Fragments of a Hologram Rose   ~reviewed by Blu
From glam to punk to goth and then industrial, Francis Giovanni has been occupied with dark music for almost 8 years now. His latest creative outpouring is the band Thirteen13 who's aggressive industrial beats mixed with old time goth vocals make for an addictive collection.

Track one, "Deformities" is an instrumental mix with strategically placed sampling that adds to the song and doesn't detract from it as some sample-heavy industrial bands tend to do. Track two "Fragments" starts with a pensive monologue by Francis - almost tragically goth in nature, backed by neo-romantic synths. He sings, "Another day has come and gone, another dream has died, a thousand times I've lied alone, a thousand screams I've cried..." before the song breaks into industrial mayhem and computerized vocal effects.

"Darkness & Fear" is a track heavy in special effects and synthesized vocals. This could have gotten stale but he brilliantly adds ethereal female vocals to counter act the harsher edged cyber sounds. "Rest in Pieces" is a ominous track where Francis's vocals come across as an evil story-telling of love gone bad. Again, there's a bit of neo-classical themes going on in the background with the melodies which adds wonderful texture to this song. Track five is one of my favorites because it features samples from the movie "Legends".... lovely and dark! And finally another dark track accented with obscure sampling, "Reflection in the Wind," rounds out this CD.

Kudos for twisting the electronic/industrial genre a bit. The inclusion of neo-romantic goth melodies and vocals make this CD a potential favorite for many, no matter what genre you're partial to.
Thirteen13 is:
francis giovanni (lyrics, arrangments)
Mort Rigdon (music, engineering)
Additional vocals by: DJ Dark Angel

Acts Magdalena
S/T  ~reviewed by Steph
Remember when listening to music felt dangerous? Like many music reviewers, I have been listening to music for so long that I sometimes run the risk of becoming jaded, of thinking that I've heard it all. Bands like Acts Magdalena, who hail from New York City, remind me of the savage power of the human voice when melded with stirring, primitive guitar strains.

Every review of Acts Magdalena speaks with awe, and not a little fear, of singer Christian Merry's unique vocal style. Think PJ Harvey with her vocal chords ripped raw, or even more appropriately, Diamanda Galas with all her force unleashed. Christian herself calls their style etherkore.

The bands debut CD teases us with four songs that showcase not only the range of Christian's voice, but the bass guitar skills of her bantam and co-songwriter Rick Van Benschoten.

"Elliptical Mind's Eye" starts with slow organ note made on Rick's Bass, like a beginning of a mass, and Christian's deep voice rises over it at a steady pace until three quarters of the way through the song, when without warning, her voice descends into a savage growl that sounds barely human.

"The Only Thing" is a song that speaks of a love that feels more like menace as Christian's voice slinks between the guitar chords, inviting the listener to "Tarry longer dear/haven't got a thing to fear".

"Bullet" has a more conventional rock structure than the other songs, but it works well with the band's heavy sound. This time we're barely one minute into the song before Christian is snarling her contempt of "big strong men" with their "fucking guns".

The band let up on us a bit at the end with the haunting ballad "Wasteland", where swampy guitar chords simmer gently in the background as Christian muses sadly on the ephemeral nature of love.

A disturbing, edgy debut from a band that should be turning heads very soon.

Track listing:
1. Elliptical Mind's Eye
2. The Only Thing
3. Bullet
4. Wasleland

Acts Magdalena are:
Christian Merry - vocals, lyrics, co-primary songwriter
Rick Van Benschoten - fretless bass, co-primary songwriter, producer
Brandon Miller - Drums and percussion
Dave McConnell - Guitar
Released by:
Acts Magdalena
#7-500 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10009

Higher Art Of Rebellion ~reviewed by Matthew
What better place for a black metal CD to be recorded than beneath the spooky castle speckled horizons of Romania? Well, that is where this German outfit recorded this second opus. They chose this location not only for the inspiration of the country but mainly because their original vocalist Vlad was unable to leave Romania due to some mishap with the law. Interesting, eh? With all the satire aside, Agathodaimon are certainly one of the more interesting and talented bands within the genre. What sets them so much apart from their contemporaries is that their focus is not so much on speed and high shrieking vocals, but more so on technique and musicianship. Their aggression bleeds through the agonized sand paper vocals, the discordant crunch of their guitars, and the dense mid-paced rhythms that keep the blast beats reserved for only the perfect moments. They opt for a warm and full production rather than the usual icy blur of cymbals, shrieks, and distortion.

By no means is this octet (yes, there are indeed eight contributing members) weak and ethereal in their atmospherics. They still present music that I can comfortably refer to as black metal. However, when comparing their sophomore effort to the debut CD, "Blacken The Angel," this music is a greater celebration in musical diversity, leaving the debut to be weighed heavier with black metal. This album is much more eclectic in its tones, its riffing, and its overall composition. I wouldn't say that the music groundbreaking in originality but there is an enjoyable element of unpredictability, which is nice being that a lot of black metal is so sickeningly formulatic.

There are three different vocalists, each contributing their own personality. Both Vlad and Akaias spew forth ungodly rasping and vampyric grumbles, while guest vocalist Byron boasts an arrogant clarity that brings to mind traditional metal vocals similar to those found in bands like Nevermore. It is an overwhelming contrast that takes awhile to get used to, but is quite cool actually. The track entitled, "Body Of Clay" is quite a surprise being that there are no daemonic vocals whatsoever and the crunching guitars are scarce. However, Agathodaimon have already earned the power to experiment with their sound and it yields a great deal of promise.

Certain passages are reminiscent of the earlier Venom-styled, while the majority of the passages sound like a fresh and refined and expansion upon the current styles of black metal. The classical orchestration is plentiful being that there are two keyboardists, however, Agathodaimon have attained a coherent balance and rarely does the band seem overwhelmed by their baroque tendencies and they are still guitar driven.

Lyrically, they seem to have also found a comfortable medium. The lyrics are penned in several different languages and reflect a variety of moods and emotions, from anger and rage to a reserved romantic despair, such as in the track, "When She Is Mute." The lyrics are perfumed with decay and bleakness, and blooming with an epic quality that truly is memorable.

The band also has a wonderful sense of artistic presentation, not only in their music but within the beautifully packaged CD booklet, which is chalk full of stark black and white photography. Very reminiscent of the grandiose lyric booklets that Valor designs for Christian Death.

It is clear that Agathodaimon are proud and passionately focussed upon their work and I praise them highly for their sincerity and the fact that they perform dark music in so theatrical a vein and possess such an air of integrity.

Track list:
1.) Ne Cheama Pamintul
2.) Tongue Of Thorns
3.) Glassul Artei Vittoare
4.) When She Is Mute
5.) A Death In It's Plentitude
6.) Body Of Clay
7.) Novus Ordo Seclorum
8.) Back Into The Shadows
9.) Les Posedes
11.)Heaven's Coffin
12.)Ribbons/Requiem '99
13.)Body Of Clay (remix)

Agathodaimon is:
Hyperion: guitars
Sathonys: guitars
Vlad: vocals/keyboards
Vampallens: keyboards
Marco T.: bass
Matthias R.: drums
Akaias: vocals
Christine S: keyboards
Byron: guest clean vocals

Black Daimon Promotion:
C/O Wickler
Westrin 18
55120 Mainz, Germany

Official Web Site:
Be sure to check out the Agathodaimon Romanian photogallery!
Nuclear Blast Records:

Gotham   ~reviewed by Vassago*
Bauhaus were formed in 1978 and have been one of the major influences in the dark/Goth scene. 1983 was the year for the band to end after composing – in this short period- many songs that now are legends of the underground scene such as "Dark Entries", "Bela Lugosi’s Dead", "Terror Couple Kill Colonel", "Telegram Sam", "She’s in parties", "Double Dare", "Passion of Lovers", "Mask" and many more. Fifteen years later and with the band's continuously growing popularity, Bauhaus were back to make a last tour (is it?), and of course as it was expected the sign "sold out" was everywhere they went. Gotham is a taste of what these lives sounded like during the 1998 tour.

The tracks of the two cds were recorded at four different locations, Hollywood Athletic Club- July 9,1998, Hollywood Palladium- July 10-11,1998, San Francisco Warfield Theatre- August 18,1998 and Paris, La Mutualite- November 1,1998. What I first realized after listening the CDs was that Bauhaus are a professional group who sounds better in a live show than a CD. Peter Murphy and all the other members of this legendary band are in a great shape and managed to transfer all the power and atmosphere that are noticeable on their CDs to theselive shows, as exactly as they sounded back in eighties, making Gotham a complete success as a release. Gotham made me bring them again to my mind and my heart, and I believe that the same thing will happen to you.

What surprised me (and believe me it will surprise you too) was the song "Severence", which is originally a Dead Can Dance song, in a live and a studio version. I prefer the live over the studio version, though they are different, neither bad, in fact I was impressed.

The release is packaged in a fantastic double pack with some photos (few, to be honest I was expecting some more). I suggest you listen loud in order to be jealous if you never had the opportunity to see this band live and wish that the day will come.

Various Artists
Gothabilly: Wakin' The Dead ~reviewed by Blu
Here it is folks - the one CD that will quench that zombie-sized thirst you have for Gothabilly. Skully Records have put together one of the best, all-encompassing Gothabilly/Deathrockabilly CD comps out there. What a ghoulish treat! You can't HELP but love this outrageous CD with the impressive line up of artists. Even our beloved Brickbats donate a track. Every song on this CD kicks ass. There's enough ghouls, funky bass lines, western tinged fat cat blues beats, monsters, plenty-O-VooDoo and zombies to keep your mud-encrusted boots a-tappin' all night long. Rip out your heart , wrap it in barbed wire and toss it on the cow-print sofa... this is the shit. Extremely fun and nicely put together - this is must have for every DJ and party host.

Track Listing - Check out these BANDS!!!!
-Cult of the Psychic Fetus, "Dead Bride"
-Mr. Badwrench, "Gasoline"
-Psychonauts, "Devilshake"
-Deadbolt, "Crime Scene"
-Phantom Cowboys, "Transylvanian Girl"
-Deen Enyde, "13th Floor"
-Agent X and the Kill Villians, "Bad Girls Go to Hell"
-The Independents, "Death Notice"
-8 Ball Grifter, "Thigh Highs"
-Phantom Cowboys, "Voodoo Bunnies"
-Thee Hallowteens, "Evil Doer"
-Cult of the Psychic Fetus, "You Can Make It If You Run"
-Empress of Fur, "Johnny Voodoo"
-The Brain Bats, "Oblivion"
-Barnyard Ballers, "Skitzo Family"
-Mr. Badwrench, "Dark Passage"
-The Witching Hour, "Burn Witch Burn"
-Deadbolt, "Creepy World"
-Psychonauts, "Ghoulfriend"
-The Brickbats, "Undead Rock & Roll Music"
-Electric Bird Noise, "Lazy Tumbleweeds"

Various Links:
Skully Records

Agent X and the Kill Villians

Barnyard Ballers

The Brain Bats

The Brickbats

Cult of the Psychic Fetus


The Deep Eynde

Eight Ball Grifter

Electric Bird Noise

Thee Hallowteens

Mr Badwrench

Phantom Cowboys

The Psychonauts

The Witching Hour

Mantra   ~reviewed by Kirin
Bobby writes:
"A prison is a noisy place. The clanging of bells announcing the prison routine, the whir and ratcheting, banging and slamming of electric gates and mechanical metal doors, the ebb and flow of human vocalizations as hundreds of people caged against their will respond to their conditions in myriad ways - to express their loneliness, or discontent, or rage, or insanity, or merely to cheer or boo a play in a football game on television - punctuated by the shouts of guards who must enforce their authority to maintain what passes for order in such places . . . all of this and more is amplified within the confines of reverberant concrete walls, conspiring to make it difficult to find, much less preserve, one's peace of mind. I composed Mantra: Soundscapes for Meditation in response to several requests from some of my fellow prisoners. I was asked to create some gentle music that they could listen to on their personal cassette players as an aid in practicing meditation and relaxation techniques widely accepted as valuable tools in the process of healing mind, body and spirit. The challenge was to produce a musical composition that would help to mask the noise of the environment without being intrusive or demanding too much of the listeners attention, while incorporating combinations of tones and textures that may aid an individual in achieving a relaxed, meditative state of consciousness. By all reports, including my own experience, Mantra succeeds in its intended mission. As environmental music, it also seems to work well as a focusing agent when doing some types of creative work, or when reading, and to enhance the restfulness of sleep when set to play continuously through the night at low volume. You may find other uses for it as well. For all I know, it may help plants to grow more healthy, or soothe a teething baby. We are all doing time in one way or another, and the stresses of day to day life make it imperative that we find ways to generate harmony within ourselves from time to time. I hope that Mantra will serve you in this regard as well as it has served some of my friends in prison. Peace, Bobby BeauSoleil."

This CD is everything it's purported to be, and then some. I have, for some time now, beeninterested in the effects of music on the human body, mind, and spirit. There are, of course, whole genres dedicated to and studied for this notion that music changes matter and aether; from brutal noise and black metal, to ambient soundscapes and New Age music. The moniker "New Age" is quite often said with disdain, and, in some cases for good reason, but Bobby BeauSoleil's "Mantra" is high quality New Age music, if it can be called that at all. I'd just as soon file it under "ambient." The soothing waves of sound are neither insipid nor trite, which are the complaints and associations most people have about "New Age" music. This is not music that is merely a product of yuppie luxury and malaise, as you can see from Bobby's writings above. There is tenderness to this music; a tenderness borne of great sorrow and nearly overwhelming tribulations. This is the brave song of the Darkling Thrush, who sings, even in the bitterest and darkest days of winter. Very highly recommended.

To order, contact:

More information about Bobby and his music:

Also, be sure to check out Michael Moynihan's interview with Bobby in the current issue of Seconds Magazine. Additionally, there is, as I understand it, a new "Apocalypse Culture" book in the works from Feral House, which will contain writings by Bobby BeauSoleil!

Black Ocean Drowning
Negative Life
~reviewed by Admortem

A Michigan based band; Black Ocean Drowning is a black metal goth combination with enough diversity to please everybody a little. From the song One Foot of Sky - dark metal sounding with heavy guitar and vocals to match - to the more gothic sounding and danceable song The River, this goth rock band emits many different sounds, all very black.

Everything on the CD reflects the anger and frustration of the band in some way. The song Babylon features lead vocalist Jeremy Tomkinson yelling out words hate-filled and energetic, yet the very next track utilizes intense guitar and drum changes to express the same emotion. The title of the CD is definitely a fitting theme: Negative Life seems to be exactly what every song is about. Raging for whatever you've got, rebellious and expressive, Black Ocean Drowning is Metallica meets Christian Death. Listen at your own risk…

Track Listing:
1. One Foot of Sky
2. The River
3. Babylon
4. Transparent
5. I Can't Breathe
6. House of Cork
7. Crash

Jeremy Tomkinson - Vocals, samples
Chris Hamilton - Guitars
Toby Wolff - Bass
Michele Pafalvi - Keyboards
Jeff Windhorst - Drums

Band Email:
Snail Mail: PO Box 7011 Dearborn, MI 48120 USA
Label: Medea Records
Web site:

a slow red whisper of rain...
~reviewed by Wolf

The Illinois based band Breather had me instantly enchanted with their cd A Slow Red Whisper of Rain... Six beautifully performed songs fill this album with fragile intimacies, sure to please anyone with a liking for The Cure, Mazzy Star, Heather Nova or yet The Cranes. Breather's music is minimal, while at the same time nothing short of rich emotion and lyrics that will stay with you long after the cd has ended.

Alicia Skala and Jessica Cook formed Breather in 1995, with Scott Gockerman completing the current line-up when he joined them a year later. His guitar work is the perfect addition to Jessica's vocals and Alicia's guitar, bass and programming, forming a band that definitely seems to be in tune with one another as far as musical vision and realizing it are concerned.

Words are rather inadequate when attempting to describe intimacy and beauty such as this, and so I leave you with the lyrics to the albums absolute pearl, Lovely & Bloody. Breather deserves nothing but praise and recognition. My deepest admiration for this immensely talented band.

"There is no forever
isn't that what she said
it hurt to hear her voice
answer where I should
stop messing with my head
and I will make you see
the way I feel inside
lovely & bloody

and I just wanted to touch
your velvet shoulder
to dry your drowning lips
oh just to hear your voice
my pretty pale prince
you would sell your stars
for anyone else
anyone but me"

1. creepy girl
2. all the beauty
3. the everlasting agony
4. gone
5. the fall
6. lovely & bloody

Band members:
Alicia Skala
Jessica Cook
Scott Gockerman

Additional info:
Official site:
Artists Bureau:

The Science Of Things
~reviewed bu Matthew

Once again exhibiting my schizophrenic taste in dark music, I proudly admit to being very Goth as well as a huge fan of Bush. Lynch me if you will, but I care not! I adore them! They have a sincere sense of gloom and angst yet they have the same mass appeal today as The Cure and Depeche Mode did in the eighties. Only a small percentage of their material is what I would call ‘commercial,’ if even that. Case in point: their cover of New Order’s “In A Lonely Place” that appeared on the second Crow soundtrack. I am very partial to the Gavin Rossdale's smooth and unique voice, and I have always enjoyed the way they incorporate string arrangements into many of their songs. To me it seems the band is becoming more and more morose and less and less commercial with each release. With this one, their third full-length, they seem to be incorporating a lot of electronic drum loops and their sound has developed into a full and multi-textured blending of alternative grunge, gloomy Brit pop, and occasional tangents of punk.

The album opens with the melancholic guitar harmonies of “Warm Machine,” a nice and mellow track with a cool chorus and warm, fuzzy guitars that in some ways sound like a grungier Cure. “Jesus Online” opens with driving, dancey drums, with a low synth hum. “Whatever she wants from me/Whatever divine” Gavin admits helplessly as a lulling Goth rock bass line follows and the song flirts between a moshy grunge groove and a sinister snakelike sludge. “Perfect black dress/Perfect grave” Gavin describes his dominatrix; I mean, come on! They’re Goth! :P “Chemicals Between Us” follows, a song most of you have probably heard on the radio, a playful dancey song that gets stuck in your head for days.

As commercial as that song maybe, the fourth track, “English Fire” follows and is a grating, intense exorcise in punk inspired claustrobic chaos. A very tight and thumping song, with abrasive guitars and chanting vocals, and its on this track where orchestral strings first appear, as an eerie, discordant string passage ghostly slides through the end of the track. A song that undoubtedly scared most Bush fans but made me smile very very wide.

“Spacetravel” follows, another darker song with a tight beat that loosens into a swaying, sensual groove and back and forth. A song very minor in key with a dark post-punk kinda feel but obviously a little more commercial. The song has sort of a sweetened chorus, with sadder melody and some neat artificial guitar harmonics. Gavin is accompanied by real life flame Gwen Staffani for this part of the song. I would have never known this had I not looked at the liner notes but yeah, she sounds cool actually. Wouldn’t have even recognized her and that is a surprise because I HATE No Doubt.

Anyway, “40 Miles From The Sun,” the album’s gloom masterpiece follows. Dirgey watery guitars, subtle electronic rhythms and an exquisite orchestra arrangement combine to compliment Gavin’s expressive and emotionally unstable English vocal performance. This song is just so damned cool. I programmed the CD player to repeat this and the album’s other gloomy Goth ballad “Letting The Cable’s Sleep” for like two hours straight one night and I was so mellow for the rest of the week. People thought I was going through another Current 93/Death In June phase but no, it was Bush, strategically programmed to torture.

“Prizefighter” is another driving, upbeat song that exhibits an obvious Cure meets Sonic Youth in a blender sort of vibe. “The Disease Of The Dancing Cats” is a catchy, playful song with a cool grungy bridge and a moshy, heavy guitar riffs popping in between verses and at the end of the track. A strange little electronic breakdown splits the song up, but it’s a fun song, not one of my faves though. “Altered States” begins with very strange hypnotic keys, and then breaks into another groove oriented type song with a great bass line and drum pattern, but a somewhat odd rhythmed chorus. “Dead Meat” starts off with distant drums and over-chorused guitar, and it sounds like its going to be another of Bush’s signature ballads but explodes into another burst of disharmonic grunge and then back again. A very cool track with a nice eerieness to it. “Letting The Cable’s Sleep” is the second single from the CD and is an awesome track with slow jazzy drums, piano, strings, and a despondent and saddened Gavin pleading “Silence is not the way/ We need to talk about it/If Heaven is on the way/We’ll wrap the world around it.” A great track, certainly one of their greatest tracks ever.

The album closes with “Mindchanger,” a track that starts off kind of weak but soon changes and picks up to be one of the strongest most sincere songs on the entire CD. A great chorus “It’s so hard to let you go/I will change your mind” with sort of an obsessive vibe to the lyrics and a very desperate edge to the music.

A damn good CD that wasn’t too well received by the public, so therefore, it will probably remain a classic amongst the darker side of Bush’s fans. They plan on releasing a remix CD of this material, much like the vastly underrated “Deconstruction” CD that was released after “Razorblade Suitcase,” which will without a doubt be very interesting and will hopefully yield a few more Goth club friendly tracks. So keep an eye out for that as well as an American tour if you are interested.

Track List:
1.) Warm Machine
2.) Jesus Online
3.) The Chemicals Between Us
4.) English Fire
5.) Spacetravel
6.) 40 Miles From The Sun
7.) Prizefighter
8.) The Disease Of The Dancing Cats
9.) Altered States
10.) Dead Meat
11.) Letting The Cables Sleep
12.) Mindchanger

Bush Is:
Gavin Rossdale – vocals, guitar
Nigel Pulsford - guitar
Robin McGregor - drums
David Parsons – bass

Official web site

Trauma Records site:

A Demonstration
~reviewed by Matthew
This newly formed Pittsburgh trio succeeds in blending elements of dark emotional shoegazing alternative with popular hooks and upbeat, memorable melodies. This four song EP is just as the title suggests, a demonstration of what Cloud are capable of, a shade of the many colours the band can invoke with their music. With the opening track, "Chemistry," and the groove oriented "Please," Cloud exhibit a radio friendly sense of melody and style that would appeal to a vast arena of listeners. Interestingly, they utilize that catchiness with a balanced influence of subdued Goth that is reminiscent of an upbeat lovesong from Siouxsie or The Cure.

Vocalist Sarah Siplak leads the band with her strong and sensual voice, and also offers her viola talents on the last track "Sun & Moon." The guitar sound is a well-mixed variety of reverberated chords, watery arpeggios, and the occasional discordant accent here and there. The synths and the electronic drumming is mid paced and dance friendly, but similar to the newer styles of Tori Amos, Bush, and Garbage.

My favourite track is the third track, "The Prayer," due mainly to the angelic vocal harmonies and the heavily processed clean guitars. This is probably the most melancholic track and more akin to the band’s unreleased material. Whether it is the crisp production on the CD or just the particular tracks they recorded, when performing live, Cloud come across as much more Goth friendly. Sarah fiddles with her viola much more often and the guitars are absolutely DRENCHED in reverb, chorus, and delay which yields to a very hypnotic and entrancing effect.

However, I believe that Cloud are attempting to conquer wider pastures, and with the hooks and magick appeal of their music, I believe if the right breaks come their way, they could make a considerable impression in the music scene.

Track List:
1.) Chemistry
2.) Please
3.) The Prayer
4.) Sun & Moon (Just A Little Bit)

Cloud is:
Sarah Siplak: vocals, viola
Jeff Babcock: guitar, effects, programming
Kirk Botula: sampler and sequencer

Official Website:

Apathy Vein
~reviewed by Kirin

Hm. Well. I guess there are a few different ways to look at this. There's nothing remotely groundbreaking on this album that hasn't previously been covered well and good by the likes of Corrosion of Conformity, Pantera, Voïvod, Prong, and so on. On the other hand, this DOESN'T suck. So, if you're craving some good old "kick yer feckin' head in" metal, this will most certainly satisfy. Furthermore, something tells me that these guys would be KILLER live, so if they're still alive and kicking somewhere in Texas, give 'em a visit and let 'em leave you bloody and smiling!

Track Listing:
-Apathy Vein
-Forgive Me
-We Become One
-Kelsey's Lament
-Too Many Long Stories
-God's Eyeball
-Full Moon
-Fucking in Tongues

To contact and purchase CDs, visit the following site:

The Cure
~reviewed by Matthew

Yet again, the Cure has returned with their final album. They have been saying this and touring on their final tour since 1982’s Pornography, so I really am not going to get too excited and hysterical and think that they are at last sincerely retiring.

I am without a doubt a rabid Cure fan. I doubt there are many dark music fans that are not, or at least few that don’t recognize the impact this band has had upon so many genres of music. With Bloodflowers, The Cure continue to exhibit the timeless appeal of their style, and the fact that the same formula can continue to be effective by only adding a few moderate polishes or elements to it is simply an amazing example of talent or witchcraft.

This new album is emotionally consistent, very much the opposite of the aptly titled previous release Wild Mood Swings. Though Bloodflowers is not at all a steady dirge fest, the music is all linked by a similar depth of somber moods. The material sounds a lot like a collective sequel to the darker tracks from Wild Mood Swings such as “Want,” “This Is A Lie,” “Treasure,” etc. They possess a very similar mix as well as the same deeper vocal quality.

Several press releases cite this album to be the final piece in a trilogy which started with 1982’s Pornography and continued with 1989’s Disintegration. Whether or not I am just missing something or not, the only thing I see that really links them is the fact that those albums were emotionally intense and the most personal. Lyrically, I see no specific connection, because quite frankly, the lyrics of the Cure have ALWAYS seemed to be linked by a universal theme of romantic frustration, loss, and outright silliness in some more of the more frightening cases (“Mint Car,” “Wendy Time.”)

It seems to be that since Kiss Me…, The Cure have been composing very strong material and epic length albums chalk full of memorable tracks. Bloodflowers is certainly no different, and I am uncertain if it is just because I am hearing new and fresh material from a band that I am almost too familiar with, I think Bloodflowers could be among the band’s best material. There are albums from the Cure that have certain tracks that could be omitted while other releases that in their entirety are perfect.

This is one of the ones that as a whole is listenable and there are no songs that I dislike even slightly.The title track is one of the greatest songs the band has ever done, and if I ever had to chose a song to represent The Cure, I would cite this one without hesitating. I am very partial to the first single, “Maybe Sometimes,” which is commercial Cure at their best, though without getting overly sappy and keeping the bounce factor to a minimum. The opening track is a nice mid-paced number with strummed acoustic guitars and a haunting electric harmony that subliminally carries on throughout the song. A characteristic watery guitar doodle accents the space between the verses and is very reminiscent of the Disintegration ballads.

The epic length “Watching Me Fall” plays the part of the “...Edge Of The Deep Green Sea” or “Disintegration” of the album, being a lengthy- groove oriented song with more of an edge than most of the other material.

Soothing tracks such as “Where The Birds Always Sing,” and “The Last Day Of Summer” are very reserved, yet completely Cure. In no way uninteresting, yet they do nothing more than compliment the absorbing listenablity of the entire album as a whole. “There Is No If…” is about as close as the band gets to being happy, and when you hear this song, you will think I am crazy. ‘Cause its not happy, but it is a lot more upbeat and hopeful than the rest of the material.

“The Loudest Sound” has some slow trip hop inspired beats to it, about as electronic and dance-tainted as this album is going to get. “39” is another groove oriented track, with that apocalyptic edgy feel in the “…Deep Green Sea” school of Cure-ography. A great song, indeed one of the best ones in years. The album closes with the title track, which is again, a simply divine track with lovely lulling bass, several layers of multi-voiced guitars, mournful drums that at first slowly thud but soon swing out in a morose tangent, complimenting Robert’s bleak insistence that “flowers always die.” Gloom at its best!

This is definitely going to be hailed as a classic contribution to their discography, and if by some strange chance this IS their last CD and tour, it will be a triumphant closing to this drama that has now spanned three decades. Certainly, this band continues to provide what they promise, and help us cope with the things we cannot avoid in life. They just make it easier by supplying the appropriate ‘cure’ and giving us a warm shelter to reflect and gain the strength we need.

Track Listing:
1.) Out Of This World
2.) Watching Me Fall
3.) Where The Birds Always Sing
4.) Maybe Someday
5.) The Last Day Of Summer
6.) There Is No If…
7.) The Loudest Sound
8.) 39
9.) Bloodflowers

The Cure is:
Robert Smith: voice, guitars, 6 string bass, & keyboards
Simon Gallup: basses
Perry Bamonte: guitars, 6 string bass
Jason Cooper: drums
Roger O’Donnell: keyboards

Official Website:

Elektra Records:

The Cure
~reviewed by Vassago*

Epilogue or not, Bloodflowers is a wonderful creation for all Cure fans. When I listened their previous album Wild Moon Swings I couldn’t believe that it was a release from a band with a roster of cult albums like Seventeen Seconds, Pornography, Faith, Disintegration etc. Now with Bloodflowers, The Cure gives their fans exactly what they want from them, and believe me they do it with quiet success.

The entire album is good with moments mixed from the old good days of the eighties like Pornography and from the end of the same decade like Wish. They keep moving with the same style they used to and with Robert Smith, achieving only what David Bowie, Andriew Eldricth and Peter Murphy have, keeping his voice performance through all these years in great shape and even better than anybody would expect or imagine proving that it was not just a shine but a legend. The truth is that this is the kind of music that The Cure can do best: dark, desperate, sad, and painful feelings in each song . I hope this isn’t their end, and I am sure that a band like Cure does not have to prove anything to anyone.
*text edtied by m. otley

The pleasures received in pain
~reviewed by Kirin

Like so many of the "apocalyptic folk" bands I've come to adore, the music of Der Blutharsch quite often moves me to either goosebumps or tears. Anton La Vey used to talk about the importance of music being evocative and emotive; few people understood the concept the way the likes of Tony Wakeford (Sol Invictus,) Douglas P. (Death In June,) Michael Moynihan (Blood Axis,) Robert Taylor (Changes,) and Albin Julius of Der Blutharsch do. This music is highly emotional; it stirs the soul (mine, anyway,) the way that most other popular or modern music simply does not.

I'd also just like to take a moment to comment on something that has continued to both grieve and aggravate me. I have, in past days, seen Der Blutharsch used as an example of a "Nazi band". A reporter on National Public Radio recently asserted that bands like NON and Changes are the "avant-garde" of the white power movement. I continue to be disturbed and insulted by comments like these, firstly because they are naïve and irresponsible, and secondly, because they are not true. I will say again, as I always say, that a focus on the historical past of one's "bloodline" is not racism. Hating OTHER people for THEIR bloodlines is racism. (You want racism in music? Check Sistah Soljah, NWA, Ice Cube, etc.!!! Racism is racism, no matter who it's coming from. Ice T did a great song with Body Count on this very subject, called "Momma's Gotta Die Tonight.") Never EVER have I heard ANY of the members of Sol Invictus, Death In June, Blood Axis, Changes, Strength Through Joy, Ain Soph, Der Blutharsch (and so on,) mention a hatred of any other group of people because of their race. (Let alone refer to a woman of any race as a "cave bitch"!)

Regardless of the artistic merits of rap music, of which there are many, it remains a fact that if you're looking for RACIST music in America, you don't have to go far to find it, and you WON'T find it amongst the "apocalyptic folk" bands that are most blamed for it. Irony is not always amusing.

To clear up other myths, "Der Blutharsch", literally translated, means "blood-encrusted snow" or "dried blood stain." Der Blutharsch was also a name used to describe the front-line mercenary soldiers of the 14th and 15th centuries; these were the men who fought the hardest and suffered the most. Apparently the notion of these men bore heavily on the mind of Albin Julius during the time of his solo work with The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud, and so, when he was ready to move on from The Moon Lay Hidden, it was this image of passion and dedication that he carried with him, by name, to Der Blutharsch. Lastly, speculation as to what the "WKN" of Albin's new label means, is easily answered: "WKN" stands for "Wir Kapitulieren Niemals," meaning, "We never give up."

Furthermore, the notion that these bands are "Nazi" or racist because they use militaristic symbols, runes, oak leaves and the like, is frankly absurd. Investigation into any one of these bands (and especially Der Blutharsch,) will lead the logical mind only to the conclusion that the members of these bands are on esoteric and extremely personal spiritual journeys, which are being expressed by and through their music. They use these symbols as metaphors for intellectual and spiritual struggle; nothing more, and nothing less.

Additionally, it remains quizzical to me why it would be that the audiences for these bands at live shows are so consistently diverse. If you've ever seen the audience at a "real" N.S. or white power show, trust me when I tell you that there aren't any drag queens in attendance.

In fact, it's worth pointing out, just for the record, that when a Blood Axis show was closed down in San Francisco by rabid anti-freespeechists, (who were posing as "Marxists,") it was Annabel Lee of Blood Axis who came away physically ruffled by the people who were there yelling in her face that she was a Nazi- so who are the real aggressors? The whole situation with these bands is tragic at best and revolting at worst.

Albin Julius and Der Blutharsch are singing about many things, and conjuring many things; a call join to the National Socialist party is NOT one of them! If you have been afraid of listening to this music because you've heard Der Blutharsch were Nazis, please, I encourage you to look beyond the veil of ignorance, and introduce yourself to a world of thought and emotion that is unparalleled in the music industry today. If you let this music touch you, you may find your mind and your heart more active and more alive than they've been in years-- regardless of your race, sexuality, gender, or religion.

If you've never heard any Der Blutharsch music before, "The Pleasures received in pain" is a wonderful place to start. It is similar to the music on "Der Sieg des Lichtes ist des Lebens Heil," only perhaps a little more, dare I say, tender in its emotion? Where "Der Sieg" is brilliantly cold and smooth, "The Pleasures" has a more warm, organic and "human" feel to it. Where "Der Sieg" was the soldier at full attention, amidst the orgasm of violence and power, "The Pleasures" is contemplative, and perhaps exactly reflective of the title... this is the fag smoked afterward, the smug and melancholic embrace of, yes, the pleasures received in pain.

Track Listing:
There are no "names" for the songs on most Der Blutharsch recordings. This one included.

To contact Der Blutharsch and/or Albin Julius, write to:
c/o Albin Julius,
P.O. Box 596
A-1060 WIEN

Unit 717 Seager Buildings,
Brookmill Road
Phone 0181 6942000 Fax 0181 6942677

Related websites:
Excellent Der Blutharsch site:

Swedish goth site which documents the censorship struggles these bands endure; this time the subject is Death In June:

Compulsion: Art, interviews, etc. with bands like Sol Invictus and Death In June:

EsoTerra: The Journal of Extreme Culture:


R.N. Taylor, and Changes:

Blood Axis, Storm Records:

Lady Ablaze (MCD)
~reviewed by Kirin

No one pretends anymore that Dismal are black metal. They're "gothic/atmospheric" metal now. The truth is, I'd just about WORSHIP this band if it weren't for the terribly cheesy female vocals they always feel compelled to throw in, and the sometimes cheesy male vocals as well. (Examples: Autumn Leaves' tracks "A Thousand Rivers" and "Carven.") Lady Ablaze is even more atmospheric than "Autumn Leaves- The Rebellion of Tides." On Lady Ablaze the band continues in the beautiful and majestic vein as heard in songs like the Autumn Leaves' track "An Autumn Leaf in The Circles of Time." Again, on Lady Ablaze the black metal roots show through vocally and sometimes musically, although the drumming and guitar work continue to morph into their own sort of genre somewhere between black and death metal and power or gothic metal. Weighing in at a paltry 19 minutes, 7 seconds, this MCD is really more of a tease than anything else. Just when you're getting good and settled in, the CD ends. I look forward to seeing what new ground Dismal Euphony decide to cover, and pray that sooner or later they'll either make the female vocals sound a little more believable, (as on Mortiis' last outing, "The Stargate,") or else nix them entirely. I guess the most honest thing I can say about this CD is that I feel ambivalent towards it; it seems like a transitional album-- not quite as good, in my opinion, as what we've heard from them in the past, but hinting at some new thing that *could* be quite glorious. Thus, I'm both disappointed and excited all at once.

Track Listing:
Lady Ablaze
Cabinet Bizarre
150 MPH

Napalm Records
830 Pacific Ave. Ste#200
Bremerton, WA 98337

Pseudo Erotica -  4-song 12" vinyl
~reviewed by Kirin

This remains one of my favourite collections of David E. Williams songs. As always, the lyrics are humourous, disturbing, and delightful. The fact that these recordings were made in 1985 and 1986 only proves the fact that David E. Williams is and was ahead of his time.

The "goth" bards still haven't caught up with him. They likely never will. This little gem is still only $7.00 from the David E. Williams website, (address listed below,) and it's worth every damned cent. Actually, it's worth much more, but with Mr. Williams, you'll always have the uncommon experience of getting much more than what you paid for!

Track Listing:
-Charlotte's Glass Eye
-My God and My Dog
-Bad Day Anyway

David E. Williams can be reached at:


P.O. BOX 2422
19147 U.S.A.

website address:

David E. Williams
Hello Columbus
~reviewed by Matthew

Cynical and dry wit encompass the music of David E. Williams, an artist native to Philadelphia PA. In some ways, his work reminds me of Nick Cave, if not tinges of modern-day Leonard Cohen infused with a healthier dose of black humour. I think his early material was even more extreme in terms of its sarcasm and outrageous lyrical content. This one is much more reserved but definitely a nice sampler of this artist’s music that until now I had been unfamiliar with, save for his contribution of “Black Planet” to the SOM tribute a few years back. His music is a brilliant incorporation of experimental/noise, dark folk, Goth rock and some symphonic elements. Vocally, Williams reminds me of an irritable and gloomy David Bowie, which is definitely a strong point. His music is listenable yet bitterly amusing.

The opening track boasts the line, “I’d make love to you if only I knew where my gun went.” Which is a little example of what kind of sardonic jaded feelings Williams is responded for. Or better yet, “If I am Christlike in my magnanimity will it be Magdalenean what she gives to me?” as he wonders in the driving, groove-oriented “Listen Somewhat Awkward.” There are still a lot of parts in my opinion that come across as very melancholic and beautiful, the lyrics acting as a shield; a way to cope and make light of misfortunate experiences. I can see why there is a lot of buzz surrounding this guy, and I definitely want to do a little exploration into his back catalogue. I think fans of everything form Nick Cave and the World Serpent bands should pick this up, as well as the more demented Goth rockers out there. Very cool stuff!

Track List:
1.) Hello Columbus
2.) Not A Gear At All
3.) Listen Somewhat Awkward

David E. Williams: lead vocals/keyboards/drum machine
Jerome Deppe: electric, acoustic, & bass guitars/background vocals
Kenneth Brune: saxophone
Michael Scott: drums
Strings by The Academy Quartet

Official Web Site:

Ospedale Records
PO Box 2422
Philidelphia, PA 19147

Decoded Feedback
~reviewed by Wolf

Woohoo, mindless industrial dance! No, seriously, when done with taste and filled with enough variation releases in this, at times admittedly dubious, genre can be very good. Just put innovation and experimentation aside for a moment and imagine those perfect driving and club songs no one can resist. Decoded Feedback delivers them, with conviction.

The first time I heard a track by Decoded Feedback (Corrosion) I was pleasantly surprised. The song was filled with rich strings, danceable beats and proof of a great ear for dark yet catchy compositions. Now the band is presenting us EVOlution, a collection of new tracks, remixes of tracks from their Bio-Vital album and a splendid cover of Bio-Vital by Frozen Autumn.

Part I/d.n.a. features Decoded Feedback's newest songs, six in total. Most remarkable are Endless Light and the contagious Frozen, great for the dance floors and radio shows alike. (I've already heard Frozen at a college radio's goth/industrial show.)

Part II/genetically altered gives us two remixes of Breathe (one by Decoded Feedback themselves and one by In Strict Confidence), Bio-Vital (Fictional and Funker Vogt) and Relic (Aghast View and Din-Fiv). Fictional is the synthpop sideproject of Funker Vogt, so they're delivering two different interpretations of the catchy Bio-Vital, one more synthpop, the other in Funker Vogt's recognizable style of industrial techno. ISC's remix features their usual dark and cold sound, very fitting to the song and just as good (if not better) as Decoded Feedback's own remix.

But my favorites are the remixes of Relic, with Aghast View turning the song into an aggressive and fast remix, chaotic and melodious at the same time, and Din-Fiv's version as probably the most interesting remix on the disc; crisp, catchy and pounding along with no remorse.

Part III/cloned features the last track on the album and god, what a pearl it is. Frozen Autumn covers Bio-Vital with the melancholy synthpop style they master so well. Not that I don't recommend EVOlution as a whole, but this track alone is worth buying it. Many place Frozen Autumn in the same league as Xymox, but I personally consider them the better band by far. This song is no exception, a driving track with beautiful singing and heavenly melodies.

Check this cd out (as well as Bio-Vital, if you haven't already) because in its genre it's an excellent disc with plenty variation and exciting contributions. Decoded Feedback is already hard at work on their next full-length (Mechanical Horizon) and they can also be found live throughout the US and Canada quite frequently. This band is definitely one of the genre's rising stars and I don't have the slightest doubt that we'll be hearing a lot more from them in the future.

part I/d.n.a.
1. EVOlution
2. endless light
3. infect me
4. bodies of seals
5. frozen
6. re/animation

part II/genetically altered
7. breathe (infected mix) by decoded feedback
8. bio-vital (fictional remix)
9. breathe (in strict confidence remix)
10. relic (aghast view "intense" remix)
11. bio-vital (funker vogt remix)
12. relic (din-fiv remix)

part III/cloned
13. bio-vital (frozen autumn cover version)

Band members:
Marco Biagiotti
Yone Dudas

Additional info:
Official site:
Label (US):
Label (Europe):

Dies Irae
~reviewed by Blu

Out of the Minneapolis, a band called Dies Irae has been slithering its way into black-clad hearts for a few years now. I'm not even sure how I came upon this CD to tell you the truth (its copyrighted in 1998) but its grown on me so much that I feel obligated to let everyone else in on the secret. Smart lyrics, genius musical progression, and velvety smooth vocals dipped in just the right amount of sexual tension make this CD a contender with the big names in dark gothic music. Upon visiting their website - I found the bands members much younger than I expected from their disarming experienced sound. If this is their beginning, I cannot wait to see where they go with it.

From track one, "Reverence," I was hooked. Opening with splendid keyboards, it rocks into a heavy beat with guitars that sing a counter melody to the sultry vocals of Civitas Hall. Suddenly it changes tempo with a funky bass line and then dives into a seductive chorus. The musicianship is incredible - from the vocal work, to the instruments and how their separate "voices" interrelate and come together to form this piece.

"Ashede" is another track I'm particularly fond of with its mysterious, almost East Orient tinged sound set to another funky beat and adorned by the commanding voice of Civitas.Through in some pretty evil laugher and you've won my soul. This is pure Peter Murphy genius - old school that is. Think back to the days when "Bella" was on all the black-lined lips and you'll begin to grasp what this sound "feels" like. Its dangerous and sexy and completely addictive.

The spooky but playful keyboard line (a la something out the Munsters) and bass make "Sealife" one of the lighter and fun songs to listen to. Its infectious and generally has me doing this silly head bobbing dance thing that I don't claim any responsibility for.

And although I'd like to rave about every track on this CD (cause they're *all* wonderful), I'll spare you the long dramatic paragraphs and skip to the song "Flatlined" which is again, another piece of musical mastery. From its tempo changes, sampling, complex bass work, dramatic vocals, and perfect keyboard and guitar accents, this song is something I'd expect from an experienced and time -tested band. To hear this sound coming from a fairly new band gives me goosebumps.

Seek this CD out if you've longed for the days when Goth was new - when Bauhaus and Christian Death brought something unexplainable, raw and succulent to the table. Dies Irae is a new sound for a new generation of goths - but the old feeling is there and it feels as divine as black satin and a windy autumn night.

*Editor's note: since giving birth to this CD, Civitas Hall and JJ Kidder have moved on to follow other pursuits. Benjamin Bacon and Jonathon Ford are back in the studio working on new material. We wish them all the best and continued success and hope to hear from them soon.

-x-mas present
-unbelievers (peleth mix)
-x-mas (magi mix)
-absence version II

Dies Irae on this recording was:
Civitas Hall - vocals
Jonathan Ford - guitars, programming
Benjamin Bacon - bass, samples
JJ Kidder - keyboards, programming

Civitas Hall:

Various Artists
Darken My Fire: A Gothic Tribute To The Doors
~reviewed by Matthew


I am going to apologize now for the length and depth I have gone for this review, but I have a lot to say in regards to this particular release, which I do love despite a few ‘little’ things. I will begin by saying that I have been a Doors fan practically since the age of 3 and I have always believed that The Doors were the first Gothic band. I have been anxiously awaiting this CD, being that it was inevitable since Cleopatra has gone mad with these tribute CDs. I had very high expectations for this CD and felt a genuine rush of excitement when I found it in my mailbox.

One glance at the track listing and my heart was pounding. Some of the biggest acts in the Goth scene appear on this collection, each of them doing a song that perfectly reflected the band’s styles. So I put the CD into my player and cheated, scanning through the CD to see what awaited me. I could not believe what I was hearing.

I really would like to meet the quality control staff of Cleopatra records, because I cannot believe they were 100% satisfied with the renditions of these songs. Many of the bands departed significantly from their roots and characteristic sound to record these songs, and very few of the songs do the bands or The Doors the justice they could have done. I am not saying I disliked this album, but it could have been significantly better. The title alone is deceiving, because ¾ of the material on this album is closer to electronic and Industrial rather than Gothic, which makes absolutely no sense to me when it comes to the dark psychedelic hypnotism that The Doors’ music was known for. Which is the main problem with this disc: all the greatest traditionally Goth Rock bands have abandoned their styles for a synth-pop electronica sound or something and it sounds absolutely ridiculous. The Doors were known for an edgy and unnerving decadence that was apparent even in their most successful and commercial songs. It is apparent only at the heart of this CD and little to nowhere else.

The Mission U.K. open the disc with “Love Me Two Times.” Now, fans of The Mission can undoubtedly envision how cool this could be, with Hussey’s romantic whine and driving Goth rock pop style and the constant flirtatious and sexual themes of his lyrics. This song is a perfect choice for The Mission. But the Mission of old, The Mission responsible for “God’s Own Medicine” and “Children,” is long dead and replaced by a pseudo-electronic dance drenched outfit bearing the same name. The song lacks the power and strength of what Hussey is capable of, which he has proven on the recent come back tour. Why he chose to do this, I do not know and will not claim to.

A band sporting the moniker Eating Crow contributes a rendition of “L.A. Woman” The track was remixed by Kevin Haskins of Bauhaus/Love & Rockets. It is a very cool and hypnotic techno version of the song, but the vocalist kills me. He barely alters his voice and has little if any inflection at all. This COULD have been cool, if somebody bought the vocalist a cup of coffee prior to the recording session.

The electro-metal outfit The Newlydeads appear next with “Hello, I Love You,” which really did nothing for me. The guitars were cool, but again, dammit I love Industrial and techno but for Christ’s sake not when covering The Doors on a “gothic” tribute album.

I could have cried when I heard Alien Sex Fiend’s version of “Five To One.” I mean, I can HEAR this song! I can HEAR this performed with Nik Fiend snarling “Five to one baby! One and five! No one here gets out alive!” But see, again, I guess I am old fashioned because I remember a time when Sex Fiend were raw, edgy, brutal, grating, and violent. Now their music is a bunch of techno beats and electronic noises and samples passing as music. Yes, indeed Nik does sound cool, but the damn song is too many beats a minute and he sounds like he is rushing his way through it. I can accept ASF have changed with the times since they have always been an electronic band of sorts, but Christ, they no longer have the punk rock punch they once had which would have made this song incredible. And only THEY could have done it.

The Electric Hell-Fire Club saves the day with a sensual, erotic paced “Light My Fire.” I actually am quite indifferent to EHFC but this song really kicked my ass. They did it their way, but they still honoured the Doors and did not change the song to sound like some fucking rave or fashion show runway tape.

Spahn Ranch, inarguably the only Industrial/Electronic band on this CD did an awesome version of “Strange Days.” The original song itself was beat driven and dance-friendly, and thus, Spahn Ranch made a damn good choice and it is perfect. Athan filters his voice to have the same distant effect that produced the strange psychedelic atmosphere of the original. Perfect, exactly what I would have imagined.

Ex-Voto follow up with an explosive and wonderfully accurate “Riders On The Storm,” matching the original keyboards almost perfectly yet using synths and pianos and airy Goth rock type sounds. Plus a very dancey drumbeat keeps the mid-paced rhythm. All is well until the singer opens his mouth and he sounds like a lounge singer who took vocal lessons from Kermit The Frog. Again, if someone just would have said “hey your song kicks ass but go back and touch up the vocals a bit!” This song COULD have been another winner.

Mephisto Walz, who always do amazing cover songs, totally kicked my ass with “Peace Frog.” Utter perfection! Christine’s voice sounds great and Bari-Bari’s signature guitars hint psychedelia but scream Goth rock! The chorus is awesome, with watery guitars and perfect tribal Goth drums.

An uncanny version of “The Spy” follows, one of my all time favourite Doors songs covered here by Eerie Von of Samhain/Danzig fame. The song sounds like it was recorded in like, 1983! It is so bloody fucking death rock! I adore it!

Rhea’s Obsession come along and do a great version of another favourite track “End Of the Night.” The original version appeared on the debut Doors CD and is spookier and bleaker than most if not all the musical releases of the entire 1960s! Well, this version of it is very good, hypnotic and completely characteristic of Rhea’s Obsession at their best, however, their version lacks the intensely morose air of the original and instead has a playful and mischievous kinda vibe. But by far one of the best tracks on the CD.

Just when I though the CD only had a rocky start and improved, Controlled Bleeding and their version of “When The Music’s Over” destroys that hope. The music is identical to the Doors, almost to the point of being frightening, but again, yet again, and again: the vocals suck. No one except Brendan Perry can come close to sounding like Morrison, that I realize, but damn, sing the fucking song in key!!

Another disappointment came with Nosferatu’s “People Are Strange.” WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO NOSFERATU?? This is the band that got me INTO Gothic music! “Rise” was the first CD I ever bought from the Cleo label and I cannot believe this is the same band. The song starts off with a techno beat and that techno beat continues through the whole song with various electronic stuff, and then a guitar and vocal that is sort of reminiscent of Nosferatu, but damn what happened to them?!@ Their version of “100 Years” on the Cure tribute made me think that they had hope. But sadly, another early influence has obviously lost their minds.

And speaking of whatever happened to…what happened to Rosetta Stone?? They were so cool and so Goth and then they too got bitten by the techno bug. They close the CD with “The End” which is barely recognizable save for the lyrics, which become sort of lost in the mix by the end of the song. A song that had potential but was covered by the wrong band.

Ok, it comes down to this: this is NOT a bad CD. I do like every song on this CD. They all have their unique and strong points. However, I am both a fan of The Doors and a musician and I am unfortunately cursed with musical vision. I have always wanted to hear Goth bands accent the dirge like, morose, poetic, romantic and stark qualities of the Doors. The Doors can be heard in SO much of yesterday’s and today’s Goth music, but why this was not capitalized upon I do not understand.Instead of taking advantage of so great an opportunity, instead of hearing Gothic elements of The Doors accented, I have been reminded that most Gothic rock and dark Gothic music is being completely obscured and overshadowed by electronic music. But that is another tale all together.

This CD is well worth the buy; it is without question one of the best Cleopatra tribute albums. It is worth a purchase alone for the Mephisto Walz, Spahn Ranch, Hell-Fire Club, Rhea’s Obsession, and Eerie Von tracks. The rest of the CD is just there to irritate and annoy and invoke nostalgia of bands who have lost their fire.

Track List:
1.) THE MISSION U.K. – Love Me Two Times
2.) EATING CROW – L.A. Woman
3.) THE NEWLYDEADS – Hello, I Love You
4.) ALIEN SEX FIEND – Five To One
6.) SPAHN RANCH – Strange Days
7.) EX-VOTO – Riders On The Storm
8.) MEPHISTO WALZ – Peace Frog
9.) EERIE VON – The Spy
10.) RHEA’S OBSESSION – End Of The Night
11.) CONTROLLED BLEEDING – When The Music’s Over
12.) NOSFERATU – People Are Strange
13.) ROSETTA STONE – The End

Cleopatra Records

The Doors Official Site:

In Darkness Let Me Dwell
~reviewed by Kirin

A truly powerful collection of songs, the likes of which I've never heard before. Take all the grace of Arcana and mix it in with the sorrow and passion of artists like Raison d'être, and you'll have an approximation of Die Verbannten. Comparisons could also easily be drawn with some of the older works by Dead Can Dance. Those who seek majesty, dignity, intelligence, and splendour from their music, will be extremely pleased by this release.

Admirers of the work of Percy Bysshe Shelly will be excited by these new, powerful, delicate monsters-- songs crafted through and around his words. If you've found yourself in awe of works by Amber Asylum, Hagalaz Runedance, Elijah's Mantle, or Ulver's "Themes From William Blake's...," definitely treat yourself to this stunning release by Die Verbannten Kinder Evas!

Track Listing:
-Brief Even as Bright
-On A Faded Violet
-Cease Sorrows Now
-In Darkness Let Me Dwell
-Shall I Survive?
-Arise from Dreams of Thee
-From Silent Night

Draenor Productions/Napalm Records America
830 Pacific Ave. Ste. 200
Bremerton, WA 98337

Original Motion Picture Score
The End Of The Affair
Composed & Conducted by Michael Nyman
~reviewed by Matthew

Another example of how schizophrenic my musical tastes are. Noentheless, there is a link of emotional exhaustion and bleak hope in all of it I suppose. Neil Jordan's tragic drama "The End Of The Affair" is the best movie that no one saw in 1999. It is a brooding period film set in World War II England, and centers around the forbidden romance of a young writer (Ralph Fienes) and his neighbour's wife (Julianne Moore.) Moore plays Sarah, the wife of a government official (Stephen Rea) who is good hearted though oblivious to her emotional needs. She finds a cure for that neglect in the arms of Bendrix (Fienes) and the two engage in an intense and passionate love affair that lasts for many months. When Bendrix is wounded severely, Sarah in her grief thinks him dead and makes a plea to God promising that if He let Bendrix live, she will no longer see him and remain faithful to her husband. Almost immediately, Bendrix comes to and Sarah refuses to see him, though doesn't reveal to him the true reason of her indifference. Of course, just to make our hearts even heavier, Sarah learns she is quite ill and her life too is threatened and the film then spirals and ascends on a crash course of somber twists and turns until its heartbreaking finale.

The film touched me deeply, leaving me speechless and in a surreal haze for days. The movie is sincerely perfect in its casting, imagery, and costumes. The intimate scenes in the film are perhaps the most erotic and realistic I have ever seen. The authenticity is astounding in the way the excitement, passion, and guilty awkwardness of infidelity is imposed upon the audience. Yet there is such an element of class to the characters and for them not to be together seems to be more an act of deviance to Fate rather than the sin of adultury. There is a concientious theme of the eternal battle of the sacred and the profane, and the lines are in no way clearly drawn, if not just outright reversed. No matter what kind of experience with love you have in life, you can't help but sympathize with the ill-fated lovers.

Though I realize that this is a CD review, I feel that from the plot, hopefully an idea can be established of what to expect musically. What makes the film even more powerful is this score, composed by Michael Nyman.

With a film like this, it is imperative that the music accompanying the movie accents the mood and is equally as moving. The film itself left me speechless and the score as well invokes the melancholic air of the film perfectly. A gorgeous and simple phrase haunts the entire composition, as an orchestra of strings and the occasional piano invoke beauty in a way that is both rapturous and uplifting and almost unbearibly full of woe. It is quite possibly the most beautiful CD I have heard in months, up there with Ivoux and the last Black Tape For A Blue Girl CD. I am in no way a collector of soundtracks, and my classical music collection is rather embarassing; however, I can say that this is without question a musical masterpiece that needs to be heard by Romantics everywhere. This is the CD to make love to, to chill out to, and above all to become lost in. I recommed this CD and strongly encourage you to see the film when it is released on video. This is the kind of drama and passion that is as rare in life as it is in art.

Track List:
1.) Diary Of Hate
2.) Henry
3.) The First Time
4.) Virgo Passage
5.) Jealous Of The Rain
6.) The Party In Question
7.) Intimacy
8.) Smythe With A "Y"
9.) Dispossessed
10.) Love Doesn't End
11.) Diary Of Love
12.) Breaking The Spell
13.) I Know Your Voice, Sarah
14.) Sarah Dies
15.) The End Of The Affair

~reviewed by Matthew

Sometimes, you come across bands that more often than naught disappoint you, but it is such a wonderful feeling to discover a band that exceeds your expectations and brings delight to your ears. I have to admit, had I seen the CD cover, had I glanced at their photos, and not dismissed some of the unforgivably cheesy theatrics, I would have passed this band off. But luckily for me, I have a friend that is into this crazy European black metal also so he makes me listen to some stuff I normally may not have listened to. EVOL are an eclectic and intellectual band, with a lot of aspiration and talent under their bullet belts. I have rarely heard such a successful blend of Goth metal/rock and Black Metal. Usually one is overshadowed by the other, but there is a nice balance and variety found here.

The CD opens with a symphonic intro with drum machines slowly tapping away behind synths and harpsichord keyboards. The song then moves to the second track, where the same style is employed though some sick and grating male vocals rasp atop the symphonic backdrop. Then track three comes in eventually and goddamn, whether it is the laid back approach on the previous two tracks or not, but EVOL absolutely SHREAD on this particular track, whipping you around in a musical maze of blistering guitars and inhuman drums. It is here where the band first exhibits its talent, and the accent-ridden voice of the lovely Suspira first appears to contrast the daemonic shrieking of Giordano. She at some times reminds me of Lydia Fortner of The Shroud of all things, but definitely a different musical backdrop to say the least.Yet not so much different through in certain passages, and even entire songs. “Inquisition Begins” is an upbeat acoustic guitar and drum interlude that is dripping black with Goth rock elements, with a heavier ending but damn…it was a nice surprise. “Once Upon A Time…”comes along, a lengthy symphonic piece mainly for Suspira, with her reciting an ode to the old ways lost, longing to return to a time before technology came and led men astray from their roots in nature. This seems to be an overall concept in the lyrics and is the foundation of the band’s intellectual, Wordsworthian approach to Nature’s superiority and man’s decline by modern fascination.

The CD continues to just amaze me, with such standout tracks as “Il Principe Di Anghisha,” my favourite track of the entire CD where it seems that all of EVOL’s elements come together to create a strong and memorable atmospheric black metal track. There are several more classical interludes with Suspira’s multi-lingual talents and even a folky tune entitled “Grigia Signora.” But fear not there are still some blistering metallic masterpieces such as “Il Chierico Grigio” and “Tower Of The Necromancer” where the band are tight, galloping, and impressive in their musicianship in uncountable ways.

I think the band needs a bit of re-evaluation in how they present themselves because it does in no way compliment the integrity of their lyrical content nor their musicianship. However, they are very ambitious and are great at what they do. With some revamping, and perhaps blending all the styles they explore to create one original style, EVOL will make a mark upon the scene with their unique and eclectic approach.

Track List:
1.) Ouverture
2.) Portraits
3.) Ancient Abbey
4.) Inquisition Begins
5.) Once Upon A Time…
6.) Il Principe Di Anghisha
7.) March For EVOL
8.) Il Castello Evitato
9.) Il Chierico Grigio
10.) Grigia Signora
11.) Tower Of The Necromancer
12.) Epilogue (Fading Back)

EVOL’s “empire”:
Giordano Bruno: keyboards/vocals
Suspiria – female vocals
Samael Von Martin: guitars, flute, and cymbal
Damian de Saba: drum machine/drums
T-Rex: bass

Official Web Pages: