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Remain In Light – Introduction To A Dream

by Nick Drivas

(Music journalist and author of the book “Release the Bats” about the Greek dark alternative scene)

αρχείο λήψηςRemain In Light – “Introduction To A Dream
Mini-album (2013)

1. X Corde Vita
2. Open Mindway
3. Balm Of Gilead (Venra)
4. Longing
5. Prey Red
6. Salvation

This somewhat new band from Thessaloniki Greece has slowly attracted many people’s attention, including mine, these last few years. It’s been a while since we have heard a band playing straightforward gothic rock. Many might think that the genre is ancient history, for others it’s just a style that has remained to this day mainly by clone bands that don’t offer anything original. So by hearing their debut release, the mini-album “Introduction To A Dream”, I was thrilled to hear something that rang fascinating in my ears.

The album kicks off with “X Corde Vita” which from the first note grabs your attention. A bold dark guitar riff pierces the silence introducing us to Remain In Light’s guitar driven post punk, gothic signature sound. The band has all those quality elements from the 80’s underground scene presented here with a fresh modern twist. The track “Open Mindway” that follows is surely one of the albums standouts, due to its upbeat rhythm and memorable chorus. On “Balm Of Gilead (Venra)” were E.A Poe’s verses from “The Raven” are adapted perfectly in the lyrics, the band continues to venture in dark waters with Elder K’s vocals entwining with Iota’s giving it a nice melodic romanticism. Next we get a classic post punk number called “Longing” where Iota’s female vocals take the upper hand and reveals a different side of the band. The descent into the past continues with “Prey Red”, a dark tune that reminds us everything that we loved in years long gone by, sharp guitars, deep but grooving basses, thumping tribal drums with a metronomic edge and sounds of bells to give little extra eerie feel. The closing track “Salvation” is a bulk offering with brooding bass and vocals which retains an underlined power that drives the song on without it ever erupting.

Overall, what we get is a pleasurable listen. One that makes you just want to hear the whole album from the beginning again. It’s great what Remain In Light have managed to achieve, sounding classic without being trapped in clichés. I’m sure that with their sound, they will probably sound even better live. The bands core with Y (bass), Elder K (vocals), Constantine (synth bass), Ghoul (drums), Dok (guitar) and Iota (vocals) together with the contribution of former members Snow (guitar) and Savvas “Reverb” Georgiadis (drums), all with experience in previous bands, have created a piece of work that will be loved by all those that have been attracted over the years by other dark alternative acts. Until we get to hear the next offering from this band, listen to “Introduction To A Dream” without fear and “Walk through the sleet and the rain…

 

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2014 in Goth

 

Fields of the Nephilim 1984-2014!

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by Fondas SumerSon

It’s has been 30 years since they came to life… So this was the right time to celebrate… 30 years in dust and shadows!

The 2 anniversary gigs in London’s Sheperd’s Bush Empire, was definitely an event not to be missed by Reanimators Greek Nephs. Tickets were booked since the very first moment of the official confirmation of the this memorable event!

It’s well known that Carl has strong friendship bonds with Vile Vallo, so the selection of HIM as special guests, didn’t seem strange at all. After all, Ville was the one that invited Fields of the Nephilim at Tuska fest in Finland a few years ago, so Carl had to return the favor.

There was a bit of resentment for this choice from hardcore Neph fans, but this was no reason to miss such a glorious event. So, here we go…

Day I: December 5th

Having read what Rob Ferguson wrote, we decided to be outside the venue early, since a lot of people would gather. Both days were sold out. Around 19:00 Dolomite Minor started and played a half an hour set. I can’t say that i was impressed. Their sound was some kind of alternative rock with a doomy touch or something. Not my thing at all, but they achieved to warm up a little bit the audience, at least their friends

After a half an hour break, HIM were on stage for about an hour. There were a lot of people who came at Sheperd’s Bush just for them and this thing proved that the selection of HIM as special guests was a wise move. They played a best of show, including hits from all of their releases. People seemed to enjoy and participate at their show by screaming, clapping & singing along with Valo. Their sound was good and Ville in pretty good shape in terms of vocals. Maybe he wasn’t so active on stage as he usually is, but he seemed to enjoyed the gig. If you ask me, they were good in what they did, but I don’t think that they were the best opening act for these anniversary gigs. Especially since there are so many great UK or international goth bands around, that would love to support the goth giants.

