Mark E Moon is a new band that came together as a working project in the Autumn of 2018 by Mark Sayle and Phil Reynolds. Their songs are about sex, death and addiction and they describe their music as dystopian post-punk/wave . Their debut album titled "Refer" was released on CD on the 29th of November 2019 on the German Cold Transmission label. The album turns a lens to the darker side of life and peers at the seedy underbelly. As the name of the album suggests, the songs are full of references, some hidden/some obvious, to literature, musical genres and the works of great artists that have gone before.

The duo from Isle of Man, came together over alcohol and a shared love of music, such as Joy Division, The Sisters Of Mercy, The Chameleons, late 70s and early 80s electro. All these influences can be seen on the opening track "Into The Arms Of Entropy", which is a very impressive example of their sound. It’s accompanied video directed by Marie Reynolds was done on a budget of absolutely nothing! On "Time Enough For Love" that follows, things get more rhythmic. Each song on the album examines a particular issue. For example, the synth driven "Electronic" is about the power dynamic between cam girls and their viewers. While the more upbeat "Hollow Eyes" (featuring guitarist Kieran Ball) is about the death of a relationship.

With "Delta Of Venus" we start to see their more gothic rock side. Things get heavier with "Out In The Dark" that brings to mind the song "In The Flat Field" by Bauhaus. Next, we have "Amanda" and "Euphoria", two mid-tempo tracks with subtle synths, dark basslines and nice guitar riffs. The track that really stood out for me was
"Abandon". A ten minute long epic track reminiscent of early Sisters Of Mercy from the Reptile House era. The album closes with the "Strange Fruit", a sparse dark track with a lone bassline and echoey vocal and drum beat that gradually progresses with more electronic elements.

Review by Nick Drivas.

Read More …

On Saturday, November 23rd, the Greek duo Incirrina did a live presentation at Death Disco club of their debut album "8.15" that was recently released by Geheimnis records on vinyl. Special quest and opening act were the Greek darkwave / post-punk band Ghostland.

The guest act Ghostland appeared first presenting us a set that featured a wide collection of songs from their debut LP "Dances On Walls" released last year on the French label Manic Depression Records. The three piece, with Makrina: vocals, Argyris: guitar and Nikos: bass, also performed many new songs. They began their set with the new song "Tuoemtel" followed by slower darker tracks "Ice Song" and "Wind Of Knives" from their debut album. They continued with the new tracks "No Place", "Burning Skies", "Strange Ones" and "Trick Of Light" giving us a pretty good idea of what to expect from their new album. The band continues in the same vein as their debut and sounded very promising. They continued their set with more known songs and albums favorites as "Don’t Wait", "Leave Behind", my personal favorite "The Dancing Crowd" and "Lifeblood" that really arose the crowd. For the end they played another new song called "So Far" on which Argyris and Nikos left their guitars and basses and took to keyboards presenting us with a more minimal track, showing a different side of the band, with Makrina also displaying some abstract vocals.

Incirrina, having recently released their debut album "8.15" on vinyl, presented their songs live for the first time after its release. George Katsanos and Irini Tini took their positions behind their synthesizers and performed their debut almost in its entirety, except for one song. They began with the album titled track "8.15" followed by "The Tyger", "The Angel", "The Smile", "A Little Girl Lost" and "The Sick Rose". All great songs showcasing their dark/minimal wave sound, featuring the poetry of William Blake used for lyrics. They created as mysterious atmosphere with their dark 80ish music made with their analogue equipment that was set up nicely on the stage presenting a pleasant sight.

They also performed for us some new songs like "Giskard" before continuing with more album tracks like "True Love Doth Pass Away" and "The Chimney Sweeper". The duo gave a good performance, with Irini and George taking turns on the vocals. Amidst the warm sound of their synths and drum machines, their drenched in reverb voices emerged through the smoke and stage lighting that enhanced their show. Another new track, "Daneel" was played, giving us another taste of their new material. The tracks "Holy Thursday" and "London" from the album followed ending with another new song, "Till The End Of Time".

Review by Nick Drivas

Read More …

American artist, Silent EM (Jean Lorenzo), based now in New York City released his debut album "The Absence" on the New Orleans underground label Disko Obscura in July 2019. After having played guitar and bass in post-punk and punk bands but in 2010 Silent EM found, upon his transition to a new city, that he could create music singularly with synthesizers and drum machines. His songs explore themes of disillusion, disappointment with religious views, war and lost love utopias. Up till now he had released various, 7inch singles, cassettes and has participated in compilations gaining cult status.

