darkwave also (for example the use of minor keys and introspective lyrics based on William Blake’s great poetry).

Like many acts that follow the minimal synth direction you are a duo. Do you feel constraint by being only two people in the band or is this a conscious choice? For example, the use of drum machine compared to a real drummer.

Irini: We think that, for electronic bands, two people is an ideal condition. For us, it happened naturally, as we can easily understand each other and we can rehearse and jam at any time; the one has an idea-a “riff” for example, or a harmonic sequence- and the other will add his/her own ideas, and then this  evolves and becomes a musical piece or song…What really matters is not the number of  a band’s members but the way they interact and they understand each other (as musicians and as personalities, of course). Being a duo has also the advantage of being flexible in rehearsals and concerts –and it is really practical, with electronic equipment we can rehearse at 3 o’clock in the morning without disturbing the neighbors! Also restrictions many times are helpful, because you are “obliged” to do your best with few materials (hands and instruments in our case).
 As far as drum machines are concerned, they cannot really be compared to a drummer, they belong to a different world, and of course a band’s sound is completely different when it uses a drum machine. It is not “better” or “worse”, it is just different. For us it was a conscious choice to use drum machines, as we both love their sound and this “mechanical” way of drumming (and George is really fond of drum programming) -but this does not mean that in the future, we will not play with a real drummer, if we feel the need to do so.

You use analogue equipment when playing live. What does is mean for you as an artist to use strictly analogue equipment? Is it true that when you want to make a specific sound you have to use the right equipment, something that cannot be produced by computers?

George: This is exactly the same thing as we discussed above about drum machines and real drummers: analogue and digital instruments are both marvelous, nothing is better than the other, so it is a matter of taste which equipment a musician uses. We prefer using analogue instruments, like Mini Moog and Korg MS10, synthesizers that were the sound-basis of many bands for decades. You can create wonderful sounds with them, either bass sounds or lead ones, it feels like you are “sculpturing” the sound with these instruments- although one of their characteristics is that they do not “save” the settings –alterations you make (once you turn the power off, then you have to make the sound from the beginning)-this, apart from being a “disadvantage” ,is also fascinating and challenging. So the answer is “yes”, the right equipment is very important in order to create the sound you have in mind.

Irini: On the other hand, the last months we have fallen in love with a digital synthesizer -a Yamaha reface DX (“descendant” of the historical Yamaha DX7 of the 80s) and we have started to use it; the technology of FM synthesis of this instrument is very nicely combined to our analogue instruments and has also the advantage of “saving” the sounds you create. Sometimes, with the analogue instruments, it is really difficult to have enough time to fix the appropriate sound for the next song during a live show (when recording, this does not matter), so the digital synths give you the freedom to be quick and accurate and this is something we cannot deny.
Computers are of course one of the most useful tools of our times and a musician can do extraordinary things with them…but one needs to have the appropriate knowledge, and we both are not acquainted with computers in music making… To be honest, we are “old-school” people and we want to have real buttons and keys to play, we are afraid of screens! Only once in my life I used a computer during a live show (10 years ago, when I was playing with another band) and in the 3d song…it stopped functioning…It was a disaster… of course this does not happen if you have a good computer and you know how to deal with it...but for me it was such a shock that I decided never to take this risk again!

We see from your visuals that you love black and white. Is it the atmosphere and nostalgia it brings out that attract you?

George: We really love black and white, as we also adore silent black and white movies. It is exactly what you said, this atmosphere and nostalgia that is brought out, attracts and inspires us. We have the chance to be friends with  a  talented  video artist and photographer, Gogo Galanopoulou, who has already made 2 clips of our songs (“A little Girl Lost” and “The Smile”) and we agree to this, that black and white aims to the essence and truth, it does not restrain the emotions and lets you free to feel and imagine… Nostalgia, dream-world, poetic atmosphere, the impulsion to run away from “reality”, the abstraction , the surrealistic and expressionistic way of perceiving things…also introversion and a kind of melancholia…all these are closely related to our inner-self  - and  using black and white in visuals is consistent with these emotions, also with the lyrics of our songs.

