Her Despair – Exorcisms of Eroticism

There is no escaping that UK dark rock outfit Her Despair made a major impression critically and on a new flood of fans with their last EP, Mournography. It was a striking and arousing affair built on open craft and imagination which thrust the band before a more international spotlight. Even so, its success will surely only be overshadowed as the ascent of the London band accelerates through the magnificent Exorcisms of Eroticism.

Her Despair’s new EP eclipses its predecessor in every department, the band’s sound a more mature and even more striking proposition as it continues to embrace the essences, drama, and melancholy of gothic rock, punk, and dark metal. Each song within Exorcisms of Eroticism aligns crepuscular gloom and intimate seduction, emotion ravishing shadows and heart bred passion; all within the dark recesses of a world in turmoil.

Pandaemonium opens up the release, the song looming from the dark in a mighty tide of sound which instantly shapes its stride and trespass through the melodic intimation of Toby’s keys. The guitars of Dan and Jord cast a more rapacious side in the emerging song, its voice already rich and broad before calming a touch for the ever magnetic tones of J. Every aspect of the encounter though proved a beacon for attention, the bass of Vikki a dark throaty tempting as the beats of Lee bite yet simultaneously incite. As in previous releases, there is no denying the inspiration of bands such as Fields of the Nephilim and Sisters of Mercy to Her Despair and maybe others like The March Violets in the instinctive infection loaded virulence which soaks every note and spring of imagination but the first track quickly sets the unique tone and individuality which defines the release and each song.

 As mentioned earlier, drama is in full force coating every note and syllable of the outstanding first track, The Exorcism soon following with an equal fertility in all its textures and enterprise. Similarly an inherent catchiness is as bold as the creative theatre shaping the tapestry of light and dark sparking the imagination of band and listener alike. The symphonic lure of keys provides a seductive rapture in the turbulent heart of the song, J’s voice managing to echo both sides in his ever alluring and potent presence.

Though there is open energy in its gait and emotive roar, In That Moment is a siren of temptation, the tempered roar haunting in its beauty and enthralling in its croon while Like A Crucifixion straight after is a cauldron of sonic and emotional tenacity. Akin to a fusion of Type O Negative and Dead Register, the track simply sets another momentous lure in the EP as virulently manipulative as it is emotively invasive.

Beyond The Veil is another gentle haunting, the ballad caressing the senses and thoughts yet with an undercurrent of fiery anguish which erupts enough to scorch the elegance and beauty of the bewitching incitement before Final Rest brings things to a just as captivating close. The funereal gait of the song beguiles alone, the vocals and the words it shares a fascination matched in sound across the whole band. Melancholy is as thick as the rhythms which prowl the senses, enchantment as potent as the melodic weaving of keys and guitars and rich pleasure the result of all.

Exorcisms of Eroticism is glorious; from sound to lyrics, voice to the imagination which fuels it, the seriously impressive EP declares Her Despair as one band the world should no longer ignore.

Exorcisms of Eroticism is available now digitally and on CD @ https://herdespair.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/herdespair/   https://twitter.com/herdespairband

Pete RingMaster 08/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Membranes – Nocturnal (Kitty Lectro Remixes) EP

photo by John Middleham

Originally a potent part of the band’s acclaimed latest album, What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away, post pun icons The Membranes have set their new EP around the song Nocturnal and given 2019 a send-off as memorable as it is contagious. The three track release sees the UK band team up with darkwave-goth rock luminary DJ Kitty Lectro for two remixes alongside the album version of the perpetually additive encounter.

photo by Kitty Lectro

Formed in 1978, the Blackpool band has been leading and helping to continually shape the post punk scene for over 40 years while Kitty Lectro has crafted remixes for the likes of Kommunity FK, Andi Sex Gang, The March Violets, Still Patient, Lestat, ANKST, Strap On Halo, Angels Of Liberty, Das Projekt and many more. It feels like it was inevitable that one day the two would unite and Nocturnal is that glorious moment.

The EP opens with Kitty’s dance floor nurtured take on Nocturnal, the pulse of the track an immediate incitement the body can only respond to. It brings an eighties synth pop feel to the song’s animation, shedding a certain infectious light on the track’s unique shadows and dark intimation. The bounce of the song is inescapable virulence and its dance-floor instincts fertile ground for that physical participation, Kitty bringing the instinctive catchiness of the track to the fore.

Kitty Lectro’s Meow Meow Money Mix is next up and straight away for us eclipses the rousing enjoyment of its predecessor. Cinematic drama instantly breathes across the track as John Robb’s tones slowly and rapaciously crawl through ears, Kitty’s intensifying the song’s original shadows with a devilish touch. It lurks, it crawls, every moment of the track a trespass on the psyche and a spark to major pleasure; its Halloween-esque atmosphere a tenebrific shadow on the world today.

