MUSIC REVIEW – Ein

Today we’re taking a look at the upcoming release “Lethargic Breakthrough” by French progressive black metal band Ein. Ein is a one-man band fronted by Nox, featuring multiple guest vocalists and a violinist to create their debut release. Taking a unique approach to the genre, Nox’s black metal release implicates elements of death metal, atmospheric ambience, noise, and syncopated rhythms and time signatures. These elements make this a standout release worth of any extreme metal fan’s catalogue.

While the release features non-traditional elements of melody and rhythm, it doesn’t make the music any less accessible. The guitar lines are memorable, abrasive but beautiful, and an overtone of melancholy hinges on the outskirts of this release’s horizons. In fact, a culminating, if not obligatory traditional French-style post-black metal and shoegaze song carries this album to a triumphant conclusion with the track “Momentum”. Nearly an Alcest shoutout, this track should ring strong to any newcomers to the genre and is strongly reminiscent of the iconic French black metal sound. The stark contrast between crushing heaviness, melancholic riffing, and even ambient electronic breaks keeps this release interesting and driving forwards without sinking into the trap of monotony that many amateur black metal musicians do.

Lethargic Breakthrough is available via Mourning Light Records on Halloween 2018.

For HorrorAddicts.net, this is Jeffrey Kohld Kelly

Ein online:

https://www.facebook.com/EinBlackMetal

Purchase Lethargic Breakthrough:

https://mourninglightrecords.com/shop?olsPage=products%2Fein-lethargic-breakthrough

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MUSIC REVIEW – Empathy Test

By Jeffrey Kohld Kelly

After just completing a successful UK tour, it seems all to right to take a look at London synthpop artist Empathy Test’s remastered album “Losing Touch”. Empathy Test is not a newcomer to the electronic scene by any means, but their novel mainstream recognition within various electronic subcultures arguably happened overnight. The nostalgic and dreamy synth lines have gathered fierce attention from ravers and industrial rivetheads alike, each respectively identifying with some captivating aspect of this band’s truly panoramic discography.

To pin this band to a singular genre would be a disservice to the musicians and fans alike; drawing noted influence from post-punk and new wave artists, Empathy Test stands tall in a classification of their own, standing out proudly against other bands who simply fall into the category of new wave revival. Not a revival band in the slightest, Empathy Test’s music is charged with bright innovation, markedly with vocalist Isaac Howlett’s gentle, songbird-style vocals. A complex, yet effective atmosphere compliments all of their songs, begging to not be confined to the restriction of headphones alone. Indeed, this music is something that deserves to be experienced to its full capacity live if at all possible.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a chance to hear the yet unreleased “Incubation Song” from Empathy Test’s upcoming EP at their live performance in Manchester England, and while I can’t share that song with you today I can promise you that you’ll love it. Building on their own musical concepts, Empath Test continues to innovate and reach to broader horizons with this upcoming release, and we can see nothing but the best for them.

You can pre-order Empath Test’s upcoming EP “Holy Rivers | Incubation Song” featuring remixes by The New Division and Man Without Country on their Bandcamp profile. The EP will be released worldwide on Halloween, 2018.

For HorrorAddicts.net, this is Jeffrey Kohld Kelly

Holy Rivers | Incubation Song on Bandcamp:

https://empathy-test.bandcamp.com/album/holy-rivers-incubation-song

Empathy Test online:

https://www.empathytest.com/

https://www.facebook.com/empathytest/

 

MUSIC REVIEW – Live show: Freakangel + Neonsol + Advance

Hello and welcome to HorrorAddicts.net music reviews! This is Jeffrey Kohld Kelly.

Today we are going to do something a little bit different; rather than reviewing a new release I’m going to do a review of the Manchester date of the Freakangel & Neonsol show featuring Advance. This tour was courtesy of Beat:Cancer, a UK-based nonprofit organization doing their part to help find a cure through means of concert tours and compilation CDs, with additional support from Analoguetrash and DWA Records. As a newcomer to the UK, this was my first Beat:Cancer performance, and I was floored by the immense support the audience and musicians had for the cause and for each other. But more on Beat:Cancer later; for now I’ll get to the bands.

The first performer of the night was Advance, a Scotland-based “Dystopian Electronica” band with a beautiful combination of both intelligent and danceable synth lines. Their music was nearly reminiscent of genre veterans CHROM and Neuroticfish, but with a wholly unique approach. Their live sound was even more full and professional sounding than their recorded material, which may be in part due to the fact that their most recent album was released 3 years ago and they’ve grown more as producers over the years. Their live show, while somewhat lacking in energy on stage, seemed to provoke the most energy in the crowd. Between industrial dancing and singing along to more than half of the songs, it was clear that Advance had already made quite an impact in the Manchester area previously. Tom’s vocals exceeded his skill demonstrated in the album while live synthesizers provided by his accomplice Kimberley added just enough push to the mix to drive forwards and deliver more to the live show than could be accomplished in a studio record. Advance’s charismatic and dynamic live performance was actually my favourite of the night, and I would highly recommend everybody else to be sitting on the edge of their seats just as much as me to catch their highly anticipated and long-time-coming new album.