From the opener "Machine" we are acquainted to his minimal darkwave style that is fit for the dancefloor. The next dynamic track "Don't Crash So Fast" served as second single from the album. Its video clip was filmed live in New Orleans at Technoclub in September where he kicked-off the No Rest, No Heaven USA tour. The influence of 1980s French coldwave and post-punk is apparent in Jean Lorenzo’s songwriting. In places we have a perfect mix between EBM and Wave, reminding a bit of Front 242 and at times of The Frozen Autumn. Apparently, his choice of instruments is vital to his sound, seeing he uses Roland SH-2, Linndrum, E-MU Emulator III, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Sequential Circuits Pro-One, Novation Peak, Behringer Deepmind 12D, Waldorf Blofeld, Korg MS-20, Korg X5DR, Akai MPC 1000, Roland D-50 and Eurorack Modular.

The album continues with "Last Rites", "Virtues Of Our Age", "No Rest" that is more synthpunk and "Return Of Yesterday" that’s more goth synth pop. The song "Wraith" that follows is my favorite and is surely a standout. It was the first single taken from the album and was accompanied by a great video shot and directed by Dino Kuznik, showing Lorenzo, dressed in a long black jacket, walking with around New York City. The album closes with "No God's Land", a nice dark synth track.

This stunning release by Silent EM is available on fire red variant or grey stone color type vinyl and comes with a custom printed double-sided 11x17 fold-out poster.

Review by Nick Drivas.

Read More …

The Greek duo Incirrina founded in September 2017 by George Katsanos (synthesizers, samples, drum machine, vocals) and Irini Tini (synthesizers, vocals) released its debut album "8.15" on vinyl. Their music combines elements of dark/minimal wave, electronic, ambient and experimental sounds. Another characteristic of theirs is that they have been greatly inspired by William Blake and have musically arranged a selection of his poems here on this record.

The album opens with the track "The Smile" with Irini Tini on vocals. A song that serves as a great introduction with its electro rhythm. With "The Tyger" that follows we hear a more synth pop styled track featuring also George on vocals. They have a way of making their synth pop moments sound so very dark. In general, all the songs are dark and have an early 80’s feel. On "True Love Doth Pass Away" the tempo quickens with Irini’s whispery and haunting vocals dominating the track giving it an eerie feel. The mood changes with the sturdy drums of "A Little Girl Lost" on which George Katsanos takes on the lead vocals. The first side of the record closes with "Mad Song" with Irini singing in a very distant way.

On the second side we have "The Chimney Sweeper" that was known to us since it was included on the Die Seele compilation "Stimmen Der Seele Vol. 4" earlier this year. A nice piece of night music that combines very nicely the airy synths with Irini’s voice. With "Holy Thursday" the music speeds up again, while on "The Angel" we have yet again another song with a very 80’s atmosphere. The pace steps up again with "London" which is like a rollercoaster ride with its bouncy chords. On "The Sick Rose" that follows they deliver us another dark synth pop track. The album closes with the album title track "8.15". An instrumental piece the shows their more 70’s style synth atmospheres over a minimal synth rhythm backbone with classic 80s’s drum machine.

All songs where written and recorded in Athens during 2018 and 2019 with the use of mostly analogue equipment. Something that gives their music a unique sound. Although their music is categorized in general as electronic and minimal it surely fits in with many genres such as avant-garde, coldwave, dark wave, new wave and synthwave. The album, released by the Greek independent label Geheimnis records, is a limited edition of 308 hand-numbered copies, of which 153 copies are on black vinyl and 155 copies on grey vinyl. It comes with insert with lyrics, credits and pictures of the band. All black and white photography used for the cover and of the band is done by Gwgw Galanopoulou, that suits the bands imagery perfectly.

Review by Nick Drivas

Read More …

On Saturday, December 14th, 2019 Wolfrune Fest, Nox Music & Voodood Promotions Present the Danish gnostic occult rock band Parzival live at Death Disco in Athens, Greece. Opening act will be the Greek alternative rock band ULiar. Founded in 1999, Pazival is a Russian electro-industrial group based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Heavily influenced by Kapital-era Laibach, the group creates a bombastic neo-classical music with electronic percussion, plenty of string and horn samples, and dramatic vocals mainly in German. They will be performing here as part of their promotional tour of their latest album "The Golden Bough".

