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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

 

Ceremonial Landscapes festival @ Death Disco (Athens – Greece) – (31.10.2014 – 01.11.2014)

ceremonial

(by Fondas SumerSon)

It has become quite common to attend great “Goth” gigs in Greece the last years, but it has been a long time since we last had a 2 days “Goth” fest in Athens. Leo Skiadas did it again. He booked 2 great bands, plus 2 really promising Greek bands as support acts and thus created the “Ceremonial Landscapes” festival at Death Disco.

On Friday our beloved Star Industry would be the headlining act, plus the Greek goth metalers SadDolls. The really unique The Beauty of Gemina would be the headliners of Saturday’s gig, supported by the Greek wave/goth act Drama Queen.

Friday 31.10.2014 – day I

The Greek goth metalers SadDolls appeared on stage around 22:00 o’clock and they played a short set of 35 minutes which included songs from their last two releases and two covers versions. Especially the one on Johnny Cash’s classic “thirteen” was brilliant. They had a very good sound, performed their melodic songs in a powerful way and generally succeeded to warm up the audience with their well worked tunes. The guys have a lot to offer in the scene and they will probably become more famous in the future.

Their setlist:

Intro – Rave to the Grave
Lady Cry
Criminal of Love
For you (HIM Cover)
Watch me Crawl Behind
Terminate me
Thirteen (Johnny Cash cover)

After a few drinks the time had come for the 5th appearance of Star Industry in Athens. Their last show here was four years ago. We have built a strong bond with these guys over the years and we knew exactly what to expect. They are one of the few bands nowadays that can easily deliver dancefloor goth rock anthems to their fans. Due to a last minute problem, the band’s drummer could not travel with them, so they had to replace him with a drum machine. Nevertheless, this unexpected incident didn’t make them loose their energy on stage at all. Star Industry gave us another extraordinary performance full of passion, rhythm and melody. The guys satisfied their fans with their show and stayed on stage for about an hour (I wish they had played for a little longer though). They played a best of show, including, as always, their mega hits, plus three fantastic new songs from their much anticipated forthcoming album, which will be released in January. Can’t wait to see them on stage again. Their shows are a true bliss for goth rock fans.

Their setlist:
Pray
Ceremonial
Eilyne (new song)
Sin
Bloodmoon
Selling Icons (new song)
Like a Ghost
Kids (cover version)
New Religion (new song)
Lost Generation
Nineties
—————–
City of Light
New Millennium

After the gig we left the club delighted and impatient for day II.

Saturday 01.11.2014 – day II

People started gathering from early and everything looked promising for another night of musical pleasures. The Greek wave/goth rockers Drama Queen came on stage around 22:00 o’clock and played for 45 minutes, performing songs from their excellent debut album, along with some new ones. I had seen these guys on stage once before and they had instantly attracted my attention. In my personal opinion Drama Queen is one of the most promising new bands of the Greek dark rock scene. Their sound successfully balances goth and dark wave with ethereal. Special mention should be made to the brilliant female vocals and the guitar work. They gained the audience for sure and were the perfect opening act for The Beauty of Gemina.

Their setlist:

Cassini
Regrets
Nuclear Winter
This Narrow Place
Going Nowhere
Stories of Fog
My Rain
Questions to be answered
Humans
Echoes

After a small break everything was ready for the first ever appearance of The Beauty of Gemina in Greece. These guys are around for about 10 years, having released six albums and have become quite “big” in the international dark scene. They have toured a lot across Europe through the years and have appeared in many important festivals. The Beauty of Gemina is a special band that combines elements from goth, wave, electro, even americana and country music, in order to built an intricate dark atmosphere. They are really professional in what they are doing and their charismatic singer is an amazing performer. The Greek fans waited impatiently all those years for their first visit in Greece and finally the time had come. The guys conquered the stage around 23:00 o’clock and stayed there for about an hour and 15 minutes. The band played songs from all of their releases, fulfilling their fans’ expectations. Concluding, I could easily say that their performance was one of the best that I have experienced for a long time and hope these guys return to Athens soon.