You have played live many songs that are not on your first digital album "8.15". Are these new songs that will be released in the future? Will we be having any physical release by the band?

Irini: Our first digital album is a 6-track album, so many of our songs that we play in live shows are not included there. At this moment we have finished the recordings for our first vinyl LP that will be released by Geheimnis Records in the autumn –and we are really very happy about that! This album will include 10 of the songs we have with lyrics based on poetry by William Blake, also an instrumental track (“8.15”, after which the whole album will be named, like the digital one). Apart from these, in live shows we also use to play 3-4 more songs with lyrics by Blake and 3 with lyrics of our own-but these will not be included in our first release.

The darkwave, minimal synth scene is still going strong after all these years. What is it do you think that makes the scene have a longevity? How do you see the scene here in Greece and in general?

Irini: The truth is that this scene has a longevity because it consists of significant bands that play really good music, with pulse and emotion, with respect to qualities such as finest sound and instrumentations, strong beats and taking riffs, meaningful lyrics, lack of “busy” instrumental solos and vocals that do not aim to “show off” the singing “abilities” of a performer but underline and express deepest emotions and the atmosphere of the music … It is also a scene that consists of people whose way of life and thinking is strongly connected to the way they perceive music and art in general, and this is really important. We are a small country and this scene is a minority in comparison to other musical genres here –and it has always been an underground scene, as it should be…because underground is where –at most cases- real and also revolutionary things are born and developed. Since the 80s the scene is evolving and I think we have great bands that are acknowledged here and abroad, and new bands that come up and this is really a comfort…to see that, in a rapidly changing world, some things do not change, some of the musical values, beliefs and loves we had as teenagers, are still alive…Perhaps this sounds “romantic”, but I think that this scene is alive due to this…dark secret love...

What are your future plans? Anything you would like to share with us?

George: Our plans include composing new songs and instrumental pieces, rehearsing, searching for new sounds and evolving our music. And after the release of our LP “8.15” we wish, of course, to do as more live shows as possible! We enjoy composing, jamming and rehearsing, but nothing can be compared to live playing and sharing music with other people…
We would like to thank you warmly for this interview and congratulate you Nick and “DIE SEELE” for the great work you do, it is very important that we all people of this scene/community keep supporting each other in all ways possible !

Photos : Gwgw Galanopoulou

Interview : Nick Drivas

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The Low Sun Festival was created by the Greek hard gothers Mosquito, with the aim of establishing it each year and hosting bands & Dj's of the general Goth/Darkwave sound. A celebration where the Dark Element will have its honor. This year the second Low Sun Festival was hosted once again at club Death Disco with the lineup consisting of Grey Gallows, Cold Remembrance and Mosquito.

First up were darkwavers Grey Gallows. They presented a set with old and new songs. They began with "Fading" from their first album "Tears", continuing with the newer songs "Last Day On Earth" and "Fuel For Rage". Then the singer Fay Byrd joined the duo on stage for the song "She Ends Herself". Another new track "On The Dancefloor" was played, followed by the better known "Ice". The band gave a great performance and are becoming better with every live appearance. They finished with their dynamic cover of "Alice" by The Sisters Of Mercy.

Next up was the goth metal band Cold Remebrance who after an intro they plunged into "Memories Remain", "Angel" and "Aurura Autumn" from their 2017 debut album "Visions From A World Apart". Apart from the two covers "Billet Doux" (The Wounded) and "My Darkness, Darkness" (Bessech) they played the new songs "Fallen Star", "Forever And A Day" and "The Manikin", with which they ended, that will be included on their new album. Their songs where enriched by Romanos deep emotional voice and by the keyboards that brought a more atmospheric tone to their goth rock/metal tunes.