You started in 1995 as Stiff Miners and have already released under the name Parzival 10 albums that have experimented various genres such as martial industrial, symphonic EBM, atmospheric metal, darkwave and electro with influences from Russian and European traditional music. Did you ever think that the band would have had such a long history, and did you have from the beginning a clear picture of what direction the band would have?

Parzival: It’s a good question. Actually Stiff Miners started way earlier than 1995. The first album “Giselle” was released on Cleopatra Records in 1995, but the band started already in 1992. If you asked us in 1995, it would be very hard to imagine that we would be releasing a new album in such a distant future as 2019, but on the other hand we already had some visions and ambitions for the future development of Parzival. Music is a vision of art, and as long as you always have something to say with your art, you can go on as long as you have this artistic vision burning inside you. We have been going through a lot of different musical styles, but we enjoy to achieve something new with our music each time. We can not do a copy of our own music all the time, like AC/DC, but on the other hand you can hear the spirit and atmosphere of Parzival on all our albums. Basically it’s the same concept on all our albums, just with different colours”.

On your latest album "The Golden Bough" we see the return of electric guitars and acoustic drums making your sound more 70s rock - doom metal, but always retaining your epic and pompous style. What would you like to say about this change in direction?

Parzival: As we just spoke about, it’s very important for us to reach some new musical borderlines. And test ourselves on the things we never did before. So for Parzival it’s definitely new with the current influences, which put fresh blood in our wines”

In previous works you sung in German, Russian and Latin. The new album is mainly in English. Is this due to you broadening your horizons and taking it to a wider audience?

Parzival: Again, we would like to explore something new. All our previous albums have been in languages such as German, Russian, Latin, Sanskrit and even a selfmade language made by our friend Maxim, who helps us with the lyrics. We had one song in English, “Lord Of The Sea”, on our previous album “Urheimat Neugeburt” as a test, and we really liked it. So we continued with the English language on the new album. Not to get on MTV, but to try something new 😊

The texts used for the album "The Golden Bough" are based on the book of the same name by Scottish social anthropologist and folklorist Sir James George Frazer. What can you tell us about your choice for this?

Parzival: “The Golden Bough” name is indeed taken from the book by Sir Frazer. The thing is, we disagree with the author and his scientist work. Because in the view of Parzival, he put all his ideas in a very primitive way. In the way our album is called “The Golden Bough”, it’s almost like a reverse engineering of his work, but it’s only our personal view on his book”.

We saw recently you participated in festivals such as NCN (Nocturnal Culture Night) in Germany, Zagovor Festival in the Ukraine, the Wave Gotik Treffen and at Entremuralhas. How is it for you to perform live in various countries? Do you manage absorb any cultural influences during your short stay in the countries you visit?

Parzival: “We really enjoy visiting and performing in different countries. Actually, we always insist on staying a couple of days more in each country, even on our own expense, to experience the atmosphere and culture of each country we perform. To learn and know more about the place we visit. The same with Greece – we will of course stay some extra time before and after the show to explore Athens, and keep our Parzival tradition concerning this”.

The Dark scene worldwide has been going strong for the last 40 years! How do you see the scene today and the way it has evolved especially with the domination of the internet?

Parzival: “We think it is much more easy to promote the band and communicate with the fans than in the past. But on the other hand, everything is way too easy with just one click. People in our time demands news and entertainment from the artists on a daily basis – elsewise they will be forgotten. It is a very hard job for musicians to keep up with the audience at all times. About the scene, there is still plenty of good bands, but it seems like the “dark scene” have been going down for the last 10 years. Less and less people are coming to the concerts, atleast in Scandinavia, but also other countries. And this goes for both goth, neofolk and industrial scenes unfortunately. Because the artists within these genres can not produce news and videos each week to entertain audience in Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and all these SoMe channels”.

As a band that has sunk deep into European tradition, history and symbolism, how do you see the state of Europe today? Although one can say economically Europe is better off than other regions of the world, do you think ideologically it has lost its path, focus or vision?

Parzival: “We see things like that MAYBE it’s easier for smaller countries to stay together shoulder to shoulder with each other as far economy goes. But it’s also only MAYBE. From another point of view, economy is not everything that unite us. It’s not an axe of everything. For us, the way we see it – culturally roots of the European people is more important than economy. Because it is the roots where economy grows from. And as we know, European countries are also very different, and it’s bad when economy dictates over culture and religion. So it’s a very big question that will be too long to go way too deep into. We feel connected to all European countries, and enjoy the diversity of all European countries. But some cultural issues can also split. Let’s see how things will turn out the coming years. Question is short, but answer could last for years. We as Parzival can not make a certain statement about this, as these questions could turned to interesting discussions over an Ouzo or ten!”.

