What is Invisible Guy and how did we get here?

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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!

Review: Night Sins – New Grave

Magical and nostalgic post-punk with goth overtones, coming from current times. First song “Playing Dead” starts off well, with a bombastic baseline that could potentially blow people out of their chairs. Considerably down-tempo, but packed with an arsenal filled to the brink with both synths, dark riffing and melancholia. I believe that the intro had a potential that could’ve been launched once again, even though the segment of the perilous baseline moved on like a giant, the remainder of the sound-scape seems to have strayed off the original path and formed their own shape and contuse the rest. Really, the thing that keeps it afloat is the baseline and the drumming in the background, everything else is superficial when you listen to it. Which is a shame, since it takes so much away from the great riffing in the background and the vocals at hand. They could be considered a part of this steaming pile of goodness, but become a secondary thought whilst you venture through. Next up is a more frivolous track by the name of “Shoot Me Up“, which boils down to their ultimate post-punk influences and the more catchy, but melodic part of their music. I never thought a baseline could get so dark, scary and brutal in the means of itself. Gushing through the mortal wounds we all have, opening up my ear-canals even more and seeping through the rifts on my outside, reaching a certain part of my inside. Combined with all the melancholy and angst, there’s room for a synths wailing composition to reach even closer and deeper within. Certainly an even better approach to their influences at hand, using them within their perfect means and provoking a reaction from the listener on a deeper level than just observing the different components.

The third song “Spectral Bliss” is forcing itself to reconcile with the electronic part of the sound-scape, to form a shell that contains the pulsating post-punk baseline and the disheartened vocals. A kind of melodic enthusiasm, which also searches through the parts, launching even more repetitive and less melodic synth-sounds. There’s always some light in the tunnel, as the dreamy and high-pitched sounds wail in tune with the singer and create a whole other sound than what I’ve heard so far. Blending both the darker realms of the sound-scape and the lighter, more happy and up-beat ones. Another one of the more repetitive namesakes is the song “The Stranger“. Feels like floating on dark matter to a whole other world, whereas the darker synth-sounds collide with the non-electronic. Introducing a little bit more of the dark wave sound, which is a great combination of both melody and rhythms in the end. Painting up an even greyer and more sinister picture at hand, which puts the other songs to shame.

As I said about the baseline earlier, in one of the other songs, is it even possible to get this far into darkness? I think not. Surrounded by careless riffs and thoughtful baselines, sweeping away every sense of a new beginning. Utilizing each and every step to form an even more depressing path, as the down-tempo synths foreclose the song and declare it dead. One of the more intriguing experiences, as I travel further into the core of darkness. This, my friends, is dark. No, not like your coffee – it’s even darker than that. The fifth song “Knell” is more of an continuation of the fourth song, but with an edge to it and totally instrumental. Delivering a minimalistic and almost ambient-like landscape that portrays every single atom as a part of its own, music-wise. An intermezzo of different feelings, somewhat quirky synths and experimentalism at the very bottom. Working almost as a soundtrack in itself, or a summation of what I’ve currently been hearing throughout the album.

Launching me into the sixth song “The Eternal Giver“, which is an up-tempo song with even more goth acclimatized to it. Every beat of the snare drum feels like a pulsating trigger, which makes this more of an in-your-face song than anything else. The lyrics are also much better than ever, it’s also got a more tempting melodic section and even greater riffing. It feels like I’m amidst something revolutionary the more I listen to it, it’s the center of  everything on earth and it delivers a sturdy but shaking ground to stand on. Everything falls in place and my heart is beating faster than ever, as the track packs a punch of adrenaline that it decides to inject into me. Probably one of the best songs on the album yet, which have been filled to the brink with quality and thoughtfulness. I am reminded of the energy that The Foreign Resort have in their music, combine that with less new-wave and even more post-punk/goth rock.

Now it’s time for the seventh song on the album which is titled “Wild Eyes“. More down-tempo, less melancholy and a more spiritual approach to everything. It feels dreamy and the riffs are about the same, one huge difference that made everything a little bit more interesting, was when they decided to launch the drums into a bombastic breakdown. Feels like they could’ve gone with that throughout, but they missed out on including it in the other parts. An unconventional touch to say the least, which just enhanced the baseline and the sound-scape as a whole. Instead, they decided to put in a little bit of mellow synths here and there, the closer to the end you get. I still have to say that the bombastic breakdown with the drums was my favorite part of the song, everything else seems superficial when I heard that, as I thought they were going to change something after. I was pretty disappointed, but it returned briefly by the end of the track, which is good.

The eighth song “Winged Thing” is overtly goth in its overtones and concocts a bunch of nocturnal riffs that make it even more enjoyable. As I step into their shoes for a brief moment, finding myself in a borderline punk-rock/post-punk show. Melodically, the riffs may not be that great, but I think it adds another flavor to an otherwise pretty distorted environment. It’s also got a lot of more unconventional changes in the sound-scape, but seldom switch to anything out of the ordinary. I would say that this is a pretty generic Night Sins song, with the exception of it being a little bit more freakish and experimental than the other songs.

Closing song “Knife to the Sky” forces itself into a more dark wave and post-punk sound-scape. With greater focus on the more electronic side of the band, having some weird synth-melodies blend with the less melodic sound-scape. One line that runs around my head constantly is: “Is this life?“. In a sense, this track couldn’t be more perfectly placed, but I think they need to utilize the melody of the synth a little bit better with the sound-scape as a whole. But the melody at hand is very good and really shows off their electronic ambitions. All-in-all, this album is a really great album and I advise everyone to check it out. You should also buy it if you can, because it surely brings another light to the more traditional sound, with a totally new and fresh sound that works in every sense.

You can buy a digital version from their bandcamp over here and you can buy the LP of the album over here.