As mentioned the album’s original version completes the EP’s line-up, the track as irresistible as ever. For all the magnificence of Kitty Lectro’s two slices of glorious temptation, they do miss the delicious senses carving, bone scything lead incitement of Robb’s bass. Certainly its swing is exploited within the remixes but here it just directs and manipulates body and appetite even before the prowess of the rest of the band escalates the track’s dark, slightly carnivorous majesty.

Put all three tracks together and you have one of  2019’s best EPs and a proposition 2020 will have to go some to match.

Nocturnal (Kitty Lectro Remixes) EP is available via Definitive Gaze @ https://membranes.bandcamp.com/album/nocturnal-e-p

https://www.facebook.com/theMembranes/   https://twitter.com/membranes1

https://www.kittylectro.com/   https://www.facebook.com/KittyLectro   https://twitter.com/KittyLectro

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Bloody Knives – I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This

BK_RingMasterReview

The tone of its title, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This, pretty much sets you up for the emotional trespass and sonic attitude of the new album from Texan trio Bloody Knives. It is a dark invasive suggestion echoed throughout the eight tracks’ scarred nihilistic hearts and a sound which crawls over and smothers the senses. Equally, it comes fuelled by melancholy thicker than Victorian London fog which at times is just as oppressive and invasively enveloping as the caustically natured sounds and as compelling as the raw beauty also invading ear and imagination.

Consisting of Preston Maddox (bass, voice, keyboards, samples, programming), Jake McCown (drums, noise, programming, art), and Jack O’Hara Harris (guitars, noise), Bloody Knives creates soundscapes which immerses the imagination in the darkest corners of life and emotion, into the harshest shadows within fiercest betrayals and deeds. Trying to accurately pin down their sound, lyrically and emotionally, is like trying to grab air, music and album simply a dense kaleidoscope of flavours and thought grasping dramas. The trio certainly find the coldest and rawest aspects of styles like dream pop, shoegaze, and psych pop to weave into intoxicating tempests also shaped by essences of post punk and industrially honed ethereal droning. It is a mesmeric and disturbing mix stealing attention instantly within the opener of the Maddox and Ian Rundell (Dead Space, Ghetto Ghouls, Xetas) recorded and Adam Stilson (New Canyons, Airiel, The March Violets) mixed and mastered I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This.

The album opens with Cystic, an instantly blistering nagging on the senses as guitars and keys sizzle venomously around the infectious stroll of the bass and Maddox’s morosely inviting and solemnly mellow vocals. Like a mix of My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Crispy Ambulance yet, as all tracks, something uniquely Bloody Knives, the song bites, grumbles, and entices with an inescapable virulence before it evolves into the following Blood Turns Cold. There is an even darker, almost desperation hued emotion and air to the second track, its character uncompromising and ravenous as icy melodies and melancholic vocals lace the transfixing drone of the encounter.

art_RingMasterReviewA bolder, antagonistic post punk undercurrent runs through the next up Reflection Lies, the bass leading those magnetic textures within another imagination sparking smog of sonic and melodic dissonance cast by guitar and synth, while Black Hole swings and rumbles with celestial and almost carnivorous washes of sound and emotion, each evolving and expanding in the ears with every passing minute. Both tracks majorly beguile and intimidate in varying ways and each ignites the senses, but the second of the two with its punk growl and techno flirtation within ravenous atmospheric explorations is especially irresistible.

Through the plaintive tone and sonic trespass of Static, where a great catchy Leitmotive like nagging emerges, and the dark, deranged almost funereal waltz of the instrumental —-, ears and thoughts continue to be potently challenged and eagerly involved whilst Poison Halo offers an even fiercer  wall of aural and emotional density. As ever the raw and suffocating hues of sound are expertly tempered by the coldly engaging delivery of Maddox and the often seemingly toxic melodies, the bass again sparking the contagiousness underpinning every song in one way or another.

Finishing with Buried Alive, a captivating assault of sonic and emotional discordance equipped with keenly edged scythes of guitars, psyche invading keys, and that ever successful rousing bass tenacity not forgetting the fiercely persuasive vocals, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is a thrilling confrontation and adventure. It takes the listener to new, invasive places in body and emotion yet rewards with spirit arousing challenges. With only the drums having their bite dulled by the swamp of sound around them as a minute niggle, I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is simply one easy recommendation.

I Will Cut Your Heart Out For This is out now via Saint Marie Records @ https://saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-will-cut-your-heart-out-for-this available digitally and on Vinyl limited to 500 (200 Black and 300 Ox blood / Electric Blue)

https://www.facebook.com/thebloodyknives

Pete Ringmaster 16/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mono Inc. : Nimmermehr

     MONO INC._Bandfoto

     Nimmermehr sees German rockers Mono Inc. follow last year’s acclaimed and successful album After The War with another slab of expansive gothic rock that takes the listener on an eventful and thrilling ride of sound and adventure. It is an album which employs the essences of numerous eager styles and their dynamic devilry whilst creating a fun and ultimately pleasing romp of invention and imagination.

Formed around 2000-2001 by then drummer Martin Engler (moving to lead vocals in 2006), guitarist/vocalist Carl Fornia, and original vocalist Miky Mono, three musicians who had played together previously in  both Wild Thing and Mono 69, the Hamburg band soon built a strong reputation for their stadium rock type of gothic bred sound. Albums such as debut Head Under Water of 2003 and re-released a year later, Temple Of The Torn in 2007, and Pain, Love & Poetry the following year all earned the band strong attention and impressed responses. The previously mentioned After The War set the band upon another level of world awareness which the vibrant Nimmermehr (meaning Nevermore) will only cement. Released via NoCut Entertainment it is a collection of tracks which tease with unpredictability and persuade with open passion and distinct charm, the line-up of Engler and Fornia alongside bassist/vocalist Manuel Antoni, and drummer/vocalist Katha Mia creating a shadowed sun of melodic and atmospheric breath with darkly emotive and tantalisingly provocative enterprise.

Opening track Heile, Heile Segen instantly cups the ear in roaming keys and a romping bassline, guitars brewing a scratchy invitation MONO INC - Nimmermehr - Artworkwhilst the German sung vocals of Engler bask in the great electro embrace punctuated with a breath of elevated energy. It is an infectious stomp which seizes the senses from the first second and leads them into a potent dance of electro contagion and pop rock urgency guided irresistibly by not only the vocals of Engler but the teasing sultry tones of Mia alongside. Arguably there is nothing particularly new going on but when it sounds this good and enjoyable there is not issue to be raised, the song a great mix of Konstrust and Hanzel Und Gretyl.

The following Seligkeit continues the great start, its muscular electro pulses a potent incitement going hand in hand with the cracking beats of Mia which vein the magnetic weave and drama of the keys, they driven hard by the sinewy riffs which spark up in mini crescendos throughout. As in its predecessor the vocals are a warm hug within the sturdy presence of sound, the combination an incendiary call for the passions. Again as the first song and across plenty of the album, there is a familiarity at seductive work which whilst pointing to an absence of ground-breaking ingenuity going on undoubtedly makes an imaginative use of existing and diverse rich spices.

The excellent My Deal With God is an irresistible anthem for the passions, the surprising seemingly Irish lilt to chorus and even the vocals at that moment just scintillating whilst the dynamic weave of melodic and electronic sound with a gothic emotive embrace, are pure virulent infection. A plea to limbs, voice (luckily it is sung in English to enable a full persuasion), and energy, it is an early major highlight of the album but just one in many as shown by the following Kein Weg Zu Weit with its sultry air and ambience washing a stern rhythmic pulse and evocative guitar narrative. As in evidence now the ability of the band to create choruses which resonate and ridiculously tempt is almost regal, this song a slow evocative walk with refined elegant twists as contagious as the riotous devilment of the previous song.

Both the outstanding Euthanasia and its mighty equal The Clock Ticks On cast accomplished fusions of symphonic winds within gothic rock expanses, the first a bewitching chalice of glowing melodies and enriching imagination whilst the second is a heavyweight stomp bringing the intensity of a Rammstein into the pop suasion of an Ace Of Base or Propaganda. It is a riveting melodically fuelled waltz smouldering with eastern mystique and driven by insatiable revelry, and in league with the first and the melancholic beauty that is Alles Was Bleibtnergetic which splits them, makes for another stunning stretch of triumph Nimmermehr.

The great gravel kissed vocals of Engler marks the impressive sorrowful croon of A Better Way To Die next whilst the invitingly busy lures of Herzschlag and the impossibly contagious Days Like This leave the senses and passions exhausted but invigorated, The third of the trio is a stirring and galvanic blaze of rock and pop. Like a union between Bryan Adams and the more pop spiced era of The March Violets, and much better than that sounds, the song is a fire of glorious anthemic enticement, quite irresistible and totally enslaving.

Completed by the electro rock pop provocation of Ich Teile Dich Nicht and the decent enough piano and vocal led title track, Nimmermehr is a powerful treat which shows no mercy in its capturing of the imagination and emotions. It is one of those bait loaded releases which simply leaves you full and basking in deep satisfaction.

www.mono-inc.com

9/10

RingMaster 09/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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