Archive for ebm

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

 

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Iza’s Highlights of 2017 part 2: Industrial & other non-metal

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Industrial, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 30th December 2017 by izaforestspirit

This year saw the return of some of my favorite industrial artists. I also made some new discoveries and I checked out some genres that I would have never thought that I would listen to. So here are my top 10 industrial and other non-metal albums of 2017:

1. Suicide Commando – Forest of the Impaled
Genre: Aggrotech/Harsh Industrial/Harsh EBM

 

2. Grendel – Age of the Disposable Body
Genre: Aggrotech/Harsh Industrial

Grendel - Age of the Disposable Body - 2CD

 

3. Blutengel – Leitbild
Genre: Synth-pop/Gothic EBM

 

4. Aurelio Voltaire – Heart-Shaped Wound
Genre: Dark Cabaret/Goth/Alternative Rock

 

5. The Crüxshadows – Astromythology
Genre: Dark Wave/EBM

Cover-Astromythology

 

6. Scandroid – Monochrome
Genre: Synth-wave

 

7. Centhron – Allvater
Genre: Aggrotech/Harsh Industrial

Image result for centhron allvater

8. Blue Stahli – Anti-Sleep Vol.4
Genre: Electro-rock/ Funk-rock/instrumental

Image result

 

9. Cephalgy – Gott Maschine Vaterland
Genre: EBM

Cephalgy - Gott Maschine Vaterland - CD

 

10. iVardensphere – Hesitation
Genre: Power noise/Tribal Industrial

One album that didn’t make my top 10 was Celldweller’s ‘Offworld’; a good effort but no match for his earlier work. I prefer his heavier, more metal-oriented albums.

Best Live Show
Nachtmahr live at Lumous Gothic Festival

Biggest New Discovery
Aurelio Voltaire

Most Anticipated Albums of 2018

New albums from God Module and FGFC820.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Lumous Gothic Festival 2016

Posted in Festival, Folk, Industrial, Live, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , on 17th July 2016 by izaforestspirit

Shiv-R, Two Witches, Aesthetic Perfection

Klubi, Tampere, Finland

1516th July

For the past few years, Finland’s biggest Gothic event – Lumous Gothic Festival – has been one of the highlights of my summer. There was some rumours going around that last year’s 15th anniversary edition was going to be the last one. Luckily that was not the case. Not only is Lumous still running, they actually sold out the Saturday’s show. This year the music on offer was a mixture of EBM, Harsh Electro/Aggrotech, Goth Rock and neo-folk.

Friday

First up was the futuristic-styled EBM duo Blastromen. These two really looked like extras from one of the Tron movies, thanks to their luminous “space robot” suits. They played some catchy EBM enhanced with robotic vocals and plenty of flashing lights. The flashing lights were a bit too much for my little camera to handle but I enjoyed the performance. 3/5

Goth rock is one of the most popular genres at the festival. I’ve seen a number of good Goth rock bands at Lumous and Canis Lupus was no exception. Unlike some goth bands who tend to overdo the melancholic and gloomy atmosphere, these guys actually looked like they were enjoying themselves. Their vocals and overall style reminded me of Sisters of Mercy. 4/5

The night’s headlining act, the Australian Harsh Electro band Shiv-R was the main band that I came to see. I’ve only discovered them recently so I was keen to see what they are like live. Their show was very energetic, filled with lots of creepy imagery projected from the screens and lots of very catchy dark electro tunes. I was dancing pretty much throughout the show. 5/5

 

Saturday

Every year Lumous Gothic Festival features at least one “wild card” – a band or solo artist who sounds or sometimes looks dramatically different from all the others. This year that “wild card” was the British neo-folk artist Naevus. This was a special “solo set” featuring just the band’s singer on acoustic guitar. Whilst I can fully acknowledge that Mr. Lloyd James has a good voice and he is a talented guitar player, this type of music is simply not my style. 3.5/5

Local favourites, the renowned Finnish goth rock band Two Witches are big part of the local Goth scene and they are heavily involved with the festival. Last night was the official release party for the brand new live album ‘Voodoo Wytches -Live. I’ve seen them live before but each show is a little different… This time they played at a venue packed full of cheering fans at a sold.out show. Their set consisted primarily of old songs including several classics such as ‘Vampire Empire’, ‘The Dark Angels of Sin’, ‘The Omen’ and ‘Burn The Witch’. It was really good to see them live again. There’s not that many Goth rock bands that I enjoy but Two Witches is definitely one of them. 5/5

 

Whilst I’m not a massive of their latest work, I have to admit that American electro- industrial Aggrotech band Aesthetic Perfection are always entertaining to watch live. I’m a big fan of the first three albums so I was really happy when they played most of the hits from that era including: ‘Spit It Out’, The Great Depression’, ‘Inhuman’ and ‘The Ones’. ‘Antibody’ wasn’t bad either but I’m not super keen on their mellow ballads. 4.5/5

 

So there you have it. Another great weekend at Lumous Gothic Festival. Two Witches is always fun to watch live, Aesthetic Perfection put on another great show, Shiv-R was a new discovery and my favourite performance of the festival.

