Bands You Should Know In 2022 That Won’t Cost As Much as Depeche Mode.

So the last week I have heard a ton of people talking about the insane ticket prices of the new Depeche Mode tour. Now I have been lucky enough to see the life affirming spectacle of Depeche Mode and David Gahan “Paper Monsters” and everyone who can, should see it. It is truly one of those goosebump shows from a band that boasts a four-decade catalog. Gahan can still FULLY pull off the leather vest. While I saw a lot of folks complaining about the post Capitalism ticket prices, I didn’t hear nearly enough discussion of exciting bands in the genre you can see live in their prime for under $20. Let’s talk about some hot new releases now.

IAMTHESHADOWThe Wide Starlight – Things you can always count on from a new IAMTHESHADOW release: 1) Pedro delivering the richest baritone in modern darkwave. 2) Soul baring poetry 3) Perfect precision of mix and master. Everything else about the sound is completely in the air. “The Wide Starlight” is an expansive new sounds full of twinkling stars over violet plains. The album drops on 10/14 and marks a turn towards hope which my soul has hungered for. Cold Transmission Music has been a fertile creative ground for Portugal’s premier darkscene act.

▶︎ The Wide Starlight | IAMTHESHADOW (bandcamp.com)

IAMTHESHADOW
Pedro Code – Voices, Synths, Guitar and Programming
Herr G. – Electric Bass
Vitor J. Moreira – Synths

Track 7: Voices & Lyrics by Kristien Cools (Splendidula)

Favorite Tracks :

The Wide Starlight – Choosing the title track seems a tad on the nose , but what can you do when a song of this beauty and staggering power comes along. It is the perfect representation of what is special about this album from every previous IAMTYHESHADOW release.

I Am The Dark (Feat: Kristen Cools) – As someone who has sang a duet with Pedro, I know how intimidating it can be. This was a perfectly composed blend from the Belgium artist. Spiritual, sinister, and a wonderful halfway point to break the tone.

Overall: It is so difficult to make a statement like this about an artist I am so deeply invested in. I need to inhale this record deeply several more times. On it’s face “The Wide Starlight” has the potential to be my favorite IAMTHESHADOW album.

Panic PriestPSYCHOGORIA – Speaking of world class baritone voices Jack never disappoints. New album out 10/21/22 on Negative Gain featuring the crooning beauty and slashing guitar mastery. The Chicago based songsmith always layers the club friendly dance beats with a healthy dose of guitar accents to make a truly distinctive blend. The tempo here is a fast paced bop, but the bottom of a chasm of the vocals give every track a sense of soul.

Favorite Track: Dead Lust – I suppose some of the other tracks have more pop appeal. This one just oozes with raw vampire sensuality. TYhe vocals split the sky and have a Dead Or Alive horror vibe I can’t let go of.

▶︎ PSYCHOGORIA | Panic Priest (bandcamp.com)

Sapphira VeeAscent – New remix EP from NY electronic lounge artist Sapphira Vee on Distortion Records. Featuring reimagines by several up and comers as well as scene legends. I love the eclectic blend here from Texas Doomdustyrial artists Dread Risks to Michigan lightening waterfall producer Chiasm. The common thread in all of Saphira’s releases are the honesty of tone that bleeds truth with every delivery.

Favorite Track: Metamorph (Dogtablet Mix ) – Martin captured this amazing slow motion crawl across the floor feeling for this track. It really highlights the higher range of Sapphira’s voice which she often uses sparingly and lends more power when leaned on.

Ascent | Sapphira Vee (bandcamp.com)

DogtabletAshes – New 5 song EP from Industrial legends Martin King and Jared Louche. I had the pleasure of attending a listening party at the Post Punk Industrial museum where Martin provided some background for these songs. I love the grinding and deliberate nature of these tracks. Track 3 “Careless” Feat: Coral Scere is a haunting and memorable collaboration that shows how Martin continues to get the best out of everyone he works with.

Favorite Track: 16 Times – Martin has the ability to call on top tier vocal collaborators, I keep finding myself draw most to his own growing vocal confidence. This song is a spinning tendril of dream and imagery.

▶︎ Ashes | Dogtablet (bandcamp.com)

JUNKSISTA0A – This German based band on COP International is one I haven’t given nearly enough press to. Every time I hear them I am absolutely floored by the razor wire combination of owning a space in your head pop melodies and the way too cool to hang out with me punk rock attitude. It just drips with effortless expression and after party in the know. It is hard to hear this and not feel inside the most exclusive salon where everyone is invited. Speaking of invited the album features a who’s who of guest talent.

Guest Artists: Black Nail Cabaret , Die Krupps, Vaselyne , Omnimar, Helalyn Flowers.

Favorite Track: Fuck Your Pretty Face – I’m hard pressed to choose a favorite on this masterclass album. This is an unequivocal JAM. The drums, the guitar wail, the visceral vocal delivery. It’s one of those tracks I could never tire of.

We will have an interview with Junksista coming soon.

0A | JUNKSISTA (bandcamp.com)

Sounds and Shadows September 2022 Darkscene Singles Chart

This was an amazing month for new music heading into October the most goth month of the year. In September we had our highest vote count yet. All the songs below were Sept 2022 singles released in the broad “Darkscene” genre and voted on by the S & S collection of Djs, Artists, Promotors, Reviewers, and Superfans. A LOT of BANGERS here. Please take a listen, find something you enjoy, and support artists on Bandcamp. If you have a single releasing in Oct, or know someone who does, add it to the voting poll. Also it was a lovely feeling that the majority of the artists in the chart have done an interview with us.

  1. LeathersUltraviolet – Artoffact Records
  2. Caustic x GrabyourfaceNot Your Body
  3. A Cloud Of Ravens The Blackest Mantra – Nexilis Records
  4. Exa XControl – Distortion Productions
  5. FatigueSaudade (The Way Of Love)
  6. Ashes Fallen A New Normal
  7. The Burying KindComing Through
  8. Mark E Moon Dark Love – Cold Transmission Music
  9. Curse MackeySmoking Tongues – Negative Gain Records
  10. Cyborg AmokWicked Close
  11. JunksistaDeath By Heartache – COP International
Shannon being so Daddy I dropped my gum

LEATHERS – Ultraviolet – Brand new single from the Canadian synth extravaganza that is the project of Actors members and currently on tour with them. I love how if this was ever a “side project” it has evolved into a distinct powerhouse of twilight all on it’s own. There is a reason it was a definitive #1 in our most voted on chart to date. Force of nature single you need.

▶︎ Ultraviolet | LEATHERS (bandcamp.com)

Caustic x GrabyourfaceNot Your Body – This team up of Matt Fanale and Marie has evolved into an amazing partnership that just keeps rolling out hits. This one dropped at a perfect moment when a womans right to choose is under attack and this song hits back hard.

Not Your Body | Caustic x Grabyourface | Caustic (bandcamp.com)

A Cloud of RavensThe Blackest Mantra – I am so excited for the Brookland duo and all they have coming up. Jason Corbett of Actors mastered this at Jacknife Studios. The opening drums have this amazing old school Cult pulse and the guitar is a burning laser. Absolute banger of a single.

▶︎ The Blackest Mantra | A Cloud of Ravens (bandcamp.com)

Eva XControl – Another Canadian talent back in our chart again with digital assault pop. I really like the rubber bounce of this single and Gaby’s light touch on the delivery for the vocals. I also love seeing the top four are all bands we have interviewed 🙂

Control | Eva X (bandcamp.com)

FatigueSaudade (The Way Of Love) – MA based Dj/Electronica artist with this fierce electronic builder that shimmers on the wire of a harp string. I love the breathy delivery on the vocals. What an infectious dance club banger. There is a breakdown around 2:50 that is pure artwork.

▶︎ Saudade (The Way Of Love) | Fatigue (bandcamp.com)

 Ashes FallenNew Normal – Usually when I am discussing Sacramento CA goth rockers Ashes Fallen it usually comes back to the guitars. On this new single it is all about the 16 wheel concrete crushing drive of the bass. Tight corners and overdrive to give you a thrill ride gripping the leather of the seats.

New Normal | Ashes Fallen (bandcamp.com)

The Burying KindComing Through – I will never tire of this story. A goth singer ( A Covenant of Thorns) and a Industrial drummer (The Joy Thieves) making gorgeous, romantic, spinning tapestry dreamgaze. This whole album is so deep with romance, anguish, beauty, and devotion. This one hits special.

