SKYND Serve a Sizzling Mix of Djent, Industrial, and Nu Metal on Newest Offering “Armin Meiwes”

If there’s one band that proves that genre labels are a little bit antiquated, it’s SKYND. Are they industrial? Sort of. Are they metal? Sort of. Are they – and here’s a term I haven’t seen thrown around in a hot minute – horrorcore? Sure, why not? What can be nailed down about this two-piece Australian act is that their music is centered around true crime, their founding in 2017 coinciding with an uptick in true crime podcasting and a renewed popularity for true crime television series. Their song titles are taken from real-life monsters, such as Katherine Knight, Jim Jones, and Elisa Lam. Their music videos are disturbing yet oddly compelling. And with their latest single, the duo look to cannibalize everything they stand for.

SKYND first played their newest song “Armin Meiwes” earlier this year while on tour in Europe to rave reviews. Sonically speaking, there’s plenty of meat on the bone, with the chorus using elements of djent, while the verses uses the syncopation and hip-hop-like dictation of nu metal, all with an electro-industrial base. The lyrics detail the cutting and the culinary aspects of the crimes, right down to the lines “roast the flesh, medium heat / add garlic, pepper, and salt / meat is too tough to eat / so I’ll feed it to the dog.”

For those uninitiated, Armin Meiwes was a repair technician who, in 2001, found a man who wanted to be eaten, offering himself to be voluntarily cannibalized (title of your next death metal song, anyone?). Long story short, Meiwes was arrested a year later and sentenced to eight and a half years for manslaughter charges, after authorities found body parts which he hadn’t consumed, as well as a videotape of the gruesome crimes which Meiwes, dubbed the Rotenburg Cannibal, kept for his own sexual gratification.

I mean, when a victim shares in dining on his own genitalia with his soon-to-be killer… 

He was re-tried in 2006, after prosecutors argued that the initial defense, that being that he only killed his victim because the victim requested such, was null due to the aforementioned videotape. He was then convicted of murder and therefore sentenced to life imprisonment.

If any of that sounds familiar, yes, this is the same story that Rammstein modeled their 2004 song “Mein teil” after, though they are by no means the first artists to draw inspiration from these horrific crimes.

SKYND is the kind of music I would describe as a connoisseur’s choice: it’s not for everyone, but that isn’t inherently a bad thing. Those who are looking for something different, those brave souls who wish for a bit of danger that may have been missing in their music for some time, may find solace in the songcraft of SKYND, as jarring and shocking as the content within may be.

Check out the music video for “Armin Meiwes” below, though viewer discretion be advised:

Wicked King by Blood Dance

Hailing from Mexico City, Blood Dance offer us a dark sojourn into the Goth/Deathrock realm with their new single, Wicked King.

The song starts with an eerie blend of synth and guitar and builds until the baritone vocals kick in with a lyrical cut-up taken from quotes of various notorious killers. A mid tempo beat remains consistent throughout the song while the guitar riff wails and a beefy bass tone holds it down.

Credit is due to Mesphisto Waltz’s Bari Bari for producing this track and creating a tight and full sound with all the parts coming through crystal clear.

Deathrockers should sit up and take notice of Wicked King, as well as the preceding Blood Dance releases.

https://blooddance.bandcamp.com/album/wicked-king

https://mephistowalz.bandcamp.com/

Infiltrating The Mechanism : Digging through the bricks and bones of Luscious Apparatus

Out of Portland, Oregon comes Luscious Apparatus. Founded as a studio project by Jack Norton in the great plague of 2020 he picked up Sandi Leeper, Daniel Henderson and Catherine Hukle and off they went! Their debut single “Infiltrate” found its way to my ears a while back when I requested new music I should be aware of and it has haunted my mind ever since. Of course then, I was quite excited to learn a second single was on the way. So much so, that rather than simply including the single in a compilation review I wanted to use the opportunity to help out this new great act and let them speak.

Below you will find a review of the second single “Bricks & Bones” along with an interview with the band, enjoy!

The Review:

The song kicks off with plucked, effect laden guitars that carries an air of nostalgia and melancholy. Sublte synths creep in along with pounding dramatic drums, heralding the coming of something or other. Sandis vocals are the perfect mixture of determined yet soft, like an iron fist in a velvet glove. Quickly were in the midst of it all with serpentine guitars slithering through, waltzing with synths and pads melted together perfectly to create something that for whatever reason I keep wanting to describe as seductive. Both singles released so far have quite a cinematic feel to them in terms of sound as well as structure. Theres a drama and the feeling of a story being told through sound. If one day Luscious Apparatus ends up with a song or two featured in a movie my only reaction will be “About time”. With only two songs available they sure know how to leave you wanting more and their short output carries such vast amounts of potential and intigue that we can do nothing but foam at the mouth like the starved beasts we are as we await the next feast.

