DieSeele

 

The electronic, avant-garde, dark ambient, experimental, industrial noise project from Greece, Conjecture, has just released a new EP "∫V". This is a companion EP to his full-length LP "V" (released on Amek in 2019). According to the artist, in mathematical language the “∫” means “complete” and so the record contains previously unheard music, written during the recording sessions of "V".

 The EP consists of three previously unheard solo pieces of Conjecture's signature introspective yet powerful take on post-industrial music, but also features three guest interpretations (remixes) of the same material. First is "ΛΑΣΠΗ" (Mud), with Conjectures familiar apocalyptic soundscapes. A kind of nocturnal track filled with distant industrial noises in a dark ambient setting. On the next track "ΦΟΝΟΣ" (Murder) things get a bit more intense, dominated by a monotonous drum strike and an icy synth line. The third new composition is "ΛΥΜΗ" (Great Depression) where the noises get louder around a revolving motoric synth rhythm that later intensifies with the addition of a metallic sounding drumbeat.

 The second part of this EP features the three remixes, that re-envision Conjecture's music and bring its already deep and nuanced sound to a whole new level. The track "ΛΑΣΠΗ (Antechamber Remix)" is treated by the Viennese producer Mahk Rumbae, who amplifies Conjectures more delicate ambient approach with more emphasis on the industrial noises. The same could be said for "ΦΟΝΟΣ (Tалос Remix)", mixed by the audio visual project duo Tалос, that also has added vocals provided by Glen Tartaglia of the project ]interstice[. While on "ΛΥΜΗ (Late Remix)" by Emil Mitov of the experimental music project Late from Sofia, Bulgaria, we have yet another take on an original filtered through the remixer’s own prism.

 All music was written by Vasilis Angelopoulos between 2018-2019 and was mastered by Sotiris Laskaris. The cover photo is by Vaia Pilafa, with cover model Hawk Stigmata (of the project Liebchen). Apart from the digital release, "∫V" will also be available as a limited-edition cassette C30, limited to 66 copies.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The Beauty Of Gemina is a band from Switzerland founded by Michael Sele in 2006. They just released their ninth album "Skeleton Dreams" on September 4th, 2020. The Zürich band are known for their blend of darkwave, americana, alternative rock and indie-folk wave.

 The opener "A Night Like This" served as a single with its video released a few days before the album. A classic example of their dark alt. rock with melodic guitars and Michael Sele’s characteristic voice. Then with "Naked" we have a semi-acoustic stripped bare track. Like much of the album, the songs are very emotional and dreamy in feel. On the acoustic "Maybe God Knows" things get more American folk, while on "Friends Of Mine" we have an even more stripped down acoustic track with a haunted feel, with some nice strings adding to the atmosphere. In the same vein we have "Resurgence" but more electric. The atmosphere is more subtle again with "Where Has It All Gone" that has some nice strumming guitars and icy keyboards.

 Halfway through we have "Rainbow Man", another dive in dark Americana territory. Followed by "Dark Suzanne" on which they pick up on the pace. Next is their brilliant cover of the Sisters Of Mercy song "Nine While Nine" where they have brought this classic to match their own sound. We have a return to the acoustic set up with the gentle "I Come To Grief" before the band burst into the melodic electric guitar driven "Apologise", a song that had premiered earlier in July when it was released as a first single and the official video was uploaded. The album finishes with the gentle bare acoustic tracks "The World Is Going On" and the ending piano piece "Hold On To This Night".

 Overall, a great sounding album by a band that has left nothing to chance. The band here consist her of Michael Sele (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, grand piano, organ, keyboards, arrangements and programming), Philipp Küng (bass guitar, percussions, keyboards, arrangements), Andi Zuber (bass guitar) and Mac Vinzens (drums). The music was recorded, mixed and mastered by Michael Sele at Icecube Studio Mels, during March - June 2020 and was produced by Michael Sele and Philipp Küng.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The dark electronic project Metal Disco released their third album "Sex, Drugs & Hardware" on September 8th, 2020 on Werkstatt Recordings. On this release Metal Disco (main man Toxic Razor) has collaborated with various artist from the indie dark electronic scene.

 First, we get into the electronic vibe of the album with "Nowy Wymiar", a track featuring Marta Raya (known to us from her previous band Monowelt) on vocals and lyrics. On "Inexorable Romance", we have Toxic Razer singing a more oldschool electro/EBM track. In the same vein we have "Aurora Resurgens" with lyrics by Keren Batok (courtesy Of Psi, Isotropia & Red Sol). The tone changes on "For A Ghost Named Lothario" that features Sky Lesco (of Tearful Moon) on vocals and lyrics. Here the analog synths are more evident, giving it a more retro feel. Next is "Addiction" a night synth track with Toxic Razer himself again on vocals.

 The mood changes with the more danceable "Excess (feat. Night Haze)" where we find PlasticineK taking lead vocals. On the next track "Sore Heart" the lyrics are provided by Chroma Carbon (courtesy of Factice Factory / Sine Silex). We have another collaboration on "Dimensions Of The Eye" that features the Greek dark/minimal wave duo Incirrina and especially Irini Tini’s characteristic vocals. Toxic Razer steps up again to the mic stand for "Burn It Down", a track that has all the elements of the darkwave, minimal, new wave and synth-pop genres as on the ending title-track "Sex, Drugs & Hardware".

 This release comes in a limited-edition CD professionally duplicated cd in shrink-wrap, in a standard jewel case with an 8-page booklet with lyrics. Also, it comes as a limited-edition cassette in black shell, in a clear case and a double-sided printed 3-panel j-card with lyrics.

 

Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The project Liebchen was setup in the mid 2010s in Berlin by Hawk Stigmata (Apostolis Zanias) known from his previous bands Phoenix Catscratch και Flesh United. Now having returned to Athens he has teamed up with Vasilis Angelopoulos (Conjecture) and released on September 3rd, 2020 their first EP "Daemon". So, the electronic hybrid duo featured on this release is Hawk Stigmata, who provides the lyrics and vocals and Conjecture who produces the electronic punk-industrial EBM sounds.

 First track is "Sickness". A track that was first heard back in March when uploaded as a video directed by MarIa Damkalidi. The track is a powerful breed of electro and industrial EBM with Hawk spitting out passionately his esoteric but socially political lyrics like “I was a witness, to this sickness”. Next is "Hold Me Tighter", a more industrial based track with a deep metronomic stomp. Lyrically, the song is emotional set, with feelings of despair “Like a liar on a witch trial, drink the fire and take the blame, like a liar on a witch trial, don’t you feel the same?” and longingness “If you wanna hold me tighter, I will ask you now to stay, If you wanna hold me tighter, you can always call my name…”

 On "Embrace My Blood" we have a danceable synth track with a rhythm enhanced with break beats, while on "ΠΕΤΡΑ (Petra / Stone)" the duo has managed to bring a nice sense of brutality and sensitivity in the same song. The inspiration for "ΠΕΤΡΑ" came from an important life event that happened to Liebchen and is dedicated to all the children that have been bullied out there, all the freaks, the free spirits, their LGBTQ brothers and sisters and to all the children that didn't make it and never saw the light “But please stay alive, I’ll promise you the light…”. The EP closes with the electronically fueled up "Desire". Here things get more techno fused with Hawk all fired up singing “There’s fire now in the temple, a sadness in your eyes…” and “Desire! Fotia! Can you taste that desire?!”.

 The lyrics written by Hawk Stigmata in general are an expression of the hunger that human brain has in order to complete the journey of the heart. All the songs, according to the band, are an electronic political statement about freedom lgbtq/human rights and a big respect and dedication towards freedom that bring us closer to the great divine.

 Review by Nick Drivas

 

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The pioneers of deathrock, Mephisto Walz, have returned with the new album "All These Winding Roads". The album is now available digital, released September 2nd, but will also be out on CD by Dark Vinyl Records. Mephisto Walz was formed in 1986 by Barry Galvin (aka Bari-Bari) after his departure from the influential deathrock band Christian Death. After a long career Bari-Bari is now with Myriam Galvin on vocals and had first worked together on their previous album "Scoundrel" in 2017.

 As stated by Bari-Bari, who has done all the production, the album is described as “New vocalists, new songs, unreleased tracks, old vocalists merged into a new release”. Something that is obvious from the first track "The Lost And Haunted" that features Veronica Campbell (of Death Loves Veronica) on vocals and words. Then on "They'll Never Find You", a great track that shows that Mephisto Walz still have what it takes, we have Mari Kattman on vocals with Myriam writing the words. Next is the cover of The Hollies pop song "Stop In The Name Of Love" featuring on vocals Christine Leonard, Mephisto Walz’s first female singer. While on "Is This Really My Life" with Mari Kattman on vocals and Myriam writing the words we have one of the more ethereal songs of the album. As on all the album, we hear Bari-Bari's signature songwriting style and distinctive wall of chorus/delay-effected guitar sound. Another cover follows with the 1960’s instrumental "Apache" written by Jerry Lordan.

 Veronica Campbell appears also on "When No One's Left To Hear", a classic upbeat oldschool deathrock track. The cover "Like The Wind" follows with vocals provided by Alastrelle Delyon (of Dead Souls Rising). A 80’s rock song written by an unknown artists that has become famous as “The Most Mysterious Song On The Internet”. Things calm down and get darker on "Here Lies Forever" featuring Veronica Campbell who provides once again vocals and words. In the same vein, but more atmospheric, we have "Firefly" with vocals and lyrics provided by Johna. We get to hear beloved Christine Leonard again on "Skin", the classic Madonna cover originally released on the "Virgin Voices / A Tribute To Madonna" in 2000. The album closes with the more dynamic "Suntanned Satans", with thumping drums, screaming guitars and Bari-Bari taking lead vocals.

 Review by Nick Drivas

 

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