The night ended with Mosquito. This five-piece hard goth band delivered a dynamic set. They began with a newer song "Lost Victories" and then with "Indirect Kiss", "Y", "C(h)esspit Queen" and "Deeper Outlook" from their debut album "Interlacing Eternity" that was released on Brazilian label Deepland records in 2017. In-between they played other new songs like "To Infinite", "Vainess, Ever-Changing" and "Morena" that will probably be included on their next album. Their frontman Lupe gave a dynamic performance backed by the band and their new member, John Morris on bass, who has become a permanent fixture.

Review+Photos : Nick Drivas
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This particular day of the Release Athens festival, although not an underground event, had its special significance for us, which was the participation of New Order. The open air festival took place at Plateia Nerou, a wide space next to the sea. First band up was the greek indie pop band Ta Toy Boy who took to the stage at the exact programmed time at 17:30 when the sun was still shinning bright and the temperature was 36 degrees Celsius. The three piece played a really enjoyable set with songs from their terrific debut album "This Town", released last year by the indie label Make Me Happy, and some new ones. Next up at 18:15 were Fontaines D.C. a five piece indie rock/post-punk band from Dublin Ireland. This was their second visit to Athens after their sold out gig at club Death Disco a few months back They played songs from their début "Dorgel" that was released this year, like the opener "Big", "Sha Sha Sha" and "Boys In The Better Land" that I was more familiar with. Their frontman Grian Chatten stood out with his peculiar stage appearance and performance. At 19:30 it was time for Morcheeba, the English trip-hop/downtempo band that was known from the 90’s. Their singer Skye Edwards, dressed very elegant in black and wearing a top hat was magnificent, delivering great vocals and a very impressive stage performance. They gave the festival a feelgood summer vibe with tracks like "The Sea", "Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day" and the newer "Blaze".They also played a really good cover of David Bowie's ''Let's Dance''.

At 21:00 sharp, with the crowd having by now reached thousands, Johnny Marr with his band took to the stage and presented a marvelous set. Apart from songs from his latest album "Call The Cornet", like opener "The Tracers", "Walk Into The Sea" and "Hi Hello" to name a few, he performed The Smiths classics "Bigmouth Strikes Again", "Stop Me If You Think You Have Heard This One Before", "How Soon Is Now" and "There Is A light That Never Goes Out" with which he ended his set making the crowd go wild. And as if that wasn’t enough he also played the Electronic songs "Getting Away With It" and "Get The Message" on which he brought on stage Bernard Sumner of New Order to sing it with him. In general, his appearance was better than expected and reminded us why he is a guitar indie legend. His guitar playing is something else. He also did a great cover of Depeche Mode’s "I Feel You".

At 23:00 New Order, consisting of, Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris (who delivered brilliant drumming), Gillian Gilbert, Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman, stepped onto the stage and began their set with "Singularity" from their latest album "Music Complete" with the video wall showing scenes from the documentary "B-Movie: Lust & Sound In West-Berlin 1979-1989". The first treat they gave us was when the played the Joy Division songs "She Lost Control", "Shadowplay" and "Transmission" honoring the 40 years of the release of "Unknown Pleasures". Their set in general had something from all their career "Regret", "Your Silent Face" (on which Bernard’s harmonica broke at the beginning of the song making him throw it down angrily and at the end he threw another one with which it had been replaced to the crowd), "Bizarre Love Triangle", a more techno version of "Tue Faith", "Blue Monday" "Subculture" and ending with "Temptation" in dynamic way. My only flaw was that on "The Perfect Kiss" the characteristic bass solo at the end wasn’t louder. Their whole performance was supported by great visuals. For the encore they left us with a really emotional way paying homage to Joy Division by playing the songs "Atmosphere" (on which the video wall was showing scenes from the iconic Anton Corbijn video) and "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (where the video wall pictured at one point a photo of Ian Curtis and then the text “Forever Joy Division”) leaving the crowd in tears.

