Archive for Darkwave

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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Iza’s Highlights of 2018

Posted in Alternative, Editorial/Opinionated, Industrial, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2018 by izaforestspirit

It’s that time of the year again! Time for my annual best of list or “highlights” as I prefer to call them. This year I have decided to do just one list rather than two separate ones for metal and non-metal. The main reason for this is that there have not been too many industrial/EBM releases that caught my attention this year. So without further ado, here are my top ten albums of 2018:

1. Powerwolf – The Sacrament of Sin
Genre: Power Metal
Powerwolf - The Sacrament of Sin

The German power metal wolves are back with a new album. And what an album it is!! I honestly cannot get enough of it. It may not be very profound as far as the themes go but it is hell of a lot of fun. Stand-out tracks are ‘Fire & Forgive’, ‘Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ and ‘Nightside of Siberia’.

2. Lord of The Lost – Thornstar
Genre: Dark Rock/Gothic Industrial Metal
Image result for lord of the lost thornstar
I absolutely adore this band. They combine the best of dark rock with Gothic metal and Deathstars-like industrial metal. ‘Thornstar’ has to be their greatest and most complex album to date. In order to fully understand the concept, I would recommend that you download the 21 paged ‘Thornstar backstory’ from the band’s website. It’s a fascinating read that offers some insight into Pangaean history and culture. Alternatively you can simply enjoy music. Stand-out tracks are ‘On This Rock I Will Build My Church’, ‘Haythor’ and ‘Black Halo’.

3. Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

Behemoth are back with their long-awaited new album. As I mentioned in my review, this is not ‘The Satanist part 2’ but rather a mixture of both old and new Behemoth styles. It takes a few listens but once you get into it your patience will be rewarded. Stand-out tracks are ‘Wolves ov Siberia’ and ‘Bartzabel’.

4. Chthonic – Battlefields of Asura
Genre: Melodic Black Metal/Oriental Metal
閃靈 - 政治 / Battlefields of Asura
My favourite oriental metal band are back. Their latest album might not be a memorable as ‘Bú Tik’ but it has its moments. Music-wise it offers more of Chthonic’s unique blend of melodic black metal, death metal and oriental folk music with the addition of some choirs and guest vocals from the Cantopop singer Denise Ho. Stand-out tracks are ‘A Crimson Sky’s Command’ and ‘Millennia’s Faith Undone’.

5. MONO Inc. – Welcome to Hell
Genre: Gothic Rock/Dark Rock
Image result for MONO INC WELCOME TO HELL cover
More Gothic rock…’ Welcome to Hell’ is my favourite MONO Inc. album to date. Their music is essentially melodic hard rock but it also has this wonderful, eerie Gothic feel. Stand-out tracks are ‘Long Live Death’, A Vagabond’s Life’ and Reign of Rats’.

6. Grimner – Vanadrottning
Genre: Folk Metal/Viking Metal
Grimner - Vanadrottning

I had the pleasure of reviewing this album earlier this year. It’s been a long while since I’ve heard any folk metal that was this good. I would recommend this to fans of Finntroll, Ensiferum and Månegarm. Stand-out tracks are ‘Vanadrottning’ and ‘En Fallen Jätte’.

7. Monstrosity – The Passage Of Existence
Genre – Death Metal
Monstrosity - The Passage of Existence
My kind of death metal and my favourite death metal album of 2018. It is hard to pick out a stand-out track since in all honestly I like them all but ‘Kingdom of Fire’ and ‘Maelstrom’ are the ones that stuck in my head the most.

8. Hanzel und Gretyl – Satanik Germanik
Genre: Industrial Metal/Groove Metal/Extreme Metal
Hanzel und Gretyl - Satanik Germanik
‘Satanik Germanik’ is Hanzel und Gretyl’s heaviest and most metal album. As mentioned in my review it is darker and more serious than the material from the “Fukken Über’ era, much like its predecessor ‘Black Forest Metal’. Luckily that does not make it any less fun. Stand-out tracks are ‘I Am Bad Luck’ and the party song ‘Trinken Mit Der Kaizer (Die Bierz From Hell)’

9. Scandroid – The Darkness
Genre: Synthwave
Image result for scandroid the darkness
One of the few electronic releases that made it to my top 10. ‘The Darkness’ is the third album from Klayton (Celldweller/Circle of Dust)’s synthwave project Scandroid. Delightful retro synthesizer tunes, a little guitar and melodic vocals all with a futuristic feel. Stand-out tracks ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Red Planet’.