Their setlist:

The Sacrament
Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly
Right Here in My Arms
The Kiss of Dawn
Buried Alive By Love
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
Gone With the Sin
Soul on Fire
Poison Girl
The Funeral of Hearts
Razorblade Kiss
When Love and Death Embrace

Exactlly at 21:30, the intro of “Harmonica Man” filled up the speakers and Fields of the Nephilim conquered the stage!
Endemoniada” was the opening track and the mosh pit was on fire! Next up “Preacher Man” and the whole arena of Sheperd’s Bush was moving around like hell. It was one more typical Neph gig with a lot of tower building (The Greek Legion was part of it of course) and full of energy.

The band was giving one of its best live performances. I have seen them around 20 times so far and I can assure you that Carl was at his best. The rest of the band too. Tony was adding his personal touch in every tune with his “huge” bass lines, while the guitarists performed flawlessly. Around the middle of the gig came the big surprise for all of us. There were rumours that they would play some brand new stuff at these gigs, but we didn’t have much hope about it. So somewhere in the middle they started to play a non familiar song. It was time for the official live premier of a brand new tune since 2005! The instrumental/intro “Earthbound” was absolutely out of this world. The track had a pure, mystical “Elizium” touch, with Tony’s great playing that has become a trademark of the Neph sound. If I had to compare it to a known track, I’d say ‘sumerland’. In one word, DIVINE! A few seconds break to catch our breath and ANOTHER new song followed: “Prochecy” (as we fans call it) sounded (album-wise) somewhere between “Zoon” & “Mourning Sun“, while on the same time it reminded of classic tunes like “Βlue Water” or “Chord of Souls”. Powerful track, with melodic guitar breaks and aggressive vocals by Carl. As you might have guessed it caused frenzy to the fans. This song is a live killer, perfect for the typical Nephilim moshing. BUUUUURN! In other words, the Nephilim ARE BACK for good. Prepare for a killer album, worthy of their legacy.

After some more classics like “Moonchild“, “Last Exit for the Lost” & “Psychonaut“, Carl thanked the audience and after some beers and pics with good old friends, we left the venue impressed & impatient for next day’s show. You can never have enough of the Nephilim, can you? Especially if they play new songs, after ten years…

Their setlist:
Intro (The Harmonica Man)
Endemoniada
Preacher Man
Love Under Will
For Her Light
At the Gates of Silent Memory
Zoon III (Wake World)
Dawnrazor
Earthbound (instrumental) [new unreleased song played live for the first time]
Prophecy [new unreleased song played live for the first time]
Moonchild
Last Exit for the Lost
———————–
Psychonaut
Day II: December 6th

The time had come for round II. This time we changed our schedule a bit. Since we were all day out for sightseeing, we decided to get to the venue around 20:00 o’clock. We arrived exactly the time that HIM were on stage. They made their fans happy once again and maybe warmed up (a little bit) some Nephilim fans that were watching their show from distance. They played exactly the same setlist .They were ok once again… nothing more… nothing less…

Their setlist:
The Sacrament
Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly
Right Here in My Arms
The Kiss of Dawn
Buried Alive By Love
Wicked Game (Chris Isaak cover)
Gone With the Sin
Soul on Fire
Poison Girl
The Funeral of Hearts
Razorblade Kiss
When Love and Death Embrace

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After a small break it was time for some “flour power” once again! Lights turned off and “Shroud” was the opening track this time. Carl came on stage with opened arms and “Straight to the Light” made us move again! Panic all around. The Nephs changed the setlist from their last night show, including “Shroud/Straight to the Light”, “The Watchman”, and “Mourning Sun” and dropped “Endemoniada” and “Love Under Will“. This time they played a little bit longer, including again the new song and the instrumental intro in their set. Needless to say the audience went crazy once again. This time I tried to listen to the songs more carefully, stepping away from the pit for a while, and realized that the new material is very well worked and greatly orchestrated. I am sure that the studio versions will be just amazing. There were a lot of towers again (during Last Exit we built the 3 floor tower made of 7 people) and a lot of moshing. The band gave once again 100% of theirselves and left us all so satisfied. In the following video, which was the closing track of their gig, you can see the Greek Legion building the “Earth inferno-totem-tower“, as we like to call it.

Their setlist:
Shroud (Exordium)
Straight to the Light
Preacher Man
The Watchman
For Her Light
At the Gates of Silent Memory
Zoon III (wake world)
Dawnrazor
Earthbound (instrumental)
Prophecy
Moonchild
Last Exit for the Lost
——————–
Psychonaut
Mourning Sun
Concluding, I would say that I really feel blessed to have attended these two magnificent gigs, that signal a new era of the band and at the same time were a celebration of their legendary history. Also, this was the perfect opportunity for me to celebrate the very special place that The Nephilim hold in my heart. Until the next time… Forever Remain!