Luscious Apparatus – Bricks & Bones
Jack Norton – Synths

Why don`t we start off with introducing the readers to the band, who are Luscious Apparatus and what brought you all together?

Luscious Apparatus are Jack, Sandi, Cate, & Daniel – that’s also the chronology that each member joined the band. It was a studio project until 2020 – that’s when Jack floated a bunch of demos by Sandi, and she happened to like them. She cut them up, then rearranged them to fit her lyrics, added some instrumentation, and just like that they sounded like real songs. Finding Cate was pure luck; Jack ran a Craigslist ad for a shoegaze guitarist just as Cate was getting ready to move from Seattle back to Portland, and as it happened, she was looking for a band to play in. For the record, that shoegaze influence, those walls of sound are deliberate – this wouldn’t be the same band without them. Daniel was the last to join – not from lack of interest, but because of his own musical commitments, and COVID. Daniel (under his solo project Newphasemusic) had just released The Precedents of the United States of America, and Jack did a Luscious Apparatus remix of “So Much to Lose.” Shortly after that, Daniel joined Luscious Apparatus as the drummer.

Daniel Henderson – Drums

Luscious Apparatus as a term seems quite fitting with the singles released thus far, what were the ideas and thoughts that lead to choosing the name?

I love that the name sounds intentional, and we’re 100% happy with the way it fits our sound. Obviously, it’s a direct reference to Alan Wilder of Depeche Mode, and his other band, Recoil. The truth is, though, the name for the band was picked many years ago when Jack was working as a part-time promoter in Dallas. As the story goes, Jack was known at the time for throwing extravagant scene parties in his downtown eighth-floor loft apartment. One of the smaller parties was for his birthday, and involved a close friend who was a DJ, and some undisclosed quantity of psychedelic substances. At some point the Recoil song, Luscious Apparatus, was played, and the story of Carla, Jack, and their doomed relationship at the mayonnaise factory was permanently imprinted in Jack’s subconscious. At that moment, Jack decided if he ever formed a band, it would be named Luscious Apparatus.

The song notes for Brick & Bones talk about a woman and her journey to control her rage. Something about the overall concept of the song instantly reminded me of Jungian psychoanalasys ideas like Shadow work, particularly the idea that one must control and integrate certain parts of oneself to avoid its negative affects. Is the song based pure fiction or is there any real life events or perhaps even experiences that served as inspiration?

Sandi Leeper – Vocals

Sandi:
I haven’t studied enough of Jung’s work, so I don’t think I can really speak on that. Perhaps it’s less like integrating that stuff and more like accepting that it’s there and learning how to work around it. I don’t know if that still counts as shadow work or not. It’s not fiction, it’s about a lovely feature of certain mental disorders/neurodiverse tendencies that triggers outbursts and meltdowns. It’s almost like a form of seizure, where something gets tripped and the neurons start firing rapidly, causing emotional dysregulation and loss of control. It’s an embarrassing symptom to have, and it’s kind of like how a bite from a baby rattlesnake is far more deadly than one from an adult because they have not yet learned how to regulate the amount of venom released. (That’s why I wore a snake shirt in the photos, teehee.) The song is about disclosing the fact that this problem is there, for one. That second verse is about recognizing the signs and offer/suggest something to literally cool the head before the wire trips to maintain control of the self to thwart burning bridges and destroying interpersonal relationships, job status, a stable home, scaring the cats, etc. I mean, I personally wouldn’t burn any places down but everybody’s different.

What`s the creative process like? Is there a dedicated writer or composer that brings the first few building blocks?

Because of COVID, and the challenges brought about by the lockdown, we’ve had to develop a brand-new creative process from scratch. Typically, someone will create a demo (we have stacks of material waiting to be mined), and that demo is turned over to Sandi, who will arrange it to fit her lyrics. Often a demo will incorporate all instruments, sometimes made by chopping up samples and rebuilding them in a studio environment. From there, everyone is responsible for developing their own parts – Jack with synths and programming, Sandi with VOX, bass, and additional synths, Cate with guitars, and Daniel with drums. As we build the parts, we’re reimagining them with own textures and flavors. When the song is reassembled, it still sounds like the demo, but it is uniquely ours, as a group. And it’s all done remotely – we’ve only recently started getting together, in the same room at the same time, and that’s in preparation for our live shows.

