Archive for the Instrumental Category

Lumous Gothic Festival 2019

Posted in Festival, Instrumental, Live, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 14th July 2019 by izaforestspirit

Golden Apes, Danse Society, Das Ich
Pakkahuone and Dog’s Home, Tampere, Finland
12-13th July 2019

Summer is here again. One of my summer traditions since 2012 has been to attend the Lumous Gothic Festival. This year was no exception. The only minor change was that of the main venue. Throughout the time that I have been going there it the main acts have always performed place at Klubi. However Klubi is currently being renovated so the event was moved to Pakkahuone, a much larger venue located in the same building. I have seen several metal shows there before but this was a first for Lumous Gothic Festival.

Friday
This was the main day for me as most of the bands which I wanted to see were playing then. I was mostly looking forward to Das Ich and I had limited knowledge of the other bands.

First up was a Spanish darkwave band called My Own Burial. These guys are really into old horror movies and the performance had lots of eerie visions. The music was catchy and fun to dance to. They reminded me a little of Los Carniceros del Norte minus the punk elements. So a good start to the night. 3.5/5

Then it was time for a German Goth rock band Golden Apes. I’m not a massive fan of Goth rock but I have to admit that the vocals were pretty good. Their singer’s vocal style sounded like a cross between Elvis and Jyrki from The 69 Eyes. 3.5/5

Finally it was time for the main band that I came to see. I discovered Das Ich at the same festival four years ago and it was great to see them live again. I loved the stage actics and the music was fantastic. They played some new material plus some classic hits including ’Destillat’, ’Gott ist tot’, Das dunkel Land’ and my personal favourite ’Reaminat’. 5/5

Saturday

Day Two of the festival started a little earlier since I decided to catch some of the bands playing on the second stage located at a different venue called Dog’s Home. Dog’s Home is essentially a pub or bar near the train station. Unlike Pakkahuone which is primarily an event venue, Dog’s Home is mostly used as a bar but it also doubles as a small gig venue. The stage is pretty small and rather low down.

The Swedish occult dark electro solo artist Blood Magick was on first. The project was originally known as My Own Sorrow and the lyrical themes are centered around horror and the occult. Sadly the venue didn’t do the performance justice. That place really isn’t ideal for an electronic show. For instance, the stage is tiny and there is limted space for props and no means to project any visual imagery. Still, Blood Magick did his best with the limited resources. He managed to convey the creepy atmosphere through which was good. 3.5/5

Next up was a Finnish goth rock band called Murnau’s Playhouse. These guys drew in a bigger crowd and they put on an entertaing show. 3.5/5

Then it was time to move to Pakkahuone for the remainder of the night. The main band that caught my attention, my new discovery was the Russian Gothic rock duo Raven Said. The clue is in the name, Raven Said… I guess that ”Quoth the Raven” might have been a bit too obvious. Oh yes, this band is all about Gothic horror and the works of Edgar Allan Poe. They even have a song called ’Lenore”. The visuals worked a treat too. I will definitely have to give their music a listen. 4/5

Sadly I was unable to stick around for the main headliners, Inertia. So the last band I saw was a British Goth rock band called The Danse Society. More Goth rock… There is not a lot that I can say about their performance. It was fairly good as far as Goth rock goes, I’m just not a massive fan of the genre. Also with a name like The Danse Society, I expected something a bit more dance-inspired. 3.5/5

In summary I had a great time at Lumous Gothic Festival. Das Ich were excellent and I made a new discovery in Raven Said. Blood Magick’s performance would have worked better at a different venue. Kiitos Lumous Gothic Festival! See you next year!

Iza Raittila

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Calea Dreaming – The Rainforest Canopy

Posted in Instrumental, Metal with tags , , on 4th February 2019 by izaforestspirit

Calea Dreaming
The Rainforest Canopy
Released 9th December 2018
Atmospheric Post Black Metal / Ambient
Self-Released

Calea Dreaming - The Rainforest Canopy

‘The Rainforest Canopy’ is the debut album from the Australian post-black metal one-man project Calea Dreaming. All his music is instrumental and it is inspired by nature, specifically the landscapes surrounding the New South Wales region of Australia where the musician is based.

I’m not all that well versed in post-black metal but based on my limited exposure to this sub-genre, anything with a “post” prefix, be it metal or rock tends to imply that it is a mixture of that style with some added ambient. This is definitely the case here. Aside from the guitar riffs and some of the drum work, this album has very little to do with black metal. As stated in the intro, there are no vocals on this album. The songs are melodic, atmospheric and very long, with the shortest track Rivers of Rosewood clocking in at over nine minutes. This is what I would describe as “chill-out” music, the kind that you might want to put on when you want to relax, enjoy a hot drink and a good book. I almost dozed off in my chair while writing this review!!

If any of you suffer from insomnia I would recommend that you give this album a go. It creates this tranquil mood, inviting the listener to close his or her eyes and picture themselves in one of the landscapes referred to in the songs. You can actually hear the sound of rain falling in the background on A Storm In The Mountains. There are also violins and other string instrumentals present on here, all contributing to the relaxing atmosphere.

Overall, ‘The Rainforest Canopy’ is a very atmospheric album which I would recommend to those who enjoy ambient and instrumental metal. It’s very relaxing and pleasant to listen to. It is not really my type of music though so I am unlikely to play it again unless I have trouble sleeping.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Klaus Schulze – Another Green Mile

Posted in CD, Experimental, Instrumental with tags , , on 30th November 2016 by izaforestspirit

Klaus Schulze
Another Green Mile
Released 30th November 2016
Experimental Electronica, Ambient
Released via M.I.G. (Made in Germany) Music

Another Green Mile’ was originally released back in 2002 as a part of a very limited edition and long out-of-print 5CD box set known as ‘Contemporary Works vol. I & II’ by the German electronic artist Klaus Schulze (ex- Tangerine Dream). This is a re-issued version of that album featuring the bonus track ‘Voice’n’Harmony’ (which was originally released on ‘Contemporary Works II’ CD 10 – ‘Adds & Edits’.

The music on here is primary instrumental comprising a mixture of acoustic instruments: an oboe, a cello, a guitar and the electronic, ambient sounds of a synthesizer. There are three vocalized tracks: In The Streets, in the Rain, The Story Does Unfold and Vox’n’Harmony; all featuring operatic-style vocals from Julia Messenger. Her beautiful singing is precisely the reason why these songs caught my attention. Her range is very versatile, comfortably hitting the high notes as well as the more mellowed-down, tranquil whispers to match the speed of the music. The complete absence of the lyrics means that the vocals’ sole purpose is to convey emotion and add emphasis to the ambient music.

All the songs have this serene and atmospheric quality creating a calming effect on the listener. This this the kind of music that you might encounter at an art gallery or a lounge. The instruments, especially the synthesizer and the cello, have this sombre yet strangely soothing tone to them. I just wish that the performance itself was a bit more energetic. This just sounds like a soundtrack to an Sunday afternoon stroll in the park.

Overall, ‘Another Green Mile’ is a very atmospheric and tranquil ambient album. Some might find this type of music relaxing but personally I found it challenging to adjust to the slow pace. It’s all very melodic and emotional but ultimately it is quite purposefully low on energy.

3/5
Iza Raittila

Allen Weber – Hot Shock

Posted in Experimental, Instrumental with tags on 7th May 2014 by Paul

Allen Weber
Hot Shock
Released: Summer 2013
Self-Released

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Allen Weber’s Hot Shock’s music gives the impression of peacefully bobbing along the ocean, just offshore of some tropical island. What a shame I had to listen to this during a dreary British winter. The band’s eclectic style includes: Jazz, Caribbean, Funk, Blues, Rock and R&B, which they have managed to form into a pleasantly cohesive sound that benefits from all these influences by never becoming boring or stale.

You can see that certain songs have a particular leaning to a style. For example one song might focus mostly on Jazz whilst another may adopt a more funk orientated sound, but fortunately the music casually blends from one end of the spectrum to the other making it feel more interesting. They call this “Sandunga Jazz Fusion”. I can imagine seeing this band perform in a city centre on a sunny day or perhaps in some cool restaurant. The music totally suits a laid back afternoon – it speeds up, slows down, and sometimes goes off on some interesting tangents as the listener is taken on a journey through funky riffs and bluesy solos.

There’s still plenty of energy too, though far removed from the more intense sounds usually featured on Valkyrian Music. It’s a fun album and just about every song is worthwhile and earns its place on the record. This is a good effort from a talented band.

4/5
Paul Gibbins

Angelspit – The Product

Posted in Instrumental, Punk Rock, Rock with tags , , on 13th April 2014 by izaforestspirit

Angelspit
The Product
Released 30th March 2014
Industrial Rock/ Electro Punk
Released via Black Pill Red Pill

 photo angelspit-tp-cover-600_zpsd7f51cdd.jpg

‘The Product’ is the new album from the Australian industrial group Angelspit. This latest brainchild of Angelspit’s mastermind ZooG Von Rock is the follow up to their 2011 release ‘Hello My Name Is’. This album features several guest musicians including Helalyn Flowers, Miss Ballistic, Steve Jones (Agent 13) and Adam Newman (Lab4); each of whom leave their own unique mark on the songs that they contribute to.

Now, my previous exposure to this band is limited to watching their surreal music video for the song ‘Vena Cava’ and listening to the remixes of ‘100%’… So needless to say that I had some catching up to do.

Angelspit has a very unique sound which is incredibly hard to classify. There’s some strong punk-rock elements in there along with some industrial synths as well as raw industrial noise with distorted guitars and vocals. Yet it’s the bizarre vocal style which truly makes these guys stand out. Take the track Because God for instance, the chorus featuring Zoog and Miss Ballistic’s shouting duet in making them sound like the leaders of an angry mob who are out there to cause havoc in the streets. Fight Dirty is a disturbing mix of heavily distorted electro-rock guitar, synths, glitchy noise samples with punk-style shouting vocals and melodic vocals from the Italian Goth Rock duo Helalyn Flowers.

Then there’s the eerie sounding, industrial noise instrumental Creeper (Featuring Steve [Agent 13] Jones) which is true to its namesake. The synth solo really did remind me of the some of the machine noises that you would expect to hear inside a factory. Velocity comes off as a bit of a surprise as it sees Zoog attempt a softer, more melodic and somewhat “cleaner” vocal style. The same vocal style is also present in the ultra creepy, slow-paced industrial rock track Walking In the Woods (Featuring Teknocracy) which is definitely one of the highlights as well as one of the most unique souding songs on this album.

Overall ‘The Product’ features an unsual mixture of different styles but still manages to retain its true identity as an Angelspit album. It takes a few listens to get into it and even then some of the tracks will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Whilst I have no doubt that their existing fans will enjoy it, their music is a little too quirky and experimental for my liking.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Katatonia – Dethroned And Uncrowned

Posted in CD, Folk, Instrumental, Metal with tags , , , , , on 9th August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Katatonia
Dethroned And Uncrowned
Released 9th September
Ambient/Atmospheric
Released via Peaceville Records

Kings of the Swedish metal scene, Katatonia have been regarded by many as the forerunners of doom with last year seeing the release of the band’s ninth studio album Dead End Kings, which was praised throughout the metal community. A year on and Katatonia are ready to release a new and redefined version of their ninth album: Dethroned And Uncrowned.

The dreary vocal lines and misery-soaked pianos begin The Parting which is made by entrancing by the rainfall of acoustic guitars, gently easing their way through the song. The subtle orchestrated passages add to the strength of the emotion that flows throughout the track. The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here features a hypnotic vocal melody that glides with a certain mystique and elegance alongside the haunting pianos and tides of acoustic guitars. The piano sections in Hypnone are truly spine-chilling,  whereas as the guitars add an element of warmth to the song which is countered by the could vocals.

The Racing Heart is a slow, emotive song displaying the staunch use of vocals clearly, mixing them almost breathtakingly with the orchestrated sections and guitars. Buildings and Leech sail down similar routes, over subtle waves of misery and other emotion. The vocals on Ambitions sound colourless compared to the other tracks but this adds to the forlorn sound of the guitars and piano. The destitute soundings of Undo You show a change in the album whilst staying in the same vein of the album as well, something that is carried on by Lethean.

First Prayer sound eerily upbeat when played against the rest of the album but there is still that twang of despair that screams through the guitars and the album comes to its dreary finish with Dead Letters, which like the preceding track, is more upbeat in comparison to the other songs. The vocals prove to be at their most prominent on this final track, injecting new life into the album.

Dethroned And Uncrowned creates an atmospheric yet dark tranquillity, allowing for ambiance to create and set new moods and stir new emotions. It’s an interesting change in direction for Katatonia but one that have no difficulty with following and no that has breathed new life into their sound.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Katatonia online:

http://www.katatonia.com
http://www.facebook.com/katatonia

 

Hot Shock – Hot Shock Demo

Posted in Experimental, Instrumental with tags , on 16th July 2013 by Paul

Hot Shock
Hot Shock Demo
Released: Summer 2013
Jazz Fusion
Self-Released

Sometimes on a sunny afternoon, Heavy Metal just doesn’t cut it. Instead, something jazzy and bluesy goes down better. Hot Shock describes their music as Jazz Fusion infused with Latin, Caribbean, Funk, Blues, R&B, and Rock. If this sounds like an enjoyable musical cocktail to you, you’d be right. This laid back sound makes for the ideal chill out track, with vague flourishes of each of the previously mentioned genres fading in and out naturally. Neither style dominates any song, but Jazz is indeed the underlying style that drives each song forward. The music here is instrumental, and the band aren’t afraid to take their time, with most of the songs gleefully meandering beyond the five minute mark. Not the most complex or inspiring music, but then again that’s not the point and it’s difficult to dislike music in which the musicians are clearly enjoying what they do. I look forward to hearing more.

3.5/5

Paul Gibbins