Terror Trax: Sinthetik Messiah

Sinthetik Messiah

The following is a real interview with a real band. It does, however, take place in a fictitious world.

It was raining again on Tuesday, which made me happy as usual, because I could sit at my kitchen window and watch the Unclass peasants, who can’t afford to install the weather predictor app on their portable life-line telephones, being melted into the sidewalk by the sudden and fierce onslaughts of toxic rain plummeting from the rusted sky. Watching an elderly man fall to the pavement screaming, clawing at his melting face and pulling his cheeks loose from their bones, I chuckled and took a sip of my coffee, thinking about how thankful I was for my tiny hovel’s triple titanium reinforced roof and siding. The old man’s legs melted off and my phone rang, alerting me of an incoming call. I answered on the second ring. It was Bug Gigabyte. He said he was ready to do his interview for Horror Addicts. Delighted, I screamed aloud an ancient curse of joy and threw my cup of coffee across the room, smashing it against the wall and sending porcelain bits raining down on the cold, tile kitchen floor. Sensing the excitement in my voice, Bug asked if I could meet him at Café Metroid in twenty minutes.

“You’re goddamn right I can”, I replied. After saying our mutually cordial goodbyes, I hung up and raced into my clothing container booth to put on my chemical rain and toxicity resistant cloak. Five minutes later, with my trusty journalist’s satchel slung over my shoulder, I was hopping over melting peasant corpses, rushing toward my destination.

#

Stepping over the remains of several peasants that were splattered near the front entrance, I entered Café Metroid. I pulled back the hood of my protective cloak. My eyes scanned the room, searching for Bug Gigabyte’s signature black mowhawk. My stomach rumbled. I needed a quadruple ghost pepper infused espresso shot to calm my excited nerves. I stepped into the line that led to the counter. Suddenly, the café’s front door exploded open. I calmly looked over my shoulder to see who or what had burst through the entrance. A Seeker tore past me, brandishing an inert particle reverser in her trembling hands, a determined fire in her eyes. My eyes trailed her, watching her disappear through the swinging kitchen doors, admiring her athletic form held inside her tight leather pants. I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned. It was Bug. He smiled at me, held up what looked like an old-fashioned TV remote, and pressed a blue button in the center. All the patrons waiting in line ahead of us disintegrated, turning into pale dust. A café employee appeared with a broom and dustpan and swept them up while Bug and I strolled up to the counter and placed our orders. Moments later we were seated in a cozy window booth.

I took a sip of my piping hot drink and asked Bug how he’d recognized me in the line.

“Because of your official Horror Addicts toxicity and chemical rain resistant cloak,” he replied.

I then remembered that my black cloak has the words HORROR ADDICTS STAFF emblazoned in huge red letters across the back.

“Oh, yeah, that makes sense,” I said with a chuckle.

The rain intensified, pelting the layered safety glass of the café. Another Seeker sped by on a hyper bike. The sight of two of them in such a short time rattled my nerves. I looked at Bug. “We better get started.”

He nodded. “Alright, then…”

After retrieving my digital recorder and a pad and pen from my satchel, I hit the record button and set out to learn the dark secrets of this most elusive creator of dismal worlds of sound.

I cleared my throat and began. “According to your Bandcamp bio, the albums Revelations of the Nintendo Generation (Vol. 1 & 2) were created using the KORG DS-10 program, which is the same software used to create music for the Nintendo DS. Could you please explain a bit of this seemingly mystical process to the uninitiated?

Bug shrugged and answered. “The DS-10, which is the name of the program, was developed by a software company called Xseed games and it’s a digital model of the KORG MS-10. It gives you creation leeway to where it gives you two synthesizers, 4 drum sounds, and a pattern editor to compose the sounds into a musical form. Technically it is a video game, but it is made so well that is a watered down version of a modern day DAW (Digital audio workstation). I created 9 songs on the Nintendo Game alone, and then I imported each instrument into my studio and added guitars, drums, vocals, and extra effects. It is great for beginners as it is a tool to help them learn how an analogue synthesis works. When you sign up for a VIP membership on my Bandcamp, you actually get the original files that came from the DS before I manipulated everything in my main computer.”

