It seems impossible that it was five years ago that we, as so many others, were seduced by the shadowed clad, blood strewn creative world of dark seductiveness of Venus de Vilo through the Edgar Allan Ho EP. It is in some ways still a relatively undiscovered but certainly a revered and acclaimed gem by those in the know, and was the prelude to equally compelling tales of dark deeds, shadowed carnivals, blood drenched burlesques, and dead borne vaudevilles in songs, literature, and art by the Irish songstress ever since. This October on Friday 13th, its release is celebrated by the artist in union with the great independent label, Undead Artists, with the unveiling of the 5th Anniversary Edition of Edgar Allan Ho.
Hailing from Dublin, Venus has frequently lit up rock/metal bars, Burlesque and Cabaret nights, open mic nights, and other numerous venues around her home city and further afield with her Goth-Shock anthems since emerging around 2011. The release of Edgar Allan Ho in 2012 saw fan and online radio attention gather with plaudits to the fore, our own podcasts eagerly among them with all persistently enthralled by subsequent encounters with singles, EPs, words, and comic books alike.
Venus is like a sultry vampiric temptress bred from artistic alchemy raised from the fire of Imelda May, the snarl of Wanda Jackson, and the energy of Fay Fife with a pinch of the rock ‘n’ roll infection Horrorpops for good measure. Edgar Allan Ho soon revealed though she is as unique as they come, all those essences rich hues in her own kaleidoscopic imagination and sound.
The Anniversary Edition of Edgar Allan Ho as well as regaling in the original tracks also features remixes and covers of its songs by notorious Gothic-Industrial, Cabaret Noir and Alternative musicians, unique artwork by some of the best underground horror artists inspired by its songs, some steampunk stories also based on the EP’s anthems, and a full Behind the Screams book by Venus discussing the entire processing of writing, recording and out-ing the EP.
The EP opens up with Heartless Horseman and immediately the riveting tones of Venus grab ears and attention. As her acoustic guitar stabs, a rockabilly feel reminding of The Creepshow swiftly joins the song, a flavouring in turn bringing even more potent bite to the voice and delivery of Venus, her soaring compelling vocal imagination and drama holding an Agnete Kjølsrud of Djerv meets Lene Lovich like agility. A sweeping lure into night terrors and dark romantic suasion, the irresistible track is still soon outshone by the brilliant Ringmaster. It is a mesmeric waltz of colourful enchantment and dark carnival cast by voice, harmonies, and guitar. As one of its protagonists, it swings like an aerial gymnast, swaying elegantly in ears like a glorious aural siren. It is also a spectacular with one delicious chorus sharing a riveting likeness to The Dickies’ Killer Klowns From Outer Space. It was our undeniable favourite back in 2012 and remains so but every track within the EP is a mighty challenge.
Miss Frankenstein is next, an aural incitement which is as cinematic as it is sonically suggestive. Its rhythms are a bold enslavement matched in temptation by the electronic strings and Venus’ ever inimitable and irresistible tones. It is an epidemic of sound, an almost toxic and certainly addictive contagion which leaves you no option but to dive voice and feet first into its twisted majesty.
The more understated but no less seductive Penny Dreadful Love is next, its shadowed climate and Victorian draped air a creeping tempting out on a funereal stroll. As lady and song lace the senses and thoughts with their visceral love poisoned evocation, the track simply and sublimely absorbs the listener in dark hearted romantic serenade.
Crooning from within a gothic Bauhaus-esque mist, Carmilla’s Return atmospherically swarms around ear and imagination with keys and guitar caressing the continually powerful and virulently enticing tones of Venus, behind whom the chants of the ‘dead’ hauntingly harmonise. It is a pungent kiss on the senses but one wrought with threat and danger; the best kind of seduction there is.
Apocalips completes the EP, its rockabilly swagger and virulent swing pure manna to the soul. Again voice and guitar transfix like a celebratory incantation, rhythms scything across its dark beauty with relish and similarly teasing venom. The track flirts with the wantonness of a fifties siren and the intimidating composure of instinctive psychobilly, rich traits colluding with everything else for one wholly contagious shard of mesmeric delight.
Apart from a couple of live track and remixes by Elvis Einstein, all sheer passion fuelling theatre, we have yet to taste the whole package of the EP’s re-release but its core tracks alone make Edgar Allan Ho an essential must. It is time to feel the Venus de Vilo embrace world.
The Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Edition is released October 13th through Undead Artists @ https://www.facebook.com/events/100369350679694/
Pete RingMaster 11/10/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright