Listen: TAOLWGO – LIST

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The band with one of the longer bandnames, namely The Amount Of Light We Give Off from Germany, have recently released their first EP. We featured them earlier with free downloads of their tracks from their demo, but now they’ve completed a fully-fledged release. Their demo was more rough and raw, as it is suitable for what a demo can and will be, but this release is where I thought they would be heading. Even though the roughness is still there, they’ve sharpened it even more. A darkened approach, filled to the brink with influences of dark wave, which wasn’t really the case when you listened to the demo. It was more electronically post-punkish. I would like to say that they’re the darker cousin of The Foreign Resort, with an overtone of the more classical dark wave which has been sorely missed out by virtually everyone. They really got the same outlook on things and keep the energy flowing. I’m in love with this duo, because they’ve got some unique things going for them. No more overtly melodious crap, no more cackling generic garbage – it’s more food for thought and afterthought. Probably one of the best things coming out of Germany right now. We feel like they’ve outdone themselves. This is really the way they should’ve headed towards, and they’ve really done that. So stream away down below and listen to this. Do also support them by buying it digitally.

Premiere: The Foreign Resort – Dead End Roads [Musicvideo]

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We’re late on a premiere, but it’s beginning to slowly unfold. The Foreign Resort have released a single, as a run-up for their coming tours in Denmark, The Netherlands and USA – this fall. This particular single goes by the name of “Dead End Roads“, and is taken from their forthcoming album, which they have been working on together with the legendary John Fryer. A noticeable difference this time is that they rely on dark and heavy synthesizers to be pushing the sound itself, with a more electronic approach to their music then they usually have. The beginning of the song is absolutely fantastic, but so is the rest of it. But the gritty and adrenaline-filling synthesizer that hits it off, gives a particular sense of suspense. The sound itself is more cold and calculated, as they do not rely that much on their trade mark that is post-rock mixed with post-punk and new-wave. So it’s obvious that a lot of what you’re hearing have been affected by John Fryer’s mixing, producing and engineering. This might just be a temporary thing, just for this album, but I’m currently liking what I’m hearing. It harkens back to some of the legendary bands of yore. But there’s something new and fresh about it. It is deeply emotional, but at the same time on the edge and in the dirt. The music video was directed by Morten Engels Ryming, the actress was styled by Sascha Elvar, and the actress herself is Emilie Flyvholm. With special thanks to Photographica & Henning Ørsted. The single was recorded in the time-span from March to April 2013 – at Black Tornado Studios in Copenhagen. Last but not least, the masterful sound itself was mastered by Chris Cline at Studio Wonder of Sound, in San Antonio, Texas. You can also listen to the track down below, along with two remixes of the same track.

 

Extremely Huge Showcase [#4]: The Straw Men, Ballerina Black, DieTRAX/FFF, Bulletins, MUGSTAR and Skinner Box!

Have we got something for you right now! First up is The Straw Men, which basically was a post-punk/alternative band from the Sydney 1980s and they’ve re-released some forgotten material from their album “inland sea“. They’re really unconventional when it comes to post-punk, as they deploy some more funky and blues-oriented sound combined with that particular genre. At times, they sound like a combination between Au Pairs and some other unknown band that I can’t really categorize. Every single riff, the drumming and the atmosphere tells a story in itself. I would say that they don’t even need any lyrics, because you can tell by the sound-scape that it’s a whole adventure put down into the mix. There’s always been some different takes from Australia when it comes to post-punk, which is appreciated. You shouldn’t underestimate their employment of the psychedelic elements either, since they pull it off perfectly. The songs featured on this release range from “Refugee Stomp” to “Into The Night“, and it seems like they’ve self-released it.

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Best tracks of 2012 according to Invisible Guy!

10. Seacrypt – Other Worlds

Taken from their debut album A Momentary Rift which I found randomly while browsing bandcamp. Certainly also one of the greater albums this year, with a roster of eight powerful and mind-numbingly great tracks. An ode to the greatness of darkwave, synth-pop and ambient – all in one.