Iza Raittila

 

Resistanz Festival 2016

Posted in Alternative, Festival, Industrial, Live, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th April 2016 by izaforestspirit

Grendel, iVardensphere, Godflesh
The Corporation, Sheffield, The United Kingdom
Saturday 26th  March 2016

 
Resistanz was one of those festivals that I’ve wanted to return to. I’ve been there once before; in 2011 which was the very first time that it was held and one of the few times that it didn’t sell out. Since then the dates have been moved to the Easter weekend, which meant that it usually clashed with a family gathering making it impossible for me to attend. This year was an exception, I just happened to be in the U.K. that weekend and within easily commutable distance of the city where it was being held.

I missed the first band, Neonsol. The next band was a local band Randolf & Mortimer, who played a mixture of EBM, techno, punk and early Ministry -style industrial rock. It was catchy at times and definitely a good way to start to the night. 3/5

Terrolokaust were one of the main bands that I was looking forward to. They’re essentially a Harsh Electro / Aggrotech band, similar to the likes of Combichrist but the vocal style is different from most of the bands of that genre. They played some tracks from their upcoming album along with older tracks plus a few covers including their take on The Prodigy’s ‘Spitfire’. I had only heard a handful of tracks by them before the gig so most of the stuff they played was unfamiliar. I enjoyed the show so much that I bought two of their albums afterwards. 4/5

Next up was the British EBM band Cyferdyne. They played some catchy and mostly dancefloor-friendly electro. It was fun to dance to and some of my friends also really enjoyed it. Personally I preferred Terrolokaust to them. 3.5/5

Grendel was the main band that I came to see. I’ve been a fan of their music for years and I’ve missed several opportunities to see them live. So, needless to say that I was really looking forward to their show. And they didn’t disappoint. They had two guitarists with them on stage along with the usual industrial synths and JD’s harsh electro vocals. They played all the hit songs including: ‘Chemicals & Circuitry’, ‘Timewave Zero’, ‘Hate This’ along with some older material including one of my favorites ‘Pax Psychosis’ and two new tracks from the upcoming EP ‘The Age of the Disposable Body’. I had a great time dancing and singing along to all the songs. This was my favorite performance of the whole night. 5/5

I had no idea what to expect from iVardensphere. I assumed them to be an experimental industrial noise band, which is the type of stuff that tends to give me a headache. I was initially reluctant to see their show. Then one of my friends convinced me to give them a try, saying that their style was more power noise mixed with some tribal music influences. I have a much better experience with power and rhythmic noise bands such as SAM, X-RX and Memmaker. This sub-genre tends to sound good live, so I decided to give iVardensphere a try. What I heard turned out to be a lot better than I expected. Their music is a fascinating mix of techno, industrial and power noise along with some tribal music. They even did a cover of Sepultura’s ‘Roots Bloody Roots’. Their performance was very energetic, great to dance to and the additional tribal elements made the songs sound all the more intriguing. 4/5

Now, I like my metal and I like my industrial music. I also like some industrial metal so in theory Godflesh should have been right up my alley. The thing is, they seemed a little out of place at Resistanz Festival being the only metal band there. They also happened to be the headlining act, playing after a very catchy power noise band whose fans packed the venue. It’s not that I hated Godflesh’s performance; it was decent-sounding industrial metal but not as memorable as some of other industrial metal bands I’ve seen in the past such as Ministry. 3/5

I spent the rest of the night dancing and hanging around with friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in years. Overall this was an intense, exhausting but also really fun way to spend Easter Saturday. I finally got to see Grendel live, Terrolokaust were really good and I discovered the delights of iVardensphere. It’s really a shame that this was the last Resistanz Festival. I’m so glad that I got to attend it, even if it was just for one day after such a long break.