Personally I loved your debut single Infiltrate, how do you feel it`s been received overall?

We’re very excited by the warm reception Infiltrate has seen. It has taken off and has been played internationally in clubs and on Internet playlists. I think there is a natural crossover between electronic music and shoegaze, and the response we’ve seen from casual listeners and industry insiders seems to bear that out.

Catherine Hukle – Guitar

Are there any plans for an album or EP, when might we see something like that?

Yes! We do have plans to release an EP, probably later this summer. We had hoped to get it out there before our live shows in July, but it just takes us longer to perfect our recordings.

Youre scheduled to play the Coffin Cub in Portland with Curse Mackey as well as the Star Theater, whats the live scene like where you are and especially now in these plague days? Have you been able to get out and play much at all?

The live music scene is alive and well in Portland!

Now, is COVID still a threat? Absolutely! But I think we’re all feeling like we’ve done everything we can to minimize its effect – vaccinations, boosters, and masks. And for better or worse there is some degree of fatigue associated with COVID. We’ve seen close friends come down with it, even though they’re vaxxed and boosted, so it’s not over. But for those who are vaxxed and boosted, it feels like – at least anecdotally – their symptoms are not as severe. 
 
As far as Luscious Apparatus live performances, we have two scheduled for July. The first is July 2nd at the Coffin Club, with Curse Mackey and Puerta Negra; it’s also the 10th anniversary party for Songs from Under The Floorboard. The second show is July 24th at The Star Theater, with Stariana (Eugene) and Photona. That’s our entire summer show schedule, as we’ll then retreat into the shadows to finish recording the EP and prepare for more shows in the fall.

Luscious Apparatus

Luscious Apparatus Links:

https://lusciousapparatus.com/home

https://lusciousapparatus.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/thelusciousapparatus

https://www.instagram.com/lusciousapparatuspdx/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNxMjF5eeght-LuKUF8Fahg

Artists Not Named Kate Bush You Should Still Be Talking About

It has been a moment since I had a chance to sit down and talk about exciting new music that has come out recently. Bands are starting to go back on the road and that means new releases. Instead of doing a Bandcamp Friday this month instead Bandcamp is donating a portion of proceeds to NAACP for Juneteenth. They continue to be the best way to buy music while supporting artists and important causes. We also had our May Darkscene Singles Chart which is on the webpage as well as new podcast interviews. So check those out to support us, like and subscribe.

https://www.youtube.com/c/SoundsAndShadows

silver walksvarious positions – I met Daniel McCullough near a dumpster behind Cold Waves in 2019 and heard “Lantern” in 2020. Immediately I knew this album was going to be something special. Dan is one of the most underrated song writers in modern electronica. The people in the know, they understand this. I hope this album is what makes that clear to the scene at large. I think one of the first points to strike me, all but one song are over 5 minutes. In a world of short singles, Various Positions is stretching your dance floor endurance. While making EVERY song a banger. Infectious dance beats that ebb and flow in texture, with razor blade twists. You can really hear the patient precision that went into each song’s construction. There is a thematic post apocalypse spiritual journey that makes me close my eyes and get lost in the story, while stomping in time to infectious hooks. This whole album rides a highspeed tightrope between progressive and ear candy.

▶︎ various positions | silver walks (bandcamp.com)

This album also has a spicy list of A + contributors to bring Dan’s vision to light. Stella Soleil , Coral Scere, Tim Heireth,  Marc Heal,  James Francis, Eva X, and many more mixed lovingly by living legend  John Fryer. Part of the testament to this albums power are the names that agreed to be a part of it. Album art & layout // Joshua Mccallister
silver walks logo by Jim Marcus. Eric Oehler wizard shimmers the mastering. Photo of Dan // Kirsten Miccoli I just saw Dan thanked me in the liner notes, so now I am crying.

Assemblage 23 Remix

Favorite Tracks: This is truly difficult. There is not a throw away track on this album. A wise woman once wrote “The first cut is the deepest” So I will choose where it began for me.

Lantern – This track just hits different. I story woven of a time lost in a desert place of which taps into a fury against injustice. The music here is captivating and lives in my head. This song slaps on the level of Gary Numan doing My Name Is Ruin.

