Cynical Existence – Beholder EP

CEx

With the creative dust of last album Come Out And Play still filling the air in the wake of its release in February, industrial/harsh EBM project Cynical Existence has decided it is time to up the ante and unleash new EP Beholder. Usually you would suggest a band should allow an album to drain all of the acclaim and recognition it deserves before tempting the world with the next release but such the fire and immense step forward in the new EP there is no such sense here. The six track release makes a scintillating companion to the excellent album but at the same time shows that the invention and creativity of Fredrik Croona has already found and explored a deeper darker plateau to take his project to new expansive realms.

As most are probably aware now, Cynical Existence began as a solo project for ex- Project Rotten founder/vocalist Croona who also is the former vocalist of dark electro/industrial act Menschdefekt. Initially just an experiment, the project fuelled itself with the aural invention of the man into a real musical proposition. The excellent 2012 EP A Familiar Kind of Pain instantly setting a place for the band at the head table of the industrial/ebm underground reinforced later in the same year by the following EP Ruined Portrait. It was Come Out And Play though which merged earlier tracks and more recent ones to set a benchmark by which we would grade subsequent releases from Croona. Now with the addition of Steve Alton of UK project System:FX in the studio on guitar in the line-up, Cynical Existence has not only met the bar but surpassed it whilst venturing into another striking depth of exploration.

Opening track The Mindless Filth in many ways is a bridge between releases, its contagious rigid beats and compelling electro

Artwork  by OneTwoTree Designs

Artwork by OneTwoTree Designs

weaves a resonating and thumping puppet master for limbs and emotions demanding dancefloor attention. It has a foot in the infectious commanding call of the last album and its wealth of insatiable board treading irresistibility but equally is set in what emerges in the new release as darker more intense shadowed textures. The variety of vocal from Croona hints at depths within song and release yet to be trodden whilst his synths light the way with acidic radiance and rhythmic temptation. It is a mighty start if arguably what you would expect in quality and direction from the man though he soon sets thoughts facing new ventures with its successor.

Mardröm, meaning nightmare in Swedish, lays down a web of sinister ambience and crystalline electro hints to tempt in thoughts and emotions, its atmosphere sinister and under a veil of shadows before sonic shafts of light break through their cover. Opening up its sinews to their fullest length the oppressive dark corners crowd in to accentuate the elegance and potency of the synths whilst the brewing dark forces seemingly at play with the vocals from Croona, sung in his native tongue, add to the black edged mystique and latent venom prowling the scene. The cleaner delivery alongside the regular rasping serpentine tone of his vocals and the caustic sonic winds which slowly embrace the ear bring further uncertainty to the dangerous atmosphere eventually making the persuasion, and add to the riveting intrigue of the excellent track.

The outstanding Hail To The King Baby takes over next and elevates things to yet another level of pleasure and invention. Initialising attention with computer game teasing and atmosphere, which continues throughout with samples from Duke Nukem also employed, the track is an unrelenting ride through corridors of impending walls and hidden intimidation, its ride twisting and turning down avenues of sonic and melodic enterprise. Imagine games where you are on a constant run and are persistently changing direction to face more options and suspected dangers, like life really, this track is the equivalent with its imagination.

The Beginning Of The End continues the striking height of its predecessor, firstly by knocking at the ear with a hollow like voice to its call and then by reaping the seeds of those earlier nightmares to breed a wash of rhythmic provocation and evocative melodic intrusion, the haunting consumption seducing and threatening every pore and thought whilst the beats tease and taunt the whole intimidation. The guitar of Alton equally riles up the situation to reward the listener even further within the thoroughly thrilling and incendiary incitement of emotions and fears.

The release closes with firstly Draining Me featuring Russian project Freaky Mind and lastly Wake Up Call featuring the guest vocals of Sindelle Morte of Scream Machine. The first of the two is like a rumbling storm in the distance, its throaty hunger residing in its electro honed skies but making known its intent through the rhythms and oppressing ambience, whilst the second is a doomy crawl with funereal breath to its mesmerising and enveloping intent. The mix of vocals between Croona and Morte works a treat, her shadow dwelling melodic whispers lighting up the darker tones of the narrative and its realisation.

It is fair to say that Beholder needs more time to make its full and lingering persuasion compared to previous Cynical Existence releases but in return for the intensive focus rewards in ways the others never dreamed of. It is an outstanding encounter which only excites anticipation for one hope what will be a deeper investigation of the dark plains started here.

https://www.facebook.com/cynical.existence.official

9/10

RingMaster 23/05/2013

 

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Interview with Darvius Noctem of Days Of Our Decay

Brought together by Cosmo Morte of US band Scream Machine, we had the pleasure of meeting Darvius Noctem of Canadian goth/black/industrial metal band Days Of Our Decay and reviewing the excellent album Electric Twilight which was released a few weeks ago. With a rich mix of flavours reminding of the likes of Rammstein, Deathstars, Dimmu Borgir, Type O Negative, and Sisters Of Mercy, as well as unique and vibrant imagination of its own it was a release that found a firm place on our playlists. Wanting to know more about the band and the great creativity brought forth by Days Of Our Decay we threw a flurry of questions the way of Darvius and he graciously revealed all.

Hi Darvius welcome to The RingMaster Review and many thanks for talking with us.

Firstly could you just tell us about yourself?

Man, you gave me the hard question first.  I am so horrible talking about myself, but I think my Facebook “about me” section sums it up.   Here goes…

I draw stuff and occasionally get paid for it. I also compose and play music, but usually don’t get paid for that. Sometimes I collaborate with other musicians for various projects. I end up talking to myself a lot because no one really listens to me to begin with. I hate most things, particularly: people, religion, and summer. Most people often mistake me for a “snob” when I am actually a misanthrope. I’m extremely opinionated and often voice my opinions, which usually get me into some degree of trouble. I have a dry, morbid sense of humour, but I am usually the only one laughing.

What is your musical history before Days Of Our Decay?

I started playing guitar when I was 15 or 16, but just couldn’t really get into it and moved on to learn bass, drums and then keyboard.  I took piano in high school but never really took it seriously until just before I started Days Of Our Decay.  During high school I played in a really lame electronic/rock/metal/experimental band called: The Spacemen On Vacation.  Later on in my early 20’s I joined my friends’ band: Malice.  It was more of a nu-metal influenced band in the same vein as bands like Coal Chamber, Spineshank, etc.  Initially, I played drums and then moved into the keyboard and bass position just before the other guys called it quits, which is then when I started Days Of Our Decay.

Days of Our Decay was initially and in many ways still is a solo project?

I started the band and wrote a few songs, but wanted to get my ex band  mates from Malice to join and contribute, but due to our life schedules and one of the members alcoholism, it ended up just becoming my solo project, and in many ways it still is a solo project.  I have had many different people in and out of the band over the years, but the only other official member is Demonika Demise.  Most of the past members were just brought in so we could play shows.  I recorded some demos and alternate versions of songs with a lot of the past members, but none of the final songs included them.  There are some demo cds and a live cd floating around – I will tell you that.

What was the intent and spark behind starting the project for you?

I wanted to have a rock/metal influenced band that was really keyboard savvy.  The thing that annoyed me the most in metal and rock is that the keyboards were always mixed so low, or just so minimal, so I wanted to have a band that featured keyboards as the driving instrument.  In addition, I am really attracted to dark music, whether it is heavy or soft, which is something I also wanted to incorporate into my project.   Ultimately, I wanted to create a sound that I wanted to hear in music, from a listener perspective, and at the same time, I wanted something that didn’t take itself too seriously.

You have self termed it “Elevator Music For The Dying!” could you elaborate on that and did that apply to your music from the very beginning? I ask as I know you had a later album with the term as its title.

It was originally a line from a poem/song I wrote in my late teens and I thought it was just something silly and over the top, and just decided to run with it.  The term did apply from the beginning.  In regards to the album:  Elevator Music For The Dying, it kind of summed up every aspect of the band at the time and prior to that.  That album was more or less an end of an era and Graveyard Superstar was the first album of the new era.  It’s ultimately still “Elevator Music For The Dying” it’s just expanded a bit more, I think.

 From what I know of your music you are unafraid to explore your own and the music’s boundaries?

Umm, sort of.  I don’t stray much from my trademark style, but I am always trying to incorporate new elements per song or album.   Overall, I just try to write and play what comes natural at the time.  That’s also easier said than done.  I tend to over think everything.   Sometimes I write a riff or a song and have to think “Did I write that riff before?” or “Does this song sound too much like this one?” etc.

You are quite prolific release wise especially in recent times and I know people have commented on that to you but I get the sense whereas other musicians might do the same but just throw everything out they create whatever the standard you have a disciplined and strict standard you place upon your work and maybe discard songs as many as you release?

Definitely, for every album I generally write and record up to 20+ songs and narrow it down to the best 11 or 12.  It’s hard to determine what makes the cut until the end because each song means something to me, but I try and make each album as dynamic as I can and have it flow really well from beginning to end.  I always second guess myself though because you never know what songs are gonna connect with people.  I find that most of my favourites are people’s least favourites and vice versa.  One of these days I might just make an album of songs that I hate and maybe everyone will love it and it will be a big hit.

Is creating music the first and last thought for you each and every day?

Sometimes.  I think about drawing and art just as much.  Sometimes I write songs in my dreams.  No joke.  I wrote 2 songs from how I remembered them in my dream.  One was called:  “The Letter And The Ghost” and the other was called: “Gift.”

As you mentioned you work with Demonika Demise in the band and though she is mentioned as a backing singer she brings a lot more than her vocal skills to the project?