 

 
 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Goth

 

Red Sun Revival – Embers (ep)

Embers” is a brand new ep from Londoners Red Sun Revival, following their debut album “Running from the Dawn” released two years ago. They can be considered as a super group since Rob Leyton plays the guitar for The Eden House (his colleague Steve Carey is the producer of this ep as well as their previous album), Matt Helm is the gutarist of the promising Pretentious, Moi?, Panos Theodoropoulos shares his bass talent with greek gothic metal-heads Cloud by Night and The Mayors and violinist Christina Emery who has collaborated with Titan and played keyboards for FutureFrenetic.

The ep is the physical evolution of their 2012 album with four brilliant haunted atmospheric songs with the appropriate touch of folk by the hand of Emery. Do no pass “Embers”, we are talking about ripe melancholic gothic rock which should be filed under “classic”.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Faces of Sarah – Past Life (ep)

The Faces of Sarah | Past Life

The Faces of Sarah is a London based band counting a lot of miles on the road and a quite long hiatus since their formation in 1999. Vocalist Nick Schultz is the only member of the founding line up accompanied by Lucas P. and Dave “Allen” Turner on guitars, bassist Danny Wintringham and drummer Steve Higgins.

Made up of five brand new songs, “Past Life” marks the return of the of the band after four years and will certainly elate their followers worldwide. Their amalgam of hard rock/metal and gothic rock with a touch of pop can easily thrill old-school hard rock fans who also appreciate a little bit of dark ambience and vocals that skillfully move from epic to goth. And yet this band handles all the hard rock cliches so cunningly that after a couple of listenings you have to admit that what you’ve heard, you have heard it before but not The Faces of Sarah way.

 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Peter Murphy – Lion

Peter_Murphy_-_Lion

It is ten solo albums since the godfather of goth departed Bauhaus and the music world has gained a lyrical persona missing, after David Bowie killed Ziggy Stardust. Every recording attempt was brilliant and “Lion” does not escape the point.

Murphy walks hand by hand with Martin Glover aka Youth, the Killing Joke bassist who has been transformed into a multi-producer. Although it was recorded within days, the production sets high standards and elevates Murphy’s vocal abilities to the stars.

Hang Up” introduces the new trend far from his experimentation with bleeps and eastern music. It goes close to the roots utilizing industrial sharpness and power pop intensity (luckily, not the arena way).

I am my Own Name” is not a hymn to his ego, it’s a song that travels from the symphonic orchestras to the haunting industrial chills, enough to be credited as the most theatrical track of this release.

Low tempos of “Compression” incorporate dandy attitude and somber soundscapes and end up to a dramatic guitar crescendo, while in “Eliza” he sings like there is no tomorrow reminding us his Bauhaus era and his gothic coronation.

With the maturity of the 57 years he stands on this planet, Peter Murphy can now feel that pleased with his accomplishments. He has defined his art, he has painstakingly handled his talent and built his career gracefully. For these reasons, “Lion” should be considered as an excellent album.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Echo and the Bunnymen – Meteorites

Meteorites_Album_Cover

Thirty six years later, and only Ian McCulloch and Will Seargeant left to promote the Echo and the Bunnymen legacy. “Meteorites” is their 12th studio album five years after the weak “Fountains“. According to McCulloch, symbolizes what the band is: up in heaven, untouchable, celestial, beautiful and real.

Up in heaven? Maybe “Heaven up Here” is closer to this statement. Echo and the Bunnymen are very down-to-earth and their music has lost the spark and it is limited to the “good pop music” side. Not bad at all, we are talking about experts with the ability to transform a piece of music into an elegy.

Untouchable? Hmm, this applies to McCulloch’s attitude; he thinks he has formed the greatest band on earth which is absolutely acceptable for every band member on this planet but this guy spices it with extra inflated self-confidence and arrogance.

Celestial, beautiful and real? British pop has always been celestial and Echo and the Bunnymen were one of the pioneers. The message has been spread to current bands that know how to handle it to the next generation. Coldplay for instance; sometimes they can remind us Echo and the Bunnymen but it’s sour when this works vice versa.

But yes, they are still capable of writing beautiful and real songs. “Constantinople” is a 5-minute masterpiece, a shaking reminder that they are masters of virtuosity. “Is This a Breakdown?” is a groovy theme, great before a Saturday night out and “Lovers on the Run” with its ethereal guitar, goes back to the good old days nostalgic as ti is meant to be.

It is more likely to stumble on a meteorite than to find good music nowadays. After all “Meteorites” is not bad. And it is a good effort.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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