iVardensphere – “Fables”

Filed under: Goth Stuff,Recorded Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn February 27, 2015 @ 2:02 pm


Metropolis Records
By Doktor John

This tribal/industrial Canadian group, has been around since 2009. Having, regrettably, no prior exposure to their oeuvre, I was stunned by the varied richness and the grim appeal of this 14-track masterwork that respects no boundaries or genres as it free-forms each song and crosses through every electronic musical category.

The album opens with “Million Year Echo,” featuring a persistent EBM groove that is interrupted by odd, sci-fi imbued samples that seem to emerge from a desolate, post-apocalyptic soundscape. It is followed by “Stygian,” a 7-minute, plodding, whip-cracking zombie march overlaid with harsh, hoarse male vocals. Several tracks take the listener on a techno-industrial visit to the Middle East, complete with synthetic versions of Arabic instrumental accompaniment, sacred-sounding male vocals as well as sensuous, almost erotic female vocals. Synthetic versions of everything from the Australian aboriginal didgeridoo to bongo drums are present.

“A Tale of Two Wolves” is a techno-industrial track that renders it easy to imagine a pair of canine predators loping through the forest in single-minded pursuit. “Black Lodge,” the track that follows, is a slow-paced trudge through a nightmarish dystopia, narrated by a desperate and hostile speaker, while merciless mechanical noises pound out a cadence and are joined by a mournful male chorus. I particularly enjoyed “Papa Legbo” with its ominous “the natives are restless” beat and intermittent chants.

In addition, there are frenzied hand-drum ensembles; eerie female a capella singing; languid but delicious, acoustic guitar riffs; ominous vocal narratives; and echoes of various genres including Scandinavian darkwave, aggrotech and even a piece, “Terra Sapian” featuring ultra-fast-paced, “swing ” beats. The poignant “Girl With No Hands” is a pessimistic and frankly psychotic poem with groaning choral and emotionally delicious strings plus prominent percussion. In the eighth track, “It Is As Blackness Is” an eloquent lecturer recommends philosophical acceptance of “a new dark age,” as a relentless EBM groove suggests the relentless march of Time.

The album ends on an aquatic theme, “Poseidon,” featuring the seductive sirens’ call on vocals and electro-symphonic instrumental accompaniment The majority of tracks, if not all are eminently danceable. In fact, I dare any listener to sit still while hearing these infectious and hypnotic rhythms as I tried to do when writing this. Aptly named, “Fables” transports the listener into a fantasy realm of myths, seductive melodies and mesmerizing rhythms.

Rating; A
In a word: Bountiful

Endless Night Anti-Valentines Ball

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn February 17, 2015 @ 8:44 pm

Jekyll & Hyde Times Square

Feb 15, 2015

New York, N Y


As far as Goth happenings go, there isn’t any topping the various events hosted by legendary impresario, Fr. Sebastiaan. From Berlin and Amsterdam to Miami, New Orleans and Paris, the notorious fang-maker (he prefers “fangmaster”) puts together the most memorable and entertaining balls and gatherings to be produced since the rise of this subculture so many years ago. This night’s Anti-Valentine’s Ball marked 20 years of progressively more proficient and increasingly entertaining “Endless Night” events he has produced for this community which includes Goths, counterculture devotees, self-identified vampyres (special meaning when spelled with a “y”), dark music aficionados, Steampunk, cosplay and history re-enactment enthusiasts.

What better venue in the greater New York area than the elaborately decorated and wildly fanciful restaurant/nightclub, Jekyll & Hyde in Manhattan’s theater district? The night prior to this major event saw the holding of a “pre-party” at the Lovecraft Bar NYC in lower Manhattan’s Alphabet City, with live entertainment by top DJs and the likes of operatic sorceress Ariel de Ment. Crooner Baron Misuraca also boosted his retro-lounge distinction with a live performance. I confess to have missed the opportunity to attend.

