Archive for Gothic rock

Ville Valo – Gothica Fennica vol.1

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 3rd April 2020 by izaforestspirit

Ville Valo (VV)
Gothica Fennica Vol.1 EP
Released 20th March 2020
Gothic Rock/”Love Metal”
Released via Heartagram Ltd

Gothica Fennica Vol. 1

These past few weeks have been tough. All that time spent indoors has taken a toll on my mental health and it’s been a struggle at times to remain calm. I’ve always found music to be very therapeutic in times like this so I had a look at what new stuff has come out recently. I have a copy of the new My Dying Bride album, but as good as it may be, the current atmosphere of fear and uncertainty means that the last thing that I want to hear right now is doom metal. So I looked around a bit more and I came across this. My teenage idol the Gothic rock singer Ville Valo is back with a new EP. It’s been three years since HIM called it a day, so you can imagine my surprise and delight when I heard these new songs.

There are only three tracks, so I figured that I can write something about each one. Salute The Sanguine is probably the most catchy. It has a good chorus, Ville Valo’s emotional vocals work well with the keyboards and the guitar. Run Away From The Sun sounds like one of the classic HIM hits that I used to dance to as a teenager. This time the guitars fade into the background with most of the focus being on Mr. Valo’s voice. I feel like I’m sixteen again, dancing to the music while staring at HIM poster on my wall. Then last but not least we came to Saturnine Saturnalia, the slowest and most ballad-esque track on the EP. It’s a little melancholic and slow-paced but not entirely without its charms.

Overall, ‘Gothica Fennica Vol.1’ is an absolute delight to listen to and a must have for all HIM fans. This is technically a Ville Valo solo project and not HIM, but who cares? It may just be the next best thing.

8/10

Iza Raittila

Iza’s highlights of 2019

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2019 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. 2019 was a eventful year for alternative music. There was a lot of new material that caught my attention which made selecting a top 10 much more difficult than last year. After much deliberation I have narrowed it down to the following albums:

1. Eluveitie – Antegnatos
Genre: Folk Metal
Eluveitie - Ategnatos
2. Children of Bodom – Hexed
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/ Power Metal
Children of Bodom - Hexed

3. The 69 Eyes – West End
Genre: Goth n’Roll/ Gothic Rock
The 69 Eyes - West End

4. Mgła – Age of Excuse
Genre: Black Metal
Mgła - Age of Excuse
5. Combichrist – One Fire
Genre: Industrial Metal/Electro-Industrial
Combichrist - One Fire - CD

6. Hocico – Artificial Extiction
Genre: Electro- Industrial/ Aggrotech
Hocico - Artificial Extinction - CD

7. Blutengel – Un:Gott
Genre: Synth-pop/Darkwave

8. Darkthrone – Old Star
Genre: Black Metal/Blackened Heavy Metal/Doom Metal
Darkthrone - Old Star

9. Sabaton – The Great War
Genre: Power Metal
Sabaton - The Great War
10. Ad Inferna – Des Diables et Des Dieux
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

Honorable mentions:
Aurelio Voltaire – She’s Glowing
Taken from the album What Are The Oddz?

God Module – Cross My Heart
Taken from the album The Unsound

Scandroid – The Writing’s On The Wall
Taken from the album The Light

The long-awaited new Rammstein album also came out this year. Sadly, despite a having handful of great songs including ‘Deutschland’, it was a little disappointing. I expected more from them after a decade of waiting.

Best live show of 2019
Metallica live in Hämeenlinna

Runners up, honorable mentions go to: Behemoth live in Tampere and Blutengel live at Hellsinki Industrial.

New discoveries for 2019
Raven Said, Priest and Cygnosic

Most anticipated releases for 2020
a new albums from Helloween and Vader
Mono Inc- The Book of Fire
Celldweller – Satellites

That’s all from me. Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila

The 69 Eyes – West End

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 14th September 2019 by Pieni

The 69 Eyes
“West End”
Gothic rock
Released: 13th September 2019
Via Nuclear Blast Records

The 69 Eyes - West End

Over the past 30 years, The 69 Eyes have developed such a characteristic sound that they’re at a point in their career where one can identify a song as theirs, even before Jyrki 69’s unique voice comes through. Yes, 30. The dark balloons on the cover? Best decoration for a goth’n’rock anniversary party.

They’ve also invited a few friends for such party. You’ve probably seen the video for “Two Horns Up” by now, featuring Dani Filth. Those ominous church bells in the first few seconds which lead to that rough bass intro and melt into a rocky melody spiced up with piano keys… that’s the catchy trademark of the Helsinki Vampires.

Curiously enough, “27 & Done” is a lot merrier, despite its dark theme (that apocalyptic age at which so many rock stars have died). Same formula, but merrier.

“Black Orchid” was also released as a video, probably because it has one of the most beautiful guitar solos in the whole album. It took me back to “Dance D’Amour”, believe it or not – so much bolder, so much sharper, and yet my mind brought it up. Go figure.

Then there’s the orchestral arrangements on “Change”, giving a classy touch to an already dandy ballad. It’s like they say, “the devil’s in the details”.

I was surprised they didn’t film a video for “The Last House On The Left”. Jyrki 69 himself says it’s “the perfect Halloween horrorpunk song for this year”. Honestly, I think it’s perfect for any festive occasion. It also features Dani Filth and Wednesday 13 and Calico Cooper as well, making a hell of a vocal mix! I wouldn’t call it punk, though, but definitely rock’n’roll. By the way, “Outsiders” gives away that vibe too. Dancing is not really my thing but I caught myself doing so while writing this review.

These are just a few remarks. I could’ve picked many more but I think you’ve got the picture. I’ll wrap it up with a cheesy but heartfelt “happy anniversary, keep it rollin’!”.

8/10

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Lumous Gothic Festival 2019

Posted in Festival, Live 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
My Own Burial

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
Golden Apes

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
DAS ICH again

DAS ICH

DAS ICH -Bruno

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
Blood Magick

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

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
Raven Said

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
The Danse Society

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

HIM front-man Ville Valo reveals his new project

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , on 7th September 2018 by izaforestspirit

So HIM are no more. The well renowned Finnish Gothic rock band played their final show on New Year’s Eve last year. However, I’m sure their fans will be pleased to know that Ville Valo has recently announced his new project – Ville Valo & Agents. 

This will be a collaboration the HIM front-man and a band called Agents lead by guitarist Esa Pulliainen. Together they will record an album based on unreleased demo material originally written by the Finnish rock singer Rauli “Badding” Somerjoki. 

The first single ‘Orpolapsi kiurun (Orphan Child of the Skylark)’ will be out on 21st September 2018 and the yet- to-be-titled album is scheduled for release in early 2019 followed by a tour.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing

For more info visit:

https://www.facebook.com/theheartagram/

https://vallilamusichouse.fi/ (in Finnish)

Lumous Gothic Festival 2018

Posted in Festival, Live 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

 

Vlad in Tears live Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , on 12th May 2018 by izaforestspirit

There are lots of fun events happening in Helsinki this weekend. For example one of my favorite bands is playing two shows. It’s a shame that I can’t make it to any of them…

So I had a look at what was available locally and I came across Vlad in Tears. They’re a Berlin-based Italian Gothic rock band whose music sounds similar to the likes of HIM and The 69 Eyes. I only recently discovered them and I’m probably not alone in thinking that they are somewhat underrated. Assumedly low early ticket sales meant that this event actually became a free show but the venue wasn’t busy at all.

First up was up was the Finnish dark wave band Rain Diary. I quite enjoyed their set. Their music is melodic and good to dance to. So not a bad start to the night. 3.5/5

Next was Psyyke, an old and well established post-punk band who are apparently one of pioneers of the Finnish Goth scene. The crowd wasn’t big this time either, but these guys did their best to keep the audience entertained. There’s not much I can say about their show. It was good, old school post-punk and everyone seemed to be having fun. 4/5

The night’s headliners came on stage with a slight delay. I kind of felt sorry for them having to come all this way to play a free show to a limited audience. This was apparently their first time in Finland. The performance was really good. They played most of their hits including the most recent ‘Sorrow’, ‘Bleed Me Dry’ and ‘The Devil Won’t Take Me Home’. 4/5

Overall, I had a good time. I like Vlad in Tears and I hope that they will visit Finland again at some point. They do deserve a bigger audience.

Iza Raittila

Lord of The Lost – Swan Songs II

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 2nd December 2017 by izaforestspirit

Lord of The Lost
Swan Songs II
Released 6th October 2017
Dark Rock/Gothic Rock/Classical
Released via Napalm Records

Image result for lord of the lost swan songs ii cover

The German dark rock band Lord of the Lost have been around for a decade. It was originally a solo project of the frontman Chris Harms; then he recruited other musicians before releasing the first album. Their style varies slightly with each release, ranging from the HIM-esque Gothic rock debut ‘Fears’, classical/acoustic ‘Swan Songs’, Latino rhythms on the single ‘La Bomba’ to industrial metal on ‘Empyrean’. This brings us to their latest opus‘ Swan Songs II’- another album combining dark rock with classical orchestra.

First up is the wonderfully sinister murder ballad Waiting For You To Die’ This song caught my attention even before the album’s release thanks to the beautiful lyric video. The orchestration makes the track all the more dynamic and memorable. Lighthouse makes you immediately want to get up and dance. It’s uplifting and the lyrics are surprisingly positive like the sun re-appearing again after a long, violent storm. I absolutely adore the chorus. It has been stuck in my head for weeks now. So much so that I’ve even started singing it to my children as a lullaby.

If it’s slow, sombre ballads with violins in the background you want, then My Better Me is the song for you. Personally I prefer Wonder in Sable. This melodic track picks up gradually after a slow start treating the listener to more gloriously performed orchestration and Chris Harms’s emotionally charged vocals.

In summary, Lord of the Lost have created a stunning piece of work. They have once again proven just how diverse and complex their music can be. Not all ensemble albums by rock bands are worth the hype but ‘Swan Songs II’ is great example of how well this concept can work.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

Jyrki 69 to release solo album

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , , on 7th June 2017 by izaforestspirit

Good news for fans of the Finnish goth rock band The 69 Eyes. Their singer and frontman Jyrki 69 

has recently announced that he will be releasing his first solo album later this month. The record will be entitled ‘Helsinki Vampire’ and it is scheduled to hit the shops on 23 June 2017 via Cleopatra Records.

You can check out the track-listing and the cover art below.

01. Ad Infinitum
02. Versailles
03. Spanish Steps
04. Bloodlust (from “Sunset Society”)
05. Last Halloween (from “Halloween Hell House”)
06. Happy Birthday
07. Call Of The Night
08. Perfection
09. Close Your Eyes (from “Close Your Eyes”)
10. In Your Dreams
11. Sayonara (CD only)

<br/><a href="https://i1.wp.com/oi67.tinypic.com/inswbb.jpg" target="_blank">View Raw Image</a>

He has also released a video for the track ‘Last Halloween’. Here it is:

For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/the69eyes/

http://69eyes.com/

https://jyrki69.bandcamp.com/

The 69 Eyes live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , on 10th September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Black Royal, The 69 Eyes
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
9th September 2016

The 69 Eyes is a band that reminds me of my teenage years; takes me back to a time when I had posters of bands such as HIM and The Crow movie on my bedroom wall. I used to love the albums from their Gothic rock period, especially ‘Blessed Be’ and ‘Paris Kills’. I still revisit their music occasionally but sadly I lost track of them after the ‘Devils’ album.

Then a few days ago I discovered that they were coming to play a show here in Tampere. So naturally I jumped at the opportunity. Unlike HIM who I saw live when I was a teenager, I’ve never been to a 69 Eyes show before.

The warm-up was a local death metal band called Black Royal. They had a relatively short set so there’s not a hell of a lot that I can say about them. They reminded me a little of Entombed but their music had more melodic elements, like a mixture of death metal and heavy metal. Not a bad start to the night. 3/5

The “Helsinki Vampires” took to the stage fashionably late but the wait proved to be worth it. I was pleased to find out that they actually played quite a lot of the older material including classic goth’n’ roll songs such as: The Chair, Gothic Girl, Wasting the Dawn and Feel Berlin. Frontman Jyrki69 was keen to point out that some of their music videos were actually shot in Tampere. One of them is Brandon Lee, which happens to be one of my personal favorites – they played it as an encore. Another highlight of the evening was the beautifully dark love song Dance D’Amour. I had a great time dancing to the same songs that first captured my attention all those years ago. 5/5

In summary I’m really happy that I finally got to see these guys live. A lot has changed since I was a teenager, I’m not the same person that I was back then but their music has stayed with me and I continue to enjoy it.

Iza Raittila

Clan Of Xymox w/ Tracy Vandal – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 18th September 2015 by Pieni

Clan Of Xymox, Tracy Vandal
Hard Club (Sala 2), Porto (PT)
13th September 2015
Promoted by Muzik Is My Oyster

 photo _DSC0580_zps6xh9xiug.jpg

Last Sunday, Clan Of Xymox and Tracy Vandal offered some unforgettable moments to the couple of hundred goth lovers who headed out to Hard Club that night.

