Invisible Guy recommends: 80s Gothic Rock – 1985 (Part IV)

I think it’s time to give you another treat, this time I’ll be recommending my favorite Gothic rock bands from the 80s. I begin with 1980-1981 (Part I) and then gradually move my way up throughout the years: 1982 (Part II), 1983-1984 (Part III), 1985 (Part IV), 1986-1987 (Part V) and 1988-1989 (Part VI). I’ll be continuing the fad of six different episodes and I’ll bid you my welcome into the world I knew and the world I’ve discovered and continually re-discover when I’m surfing the web. I want to give people another opportunity and to find out about bands and artists that they haven’t heard of before. Sometimes I occasionally sneak in a bigger band or two, but that’ll just be if the song is good enough. But by no means is this a top 30 of the best Gothic rock from the 80s, I’ll have to give you a top-10 list in the future of the Gothic bands that I think top my own list. I’ll also have some commentary beneath each clip as I had in the earlier parts that covered post-punk, mostly because it looks more aesthetically pleasuring and say something about the song or the lyrics. Let me take you into this world now.

You’re now entering Part IV of the recommendation.

If you wish to continue, click on the Continue reading button.

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To the smaller bands and artists out there!

invisible guy logo

I would love to review your records. Even though I’ve got plenty to do so far, I still need to continually do reviews. Since I exclusively do reviews on physical records, I don’t review digital ones. With that said, if you’re putting out a record in any format that is physical, like CD/cassette/vinyl – if you want it reviewed, send it to me via snail-mail. You can get my address when you mail me and if I’m interested in doing a review on your particular record. Hopefully some of you want me to do reviews on your newly released (or maybe older) records. Please, do also pass this on. You can fetch me via my mail, which is displayed under Contact. I’m also very interested in local bands from Skåne.

What is Invisible Guy and how did we get here?

invisible guy logo

It’s been a great year for this blog and I can’t thank my readers enough. Since the start in the end of 2011, there’s been a constant surge and I believe I’ve put this blog on the map. To compare, this blog isn’t a journalistic blog at all, it’s a hobby or a zine if you’d stretch it that far. All this year, I’ve been working hard to keep up with everyone else and came up with my own material. There’s been a lot of in-depth interviews, reviews, promos and articles featured. Even though my project was meant to be and still is a hobby, I believe that I’ve outgrown my own shoes and I’m planning to do some new stuff in 2013. Some people have thought that this blog has many authors, but I’ll have to burst that bubble and tell you that I’m the sole writer behind all this material. Which means that I have put some real time and effort into this. I also think that I’m one of the only blogs that do track-by-track reviews, but I hope that someone will prove me wrong. The one thing I’ve been missing on Invisible Guy is the contact between me and the readers, which I hope that I can improve. Feel free to send me a mail. I’d like to thank every reader, associate, musician, blogger, friend and basically everyone that has supported me and kept me doing this for so many months. I promise you, there will be many more. Hope you have a Happy New Year and settle down with more great releases of this year, brought to you by Invisible Guy. A huge thank you to everyone.

Dream Affair – Aborted State

A somber combination of the best in post-punk, goth rock and dark wave. Scouring through the more traditional sphere of the music, picking up on the newer vibes, making it a delight to listen to. I only wish that it could’ve been a little bit longer and feature more tracks, but it certainly keeps you on the edge and reminds you of some great acts. This is the time for rock noir.

Momentform – Yearn

Blissful but moody dark wave, featuring some minimalistic synth-pop. Coming from the newly founded New Ideals label, this french act taught me well. It may not have reached the bottom, but it certainly hammered the lid and got it off in time. A sullen, yet emotional piece of music that make you waltz around in the middle of the night, as the rain is blaring on the window.

Suffer The Pain – The Last Massacre

Metallic punk, which will drive you nuts. Forcefully taking upon the mission of plaguing your ears, with some pretty decent co-operation between punk and metal. Even though it’s repetitive, I would say that I had a certain attraction to the record as a whole and I enjoyed it pretty much. It might not be a favorite, but it affected me in one way or another.

White Blush – S/T

Probably one of the more interesting genre-hopping this year. I’m not at all into pop, but this album changed the game for me. She walks in between genre, plucking stuff that seems to fit in and making it fit. Even though it was released not too long ago, I think it affected me in many ways. Amongst other things, Carol Ryu’s voice would be one of them. I suggest you check this out, because it’s a much bigger endeavor than pop.

Beyond Pink – Pride and Prejudice

One of the most powerful acts in the hardcore-scene as of today, at least when it comes to Sweden. This album has it all, it’s catchy, driven and they do hardcore the way it should be. Everything is in its place, the vicious momentum of the riffing and the drums make you want to go at it. The vocalists are also great, as almost everyone in the band sings at one point.