“Very intriguing technique”, I said.

Bug took a sip of his soda. An explosion echoed from the third floor of the City Records building across the street. The toxic rain fueled the flames and caused them to leap high into the sky.

“Looks like it’s happening again,” Bug remarked.

I nodded in silent agreement and scribbled a note to myself to check my will if I made it home later that afternoon.

Bug squirmed against the imitation leather seat of the booth. “Next question please, um… what did you say your name was.”

I frowned. “I didn’t, and I won’t; it’s part of my mystique as a distinguished Horror Addicts journalist and I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t ask me again.”

I felt my fingers gripping my cup tight. I could feel the rage building inside.

Bug grinned. “Just kidding, man, I used to write for The Dark Prints. I know all about the mystique.”

I laughed and a female scream tore through the air outside, perfectly complimenting the harmonious atmosphere that Bug and I were cultivating in our café booth. I cleared my throat, took another sip of my espresso, and began again.

“What inspired you to create dark industrial music using the same equipment that was used to create music for Nintendo DS games?”

“I always thought to myself that, for my first big release, I wanted it to be something interesting where not just fans, but industry as well would look at it and think, ‘What did he do with it? What? A Nintendo DS…?’ I always felt that the story behind the way the sounds are made is more interesting than what is on top of them or comes what after that, and I wanted to capture that element with those albums,” Bug explained.

He seemed so fixated on this Nintendo, an antiquated video game system, one of a handful played by our old-world ancestors that I was vaguely familiar with. Considering his class status as a Neo-Tech, I didn’t quite understand how this obsolete game system seemed to inform his identity. I needed to know more.

“Who is the Nintendo generation and what are their revelations?” I inquired.

Bug fixed me with a serious, contemplative glare. “Throughout history, there has always been this gentleman complex in society as far back as the 1800 to about the 1960s, and scraping by on the 70s. By the time the 80s hit, life was more culturalized because we were becoming more connected by technology and the average man had a lot more different complexes due to the social down turn of society and what was going on throughout the global community. With that in mind, the Nintendo generation is made up of kids that grew up with the original Nintendo, playing games like Mario, where you are always the hero trying to save the princess. It is the hero complex within us -where all that is wrong- we want to change. It is embedded into our subconscious through the video games. That was my revelation.”

Fascinating! An entire philosophy gleamed from a gray and black electronic box. Maybe there were ghosts inside the primitive circuitry that subconsciously communicated these messages to the young artist? I scratched these ponderings onto my notepad while Bug graciously awaited my next question. Outside, the rain poured down even harder. I was beginning to feel nervous.

I looked up at my subject. “Bug, what is the inspiration behind SINthetik Messiah? Is there a meaning behind the band name?”

“SINthetik Messiah, to me, is an avant-garde art project that started out in 1996 and it was based on the theory of using gorilla tactic promotional ideas in the art community to help inspire others to strive better in their art form. I would describe Gorilla Tactic promotion as promotional material that involves stationary positions in society where it can be seen clear as day. Sometimes put there illegally such as graffiti. Then years later, I fell in love with music and it kind of just evolved after that,” Bug explained.

“A philosophy, a visual statement, and all leading up to an auditory exploration…?” I pondered out loud, my words trailing off.

My interviewee offered no response as he stared out the window, riveted by the raging fire across the street. He trained his eyes upward. “The sky’s turning purple,” he whispered. “I wonder if the Seekers will make it in time.”

Seeing Bug’s expression turn dour, I quickly made my best effort to turn the conversation back to the subject at hand.

“Tell me, please,” I began. “Are there any key influences on SINthetik Messiah, musical or otherwise?”

Bug turned back to me, a slight smile across his face. “In the beginning, it was acts like Portishead, Nine Inch Nails, Wumpscut, and many other acts in those experimental genres that really helped the sound I had always wanted or felt that I needed to create myself. But as of lately, playing with a lot of local Louisiana acts has influenced me in a sense of what kind of musical direction I want to get into for the time being, that being Southern Rock. I just picked up a new guitarist, Mr. Suede Wilson, who has been helping me implement southern rock for the past 9 months into our current style. It blends really well musically when we play with rock/metal based acts. The next major album we release I will be featuring him on the album.”

I made a mental note to remind myself that, if I was alive tomorrow, to ask Bug what Southern Rock actually is, and proceeded straight into the next question. “Do you have an all-time favorite Nintendo game?”

“My favorite Nintendo game has to be BattleToads because they were the first punk rockers/goth looking characters in the Nintendo franchise,” Bug said.

As I brought my demitasse espresso cup to my lips, an eardrum shattering explosion rocked the street, shaking the café and causing me to spill the last of my drink down the front of my favorite sweater. Cursing, I reached for a napkin. Another explosion rumbled somewhere in the distance. A café employee appeared at our table and, with terror-filled eyes and a shaky voice, informed us that things didn’t seem to be working out that well on this particular afternoon and that The Metroid would be closing early and that we should probably continue our conversation elsewhere.

I noticed the dreaded red light begin to shine down from the sky, seeping in through the windows, and Bug and I found ourselves agreeing with the frightened food service worker. After gathering our personal items and throwing on our protective cloaks, Bug and I headed out the door. I still had an interview to finish, however, and I wasn’t giving up anytime soon.

“What kind of function do you see electronic-based music performing within horror culture?” I asked.

He skipped over the half-melted body of an Unclass sanitation worker, still in uniform, and replied thoughtfully, “Considering the fact that when Bob Moog first made the full functioning polyphonic synthesizer, musicians weren’t picking it up, due to price and not understanding what can actually be done with it. It was the film industry that was using synthesizers to create sound effects because they could afford it and by that it helped further advance sound design as a whole.  So I feel it has even a bigger role now days because most of the sounds on a film are more recreated than actual sounds.”

Having witnessed first-hand the influence that film has had on our culture, I didn’t press the issue any further. Besides, there was a gang of What-Nots approaching fast on their motor machines, all thirteen of them crowding the width of the street. We ducked into an alley just before the group sped past, toxic rain bouncing off their armor, their shouts rising into the air. Seeming a good time to take the questioning in a darker direction, I asked, “What is the best type of curse?”

Bug laughed out loud. “Being that you guys are a horror program, the ones that make you bleed from your eyeholes and your assholes until the person who is cursed completes what needs to be done in favor of the one who cast it.”

Another explosion tore through the city. I looked at Bug. He wore concern across his face.

“I don’t think the Seekers are gonna make it,” he lamented.

“They’ve failed in their quest on their last three tries,” I added with a sigh.

“And the city will burn down, again…”

“Well, it’s not forever,” I said with a smile. “When the Seekers start a new quest, everything will be bright and new once again, and the Unclass will be melting in the streets and we’ll be smiling and having our coffee and it will be a brand new day.”

Bug grinned, appreciating my optimism. “Yeah, you’re right. But still, that’s what sucks about life as a video game extra; your day could just end at any moment, even when you’re right in the middle of something cool, like an interview for Horror Addicts.”

Upon hearing Bug’s soliloquy, I was gripped by a deep and sudden urgency. I had to finish the interview before our world came to an end.

The sirens started to wail. The countdown had begun.

“What’s it like being a socially conscious Goth in the Deep South?” I shouted, holding my recorder out to Bug.

Raising his voice, he replied. “Given the fact that a lot of the people I work with aren’t Goth at all, I’ve learned to get out of my shell and be more open to people who really aren’t on the same level as me as far as style goes, and I can certainly appreciate the cultural differences. Those differences show up in my work quite often. Sometimes it can be really hard though, because most of population in the south has that Christian judgement thing going on, and sometimes it is not so positive. I like to prove them wrong though, how’s the saying go? Kill them with kindness? Haha…!”

The pavement cracked and dark red blood bubbled up at our feet. This was the sign that the Seekers were on their last remaining lives, and that their life force was terminally low; time for one last question.

“How has your benefit work been received?  Does anyone ever express the attitude of, “Hey, you’re this dark band, what in the eff are you doing benefit work for? Aren’t all you people supposed to be existential, nihilistic, misanthropes?”

Bug shook his head, knowing the stereotype all too well. “It’s been received quite well since I’ve gotten quite a few articles about me on the internet and in newspapers of my band doing benefit work. I never really got negative attention from anybody about that. However, I’m not the only one that is doing benefit work in the Goth scene. I have come across 50-100 bands in the goth/industrial scene alone, but I don’t think they put in as much time and effort as I do in helping their own community even if it’s not Goth. There is a lot of stuff about benefit work I do that I do not put in the public, why? Because it’s not about press to me, it is about helping the ones in need, the best way we can without going broke. That is just my personal opinion on the subject. Also, if there is someone that did hate on my act or any other act that does benefit work, I would personally tell them they can go suck a dick, they are a terrible person and should just stay inside and keep their opinion to themselves.”

The red sky above us began to glow.

“Any closing words or news on upcoming plans or releases,” I asked as the ground shook beneath my feet.

Cyberpunks of New Tokyo is a book/album/animation that im working on that’s set to be released sometime 2019. I had to push the date back because there are like two/three other albums I wanna put out before that one is released,” Bug said. “And… Thank you, much love and respect.”

I smiled. “Thank you, Bug, and-

I never finished my sentence. The sky exploded and we both disappeared, an obvious sign that the Seekers had failed in their quest once again. When I regained consciousness, I was seated at my kitchen table, watching the toxic rain fall from the sky, waiting for my next writing assignment to arrive in the mail.

https://sinthetikmessiah.bandcamp.com/

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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!

 

Terror Trax: Stagefright

Stagefright is the first band I’ve ever heard of to blend musical genres such as Ska / reggae with Goth and hip-hop with darkwave. How did this come about? Is it something that evolved over time or was combining these different genres an idea that you pursued?

We started out with the concept of a crossover gothic band that incorporated African American styles such as R&B and hip-hop with gothic and darkwave. However, as we evolved, it quickly shifted towards reggae and ska because of the line-up. Don Geron and Pruda Bass, our long-time drummer and bass player, were both in popular local ska bands in the 80s as well as gospel and R&B bands. Our rhythm guitarist at the time, Don Schrieber, came from a rock band, and my brother Scott Saulson and our mother Carolyn Saulson and I were all from a punk/goth background. I’d been in a punk band called Poetic Justice in Hawaii in the 80s. I think Don Schrieber was the only white person in the band at that time – my brother and I are biracial, but we’re black identified. Everyone else in the band was black.

How has your unconventional blending of styles been received?

We have been warmly received on the local fair and festival circuit, playing in a lot of shows like Soupstock, National Homeless Day at Dome Village, Juneteenth, The California Blues Festival, and other community and Afrocentric circles. We had the same sort of following as bands like Spearhead then, and probably appealed to punk and ska fans more than the Goth community; however, we’re very active on the Goth scene and have played with a lot of Goth bands, particularly Protea, Galaxxy Chamber, and Apocalypse Theater.

What is Stagefright’s connection to the horror community?

I (Sumiko) am a horror writer, and a horror blogger, best known for my horror blog series on black women who write horror. I put together 60 Black Women in Horror, and then 100+ Black Women in Horror, reference guides based upon the blogs. They contain biographies of and interviews with black women in horror. And HorrorAddicts blogger David Watson wrote an article for it on LA Banks and Octavia Butler. We also have had a public access television program called Stagefright on and off since 1993. It often showcases horror films and horror directors. We used to put on the San Francisco Black Independent Film Festival, also known as the Iconoclast Black Film Festival. We received a lot of great independent Afrocentric horror works which we aired in theaters like ATA and the Koret as well as on public access.

How important, if at all, is horror, or, dark material –books, music, film, etc- to the creation of music within Stagefright?

Given that horror music is intrinsically connected with the gothic aesthetic and gothic music. I would say very important. Even when I was in a punk band horror was important, and I had songs about The Evil Dead and we tended towards horrorcore and horrorbilly like the Cramps. My brother, my mom, and I were all from the old school Death Rock eighties foundation for Goth, and gravitated towards darkwave when that became a thing. My brother loves Skinny Puppy. My mom loves The Cure. I love Switchblade Symphony. All of those bands have songs about horror. Heck, even Kate Bush writes about horror. I think Kate Bush was the first alternative act I fell in love with. My mom was listening to her when I was 9.

What kind of role do you see dark music playing within our society?

People have to process their anger, fear, grief and other raw emotions in some way. Dark music helps people to get in touch with, process, and get on the other side of things that they might otherwise unhealthily repress. The blues and country music also help people deal with grief. Repressed and at-risk populations often have a deep affinity for music that relays their struggle. Gothic and darkwave music resonates a lot with people who have mental health struggles, letting us know that we aren’t alone and that other people have and do experience depression, grief, and anxiety and that it is okay to feel and face these things. Otherwise, people get very apathetic and numb and quash it all down. I think sometimes we have to face those emotions head on.

Being a multi-cultural group, have you had to deal with any prejudice within the scene?

Somewhat, as we can’t really get airplay in Goth clubs or and are not perceived as gothic by people who don’t see interviewing African Diaspora and African American influences into gothic music as valid. We have gotten a lot of support from general alternative rock stations like KUSF used to play us, for example. Goths let us play in Goth clubs but they never seem to want to actually play our music, because it is too ethnic. My rants and railing against the Eurocentric white skin and pallor obsession within the gothic community are well known. Back in the 80s it wasn’t like that but, then something people call “traditional” Goth emerged later on, which involves wearing white clown make-up. Most African Americans have a negative association with skin bleaching.

Sumiko, as a musician, author, and visual artist, could you please tell us how these three expressions play off, influence, and support one another.

I’ve become quite popular lately as a cartoonist, and ironically, my multiethnic, kinky, poly, queer anthropomorphic mouse cartoon Mauskaveli seems to be getting a lot of airplay on the Goth scene and very little anti-black or anti-multicultural flashback. I think that’s because it is kink centered, and has a lot of queer characters. Multiculturalism is a lot more evident in kinky, queer corners of the Goth scene, and honestly, queer gay folks aren’t terrified of being spotted wearing some color that isn’t black at all. My band often plays at book readings. I think my friend, Serena Toxicat, one of my best friends and oldest friends, best epitomizes this. She’s in Protea now, but she used to be in Apocalypse Theater. We have been supporting each other as artists, authors, and musicians for 25 years now. We both turned 50 this year. After a while, you start to make your friendships circle around your creative interests and vice versa.

Sumiko, do you ever incorporate your written works into a Stagefright performance?

I have been reading my books at Stagefright performances, and recently I did a show with Serena called Kat and Maus. We had two different fashion shows. The first one, my models wore Mauskaveli mouse themed fashions I created, and danced, modeled, and posed to Protea’s Catwave music. At the second one, her cat-themed clothing was worn by her models and she played Stagefright. It was this sort of perfect cultural exchange. Her clothing was modeled by a very, very queer but predominately white crowd, while my clothing was modeled by a multiethnic, body-positive crowd that was not as obviously queer as hers. She did something for the first day of Pride that embraced Trans* identity, it was great! But at the end, she talked about my involvement in the black community. I think us working together is more interesting, frankly.

What is the Stagefright origin story? Is there any particular inspiration behind the band?

The band name actually came from a band I was in when I was in Kerista Commune. It was a punk band, can’t remember if we actually named it Stagefright or if that was my name suggestion but Dune and Revery were the other band members and we only had one song, Ned Was A Nipple Head.  My mom loved that name, so when we started our band she adopted it. She had really bad Stagefright and strongly identified with Jim Morrison, who was so introverted he sang with his back facing the audience at early Doors performances. She did that at first as well.

Stagefright has performed in settings as varied as L.A.’s renowned Whisky A Go-Go, to street fairs, to bookstores. Do you have a preferred type of venue? Is there anywhere you wouldn’t play?

We’re kind of great at street fairs, and sometimes our political content gets a strong crowd reaction. One time we were doing a show at the African American Art and Culture Complex for a Unity in the Community event that had a very large African immigrant population in the audience. A man became offended and started to get angry, even jumped on the stage and grabbed the microphone because he thought our songs were too feminist and a challenge to him. Specifically, we were covering Feels Blind by Bikini Kill. So we impromptu talked back to him. I can rap, and my mom can jazz improvise so we both ripped him in two different very African music styles. Then we started covering Cursed Female by Porno for Pyros. When we were done, every single woman in the audience stood up and applauded, while most of the men were sitting in the audience with their hands folded, glowering and pouting. To me, that’s what we are all about – empowerment for black women.  My mom and I are the lead singers. We usually perform duets. Sometimes, Scott sings. But this is us! Once my brother got mad at me and mom and called us The Violent Femmes.  So yeah, that’s us.

What makes for the ideal Stagefright show?

Some sort of political cause we believe in, like uplifting the African diaspora, elevating black women, narrowing the generation gap, helping prisoners, showing a thug some love, assisting those with disabilities, and raising money for the homeless and marginally housed. We are essentially a very political act.

What are some fun activities that one can do while listening to Stagefright?

Playing Dragon Age 2. Slam dancing, aerobics, twerking, and the gothic spiderweb removing wavy hand dance, political protest rallies, and long road trips on I-5.

Poison cupcakes or very, very sharp knives?

Very, very sharp knives…

If you were booked to play the apocalypse, what would be some highlights of your set?

A large sheet spread in the background with a projector airing artsy horror films, Taaka Vodka, Faygo and Four Loco Jell-O Shots, Chucky, Bride of Chucky, and Seed of Chucky cosplays, and Warhol Starlet Ivy Nicholson.

If I’m going to San Francisco and I don’t want to wear a flower in my hair, what could I do instead?

Write bad poetry in an independently owned and operated coffee house.

LIVE Second Life event TODAY! – Crescendo of Darkness Release Party

Join HorrorAddicts.net on Second Life
for our Virtual Book Release Party
TODAY!!

Saturday, June 30th, 2pm SLT (PST)
HorrorAddicts.net HQ, Baggage Square, Second Life

http://bit.ly/HorrorAddictsHQ

Live author readings, prizes, and more!
Come celebrate with us!

*************

Crescendo of Darkness
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.

With stories by: Calvin Demmer, Jeremiah Donaldson, Cara Fox, R.A. Goli, Sarah Gribble,
Kahramanah, Naching T. Kassa, Benjamin Langley, Jeremy Megargee, A. Craig Newman,
Sam Morgan Phillips, Emerian Rich, H.E. Roulo, Daphne Strasert

Available now! 

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.

 

LIVE Second Life event Jun 30th – Crescendo of Darkness Release Party

Join HorrorAddicts.net on Second Life
for our Virtual Book Release Party

Sunday, June 30th, 2pm SLT (PST)
HorrorAddicts.net HQ, Baggage Square, Second Life

http://bit.ly/HorrorAddictsHQ

Live author readings, prizes, and more!
Come celebrate with us!

*************

Crescendo of Darkness
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.

With stories by: Calvin Demmer, Jeremiah Donaldson, Cara Fox, R.A. Goli, Sarah Gribble,
Kahramanah, Naching T. Kassa, Benjamin Langley, Jeremy Megargee, A. Craig Newman,
Sam Morgan Phillips, Emerian Rich, H.E. Roulo, Daphne Strasert

Available now!