I think of her vocals as more of an instrument, rather than a backing singer.  It’s a complete contrast to my vocals, but somehow they seem to work well together.   I think that if I sang more conventional or if she sang more unconventional, it wouldn’t work.  In addition, she helps me with some of the final mixes.

How did you both meet?

We met online in December, 2006 when I was living in Minneapolis.  We got engaged and I moved to Canada in 2007 and the rest, they say, is history.

Does she get involved with the initial songwriting?

Haha, no, not at all.  She admits that she is not a songwriter.  She understands this is more my project and doesn’t want to interfere with that.  She has helped with a few parts though.  She helped me revamp an old song and she wrote a choir part to the intro/verse of our song:  The Dark Gift.

We have had a discussion about bands that people compare your music to rightly or wrongly so what are your major influences and which ones do you think have most added texture to your ideas and sound direction?

I`d say that our biggest influences that helped shape our sound would be: Deathstars, Type O Negative, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein, Dimmu Borgir, Nightwish, She Wants Revenge, Sisters Of Mercy, Diary of Dreams, and The 69 Eyes.  Demonika’s influences are roughly the same as mine, but she is really influenced by more female -vocal oriented stuff like: Tarja Turunen, Evanescence, We Are The Fallen, etc.

I know Marilyn Manson is mentioned a lot when talking about your music especially vocally though I do not see it; does this get a bit tedious?

You are probably one of the only people who don’t see it, haha.  That’s cool though.  Overall, it does get tedious, but I usually find that it`s mostly from people who don`t know of any other darker- type bands, and since Manson is so mainstream, everyone just associates me with him.  I admit that I think our singing techniques are fairly similar from the raspy-ness in our voices and how we drag our notes, but if someone were to listen to us back to back, they would notice drastic differences.  I suppose at the same time, if someone compares us to Manson in a complementary way, I don`t get offended or anything, haha.

Always late to the party haha our introduction to you came with the great Electric Twilight which came out earlier this year. You first started making music for Days Of Our Decay with your first release The Devil’s Concubine appearing in 2005 I believe? How has your music evolved through the past decade and you as a musician and songwriter?

Yep, I wrote Devil`s Concubine back in 2005, but rerecorded for world release in 2007, and to also include Demonika Demise, as she was not on the original recordings of the first 2 albums.  Over that course of time, my songwriting and composing has gotten so much more refined and mature.  I can play stuff now that I could never play years ago.  We integrated new elements over the years and gradually got away from a lot of the `metal` aspects in our initial sound.  However, that will always be there in some form or another, I think, which is cool.  The production has greatly improved over the years for sure.  Even our vocals have changed and matured, quite a bit.  In the early albums it was about 50/50 singing to screaming, whereas now, I barely scream anymore.  Our vocal accuracy has greatly improved as well.  In a lot of ways we simplified and in other ways we expanded from the drums to the keyboards and all the sounds in between.  It was just a natural progression, I think.  I also managed to learn how to create and define a “mood” for a particular song much better.  Before it was just playing notes and making riffs.  For Graveyard Superstar, we started incorporating more guitar-synths and simpler compositions, as compared to our older work.  At this point, I can barely listen to our first handful of albums without cringing. 

Your website http://daysofourdecay.yolasite.com suggests you have already three more albums planned for the rest of the year and into 2013, are you that far ahead or is this just planned targets?

Ever since 2009 we have been 2 or more albums ahead of schedule (so to speak).  Keep in mind, we have been this far ahead even with me scrapping lots of songs.  I work extremely fast and can put out 1-2 finished songs per week.  If I were to die or end the band today, there would be a good 5 albums ready to go.  We’d be like the Tupac of the gothic rock world – dead, but still coming out with albums!

How do you create your music, what most often comes first and how do you develop these seeds?

I usually sit around and think to myself, “What would people really NOT want to hear.”

I’m usually inspired by a song, whether it is good or bad, or some kind of mood or feeling and then I sit at my keyboards and see what comes out.  I have spent hours just messing around with keyboard riffs and ideas, but usually I try and get the music to the chorus part done first and build the rest of the song around that.  A lot of times it doesn’t work that way, but that is initially how I start.  Once I finish writing and recording the main keyboard part, I fill in the rest of the sounds.  The drums usually come together last, as far as the music goes.  99% of the time, the lyrics and vocals are written and arranged after the music has been finalized.  I hate writing lyrics though, yet, ironically I spend a lot of time working on them.  It’s like an organized chaos and sometimes a warzone when I am writing a song.

You produce and mix your own releases too?

Yep.  I have the most unconventional equipment set up, but somehow it works for us.

How do stop yourself from getting too close in that department when you are doing every aspect of the music, do you have an outside ear to offer thoughts and ideas around too? Demonika maybe?

Exactly!  You hit the nail on the head, my friend.  I have to step away from it a lot and have Demonika take a listen.  Aside from her, I don’t want any outside influence because I don’t want to feel like I have to compromise what I do to appease someone.  Occasionally, I will ask my friends what they think of a particular mix or song, but that’s it.

How do you set up your live shows, still just the two of you?

It has changed for every show.  For the first 3 shows, we had a full line up (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums), without using any kind of backing tracks, but when I moved to Canada, we got booked for a show and I couldn’t secure a line up, so I had to resort to having our music (keyboards and drums) backtracked with Demonika and myself on vocals (respectively).  Honestly, I had so many problems with live musicians in the past, that we decided to keep the backtracks and go from there.  Some people might see that as unethical, but whatever.  The music is all created electronically, and unfortunately I can’t sing and play keyboard at the same time, so we have to resort to extreme measures to play shows.  Demonika doesn’t want to play shows anymore, and honestly, neither do I.  However, I get that “itch” from time to time, so if we play any shows in the future it will just be me and my lap top on stage.  I am also considering doing “internet shows” so people from all over the world can check it out, being as most of our fans are either in Europe or the U.S.

Is there a good audience for goth/black/industrial metal in Canada and especially Ontario where you are from?

Not at all.  We constantly get the cold shoulder from promoters around here, as well as bands, and just people in, general.  Most of the people around here just hate our style of music.  It’s really discouraging and disappointing.  The main thing is that it’s so divided here between crowds/scenes.  To make it in a band around here you either have to play really banal sounding hardcore/metal or classic rock and country.  There is no in between.  With most of our past shows, we’d get booked to play with all metal/hardcore bands, and that crowd is definitely not our demographic, to say the least.  Our last show we ended up opening for a blues, cover band.

Can we move on to the great art work to your albums, that is all your work too I believe?

Yes, indeed!

How long have you been creating art and is it an important part of the whole music experience you bring to your releases?

I have been an artist way longer than I have been a musician.  I have been creating art since I was a little kid.  I think my art is really contrasting to my music, but I think they work well together as a package deal.

What are your inspirations in this aspect of your skills?

I’d say mostly:  Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Joan Miro.

I am sure I am wrong but I just have this thought there is a link or theme running through your art which wraps around your releases?

Well, the art you see is just my style, so all of my pieces have a unique, ongoing look and theme.  For album covers, I generally just choose a piece that seems to fit for that particular album.

Apart from your album sleeves you do not have a gallery for your work on the website so where can people see more of your art?

Thanks for asking. Yes, I do:  https://www.facebook.com/visualdecadenceofficial

Does the art come after the music when creating music or arrive hand in hand?

No, I do art and music completely separate.  However, a song title has been known to influence a piece of artwork.

Which receives the priority of your time music or painting?

I’d say it’s about 50/50 give or take.  Some days I work on music all day and vice versa.

When can we get our ears and thoughts into your next album?

“Master Of Funerals” will be the next album, which we are planning for Halloween this year (2012).

Once again a great many thanks for sharing time with us.

Would you like to leave with a final thought or comment?

It’s not how much Crown [Crown Royal] you can drink, it’s how much ass you can get while drinking Crown.  I believe Vinnie Paul said that or something like that.  In regards to the music and art, you can download most of our albums on our website and tell all your friends (who might like us) to ‘like’ us on Facebook and spread the decay.

https://www.facebook.com/daysofourdecay

Read the review of Electric Twilight @

The RingMaster Review 16/05/2012

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Scream Machine: Worlds Collide & Heavy

Following up their successful and acclaimed double album The Chronicles of Sin earlier in the year the hell rock/industrial band Scream Machine return with their new double a-sided single Worlds Collide & Heavy, and what an infectious little soul grasping creature it is. The Chronicles of Sin within its mighty and bulky mass brought forth the ever infectious and dark energy of the band but also sent sparks of new directions and ideas to brew up an intriguing and satisfying mix. The new single takes a further step as the band explores an openly lighter melodic path littered with shadows and evocative darkened essences.

From Washington DC, the husband and wife duo of Sindelle and Cosmo Morte have been challenging and thrilling dark electro/industrial rock hearts through the impressive likes of Electrowitch and Zero to name just two of their provocative albums. Never ones to sink into formulaic familiarity or rest on laurels the pair have opened up a new avenue with the single to inspire a fresh anticipation and eagerness for future creations. Both songs lie somewhere in between recent Scream Machine songs and the solo project of Sindelle, godMONSTER, especially Heavy with its thick enveloping atmosphere.

Worlds Collide opens with a brooding ominous swell of sounds, its electro clasp building the sense of an impending dynamic intervention in sound and premise, two volatile emotional forces set to clash with blistering resonance.  For existing fans to the band the notable thing are the vocals of Sindelle, she has swapped her impressive aggressive and senses antagonising attack for a warm flowing delivery, on both songs she allows her natural singing voice to explore the music and it is strikingly pleasing and impressive. The track is as impactful as anything the band has done before, the new flavouring assisting rather than diminishing the intense consumption and impact the pair always unleash. Worlds Collide boils up the further it progresses to take us aboard the delicious and irresistible yet cataclysmic ride for the relationship within.

The accompanying Heavy blisters the ear with a rain of sonically spawn melodic shards of delight.  There is an almost medieval feel to the sounds, elements the likes of progressive bands  Hawkwind and Horslips would infuse in their music. The song is based in repetition bringing an insatiable siren quality to lyrics and the crawling drone spiced sounds which consume and immerse the ear. A perfect example of infusing light and darkness, Heavy is an ambient cloak for every emotion whether from the brightest skies or deepest pit, a soundtrack to fuel and encapsulate any heart.

Worlds Collide & Heavy is exceptional, a return to the inciteful and imaginative vision they are known for not that they had drifted far from that expected element. The single shows Scream Machine as a band unafraid to stretch themselves and explore their depths and one can only hope the essences unveiled upon the single find a constant place upon their inventive canvas.

The single is a name your price release and a must investigate for all electro/industrial/EBM, melodic…well for everyone. grin We recommend you check out and grab Worlds Collide & Heavy  at http://screammachinedc.bandcamp.com/album/worlds-collide-heavy-single and with a knowing smile and mischievous remind a certain person, told you so.

Ringmaster 15/05/2012

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Interview with Fredrik Croona (Cynical Existence)

shot taken by Martin Tzr Niklasson- http://www.tzr.se — with Iva Insane and Psylocke.

Already well respected from his work with Menschdefekt and with his band Project Rotten let alone numerous other collaborations and projects, Fredrik Croona brought another absorbing, impactful, and stirring release to incite our hearts from his new project Cynical Existence  in the shape of its debut album A Familiar Kind of Pain. A release of harsh EBM and dark electro might and infection the new album continues the impressive contribution and creativity of Fredrik that has installed him as one of the more inspirational and notable people in the genres and subgenres his projects easily envelope. We had the pleasure of Fredrik agreeing to answer our questions so we could find out more about him and his music.

Hi Fredrik, many thanks for taking time to talk with us.

Firstly tell us not about the musician but about the man Fredrik Croona.

Well, what can I say? I am a normal guy who has a day time job trying to earn enough to make a living. When I don’t do that I prefer to play video games and go to the gym and pretend to be a strong muscular dude. I am pretty much a nerd.

The first introduction to you for many of us was when you joined Menschdefekt in 2009, is there a musical history before that point for you?

I started out as a vocalist in a heavy metal/new metal band back in 2003 and after that I was a vocalist in a death metal band and some minor short lived dark electro/darkwave projects. I doubt that anyone heard about these bands besides my close friends, cause we never got past the demo stages and only performed live in my home town of Gothenburg.

How did your union with Dominik R. in the band come about?

I think those who know me well enough know that I have a passion to start side projects or collaborations with other artists and I was actually surfing around Myspace and found Menschdefekt and Dominik was holding some kind of competition for a vocalist who wanted to try to write lyrics and do vocals for a track (I forgot the name of it). I wasn’t into it at first but I thought hell why not? And Dominik loved my vocals and lyrics and wanted me to join as full time vocalist.

Next you formed Project Rotten alongside Menschdefekt for your solo work, what did you want to experiment with and create that was different to Menschdefekt?

First off I wanted to make something myself, or at least try but I failed. I made two tracks myself which were pretty terrible in all aspects of both music and vocals and so I got a guy called Jan to join me, cause I needed help. And after that Kettil joined and helped improve the music drastically. In the end I wanted something more raw and sinister than Menschdefekt.

I would say that everything but the vocals is different. In CE everything is created and produced by me and this in return makes me create anything I want to create. I have total control and nobody can tell me what to do and not to do (not saying that is the case with Project Rotten). But still there is more freedom this way.

You are no longer involved with Menschdefekt, was this because of the demands of working two bands or that Project Rotten was naturally pulling in all your creative energy into itself to leave less than you wished for Menschdefekt?

My biggest problem with Menschdefekt was that it was stealing too much attention from Project Rotten and the sound didn’t evolve too much in my ears. I always strive to evolve and so does Kettil and we want the same things. It’s easier to work this way and I still make the final mixes in Project Rotten so I can make it sound the way I want it to. Dominik is a great musician and I had lots of fun in Menschdefekt but it got to a point where I couldn’t evolve with it anymore so I had to cut it off.

What have and do the three bands differ in and offer distinctly differently to your creative ideas and craft

Menschdefekt was focused on catchy hook lines and themes about war, corruption and human decay.

Project Rotten was based on fiction and horror with heavy beats and dark aggressive music (which has evolved into a more club oriented sound).

Cynical Existence is a personal project with a lot of feelings and lyrics about past experiences etc and it’s whatever I want it to be. One track can be a bit future pop-ish and one can be really dark and aggressive. I have no boundaries to what I create.

With Project Rotten and Cynical Existence is there sometimes a battle within you over which gets priority over a new idea you have?

Nah, Kettil is the musical drive behind PR so if there would be a battle it would be for the lyrics. Both bands are equal for me and I don’t see a problem or a battle amongst them. If there comes a time when I have to choose *I would probably merge both bands into one instead.

How do you create your music generally?

I boot up cubase and start a VST and just write and move around and try different things. I never know what to do until I do it.

How many times have you thought of something that you think will work in a track but not been near anything to record it and then for it ultimately to disappear from memory by the time you are haha?

Oh shit, well that is a hard question. I would probably say one too many ;). Worst part is when you are at work and you think of something and when you get home it’s just gone.

With Cynical Existence the band bio states the goal for the band was to create a form of ‘old school’ harsh EBM and industrial “ with a more personal touch and emotions infused into it.” Could you expand on the personal and emotional elements and how these differs from what you have brought through with Project Rotten?

Like I stated before, Project Rotten was mostly about fiction and horror and the new songs are more sarcastic and with a lot of dark humour. Cynical Existence is more personal because I write things that are close to me and the music probably reflects that also. I hate the terms Cyber and Hellectro. I call it harsh ebm or dark electro cause that is what it is. It has nothing to do with cyberspace or dystopia or hell, this is what makes it special to me.

A Familiar Kind Of Pain is the debut Cynical Existence album and one we loved. How long was it in the making and has the sounds and idea behind it been around longer than the project?

Should I really spill my beans about this ;)? The EP is actually a mini CD. But it took me about 3 months to make, maybe even less. When I have my creative drive I can write A LOT. Mind you a lot has been thrown away.

Did A Familiar Kind Of Pain change and evolve by the finished album much from your original ideas and vision?

I didn’t really have an idea. I just wanted to try and create music. As I stated before I did two songs back in 2009 but they were just arpeggios and sequencers so they don’t count. This time around I just wanted to create and see what I could do. I want to create varied tracks with different feelings for the EP and I think I managed to do it.

Is there a theme or continuing essence behind the EP, or is this the personal part of you that we feel linking the songs?

Hmm not really, I just wanted every track to sound a bit different to see what I could make; I wanted variation and see how far I could go without going too far.

Is Cynical Existence something you see becoming an active live band like Project Rotten or remain a recording vehicle for your dark electro and harsh EBM ideas?

Hell yes! I already played live once and will be standing on stage again in about 2 months. So I will be playing live for sure.

In a genre where it seems that fans and some artists are almost intolerant of certain sounds, and sub styles within the vast industrial world, what were you expecting response wise from your fans to something  openly different to Project Rotten?

I wasn’t expecting anything to be honest. I mean I didn’t even think I could make a album and release it but I did. I create music for myself and if people like it that is awesome but in the end as long as I like it it’s ok. This is for me in the end. It might sound egoistic but if not for me, then who else?

How do you view industrial right now, it almost seems a volatile environment to be making music within?

A lot of people are whiny bitches to be honest, both artists and people alike. I don’t really listen to industrial music myself and don’t keep up with the scene. But I still love the scene who likes and appreciates what you do, why waste energy on the others?

What inspires your music and ideas, and does it differ from the different bands you have been and are involved in?

Everyday life and my personal feelings. I think it does because this is on a very personal level and I am there from start to finish.

What are the biggest influences that have crossed into all your work?

I have no idea, there are some bands I really got influenced by in my early electro years, but before that it was metal. Now I don’t really know. It’s a very hard question.

Apart from the bands we have mentioned what else are you involved with? We know you also collaborate with other artists like one of our favourites Scream Machine.

Well as of right now I am working on the vocals for the Mexican dark electro band Anamadim, besides that it’s kind of quiet. I don’t really have time or energy to waste on other things at the moment because of PR and CE. Got two album in the works to finish this year.

With the internet collaborations are much easier to engineer and do, but do you think it also from the fact that people do not even need to be in the same country to create music together that it can lose the naturally instinctive essences one finds from all being together side by side working?

I don’t think it’s matter if you are there or not. As long as you have a connection with the other part and you both have the same drive and passion I don’t see a reason why it should differ from working next to each other in real life. Internet creates huge possibilities that we couldn’t even dream about 15 years ago.

What is next for you?

To get my albums ready and prepare to release them onto the world so stay tuned!

A big thank you for taking time to talk with us, it is very much appreciated.

Would you like to end with any last thoughts about anything?

Even if it seems that I don’t have much love for the industrial scene I actually do. The fans and people who support us bands those are the people I give my love to. The others can fuck off and die! Thank you!

Read the A Familiar Kind Of Pain review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/cynical-existence-a-familiar-kind-of-pain/

The RingMaster Review 30/04/2012

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Cynical Existence – A Familiar Kind of Pain

Photo - Martin Tzr Niklasson

Anything with the name Fredrik Croona attached and it is worth more than just a cursory glance, as chances are you will be delving into something that in the very least will rile up the senses and inflame the darkest corners of the soul. With his new solo project Cynical Existence he does that and much more. A Familiar Kind of Pain is the debut EP from the venture and a release that invades and clings with the greatest of satisfaction whilst twisting and manipulating for the deepest pleasure. Across eight tracks the release rampages and stomps incessantly, and from start to finish provokes and taunts to inflame the ear and far beyond every second of the way.

From Göteborg, Sweden, Croona has constantly kept the ears of industrial and ebm fans challenged and fulfilled as formerly part of Menschdefekt and more distinctly since with his band Project Rotten, as well as collaborations with varied artists most recently with the likes of Washington duo Scream Machine. He began Cynical Existence in 2011 with the intent of bringing old school harsh ebm and industrial into a more emotionally driven sphere. Croona himself states that the project “does not intend to create something new and unique, just something personal.” Released April 1st on dark electro label Engraved Ritual the release leaps at the ear with an intention and passion that can only be organically inspired from within, its infectious conjurations forging a deep and unrelenting connection to its listeners.

The EP opens with Always and Forever’a pulsating and bewitching track which paces itself from the off. Straining at but never let off the lease the song taunts and prowls around the ear, its dark electro veins twitching around crystalline flashes of sound and resourceful melodic infections which finger the senses with acidic energy. The song is a strong opener if not one to overload the senses, that pleasure is left for the following tracks to bring.

A Familiar Kind Of Pain leaves no emotion and feeling untouched or scorched. The likes of the mesmeric and shadowed Dead Eyes (See No Future), Release Me a song that lays wanton and intrusive razorblade sharp melodies through the ear before expanding into migraine inciting heavy cranial thumping like a aural version of Scanners, and the blackened recessed Licking My Skin all gather one up with a leech like grip and consumption which is glorious. Varied and unpredictable the release drains and ignites the senses at the same time, the result an irresistible experience that though one is left a lifeless shell has to dive right back into the experience immediately again.

The EP grips hard and impressively from the off and only ascends from there on in but there are two tracks which make the release an essential have alone. Insecure is a snake charmer of a song. It hypnotises and captivates with dazzling and caustic melodies that exploit and incite limbs and heart into capitulation whilst stomping with thunderous beats on a shattered body. It is a deranged puppeteer with the devil in its soul and probably the best song heard in a long time anywhere. Paradox comes very close to rivalling it though with its anthemic fist thrusting unrelenting heavy electro raging. The song sweeps one up in its surging waves of blood pumping energy whilst all the time plundering and blistering the ear with tempestuous slithers of lethal melodies and delicious sonic molestations.

A Familiar Kind Of Pain is immense, a stunning play with light and dark in sound, emotion, and heart. It avoids any formulaic moments by sheer ingenuity and the allowing of instinctive thought and emotions to drive its course. Without taking away from his fine musical exploits to date this might well be Fredrik Croonas finest moment, it is certainly one of the best things to hit the genre in a long time.

RingMaster 14/03/2012

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godMONSTER – Statik Utopia

A couple of months back a slightly surprising and totally exciting release shone in the shape of The Dischordian Society EP from US band godMONSTER.  It was a debut release that caressed the ear with ambient and emotive soundscapes that soothed and provoked.  godMONSTER the solo project from Sindelle Morte one half of impressive industrial hellrock duo Scream Machine, left many who were definite disciples to their harsh and provocative sounds open mouthed and enthralled by her elegant tapestry of captivating and fertile instrumental music. With her new album they are sure to be smiling broadly.

Statik Utopia sees Sindelle unveiling more of her expansive and equally intimate sounds, bringing ten pieces of expressive aural imagery that invoke and inspire. As with the EP the album consists of music that wraps itself around the listener permeating thoughts and senses with darkly macabre spiced vibrant sounds that light up the ear and beyond whilst inducing dark elements and feelings to keep one wary and mesmerised. In the band’s bio Sindelle states “godMONSTER was created as an opposing force to balance out the aggressive assault of Scream Machine. It’s different in that it is more about catching a feeling and holding it, rather than screaming it out.” This sums up the music perfectly and though it is not as challenging or intrusive as the sounds she is known for it is an equal in drawing feelings and emotions from its recipients to feel an experience that is lasting and pronounced. 

The great thing about the music is it is open to individual interpretation, the compositions themed but emotively inviting to each to find their own personal and singular feelings and vision. There is also an engaging contradictory feel across the whole release too, the darker tones and imaginations brought forth with a vibrancy and glow of light that provokes and emotionally incites. Opening track ‘Funeral March’ is a wonderful example, its dark electro opening pulsating and addictive to lead in a mournful flow that is countered by a siren like melodic palpitation that is hypnotic, its beckoning light smiling against the deep blackness. It gives a “Something wicked this way comes feel” in the same way the darkness invites and captivates one in to its dark depths.

Suicide Symphony’ is another stunning example and the favoured track here. Again darkly themed its senses manipulating wicked touch fuelled by a rousing melodic beauty that lightens up the shadows. Though I know the composer will not have intended it or agree the song gives a calming grace and eloquence to the act and subject of the song that can evolve but few see.

Each piece of ambient joy is emotionally and aurally satisfying, the album working as a whole or in its individual movements as an animated symphony of spellbinding harmonies and enthralling creativity. Statik Utopia beguiles with hex like charm throughout and an at times subtle varied imagination. From ‘Ghost Walker’ and its beacon like harmonic light within pressing shadows, ‘Requiem Of Sorrow’ giving a melancholic ambience that permeates every welcoming sense, to the chilled flight through the radiant beauty of ‘Night Passage‘ and its emotive search and hopeful quest, the album explores and pleasure every corner of the mind and heart.

Statik Utopia is a wonderful album of sonic soundscapes carrying a rich ambience that nourishes the heart and inflames the senses. Exquisitely crafted the spread of musical colours tinged with a dark enticement devours as it pleasures to ensure genuine relish and deep contentment.

To find out more and future projects as well as to download Statik Utopia for free go to the brand new label of godMONSTER and Scream Machine Digital Pain Productions  @  http://digitalpain.moonfruit.com/

RingMaster 11/12/2011

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godMONSTER - Funeral March

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godMONSTER – The Discordian Society

For the past three years there has been a constantly growing underground force within the industrial scene in the shape of the Washington hell rock band Scream Machine. A greater intense awareness in 2011 has seen their ‘stock’ leap in recognition and acclaim as an ever increasing fan base discovers their dark flavoured charms and notable exponents of the industrial scene eager to use their formidable skills. Now hot out of the studio arrives The Discordian Society, the first EP from one half of Scream Machine Sindelle Morte, with her new side-project godMONSTER.

Anyone expecting the challenging and sinister, hellish sounds from her ‘day job’ think again, with godMONSTER Sindelle takes the listener on a rewarding journey through her thought provoking and expressive soundscapes. Where with her Scream Machine persona Sindelle stands and defiantly portrays each songs premise, theme and controversial statements musically and verbally directly and forcibly, here she crafts songs that wrap themselves around the listener, ambient and emotive caresses spiced with dark macabre elements that frequent her musical world.

The Discordian Society delivers five distinctly varied and immense tracks that induce imagery and take thoughts down to the shadowed terrains explored by the sound. The songs individually play on an emotive feeling and instead of swiftly stretching and bringing in associate elements they centre on the one thing examining as well as inciting the listener to themselves consider and become part of the whole experience.

The EP opens with the dark exuberance of ‘Grind’, a track that from the moment its resonating beats throb and spread their welcoming fingers thrills and excites in equal measure. The song is an immediate statement that this is something completely different from Sindelle’s fertile mind and also proof of what many have suspected for a while that there is a much larger pool of creativity within her. The track plays with what its title states but carries the lure of the captivating darkness all sweet evils instinctively have.

Gravedancer’s Nocturne’ takes the stage next with a vibrant swirl of electronic beauty recalling the likes of Landscape and very early Ministry with its delightful swells and hooks. As with the first and revealed in the subsequent songs, Sindelle reduces her vocals to an additional instrument rather than a focal point and it works wonderfully. The music alone provides all the weaponry to inspire and render the emotion and content the song has, the songs audio imagery of the strongest level.

Digital Waste’ is the one track that carries a more tangible link to the sound of Scream Machine, its poignant musical cybernetic commentary as powerful as any spoken scathing word; the heady throaty bass sound that storms through the track is brutal and glorious in equal measure too and demands repeat play within seconds of its close.

The remaining tracks ‘Necromancer’ and ‘Zombie Fantasy’ bring a mellower ambience and dare one say tenderness that the electro witch hides well in her other musical guise. This is not to say the songs are soft or less powerful in effect rather they reflect the thoughtful and layered creativity that her more direct work shields without a concentrated focus. The two songs play like a duo the first casting the melodic spell to enable the latter to lay its mesmerising dance at our ears.

The Discordian Society is a fascinating and beguiling joy that will pleasure anyone’s ear and senses. Its creativity and inspiring sounds plays like a kaleidoscope of musical colours tinged with a dark essence that intrigues and feeds all caliginous hearts.

To find out more and future projects as well as to download The Discordian Society for free go to the brand new label of godMONSTER and Scream machine Digital Pain Productions  http://digitalpain.moonfruit.com/

RingMaster 01/09/2011

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