Night Sins – New Grave

Heavier post rock, blended with loads of other genres. A nostalgic piece that looks down the aisle and continue to walk down. Besides the lyrics, the baseline and the bonecrushing sound-scape, I also enjoy the delicate riffing that goes on in the songs. There’s really something about them that is fantastic, it also brings back glory to genres that should’ve been shelved a long time ago.

Rättens Krater – Den Stora Stöten

Some edgier stuff that haven’t been tried out for years. Reminds me of some good ole’ Onkel Kånkel, but with some new wave attachment, also add some dadaism. It’s really hard to place them anywhere, because they’re so straggly with their sound. However, one of the better releases this year and they deserve some recognition for that. Pretty original.

Barren Womb – On the Origin of Fæces

This is also some weird stuff. Country mixed with black-metal and noise-punk? Only Norwegians could think something like that up. But it works and they deliver their music with a strong hand and they’re something you should count on when browsing music online. Be sure to check them out.

Structural Disorder – A Prelude To Insanity

A fantastically skilled progressive metal band from Stockholm. Producing some of the finest quality metal to date and even though it’s an EP, I think they deserve a place here and hope you understand my situation. Looking forward to hear more material from this act in the future.

Institution – Domen Är Satt

Do I even need to say anything else? Fine Swedish hardcore blended with crust. I ended this year with a bang, as I did my last review. It is one of the best sounding hardcore albums from this year alone, with a little bit of competition from here and there, but they manage to stay alert and hold their ground. This is definitely something you should check out.

Övervarning – Mellan Rummen

I don’t really like dark ambient, so when I stumble upon an act that I like, I tend to like it a lot more. This dark ambient act from Sweden(?) surprised me a lot when I listened through it. As the sound galloped through my headphones, I couldn’t do anything but to immerse myself into the sound-scape. A notable success for someone that doesn’t like the genre.

E. E. Engström & The Twin Street Tree Trunk Love Ensemble – Loving Fog Fiends

Sweden needs some real dark jazz. At least a band with the ambition of being a little bit more eccentric and experimental, when it comes to the sound. It reminded me a lot of the great eras that have already passed, imagine yourself sitting down in a shady bar, somewhere in New York, with a whiskey being poured down in your glass, listening to this music.

Soundmeds – Hospital EP

Yeah, I know, it’s another EP. I changed the rules before the end of this year. One of the better acts within the rock-sphere. This is some ambient stuff, that will make your head turn around in a 360, waiting for the next doses of psychedelia, alternative rock and post-rock being served straight into your ears.

Notable mentions (albums/EPs/singles):

Nocturnal – Until the morning light

Dalaplan – Ta mig när jag faller

Paranoid – Hardcore Addict

V/A – Dimmorna Skingras Vol. 2

In Death It Ends – Forgotten Knowledge

Imiafan – Old School Surprise

Ekman – Kalla Rytmer Att Dansa Till I Ensamhet

V/A – The Peter Out Wave

Agent Attitude – Never-ending Mess

Thank you to everyone for making this blog what it is. I couldn’t have done it without you. Hopefully my work here has paid off and I hope that you’ll check it out in 2013 as well. Let’s hope that this year ends with a bang and that I get on track as quickly as possible, so I can supply you with more interesting reviews and in-depth interviews. I would also like to do a shout-out to Jesper Bjerke also, who made the logo and the design for this blog. Thank you for everything this year and let’s hope that you have a Happy New Year!

Peoples take on Invisible Guy and why they think it’s a good blog!

Since I want to keep a good line of contact in between me, the musicians I am in association with when reviewing, the people that I interview – I decided that it was time for their opinion of my blog. After all, I think it’s important to get other peoples thoughts about your blog and why it is sufficient. Which makes me even more productive. So I sent out a couple of mails and invited people to write some things about what they think is good about this blog. I can also tell you why I didn’t ask for constructive criticism, it’s because I’ve gotten some criticism, so I know what needs to be improved. I’ve also got a lot of thoughts myself that I will elaborate on before this year ends. I would like to thank everyone that participated in commenting on what makes my blog good. Thank you, people. Also, don’t worry, I will reach out to my readers also in an article that I’m writing which will be published on the 31st of December.

Invisible Guy is thoughtful, far reaching and meticulous in his reviews. Rather than wasting time with a rating system, he shares the emotions and experiences invoked in listening to the music.

- Pleasure Curses

Invisible Guy…. where to begin? The ‘long-form’ in-depth music blog is a rare thing. Even rarer is a new music discovery blog that takes its time to delve deeply into a few unheralded artists and labels from around the world. Unlike the majority of new music discovery blogs where it’s a quick song link, video and a few words, Invisible Guy takes time to get inside the minds of the musicians. His interview questions are thoughtful and disarming and so can gain insights that even his interviewees may not have thought of before. I enjoy reading posts on Invisible Guy.  It is interesting finding out about the people behind a range of music from around the world most of us would never hear about otherwise.  All the best for doing more of this in 2013 Invisible Guy!

Ian Henderson, Fishrider Records – Dunedin, New Zealand

Musikbloggen av Invisible Guy har under det gångna året gått från anonymitet till ett av landets främsta vad gäller musikens gömda skatter. Och det med bitsk nyfikenhet liksom stort egenintresse för skrivande som hantverk.

- Richard Ingemann, Mosher.se

Jag gillar produktivitet när det kommer till bloggar, och om produktiviteten samtidigt leder till kvalitet och att jag upptäcker nya saker när det kommer till musik så kan man vara säker på att jag är helnöjd efter att meningarna har nått sitt slutgiltiga mål. Invisible Guy är en blogg som jag har hållit ögonen på sedan jag först upptäckte den, då den uppfyller just dessa små men höga krav. Bra material, ständiga uppdateringar och framför allt en hel del nya saker som ingen annan i Sverige skriver om. En intressant och beundransvärd detalj är när skribenten Invisible Guy i sina recensioner går igenom låt för låt, vilket är ett arbete som inte många recensenter där ute skulle vilja ge sig in på. För läsarna kanske det inte verkar vara en så stor sak, men tro mig det tar tid att bara skriva en vettig recension och du sedan bara beskriver 4-5 låtar. Att beskriva varje låt plus ett albums/EP:s helhet är med andra ord ett mastodontarbete som gör att Invisible Guy sticker ut ordentligt, vilket även gäller när han ger sig in på både podcasts och intervjuer.

- Lukinzine

I didn’t know about the blog until I saw their review for my band’s recent single (Luxury Stranger’s ‘Nothing Holy’ / ‘Ripple’). I’ve dropped in every once in a while since then to see what’s what and all that jazz. My thoughts are that it’s a very honest blog – not contrived. Also what I like about the blog is that it is doing some great work for independent music – for example, the review of our single was the first I read for the single and I feel it helped us to achieve the success we’ve had with the single (the single entered the European Alternative Music singles chart at #4 in week 51!) and I really do believe that the Invisible Guy blog helped that to happen. Great work and great support for good things! Keep up the good work and thank you for everything!

- Simon York, Luxury Stranger

The moment you start to check out the many in-depth posts on this page, you realize that The Invisible Guy is serious about what he is doing. Super well prepared articles show what the artists are about and what their intentions behind the music are. It takes time and dedication to keep this up and I’m very proud to be featured on here. All the best for 2013.

- Jogging House

If anyone else wants to contribute, you’re free to do so. I just sent out some mails to people and asked people the question: “What do YOU think is good about Invisible Guy?“. You can contribute with your feelings, thoughts and everything in between, by sending me a mail (like the ones above) over here: psyborg[at]countermail[dot]com

Interview with James from Plunder The Tombs!

Plunder-the-Tombs

Plunder The Tombs is a blog ran by the Australian gentleman James. It features in-depth writings about everything from goth to death rock, which means everything that could fit into that category or be related. His blog is an investigation into the heart of what goth rock was, as he proceeds to sift through every great release there ever was. With his expertise within the genre as a lodestar for his writings. He’s been involved with everything you could imagine, being a DJ since the 90’s in the Perth area of Australia, playing in clubs such as The Cell and Dominion, which were largely goth-themed clubs. He also helped found the 6RTR FM’s goth & industrial showcased called Darkwings. His blog also largely revolves around the first wave of gothic, which would be the years from 1979 to 1988. It is also a blog that I’ve followed or stumbled upon when browsing the internet, so I decided to interview him about everything from the first wave of goth rock, to the definition of goth rock and everything you’d ever want to know about that particular genre and the blog Plunder The Tombs. Hope you enjoy your stay and may The Sisters Of Mercy be with you.

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Invisible Guy recommend some of the best blogs for the end of 2012!

As you all know, I can’t be the king of the hill. There’s always someone else influencing me and blogs that I check regularly. But I know a lot of blogs that you should check out if you haven’t had the chance to do it yet. Since there’s a lot of blogs, there’s also a lot of blogs that will not be mentioned. When I check out blogs, I usually do that because they’re writing in an interesting manner, or that they’re sharing music that I like. If it isn’t one of those factors, it’s because they introduce me to a whole new world.

Some blogs might’ve put down the sign ages ago and some blogs might’ve just started their business here on the internet. These are the blogs that I return to on a regular basis, because they have something other blogs do not. This will not be your regular ranking with numbers and countdowns, this will simply be a description of the blog and why they deserve to be on this list. Also, this list is by no means hierarchical.

ribbon

Ribbon Around A Bomb is an American blog, with a very dedicated author, whom almost always update her blog on a regular basis. There’s a flow in the blog that never ceases to amaze me and if it isn’t there, well then she returns with the best and most interesting stuff to read. Even though I don’t like modern art, some of it can be fascinating and intriguing. It’s like a blend in between modern art, old pictures of legendary bands, odd pictures of obscure bands and also a lot of talk about the radio show she’s running. Which mostly focuses on female acts within the punk-sphere and everything surrounding it. She’s got a very captivating style of writing, which sucks you in and makes a mess of you. It’s one of those blogs that I check on an odd, yet regular basis. I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing her, so if you’re interesting in knowing more about this blog, check out the interview.

Plunder-the-TombsPlunder The Tombs is an Australian blog that fascinates me on so many levels. Since I’m an avid goth and death rock fan, anything that can dig out the best of forgotten goth would deserve a medal. This is also one of the better and more well-written blogs that handle the topic of obscure, old and forgotten goth/death rock bands. It might not be a blog that continually updates the material, but it’s a goldmine for everyone that loves to seek out old gems from the past. Since I wasn’t born in that time, this blog makes it even more interesting. He’s also got a lot of expertise within the area, which some blogs fail to have when writing about this stuff. If you want to read well-written pieces about times past, great records and anecdotes from different angles – this is the blog for you.

cropped-banner_021Last Days Of Man On Earth was a blog from Australia/US that was run by Joe Stumble. I actually had a shot to interview him, but unfortunately didn’t have the time to do it. His blog is the epitome of music-blogging, with a lot of very well-written pieces on things like The Hardcore Superiority Myth – Or, why did I choose 87-90? which you should read if you haven’t already done it. He generally wrote a lot about obscure bands and music that I hadn’t heard before and he actually made me stumble upon one of my favorite bands, which are called Cipher. It’s a shame that he put his blog on hiatus, but what better way to end a glorious reign than to quit when you’re on the top? Well, that’s what he did. As I look through what he’s written, I’m also inspired by the structure of his language and how he made his posts flow like water, which made reading them for the first time a total joy. Sometimes I wish I was even close to what he was and still probably is, when it comes to writing. It’s an inspiration to look through his blog and he’s one of the reasons why I started mine.

lukinLukinzine is a hardcore/punk-zine from Sweden that have influenced me greatly within that sphere of music. He was actually the reason for me picking up hardcore and writing about it in the first place, which generated support for Hotet Från Skogarna, my Svensk Punk och Hardcore-podcast and many other things related to it. You can’t really mention hardcore or punk within Sweden, without mentioning him. He’s like one of the more well-known godfathers of the blogs when it comes to that particular subject over here. Probably the most influential one at that, as he photographs shows, keeps up with the scene, do interviews and reviews on a regular basis. Even though I don’t like blogs that don’t produce a lot of text when it comes to reviews and daily updates, there’s something about Lukinzines writing that keeps you on the edge. Which is a compliment, since there aren’t a lot of blogs around that can write intriguing stuff in just a few sentences or more. Also, if you’re Swedish, you might want to check out my podcast as I’ve interviewed him.

gehitGe Hit Musiken is a pop music blog from Gothenburg operated by Bojan Buntic and his minions, which unfortunately for the international readers, is only written in Swedish. I don’t really like the music that he display over there, but sometimes he’s got a lot of new music that people should’ve heard a long time ago. A pretty good blend between mainstream and obscure music, mostly within pop or electronica. But he’s also got some great reviews of music that range from industrial to everything else, as its being said in the header of the blog. Even though there’s been a lot of pop lately and weird new music, he’s got something that other blogs don’t. He is actually one of the few blogs that focus more on poetic descriptions of the music, rather than namedropping a lot of bands that sound like the aforementioned one in the reviews he conducts. I also think he’s got some great and well-structured “Best Of” lists for the year 2012. It’s one of the blogs I read on a regular basis, at least when there’s some interesting material on display, if not; then I’m only there for the love of the Swedish (poetic) language. You should give him a chance and tell him to do more interviews.

