RED SUN REVIVAL: Identities (Selfreleased 2015)...

I met this British at last year’s Semana Gótica de Madrid. I had hear a few songs but I admit they haven’t grabbed my attention. Classic British Gothic music, male and dramatic voice, occasional violins… A lot of the same old. But the Madrid Gothic Week came as their show. With a lack of a “real” drummer, subject to the drum machine, they made a spectacular show. I ended in the hands of this Victorian Gothic that they play, and I felt in the nets of incontestable songs like My Child or Mistakes, just to give only two examples.  From there, to soak up with Embers (their 2014’s EP) and Running From The Dawn (the debut álbum in 2012), and my ears couldn’t stop waiting to hear their new works.   While waiting, a few weeks ago, it came to us Identities. And since then, this record has been played over and over, trying to get into all its nuances, in all it has to offer: Premonition, the opening song, is an amazing litany, full of epic and 19th-century’s decadentism, for me one of the keys of the band. The luminous guitars on Echoes don’t hide the underlying darkness, the intensity and melancholic in a some-kind-of procession of feelings that Poe could sign if this was a tale: “Should I remember you today? The sacrifice you made. I’m helpless but I’m not afraid. Are you an echo of the past, returned to me at last from all these years apart.”   Four walls comes with the same target. Relatively slow rhythms, between mid-time and the typical epic tune, melodies supported by Mr. Leydon voice and in the guitar lines of Matt Helm, the bass pointing the way (great work of Panos Theodoropoulos) and, in general,...

STILL PATIENT?: Shape Shifters (Dark Dimensions 2015)...

Once the 90s has started, a certain transfer of the neuralgic center of Gothic ortodoxy started to be produced. This center not only was in the United Kingdom; centers or “scepters” could be found in Germany. There was an “ideas gap” and a lack of nerve no freshness in UK, and the mixture with electronics hard guitars (almost near to metal music), ended in consolidating a new way of understanding the dark rock music: The Gothic rock. This was the “Second Big Wave” – or whatever you wanted to call it-. The new sounds -at this time- (the long shadow of Eldritch and of McCoy was present), exploration of new horizonts … the necessary regeneration. Of all those bands that assimilated some dance music and hard rock’ styles, Still Patient? highlighted. Four discs and an one EP, fulled of amazing songs and a broke up in 1999 that left, a decade later, a certain sensation of orphanhood in a subkind of music in which in these ten long years they had stood out.   More than one decade of silence later, much more than desired, it happend in 2012 (with a compilation), when they met and recorded a new version or remixing form of the hit song “Mascara Osiris”. They re-discovered vocations, played at the Treffen, granted an interview with us and, already in 2014, launch Selective Perception. An EP and a compilation (Retrospective 88 2 99) that allowed they to make an European Tour again. They were at the 2014’ SGM and demonstrated all that we knew yet, giving an astonishing show. And now, more than twenty years after their debut record, they will present in a few days (September 25) “Shape Shifters”. From the first song, “Seconds Of Fame”, you can appreciate...

NEAR EARTH ORBIT: End Of All Existence (Solar Lodge 2015)...

What happens if you put together Ashley Dayour (Whispers In The Shadows, The Devil & The Universe) and Artaud Seth (Garden Of Delight, Lutherion, Chaos GOD, etc in the past; and right now Merciful Nuns)? Just what had to happen, a new example of what creativity, talent, composing and instrumental power and the pleasure for the esoteric and apocaliptic stuff and in general the conceptual work, can project. Near Earth Orbit is one of those bands in which the idea goes before the band itself. The concept before everything else, or almost. In this case, the concept is as clear as odd. The future presences of both musicians emit this album from the future (well, in fact, it is already being emitted) to warn the world of its extinction, that will happen suddenly on 16 March 2034 and it seems we can do anything to avoid it. This new extinction is scheduled from the beginning of time by the (extraterrestrial) Gods. Yes, those who were responsible of our creation and who come from outer space. The well-known Annunaki, from Nibiru, etc (note: check the past discographies of both forefathers to know more about them). In this way, this End Of All existence becomes a diary of destruction and a warning of it at the same time. In addition, the design is planned to be developed in three albums: the next one will appear on October (Trans Neptunian Objects) and the last one on May 2016 (Near arth Orbit, as the project itself).   Musically, it is perfectly equidistant from the sounds Mr. Dayour and Mr. Seth accustomed us to: dark and cold atmospheres, more or less dreamy or distort guitars, deep basses, voices near from litany and the recited song… What I have already...

GEOMETRIC VISION: Virtual Analog Tears (SwissDarkNights 2015)...

For some time, Italy has become a swarm of new dark bands, you could almost say that two of every three bands that emerge (and there are a lot lately) come from this country. Specially when talking about minor genres like coldwave, afterpunk, and in general, the 80’s revival. It could be the climate or the water or who can say, but they’re welcome. Mostly because the average level is very high, I don’t know if there are a lot more bands underneath them, but they don’t arrive to me… The italian trio Geometric Vision gave us a pleasant surprise two years ago with their debut, Dream. Then we mentioned that it was some of those bands that had the weird (because of it not being very common) quality of carrying you to other worlds, other times, other atmospheres. I really wanted to check if in the second CD (so difficult, so many times) they were able to keep doing it. And, of course, they were capable of maintaining a very high level, an horizon of insulting creativity, a breaking resounding landscape with mature origin. With class, style and savoir faire. In summary, they were able to repeat the strike they made with Dream. They’ll play again in SwissDarkNights, which is a guarantee, at least in part.   Black Heaven gets back the 80’s atmosphere since the beginning, in the sound and the structure. Deep basses, keyboards and effects, clear and blurry guitars, the voice reminds us of the first The Cure (for example). The elements and features existing in Dreams, repeat the beginning of this album. However, an evolution can be appreciated, the aim of taking those influences beyond. They carry the 80’s style without forgeting that thirty years have passed since then....

DOUBLE ECHO: La Danza (Gothic Music Records 2015)...

Double Echo. From Liverpool. Name and origin sound good. Created in 2012, they have published 3 EPs so far, but on 25 April, “La Danza”, their first LP is going to be released umder the brand of Gothic Music Records. Chris Luna and Ash Lerczack are the members and performers of the project, being in charge of the bases, programming, voices and sythesizers, with Roland in charge of the drums machine. The first song of the album, with the same name as this one, is a good introduction and sample of what we’re going to find throughout the CD; goth sound from the 80’s, with their sythesizers, guitars and emulated basses and lyrics, and a sound that is totally The Cure but with feminine voice. I personally loved it. Even though I couldn’t avoid to remember Joaquín Reyes imitating Robert Smith and saying that his favorite era is the “dindondin” one, but this is because I link weird stuff. I Used To Be In Pictures follows the same line than the classic bands of our little world, but printing their own brand. I know there’s a lot of people who are upset because actual bands sound “just like” and they don’t take a risk with what they call “new sounds”, but this doesn’t bother me. And Double Echo are one of those bands that could have sounded 20 years ago and now, and their music would be equally great. The Sentence is another one of those songs that at the 20″ it causes you that pleasurable sensation that can only be provoked by some chords, specific sounds, to those who like this type of music; this few notes make you feel like home, songs that are a welcome sign themselves, enjoy it. The Waiting...

HAVALINA: Islas De Cemento (Origami Records 2015)...

Many of the people who have seen that I was publishing this review put their hands above their head. Many of you have thought what has Havalina to do with laletracapital or with its regular readers: those who like to listen to gothic rock, neofolk, dark ambient, deathrock, postpunk or any other label you would like to set to the music you like to listen to. Many people have thought that we (I) have gone crazy or that we (I) have changed or that we (I) have pervert all what this ancient webpage means. You can stop reading this, you can stop entering the website when you want to. No one has ever forced you to. But I want to ask you first, just before leaving behing this letters forever; before, a moment before closing the browser and stop reading this site (maybe forever); before choosing the words to curse us (me), listen to Islas de Cemento. Look at the magnificent jacket by Elba Fernández, pay attention to the lyrics (six of the eleven songs are adapted from the “Manual Para Conductores Borrachos” by JJ Cabezalí) or (and) take the trouble to listen to Un Reloj De Pulsera Con La Esfera Rota in Youtube (for example): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyiPZmaNvQY. After doing this you can decide if you’ll keep reading or if you give up on us (me, again). At least it will be a reasoned decision. And that is that Mr. Cabezalí and his trip mates (Jaime Olmedo’s bass and Javier Couceiro’s drumsticks) did it again. They have perpetrated a small musical masterpiece. They have collected some hard-to-label, complex songs, full of shades, songs for anyone who is able to appreciate what those nine lyrics mean. Dark when they have to be. Clear when the chance...

NEW BREED: From The Vaults (Selfreleased 2015)...

The norwegians, New Breed, released in January this old song compilation, only available for direct download and with the intention of releasing songs that, for some reason, have been forgotten. Not so long ago we commented their last album, the Pleasure & Pain remaster eleven years after its releasing. So this is the last snack before an LP with new songs, we wish it will be soon. It urges us. This need is because with this scarce eight songs, the ones from Stavanger show us again how the lifelong goth rock has no secrets for them, and they do it with a song compilation that brings together the best parts of the said style: powerful guitars, deep voices, strong basses and sharp percussion. In such way, the fact that Tilt is almost instrumental or that Rain has in its shattered epic all the coldness of the best tunes of the Scandinavian scene doesn’t really matter. The powerful bass and the tremendous guitar guide a sober, intense and projected voice, that reminds you the great ones without you missing none of them and with the dark key factors (specially in the last third of the album). Outside has in its initial keyboard a differential point, of the noir-rockers’ line Les Fleurs Du Mal, an important detail that doesn’t fog up the guitar’s melody. It has less appeal than Rain, but not less emotion. That’s why we chose it for the sixth chapter of the podcast. Electra is slower, even darker, less impressive in its structure but full of little details that make it great. Kristian Gundersen’s vocal register gets more dramatic and near. Ecstasy is, for me, not the weakest song but the one that touches me less. The choir and the keyboard gives the...

TREPANERINGSRITUALEN: VEIL THE WORLD (COLD SPRING RECORDS 2015)...

At the beginning of 2015, we found a new album by Trepaneringsritualen, Thomas Martin Ekelund’s nom de guerre. This time, it is the reedition in CD by the prestigious Cold Spring Records of its great album that was edited by Kości Tape in 2011, on cassette and in a super limited edition of 40 copies with a spectacular packaging. What we have here is their second discography work (brilliantly remastered), three years after their astonishing “Ritualer, Blot Och Botgöring” from 2008. The presentation of this album in digipack seems very remarkable while watching their pictures and the design of the artwork, (b&w) and in limited edition of 1000 copies to reach the true ones of this artist. In its inside we can find 9 songs where the darkness, the mysticism and the pagan rituals are the basis on which the composition is structured. The topic, as usual in T × R × P, is supported by Ritual, Dark-Ambient and Death Industrial foundations. Trepaneringsritualen went deep in this album in the clasic roots of bands like Brighter Death Now. Religion, death, pain, magic, occultism and suffering are the topics that this project covers and its sounds awaken the darkest parts of conciousness. Every composition is remarkable, however I will focus on some of them, the ones that caught my attention or the ones that reflect the concept that this work wants to transmit. “Cherem”, song that opens up the album, sounds apocalyptic, and shows us, as an introduction, the shadows and darkness that surround every composition by this artist. “Veil the World”, song that gives name to the album in a brilliant and sensationalist composition; its post-industrial rythm makes it, without any doubt, in one of the best songs of the album. “Lightbringer”, with guttural...

NU:N: Nothing Unveils Nothing (NU:N) (Black Genesis Records 2015)...

The Portuguese scene is quite unknown in Spain. There are bands that have managed to go beyond the borders, but in general they are few and with relative success. For too many years, we have only focused in the UK and Germany (and a little in Italia, France and USA). Thus, for years and years, it seemed that in Portugal, apart from fados, they only made what came from The IDS, Isiphilon, Phantom Vision, Aenima o Poetry Of Shadows. Yes, ok, Moonspell, of course. But little more and, except for the last ones (and more metal) with a discreet success. Being generous.   About all this, we can deduce that I think knowing a Portuguese band capable of changing all said above is a big new. However, the members of NU:N (Nothing Unveils Nothing) aren’t newcomers. That is noticed in the quality of the compositions and in the way of performing them. NU:N practices a more than pure orthodox gothic rock, that one that links with the great ones -specially- 90’s, you know, Love Like Blood, Dreadful Shadows, Garden Of Delight, etc. Canonical but softened by the keyboard, lightly, almost unintentionally, getting that original sound in despite of that influences.   This guys from Oporto must have something special if they got to bring the attention of half of the world with such a short a debut album and without any live. They must have something special when they are even going to play in the Sacrosanct next year. Let’s see what is it:   Entrance To Illumination provides an intro and makes you enter the atmosphere. Smoke, white and black light, the required ingredients to enter the album. In April Of 1984, version from Vestigia (song and band which I didn’t know about)....

WINTER SEVERITY INDEX: Slanting Ray (Blood Rock Records 2014)...

I remember when I first heard this band formed in Rome. It was an accidental discovery that stunned me. And that happened in 2011. A year before, they released their first EP “Winter Severity Index”. Their special and cared sound cached me almost immediately, and became a band whose work I am following passionately to date. In 2013, they released their second EP “Survival Rate”, but we had to wait until 2014, when they introduced a “long work”. Over the years, and in despite of their short professional career, the band has undergone significant changes in their forming until now, in which Simona Ferrucci’s project (guitar, vocals, bass, programming and composition) has the support of Alessandra Romeo (keyboard and sythesizer and former member of Cat Fud and Bohemien). They are the authors of this last and splendid work in which we can perceive clear Joy Division and “Pornography” by The Cure influences, blending with the cold spots of bands like Cranes and classic 4AD groups (such as Cocteau Twins). Heirs of Post Punk sounds with the frigidity of Cold Wave, in a logic and right evolution from the band’s foundation by Simona back in 2009, in songs like “Fishblood”, “A Sudden Cold” or “Bianca”, the powerful and marked bass line stands out and envelops the songs.  Melancholic and frozen atmospheres that are filled with passion in compositions like “The Brightest Days” (one of the best songs of all the album…). In “Ordinary Love”, the incorporation of the saxo provides a point of freshness and joy among darkness. “At Least the Snow “, brilliant piece that opens up the album, impels and rises to what awaits us in the rest of the CD. “Embracing the Void”, song that closes the album, adds a quiet but...