Overall: This is a record I will be visiting all year long until December when it comes time discuss albums of the year.

Cyborg AmokCyborg Amok – Self titled release from the New Jersey Father/Son duo which came to my attention courtesy of Michael Nagy. I recently got to interview the band for the Sounds and Shadows podcast. A heavy hitting dystopian future progressive gothic style. I immediately was put in mind of Palais Ideal by the complexity and science fiction concepts. Greg Bullock has a dream whisper voice and a bardic soul. I feel in love with the purity of a father and son bridging generations to find a place of compromise between their influence. Taking that space epic Rush 70’s feel and blending a modern darkscene compression.

▶︎ Cyborg Amok | Cyborg Amok (bandcamp.com)

Favorite Track: Choice Not Taken – This one was just so powerful once I learned the story behind it. The connection between men discussing their trials with candor out front of a powerful spine of percussion.

jluc Courchet aka SPIRYTBLOOD TWINS – Featuring the phenomenal vocals of Kimberly from Bow Ever Down French electronic shadow Cabaret led by Jluc Ciurchet is weaving soul and atmospheric beauty in the smooth seductive style of 90’s trip hop. Unlike the smooth smokey flow of Portishead, the duo ruffles the waves of dark water with unsettling tension that never allows your heart to rest. I love the scope of instrumentation full of color and percussion. Kimberly has a voice that is remarkable for both it’s quality and the honesty of her delivery. Truly spellbinding she needs to be in the discussion of the top women in the scene.

Favorite Track: Breathing In Breathing Out – Again, this whole album is staggering and an inspired blend of two talents in Jluc and Kimberly. This song just hit with a weight of sorrow and depth I found myself staggered by. This is a song of finding steady ground. To look a trauma and terror in the eye. An inspirational energy to face down the darkness that surrounds.

▶︎ BLOOD TWINS | jluc Courchet aka SPIRYT | jluc courchet (bandcamp.com)

Stoneburner / ChantStoneburner​/​Chant King of wolves tour freebie – Speaking of epic and exciting tours which are springing up. Two of the most exciting things happening in industrial music, Steven Archer‘s (Stoneburner) and Bradley Bills (Chant) touring together and unleashing percussion artillery meant to challenge your conceptions and shake your bones. This pre tour pay what you want digital release is the perfect introduction for anyone seeking the exciting new direction that Industrial music has evolved to. It is fierce, vibrant, and epic in scope. Highlighting the talent and different tone of both artists. This is a can’t miss live performance people will speak of in awe years from now

Stoneburner (bandcamp.com)

The Waning MoonThe Waning Moon – Wonderous new collaboration project from Zac Campbell (The Kentucky Vampires) , and Ariel Maniki (The Black Halos). Two powerhouse talents of the modern traditional goth scene forging an alloy of blackened metal which echos with loss and remorse. Unlike their more organic percussion based projects TWM features aa blistering tempo freight train which unshackles Campbell to terrorize the fretboard and Ariel to use a haunting cadence full of ice cold foundation and strength. Only 4 tracks on this EP, but each sets the tone for a future force that fills a need in fans who hunger for traditional goth.

Favorite Track: Talisman – I didn’t go for a deep cut here. This single that accompanies the really sums up the best of what these artists do. An arterial spray of viscera and poetic sorrow which work in harmony, to tell a story of anguish.

The Waning Moon | The Waning Moon (bandcamp.com)

The AmaranthGothtimist – As always it feels weird to review yourself. So I won’t. This track off our upcoming album is special to me. It is the ideals of Sounds and Shadows put into sonic form. That the world is cruel, and promises get broken. Yet we can reach out to our friends in the darkest moments and find hope. This song features an amazing array of guest contributors which blows my mind every time I ready it.

Jason Corbett (Actors) , Jean-Marc Lederman (The The; Gene Loves Jezebel; Fad Gadget; The Weathermen; Rohn-Lederman), Dan Milligan (The Joy Thieves; The Burying Kind), Kimberly Kornmeier (Bow Ever Down), Katy May (Katy Needs A Life), Saphira Vee, Brian Graupner (gothsicles; Gasoline Invertebrate) , Ryan Flint (WitchHands), Matt McIntosh (A Cloud of Ravens). As well as cover art by Albie Mason (Scary Black) and mastering by Pete Burns (Kill Shelter)

Gothtimist | The Amaranth (bandcamp.com)

Time For The May 2022 Sounds And Shadows Darkscene Singles Chart

I continue to see the importance of putting out this monthly chart. One that is unique in our scene. I hope other people appreciate the songs chosen here for their quality. Every track here is voted on by Dj’s, Bands, Reviewers, and Superfans that represent the pulse of modern dark music.