Review and photos by Nick Drivas

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Grey Gallows are a darkwave duo from the town of Patra, Greece. The band, consisting of members Konstantin (vocals / keys) and Dionisis (guitar / bass / keys) first released their debut mini album "Beyond Reflections" in June 2017. In September 2018 their first full album "Tears" was released by the Peruvian In Club Records on tape format.

Tell us in brief a few things about how the band began? Was it a conscious decision to follow the darkwave genre or was it something that evolved from your musical collaboration?

Dionisis: First of all, we would like to thank you Nick for your invitation! I met Konstantin back in 2014 in Patra, where I had already moved in from Athens. We started hanging around at first and later we discover that we have a similar taste in music. At that time Konstantin was playing in a group, while I was trying to find members to form my own band, in order to complete some ideas that I had.
Therefore, we decided to form Grey Gallows in 2016 as a duet, something unprecedented for us, given that we had participated as musicians in full bands only until then. So, first of all we wanted to play something that we would love to hear as listeners. Our influences come from the broadest spectrum of ’80s and ’90s dark music, so our music style came naturally…It just happened…

first released your debut mini album "Beyond Reflections" in 2017? It was a self-release. What can you tell us about it and what was the feedback the band got from its release?

Konstantin: At first, let me thank you, Nick, for this interview. Well, indeed, we self-released our debut mini album "Beyond Reflections" back in 2017. For us it was like a self-introduction of who we are and what kind of music we want to play. Furthermore, with our debut mini album we wanted to present our aesthetic and some deeper thoughts, that have to do with the lyrics. The feedback we got from this release was, and still is, very powerful, both from Greece, from Latin America and Europe. Of course, this warm reception encouraged us to go on and to fully concentrate on the band’s new songs and the preparation for live performances.

Although you are a two piece, we see that you like performing live. You have participated in many local festivals and have also supported foreign acts like Spiritual Front and Antimatter. Do you find it challenging preforming your songs live? Any memorable moment from a concert you would like to share with us?

Dionisis: Well, I strongly believe that for all musicians every live appearance is a unique moment. I also think that we have been quite lucky as a group, given that we had the honor to support two great foreign bands, like Spiritual Front and Antimatter, in a short time period. Of course, we had the privilege to play along some great Greek bands too.
We both enjoy every live performance we give, from the rehearsals in the studio until the last song of our set list. I personally love when someone from the crowd come to us to express his opinion about our music. It’s really beautiful to know that your music touches someone’s emotions and quite interesting to be given someone’s perception from his point of view.

Living in an age where Youtube is a big deal, you made your first official for your digital single "Autumn Leaf". Do you feel that videos are so important for band to present their work?

Konstantin: Well, although, music has always been the most important, we believe that videos can play a major role for a band to reach its sound to new listeners. Given the massive amount of music information from YouTube, we feel that a band has to merge its music with the icon, in order to make the difference, by presenting something which characterize them.

Your first full album "Tears" was released by the Peruvian In Club Records on tape format. How did this come about? Will the album also be released on another format like CD or vinyl?

Konstantin: We can’t hide that we are in favor of old school format, like tapes and especially vinyl. So, when In Club Records proposed us to officially release our album "Tears" in tape, we thought that this was the right offer at the right time. Now, as far as our new album is concerned, which we are currently working on, we have thoughts of releasing it in a vinyl format, but it’s very soon to say it for sure.

In March 2019 you made another official video clip for your song "Ice", this time done by the videography team Press Eject and Give me the Tape. What can you tell us about its production?

Dionisis: After our first self-produced video clip for Autumn Leaf, we decided to make another video for Ice, which we consider it to be the essence of what we are musically as a group. Our aim was to have a professional production, so as to present our aesthetic for the sound we think it describes us the most. So, we decided to have the production made by someone who combines both the technical knowledge required for the production of a video clip, as well as to be an expert in the aesthetic of the genre of the music we play. We had already seen and admired the work of our friend Nick Hantzis for bands like Paradox Obscure and Ding An Sich. Bearing that in mind, we contacted him and proposed this collaboration. I personally consider the result of being really good and I have the hope of us collaborating once more in the near future with Nick! Speaking of the making of our first official video clip, we feel the need to sincerely thank Leonidas Skiadas, for his kindly allowing us to shoot at Death Disco, and our friend Ermis for his valuable help.

