A new year and a new season have started with sad news for the music world, the sudden passing away of Dolores O’Riordan (Cranberries) and Mark E Smith (The Fall). However there are exciting news about new releases and upcoming gigs and festivals. So before the rhythm peeks up its frenzy, let’s take a look at the reasons for considering 2018 to be an exciting year.

Album releases

The Soft Moon-Criminal: Kickstarting this season, on February 2nd , The Soft Moon a.k.a Luis Vasquez, a favourite psych rock/post punk project, will release their next album entitled ‘Criminal‘ through Sacred Bones Records. One single has been released so far ‘Choke‘, for which Luis Vasquez has said: I created ‘Choke’ as a theme song to my recurring corruptive behaviour. The rhythm of this song reveals more prominent pop influences, even though its aesthetics are evidently industrial.Two more songs have been subsequently released through the official Bandcamp page, ‘Burn’ and ‘It Kills’. In both songs pop influences are evident in the rhythms and the vocals can be almost clearly heard, marking a difference with the previous albums of The Soft Moon.By using artwork that nods to the constructivists and by creating a sound with industrial aesthetics, The Soft Moon, have offered three unforgettable albums since 2010. The vocals are perceived as an additional instrument and as the medium through which agonising feelings find an outlet. We had the chance to enjoy this band live at Electrowerkz in 2015 and we will have the chance to see them live once again at The Dome on February 16, 2018. The sound of The Soft Moon causes some type of delirium in many devoted fans of the band, which creates a very specific dynamic during live shows, making them unforgettable in many ways. On what concerns the upcoming album, many might think that the title of this album would just be symbolic. Luis Vasquez has clarified the ideas behind it: The concept of ‘Criminal’ is a desperate attempt to find relief by both confessing to my wrongdoings and by blaming others for their wrongdoings that have affected me…Guilt is my biggest demon and has been following me since childhood. Everything I do strengthens the narrative that I am guilty…. You can pre-order the album from here and buy your tickets for the gig from this link.

QNTAL-VIII: A few months ago, we were contemplating the release of a new album by QNTAL, a favourite German neoclassical band. The announcement of the release of their next album, ‘VIII‘ came as a delightful surprise. This album is expected to be released in March 2018 through Metropolis Records and two songs have been released so far, Music on Waters and Die Finstere Nacht. Both songs stress the dark electro influences of the band, to which its dedicated audience is no stranger. Especially ‘Die Finstere Nacht’ (in English this is translated into ‘The Dark Night’) is almost symphonic metal in style, evidently ‘harsher’ than what we have been used to listen from QNTAL. In terms of influences, the song titles reveal that W.B. Yeats has fascinated the band once again as the song ‘Before The World Was Made’ is a poem written by him. In addition, the song ‘O Fortuna’ is a poem from the 13th century that belongs to the collection of poems and texts known as ‘Carmina Burana’, while the song entitled ‘Parliament of Fowles’ might be referring to the poem of Geoffrey Chaucer entitled ‘Parlement of Foules’.

The band also offers artistically perfect performances that allow the audience to fully enjoy the ethereal nature of the vocals and their emotional and spiritual gentleness in all its strength. The aesthetic references of the previous album, ‘VII’ could be found in the myths about the water nymphs, as both the album cover and the stage appearance of the singers, supported this concept. In that album the songs were inspired by William Blake (i.e. Tyger), Lord Byron (i.e.By The Light Of The Moon) and the collection of poems and texts known as ‘Carmina Burana’ (i.e. Frühlingslied, Musa Venit) as well as 17th century poetry from unknown poets. The theme of the next album is the night, the deep blue colours of the sea and the fascination with the mystical aspect of those.

QNTAL have always composed beautiful melodies which are complemented by aesthetically fitting and elegant visuals. It is fair to say that QNTAL is the biggest name in the ethereal/neoclassical scene these days and one of the very few remaining bands of this genre. In a period where violence, extreme self-awareness and darkness dominate the subjects of bands, QNTAL choose to remain inspired by classic music composers and romantic poets. The band has only got to surpass itself and its previous absolutely beautiful album. We cannot wait for the completed album to be released and we will dare to speculate that QNTAL will be included in this year’s WGT line up. You can pre-order the album here:https://www.metropolis-records.com/product/11597/viii-nachtblume

Blaine Reininger-The Blue Sheep:Blaine Reininger, who co-founded Tuxedomoon with Steven Brown, is a favourite musician, who has done several collaborations with important musicians around the world. Some of these names are Durrutti Column, Savage Republic and Cult With No Name. This is a multifarious artist, who has ‘dressed’ with his music theatrical productions and films. He has been living in Athens of Greece since the late 90s and has simultaneously progressed his solo career throughout the years. The previous album of Blaine Reininger with Steven Brown, was released in 2016 and was entitled ‘Monte Albán’, probably referring to the large pre-Columbian archaeological site in Santa Cruz. That album was modern classical in style, enriched with a lot of experimentation, that showed the duo’s fascination with the more experimental aspect of John Cage’s music. Violin, viola, piano, saxophone, clarinet and organ, were the instruments that formed the sound of this album. The new album is entitled ‘The Blue Sheep‘ and will be released through Les Disques Du Crepuscule. Three of its songs accompanied the adaptation of Albert Camus’ ‘Caligula’ for the theatre, that was presented in the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus in Greece in 2017 and the cover image is the work of George Terzis. No other songs have been released so far, but this is what Blaine has said about this new album: The unifying principle behind the songs on Blue Sleep is the method of composition. I apply fine old aleatory techniques – John Cage, William Burroughs, Tristan Tzara – and filter these through my instinctive knowledge of melody and harmony. Lyrics are generated algorithmically (I work with programs which assemble phrases according to mathematical rules) and then edited by me, with phrases suggested by the random output. That’s pretty much my modus operandi in the 21st century. We can only wait impatiently for the release of the completed album, feeling that Tristan Tzara and William Burroughs would feel equally inspired by the fragmented, angry and dystopian reality of the city of Athens during these troubled times.You can pre-order the album from here

MINISTRY-AMERIKKKANT: Next on our list of eagerly awaited album releases, is the next album by Ministry, entitled ‘AmeriKKKant‘ and expected to be released in March 2018.One song has been released so far from this album, entitled ‘Antifa’ and as expected, has caused a lot of controversy and a lot of emotional stir. But let’s take things from the beginning and calm the spirits a little bit. Al Jourgensen is a person that has always expressed his criticism about different matters that change around the world and in America in particular. A quick look through the band’s song titles, album titles and videos will refresh your memory. Therefore, to the devoted followers of his work, this album and the views expressed through its songs should not come as a surprise. In fact, if Al did not feel the urge to ‘respond’ to the things that are happening lately in America and elsewhere, it would be really, really weird.In his own words: I’ve spoken my piece on the societal conditions that would elect such a blithering idiot. It’s not an anti-Trump album, it’s like a- ‘did you pay attention in school? Does anybody have any intellectual curiosity anymore?’- album. [It’s] basically just holding up a mirror to ourselves and saying: ‘Look at this, is this what you really want to be?…I’m afraid for the stupidity of not embracing nonsense. I think nonsense is a great escape from the rigors of being in life’s hamster wheel. The uppercase letters of the album’s title refer to a specific organization in America, the lyrics of ‘Antifa‘ also refer to specific political problems faced by people around the world and all in all it’s another day in the universe of Ministry. Rejoice and enjoy it!
The album will be released on March 9, 2018 through the label Nuclear Blast, followed by a North American tour, in which Chelsea Wolfe will be the support act. We can only hope that this tour has a European branch as well.You can pre-order the album from this link

Echo and The Bunnymen-The Stars, The Oceans and The Moons:Later in 2018, in May, our beloved Echo and the Bunnymen have already announced the release of their next album entitled ‘The Stars, The Oceans and The Moons’ and a UK tour that will accompany it. Read more about it here


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