Most attendees came early for dinner at Jekyll & Hyde, to socialize with friends and make new acquaintances. The slick and creepy animated gimmicks, costumed staff and live actors of the restaurant provided a perfect run up to the ball itself, a ticketed event held in a dungeon-like chamber with eerie props abounding, a neat dance floor, raised DJ booth, a couple of side chambers and a bar.
dance floor

The guests were dressed in dark and vampirish attire or adorned with fantastical costumes and make-up out of gothic and historic literature or cinema. One witnessed a reasonable facsimile of Vlad the Impaler, of Egyptian deities, and of New Romantic, Edwardian or Victorian villains gyrating on the dance floor to the darkwave sounds of DJ Eric Aengel or imbibing on the sidelines. Doktor John
VladDJ Eric Aengel

Fr. Sebastiaan himself addressed the crowd warmly, introduced his hard-working staff and thanked both them and the attendees for the historic success of the “Endless Night” series of events.Fr. Sebastiaan crew He introduced talented and highly accomplished soprano Ariel De Ment, now a regular entertainer at his events, who sang an emotionally moving aria from the opera “Carmen” as she always does, with a mouthful of costume fangs.singer The contrast of bitter cold outside and festive camaraderie within suggested something like a theme from the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, and will have throngs of enthusiasts looking forward to the next such happening.

Velvet Acid Christ at Santo’s Party House

Filed under: Events,Live Music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn February 3, 2015 @ 10:41 pm

VAC for blog

Cybertron at Santo’s Party House

Jan 31, 2015

By Doktor John

New York NY
Cybertron at Santo’s Party House
Jan 31, 2015

By Doktor John
New York NY
I’ve been to countless Goth-industrial music and social events in the past 25 years or so, and many hosted by Vampire Freaks, the online community and seller of Goth clothing and paraphernalia. I have hit all the events in the NY, NJ and Philadelphia area along these lines. I travel regularly to Germany and Poland for world-wide, like-themed events. I’ve also long admired the sound of Colorado-based electro-industrialists VAC. Nothing in my prior experience all these many and varied events could have prepared me or my similarly-experienced friends for the rude, crude and inexcusably inane experience this miserable Saturday in this incredibly uncomfortable lower Manhattan venue.

It was the coldest night on the coldest date in 2015. Vampire Freaks, the supposed hosts, as they are of many such club nights, announced that the starting time was — on short notice —postponed to 11 pm. All well and good. Pity those who came when doors officially opened at that time. The line of soon-to-be maltreated event-goers stood in freezing wind for up to an hour, while unsympathetic bouncers served as gate-keepers, letting in the slowest trickle of ticket-holders at an agonizingly glacial, and inexplicably slow rate. I was frozen, and I was wearing a full-length leather coat over a series of layers that even included a leather vest and heavy-duty cargo pants. Woe for the scantily-clad goth-chicks, whose fishnet tights and bikini bottoms offered considerably less in the way of protection. They stood in that line, most of them, for over an hour, adjacent to frigid buildings and on icy sidewalks while the 19ºF and 30 mph wind whipped us all until well past midnight.

Wait! That’s not the worst of it. Our bouncer, whom we all know wasn’t responsible for the incompetence of the management or the decree about to be announced —while stopping to check the I.D.s of everyone on line (including gray-bearded oldsters)— informed each of the outrageous and purely gratuitous policy of “Mandatory Coat Check!” What in the world was that about? Just to squeeze another $4 out of each patron?! The effect it had was to then create another tedious and obnoxious line inside the venue where we were commanded to remove our outerwear (for many, this was part of their Vampire Freaks-acquired fashion-statement) for no good reason, made to pay $4 per item, under signs that warned that gloves, hats and scarves would not be allowed in pockets or sleeves, but had to be checked, each a separate item, by a single, overwhelmed and overworked coat check girl!

Wait! That’s still not the worst of it! This night we were forced not into the club, but into the downstairs basement, the low-ceiling, painfully cramped and overcrowded cellar where there was neither room to move, to reach the bar nor to get a decent view of the performers, who after all, had started playing long before the throngs of spectators had even gotten into the building and certainly before they had cleared the coat-check regimen. It’s well that the bar was hard to reach. Straight drinks went for upwards of $12 and $13.

Openers Mindless Faith played their version of industrial. DJ Sean Templar spun some dance tracks, but there was no room at all to dance. VAC, who sounded a lot better on disc and at better venues, blasted their set, some of which was with the accompaniment of a gorgeous, platinum blond female vocalist. Fans knew her as Donna from Ego Likeness.

If I hadn’t paid for the tickets in advance, I would have left the outdoor line after an hour in the cold. As it was, cramped into a dark hovel, unable to see each other or converse with fellow-victims, we pulled out in the middle of VAC’s second or third set, and after frontman Erickson’s angry, if stereotypical tirade which included, laughably, a denunciation of “Bush.” It came across as smug, politically-correct and way out of date.

Santo’s Party House basically screwed all three victims: VAC, Vampire Freaks and the audience!