Hailing from Mexico City, Blood Dance offer us a dark sojourn into the Goth/Deathrock realm with their new single, Wicked King.
The song starts with an eerie blend of synth and guitar and builds until the baritone vocals kick in with a lyrical cut-up taken from quotes of various notorious killers. A mid tempo beat remains consistent throughout the song while the guitar riff wails and a beefy bass tone holds it down.
Credit is due to Mesphisto Waltz’s Bari Bari for producing this track and creating a tight and full sound with all the parts coming through crystal clear.
Deathrockers should sit up and take notice of Wicked King, as well as the preceding Blood Dance releases.
Newest release from the spooktastic goth rock sound of Gloom Wizard from Mexico. I speak often of my current occasion with the Mexican “Darkscene” and this one is special as led by our Sounds and Shadows group admin Anibal.
From the opening bell I love the smooth sliding bass line mixed with the frantic feel of the video. The character is twitching like a possession victim. The suited demons are tormenting them and the piercing guitars make pin prick marks upon us. The vocals are a rhythmic chant, almost spell work to bind us and centralize the ritual. As the music builds in intensity and the distorted guitars slash away at our sanity the tormenting demons whisper promises and threats. The organic rock feel has a real Nick Cave energy in the gentle ballad full of murder and menace. A powerful narrative that leaves me hungry for this rising star.
Ani voice and programming and keys, Rich, guitars, programming, keys. Aurelio played bass
Tell me where the name Gloom Wizard came from?
It would be fantastic to say that the name Gloom Wizard is a precisely crafted nomastic sigil created with precise attention to the Gematria of the words, much the way Crowley changed Alexander to Aleister because of the numerological value, but that would be a lie. In reality, my friend Jessica came up with the name during a trip down here to Guadalajara. I (Ani, vocals) tend to dwell on the more morose and dreary aspects of life as well as the more esoteric, so in conversation she described me as a “gloom wizard” and that really stuck with me. I formed the band about four months later and used the name.
When did you obsession with the Macabre begin?
In my case, it’s definitely always been there, even since I was a little child. I’ve always had a predilection for the more creepy, weird aspects of life and I was always the weirdo at school checking out books about aliens, magic, ghosts, and true strangeness. Kids would definitely look at my funny a lot. Furthermore, I’ve always been really into shows about these things like ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, and THE X-FILES. The older I got, the more I got into actually studying ritual magick and more comparative theology. Similarly, Rich has always been really into Medieval and Tolkienesque things, which usually go hand in hand with the macabre in some way. Therefore we often talk about those things during lulls in making music.
Your father was an entertainer as well correct? Do you think this played a part in being drawn to pageantry?
My father was a rather famous and well-known Mexican wrestler from the eighties and early nineties. He’s pretty legendary in that sport; people will occasionally still ask me if I’m related to him when I give out my name. His whole thing was rocking a mullet and a rocker look with a leather jacket and the more I think about it, the more I think maybe I’m channelling him! I’m not particularly sure this aspect played a huge part in being drawn into the pageantry of rock, but I’ve certainly always been a sucker for all of the pomp and circumstance of the show, whether it be in movies or on stage or in the ring. My mom frequently took my brother and I to a lot of my dad’s events, so we were exposed to that early on and loved the rush of seeing these veritable deities playing out vast epics before our very eyes.
What was your inspiration for this video?
Well, I always knew the video would have to do with a person plagued by their secret darkside, but the video actually is quite different than the first treatment. Initially, the main character was going to be a monstrous looking man who went about his day in a really normal way, as if no one really perceived that he was a hideous abomination, only he could see that about himself and it really troubled him. The big problem with this was the variety of locations and extras and general logistics needed, which really blew up the budget. Ultimately, one late night at around 2am I got the idea to pare down the first draft and then reshape it into what it became. We filmed the video at my mom’s house in one of her spare rooms. Working within that really limited setting helped us hone the storyline to something we could record in a matter of three hours one Saturday afternoon.
What is your hope for the future with Gloom Wizard?
Just the usual hopes of a fledgling, small time goth band: Sex, drugs, rock and roll, crashing luxury cars, a couple overdoses, destroying hotel rooms, getting to make ridiculous riders, for the guy from BEHIND THE MUSIC to narrate our ordeals. Apart from this, we really just want people to listen to our music, watch our videos, and find a space for themselves in what we create. More than anything, we love playing live shows just because we get to see people get lost in the music, in the moment. We’re really looking forward to things opening up again so we can maybe plan some tours and big shows in the very near future.
So this has been a tough two weeks. It lead to a lot of introspection and will hopefully turn into growth. Just like all the toughest times for me, music has been that companion that is always there when I need it. This last few weeks saw many amazing releases and I will talk about some of them now. Please check out the bands, leave comments of what you liked. Send me things you are listening to you think I might not know.
Helevete Inc – The Inevitability Ov Nothing – This is a new rerelease from Helevete Inc. We recently had the opportunity to interview them, so keep an eye out. I feel in love with the hard old school style of this band. This album was such a drastic departure and really shows the range they have. A rich and meaning drenched darkwave goth sound. TION shows a gripping and introspective melodic aspect of their voice. These songs have such a powerful authenticity of someone stepping outside of their wheelhouse, uncertain where the music would take them. Confronting the fear and darkness of that reality. I feel so deeply in entranced by this record. It showed me something, it had glorious imperfections which revealed the artists and left you gripped by the connection. The album also has fierce and snarling beauty in the form of guest vocals from Jenny Rae Mettee. This is one of the most underrated finds of the year.