The first co-headliner was the Danish/Canadian synthpop act Neonsol, a band iconic for their songbird-style female vocals paired with the deep and brooding vocals of their male vocalist and live synth player. Despite the high number of Neonsol shirts circulating the audience, they didn’t immediately receive quite the same positive response as Advance. I can’t help but feel that most of this initial hesitation held by the audience and myself was due in part to the performance of their live drummer. While they may have had reasons for having him along, I found him to be almost an extraneous member as he only played a midi snare drum, and hit less than half of the songs’ snare strikes. What made me most concerned was the fact that throughout more than the first half of their set he was playing severely out of time with the backing tracks and sampled drum beats, causing the entire live show to feel out of time and sit awkwardly. These tempo issues may have been in part due to live stage monitor levels being a bit low; any band will tell you how frustrating and common this issue is. But whatever the case, I felt it took far longer than necessary for me to be able to properly sink into their performance and experience it how it was meant to be. However, when the band found the pocket they were looking for, the performance quality increased drastically and created the dark and moody swaying pulse they’re known for. Their song Manipulation was, of course, the show-seller accentuated live by the rumbling voice of their male vocalist’s backing vocals. The stark contrast in sounds is and was implemented in a lovely way, and any fan of synth-driven music should find Neonsol at the top of their record collection.

Finally Freakangel took the stage. The Estonian industrial metal band has gone through quite a bit of genre evolution over the years, moving from harsh aggrotech to a significantly more metal-driven and hardcore or even metalcore-influenced combination. The live show delivered far more on the metal front than the studio albums, Art’s guitars receiving significantly more of a central focus, topped by an incredible and energetic performance by their new Amazon warrior of a live drummer. The vocal performance did seem to suffer somewhat compared to the album versions of songs, Dmitri mumbling or moaning the lyrics between guttural screams rather than a powerful vocal delivery throughout; while he may have been trying to convey a certain vibe to the audience through this type of performance, I can’t help but think that the show itself would have been stronger as a whole had all members shown just as much energy. Curiously enough, despite being the main headliner of the night, a surprising amount of the audience moved to the back for their performance. This may have been in part because of the stiff genre divide in the night, starting with synthpop and ending in death growls. It’s possible that most of the people who came simply weren’t metalheads and had come to see Advance and Neonsol. Whatever the case, those of us who stayed at the front had a fantastic time and I hope that Freakangel will continue to deliver such high energy performances throughout the rest of their career.

For those of you who would like to know more about Beat:Cancer you can find information at the link provided below. Even if you’re not based in the UK you can support the cause by ordering merchandise or a copy of their latest compilation CD featuring the artists who performed at this show as well as many others. For those in the UK you can catch the next Beat:Cancer tour featuring Sirus throughout the UK this October!

For HorrorAddicts.net this is Jeffrey Kohld Kelly.

Advance:

https://www.facebook.com/advanceaudio/

Neonsol:

https://www.facebook.com/Neonsol/

Freakangel:

https://www.facebook.com/freakangelofficial/

Beat:Cancer:

http://beatcancer.info/

MUSIC REVIEW: Night Club

Night Club 

Scary World

Review by Jeffrey Kohld Kelly

I’ve had the pleasure of gaining early access to the remarkable electropop and industrial influenced upcoming album Scary World by the LA-based duo “Night Club”. Scary World is slotted to be released worldwide on the 24th of August 2018 featuring the single “Your Addiction”.

Night Club’s production value is incredibly professional, masterfully compressed drums and seamlessly arpeggiated basslines building a strong and driving foundation for the music. Emphasizing electro synth wails and sirens accentuate energy and drive when necessary, but are used sparingly enough that they deliver a strong enough punch each time that it never gets old. Their vocalist’s gentle and almost tantalizing voice offers a beautiful contrast to the instrumentals, offering chiming innocence during moments of tension, and an extra dose of adrenaline when the synths take a back seat.

The album immediately sets its own stage and carries the theme unadultered from beginning to end. Yet, despite using relatively similar thick and minimalistic synth sounds and stylistic techniques throughout, each song proudly speaks for itself and never falls into the easy trap of becoming a parody of itself. The album climaxes with my personal favourite on the album, Survive, easily leaving me wanting more from them.