This will be your first performance in Greece. Have any members been here before? As a band, what will you be expecting to give and take from the Greek audience?

Parzival: “Yes, all members have been to Greece before in different parts of the country. We really look forward to perform in Athens, and meet all our Greek friends. We will perform our best show as possible to entertain our Greek audience, who will be the first ones to hear new versions of a couple of older Parzival songs. See you in Athens soon! Thanx for the support to Die Seele”.

Interview by Nick Drivas.

Photos 1 & 2 by: Maiken Kildegaard.
Photo 3 by: Falk Scheuring.

Read More …

A new music group has been created on Facebook dedicated to the Ethereal Wave scene. A music genre that has developed from the 80’s until this day with many fans around the globe. Check out the group and join in at the following link:

A brief history…

Ethereal wave, also called ethereal goth or simply ethereal, is a subgenre of dark wave music and is variously described as "gothic", "romantic", and "otherworldly". This music genre developed in the early 1980s in the UK as an outgrowth of gothic rock, ethereal wave was mainly represented by 4AD bands such as Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, and early guitar-driven Dead Can Dance. In the second half of the 1980s, the genre continued to develop in the United States. Ethereal wave, especially the music of the Cocteau Twins, was one of the key inspirations for the British dreampop/shoegazing scene of the late 1980s.

The defining characteristic of the style is the use of effects-laden guitar soundscapes, primarily based on minor key tonality (which unfolds a serious, dark and wistful atmosphere), frequently post-punk-oriented bass lines, restrained tempo (ranging from down- to midtempo) and high register female vocals (sometimes operatic and with hard-to-decipher lyrical content), often closely intertwined with romantic aesthetics and pre-Raphaelite imagery.

Within the gothic/dark wave scene, the genre reached a higher level of popularity throughout the 1990s, especially in the first half of the decade. During this time, ethereal wave and rock genres such as shoegazing (aka dream pop) interacted with each other, with many artists being influenced by 4AD bands, such as the aforementioned Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil as well as early All About Eve.

Since the early 1990s, the "ethereal" tag is primarily associated with the Projekt label, which had already used the term in 1987. The label featured some of the most well-known acts of the U.S. music scene such as Love Spirals Downwards, Lycia and Black Tape For A Blue Girl. But also, with the German label Hyperium Records for its Heavenly Voices compilation series. More recent bands who partly represent the genre are Autumn's Grey Solace, Tearwave, Mercury's Antennae, Faded Sympathy and Saigon Blue Rain.

Notable artists are:
A.R. Kane, Aenima, All About Eve, Area, Autumn, Autumn's Grey Solace, Bel Canto, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Blue Dahlia, BlueScreen, Box And The Twins, Cocteau Twins, Collection D'Arnell-Andrea, Cranes, Dark Orange, Dead Can Dance, Eden, Elizabeth Fraser, Ethereal Movement, Elysium, Excession, Faded Sympathy, Faith & Disease, Faith And The Muse, Friends Of Alice Ivy, Funeral Party, Heavenly Bodies, Isiphilon, Lights That Change, Lisa Gerrard, Love Spirals Downwards, Lovesliescrushing, Luna in Cælo, Lush, Lycia, Mercury's Antennae, Mistle Thrush, Mors Syphilitica, Numeralia, Opium Den, Orange, Ostia, Qntal, Rhea's Obsession, Robin Guthie, Siddal, Soul Whirling Somewhere, Speaking Silence, Stare, Swallow, Tearwave, The Bel Am, The Machine In The Garden, The Moon In June, The Violet Hour, This Ascension, This Mortal Coil, Trance To The Sun, Translucia, Trees Dance, Vazz, Where I Wake Warm.

Besides these artists, a number of darkwave-oriented bands have been worldwide loosely associated with the ethereal wave genre, such as The Dreamside and Sophya (Netherlands), The Breath of Life (Belgium), Crimson Joy (Germany), Rise and Fall Of A Decade (France), Cello (Portugal), Faith & the Muse, The Shroud and Sunshine Blind (United States), This Burning Effigy (Ireland), and Mellonta Tauta (Argentina). Most of these artists were heavily influenced by the music of the Cocteau Twins and the 4AD record label.

Main source: Wikipedia.

Read More …