Favorite Tracks: Fades to White and On The Other Side
Overall Appeal: Enormous, I really enjoy Helevete but it hasn’t set out to be accessible. Most of the albums are very aggressive and challenging. This album really laid out connectable songs with the same level of emotion. The music was smooth, dark, and expertly crafted. This is an important modern artist making music for the sake of art. I really can’t recommend the impact of this album enough.
Cliff and Ivy: Alaska’s goth duo – Bring us the Night – Brand new single from my favorite goth couple in Alaska. They often straddle the line between Goth and Punk and this time they are leaning very punk. This is a furious tempo cursing the daylight and celebrating the night. Bang you head and paint up your eyes. Ivy’s machinegun fire poetry assaults you in waves and has an anthem cadence. I think the extra layer of cheese and fun really puts me over the top for this scorched earth hot single.
Gloom Wizard – The Beast Of Victor – Unnerving and ferocious single from Anibal our Sounds and Shadows moderator. This throwback sizzler has the tension and emotional recklessness of NINBroken. Yet maintains a lo fi analog dissonance. It’s brings you to the brink of aggressive explosion then drops the floor out with horror movie effects and video game synth feel. The chaos and tempest are tempered by Anibal’s powerful vocal performance which carries you through this terrifying journey of reflection. This song fills me with anticipation for future releases.
DIAF – Weida – So this review comes with a great story. The recommendation was from Elitist Joe. If you doth travel in thine goth circles you know we have now always seen eye to eye. One of the best parts of the last two weeks has been finding our common ground. So DIAF was a spot on recommendation. It is unique and intense. The vocals have that I have not heard this a million times entrancing flavor. It definitely holds a distinctly 90’s goth flavor, but with dance beat electronic boot stomping power. The melodies are captivating even where the language escaped me. In a world of remakes this album truly took me somewhere new.
Favorite Tracks:Erbsundt and Splitter – Two tracks that could not be more stylistically different bit both resonated with a truth and impact.
Overall Appeal : Strong, this is extremely varied, but the unique flavor of each track only increased the appeal. Everything is expertly played and mixed. An outstanding recommendation which also holds the meaning of a new friendship.
Blood Dance – Child of Fear – So this was a band I found on the compilation Escena Oscura Mexicana Vol. 1. I have been really digging into Mexican Goth/Industrial lately and this band grabbed me hard. Ultra deep Peter Steele vocals that creep like an onyx tank rolling over stone. Sultry post punk guitar lines and expressive synths. The vocals bounce up and down in range but never waiver in effect. This was another find that I fell hard for and will be looking for all future releases.
Black Rose Burning – Shout – Sometimes you just get a banger. This is one of those times. George of Black Rose Burning has assembled an all star cast of Brian Vigilone (Dresden Dolls) Anka McGowen (The Long Losts) Alex and Andrew (Hallowed Hearts) James Perry (Ashes Fallen) and Adrian Auchrome (Machinery of Desire) to reimagine the Tears for Fears classic Shout. The song remains just as poignant as at it’s release. George has a encompassing voice which both soothes the soul and splits the sky. The abrupt transitions keep a constant motion and the layered guest vocals pay homage to the wonderful harmonies of the original. I really loved the organic and driven feel of the drums. The guitar solo was a inspired addition and added a current and red toothed power. An amazing rendition that hit on all cylinders.
Herr Nox – Where Shadows Fade – I am in love with this new trend in talented song writers pulling in a variety of guest vocalist to splash paint upon the canvas and expand the range of their own art. This album is a haunted house of textured rooms. With patterned guitars and sultry saxophones. The album pushes the darkwave concept with progressive rock inlays. An avenue I have seldom seen explored. This album featured a complexity of 80’s Killing Joke and an expansive feel of 90’s industrial. It’s a varied catalog of rooms to explore. An album that can’t be appreciated in one sitting.
Favorite Tracks: Black Butterfly – A power ballad rock anthem with electronic sensibility. Gotta Light – Rare I would pick an instrumental track but the saxophone swaying sultry feel left me captured and transported.
ACTORS – Like Suicide – This album keeps flowing in one single at a time. Each one leaves me more impressed than the last. The gorgeous synth line and delayed guitar blending hits a razor edge I haven’t heard since U2 Boy. Jason and company are writing songs at a level that shows there is still places to explore in 2021. The heavy concept here of facing a hopeless cloud and trying to find strength. This song conjures that same lost beauty of Joy Division but with an elegant construction. I am truly at a loss for how they continue to push their own goal post and expectations with every release.
Kill Shelter & Antipole – A Haunted Place – Here it is, Pete Burns is operating on a level in modern postpunk/darkwave that is rewriting the script. Here instead of recruiting a variety of singers like his groundbreaking album Damage he takes the vocals upon himself. His voice is rich and rings with the power of a well aged bell. To build on that previous level of variety in the soulful lyrics, he has added possibly the top Post Punk guitarist in Antipole‘s Karl Morton Dahl. It’s an effortless compliment which locks perfectly as a puzzle falling into place. Every track is done with such expert precision and runs the spectrum of emotion. This is an early contender for album of the year. Like an expertly honed novel I could hear this record 1000 times and find a new detail to zero in on each play through.
Best Tracks:Raise the Skies – This single is a masterwork. It is the song equivalent of a perfectly crafted watch. Every gear an intricate motion happening in exactly the right time. Of Roses and Thorns – I loved how stripped down this felt. It allowed the chorus to open so much space and Pete’s voice went to a higher more delicate range.