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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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>
The St.Louis based goth rock band Cult Sounds recently released a music video for their single “What Gets Done In The Night” from their upcoming album `Death Of A Star ` and seemingly never stopped working as they just released a compilation album of Halloween and generally horror themed covers by a variety of artists, styles and genres inclduing their own cover of “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” by The Cramps.
Sounds & Shadows got in touch with guitarist Jordan Hagemann and snooped around regarding the video, single and of course; The compilation, read on and be informed while listening to these dreadful dirges 😉
Not too long ago you released your video for the single “What Gets Done In The Night” what can you tell us about the song the video and what`s to come?
What Gets Done In the Night was one of those songs for us that was written in essentially a few hours. There was something instantaneous with it, like a song we had always known but hadn’t written yet. The music was inspired by some, at the time, recent play-throughs of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Super Castlevania IV a long with a lot of Punk and Deathrock we were listening to. The song sounded vampiric, so we thought it would be a great song to explore the immortality aspect and connect it to our situations of being stuck in isolation. The video was one of the most things we’ve ever done. I went to film school for writing and directing, so I had my cinematography partner, Ryan Kneezle hop on the project along with another friend of ours, Sam Rozier, to help co-direct the performance shots. Everything was entirely DIY from the props, to the pre-production, to editing, everything. We’re very proud of that video. Coming next month, in November, we’ll have some surprises for the fans. I don’t want to say too much, but one has to do with something old and one has to do with something new.
Onto the compilation, what gave you the idea for this project and how did you pick the artists?
. We‘ve been doing a Halloween cover for the 2 years we’d been a band prior to this, starting with Bela Lugosi’s Dead – so we wanted to maybe do something a little more special for our 3 year anniversary. The original lineup of bands that were interested in the comp was very large but it can be pretty tough to find people to record you right now. So we had some bands we wanted to reach out to and some that reached out to us.
The artwork certainly stands out, it`s not what one might expect from a Halloween release colour wise, who`s responseable for it?
The artwork was all Bennett[Vocalist of The Cult Sounds]. He stays up till all hours of the night sometimes and will send us cool photos and we end up using them for things. This was no exception, it was basically “hey look at this spooky skeleton, let’s use that.” He manipulated the colors to stand out and catch your eye.
Do you see this becoming an annual tradition of sorts?
I’m not sure if a covers comp would be a tradition, but we’ll always keep to our tradition of doing a Halloween cover every year.
1. I Was a Teenage Werewolf – The Cult Sounds
2. Spiritual Cramp – Redbait
3. Toxic – Secret Shame
4. Dead In Hollywood (Feat. Dominic Nation) – Vanity Kills
In my youth I didn’t really have a punk rock phase. My angry phase was Industrial. Ministry, NIN, Skinny Puppy, Test Dept, KMFDM, Die Warsaw, Lord of Acid,Neubauten, Front Line Assembly, Front 242,Leatherstrip, Chemlab, were the fiery steam fire oily sounds that spoke to my soul. As time went on my anger and napalm softened and I moved away from this soul. In the past few years I have found myself rediscovering and broader and more intricate hard electronic sound. Here are some of the echoing booms filling my warehouse.
SpankTheNun: The Texas industrial sensation from Eric Hanes is bringing Industrial back to it’s early core. It’s catchy and dancy, with steel jaws of metal drive guitars and distorted growl. I love the clarity achieved through modern tech that takes the early feel and refines it into the modern expectation of laser focus. The new album out “The Bunker Tapes volume 1” is a perfect homage to the past with a fresh hypersonic spin.
Stoneburner: Steven Archer of Ego Likeness started the project of to express a different aspect of his music. This is truly taking the concept of Industrial music into a higher form of evolving art. It’s high concept sci fi with tribal organic drum beats and lyrical poetry that pushes the boundaries of the human experience. The albums are ever evolving and are done with a vision. He also is a master of interactive experience and blending of visual and sonic art. Truly breaking ground for a new concept.
GoFight: It’s hard to think of Jim Marcus as “new” Industrial. Die Warsaw was one of those early bands that taught me the idea of Industrial music could mean something more than macho angry aggression. A beauty and subtlety that made me dance and sing along with glorious pop hooks while maintaining that furious grinding filth. Jim continues to write songs that capture the mind and infuse the body with buzzing chemical energy. A relatable idea with sharp edges and teeth. One of those beautiful ideas that blends accessibility with higher thought. Jim has always been the cutting edge of Chicago Industrial and has not missed a beat. New single out Freestate is another masterpiece of technique and torr ant.
