1.The Truth,The Glow,The Fall/2.The Mysterious Vanishing Of Electra/3.Ugly and Vengeful/4.The Marble Eye/5. Källans Återuppståndelse
Release Date: March 2018
Label:City Slang

‘O holy light of morn!
O air that dost the whole earth compass round
Oft have ye heard my cries of grief forlorn,
And oft the echoing sound
Of blows the breast that smite,
When darkness yields to light’
(opening quote: Sophocle’s Electra)

Before putting on this record, choose a relatively calm place, at dusk or late at night and your favourite drink, in preparation for a certain ritual in an attitude that evokes an open shape and not, as Genet was saying, “…a physical attitude that summons a, closed, submissive intellectual attitude…discourages spiritual attempt…”(extract: ‘Fragments of The Artwork’).

Anna von Hausswolff, a former architect student, has gone through, what seems to be, a cathartic process, has changed the style, the mood and the aesthetics of her music since the release of her debut album ‘Singing From The Grave‘, in 2010. The transformation has been both absolute and I believe irreversible. Even though she has been traversing dark music paths from the very beginning of her career (evident from the aesthetics of her videos, the album titles and the song titles), her previous albums seem to have been making a relaxed promenade into misty paths. The journey that has lead her to compose the music of ‘Dead Magic‘ must certainly have inspired her to ‘scratch’ all the available ‘surfaces’ of these paths with the fierceness of the heroine in the video clip of ‘The Mysterious Vanishing Of Electra‘, in a quest to unveil all their layers, their textures and their depths and find primordial symbols whose meaning could only be communicated through hoarse and screeching vocals. The production of this album, courtesy of Randal Dunn, who has also worked with Sun O))), Marissa Nadler and Wolves In The Throne Room, is infinitely richer than that of all her previous albums, while the increased role of percussion and the inclusion of pipe organ, has magnified its emotional impact.Anna von Hausswolff has also given us another glimpse of her own design skills, as she has created a beautiful black and white design of an interior of an ancient ruin or a cathedral, for the inner sleeve of this album.

“Take the fate of a human being, a thin pathetic line that contours and encircles an infinite and unknown silence. It is in this very silence, in an only imagined and unknown centre, that legends are born. Alas! That is why there are no legends in our time. Our time is a time deprived of silence and secrets; in their absence no legends can grow. (Anna von Hausswolff about ‘Dead Magic’)

‘Dead Magic’ or the psychography of a mysterious creature

The album starts in a lamenting mood that feels more like the cry of a wounded creature, whose strength has been somehow compromised and that has filled it with bitterness and anger! The creature then slowly retreats through the sound of the occult liturgy that is the song ‘The Truth The Glow The Fall‘. As Electra, the heroine of the Greek tragedy, avenged with her brother Orestis, the murder of her father Agamemnon,in the same way, the imaginative ‘creature’ and hero of this album, finds its voice, its vengeful stance and starts crawling ‘out’, in a decisive move in order to face its attacker, inspired by the ritualistic element of the imposing percussive rhythms of ‘The Mysterious Vanishing Of Electra‘. If you are an emotional person, you will probably struggle a little bit or a lot with this song, but be sure that you will want to turn the volume up as the creature’s poisonous, bitter and painful thoughts, will hit your psyche with all their brutal emotional force as Anna sings: “My fears are not enough to save me…my love is not enough to save me…“. It is actually the beautiful vibrato and the tonal alterations of the vocals that open pathways in our minds, thus awakening the least explored dark feelings within us…

The ‘creature’ had to turn its ugly and vengeful side to us at some point and it does exactly that, with an energy as hypnotic as the rhythm of ‘Ugly And Vengeful‘. It moves exactly as the liturgical male backing vocals dictate it to do, before the percussion drag it, first in a doom metal inspired environment and then in a psych rock maze! The layering of the vocals on top of a dark ambient background melody, work exactly as a trumpeter would, but after the first 8′, the creature regains its strong will and gallops, almost blindly, into a psych trance soundscape for the last 4’ of the song. The album and the creature’s lonely walk, end with the song entitled ‘Källans återuppståndelse‘ which is another incarnation of the two songs of the album ‘Källan’ that has been inspired by Walter Ljungquist’s book ‘Källan‘.

Somewhere along the way, Anna von Hausswolff has miraculously managed to evoke the haunting elements and the summoning qualities of her ethereal alto voice, so that all the ‘weight’ of the lower tonal sounds and the slow rhythms of the percussion, always feels less ‘heavy’ than the vocals. So far, especially in doom metal music, we have seen that high pitched vocals have been ‘safely supported’ by a much ‘heavier’ noisy ‘wall’. Anna von Hausswolff has managed to turn this ‘arrangement’ upside down and the result is magnificent! ‘Dead Magic’ is a remarkable album, beautiful in its absolute conceptual wildness and dramatic as a Greek tragedy. Buy your copies from here:https://annavonhausswolffmusic.bandcamp.com/ and don’t miss her show in London in a few days.

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Posted: 9th February 2018 by blaue-rosen in Album reviews
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1.Symbols/2.Mambo/3.I’m Dying Mommy/4.Pretty Boy
Release Date: December 2017
Label:Two Gods

If the portraits of Marlene Dumas could sing, they would probably sing Emke’s  ‘Mambo’

Not many musicians can support their music visually and through their stage appearance so that they can ultimately offer a complete work of art and not just a presentation of songs. A few years ago, we went to a beautiful gig that was headlined by Cold In Berlin with support from Winter Severity Index and Black Nail Cabaret. We had a great time and it was impressive to see Black Nail Cabaret on stage for the first time. Since then, the band has changed its line up and now consists of Emese and Krisztián, who released the third album entitled ‘Dichromat‘ in 2016 before playing live at WGT in Leipzig in 2017.

At the same time, Emese has collaborated with Planetdamage in their EP ‘Angst‘ that was released in 2017 and has also been evolving her solo work. A few days before the end of 2017, she released her second solo EP as Emke, entitled ‘Two‘ through the label Two Gods. The EP was supplemented by the release of a video for the song ‘Mambo‘, on January 26, 2018.

If the music of Black Nail Cabaret stops in front of a door at the end of a corridor, then Emke’s EP ‘TWO‘ opens that door and explores the things that wait on the other side.By having an infinitely darker atmosphere and by being much more esoteric than the first solo EP, entitled ‘Breakaway‘, ‘TWO’ creates a magnetising energy that forces an introspection. This journey, begins with the pagan, occult references of the EP’s cover, passes through the music of the four songs and shows its ‘face’ through the video clip.

The first two songs, ‘Symbols‘ and ‘Mambo‘, feel like a strong pulse and have a ceremonial tone, through which they explore the mystic, kaleidoscopic and experimental aspect of slow, almost numbing, industrial sounds. Both these songs have a meditating style, which helps create and maybe even open a ‘passage’ in one’s mind and soul. You will probably find that the duration of ‘Symbols‘ is too short to fully enjoy its psychological impact…at least this is how I felt, so I played it again…a few more times… ‘Mambo‘ that follows, gradually establishes a different rhythm, when the initial hazy, sonic ‘fog’ created by a cubist composition of minimal rhythms, clears out after the first verse. You will notice how this impression of being lost in a space with ‘no visible’ way out, is enhanced by distorted and muffled sound samples, which are dissected by electrifying sounds. Once the bleakness of this soundscape seemingly dissolves, the song gains more musicality and ‘lightness’ and you will definitely find yourself dancing towards the end. The song is accompanied by an equally evocative, aesthetically fitting, symbolic and occult video, recorded in one of the beautiful forest sceneries of Hungary. Replicating the aesthetics of the EP’s cover, the main character of the video, seems to be a sinister force of nature, a constant wanderer within a harsh environment, a dark energy whose force can only find an outlet through the symbolic confrontation with nature’s most rough textures, a character that would equally inspire Aubrey Beardsley and Emily Bronte.

The next two songs of the EP, ‘I’m Dying Mommy‘ and ‘Pretty Boy‘, gradually and gently, pull us out of this dark maze, not so much via their lyrics (especially ‘I’m Dying Mommy‘ is a song with a very sad essence), but through their melodies. Both songs are more pop, especially as a result of the positioning and frequency of the beats, but their effect remains equally mind-numbing as the beginning of this EP. After listening to all four songs, I had the impression that I was placed, up to my knees, inside a muddy field and I was trying to crawl out of it…I wasn’t sure I wanted to get out so I re-listened to the EP. I wish the same happens to you !

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As Bacon said, ‘The ideas in the Unconscious mind are far more interesting than from the Conscious mind.’

There is something fascinating about a ritualistic atmosphere and I think that people who do not engage in rituals, experience it differently and dare I say, perhaps more intensely. In short, just approach this album cautiously unaware of the fact that at the end, it will have such a strong grip on your mind that you will have to invoke all of your different types of strength in order to set it free!

The debut album of Word Made Flesh a.k.a Phil Barry and Keith Baker, that was released in October 2017 and is entitled ‘Word Made Flesh’, was included in our soundtrack for 2017 because we loved the conceptual and emotional weight its rhythms have placed on our psyche.Both musicians are involved in other projects, Phil Barry in Cubanate and Be My Enemy and Keith Baker in Nimon, Displacer, Be My Enemy. The sound of the album ‘Word Made Flesh’ is very different from all the other projects of Phil and Keith. With its 10 soundscapes, this album feels as if it is creating a musical wormhole that pulls us in, at times with the chaotic energy of power noise, borrowing from the aesthetics of psych trance (i.e. first half of ‘The Clock Stops‘, ‘Death Posture‘), other times with the mind-numbing energy of a slow moving wave (i.e.’The Process‘) or even by creating a powerful vortex made of repetitive sounds (i.e. first half of ‘Black Mirror‘). There are noise industrial parts throughout the album that increase the tempo momentarily and add a rusty, flaky, metallic texture to the grave sounding, strategically placed, vocals (i.e. ‘Heretic‘) that talk ceremoniously about cryptic things. Each song is like a many headed hydra, constantly reinventing itself throughout its duration. This is in short, how the energy of this album is structured and these are the elements with which Word Made Flesh, create a highly ritualistic album, ‘borrowing’ equally from the aesthetics of religious ceremonies and psychedelic ones in order to talk about an approach to life.


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An album that could have been the soundtrack of the homonymous 1954 thriller by Mick Eaton… or not

It’s great to listen to new albums by new artists but it is equally great to listen to new albums by favourite musicians, it’s like ‘meeting’ an old friend. ‘The Fellow Traveller‘ is the title of the latest album by The Frozen Autumn, that was released a few days ago through Echozone in Europe and Metropolis in North America. It is fair to say that this album is the most inspired that the band has released in years. New elements have been incorporated making the sound infinitely richer than their previous album ‘Chirality’ and the visuals that accompany the album, from the cover to the recently released video clip for ‘Tomorrow’s Life’, intriguing and aesthetically inspired to say the least. New subjects have been explored in the album which is evident from the song titles and the lyrics. Architectural references can also be identified in the visuals (i.e. cover, video clip), something that I personally find both fascinating and really fitting with the music and the overall style of the band.


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Release Date: 15 January 2016

1.Love Someone Else/2. Victim/3.Beauty Is A Curse/4. Death To The Lovers/5. In The Back Room/6.Bullets/7. That Sinking Feeling/8. Without You/9. Suckers!/10.We Are The Flames/11. I’ll Let You Down

Skunk Anansie4 years after ‘Black Traffic’, Skunk Anansie came back roaring, at the beginning of 2016. The announcement of their 6th studio album was one of the reasons we were mentally ‘pushing’ 2015 away. My first impression of this album was influenced by the conceptual strength of its title…‘Anarchytecture‘! A word which encapsulates so many ideas even without lyrics and music. For the band,as it has been stated during interviews, the meaning of the word is symbolic and refers to the demanding task of organizing all the different,chaotic often,parts of their lives in such a way so that they can also dedicate themselves to the creation of a new album. As I listened to the album without a pause twice, I realized how this word gradually started to be filled with ideas, dynamism, notes and dare. I could write a whole essay based on the inspired word ‘anarchytecture’ but the fact is that very few groups could have supported such a strong title and even fewer musicians could have attempted to write music for the concept ‘anarchytecture’. Skunk Anansie is a band that has always used strong words, starting from their name which is a reference to both a superhero (Anansi) and a mammal. The word ‘skunk’ is a slang term for a bad person or even a drug. Dualities and opposite powers seem to fascinate this band as a concept, as one can conclude from almost all of their song titles and their lyrics. I like the way this band channels vindication through rock music following a path that has not been widely explored. With a strong rock feel at its core, the music of Skunk Anansie does not fall short of references to soul and even rap and psychedelic trance music. Skunk Anansie are unapologetic about their disappointment about certain things and the anger that comes with it and have left a strong mark on the rock music scene since the release of their first album in 1994. The titles of some songs tell half of the story and it is actually the live appearances of the band that completes the picture that Skin, Cass, Ace and Mark are sketching.


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Create Christ, Sailor Boy

Release Date: August 26, 2016, House of Mythology

1.Your Eyes in The Skittle Hills/2. Incidentally, Shaitan/3. Christmas With The Channellers/4. The Crow At Play/5.The Sex of Stars/ 6.Magog At The Maypole/7.Sweet Sodom SingSongs/8. Pinocchio’s Handjob/9. The Auras Are Escaping Into The Forest/10.Night Shout, Bird Tongue

“How do men name thee? I asked. Men name me by different names”He said.”Many call me Shaitan,the enemy:my followers call me the Lightbearer. (Then the voice again became railing and scoffing).”We do not go by our right names…Then he said it out loud, with a mocking laugh, that which no mortal has dared to pronounce; and then the voice, becoming tender again, continuedL “My name is-.”.then he uttered another name, also composed entirely of vowels;it was the inversion of the other name, and the last vowel was pronounced with a long wail of agony(extract from FAUST, Count Eric Stanislaus Stenbock, from ‘The Moons at Your Door’)

Ta-5175970-1469746880-9282-pnghere are very few people who can grasp, feel and communicate such subtle and strong emotions and there are even less artists that have embraced the occult, the ‘weird’ with such gentleness, tenderness even and deep understanding, that they are able to communicate axiomatic aspects of darkness in all their glory.
David Tibet is for me, the best storyteller I have ever listened to

There are very few people who can grasp, feel and communicate such subtle and strong emotions and there are even less artists that have embraced the occult, the ‘weird’ with such gentleness, tenderness even and deep understanding, that they are able to communicate axiomatic aspects of darkness in all their glory.

David Tibet is for me, the best storyteller I have ever listened to in this life. He is the only other performer (the first is Lisa Gerrard) that provokes awe and uncontrollable emotions to me when he sings. I guess there is no doubt that when somebody comes across a true individual in life (I think Deleuze has used the word ‘singularity’ to describe best what I want to say). I don’t think that there is another word that can describe in a better way, the impact of such a personality, other than the word respect. In a universe that tends to isolate, often violently, people with true individuality, those moments of discovery of such people and of their work, become precious and create a feeling of fulfilment.


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Release Date: 22 January, 2016

Warner Music

1. When You Are Young/2. Outsiders/3. No Tomorrow/4.Pale Snow/5. I Don’t Know How To Reach You/6. What I’m trying to Tell You/7. Tightrope/8. Learning To Be/9. Like Kids/10. I Can’t Give Her What She Wants/11.When You Were Young/12. The Fur And The Feathers

R-8012187-1455107411-4254.jpegPrior to this gig I had only seen Suede once at an intimate, yet, for me, perfect gig, at the release of their previous album entitled ‘Bloodsports’ at Rough Trade East. In that gig there was another, more approachable element in the performance of the songs as the venue is small but it was a rare opportunity to see a different side of the band.

Having seen in fan videos the show that Suede and Brett Anderson are offering in festivals, I was looking forward to the world premiere of ‘Night Thoughts’ at a big venue as the Roundhouse. Since I have started the somewhat unconventional tradition of attending the live releases of their latest albums, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to be part of this, 2hr long set where ‘Night Thoughts’ was performed at its entirety against the backdrop of the movie!Approaching the venue I saw that a big queue had already formed and even though the doors had already opened at the announced time, only a handful of people had been allowed to enter, leaving the rest of us waiting outside in the cold. People became agitated and asked the security staff about this delay. Without providing an explanation for this, access was granted to all of us after 20’.  We are not used to experiencing such delays in entering Roundhouse, especially since its crowd control policy is one of the best in London. My surprise continued as I entered the venue only to realize that a few people were already feeling unwell. Later I was joined by a doctor friend of mine who also confirmed seeing later a few other fellow members of the audience feeling unwell at the corridors where someone fell unconscious.


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Release Date: January 22, 2015, City Slang

1.Follow Me/2. Second Chance Man/3. Were We Once Lovers?/4. Help Yourself/5.Hey Lucinda/ 6.Fear Of Emptiness/7.How He Entered/8. The Waiting Room/9. Planting Holes/10.We Are Dreamers/11.Like Only Lovers Can

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot others transform a yellow spot into the sun…’ Pablo Picasso

…in any case, when Mr Staples has something to communicate with us it’s best we pour ourselves our favourite drink, sit down and listen…In some cases we are anxious to listen to the next album of a band, the moment the previous one has been released. Other musicians will only work on something when the time is right for them and the final result is usually worth the wait. Tindersticks only release music when the time is right for them and the result has always been unique. In the same way that few painters rework on finished paintings, Stuart Staples occasionally revisits his own songs thus indulging in a creative self criticism of sorts. On occasions Tindersticks have offered different versions of older songs, responding to a need to give another form to what the lyrics are describing.

 “And that means something to me, because everyone thinks ‘Tindersticks’ and they think ‘melancholy’- that’s us. But making music is never about just one feeling. There’ alsways some ambiguity and that area most interesting area to explore… (Stuart Staples, extract from an interview)


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1. You And Me Should Leave Together Tonight/2. Winter Song/3. Sunny Day/4. Hausmania/5. Running Song/6. (I’ve Been) Bad On Emma/7. Headphones/8. Fugue/9. Edge of a Cloud/10. Your Line is Divine /11. On The Hill 

Release Date: January 22, 2016 Riot Factory

unnamedWhile we were anxious for 2016 to reveal itself, nobody was ready for the news that would shake the music world so much that life seemed to stand still for a few days. Our first album review for 2016 is being written in the aftermath of Ian Fraser Kilmister a.k.a Lemmy and David Jones a.k.a David Bowie’s passings. Yet somehow the debut album ‘Roaring At The Storm’ by Sauropod provided an outlet for all my anger, distress, sadness, disappointment and bitterness caused by these news.

If you find yourselves at the ‘eye of the storm’ would you like a soundtrack to accompany you?


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1. Miseress/2. Un Lugar Ideal/3. Mi Auto/4. El Circulo/5.Espejo En La Nada/6. El Vino de las Orgias/7. Guerrero de la Gloria Negativa/8. La Torre de la Hora/9.Epilog

Release date: November 27,2015 ATP Recordings

folderIndustrial music is a genre that interests me very much ever since Throbbing Gristle made audiences ‘see’ the musicality of found industrial objects, machinery and other equipment that was beginning to lose its usefulness as soon as the de-industrialization of Europe began.To me, industrial music opened the floodgates of creativity just as punk represented the D.I.Y attitude towards art and life in general.
At the same time Germany, Belgium, France and England at the beginning of 1980s were the areas where de-industrialization was more intense and more evident. This in turn seemed to have favoured the appearance of bands inspired by the industrial qualities of machinery that was abundant in the gradually closing manufacturing sites. Audiences in Europe and especially in the aforementioned countries were theoretically more open to this new sound as it alluded to their everyday working and politically charged environments. For many years, industrial music that incorporated lyrics was either in German, English or French languages while the sound has perhaps intentionally, avoided melody and worshipped the rhythmical attraction of metallic sounds!


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