We have seen lately in your live shows and on the track, you participated with on the "Stimmen Der Seele" compilation, that you have started collaborating with female vocalists. Tell us something about this?

Konstantin: Well, as a band we really want to explore different kind of emotions, by experimenting on the dark ’80s and ’90s sound, blending dark wave with cold sounds. So, it comes for us naturally to propose to Katerina Kontopanagou and Fai Tsiga to sing Where Joy Hides and She Ends Herself, respectively. We are more than honored to have the last song on the "Stimmen Der Seele" compilation, among other great bands!
In addition, we recently released on internet Nothing Will Remain, our second song sung by Fai. We consider that male and female vocals can reveal slightly different kind of emotions, other times outlining the darkness more and other time the coldness.

What are your future plans? What should your fans expect from you in the near future?

Dionisis: We are currently preparing for our two forthcoming performances, which will be held in Patra and Athens, on 1/6 and 15/6, respectively. In the first gig we will play a set list, which will include almost all of our songs. The second gig will be at the Low Sun Festival, which will take place at Death Disco, where we will have the honor to share the stage with two great Greek bands, Mosquito and Cold Remembrance. In parallel, we are working on the songs of our new album and on a single, that will be released in our bandcamp, which will have two songs, one of them unreleased. We also would like to make another video clip for a song from the "Tears" album.

At last, we would like to thank you, Nick, once more for this interview and mostly for your support, as well as our friends and people we might not know, for all of them having supported us in any way until now!!

Photos 2,3 by John Kokkonakis

Interview by Nick Drivas.

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Boy Harsher is a minimal synth duo that produces dance beats infused with ethereal vocals. Their music is somewhere between electro dance, synth-pop and confessional storytelling. Boy Harsher originally formed in 2014 in Savannah, Georgia USA by Jae Matthews, who wrote small stories that where then scored by Augustus Muller. The album "Careful" is the groups second, after their debut "Yr Body Is Nothing" in 2016.

The minimal wave duo, now based in Northampton, Massachusetts, have delivered with "Careful" a claustrophobic, 80’s-influenced sounding album. It is almost certain that you will like this album from the first listen. It includes 10 tales of love and pain with tracks like "Face The Fire" that can become quit seductive. A nice mixture of electronic coldwave, drone, EBM, goth, minimal wave, new wave and techno.

The poppier track "Fate" is groovier and sexy in a way by still minimalist. The following tracks like "L.A.", "Come Closer", "The Look You Gave (Jerry)" and "Tears" are more dancefloor orientated synth-pop with a darkwave feel that have a kind of danceable gloom to them. One can become instantly mesmerized by their sensual, dark and dancy electronica as on the track "Lost", topped with Jae Matthews sultry low key vocal, that is almost spoken word. While, the opener "Keep Driving", "Crush" and "Careful" with which the album ends, can be described as night soundtracks.

Review by Nick Drivas

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Last night, Geheimnis Records presented at club Death Disco the event "A full analogue synth night with Incirrina + Kalte Nacht". The two new bands, Incirrina and Kalte Nacht, are duets which both use analogue equipment and show their love for ’80s sound.

First up on stage where Incirrina. The duo consists of George Katsanos (synthesizers, samples, drum machine, vocals) and Irini Tini (synthesizers, vocals). They delivered a really tight sounding set, playing many good songs that aren’t on their only digital release "8.15" EP like ''Giskard'' a beautiful song performed perfectly by George's melancholic voice. From their EP I distinguised "The Chimney Sweeper".