I Ya Toyah: The one woman army from Chicago is a explosion of energy, love, and pain. It’s has a soul that really sets it apart from a lot of the genre. Ania has a voice and song writing style that captivates with it’s power and passion. The songs move with intention and the lyrics have a personal flavor that makes you a part of them. The live stage show is truly something to behold. She is a voice for the future of what electronic music is capable of.
The Joy Thieves: Another Chicago band ( A Lot of good Industrial came from Chicago). This one a super band helmed by Dan Milligan has brought amazing talents from several Industrial mainstays to ride that line between hard rock and industrial. I once describes them as Clutch beating the shit our of Stabbing Westward with a baseball bat. It’s furious aggression, blistering guitar work, progressive percussion, and napalm vocals. It’s a compilation of talent to rival bands like Pigface with it’s own organic concept.
Fee Lion: Another Chicago act with more smooth cold blue edges. A powerful and sensual voice with distinctive electronic dance club explosions. Very avant garde and and invasive. A true master class in how to use push pull dynamics to pull in your audience. Only a few releases so far but already setting the stage for a power player in the genre.
Klack: Madison WI collaboration between Matt Fanale (Caustic) and Eric Oehler (Null Device) have formed up to make EDM for a new generation. It’s clever, conscience, and shoots a bolt of electricity into your spine that shakes that ass. The vocals are the perfect blend of both talents that brings the revolution and makes it fun. It’s an iron gauntlet in a velvet glove. Get Klacked and stay Klacked.
Moris Blak: Boston MA, Hard EDM industrial is not here to take you gently into emersion. It is fierce and limb flinging excitement adrenochrome shot into your mind and designed to make you let go of all control. He also does some intense remixes and mind bending live shows. This is not a throwback sound. It is straight alien brain melt.
ESA (Electronic Substance Abuse) – The British master of EDM dance club excitement. When using bass beats like a sonic weapon it is a true challenge to construct ear worm melodies that cut to the forefront. This music is a virus that infiltrates every cell of your being and demands you dance. The newest album “Eat Your Young” also features the amazing Caitlin of the band Corlyx. Immersive filthy grinding dance beats that ride you hard and put you away wet.
Curse Mackey: – This is a scene veteran that has been a key member of one of the biggest Industrial bands Pigface. He has recently released his first solo album “Instant Exorcism“. Aside from the amazing vocals and pedigree of this record, I think what really moves me are the thought and poetry of the lyrics. This is truly and out of the box thinking persons Industrial sound. A must have.
Silverwalks: Criminally underrated sci-fi electronic backdrop creator from Philly. This new single is “Lantern” is an absolute burner. One of those songs I can’t hit play enough times on. It has a true Gary Numan quality in it’s texture and flow. I loved it so much I had to have an Amaranth remix done. Transport yourself to an alternate sonic reality with this band.
Melodywhore: This glorious electronic music wizard has forged really taken the old Industrial concept of collaboration. Blending a softer more passionate dance grime energy. Using a variety of musicians and vocalists. This latest track for BLM charities is beautiful and powerful. Giving voice to rage using an intelligent whisper.
Dead Agent is the solo project of Ed Finkler, also known as Funkatron.
Musically it leans more towards the EBM side of the spectrum but manages to do so without feeling like something we`ve heard a thousand times before during the last X amount of years.
While its mainly instrumental there`s heavy use of samples and other sound design techniques to create the illusion of vocals as can be heard on the track “Frentik“.
Ed was once part of the band Cult Of Jester where we saw him in the role of a vocalist fronting an industrial rock band so to see him return to music in such a different yet at the same time familiar manner is definitely interesting. Dead Agent is a project to keep your eyes on going forwards.
From Connecticut we have Decent News who we have featured on the site before in various scenarios. They deliver a refreshing take on the blending on industrial and rock/metal. The guitar work especially stands out from the crowd as one can pick up on some clear early thrash metal influences at times as opposed to what has seemingly become the standard industrial guitar consisting of simply palm muting and tabs that look something like this: 0-000-00-0.
Having carved out their own sound they manage to evolve and progress with each release within the confines of their world which is quite an underappreciated talent.
From the UK comesVanity Killsdelivering some dirty, gritty rock n roll with filthy, dripping electronics sewn in like a patch on a vest.
