One of the great indicators of the Goth Rennaissance we are experiencing is the rise of more and more new festivals. The amount of talent currently in the darkscene added to the return of many legacy bands have led to great value for fans. These festivals have become goth summer camps to meet up with music scene friends often only interacted with online. In the last three years one that I always here praised by bands from around the world is Absolution Fest in Tampa Bay Florida from promotor/dj Mark Paradise from Communion After Dark and co promotor Pete Olen of Endoxa Booking. I think two things have lead to Absolution Fest’s success. 1) They place a focus on fresh up and coming bands rather than only having legacy headliners. 2) Positive people above name recognition. Everyone one I know who has played this festival raves about how every band there becomes friends and lifts each other up. This attitude and positive energy bleeds over into the crowd and gives everyone the sense of connection and community the scene has longed for.
The list of bands this year is staggering. I will go through some of the highlights along with links and information. Starting with the main even page below.
$125 – 3 Day Pass + Shirt & Poster
$100 – 3 Day Pass (Early Bird Special)
$40 – Single Day Tickets
Priest – Swedish synthwave sci-fi EDM. Performance, execution, danger, this is music to do crime to. If you say “Siri, play my hanging from a string jewel heist playlist” this is track one.
Nuovo Testamento – LA thicc bass electropop making infectious dance magic.
Kanga – Once again from the city of angels electronic glitter napalm pop Kanga is an experience not to be missed. Deeply respected in the genre this is glorious textural production you feel in your bones. New Album out October 6th.
Visceral Anatomy – The Alter ego of one of my favorite IL bands Wingtips. This incarnation of the duo place the lyric writing and singing on Hannah for a wonderfully different feel. I love the way their story is being told through a different lens.
Aeon Rings – Florida band I recently made song of the day and reminded myself I need to listen to more. Fierce EDM with Davey Partains piercing lightning quick vocals. They also have a new album out in Oct.
Last Grasp – Florida goth trio I had never heard before this review. First thing that grabbed me, what an amazing jazzy walking goth bassline. When you lay the foundation this well Epiphania it is easy to build on. Matthew DeFeis provides a nice rich Eldrichesque baritone vocal to round out a lovely trad goth feel. I’ll be looking for more.
Light Asylum – My religious devotion to Shannon’s voice is well known on this page. If you have never seen Light Asylum live, you are yet to live your best life. Trust me.
Night Sins – Philadelphia gangstersynth band with tortured baritone vocals and cold iron basslines. I haven’t seen them live yet, but I look forward to the opportunity.
Panic Priest – The magnificent Chicago darkwave crooner that makes every show feel like an intimate experience. violet beam guitar rifts, clarifying synths, and Jack’s top tier vocals are guaranteed to impress.
Astari Nite – Miami shadowglam band, I love how they embrace the over the top elegance of goth. Beautiful, provocative, captivating.
Double Eyelid – A dear friend Ian Revell coming from Toronto. They also understand how to embrace the camp of darkness. The songs all have razor hooks and interesting stores. This is a band that NEEDS more attention.
Black Rose Burning – One of the most underrated talents in our scene George Grant from Brookland. I’m so glad to see major festivals start to recognize their talent. They just dropped a new album “Ad Astra” Mastered by: Jason Corbett (Actors) and it is nothing short of breath taking. George is the musical genius of goth Peter Gabriel.
Empathy Test – The standout London band that has shot to worldwide notoriety with their dreamy emotive narrative style of songwriting. Another band I am yet to see live but that I can’t wait to. This is a band with headliner energy travelling across the ocean to delight American audiences.
WINGTIPS – The previously mentioned Illinois band also preforming Thursday as Visceral Anatomy. Perfect dream chaos synth music that somehow gets better every time I see them live. That is really saying something as I have seen them 7 times and each one my jaw drops and the connection and power of their performance. If you have never witnessed Vincent and Hannah do yourself a favor.
Sydney Valette – From Paris upbeat synthy bops, I love the rich resonant Jarvis Cocker style vocal delivery. Another band I need to learn more about
Helix – Amazing electronic team up of Tom Shear (Assemblage 23) & talented solo producer Mari Kattman. The married couple collaborate seamlessly to create steamy cascading electro art. I love the parts, I love the whole, I love getting lost in these songs.
BlakLight – LA darkpop darting between light and shadow. I always love the Peter Hook (Revenge) shadowsynth vibes I get from this band. I have never seen them live but I’m sure the floor will be pulsing.
NITE – The amazing Mendes brothers from Texas who flutter on the wind between post punk and synth pop. Always icy razor-sharp production and gorgeous glam vocals. A band I keep hearing the growth of with every release.
Additional shout out to Obscura Undead our dear friends in the scene and sponsor.
Obscura Undead is a collective of goth creators passionate about new and obscure goth, darkwave, post-punk, and other dark alternative music. Evolving and changing with the chaos is life and lead by Azy Bats, Obscura Undead celebrates five years of commitment to the members and bands of our dark scene, Tampa events, and inclusive goth-erie. We are a zine, a compilation, a mixtrack, a podcast, a promoter, a DJ group, and a supporter in love and darkness of all Goth has to offer.