Next up were Kalte Nacht. This duo is composed of Nikos Konstandinidis on synthesizers, drum machine and bass and singer Myrto Stylou. A promising new band that played their dark, minimal, synthwave tunes like "Voices In Silence'' , "Eye Candy" and "Ghost Dance" on which Nikos switched to bass delivering a dark  deep brooding sound with phaser effects. While Myrto stood out with her appearance and eye makeup that had something reminiscent of Visage. Her voice was great , like something coming  straight out of the 80s. With their classic 80s oldschool coldwave sound, one could say that they are the next big thing in the greek dark alternative scene.
Closing, I would like to point out that by seeing this gig ,i witnessed yet another concert that reveals the upward direction the Greek scene has taken.

Review by Rise&Fall
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Although all of Europe’s (and not only) dark scene is focused on the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig Germany this weekend, we had the opportunity on Friday June 7th to attend one of London After Midnight’s rare live appearances here in Athens, 2 days before their appearance at WGT. It had been 11 years since London After Midnight last played in Greece, so the anticipation was big and we were lucky that Death Disco and Evolution TV organized the event, giving us the opportunity to see the band live again. For me it was my first time.

After a small delay from the scheduled time, the lights went out around 11:00 pm and the video wall started projecting promo videos of the bands releases. Then the band took to the stage and plunged into "Nightmare" starting in a dynamic way. Straight after "Psycho Magnet" was played followed by one of my favorites "Shatter (All My Dead friends)" and other oldies like "Demon", "The Spider And The Fly" and "Claire’s Horrors" where guitarist Matthew Setzer switched his electric guitar to a 12 string acoustic. At one point, a female fan offered frontman Sean Brennan a rose, which he kindly took and held it by his microphone.

Then they played "Let Me Break You", a song they hadn’t played since 1996! "Complex Messiah" from their latest till date 2007 album "Violent Acts Of Beauty" followed, before playing "Revenge" which they introduced as “This is an anti fascist song” with the anti swastika symbol projected behind them on the video wall. They continued making their political statements and forwarded the next song by saying “This is about our president” and started playing "America’s A Fucking Disease" with political attired projections showing Donald Trump as well. As things started to heat up, the guitarist teased us by saying the next song is going to be slow one but they delivered a fast one instead. Then they played us another live rarity, "Inamourada" that hadn’t been performed since 1994.

Then it was time for "Love You To Death", another of the standout from "Violent Acts Of Beauty". Singer Sean Brennan with his characteristic look, two toned color long hair, black cobweb bondage garb and tall leather boots, seemed to be having some technical difficulties with his sound. Something that might have made him seem a bit restrained. Guitarist Matthew Setzer gave a more theatrical tone with his moves and poses. With them on bass was original member Michael Areklett, a really good asset to the live outfit, bringing something in from their glorious past. They also played us a new song that was fast and speedy with a really hard sound with words sung as “Singing after the end of the world”, sounding more like their latest work and more rockier compared to their more gothic romantic past. The mood switched with "The Bondage Song" that suddenly became more industrial/techno. At this point, the band left the stage for a break.

With their reentry, guitarist Matthew introduced the other band members, Pete Pace on drums, original bass player Michael (Williams) Areklett and last but not least frontman Sean Brennan. With that, they played for an encore their most massive hits "Kiss" and "Sacrifice" leaving their fans screaming and cheering. Overall it was good gig, with a really good setlist, which I think left all their fans happy. The band also seemed to have enjoyed the concert and their trip here, despite the heat, which could be considered as warm up before their headlining slot at Agra Hall tomorrow Sunday.

Review by Nick Drivas
Photos by Marilia Fotopoulou

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The dark alternative/post-punk band Electro Vampires from Thessaloniki, Greece returned this year with their second album "Ignorance And Violence". Don’t be fooled by the band’s name. This isn’t an electro goth act, the Electro Vampires are a pure dark rock n’ roll 5-piece band that play a perfectly balanced crossover of alternative rock, psychedelic rock and goth rock, with a bloodsucking thirst to express themselves with their music. Their debut "Behind The Eyes Of The Shadow" was released seven years ago, an album that made them a name together with their dynamic live appearances.

The album opens with "Black On Black", a great example of their sound that blends dark alt. rock with some psychedelia. "Raven"  that follows is a darker tune that has some 60’s psych vibe to it, retaining their vampiric feel and aesthetic. With "Traitors On The Floors" the band jams away sounding like something coming out of the 70’s. The rhythm speed picks up on "Actions Speak Louder Than Words", a garage punk track full of fuzzy guitars and a groove. A nice cover of The Doors song "L.A. Woman" follows.

Their dark psychedelic tripping continues with "Katla" that features some eastern elements. They return to familiar turf with "Black Bone", a characteristic track of their songwriting that showcases all members bringing in their best. While with "Corrosion" and "Violence" they give us some of their dark rock, that just proves the bands statement that with their new album they sound more like themselves rather than their influences. Although on "Let’s Play With Gods" we do get some of the early Bauhaus electrifying dynamic. The album closes with "A Little Bird" that actually does start with some “electro” bleeps, but it turns out not being an electro track at all, but a funky based tune with wha guitar. Overall a great sounding album by a band that really strives to deliver quality to their music. And beware, the Vamps are coming again… thirsty for more!

Review by Nick Drivas

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The darkwave band She Past Away, with signature guitar sound of the 80’s post-punk era that sing in Turkish, have returned with their new long awaited album. It’s been almost four years since the release of the band’s sophomore album "Narin Yalnızlık". Since then Turkish duo has established themselves as one of the most influential and successful genre-defining acts throughout the world.

The new album "Disko Anksiyete", released on the 31st of May 2019, finds the band experimenting old-new aesthetic of synth music into their core guitar work. The album offers 10 songs with well-crafted synth lines, calmly echoing vocals and liquid guitar melodies in an emotional build sparkling through the foreground. All the compositions and lyrics are provided from singer/guitarist Volkan Caner, while the production is done by Doruk Ozturkcan. Once again, they use Turkish lyrics, but for the first time ever they use Spanish on the track "La Maldad". Probably due to singer Volkan who has been living in the present in Spain.

The album begins with "Boşluk (Intro)" (Space), a nice intro instrumental track that features wonderful synths and electronic drumming. "Durdu Dünya" (Stopped World) that follows is a great example of their capability to showcase 80’s darkwave into their sound. A warm touching song with some great Cure/New Order guitar/bass riffs. On the album title track "Disko Anksiyete" (Disco Anxiety) things start getting more rhythmic. A dancefloor orientated track that has the ability to make you dance with its 80’s groove. Following is "Izole" (Insulating) a classic She Past Away track with Volkan’s characteristic deep vocal. As mentioned before, with "La Maldad" (Evil) the band has its first Spanish moment. Besides this, I think this is also their poppier moment to date.

On the B side of the vinyl album (second part of the CD) we get "Renksiz" (Colorless), a solid synth track with a dominant driving rhythm leaving Volkan’s role of singing and guitar work laid in the back. While on "Sonbahar" (Autumn) that follows, his liquid guitar comes back to the foreground together with some terrific synth lines that really bring to the whole atmosphere. Their new approach of synth work is once shown again on "Girdap" (Whirlpool) that has a synthwave vibe. Next is "Yükseliyor Deniz" (Rising Sea) that is probably the most emotional song on the record with is psychological loaded chorus, leaving for finale the emotionally bleak "Ağıt" (Lament) but nevertheless human and warm in feeling.

In the last 7 years, She Past Away have scored numerous crowd-puller performances all around the world releasing 3 albums. They have matured from the dynamic darkwave/post-punk of their debut "Belirdi Gece" released in 2012 and progressed even further from their second effort "Narin Yalnızlık". They seem to have filled a void in the scene with their songs, that have that perfect mixture of darkwave, post-punk, goth and minimal synth.

cover photo by Marilia Fotopoulou
Review by Nick Drivas

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