10. Auger – The Awakening
Genre: Darkwave
Image result for auger the awakening
A new discovery for me. I really enjoyed Auger’s show at Lumous Gothic Festival 2018. This British dark wave duo combine the best of darkwave and Gothic rock. I would recommend their debut album to fans of Blutengel, Gothminister and The Vision Bleak. Stand-out tracks are ‘Monster’ and ‘My Guardian’.

Honourable mentions:

Xentrifuge – Desensitized Parallels, Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods, Psyclon Nine – Icon of The Adversary. All good albums but with only a few outstanding tracks they missed out on a space in my top ten list.
IAMX’s latest album ‘Alive in The New Light’ also came out of the start of this year. While it didn’t make my top ten I did enjoy it, especially the track ‘Mile Deep Hollow’.
Check out the video here:

Best live show of 2018: Helloween live at South Park Festival in Tampere.
Biggest New Discovery: Auger
Most anticipated albums in 2019:
Blutengel – Un:Gott
Blue Stahli – Obsidian
Also hopefully new albums by Helloween and Rammstein.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila

Lumous Gothic Festival 2018

Posted in Alternative, Festival, Industrial, Live, Rock with tags , , , , , , on 15th July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Novus, Auger, Terrolokaust
Dog’s Home and Klubi, Tampere, Finland
13-14th July 2018

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to attend festivals. Lumous Gothic Festival is the biggest Gothic event in Finland and it just happens to take place in the city where I live. I’ve been attending this every year since 2012. The music ranges from Goth rock, darkwave, neo-folk to various forms of industrial and EBM.

Friday

This time I was mostly interested in the Saturday line-up. There was however a free show happening at The Dog’s Home (a pub next door to the main venue). So I went to check it out. I did not know anything about the band except their name – Chaos Research. It turned out to be a mixture of neo-folk, neo-classical, darkwave and ambient. Eerie operatic vocals, electronic with some additional instruments such as an electric cello and drums. Their show produced a relaxed atmosphere in the venue. 3/5

Saturday

The main day of the festival. I was mainly interested in the industrial rock band Terrolokaust but I checked out the rest of the line-up as well. First up was a British electronic duo called Novus. I quite enjoyed their show. It was fun to dance to. So a good start to the night. 3.5/5

I really liked the next band, Auger – darkwave and also from the UK. Their music sounded like a mixture of Blutengel with the Gothic horror atmosphere of The Vision Bleak. Very theatrical performance, powerful vocals, haunting keyboards and good guitar work. Great show! I really want to check out some of their music. 4.5/5

Then it was time for the night’s headliner – the industrial rock band from Cataluña, Terrolokaust. I’ve seen them live once before at Resistanz Festival in 2016, so I pretty much knew what to expect. They played a very energetic show featuring a mixture of old and new material from all their albums. My personal favorites included ‘El Mundo Sigue Girando’, ‘Reasons’ and their cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Spitfire’ which they played as an encore. 5/5


In summary I had a great time. Terrolokaust was my favorite performance of the night. I also made a new discovery in the form of Auger. I really liked their show. Lumous Gothic Festival was pleasure as always. See you next year!

Iza Raittila

 

Iza’s highlights of 2015 (part 1: Industrial, EBM, Darkwave)

Posted in Industrial, Misc., Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27th December 2015 by izaforestspirit

Christmas is over, which means that it’s now time for my annual “Best of” or “Highlights” as I prefer to call them. This year’s edition will be in two parts – only this time I’ve decided to do the Industrial edition first. I struggled to come up with a list of top ten albums, so here are my favourite songs of 2015:

1. Celldweller – New Elysium

Album: End of An Empire
Genre: Industrial Rock, Electro, Drum’n’Bass, Trance, EDM

Celldweller is probably the most diverse artist that you will find in my personal music collection. Since the project’s humble beginnings back in the late 1990s, the multi-instrumentalist Klayton, Celldweller’s sole member, has been experimenting with a vast variety of genres ranging from industrial rock, metal, trance, ambient, EDM and even dub-step. ‘New Elysium’ is taken from his third “vocal” album ‘End of An Empire’ (if you don’t count the movie and video game soundtracks). This song reflects the things that I love about Celldweller – industrial rock and trance have never sounded so good mixed together.

2. Blue Stahli – Down in Flames

Album: The Devil
Genre: Electro Rock

Blue Stahli was introduced to me by the same person who got me into Celldweller. The two artists also happen to be on the same record label, they are friends and they have toured together in the past. Blue Stahli is also a one-man industrial brain child of Bret Autrey. ‘Down in Flames’ has been selected from his second album ‘The Devil’, and it has become one of my favourite songs to play when I’m at the gym. No trance or ambient melodies, just good old “ready or not here comes The Devil” “burn baby burn”! Electro Rock…

3. Suicide Commando – My New Christ

https://pro.beatport.com/track/my-new-christ-original-mix/6630162

Album: TBA/Electro Storm vol.6
Genre: Aggrotech/Electro-Industrial/Harsh EBM

‘The Pain That You Like’ may have been this year’s single but ‘My New Christ’ was the track that caught my attention. Profound and complex lyrics to match the dark atmosphere and intensive synth melodies. In short, this song features all the things that make Suicide Commando one of my favourite artists. His new album won’t see the light of day until 2016, but you can get this track and many others by various industrial artists from the Out of Line label’s ‘Electro Storm vol.6’ -compilation CD.

4. Hocico – Bienvenido A La Maldad

Album: Ofensor
Genre: Aggrotech/Electro-Industrial/Harsh EBM

My favourite Mexican Aggrotech duo are back with a new album. It was tough to pick a favorite song from ‘Ofensor’ since I love the whole album. In the end I decided to go with ‘Bienvenido A La Maldad’ due to the vibrant and fantastically choreographed music video. It’s also a great dance tune.

5. Blutengel – Asche Zu Asche

 

Album: Omen
Genre: Gothic Synth-pop/Darkwave

I have to be honest here… The first time that I came across Blutengel, I couldn’t stop laughing at their ridiculously cheesy vampire video for ‘Reich mir die Hand’. As cheesy as it was, the song did stick in my head and after a few weeks I ended up buying one of their live DVDs followed by most of the discography… Given my general dislike for synth-pop, the chances that if these guys didn’t sing in German about vampires and other Gothic themes, I probably wouldn’t pay any attention to them. ‘Asche Zu Asche’ is my favourite track from the latest album ‘Omen’.

6. Eisbrecher – 1000 Narben

Album: Schock
Genre: Industrial Rock

I’ve been listening to Eisbrecher for a few years now. Earlier this year I finally had the pleasure of seeing these guys live in Helsinki for the first time. It was one hell of a show. They played a lot of the new songs from their latest album ‘Schock’ but ‘1000 Narben’ is the one that I found the most memorable.

7. Zombie Girl – Panic Attack

https://alfamatrix.bandcamp.com/track/panic-attack-4

Album: Killer Queen
Genre: Electro-Industrial, EBM

There’s not an awful lot of female electronic artists that I regularly listen to. What I was hoping for this year was a new album from the Unter Null. Sadly that was not to be but I discovered that Zombie Girl, an artist who been away from the scene since 2009 had just released a new album. ‘Panic Attack’ was the first single and my favourite track from her latest opus ‘Killer Queen’.

8. Alien Vampires – All Fakes Must Die

Album: Drag You to Hell
Genre: Aggrotech/Electro-Industrial/ Harsh EBM

When it comes to sinister sounding Harsh EBM and risqué imagery based on either drugs, BDSM and infernal blasphemy, nobody does it better than this dark electro duo. “Evil Bloody Music” it sure is and it’s damn catchy as well. The whole album is really good but ‘All Fakes Must Die’ is my personal favourite.

9. Noisuf-X – Big Bang (2015 Demo Version)


Album: 10 Years of Riot
Genre: Power- Noise

Noisuf- X is a relatively new discovery for me. I’ve been a fan of Jan L.’s main project, the wonderfully eerie and atmospheric harsh EBM that is X-Fusion. Noisuf-X is the slightly younger brother; the music tends to be more dance-oriented and club-friendly falling under the category of power-noize. I always dance to it when I hear it at a night club but with this album being a best of, I decided to buy a copy to play at home. ‘Big Bang (2015 Demo Version)’ is one of the new track from the bonus disc.

10. Blutengel & Meinhard – Kinder der Sterne

Album: In alle Ewigkeit (EP) – the Blutengel version
Genre: Gothic Synth-pop/Darkwave

Normally when I prepare these lists for my annual highlights, I try to avoid mentioning the same artist twice. This year I’ve decided to make an exception. ‘Kinder der Sterne’ isn’t just a Blutengel song, it’s a collaboration between them and another German electronic artist, the eccentric and theatrical Meinhard. The song was actually written by Meinhard who then asked Chris Pohl of Blutengel to join him and create this superbly catchy piece of Gothic electro. You can find the Meinhard of this track on his new album ‘ALCHEMUSIC II – coagula’. Personally I prefer the Blutengel version.

Best New Discovery of 2015: My Own Sorrow

Best live show: it’s a tie between Das Ich at Lumous Gothic Festival and Eisbrecher live in Helsinki.

Most Anticipated Albums of 2016

New albums by Suicide Commando, Heimataerde and Unter Null

That’s all for now… Stay tuned for part 2. The Metal edition, coming soon