 photo tracy_zpseazbkprl.jpgTracy – who made sure of letting us know that Tracy Vandal was a band, not just her, while pointing towards Pedro and Miguel – proved that not only she has a wonderful voice but also a bright sense of humor; the contrast between that and the sad, dream-like sound of her music was simply brilliant. Complaining about the high-heels and the tight dress the boys made her wear (“they don’t let me dress as a boy, they don’t understand how hard it is”) and saying she was only goth when she sang were just some of the most amusing lines. Then when she got into the middle of the crowd, to slow-dance among the delighted crowd, and the dress didn’t allow her an easy climbing back on stage, she leaned towards a young boy, clearly seeking for help. But the kid was so startled he didn’t move. When the song was over and Tracy was able to put the mike down and use both hands to get up there, she addressed the boy saying that when a fat, Scottish old woman needs help and you’re not strong enough to do it, you call a stronger guy. Obviously, everybody laughed. After consulting with Miguel – which she did all the time, actually, claiming that the boys kept the setlist a secret from her –, she announced “Explosions” as the last song.

 photo _DSC0206_zpswkngzgmx.jpg

www.facebook.com/onthishill

 photo _DSC0362_zpsdfjwahb5.jpgThen Clan Of Xymox was everything one could expect from a dark wave / gothic rock band – seductive, emotional, gloomy here, vibrant there… At 54, Ronny Moorings can be proud of being able to cause such an effect on people with both old and new songs, after almost 35 years with this band. Although, of course, the classics had more history, brought up more memories, and were naturally welcomed with more enthusiasm. “Louise”, “A Day”, “Jasmine & Rose”, “Muscoviet Mosquito”… and yet so many others were left out. But at the same time, every single song was worth it – covers of “Venus” (Shocking Blue) and “Heroes” (David Bowie) included – the latter closing the show. There’s not much more I can say, as magic can hardly be put into words.

 photo _DSC0524_zpsiwxbceeo.jpg

www.facebook.com/clan-of-xymox

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Deathstars live in Tampere, Finland

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , on 28th September 2014 by izaforestspirit

Woland, Deathstars
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
27th September 2014

Deathstars and I go way back… I first discovered them in my late teens, back in 2003 when their debut album was released. I liked them then and I still like them now. This was actually my third Deathstars gig – I saw them at a festival once then again a few years later when they supported Rammstein. The last show I saw was at a massive stadium; a venue which though perfect for Rammstein, was way too big for these guys. They struggled to connect with the audience and looked uncomfortable when faced with such a massive crowd.

Tonight was much better. The venue, Klubi was considerably smaller and packed full of eager fans.

The warm-up was a Finnish black metal band called Woland. These guys were only on for half an hour so there’s not an awful lot that I can say about them based on such a short performance. Their style is melodic and atmospheric at times. They sounded decent but there was nothing particularly exciting about their music. 3/5

Deathstars
The night club Klubi offers more intimate setting that Whiplasher and his motley crew thrived in. They played a good mix of old and new tracks including ‘Explode’ and ‘The Devil’s Toys’ from the new album and several classics such as ‘Tongues’, ‘Synthetic Generation’, ‘Play God’ and ‘Blood Stains Blondes’. The two main highlights of the night for me were the ultra catchy ‘Death Dies Hard’ and one of my personal favorites ‘Cyanide’.

This was definitely the best Deathstars gig I’ve been to. It just shows what a big difference the venue makes to the overall experience. Deathstars are best suited for a small club venue and I’m glad that they came to my city. 4.5/5



Iza Raittila

Spanish goth rockers Rainover sign to Wormhole Death/Aural Music

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 9th September 2013 by Nico Davidson

Spaniard gothic rock band Rainover recently inked a deal with Wormhole Death Records/Aural Music and will release their new album Transcending The Blue And Drifting Into Rebirth via Aural Music Group/Wormhole Death Japan sometime in 2014.

The record was produced by Carlo Bellotti and recorded, edited and mixed by Jonathan Mazzeo at Mathlab Recording Studio in Italy. Mastering duties have been consigned to Dennis Koehne and Waldemar Sorychta (for Waldstreet & Denroad, at Flying Pigs Studio in Schwerte, Germany) and the artwork has been done by Mario Sánchez Nevado (Aegis). The band commented:

We are extremely happy to announce that we have signed a deal with the Italian label Wormhole Death. This is a great opportunity for us to present our music to a bigger audience based upon the support and hard work offered by this group of trustworthy professionals, who are capable of being critical in order to get the best results from us, but also amicable and very close to our views on music and the industry. On top of this, we have been working together on every aspect of the production of our new album, so you’ll soon be able to check out by yourselves just how productive our collaboration has been so far, starting by the preview we’re now showing you. Last but not least, they also have great bands in their rooster, so, all in all, we can’t be more proud and excited about this new chapter of Rainover as members of the Wormhole Death family!

Rainover online:

http://facebook.com/rainoverband