Their setlist:

Run Run Run
This Time
Haddon Hall
Kings Men Come
I wish you Could Die
Fight Song
Suicide Landscape
Last Night Home
Dark Rain (acoustic)
Mariannah
Rumors
Seven Day Wonder
————————-
Victims of Love
The Lonesome Death of a Goth DJ
————————
One Step to Heaven

So this is the chronicle of “Ceremonial Landscapes”. A festival that turned out to be one of the most successful events of the year.

All photos courtesy of Asklipios Barbakos.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in Concerts / Performances, Goth

 

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The Blackout Radio Show with Mike Pougounas

the show !!!

This Thursday on the Blackout Radio Show with Mike Pougounas: A mini interview with Rob Layton about the new Red Sun Revival EP, as well as tracks from the latest releases of: Wayne Hussey, Cryogenica, Sonik Foundry and Hyena Motorcade.Lots of Halloween songs, on the second half of the show, as well as “The Diary of Jonathan Harker” a special “musical” by The Merger (ft. Mick Taylor).

Time zones:
BST (GMT+1) – 7-9PM
Eastern Time (US) – 2-4PM
Pacific Time (US) – 11AM-1PM

 

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Semana Gotica de Madrid (24-25. 10. 2014)

spanish goth fest

(by Fondas SumerSon)

I always knew that “Semana Gotica de Madrid” was a great goth gathering, but I never had the chance to attend up to now. It is true that I always had in mind to visit Madrid once again (last time I was there, it was 4 years ago for the Nephilim gig) and be a part of it. This year Mr. BillyPhobia with his SGM’s line-up, made me book my tickets and join them!
So 2 more Greek die-hard goth rockers joined me in this journey to the Iberia goth land and we had a special “goth” weekend, catching up with good old friends and having a lot of fun.

Friday 24.10.2014 – day I
After an exhausting sightseeing day, our very first Spanish mate Harmonika Man came over at our hotel for a few drinks and then led us to the venue. The attendance was quite successful. There were around 100 people each day, which is not bad at all for gigs of this kind of music.
Red Sun Revival, Spiritual Front and the mighty Still Patient? completed the first day’s line up.

Since it was a festival, every band had a limited time to be on stage and all bands played for about an hour or something.

Red Sun Revival were on stage around 21:30 and instantly captured the audience with their very first tune. As I’ve mentioned before, I have strong feelings for this band, having seeing them live 3 times so far. They are giving a new meaning to traditional goth rock, through their unique sound. They played all the hits from their debut album as well as 2 songs from their latest ep. The Spanish fans seemed to enjoy their show and the guys received quite positive feedback and gained many new fans.

Their setlist:
Without You
Running From the Dawn
Mistakes
Lost for Words
Broken
Miracles
Forgive us Now
My Child
——————-
Nothing to Hide

The Italians Spiritual Front were the next act. I admit that I wasn’t into their music so much. I liked some of their songs nevertheless. I don’t know how many members they have on stage normally, but now they played as a trio. Even if I didn’t know all the songs they performed, I have to admit that they gained my attention. Their singer with his guitar was very active on stage and was constantly moving and dancing. Their sound borrows elements from neo-folk, cabaret, Americana and many more styles. The audience participated at their show by clapping and singing along and the guys seemed to enjoy it very much!

Their setlist:
Shinin Circle
Cold Love
Walk the Dead Line
Darkroom
Battuage
Song for the Old Man
Hey Boy
Jesus Died in Las Vegas
Disaffection
Soulgamber
Slave
Vladimir Central
Bastard Angel

After another small break, the time for the legendary Still Patient? had come. These guys were the main reason that I traveled to Madrid. I’m listening to their music for about 20 years, being so addicted to their style. I never had the chance to see them on stage however. So I was more than excited that one of my everlasting dreams would become true. I knew that they would perform as trio since their second guitar player was ill. I have seen many goth bands perform live all these years, but it was the first time that I saw such a passionate performance. They were giving 100% of themselves in every song. Andy’s vocals were amazing, not losing even a bit from the studio versions. Bec’s guitar riffs were absolutely catchy and Guido’s bass lines strong as they should be. I got very emotional during the performance of classics like “Agoraphobia”, “Mascara Osiris”, “God & Satan” or “Anavryn”, during which the Greek Goth team raised a tower in order to honor the band. Still Patient? played a best of show, including hits from their past, current material and 2 brand new songs from their forthcoming release, which both left me speechless.

Their setlist:
The Sun
Chameleon
All is Well
Impact
Agoraphobia
God and Satan
Anavryn
Seconds of Fame (new song)
Mascara Osiris
—————–
We Come in Peace (new song)

After some pics with new and old friends and some pleasant chatting with band members, we headed to “La Leyenda” bar-club, where the after show would take place.
Billy & Nico were spinning great goth rock anthems all night long and they kept us there drinking and dancing till the early morning light…A killer party it was!

Saturday 25.10.2014 – day II
After exploring more of Madrid during the day, the time had passed and we were ready for the second day of SGM. This time Sweet Ermengarde, Pretentious Moi? and Bloody Dead & Sexy were the performing acts.

Around 21:30 Sweet Ermengarde hit the stage with their high class dark tunes. I had seen these guys live before, so I knew what to expect. They are playing a unique kind of “goth rock” mixed with “dark wave” elements. They are one of the very few bands of today that are playing 100% LIVE. No recorded stuff on their performances and this is very important. They played songs from their brilliant debut album, along with a brand new one and an excellent cover version of the Bauhaus classic “The Passion of Lovers”. Remember these guys, because we are going to hear a lot from them in the future.

Their setlist:
In the Time
Kisses
Raynham Hall
A Promise to Fulfill
For This Moment
Near Dark
An Eye for an Eye (new song)
———————-
The Passion of Lovers (Bauhaus cover)
Necropolitan Rest

The next band was one of my all time favorites. This would be the second time for me to see them on stage. According to my opinion, Pretentious, Moi? sound like the way Rosetta Stone should sound after their early days, if they wanted to lead their music in a more modern direction, without neglecting their “goth” elements. They are one of the few bands that manage to combine the “trad goth” style with the electronic sound in such a perfect way. Definitely one of the biggest hopes of the UK goth scene. This makes sense as the band’s line up consists of some old school goth rockers that left their mark in the scene through the years. Gordon Young (Dream Disciples/Seraphin Twin/A Ring of Thorns), Rachel Speight (Die Laughing/A Ring of Thorns) and the one and only Tim Chandler (Manuscript/Sins of the Flesh). They played all the hits from their excellent debut album, along with 2 new songs which were nothing less than masterpieces. People were dancing during their show and generally there was a high mood in the atmosphere.

Their setlist:
Better Late Than Never
The Garden
Turn out the Lights (new song)
Malina
Living Dead and Undecided
Faith and Reason
Haunting
Debutante (new song)
Witchhouse
Overdoom

One last break and the headliners of the evening appeared on stage. Bloody Dead & Sexy are playing an old-school post punk style that is not my cup of tea. I respect them though for being active for many years and making decent albums. During their gig the audience were dancing and jumping around. The singer is a charismatic frontman and is leading the band to a higher level. One of the highlights of their performance was when their singer got off the stage and became a part of the audience, in some moshing action! Overall, a great show.
After a few more drinks we ended up at “La Leyenda” club for the second after show party. Billy, being a long time goth-rock connoisseur, spinned great tunes once again. Unfortunately we had to catch an early flight in the morning, so we couldn’t stay for long.
Concluding, I would like to congratulate the SGM team for all their hard effort to put this really great event together. You guys did a hell of a job. Keep the fire burning!
We will be back to Goth Rock with you again…. This is a promise!

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2014 in Concerts / Performances, Goth

 

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Siiiii – “Ancient” and “Modern”

Siiiii ancient coverI’ve heard lots of people saying “you were lucky to experience the 80’s…

I crack a smile cause they believe that living in the 80’s was fun. For sure it was an experience but mostly in a nostalgic sense. Certainly not as fun as they believe…Like many other people of my age, the 80’s carry a blurry reality of my youth.  Faces of people that you can’t fully describe, shadows, black and white photos…I am sure this last one could be “multi-colored photos of people in kitsch dresses” but… I’ve chosen the side that I always consider to be closer to reality.

A music scene of a black and white reality.

There is something so characteristic of this scene, no matter which country the artist comes from: there is a reverb effect to those recordings.  This effect gives you the feeling that anything the artist creates belongs to the past at once. It becomes a memory from the moment it is done.

Ok, I know that I just described the obvious but I can’t find any other effect doing that in music…

When I first played the Siiiii album “Ancient”, memories from the 80’s filled the room.  My memories have nothing to do with Sheffield where the band comes from though… But they were formed in 1983 and this CD is a collection of 13 unreleased tracks recorded between 1983-1986.

Most of them were recorded “in a leaky and damp rehearsal space on a 4 track Tascam Portastudio 144…the soundproofing and insulation consisted of old carpets nailed to the wall and cobwebs festooning the rafters”.

I closed the booklet of the CD thinking that I just read a description of one of the studios where my band used to rehearse…

They supported a number of well known bands of the scene in the 80’s, The March Violets, Inca Babies, Skeletal Family, The Chameleons (which was actually their first gig).

20 years after following their own separate ways, Ange Holmes (Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Piano, Violin), Wayne Furniss (Drums, Percussion), Mark Holmes (Guitar, Drums, Tape) and Paul Devine (Vocals, Drums, Harmonica) got together and compiled “Ancient” as a kind of historical archive of the time.  That same year, they played live in New York as well as a number of European cities…

Now, Siiiii return with a new album in 2014 and a live performance at Sacrosanct Festival.

The album is titled “Modern” and holds 16 songs.

“Ancient” had a black cover, “Modern” has a white cover.
So, do the differences begin even from the cover?

If “Ancient” was haunted by the blurry images of the past, in “Modern” Siiiii manage to leave aside the innocence of youth.  The band members grew up and know very well what they are doing.  In the 80’s they were just experimenting. Today they are sure of their sound.  So this is not a different band. It is a modern one…

On this album the band revisits four old songs to give them this “modern” touch…
The titles of these tracks: “Conception”, “Statue”, “Springheel’d Jack”, and “Dust”.

MODERN COVERThere are 12 more tracks here, aiming to satisfy those who were waiting for a new Siiiii release for all these years.

Their guitar sound became more mature and dreamy, the singer sounds more melodic and assured of himself (his voice reminds me sometimes of the turns of Brendan Perry’s), while the bass still provides a concrete spine for the rest of the band to play around it…

I left Wayne Furniss last cause he seems to be a very interesting drummer. He is either focused on playing some tribal rhythm or is being very minimal giving something very special to each tune…

After listening to both albums, I think I came up with the exact word I should use to characterize “Modern”: Mature.  I could also use the words: stable, sure, safe, atmospheric, artistic, sweet, bitter or whole.

You can order your copy of Ancient HERE and that of Modern HERE

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Goth, etc.

 

The Blackout Radio Show

This Thursday 16/10/2014 on the Blackout Radio: A mini interview with Piers Sixx about the new Arcane Winter single and their forthcoming tour, as well as tracks from the latest releases of: Sex Gang Children, UK Decay, New Model Army, Martin Stewart, Terminal Gods and lots more…

Time zones:
BST (GMT+1) – 7-9PM
Eastern Time (US) – 2-4PM
Pacific Time (US) – 11AM-1PM

the show !!!

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Goth, etc.

 
 
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