9. Curxes – Spectre

One of the better bands this year and definitely one of the greatest songs I’ve heard this year. The noir pop-esque feeling that never seems to let go, wherever you lay your eyes, they’re there observing you. An emotional wonder that will hopefully stand the toll of time, and that also have lived the post-destruction era that is and was 2012.

8. Inkvisitionen – Dö som lejon

Knuckleduster hardcore from the city of Gothenburg, representing their city with a monstrous track, demanding complete annihilation of everything. One of the fiercest hardcore tracks I’ve heard this year, fortunately released before next year so it could be included in this list. Like it was meant to be.

7. INDΣΔ†HI†ΣNDϟ – The Banishing

A softie from this phenomenal constellation. Featuring my favorite genres, done completely right, with absolutely no regard whatsoever for labels to be smacked upon them. Which is an attitude I mostly support, so you should support them by tuning in and buying their stuff. With that said, this track (and the other one) are totally different from their earlier material, featuring a highly ambiguous (and) ambitious effort from their side.

6. Velvet Condom – Kalter Lippenstift (INDΣΔ†HI†ΣNDϟ Remix)

I must say that I enjoy the regular version as much, but I had to choose, so I chose the remix by INDΣΔ†HI†ΣNDϟ. Why? Because there’s so much energy in this remix, which overshadows the original song. I’d like to say that they’re good in different ways, but this one is (by far), superior.

5. Black Table – Heist

One of the more surprising tracks in this list. I must say that I have a feeling when I’m about to hear something extraordinary. So, I will have to say that this progressive metal/black metal/post-metal act deserve all credit where credit is due. This is their best track on the EP they released recently. I don’t know why, but the lyrical content and the musical ambitions are outstanding. With a pretty unique vocalist, whom I thought was a man at first. Sorry, Mers, I should’ve known that you’re a she and not a he.

4.TSTI – Love & Truth

Straight from a bedroom somewhere in New York. A man with a quest to enhance his own sound, release his creativity on analogue machinery and be a part of something organic. This track have all the little details, every influence and a feeling that shouldn’t be underestimated. Synth-pop from the glory days, but with a new twist and certainly not a copy of a copy. Deserving everything and definitely fitted for this list.

3. Niels Nielsen – Shadow Twin

I’m going back to the drawing board, I’m hoping that Zeigeist will re-establish themselves, but until then; Niels Nielsen is adequate with this wonderful track. Even though it contain some lethal doses of mainstream, I have endured and must say that this is one of the best tracks this year. Nostalgia may have gripped me by the balls, but I don’t really care. This track will be played on New Year’s eve.

2. Henric de la Cour – Grenade

Calm yet bombastic. One of the tracks I’ve wanted to get a hold of physically, but failed due to my own incompetence. Along with everything else he’s done, I would say that this is probably the epitome. This track is the best that I’ve heard from him yet, so let’s hope that he continues in this fashion.

1. the Hex Dispensers – Parallel

What can I say? I’ve been playing this track non-stop since it was released. The record has been reviewed thoroughly and there’s probably nothing that can match this. Also, it feels good that someone decided to accompany Gérard Depardieu with this track, it enriches it even more.

The runner-ups are the following tracks:

10. Alina Devecerski – Jag Svär

9. Damage – Keeping It Wild

8. The Foreign Resort – Buried

7. Agent Side Grinder – Wolf Hour

6. Övervarning – Det heliga korset

5. Monozid – rita, you know we are doomed

4. Bombangrepp – Skuggan Av Dödens Sändebud

3. Beyond Pink – Statements on statement

2. Xiu – Life Is A Lie

1. Linea Aspera – Malarone

Countdown to Christmas – 22nd December

Since I’m way off on the countdown this time, I’m going to introduce one new clip each day until the 24th of December. I’m eagerly awaiting Christmas (or Yule as we say) and this day is dedicated to The Foreign Resort. A band that I got to know more about when I wrote a longer piece on them for Festivalrykten.se. I had just found out about them when scrolling around on bandcamp, trying to find a feature for BOTD (Band of the day) on that particular site. So I wrote a piece about it and I think they snapped it up somehow. I don’t remember how they did though, but that is a story which could be answered by themselves. The feature I did was for their whole discography and for my favorite record of theirs, which is their self-titled release The Foreign Resort (2011).

One of the songs that I liked a lot was Colleen, which is the first track on that album. It has such power and is an inspiring work for every band that wants to start within the new-wave/post-punk genre and not be a copy of Joy Division. Which everyone seems to say about every damn band that emerges, that could have any resemblance with that band or be influenced by them. However, I feel like The Foreign Resort are in a league of their own when it comes to their music. I also got an invite to one of their shows in Christiania, which was a great show with a lot of great people around. I had never been there to begin with, so it was my first time there.

Must say that it was an awesome experience and that it was one of the best shows I’ve attended in a long time. They were there with another Danish band and an American one, which was also a great band. They had a lot of things in common and the night was sealed there and then. Later on I also got the opportunity to review their latest album Scattered & Buried (2012) which was a great progression from their first full-length, even though it might’ve not been as good. But I think it was a great album anyway, and it shows the maturity of this band and that they deserve to be on this “list” before Yule arrives. You can also read my feature on them over at Festivalrykten.se, if you want to.

This is the 22nd of December and I’m the Invisible Guy.

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.

Harvesting #13: We’re gothicly arranged – electronically estrange! [Part II]

Since I’ve been pretty sick lately, I wanted to produce another Harvesting. I’m getting better now and I’ll be putting out the 14th edition of Harvesting in the next couple of days. I need to get it running again, so I have gathered some of the darker bands for this edition. Always wanted to do this and now I had the chance, so there’s a lot of gothic rock involved and post-punk from the edges of hell. Soon, I’ll also get to turn back the clock and sleep another hour, so I can continue to make these editions. In this edition, the following bands/artists/compilations are featured: Tchernoziom, V/A – Join The Dark Side, We Have The Music! and Terminal Gods. Unfortunately, there’s not going to be any interview in this Part of Harvesting #13. So you’ll have to look at these instead, enjoy!

Tchernoziom – Silure Asphalte

The finest post-punk from the regions of France. Beginning with the first track “Les Loges Germinales” which starts off with a nice baseline, it almost sounds like some of the older 90’s stuff when it comes to both grunge and almost borders to metal at times. Even though the focus in this song is more in the post-punk genre. I like the french language, because it gives a whole other feeling of the song at hand. There’s much passion when the singer releases his own arsenal towards me as a listener. The repetitive sound-scape forms like a huge bubble around the vocalists efforts when it comes to wailing and a more aggressive singing-style. At times, the sound-scape can be a little bit too unvaried for my taste, but it’s got some of the dark essence colluding within its core. Which is a good thing, since I like the darker side of post-punk. The instrumentation is pretty intriguing at times, but puts me off when all I hear is a baseline moving in the same tempo, with the same riffs coming over and over again.

On the next song from this single, titled “Vegetable Swallow“, there’s a little bit change to the unvaried sound-scape at least. Employing some of the alternative rock in the mix, which enhances the sound-scape further and gives a great amount of variation to it. There are some good parts in the song, but it’s not really in the post-punk domain that much anymore. Getting some good feelings on this October-evening, because the baseline is stomping and the drums are like a galloping horde which is thrusting towards me. The singer tries too hard at times, but it sounds really Gothic at the edges of it. Might not be my favorite song of both, but it’s got some grooviness to it at least. I also think they’re stepping way out of their own territory at times, but that’s just how it can turn out. Pretty good record, you should give this a chance.

You can listen to it below but there’s currently no way to buy it.

Various Artists – Join The Dark Side, We Have The Music!

Overall, a pretty good compilation with some nice artists and bands. First song “In My Arms” by Principe Valiente is really a nice drop of shoegaze with new-wave. There are some dreamy elements that flow with you in the mix, with some kind of up-tempo happiness. Even though the subject at hand might not be that merry lyrically. A concoction of synths and guitars come around the corner and blind you with their light and the fast drums shift in color the further in you get into it. But there’s also a shredding riff going off in the background, which is drenched in reverb and bounces forward and backwards into the mix. The sound-scape itself could’ve been a little bit less chaotic, but with such influences, you can’t really tone it down. I think it’s a pretty good song overall, because it’s got everything necessary and pulls it off with style and a pinch of glamor. Next up is the song “Take A Walk” by one of the more well-known acts on this blog by now: The Foreign Resort. Reminds me a lot about The Hives when it comes to the energy, it’s also one of those songs that border from post-punk to new-wave. Also one of the more energetic bands in that category, taking away the more cheesy factor of new-wave and instead heightening the musical experience by fast riffing, drumming and a great singer. It also feels pretty lengthy, because you have to endure the breathtaking up-tempo and the very emotional sound-scape at hand, both lyrically and musically.

I had to skip one of the songs, because it didn’t really fit into the category of my favorites on this compilation. Therefore the fourth song “No Way” by the band M!R!M took its place. One of the more original acts I’ve heard for a while, I don’t really know where to place this music. It’s some kind of mix between synth-punk, post-punk and goth. I sense a little bit of KaS Product in the mix, with the cold wave vibes that can be heard throughout the sound-scape. It also feels a wee bit nocturnal, with a crushing baseline munching into your flesh and bone as fast as it can. There’s also a little bit of a psychedelic edge to it, feels like you’ve invited a circus of flesh eating zombies that are following you through an open landscape, making you end up in a downward spiral of survival. The next song on the menu, titled “The Wiser” is played by a band called Winter Severity Index. A calm introductory to some mish-mash of goth rock and post-punk, with an emotional vocalist and a sound-scape that is perfect for my taste. Even though there’s not much going on, I like the bands that can combine a chaotic environment with a little bit more down-tempo. Because there’s much going on, but at the same time it sounds pretty minimalistic. Actually one of the better bands that have combined those two elements, because some of those that have tried before haven’t really succeeded. Surely, one of the best songs in that sphere for a while if I have a say in it.

Since I don’t want to be a party-pooper, I’ll have to say that these songs are the best from the compilation. There’s a lot of more songs that you can experience on your own, but I suggest that you’d get the digital version of it at least. Because the physical version is sold out.

Terminal Gods – Electric Eyes

Another “new” goth rock band from the UK, with surprisingly high endurance. Within the first song “Electric Eyes“, there’s a little bit catchyness within the song. I think they’re trying to mimic The Sisters Of Mercy at times, which they don’t succeed with. But I think they’ve got their own thing going, with nice baselines and tight riffing. At least the vocalist is trying to put himself in that category, but that’s just what I think after having listened to the track over and over again for some days. I like their goth sound a lot, but I’m a little bit turned off by their more mainstream approach to it. I don’t think the alternative rock in this sound-scape has any depth, even though the vocalist is trying to make it even better in the chorus. The edge sounds good, but the core of it is a little bit bland. I don’t like the lyrics at all, but I guess that’s just me. It’s not my cup of tea and it doesn’t feel engaged with the overall picture that I’m receiving from it musically. So, I’ll have to say that I’m impressed by the goth rock-edge to it, but the rest of it really feels like it’s stumbling on its own feet before crossing the line.

I’ve already been getting it, that they’re trying to get the traditional goth sound. But I think that the second song “God Child” lacks what the first song did also. Everything is pretty UN-engaging until you get to the chorus, which is really the topping on the chocolate cake. This could also be one of the bands that try too hard to be traditional goth, but manage a part of it at least. So I have to see that as a sign of healthyness, as opposed to those bands that try to be something they cannot be. Since they’ve got their own thing going, it bears up the sound-scape a little bit. But it crumbles to dust the more you listen to it. I think the riffs are pretty bland and should be more uncompromising, and I don’t like the more mainstream edge that can be heard at times. I think the vocalist makes this song a little bit more engaging than it could’ve been, but it’s got to get better from this. Hopefully they’ll release something else in the near future, I’m hoping that they’ve gone further with this, because it could be a success story musically.

You can buy the digital-only download edition of this single since the physical limited edition vinyl is already sold out.