  1. LeathersRunaway
  2. Black AngelLook Me In the Eye
  3. The Cassandra ComplexOld Boys Network
  4. HexHeartErase Yesterday
  5. Moris Blak/Daddybear/GrabYourFaceCrimes Of Passion
  6. VaselyneShame
  7. IamnooneThe Need
  8. Sever The ServantsGet In The Grave
  9. IamtheshadowRemind Me
  10. Kill Shelter (Feat: Agent Side Grinder)The Necklace

    LEATHERSRunaway – Another gorgeous smash hit from Shannon Hemmett of Vancouver. As part of the darkscene darlings Actors this synthy dreamwave project continues to grow and impress with every release. Masterful execution with a personal delivery.
Interview with Shannon of Leathers

https://leathers.bandcamp.com/

Black AngelLook Me In The Eye – We have an upcoming interview with LA transplant Matt Vowles about the band putting the rock back into gothic rock. I love this slow grooving The Cult style flavored single with some sinister smokey backup vocals from Manheesha Jones. Absolute banger.

Look Me In The Eye | Black Angel (bandcamp.com)

  • The Cassandra ComplexOld Boys Network -After 20 years the pre goth legends The Cassandra Complex dropped a new album and a scathing punk rock rebuke of modern post capitalism. This song has been sitting the top of the DAC chart as well all month long.
Interview With Rodney Orpheus

Old Boys Network | The Cassandra Complex (bandcamp.com)

HexheartErase Yesterday – Seattle WA sleek voodoo synth had this single to set the road for their 6/17/22 release “Funeral Flowers“. I love the smooth electronic soft serve retro feel. The lyrics have a wonderful Ducky in the rain poetry. This album will be a day one buy for me.

Erase Yesterday | Hexheart (bandcamp.com)

MORIS BLAK x DADDYBEAR x GRABYOURFACECrimes of Passion – Three heavy hitters of modern EDM/EBM who have teamed again to take our singles chart by storm. Each time they have gotten together it is an absolute banger offset by Marie’s crime croon vocals. This belongs on dancefloors everywhere.

Crimes of Passion | MORIS BLAK x DADDYBEAR x GRABYOURFACE | daddybear (bandcamp.com)

VaselyneShame (PJ Harvey Cover) – Early single release for the 6/3/22 EP “The Sea Says” is a cover of the mistress of raw alternative PJ Harvey. I love the percussive twang present throughout. The Dutch duo on COP International do a lovely vocal volley. I love the dusty humidity of the tone in this homage. Leaves me excited to review the album.

Shame (PJ Harvey Cover) | Vaselyne (bandcamp.com)

iamnooneThe Need – Lovely frostbite Italian disco. Subtle and unnerving it shimmers like blue hue glow across frozen water. An impressive offering from the Cold Transmission family.

▶︎ The Need | iamnoone (bandcamp.com)

Sever The ServantsGet In The Grave – Another song on this chart from the partnership of Hide Tepes and Mike Nolan on their horror hue nightmare fuel project on Produkt 42. Normally I don’t answer orders to jump into the grave soil, but this charismatic call gets under your skin.

Get In The Grave | Sever The Servants (bandcamp.com)

IAMTHESHADOWRemind Me – Another gorgeous underground bop from the best baritone in modern goth Pedro Code. The Portuguese darkwave act continues to be the flagship of Cold Transmission. A darkwood ship rising and falling on synthetic waves.

Remind Me | IAMTHESHADOW (bandcamp.com)

Kill ShelterThe Necklace ft Agent Side Grinder – Finally the eagerly awaited master producer and composer Pete Burns returns to form with a single from the upcoming July album “Asylum” using guest vocals from the Swedish Synth star Johan Lange of Agent Side Grinder. This is an emotional tidal wave and leaves me ravenous for the full release. Pete is a wizard of drawing the best out of already talented people.

The Necklace ft Agent Side Grinder | Kill Shelter (bandcamp.com)

If you have a single release in June 2022, or have one that speaks to you. Make sure to add it to our poll and make sure to check out and support the bands there.