I have not been doing a great job of releasing new reviews this summer. It is Bandcamp Friday so I thought I would play a bit of catchup on some of the amazing new music that has kept my Summer dark and cool. Goth/Industrial/Wave music is alive and well and as always I want to place a focus on new music that has touched my heart and inflamed my senses.
Black Rose Burning – Night Terrors – George Grant with a second new single from this hybrid genre project that continues to impress. George has a standout voice that has shown new facets of depth and clarity. The cover art and tone are a return to the science fiction passion resonant in the theme of BRB. The slow shooting star guitar rift gives shape to the frantic rhythm driving the track. I know Jason Corbett (Actors) is providing mastering for the upcoming album and I can’t wait to hear his vision of George’s story.
Obsidian – Collection 1 – I had the pleasure of seeing the Florida Death Rock band play live in Chicago in August. A band that is crackling with positive energy and overflowing with live performance emotion. When I got back home I immediately looked up this October 2022 compilation of their career to date. I hear a lot of passion for the core of original goth. A reverence for Pornography Cure, Acid Bath Alien Sex Fiend, for that early strain of darkness blended with the spark of creation. The compilation includes 2018-2020 15 tracks and a wide swath of styles.
Missy Mortis – Vocals & Guitar
Kathy D. – Keyboards & Backup Vocals
Dent A Gon– Bass & Backup Vocals
Chuck Loose – Drums & Backup Vocal
A Swamp – You always need to start an album with a banger. Thunderclap bassline which really drives this song like a crashing wave. Sinful chanting vocals that come from the back of the room and pierce a veil of Barney Sumner guitar static. Draw them in before you knock them down. You can hear this was early material by the rawness of production, but the track is all hairpin turns and precision.
The Vultures Will Pick Your Bones – This is a high-speed decay. Kathy Diaz takes the vocal point like an enflamed banshee wailing a future demise. The punk rock gnashing teeth of these drums will have you flailing and processed. At the two-minute mark you hear a madman’s laugh and a blistering guitar solo that drives you into a brick wall.
Viracoacha – I love the resonant Cure guitar tone here. Missy unleashes a haunting Peter Murphy style vocal that completely channels the early goth flavor. I feel this one swelling in my chest. Punishing bass that comes from the inside out. I am memorized by how unhinged every song feels while reminded what careful attention went into each song writing decision.
This is definitely a band where the live performance tells the true tale. I got to have a quick interview at the show, but I promise you all we will have a full discussion with this up and coming talent soon.
Red Meat – Providence – Brand new double single release from the sordid electrofilth artist Rhys Hughes of Manchester. Freshly signed to Armalyte Records and ready to drag you into an underground world of unimagined debauchery. Rhys brings an unapologetic Queer courage and political napalm to both their songs and online persona. I always like to close my eyes and conjure an image the first time I hear a track. This is a dump truck full of green ooze caterwauling down the street splashing acid on the world as it teeters through every turn. Rhys flings the venom laced vocals at high velocity on a gatling gun percussion. It jumped up the bandcamp charts in a hurry for good reason.
Sapphira Vee – Fortune – NY shadow siren Sapphira Vee continues a steady flow of electronic cabaret on Distortion Records. This latest offering is in pre-release for Sept 8th. As always she puts a focus on collaboration and community with a bevy of top tier guest stars like Jean-Marc Lederman, Veronica Tam, Chava Sanberg, and Jim Marcus. Mixed and mastered by Jules Seifert at Epic Audio Media, London UK. My first thought from track one is how much you can hear the craft work she put into her production and songwriting. A lot of effort went into very tiny details and it shines. A shimmering jazzy vocal cadence blended with Underworld electronica. Creating a lovely space between the triphop feel of her earlier releases. Powerful use of string synths that draw a memorizing line through the phrase.
What It Was – Hard not to choose this opening single. Opening with those gorgeous string sounds into a sharp drum attack and very early 2000s London feel. Sapphira’s voice is a slow amber whiskey swirling in a glass. Confident and center without overpowering. An effortless ownership that eases you in.
Last (Feat Jim Marcus) – As a huge fan of Jim’s voice, hearing him take on a sensitive beauty in the reflection of someone else’s music is amazing. I feel so much trust and collaboration in this track. usually when I think of Jim’s lyrics and voice it’s all sexy bear growls and slippery club feels. This is tender, sweet, beckoning.
Metamorph – Woo Woo (Feat: Adoration Destroyed) – NYC Synth Witch Margot Day is leaning into the autumn season and teaming with club thumper maestros Adoration Destroyed. Streaking through the sky on broomstick, cutting the violet fog, getting real high and getting witchy for us. The flute breakdown before two minutes if the perfect gust of breath. We all know how much I love my goth to be fun, and this is a Stevie Nicks riot.
Slighter – This Futile Engine– What makes California electro sonic visionary Colin Cameron stand out in a crowd so much? I think it is how he approaches music. It’s never with a plan to play out live, to pack a room. His songs are moving auditory dreams made solid. This translates into his career doing soundtracks for tv/movies. The latest title “This Futile Engine” rings so apt evoking imagery of a grinding mechanized monstrosity rolling over a dying world of post capitalism too enormous to support it’s own consumption. Colin pulled out all the stops from Brutal Resonance and beyond with guest artists who he pushed out of their comfort zone in every track.
Tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13 written by Colin Cameron Allrich (ASCAP)
Track 2 lyrics and vocals by Craig Joseph Huxtable (SOCAN)
Track 7 lyrics and vocals by Anastasia Poirier (BMI)
Track 9 lyrics and vocals by Yvette Winkler, recording assisted by Roland Zwaga
Track 11 lyrics and vocals by Tara Kimberly Saavedra (ASCAP)
Track 5 Vocals by Steven Seibold and Tara Saavedra
Track 9 Vocals by Yvette Winkler
Memory Corruptor – (Feat Steven Seibold and Tara Saavedra) – This one is broken sky slow grind with terrifying screaming vocals. Guess who is one of the greatest screamers in the game? Steven Seibold of Hate Dept. Blend this with the ethereal swamp whispers of Tara aka Morgue VVitch and you are left with a heady and unnerving brew. The production on this song really highlights the best of everyone.
Pulling Me Under – Previous winner on the S & S darkscene singles chart. This track showed a glorious new side to Craig’s voice. The music is a rumbling dance bop. Cold and captivating Craigs voice resonates with desperation seeping into cold water. Try not to move your whole body to this track.
This whole album is perfect to close your eyes and sink into a nightmare imagination journey.
Psyclon Nine – More To Hell – Los Angeles terrordustrial band has made this EP as mean and gritty as I can handle. It’s good to know where your edge is, and this one is mine. Released on goth/industrial legendary label Metropolis in May 2023 this is a follow up to the 2022 “Less To Heaven” with some heavy hitter remixes by Skold, Suicide Commando, Pitch Black, and more. This EP is all slithering shadows, and they are all holding wicked looking knives. One of those records I don’t listen to if i am hoping for a peaceful nights sleep. Double bass drum impact, cruel glitchy guitar fuzz, and vocals that lash around like a razor sharp forked tongue. This isn’t in my standard wheelhouse, but something done well that has a time and place in my heart. Enough that I have continued to come back and find the words.
Money Sex and Death (Suicide Commando Remix) – Sure this is one of the bigger names for the remixes, but there is a reason they have that name. This is explosive like a legion of demons assaulting the gates. Stomping in the viscous sludge in platform boots.
Stoneburner – The Great Filter – Lately I have been getting the feedback that I have a few artists that receive a constant stream of my bandwidth and I could search deeper for bands I don’t know yet. Steven Archer would surely be near the top of that list. The thing is, Steven keeps putting out incredible art, and it is always different. I’m not going to stop talking about it just because I have before. So here is a new EP on COP International with a hypothesis to question if the universe is as vast as it is, it seems mathematically likely other life exists. So why don’t we see it. Industrial music, which has always had strong ties to Science Fiction or prediction is at it’s best when not only tackling concepts like dancing, banging, and drinking. Opening with the frenzy beat Narcisus Steven does layered mesh vocals rich with a lip curl arrogance. Almost like an audiobook Steven is finding ways to tell stories by vocal inflection. Different characters in the Stoneburner world have emerged with distinct voices. Another intriguing aspect of The Great Filter is a return to complete production control in Steven’s studio. I think it creates a different energy and confidence to some of the COP releases featuring John Fryer.
Fair and Balanced – Punk infused political banger addressing class and corruption. This is vintage Stoneburner spitting dissent with even cadence and rhythm you feel in your bones. It’s hard not to put your hands up. Like a bouncing cyborg kangaroo charging towards you on fire.
Corvomancers – What a rich and complex tale, of carrion hybrid creatures picking the bones of a broken world. The vocal effects back off to let the clarity of the words breath. This chorus got stuck in my head. The Crow hybrid or shapeshifter has deep roots as a trickster in many mythologies. Blending that with an alternate reality or science fiction is a master stroke. I would love to see a graphic novel of this premise.