cropped-header_main2Esau.se is a blog ran by Esau Alcona which is entirely dedicated to the phenomenon of pop. I don’t know where to begin really, but he seems to have a lot of expertise within the area. Even though I generally don’t like the music that’s being displayed, I find his blog to be interesting. He seems to have a lot of passion for what he does and the way he writes is correct but welcoming. It’s one of those blogs that I can read when I need some quick information about the latest happenings and what music Esau likes. I must say that I adore what he does, even though he didn’t include me in his countdown to Christmas! But, hey, I think it was very good anyway. He also did a mixtape for my blog which was presented by both his blog and mine, which you can find over here: Esau.se och Invisible Guy presenterar: Hipster Porn mixtape! Well, what more can I say? I hope that he continue doing what he loves to do. There’s a lot of things to check out, but I’m always checking his site when I need to know something about the latest pop-sensations. Be careful though, this is some obscure stuff, which the Invisible Guy likes a lot. I mean, I like the fact that he praises the more underground and obscure stuff, rather than the more mainstream. But each to his own.

att_mota_morkretMosher.se is a blog-zine from Sweden which is ran by Richard Ingemann and circuits around hardcore/punk, written in Swedish. Even though I don’t check his blog on a regular basis anymore, I do it when he publishes new material. It’s too bad that he haven’t updated it for a while, but I’m hoping for a comeback. He’s got a regular language and a correct one at that, which makes what he read a little bit more intriguing. There’s also something about the new design of the blog-zine that also heightens the reading experience. I think he’s got some unconventional material at times, like the essay about Totalt Jävla Mörker which is titled: Att Möta Mörkret – om “Söndra & Härska” av Totalt Jävla Mörker. It is one of the best and most concise essays I’ve read when it comes to that particular subject. He’s also got some nice interviews that he’s conducted with various bands within the sphere of punk and hardcore. But one of the more interesting additions to his blog is the scanned pieces of older Swedish punk and hardcore zines, which makes for a great read. Hopefully I’ll check in to his blog even more in 2013 and I hope he’s got some material that I would like to read. So hopefully we’ll see more of this blog next year.

CMI-HEADER-2Cactus Mouth Informer was a blog from the UK that was ran by Highlander and had been active since 2007. But since the 10th of December, he apparently ceased his activities with the blog, which is a shame. One of the more interesting additions when it comes to post-punk, goth rock, death rock and everything in between. A lot of interesting posts and clippings from different popular magazines about those genres. Which have given me a lot of information about them and let me read some of the interviews I might’ve missed and also reviews for that matter. He also uploaded a lot of music from that time, which is the 80’s and I’ve heard more obscure bands over there than anywhere else, when it comes to the 80’s. The quality of the blog was consistent and there was always something to read, if not clippings from Zig Zag Now, then something else worthy of your time. Even though there weren’t a lot of writing per se, there was a lot of material which you should’ve gotten your hands on a long time ago. I was also introduced to a lot more blogs when it comes to pure .mp3 and FLAC-blogs. Which was awesome, since I found a lot of music during that route. Let us hope that he continues somewhere else and show up on my radar, sometime in the future.

This concludes my list for this year. I know that there are a lot of blogs that I can’t remember right now, but that I might not visit on a regular basis. Who knows, I might write a little thing or two about them too. But this post is dedicated to blogs that have had, will have or is having a legacy that affects me in one way or another. Some of them might not last, some of them may, but time will tell. Hopefully they’ll develop into their own little niche and make something of their time on the web here among every other shitty blog that is out there. However, these blogs are far from shitty, which is a great thing. I’m hoping that more blogs will pop up that create something unique themselves.

- The Invisible Guy

Christmas – 24th December

Now its Christmas for you and Yule for me. I have designated one of my favorite bands for this day. Which would be the band The Associates, headlined by the wonderful man Billy MacKenzie (R.I.P). I had trouble choosing a favorite album, because I reckon that plenty of them fit that category. Actually, one of my favorite albums is the compilation that was released in 2000 called Double Hipness which features some of the best tracks they’ve made. Like the tracks “Do The Call Girl“, “Not Tonight Josephine“, “I Never Will” and “International Loner“.

If I had to recommend any album that they’ve made besides compilations, I’ll first have to mention Fourth Drawer Down as I think it’s the epitome of what they were and could’ve been. It’s sad to say that they’re not around anymore and that they released so much great material. Another album that you should check out would be their next album, which was released a year after the aforementioned and also were their third album. It was titled Sulk and had some of my other favorite songs, like “No“, “Arrogance Gave Him Up” and “Party Fears Two“.

As Christmas comes to an end, I hope you’ve had a great one. I had and I will await the next time I’ll do anything like this extravaganza. Hope you’ll continue to check my blog out and stay here for a while.