They wear their influences on their sleeve and take it all the way whether that be sonically or visually, yet also manage to do things their own way and leave an open wound on the otherwise often too mechanical world of industrial rock.
While Darrin Lewis may have spent years as vocalist for the metal/deathcore band Beside The Silence he’s now working under the moniker Nothing Valentine creating what I‘m tempted to call a blend of pop and industrial but still retaining the heavy element of earlier projects.
Debuting with the song #GothGirl almost a year ago, he later followed up with the politically charged track “Civil Unrest” which showed a thematically and in many ways musically heavier side to NV which might not have been according to the audiences expectations after hearing the more light hearted first single but this is exactly why he`s on the list. Expect the unexpected whether it be in terms of music or the overarching themes.
Of course we have to include Blakmoth as we just did an interview with him.
Blakmoth creates what he refers to as “Doombient” consisting of heavy rhythmic drum work and droning ambient soundscapes all created with modular synths.
Having recently signed with Errorgrid Records and with a new release on the way despite having released “Deathshead” only a couple weeks ago Blakmoth is highly productive and is always seeking to push the envelope and challenge the audiences ideas.
I hope that with time well see more modular based artists pop up and break out of lighthearted bleeps and bloops for just a moment to explore the dark side of synthesis that Blakmoths music beckons us towards.
From Denver, Colorado comes the duo known as Echo Beds with amplified oil barrels, broken tapes and generally less than perfect instruments they create noisy yet catchy and often strangely melodic tunes reminiscent of early Swans meets EBM or something along those lines. Visceral yet danceable, not too harsh for the new comers to the experimental part of the industrial genre but just enough to entice you to go deeper and explore a side of it which is often forgotten about these days despite being the source of the genre. This one is truly DIY or die voltage therapy.
Industrial Rock isn`t exactly what Norway is known for musically although one might be able to draw comparisons between the early days of industrial and black metal in terms of extremity ,avant garde-esque tendencies and against the grain approach.
Carrion, lead by S&S writer Hide [Adrian Kjøsnes] blends elements of traditional rock n roll with a tad of 90s Nine Inch Nails style steeped in occult philosophy and mysteries.
Having just released the album “Testament Ov The Exiled” now is the perfect time to check them out if you haven’tt already to hear Hides most recent experiment mixing distorted guitars and modular synthesis into a blend of structured yet still chaotic noise and…Power ballads. Yes, you read that right.
Having recently released the single “Blithe Din” along with a ton of remixes [Including Dead Agent and Decent News] this Florida based aggrotech band is perfect for those who love catchy synth lines that worms their way into your ear while banshee like vocals speak of biblical themes full of symbolism painstakingly researched for accuracy and adopted to whatever vocalist Richie V. Suriv attempts to express.
Having already built a following within the U.S alternative scene playing with acts like Psyclon Nine, Dope, Skold, Combichrist and more this is not one to miss, oh, and they`ve got their keyboards on a chain swingset 😉
Zwaremachine: Loud and nasty from Minneapolis, this band is a grinding tidal wave of shrapnel and hiss. It rolls over you in slow driving sludge and flashing lights. Bringing gore and empty warehouse space into stark relief that transports you back to a 90’s rave in Detroit. Join in the chant and leave your inhibitions at the door.
11 Grams: The team up between Rob Early and Simeon Fitzpatrick that cuts the clean razors of electronic science fiction and dance club fury. This is two masters of production riding an electric wave of futuristic beauty and construction. It’s transformative and honed to make rooms sizzle.
StatiqBloom: This New York band is frightening and cold. It’s movement is infectious but the tone is dark. A Sinister horror film brought to life. Definitely EDM dance movement but one that leaves you anxious and clawing at the wall. You can’t sleep because you can’t relax in this terrifying landscape.
TH Inc: Chicago, Illinois Hailing from the beating heart of American Industrial music comes the sonic power house TH Inc. Electronic music pioneers Christopher Turner (of Nookleptia and the mixcloud show The Garbageman Show) & Robert Hyman (Drummer of Mr. Russia, member of Melter and owner of Lens Records) first came on the scene with the darkly haunting 8 minute “Drawstring” and the pair continue to dish out fresh dark DIY industrial reminiscent of Throbbing Gristle, Brighter Death Now, and the edgier side of COIL. If you missed out on or just miss the raw paranoid energy of early industrial and noise, but need a taste of something new, look no further. 2020 has seen the Release of 2 albums the gritty pulsing Circuit Flare, and the epic droning of The Tarkovsky Suites.learn more @ thincband.com
Bellhead: Chicago, Illinois Also from the land of WAX TRAX, this 2 Bass & a Drum Machine, Male/Female duo gave us their first taste of their mix of industrial sleaze with the thick dirty sound of “Fire Control“. Bellhead have kept it up with a hand full of releases including the 2020 EP “Unicorn Bones” and the Single “Sanity Assassin” an edgy in you face cover of the Bauhaus song.Keep you eyes on Bellhead, especially if you are a fan of the 90’s industrial rock style of Orgy and Snake River Conspiracy and even later Thrill Kill Kult.