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

Lumous Gothic Festival 2014

Posted in Alternative, Festival, Folk, Industrial, Live, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , on 6th July 2014 by izaforestspirit

Lumous Gothic Festival 2014 @ Tampere, Finland

Two Witches, Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Leaether Strip
Klubi, Tampere
4-5th July

Lumous Gothic Festival is Finland’s largest goth event. It was established back in 2001 and has become an annual event held in central Tampere. The music on offer is strictly non-metal, ranging from goth rock, darkwave, industrial and EBM to neofolk. The actual festival is a four day event but the main shows take place on the Friday and Saturday.

Friday
The opening act was meant to be the Russian Harsh EBM band Steelgrout. Sadly they were unable to make it due to some problems with their Visas. Their replacement was the Jyväskylä-based Finnish EBM act Unzyme. Before their substitutes started, they actually played a message from Steelgrout to the audience in which the Russian band apologizes for not being able to make it. Unzyme describe their sound as “biomechanical pop” which is essentially synthpop with lab experiments as a their main theme. Their set was entertaining and it was a good start to the night. 3.5/5
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Next up was the Swedish goth rock band Malaise. I’m not a massive fan of goth rock, but these guys were better than I expected. They combined the classic goth rock sound of bands like The Sisters of Mercy and Fields of The Nephilim with EBM for a sound that is truly unique and memorable. I really enjoyed their set and this was my favourite performance of the night. 4/5
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The final act of the night was another Swedish band – Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio. Their sound is not an easy one to classify; it’s a mixture of dark ambient, neofolk and industrial. They are a returning act to Lumous having played their before back in 2002. Their music has this eerie, soundtrack feel to it and the pace is mostly slow. The problem I had with them is that they were playing dark ambient in the early hours of the morning, by which time my energy was running out. I was too exhausted to stick around until the end of their set. 3/5
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Saturday
The night started with a performance by the Latvian industrial band Autogen. Their style is a mixture of industrial noize and rhythmic/powernoize with an experimental flare akin to the likes of The Klinik. Some tracks were more danceable than others. They also had an interesting range of stage props ranging from fake blood, a fire extinguisher and a contraption that looked like a defibrillator. Their set was definitely entertaining as a result, but I wasn’t super keen on the music itself. 2/5
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Next up was the Finnish rock band Two Witches. Their lead singer Jyrki Witch is one of the organizers of the festival. I like their old songs but I’m not too familiar with their new work. Luckily they played a mixture of old and new material including “Zombie Walk” (from the latest album) along with some old classics such as “Vampire Empire” and “Burn The Witch”. They are one of the best and the most energetic goth rock bands that I’ve seen in a while. 4/5
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The night ended with a performance from the main band I came to see, the Danish harsh EBM duo Leaether Strip. I’ve seen them live last year and it was great to see them again. These guys really give it their all, playing all their hit tracks including “Evil Speaks”, “Strap Me Down” and “Don’t Tame Your Soul”. It didn’t take long before I joined in, dancing along with the rest of the audience. 5/5
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So there you have it. Another summer, another Lumous Festival. It’s always great to see that the goth and industrial scene in Finland is alive and well. I just wish that they would organize more events like this in the future.

Iza Raittila

DJ 501- The Journey to Tranquility [2011]

Posted in CD, Industrial with tags , , , , on 30th October 2011 by izaforestspirit

Band: DJ 501
Album: The Journey to Tranquility
Release year: 2011
Genre: Electronica

‘The Journey to Tranquility’ is the second full length album by a Vampire Freaks user of the same name. DJ 501 started life as small project with a handful of song samples distributed for free via the Vampire Freaks site and promoted via the Industrial music forum. As with most of DJ 501 releases this album is mostly instrumental with the occasional film samples thrown in for good measure. There are also two memorable re-mixes by Atomik Tanz and Pigswill.

Musically, the album features an unusual mixture of ambient tracks akin to the start of a video game like ‘The Journey Begins’ and ‘Hope Remains’, catchy synth tunes enhanced by samples like ‘Electronic Alien’ and ultra cheesy dance music like ‘Das Pretzl (DJ 501 Redoux). This frequent change in style has certain drawbacks however as not all the tracks are in sync with one another. Highlights include the atmospheric, ambient ‘Tranquility’ which lives up to its name taking the listener on a journey to inner peace; the dance track ‘Vengance’ and DJ 501’s first real dance-floor hit, the ultra catchy ‘Captain Gasmask’ which is easily the best song on here.

Overall this is DJ 501’s most mature album to date and although the ‘Journey to Tranquility’ may be over, the long journey to dance-floor domination has just began.

2.5/5

Iza Raittila