Coming Through (maxi single) | The Burying Kind (bandcamp.com)

Mark E MoonDark Love – From the Isle of Man off Cold Transmission Music a new single and definite new feel from Mark Sayle and crew. This single has a very 90s rebirth Duran Duran sensuality. Shelly Rourke vocal addition really adds another layer that is giving me goosebumps. Adding in Crying Vessel’s Slade Templeton is another shape on the powerful horizon. 10/10 banger.

▶︎ Dark Love | Mark E Moon (bandcamp.com)

Curse MackeySmoking Tongues – The Industrial legend from Texas returns for his sophomore solo offering. This single is a soulful narrative response to a world that wants art to become easier and easier to swallow. Even with slow dance singles Curse is showing trust in the intelligence of his audience to demand more.

▶︎ Smoking Tongues | Curse Mackey (bandcamp.com)

Cyborg AmokWicked Close – New Jersey father/son prog goth duo with this dystopian sci fi single. I love the concept and the dramatic cape twirling creep surrounding the crunching Industrial guitars.

Wicked Close | Cyborg Amok (bandcamp.com)

JUNKSISTADeath By Heartache – Ok I am going to do a special mention here because we had a tie that came down to the decibel for the first time so I am adding the German dark pop siren on COP International to the 11 spot. Junksista is a talent I have never given their due in terms of listening time. I am always impressed with the perfect craft sound jewel shaping and dangerous delivery. This is a moment that I have experienced too often where I say “I need to listen to a lot more Junksista.

▶︎ Death By Heartache | JUNKSISTA (bandcamp.com)

August 2022 Sounds and Shadows Darkscene Singles Chart

Time again my friends for the latest installment of the Sounds and Shadows Darkscene singles chart. As always these are singles released in the month of August from the very loose definition of Darkscene. They are submitted by the S & S collective of Djs, Reviewers, Promotors, Bands, Artists, and Superfans around the world and presented for you. If you are an artists with a release for September 2022 please submit on the S & S Facebook page.

  1. Pilgrims of YearningLa Mar
  2. The Bellwether SyndicateDystopian Mirror
  3. Vision VideoBeautiful Day To Die
  4. Ultra SunnThe Speed
  5. The Joy Thieves Feat: I Ya ToyahLove Is A Battlefield
  6. Rohn/Ledderman It Hurts
  7. Brute Opposition – Destroy This Place
  8. Black Rose Burning (Feat: Delphine Coma) – Under Twin Suns
  9. Black Needle NoiseFair Winds
  10. Double EyelidLeaving These Stones Unturned
  1. Pilgrims of YearningLa Mar – I was so ecstatic to see the Boston shadowsynth band finish in 1st place. Delicious 90’s Siouxsie with texture snake delay guitars. Juls delivers a haunting and soulful performance. This is a must have in your collection.

La Mar | Pilgrims of Yearning (bandcamp.com)

The Bellwether Syndicate Dystopian Mirror – What a howling wolf hot rod banger from the Chicago legends. I love the reckless charging feel of a band of people that have done so much they have nothing to lose. This is peak window down night driving music. William Faith really brings the swagger and menace to this track, really showing his range. Open your next road trip with it, then put it on the playlist 4 or 5 more times on the trip.

The Bellwether Syndicate (bandcamp.com)

Vision VideoBeautiful Day To Die – This is gorgeous. Dusty and company really summoned their inner Smiths for this elegant and tragic ballad that would be the reflective song in your hero’s darkest moment in the movie. There is a very good reason Vision Video is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in modern darkscene.

Haunted Hours | Vision Video (bandcamp.com)

ULTRA SUNNThe Speed – Belgian darkwave danceperatos on Cold Transmission Music bring a thic and pounding bassline and sex dripping David Gahan vocals. This is that talking piece your next party needs.

Summer 22 | ULTRA SUNN (bandcamp.com)

The Joy Thieves (Feat: I Ya Toyah)Love Is A Battlefield – Denver label Riveting Music known for doing charity tribute albums released Girl Power to raise funds for Global Fund For Women. The Chicago super group did this version of the PaT Benatar classic with Ania from I Ya Toyah singing. It is a show stopping explosion of electronic chaos and hard rock fury. Every time The Thieves tackle a classic cover I think is untouchable, they find a way to come crashing through the wall and convince me they are the one band that deserves to cover this song.

Love is a Battlefield | The Joy Thieves | Riveting Music (bandcamp.com)

Rohn – LedermanIt Hurts – I really do fall in love all over again whenever Jean-Marc and Emileigh launch forth another single from the ether. The layered vocals with different presence and riot grrl energy gives it a frantic sting. Jean Marc makes every build feel fast without feeling intense. A futuristic railway traveling at blistering speed but never out of control. Stefan Netschio of (Beborn Beton) did my favorite remix which kept the laser flickering at maximum velocity.

It Hurts! | Rohn – Lederman (bandcamp.com)

Brute OppositionDestroy This Place – I didn’t know the Jacksonville Florida band well. Cool chanting Front 242 Industrial vibes. Definitely well produced and a proper homage to old school industrial. I also love the positive message in the lyrics. Don’t give up, take these fukers down with you.

Destroy This Place | Brute Opposition (bandcamp.com)

 Black Rose BurningUnder Twin Suns featuring Delphine Coma – New York science fiction songsmith George Grant has teamed up with some other goth superstars to remix his Dune inspired banger Under Twin Suns. This version is done by Ashe of Delphine Coma who blasted the sandworm bassline and left George’s captivating vocals calling from within the desert canyon. I love when you can hear the appreciation for an amazing song in the remix. This remix is a loving tribute.

https://blackroseburning.bandcamp.com/album/under-twin-suns-reborn

Black Needle Noise with Ruby Friedman and Colin McGuinnessFair Winds – So this band is almost unfair in it’s level of talent and pedigree from COP International. Starting of course with living legend John Fryer who is unparalleled as both a producer and song writer. The song was originally slated for a TV show about the Isle of Man. It features vocal stylings from Ruby Friedman who strikes forth with epic expansive chilled wind power. It’s more landscape experience than ear worn, but it leaves the hair on the back of your arms standing up with it’s power.

Fair Winds | Black Needle Noise with Ruby Friedman and Colin McGuinness | Black Needle Noise (bandcamp.com)

Double EyelidLeaving These Stones Unturned – My amazing friend Ian from Toronto with another underwater horror hit. I love the stalking menace of this track. It’s a secret, a whisper, a song you are inside of full of supernatural build which culminates in emotional release. People need to stop sleeping on Double Eyelid.

Leaving These Stones Unturned | Double Eyelid (bandcamp.com)

If you have a single release in September or know of one in the broad Darkscene genre please submit in the Sounds and Shadows Facebook group.

September Bandcamp Day Is Nearly Upon Us. What Does Your Collection Need?

I haven’t been churning out reviews at my normal pace, but that does mean I have a glorious golden stack of darkscene music to prime your soul for the Halloween season. I have some long awaited releases to discuss. Some fresh new bands I have discovered. Some spooky new corners of music I have stumbled into. So let’s dive into some of the sexy dark sounds which are haunting the beginning of Autumn

Double EyelidLeaving These Stones Unturned – Do you know what I love to hear in the modern scene? An artist no afraid to unapologetically embrace the theatrical melancholy of goth. This is something Toronto based band Double Eyelid grasps well. Ian has a voice dripping with lost lament on a turbulent storm of bass. The song swells and collapses. The lyrics are a confession of buried truth too frightening to face. Powerful revelation in a time of surface reflection.

released August 16, 2022
written by Ian Revell
……………………………………………………….
Ian Revell – Vocals, synth, programming
Sky Shaver – Guitar
Sean Beesley – Additional synth

Produced and mixed by Live Evil Productions
Mastered by Noah Mintz for The Lacquer Channel

Leaving These Stones Unturned | Double Eyelid (bandcamp.com)

SINEMantis 2 – Follow up EP to Mantis 1 by the Texas chaos electronica artist Rona Rogueheart. Powerful resonating attacks open the experience. As though you peeled away the smooth edges of Portishead trip hop and revealed something crueler and jagged while maintaining the wet sensual humidity of a packed stone wall club.

Photo by Victoria Renard

Rona Rougeheart / lead vocals, drums, programming
Words by Rona Rougeheart
Music by Rona Rougeheart / Charles Godfrey
Guitar on “Jetset” by Daniel Beaty

*Except:
Written by: Robert James Smith, Steven Severin
Music by Mark Pistel / Rona Rougeheart

Produced by Charles Godfrey / Rona Rougeheart
Recorded at Omenview and Scary American, Austin, TX
Mastered by Mark Pistel at Room 5, San Francisco, CA

Favorite Track:

Virtual Realitease – This track stalks with contrasts and extremes. The thundering club bass, the heavy shimmer of throaty vocals, the razor edge of alure and menace. I love the range of the EP which is always changing the journey. The pastel rain-streaked sorrow of “Je Suid“. This track just hits different though. I’m just not hearing this blend of sounds enough in the modern scene and it has me hooked.

Mantis 2 | SINE (bandcamp.com)

ULTRA SUNNSummer 22 – Belgian cold wave artist Ultra Sunn on Cold Transmission Music with a double single release that bops with Violator keyboard transitions and sizzling Gahan vocals. A purposeful driving beat of motion while keeping the tempo just below chaos. Expertly mastered by Pete Burns the tone flickers like a bright flame on a distant candle. These tracks both have a place on your summer darkscene party mix.

Summer 22 | ULTRA SUNN (bandcamp.com)

thePicassosExhumed – I love nothing more than the chance to shout to the sky about a gifted and haunting band in my own backyard of Michigan. We even have the honor of playing with them at Skull Festival 11/20/22 at Noir Leather in Royal Oak Michigan. This album which dropped August 2022 is a darting ebony fencing match of furious clashing metal that strikes and counters with such speed you lose sight of the precision in the illusion of chaos.

https://www.skulldetroit.com/?fbclid=IwAR2ofT3j53lHO9IsR3rh7By4L-iUBllSsT5v0SZ20YYq3sR4zFMGURd8PBo

Charles Urban

So many glorious and eclectic dark elements at play here. Twangy Latin spice notes in the guitar. Haunted murder ballad Nick Cave tones. The vocals are a roller coaster blend of Gordan Gano and Frank Black. Great use of guitars for percussion, not overdone and adding powerful accent. I looked online to learn more about the band and found little. Luckily I am set to interview them tomorrow for the podcast. Fills me with excitment for a bright future and I am so glad I found them in Michigan.

Favorite Track: Smoke and Mirrors – Part of my love here is the vast range from track to track. This one had huge PixiesDoolittle” energy. Slashing guitars with a booming clean bass tone. A haunting effortless truth to the delivery. I enjoyed all the songs for different reasons, this one seemed to compile the best flavors of everything going right.

Exhumed | thePicassos (bandcamp.com)

The Bellwether SyndicateDystopian Mirror – Chicago show stopper’s have a brilliant new single that roars like a muscle car charging down Woodward Ave. Flames spewing out the engine to chase back the darkness. William croons with an extra edge of piercing determination. The mix is clear but always feels like a toe on the line which makes it feel dangerous, on the verge of shattering the glass bubble. They just took this song on the road with Then Comes Silence from Sweeden. Of everyone I currently follow in the modern darkscene, no one has more “rockstar” energy than William with a mic in his hand.

Released August 5, 2022
William Faith: Vox • Guitars
Sarah Rose Faith: Vox • Guitars

Corey Gorey: Guitars (live)
Philly Peroxide: Keyboards • Percussion (live)
Stevyn Grey: Drums (live)

The Bellwether Syndicate (bandcamp.com)

Pilgrims of YearningHadal – Long awaited release from Boston transplants POY which hits the mark perfectly. I love hearing a band grow from album to album by keeping the mystical wanderlust that made their sound stand out, yet graduating their production and layering to make the energy sharper. Juls voice captures a haunting Siouxsie Superstition” 90s vibe while the guitar rhythms fold and dart like a weaver on a loom. This is a band that really exposes their story with brazen courage and beautiful delivery. A contagious spooky tendril of psychedelic darkness winding around your vision.

Favorite Track: Storms – One because I love the duet, two because I love a banger and this bassline is a live wire flapping on the street in a storm. It gets in your blood and never lets up. Like a jaguar running it is equal parts danger and beauty.

Hadal | Pilgrims of Yearning (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.