eHpH: Denver, Colorado By now I am sure you have noticed we here at Sounds and Shadows are fans of eHpH and Bleeding Light Music in general. I feel I cannot say enough about eHpH, they come to the table with a fresh take on EBM and the darker side of synth driven industrial. From track to track you feel something that could have easily hit the dance floors of 90’s/2000’s goth industrial clubs and yet sounds strangely original. eHpH is that seductive dark stuff that draws you into this world.
BLAKMOTH is a modular artist who`s part of a small but hopefully growing group of artists who works towards showing a different and darker side of the world of modular based music.
While a good amount of such music tends to be generative, ambient-esque bleeps, bloops and often on the ligher side of things BLAKMOTH composes dark, doomy, gloomy yet rhythmic creations within his own, self-made world of what he calls “Doombient” music.
I got in touch with BLAKMOTH after having seen, listened to and admired his style for a little while now to find out what his thoughts and creative process is.
Could you introduce yourself to our readers to start this of?
Hello my name is Jack and I create music under the name Blakmoth.
How long has BLAKMOTH been around and what inspired you to create this?
I’ve been creating music as Blakmoth for about 5 years now. I’ve always created music but wasn’t inspired to do it professionally until I saw my daughters love for music
You just released an album entitled “Deathshead” your name is Blakmoth, your Bandcamp subscription service is called Cult Of The Moth, is there any particular reason or symbolism regarding the constant moth reference?
Moths are kinda like my spirit animal. I wanted a name that had a tribalism like vibe that represented that and my personality and sound. Which has a dark overtone that seemingly chases the light.
Your music isn`t what most people associate with modular synthesizer i.e ambient bleeps and bloops. What made you go down the darker, grittier path?
I did it not only to be unique but also inspire others to think outside the box. I feel like it’s become an aesthetic with modular to just grab some plucky sounds and make generative patches. Not everyone is doing that but as I scroll through social media I hear a lot of the same sound and vibe and it gets repetitive. I wanted to bring a different narrative to the table.
When you switch your system on, do you tend to have an idea of what you want to create or do you rely more on “happy accidents” ?
Never. It often starts with a drone or some sound designing. I often find inspiration in that sound and build on that.
If I were to pick out one module I associate with you it would have to be the Manis Iteritas from Noise Engineering. How has NE`s creations shaped your sound and what is it about them that attracts you?
That’s a perfect association. When going for that doombient sound Manis fit the mold so well so much so I built a whole 88hp rack around one module. For me it’s the playability and feature richness of Noise Engineering’s modules.
Looking through your release one might notice you release new music quite often both for the public as well as your monthly singles collections for subscribers. How much time do you spend composing?
Composing is life! Seriously though, 6-8 hours a day. Sometimes a whole day. When I’m working on albums.
You`ve carved out your own little sound called “Doombient”. What are the key components of this sound in your own words?
Doombient is composed of dark brooding atmospherics and textures. There’s also a rhythmic component that may come from drums or the drone itself. The idea came about because I wanted to push ambient into a darker space. Be the complete opposite of bleep bloops and plucks.
If someone came by your house, what music would they find you listening to?
Doomjazz, or some of my favorite social media friends. I listen to the people I follow most of all.
You`ve recently joined Errorgrid Records who`s quickly becoming the host of some of the greatest up and coming darkly inclined electronic artists. What plans do you have with them going forwards?
In the near future I have a release November 6th. Over the long term I plan to keep growing artistically and stay prolific.
The space is below is yours to use for whatever you feel like wether it be shout-outs, music reccomandations, a favourite quote, anything.
If I had advise to give it would be this, stay true to your self. Success doesn’t come from imitating others. Find what makes you unique and push that no matter if you have 5 fans or 10k. Just be you. Don’t compete with anyone but yourself and find inspiration in that.
Follow BLAKMOTH and hear his music via the following links: