Hot new releases I am thankful for: Sunshine Blind-Icy Men-Swansect-Schedule IV/Heavy Water Factory-Mark e Moon

I am sitting here on Thanksgiving thinking on all the great things in the last two years this page has brought me. The wonderful people I have come in contact with and now call friends. The wealth of music that has opened up for me. The way this page has grown in readership, content, and me as a writer. The podcast has been a real hit right from the starting gate and it gets me excited for the future. I have added in new voices like Collin, Katy, and Adrian. I wanted to take a moment to thank you all who read, submit, and have open minds to find and support new music. These are intense times, art and each other is what will help us get through them. All of you are what makes my future seem bright and meaningful. I hope you that believe in the power of music reach out today and show an artist you love that they are important to you. Maybe sharing something of theirs, buying their art, or sending them a message letting them know they matter to you. Here is some of what I am enjoying today.

Caroline and I at Stoneburner

Caroline Blind – Need to Say

https://carolineblind.bandcamp.com/releases

Sunshine Blind was a band essential to my musical evolution. Caroline has been a groundbreaking voice in the goth/industrial genre since I first discovered what that meant. A women who Andrew Eldrich said was “too goth” for him to play with. Her release Liquid really opened my eyes to the broader world of possibility in dark music. (If you have never listened to it you really need to get on that right away). Recently she released a cover of The Swans God Damn The Sun which was majestic, tragic, and gorgeous. Tomorrow her new original single Need to Say drops. I was lucky enough to hear it and I cannot stress the amount of power and emotion this song summoned. It was a vast change from her previous style. A slow heart wrenching ballad so personal and tortured I found myself with wet eyes and a quivering lip. To anyone who has known a crucial loss this is art at it’s most powerful to punch a hole in your chest and hold your heart. You will want to make it a part of your collection.

Icy MenUninhabited Buses EP on Cold Transmission Records

https://icymen.bandcamp.com/album/uninhabited-buses

Ukrainian Coldwave Post Punk Artists Icy Men have just released a new EP on Cold Transmission. I was immediately struck by how different this sounded from their other material. I think part of what makes Icy Men so intense is the mechanical urban feel of the music. I always think of subway tunnels and empty spaces. The lyrics are mostly in either Russian or Ukrainian (So I can’t understand) but the delivery and cadence of that low octave powerful drone put me in mind of Ian Curtis. The bass lines are forceful and thick. The remix of Carlo Onda is such a thumping jam of weighty low end with a sinister slashing guitar riff that crackles with electricity. The EP also features a remix of the song Raindrops from one of our favorite Philly synth wizards Kiss the Whip. Its such a surreal experience hearing the light dancing pop beats straight out of a John Hughes movie delivered with the power and brevity of Lytvyn and Den. The whole EP really transports you to the isolated streets of Kyiv. Fans of chilling dark melodies will be excited to hear Icy Men.

https://swansect.bandcamp.com/album/s-t-2

Swansect – S-T

Swansect the project of our very own Adrian has released this new EP S/T. I know they felt a little tentative of using the page to cover their new single and EP. Luckily for all of you I don’t care about standing on such ceremony and wanted to share this with you. This album is so hard to put in a box or describe. A truly daring artistic endeavor using sounds and ambient effects to set a mood. The tone and expression of each of these 5 tracks takes a drastically different direction. It’s frightful and truly outside of genre. Adrian’s voice roars from inside a gaping chasm. The drum beats of heavy handed and pound from inside you. This is a journey into the unknown I really enjoyed.

Heavy Water Factory – Remix of Schedule IV “Fault

https://scheduleiv.bandcamp.com/album/fault-heavy-water-factory-remix?fbclid=IwAR0dd_-GZZdHyJ0d9bhYrpY8iiRDzTEFWyEeVtrCv-tq8L__b8_Kq8M0_qk

Another blast from my past Jesse McClear of Detroit Industrial royalty Heavy Water Factory have come out of the darkness of the last 14 years with some amazing new material. Today it’s this remix of our friends Schedule IV. This remix is crackling purple lightning shooting out of the Emperor’s hands. Always one of my favorite Schedule IV tracks for Steph’s piercing power and sinister growl. McClear has infused it with a perfectly balanced electronic club beat sure to blow the roof off of your next party. I was smacking the steering wheel so hard to this beat I almost went off the road.

Lust For Nothing – Tired of Thee Unknown

https://lustfornothing.bandcamp.com/album/tired-of-thee-unkown?fbclid=IwAR3hFOW5JHaKviLP1-0z-7lGIZpU39h9vpollm6Bl5aCSYG_OgVhU23Xpfs

Philly’s lord of Darkness Michael Sky has just unleashed a new Lust For Nothing EP with two tracks. I was a huge fan of their first album (See Previous Review). These new songs are a huge leap forward in both emotion and production. Sky has this inane sense of the line between fiery energetic uptempo electronic and something sinister that almost puts me in mind of 1980’s The Damned. These songs will both get a lot of play in my rotation.


Mark e Moon – Refer

https://markemoon1.bandcamp.com/album/refer

We were recently on a compilation with Mark e Moon and I feel in love with his imagery rich lyrics and bottom of the well rich voice. This has tones of Mission UK and Sisters old school goth. Blended with crisp tight keyboard melodies and drum beats. A little extra sizzle with my darkness is never bad. Moons voice is really what holds everything together and I am going to deep dive this album soon.

Sounds and Shadows Podcast #2 Featuring Twin Tribes

https://soundcloud.com/user-616425034/sounds-and-shadows-podcast-2-featuring-twin-tribes

This was an a great experience interviewing our friends from Twin Tribes where they discuss their new album Ceremony, three new bands they are exited about, life on tour, food on tour, which coney dog is superior, and the Absolution festival. Below I will post the links of all the bands we discussed. Please check them all out and support great music. Please like and follow the Soundcloud page, we have more great stuff on the way.

Twin Tribes from Texas

https://twintribes.bandcamp.com/track/fantasmas-2

WingTips from Chicago

https://wingtips.bandcamp.com/album/exposure-therapy

Korine from Philly

https://korine.bandcamp.com/album/uncrossed-to-you

Choir Boy from Salt Lake City

https://choirboy.bandcamp.com/track/nites-like-this

Creux Lies from California

https://creuxlies.bandcamp.com/album/the-hearth

Actors from Vancouver

https://actors.bandcamp.com/album/it-will-come-to-you-lp

Panic Priest from Chicago

https://panicpriestngp.bandcamp.com/album/panic-priest

Review: Ultra Silvam “The Spearwound Salvation”

Being from Norway I simply can`t escape those blackened musical roots and it is with that in mind I will be bringing you this review of the most wretched of sounds.

Ultra Silvam is a band from Malmö, Sweden who are amongst the very few who has managed to get black metal right. Free from simple and often childish nonsense these guys are dead serious about their work and it shows.

Their debut album “The Spearwound Salvation” graced us with its presence in march of this year and needs to be talked about.

The simple yet oh so effective artwork serves as a warning and a sign of what you`ll find inside.
The minimalistic quite DIY look to the art alone is reason enough to pick up this album.

We start off with the albums title track and it wastes no time going straight into black metal madness, ponding drums, scorching guitars and diabolical vocals right out the gate.

From the very moment this album starts youre in for one hell of a ride, this is whats been missing from the BM scene and I`m overjoyed to find that this filth still breathes and spreads its disease to each and every man, woman and child who walks the earth.

I must also point out the lyrics, each track has wonderfully penned words, carefully crafted in praise of those dark abominable things from which this music sprung.

While I could comment on the fast paced , high pitched tremolo picking I must say the atmosphere surrounding this album is what makes it stand out so much.

After holding you down and bludgeoning you right in your face the first track ends and moves quickly unto the next who bears the swedish title “Ödesalens Uppenbarelse” translating to “Desolations Revelation”

A steady drum beat and thrashing guitars come running towards you hungry for blood.

Absololoute filth spews from the vocalist as he delivers the word of the Devil himself.

Do not misunderstand or underestimate this release for not having melody because it has, it has sinister tones, orchestrated with intention to hasten the end of days and it just might succeed.

I certainly wouldnt want to be the one standing in these guyspath.

The revelations slows its pace and seductively lures us further in to dig it`s long, sharp claws deep within us, penetrating our hearts and tearing our souls asunder.

Third offering, “Birth Of A Mountain” keeps the fists coming towards us making us swallow teeth and spit blood.

If you cant feel the raw fucking passion behind this music then you might wanna check for a pulse. Heres a hint; You won`t have one.

There`s such a beautiful darkness to this track, the production of the album all around is right in that sweet spot and it brings out the best of these songs in a way others so called BM bands often miss all in the name of some bullshit crusade of Trve and Kvlt.

Well if you want a true cult then heres one for you and its name is Ultra Silvam.

Yet another swedish title “Förintelsens Andeväsen” “Destructions Spirits” jumps us from behind and drives it`s sharpened dagger in us , a short and sweet attack just under two minutes long that will surely send any headbanging maniacs to the hospital.

Cacophonous , chaotic. Malformed melodies of death and doom eclipses the sun and violently darkens everything.

Next up is “Wings Of Burial” starting off with more cacophony and a filthy groove for lack of a better term. that Satanic rebel yell cuts through and the fires spread, destroying anything and anyone that dares come near.

The echo of the lines “Drape my vision with ashes and blood
And defile my senses with ancient rot” perfectly describes what`s happening here. And we stand like frantic fanatics with fire in our hearts with open arms welcoming the funeral of the world.

A Skull Full Of Stars” The title itself should give a hint as to the pure unfiltered insanity it contains.

Pounding drums and soaring guitars drenches heaven`s gate in blood as the Devils messenger delivers the gospel of decay.

A guitar section which is truly filled with the most fiery passion comes and goes and towards the middle and breaks us into thrash glory.

And thus we have reached the end and what we find there deep down in those black pits is “The First Wound” feedback of guitars quickly picked up to destroy along with drums that punch several holes in your heart mows you down and breaks into complete and utter destruction.

This is one of those releases within the scene which will surely stand the test of time and live on to achieve legendary status.

The track stops, leaving guitars to ring out for a few seconds before entering into a new phase. The drums in this section is something of Bathory level glory , the slow and steady beating and pounding of the skin.

We`re brought back up in pace and layered over the punching of drums the guitars swings and sways and grabs us by our throats before flinging us up against concrete walls covered in the sharpest rusty nails and leave us bleeding as they walk away celebrating the utter violence.

If anyone dares doubt the greatness of Ultra Silvam you may be worhty of execution.

DEAD AGENT “SGT_SLTR_MLN” EP REVIEW

Ed Finkler is Dead Agent and is currently laid out on my autopsy table ready to be dissected.

The EP “SGT_SLTR_MLN” released September 27th with six tracks all wrapped up in blood red art courtesy of Sgt_Slaughtermelon / Matt Wallace.

So let`s cut to the chase and dive into this..

The opening track entitled “Order Disorder“begins with flickering synth sounds that feels as if they move back and forth from you, increasing and decreasing before the first sequences appear in a near horror esque manner warning you that somethings coming. Bubbly, bleepy bloopy glitched out sounds come in for a moment before the first hit of the kick drum and off we go with a nice, soft pad to lead the way.

Melodic lead synths to top it all off make this the type of track I`m sure fans of electro/industrial kids at the club would much appreciate. Personally I think it would be interesting to hear some vocals but I digress…

A good start nonetheless with promising sound design.

Next up is “Mutiliated

Again we have the sense of a flickering introduction but it doesnt feel repetetive, its engaging and interesting. Delayed sounds layered nicely over rythmic drums and lazer beam synths before what sounds like a short voice sample seconds before we get properly started but just as we do we also get dropped down again and picked up by more synthesized melodies where effected vocal samples seem to float just beneath the surface creating a very intriguing result.

As we move towards the end the song starts getting a little more violent yet retaining it`s softness and moving right into track number three; “Bit Shifter

Sirens beckon us closer, the bass warns but fails as we follow the call into unknown territory.

A delightful soft synth sequence appears and steadily grows louder, meaner and harsher.

So far it seems the Bit Shifting is taking its sweet time but misunderstand me correctly, its certainly not a complaint. I quite enjoy the aura of suspense such pacing creates. Unintellgibe vocal samples appear to lure us further towards the jaws of the shifter whos slowly spinning his web, getting ready to get its voltage controlled fingers on us all.

Sirens appear again accompanied by glitching yet soft sounds beneath, Im loving the siren sound for sure and am no stranger to putting it to use myself. The sounds and sequences to come gives me this highkey 80s vibe which seems to be growing in popularity these days surely thanks in part to shows like Stranger Things and its theme song.

We move on to the next track as we still attempt to break free from the web of the previous beast. “Frentik” starts us off with a slowly growing horror like soundscape but is quick to introduce us to synths that doesn`t sound too far from what one could find in various modular based music. A steady, slow drum beat and heavily effected vocals appear bringing us to beautiful melodic realms.

I will say Im not usually a fan of effect heavy vocals as I feel its often used as a crutch or a way to make something interesting out of the mindnumbingly boring but I believe Dead Agent pulled it off in a quite tasteful way here so I don`t mind it at all. This seems to be my favourite track of the EP thus far.

The sound of chugging distorted guitars move towards us and only makes me fall a little bit more in love with “Frentik” the sound design of this form of music is often overlooked but in a case like this it deserves to be mentioned and it`s done very well, something I wish I could say more often.

The previously mentioned modular esque sequences take us to the end and into second to last track “Home Automaton

What at first sounds like perhaps a mixture of sampled, slowed down voices or the sound of a plane either landing of lifting off greets us and the ceremony begins.

This seems to be more of a typical dance/club track with some interesting 8 bit sounds thrown in at frequent measueres. While I`m not generally a fan of the more club oriented branches of this genre the track keeps me engaged and each new bleep and bloop piques my interest.

About halfway in we drop down to a melodic atmosphere and a clap which grows and is accompanied by fast paced sequencing before the drums reappear and yet again the soundscape shifts but the consistency is firmly upheld and the track doesnt suffer from its frequent changes.

And so weve reached the end of our little autopsy with only one more to go, that being "New Patterns" which is in itself a good description of this EP as a whole as each song is different yet you dont feel like you\re listening to five different artists.

Our goodbye begins with the forementoned 80s esque sound and a nearly melancholic, one hit high pitch synth sounds take us into the temple of the cyber lords.

Theres a near darkwave feel to this for a moment before shifting its pace ever so slightly only to return to a more minimalist form.

Two minutes and just a few seconds into the end we explode into electronic frenzy as the drums march onwards and in comes what sounds like a effect ladden theremin which I absoloutely adore.

The Bandcamp version of the EP also comes with two bonus tracks. The Neo-Suprematism remixes of “Order Disorder” and “Bit Shifter

The first remix begins with a fairly fast paced sequence being repeated as thiings happen slowly in the background before it all crashes and breaks into a four to the floor beat with a fantastic snare sound and we all know how hard it is to achieve suck levels of sorcery.

The track trudges ever onwards, broken up at seemingly random points by glitched out noise.

Definetly worth it`s slot as a bonus track.

The next remix begins with a sampled spoken word which I assume may be lifted from a serial killer documentary as rythmic noises appear from beneath and floating synhts come closer turning harsher and more destructive by the second. Psychedlia galore is quick to take over and I imagine if one were to drop acid to any track of this EP this would be the one to do such activities to.

The angels blow the trumpets warning us of the coming end. The apocalyptic horn blows steadily in ominous tones as the glitchfest takes place below the surface. Though I must point out the glitchfest seems like a controlled chaos sort of affair, it`s a beauitful destruction indeed.

It fades out and once agan a disembodied voice greets us as the maelstrom slowly builds up underneath to give us one last taste of these wonderfully composed and layered sequences that run throughout the whole of the release

You know what, I dont see why I should have to keep attemtping to convince you, just go get this damn EP, I guarantee you you won`t be disappointed. And on the off chance that you are feel free to come fight me about it.

Cold Transmission Zeitgeist Vol 10

https://coldtransmissionmusic.bandcamp.com/album/zeitgeist-vol-10

When our friends at Cold Transmission release two compilations back to back like this two things are generally true. 1) They feature a perfect blend of some of the hottest new music available from around the world. 2) They have one volume dedicated to Goth/Post Punk/Cold Wave and the other primarily electronic. This ended up right to form. It’s about 40 songs total at an unbelievably low price so I can’t touch on every single track. However I made a picture of Bloody Mary, hooked up my good speakers, and I am going to see how many I can do in one review. Buckle in and lets go for a ride.

Andy and I being adorbs 😉

Volume 10: So the genre of “Gothic Rock” is one that has been sitting on the self for a few decades without nearly enough attention for my personal taste. I feel like it is really making a huge comeback in the modern scene. Bands are really coming forth with new and exciting things from wicked goth guitar riffs and driving bass lines. I was blown away at how this compilation captured so many of these great next wave Goth Rockers from all over the world in one place. If you call yourself “Goth” and want to have your finger on the modern pulse, Zeitgeist Vol 10 is a great place to start. It puts me in mind of those old Cleopatra Records comps I fell in love with all those years ago.

Track 1: A Projection – Stockholm Sweden post punk artist off of Tapete Records. What a strong start this song is. It bounces and the snapping of those live snares gives a furious pace. This track had a lot of The Mission UK flavor and a beautiful melody. I became an instant fan. Lots of depth, lots of rawness.

Track 3: Mark E Moon – This is a previously unreleased track Delta of Venus of this Cold transmission act from the Isle of Man is a gasoline fire of dark driving poetry. I love the lyrics, the cascading synths, and Mark’s Jaz Coleman style vocals. Total Burner

Track 4: SonsombreFear is a a slow driving goth rock modern classic from North Virginia revivalist Brandon Pybus. I really feel like Sonsombre are leading the charge for this next wave of goth music. Lots of Sisters of Mercy/Mission/Rosetta Stone ballad feel on those sweeping light finger drip guitars. This song makes me howl at the moon at 3am.

Sonsombre

Track 6 : October Burns BlackCast Aside is a “Proper” Goth rock track in every old school sense. This super band made up of bits and pieces from all around are giving you the real deal right out of 1981 preserved in dark crystal and given new life in the present. A mournful emotional outburst full of texture and power.

October Burns Black

Track 7: Astari NiteDearly Beloved, This crooning shadowy ballad from Miami Florida’s robust goth scene. A lot of David Bowie/Roxy Music glam to this dark winding tale of loss.

Astari Nite

Track 8 : Secret French Postcards – The most recent signing for Cold Transmission from Baltimore Maryland. Make Me Bleed is a beautiful track with very dark overtones but an ethereal shoegaze backdrop. One of those tracks that hits you on different layers every time you listen.

Track 9 : Icy Men – Another amazing Cold Transmission band hailing from Keiv Ukraine. They have another just released single I need to review. I love this minimalist bleak tone of isolation and desperation. I can’t understand the lyrics but i still find myself moved by the power of the delivery. The bending low range guitars create a great movement in a place devoid of hope.

Track 13: Caidas Libras – Post punk from Costa Rica. This song Poderes Simples has an intense and driving bass groove that charges through the track like a raging bull. The vocals are very whispered and low fi. I found myself wishing to hear more of it. The music has an undeniable groove and a sinister tone.

Track 14 : Paradise Cove Inside is another previously unreleased track on Cold Transmission. I love the distorted voice and punk rock vibe. Very Alien Sex Fiends buzzing club jam feel. Slick as an oil spill on an a frozen lake.

Track 15 Scary Black – Louisville KY goth masters Scary Black bringing one of my favorites on this compilation of goodness with Starlightdancer. Those reverb dreamy guitar riffs, the sinister low register vocals, and the ringing chime bells. So old school, so fresh, I can’t get enough.

Track 17: The GatheringBuilding a Bridge is the slashing builder and breaker from Vancouver also on Cold Transmission. It’s so open and harmonic, almost feels pop punk but with such perfect instrumentation and looming dark tones.

Track 20: Death InstinctHide is a track from Pittsburgh PA’s dark rock band Death Instinct. I love the Steven Morris drum builds. The echoing vocals with a slight lilt giving just enough glimpse of light to add some extra spice to the cold wave feel.

Track 23: AmaranthMy Turn Again is a song from Kalamazoo MI goth rockers. The singer sounds like a pretentious prick. Fuck that guy. The bass player seems hot though.

Track 25: The Bluebeard’s Castle – Another Cold Transmission band this time from France. I love this old bat cave feel yesteryear goth. Also the vocals have a touch of Jello Biafra in them which is awesome. I love the cadence and the bass underneath driving it.

I’m going to try and go back and fill in the bands I missed but this was just a marathon of reviewing. Needless to say I put in this much time because everything on this compilation is worth exploring and it takes you on a journey across the world. It makes me excited for what the goth scene is still capable of in 2019.