Cold Transmission Makes It Easy

Sometimes being a music reviewer is hard. Mainly because I am lazy. So rather than digging through my stacks tonight in search of new music. I will turn to the very trustworthy source of Cold Transmission Music and their new Zeitgeist 13. CT takes great pride in their ear for fresh worldwide talent. So this compilation is a wonderful place to get 32 handpicked bands masterly mastered by the amazing Pete Burns for under $5. These were my first impression stand outs.

https://coldtransmissionmusic.bandcamp.com/album/zeitgeist-vol-13

HallowTalk to Her – One of my favorite new CT bands. This song had a racing heartbeat and a booming Chameleon’s base wave. The vocals do this beautiful delayed explosion and drip with longing. Every time I started and stopped listening today, I always came back to this track.

IamnooneSolve et Coagula – Giving a little taste of Britpop Stone Roses flavor with a constant high speed Bernard Sumner guitar downward drone. Really keeps the cadence and lifeforce.

RaskolnikovFall Colors – Really cool Swiss band that caught my attention. This unceasing keyboard drone never lets to fall to the skeletons chasing you, or get to close to the one of your future. I love the lilting OMD sound in the vocals. There is a no trend I’m loving of beautiful melodic vocals in post punk. Let’s try and limit the amount of Ian Curtis baritone monotone. It really took me to an Autumn state of mind.

https://raskolnikovmusic.bandcamp.com/

EchoberylListen To Oblivion – This French duo really brings the heat. I feel like this should be the updated cyber sexy theme to Carmen Sandiego. Cecillia has a cold burst of sparkling air quality to her voice and adds depth and texture to the driving beat.

Paradise CoveLost – Sometimes you want to hear a band reinvent the wheel and sometimes you want the razor sharp syncopation of post punk. The the vocals come in with a passionate and pleading chant that hooks me in. It’s a slow burn scorcher worth the wait.

Cut CityReplacement – What a breath of fresh air in doom and gloom. This has the crisp drums and power push of post punk. It couples it with a bright and crackling sound. I think I heard major chords. I feel a lot of early 2000s New York here. Lovely crooning vocals to pair for a gripping and soulful smash. Must dig deeper into this band from Sweden.

https://cutcity.bandcamp.com/

Clone CultureThey Shoot, I Die – Italian Post punk rockers bring a nice dash of glam to this Nextwave ballad. I love when you hear a band just blends well. It really shines through when it is effortless like this. This track has one of those chorus hooks that sticks to your head like honey to the bowl.

CamlannTo Vatican – Absurdly young and talented Indonesian band unleashed this song that is both exotic and passionate. The vocals are haunting and expressive in a way that captures me. I have such high hopes for the future of darkwave with young spirits like these leading the charge into the future.

Empathy TestMonsters – Look I have spent a lot of time talking about Empathy Tests titanic album Monsters. It’s a top contender for our album of the year. Basically if you don’t have Monsters, you need Monsters.

https://empathy-test.bandcamp.com/album/monsters

Bedless BonesCreation – My hands down favorite band from Estonia has given an exclusive track for this compilation. They always have such a surreal swirl to their sound. The drums are built for war and the keyboards contract that primitive echo with an electronic wisp. This is dream fuel music.

https://bedlessbones.bandcamp.com/

Two MoonsSecond Life – Had not heard this band before but it was a pleasant surprise. A totally unique quirk Nick Cave feel to the vocals. The music is cinematic and had perfect ebbs and flows. I will be immediately seeking out there catalog.

Plague GardenLost – Snake slither true traditional goth with darkwave dreams will always make my list. This done with expert precision by some dear friends from Colorado. This flowing narrative is rich and the setting is a desolate wasteland of sorrow. Love this band, love the track.

https://plaguegarden.bandcamp.com/releases

The Neu NeonCrush – This Berlin band is scorching florescent motorcycle synthabilly brain candy. It’s driving, beautiful, and always feels inches from speeding off the cliff. This sound mixes the best parts of 10 things I love.

https://theneuneon.bandcamp.com/

Kalte NachtInmost Desire? – Hot sounds from Athens Greece. The vocalist has that Shannon Light Asylum force and 70’s punk rock aggression. It cooks a long at breakneck darkwave. I had never heard this band before but believe me they are on my radar now. This is the power of a good compilation.

https://kaltenacht.bandcamp.com/releases

Berlin TaxiCount On U – Sleezy dark NOLA streets drip from these elegant and shimmering vocals. The music is wonderfully subtle and blends the power of the voice perfectly. I would like some more please.

https://berlintaxi.bandcamp.com/

Did I listen to every track? Your bet your sweet bippy I did. They were all worth it. However these are the songs that really grabbed hold. You are going to be hard pressed to get a better playlist for this price.

What am I thankful for this November? Bandcamp Day!

As the world tilts and tumbles and the chill settles into the land. What is the new music that I am feasting on this Bandcamp day? I just did the review and interview with Raymond Watts and I am a bit star struck and over the moon. You all know S & S for new up and coming bands so lets talk about what just came out.

Death Loves Veronica : Our dear friend from San Antonio has not been idle during the pandemic. Another new single and one with a totally different feel from her previous material. Lovely grinding old school industrial with her slow whisper burning ember voice. I love the gentle drone and build. A very David Lynch broken mind story. Veronica keeps finding ways to deliver and stay fresh.

https://deathlovesveronica.bandcamp.com/track/lies

The Unquiet Grave: This amazing compilation really needs it’s own review. I think Amaranth was set to be on it at one point. 32 Tracks with a huge variety of goth styles. Put together by Athan Maroulis this is the best value you are going to get in goth music. A great way to find 10 new bands you are into for $10.


1. Shadow Assembly: Languish
www.facebook.com/ShadowAssembly
2. A Cloud of Ravens: The Tempest
www.facebook.com/acloudofravens
3. Ships in the Night: Lost Times
www.facebook.com/shipsinthenightmusic
4. I Ya Toyah: Glass Eyes (The Joy Thieves Remix)
www.facebook.com/IYaToyah
5. Blood Bells: Destroy
www.facebook.com/bloodbells
6. Double Echo: Remains
www.facebook.com/DoubleEchoTheBand
7. The Kentucky Vampires: Holy Heretic
www.facebook.com/thekentuckyvampires
8. Null Device: And I Fall
www.facebook.com/NullDeviceMusic
9. Ghost Painted Sky: Cleansed
www.facebook.com/ghostpaintedsky
10. The Mystic Underground: The Ugliest Duckling
www.facebook.com/themysticunderground
11. Eva X: A Softer World
www.facebook.com/evaxband
12. Funeral DJs: Kiss of Death
www.facebook.com/funeraldjs
13. Red This Ever: Man Up Now
www.facebook.com/redthisever
14. Double Eyelid: Dead is Better
www.facebook.com/doubleeyelid
15. 51 Peg: Cut the Wire
www.facebook.com/51peg
16. Evil Symbols: Fascination (feat. Bat Kalaayan)
www.facebook.com/Evilsymbols
17. Dispel: Modal Consequence (The Threshold)
www.facebook.com/scott.doland.3
18. The Shyness of Strangers with Rhoneil: Return to the Ground
www.facebook.com/shynessofstrangers
19. ItheVirus: Obedient Delusions
www.facebook.com/ithevirusmusic
20. Ghostfeeder: Fascia
www.facebook.com/Ghostfeeder
21. Dead Blood Cells: The Candles, They Flicker
www.facebook.com/deadbloodcells
22. The Skeleton Closet: The Fine Line
www.facebook.com/SkeletonClosetMusic
23. Grey Gallows: Enemy
www.facebook.com/greygallows
24. Jaka’s Story: Dream-Land
www.facebook.com/JakasStory
25. Blood Dance: Child of Fear
www.facebook.com/BloodDanceBand
26. No Exits: Noticed
www.facebook.com/NoExitsLA
27. Rituel Encens: Passions
www.facebook.com/shellstorefr
28. The Horror Diaries: I Get Low
www.instagram.com/horrordiariesmusic/
29. Dead Souls Rising: Overthink
www.facebook.com/DeadSoulsRising
30. Cables For Clouds: Rain On Your Day (Radio Edit)
www.facebook.com/CablesForClouds
31. The Unquiet Void: Song of My Soul
www.facebook.com/TheUQVoid

The Ghost Of Bela Lugosi: (Poisoning of Every Seed) Another scorching new single from Vin. It really rattles my mind just how different every new track sounds. Everyone is a masterwork. This is a flowing newwave disco jam with 80s Depeche Mode flavor and punk rock sleaze. Vin lets the shining beauty of his voice gleam through on this one with more polish. Another genre shift, another hit.

https://ghostoflugosi.bandcamp.com/album/poisoning-of-every-seed

Blindcopy: Hot new single “Blacklight” from Memphis electronic artist Jack Alberson. Loving this bopping Information Society style with some southern soul. The way this track keeps bobbing and weaving you can never quite grab hold of it in the best possible way. The motion and energy created is hypnotizing. 5 remixes one from our dear friend Melodywhore.

https://migrainerobotsounds.bandcamp.com/album/blacklight-single

Caput Medusae – Dreamy new single from German darkwave artist called “Kiss Me Deadly” This track is always lurking around the corners and moving through the shadows. Tina Mar has a voice that is always in your periphery but always surrounding you. This is music I want to hunt ghosts in a abandoned mansion.

https://caputmedusae.bandcamp.com/album/kiss-me-deadly-single?fbclid=IwAR1O7XcG_gfeVSHbLtQNkZl28A9CArqjixVwQq0-HLjFhAwiUppu3HgBclI

White Mansion : Speaking of haunted mansions, Cold Transmission’s Arkansas post punk stars have a lovely new synth driven single “Alone”. The song has a lovely isolated New Order “Movement” feel. The bassline is a thrumming pulse and the vocals convey a loneliness and you can taste on your tongue. Wonderful single but I would be remiss to not mention the remix by label mates Kiss of the Whip . Tristian took that dark moody power and refracted it through a prism to highlight all the best elements.

https://whitemansion.bandcamp.com/album/alone-single

Black Rose Burning: (Open The Gate) I just need so much more of this style and quality. NYC artist George Grant released this gorgeous EP of ultra dark acoustic singer songwriter jams with a true goth aesthetic. His voice is so passion Peter Gabriel but that ever driving percussion acoustic rings like The Cure “Wish”. Sometimes to find the next evolution you need to strip the concept down to it’s bones and I am drinking deep of the marrow of BRB.

https://blackroseburning.bandcamp.com/album/open-the-gate

Actors: Last but certainly not least is a new single from Actors called “Love U More” and holy shit. I didn’t know exactly what to expect but this surpassed whatever I had in my head. We did a live reaction of the video which I will post soon. It’s all the things I loved about “It Will Come To You” and more. Jason’s vocals are blended perfectly and float on a cloud city of synth glory. Shannon’s vocals are brought to the front and make a perfect contrast. The tone is much darker and has a force of soulful pop with a deep message. I really can’t stress enough that you need this. This band is the future and I am here for that future.

https://actors.bandcamp.com/track/love-u-more

Review of “Pain Is God”

A name that needs no introduction a synonymous part of Industrial/Electronica music for as many decades as I have on this earth Raymond Watts has a new album. Rather as <PIG>, KMFDM, Schwein, or countless remix collaborations for everyone in the scene Pig has continued to leave a mark for the effective sound smiting and adventurous forays into every nook and cranny of the EDM spectrum. No filth or madness was too deep for his snout to seek out truffles in.

https://pigindustries.bandcamp.com/

The new album is a 14 track journey “Pain Is God” through the sleaze glam neon dustbowl. Through all of it you hear a cleaner more blended offering than “Pigmartyr”. Even through the carnival of chaos the narrative of each song rings through the crunching haze of guitar and effect.

Doing this interview was a dream come true for 18 year old Ken. I feel like we had a wonderful discussion that revealed a lot about the man and what went into this album.

Favorite Tracks:

Pain Is God – We drop in on a booming bass wave rolling towards you like the ocean. Glitchy star holes of electronic sound build towards a chorus of gospel choir. Using the beauty of faith music as a sacrilegious tool of excess.

Rock and Roll Refugee – Rockabilly disco and palm muted gutter drive builds to a hook that gives ode to the power of rock. Our gospel choir returns to build the power. I love a good poetry serpent with a hard cadence delivery and this verse lays on the sickness.

Deliverance – I love this strange offbeat crooning ballad. Once the string sound drop in the tone shifts. This is the heart of the revival tent and the fever eyed preacher is working the thrum. Raymond’s voice takes a 90’s Leonard Cohen flavor. This one drips with soul and sends everyone’s voice calling to the sky.

Kicking Ass – Love the sample into old school 90’s industrial slash and burn. That guitar riff is thick as a vault door. I love the whisper of secret sins vocals. A lovely sheading blues guitar solo drops out of nowhere and takes over the tone.

I hear in this album an excited and invigorated Raymond Watts who has found his heart and centered his focus. It has a pulse, it sings a story, it reminded me what someone off the chain playing music they are in love with felt like. I want more and I want to breath it live. Long live the <PIG>

Witchhands: Unto Death

There are times you just know. Something mystical about a good cover that seems to communicate something of the band, something about the album you are just about to listen to. Something just let’s you know you are about to hear something great.

https://witchhandsdxr.bandcamp.com/album/unto-death

Unto Death, the Colorado Springs band, Witchhand’s, 4th album is one of those albums. Where does one start to describe a work that is bound to become a classic filed somewhere between Christian Death‘s Catastrophe Ballet and T.S.O.L.’s Change Today? If you are into Death Rock, Goth Rock or Horror Punk, WitchHands has you. From the opening notes of the title track “Unto Death” through this four song journey’s end with “Dust (Dying of the Light),” this EP promises unrelentingly good, song after song. Trust me, I have listened to this possibly 30 times since I received a copy a couple of days before release, and it is now in my regular rotation. The crooning yells of singer Ryan’s strangely distant, yet hauntingly close vocals to Bryan’s thick thunderous drumming; The swirling dance of layers from Aaron’s screaming guitar, Josh’s driving bass and the steady ethereal keyboard work of Lance, this is a classic waiting to be recognized. The production has cleaned up and improved drastically from their previous releases, but still feels raw, reminiscent of proto death rock greats, creating a perfect balance. Unto Death is bound to find a permanent place in the collections of DJs, fans and audiophiles everywhere

Unto Death: From the first time I heard Witchands, I fell in love with the lofi sound. The gutter growl doom rock cheese. I worried the clear driving production level would kill that effect. It does not. It’s more of that energy but with laser beam precision. It’s a finer articulation, a focus to Ryan’s voice. A blend of guitar, drum and lyrics that opens the sanctum and makes you the sacrifice of this ritual. I’m still wandering through a foggy graveyard on a full moon, but the stars are clear enough to read the gravestones.

Neurenberg (Dying of the Light): We’ve brought up the tempo, and Bryan’s thundering tom fills create a languid ritual cascade. The clarity of running up a tight spiral staircase of climbing scales as the punctuating guitars weave a twisting dancer’s cadence. Lance’s vocals punch in with a newfound sense of emergency, capturing with their high energy.

*Mortification: This is our favorite track. Tribal drum rolls open, three unlicensed nuclear accelerators firing plasma at a spectre across a New York ballroom. Ryan’s voice unleashes such an intensity and urgency, his biology exploding through his vocal chords.

Dust (Dying of the Light): Closing track unleashes a thick and driving baseline. Again capturing that break neck speed and rum fills that kilter on the razor edge between doom rock and metal. This is a song of a desolate landscape, zombie truckers in the 1970’s driving through the desert huffed up on memories and formaldehyde.

Review of Shadow Assembly: Arcane Fusion

One of the things I love most about the current Goth/Industrial is the sense of community. If there is pettiness or competition between this wave of post goth, I am yet to see it. Having that level of support for each others projects can lead to some beautiful artistic cross over and collaboration. Michael Louis of Twilight Chronic took a twisted ritual dagger and jammed it in his own ego to birth the modern goth superband Shadow Assembly.

Available here on bandcamp:

https://shadowassembly.bandcamp.com/album/arcane-fusion

Arcane Fusion is the sophomore offering after their debut “Ghostcrawl” a twisted and brooding rock driven concoction with Brandon Prybus of Sonsombre. This new album opens the portal of darkness even further by using a different vocalist/lyricist for every track. This album is not only a prism of the wide varieties in modern gothic rock, but also a who’s who of the vocal talent of the current scene. I will act as your ferryman on the River Styx as I lead you through each track on this modern classic.

  • Beneath The Rows: Feat (Brandon Prybus of Sonsombre) When you think gothic rock in 2020 you think of Brandon. This opening track is a rumbling mid tempo growler perfectly suited to Brandon’s voice. It’s a cloak flapping in the wind, booted feet crushing worms on grave dirt. It’s icy wind on your face and howling a ghostly whisper in your ear. This hard stomping concept is a rethought soundtrack for Children of the Corn.
  • Plaything: Feat (Marselle Hodges of The Blue Hour) What a lovely transition. This is the first video from the album. It’s a sexy Switchblade Symphony style banshee swamp ballad. Full of mist and silk. I love the blend of sizzling guitar rifts and ghostly wails. This track made me an immediate fan of Marselle.

Down With The Dead: (Feat vISION) This is a fierce chanting call from a squirming mass grave. A lot of mid 2000 shock goth flavor. A mass grave rave rolling through the mud with lost souls and carrion creatures.

My Ophelia: (Michael Louis of Twilight Chronic) Absolute banger old school gothic rock. The palm muted guitar riff here just drives on an empty street full of twists and turns. Michael’s voice is a depthless echo calling out a deathwish in the labyrinth darkness. You really hear the soul poured into this song.

Michael Louis

Cult of Ishtar (Feat: Ariel Manikj and the Black Halos) This track is a ritual of summoning. Ariel’s vocals are exotic and delivered with intention. The bass line here is darkfunk explosion. A lost ruin of wild vines and blood sacrifice. I found myself wondering back into this sinister scene again and again. Time for me to start diving into Costa Rica goth.

Release The Ravens (Feat: Ken Magerman of Amaranth) Ok this is weird, I can’t review because…it’s me. I will talk about it though. I was highly honored when ask to be a part of this. Doing guest vocals and lyrics on someone else’s music is always bizarre. I tried to summon someone else, outside my usual style for Amaranth. Michael crafted this beautiful ballad and I kept picturing this person in isolation sending messenger ravens to a lost love now beyond their reach. Collin really captured a different me like the pro he is. Goth music really falls into that crooning baritone these days and I wanted to use my sing songy higher range. I feel like it had that perfect blend of cheese and power.

Green Farie (Feat: Nino Sable of Aeon Sable) If you have ever chased the green farie you know the surreal slither of the veil between worlds. Nino has that perfect muted horn twang to their voice. The lovely harpsichord sound of this delicate ballad is the adhesive that holds this evaporating beauty in tact. A very Dead Can Dance medieval goth resurgence. I can’t get enough of this track.

Dr. Dealer (Michael Louis) Another track from Michael this one slow and brooding with a slushy trancelike guitar riff. His voice is a chorus and of demonic voices in a psychedelic swirl. Mainline a spike of shadows and sink into the floor.

Lost Places, Forgotten Faces (Feat: Andrey Agapitov of Raven Said) One of the most underrated bands in the goth scene from Russia. This one is a spiral staircase spinner. Andrey whispers and croons from beneath shadows. The keyboard and guitars lull you into dream until the verse strikes again with a fearful energy. This song was meant for spinning on the dancefloor.

Woman Torn (Feat: Rod Hanna of October Burns Black) Modern hard rock goth artists Hanna brings out that southern style Fields of the Nephilim dirge energy to this synth and guitar rich midnight sky ballad. I love the sliding effect on the guitars and how it blends with his chorus rich voice. Bringing the past into stark relief in the present

Overall this album is a synthesis of talent that really highlights what is possible when you have a maestro that knows and loves the music other artists make and finds a way to make each tone flow together to build something greater than the some of it’s parts. It is currently available on bandcamp for digital download and a CD run. If you want a good place to place your finger on the pulse of modern goth, this album is a great place to start.