Night Club is currently on tour with Combichrist and Wednesday 13 across Europe and the United Kingdom on the “Everybody Still Hates You” tour, and I personally will be sure to catch their Sheffield date on the 10th of August. I would highly recommend for anyone else along the tour route to be sure to pick up tickets for a show near them soon as well!

If you would like to hear more from Night Club and order a copy of their new album Scary World then you can visit them online at NightClubBand.com or follow them on all major social media platforms.

 

Links:

https://nightclubband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/nightclubband/

https://twitter.com/nightclubband

https://www.instagram.com/nightclubband/

https://www.youtube.com/user/nightclubband/videos

 

Music Review: The Blessing Way

The Blessing Way – From Empty Plates We Dine

This week on HorrorAddicts.net we’re taking a look at the latest release from the gothic metal band The Blessing Way. The Blessing Way released their full-length “From Empty Plates We Dine” on Mourning Light Records on the 21st of June, 2018, telling a chilling story of decay and the macabre, laced with the esoteric of gothic Victorian New Orleans. Haunting pianos and arpeggiated guitars sailing over driving drums and tortured vocals carry this panoramic release to the underworldly depths of despair painted by the band’s composer Ollie Gill.

Every song on the album is a unique story of death and decay, bringing listeners on a continued sonic journey through the catacombs of the mind of the diseased. Each composition features stellar orchestral songwriting reminiscent of the baroque era, harpsichords and pianos dancing over the relentless metal aspect of the music. The only element of the music compromised to influence and direct comparison with other bands is the vocals, reminiscent of 90s true Norwegian black metal such as Darkthrone and Emperor.

I would highly recommend this album to anybody who enjoys any form of gothic metal, black metal, and symphonic metal, or anybody who is interested in a horror story in musical form.

This release is available worldwide now through Mourning Light Records. You can order your copy at MourningLightRecords.StoreEnvy.com. You can also hear more of The Blessing Way on all major music streaming platforms.

Purchase “From Empty Plates We Dine” here!

 

MUSIC REVIEW: A Place Both Wonderful and Strange

A Place Both Wonderful and Strange

Coverups EP

Review by Jeffrey Kohld Kelly

A Place Both Wonderful and Strange, a self-described Occult Dance Music band based in Brooklyn released their most recent EP ‘Coverups’ in February of 2018 on the heels of their 2017 release ‘What I Speak I Create’. This EP features two covers, one of Nine Inch Nails’ siren song of dismay “Hurt”, and the other Donna Lewis’ ILU AF. This band has a fairly iconic song format stylized by pulsating basses and decimated and bit-crushed percussive soundscapes reminiscent of SØLVE or Δaimon. But more than that, they draw influences of trance-gated leads and soaring female vocals juxtaposed by their male vocalist’s vaguely atonal groaning.

After hearing countless covers of Hurt across various genres I found myself genuinely curious to see how such a dark band would approach an already dark song. From Johnny Cash’s haunting and melancholic cover to Verona’s dreamy panoramic interpretation and countless other interpretations between, the band was obviously hard-pressed to make this their own without stepping on anyone’s artistic toes.

To be quite honest, I can’t help but be disappointed by this cover that A Place Both Wonderful and Strange produced. While still marked by these iconic basslines and disturbed mechanical poundings, the instrumental drags, becoming more of a mind-melded drone that exceeds patience rather than expectations. The vocal performance is the song’s weakest link, being both unconvincing and uninspired. I find myself wondering if the singer was trying too hard to sound disturbed or “creepy” that he lost sight of the ultimate goal; the vocals are pitchy and scattered but in a way best described as amateur rather than tortured as the original encapsulates. Furthermore, while the original song is a colossal build from beginning to end, rising and swooping with emotional charge that tells a complete story, this cover is devoid of dynamic expression or change. It starts at Point A and ends at still at Point A, never quite giving us that much-needed progression to tell the story they need to tell.

The second track, ILU AF picks up some of the slack left by the former cover, immediately marked by stronger vocal performance and more esoteric influence. Nearly reminiscent of Dead Can Dance, the synthesizers capture what much darkwave music can only hope to achieve. While some rhythmic and dynamic issues become apparent during the chorus, this song as a whole is significantly stronger, being both more cohesive and more expressive than the cover of Hurt. Yet, brushing against the coattails of their previous album ‘What I Speak I Create” I can’t help but feel that this EP doesn’t feature musicality indicative of A Place Both Wonderful and Strange.

If you’re interested in hearing more by A Place Both Wonderful and Strange you can purchase and stream their music at aplaceboth.bandcamp.com.

For HorrorAddicts.net, this is Jeffrey Kohld Kelly.