Motionless In White – Disguise

Ask any Metal music lover that has attended any of the big music festivals in the past nine or so years, and they will most likely tell you they have seen a set or two of Motionless in White. It is safe to say that even most fans of modern Metal at least know the name Motionless in White. Since the band’s initial inception in 2005, the music world has witnessed the metamorphosis of MIW from a raw, unbridled, raging embryo to the cataclysmic musical force evident on the band’s latest album, Disguise (Roadrunner Records). Continue reading

Midnattsol – The Aftermath

Having fronted symphonic Viking metal act Leaves’ Eyes and goth metal legends Theatre of Tragedy, as well as appearing as a guest vocalist on countless different projects over the years, Liv Kristine Espenæs has finally united officially with her sister – who has herself appeared as a guest vocalist on several Leaves’ Eyes releases – and joined Nordic folk metal act Midnattsol. Continue reading

Paradise Lost – Pallbearer: Live at Electric Ballroom, London 

How to best celebrate that Friday feeling? With a night of slow and Gothic Doom of course. The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, is full to the brim, and it seems the crowd is somehow wearing even more black than usual to celebrate the morbid tones of the UK’s very own Paradise Lost. Continue reading

The Dead Soul Communion – Dead Soul Communion

There used to be a time when side projects and “super-groups” were a big no-no in Metal. You had your band, you knew your place, and that’s where you stayed or else. Nowadays of course, you can’t walk down to the shops without another twenty bands trading members and forming new acts in the time it takes to buy a pint of milk and a cucumber sandwich. Continue reading

Beseech – My Darkness, Darkness

Beseech – My Darkness, Darkness album cover ghostcultmag

Is it possible for a band to take its work a little too seriously? Can the love of eyeliner and theatrical stage attire be pushed past the point of no return? And most importantly, does this make for good music? These are some of the questions I’m left to ponder over a cup of coffee (black, of course) after listening to Beseech’s My Darkness, Darkness (Despotz Records).

And I know the metal genre as a whole is a bit ridiculous. After all I’m a 29-year-old man with a college degree whose wardrobe is made up mostly of black shirts. I willingly own a denim vest with more patches on it than the average Nascar driver.

However, Beseech seem to operate on a level where ridiculous and deadly serious function as one. Just look at the album title, My Darkness, Darkness. I don’t know what that means, but it sounds like something scribbled in the back of a Mead notebook by a 14-year-old goth kid.

And their biggest problem is its inability to move past the ho-hum goth numbers. ‘Mr. Uninvited,’ its title-track and ‘Atmosphere’ are virtually interchangeable and I don’t mean that in a good way. For most of its running time Beseech is confined to muddy tempos, subdued guitar parts, all the while vocalist Klas Bohlin dominates the mix with his weird Christian Bale as Batman whisper-mumble. The most criminal aspect of this record is the underuse of second singer Angelina Sahlgren. We only get brief glimpses of Sahlgren’s range on ‘Beating Pulse’ and ‘The Ingredients.’ Sahlgren’s turns add some color to the drab musical canvas.

‘One Last Call’ has the band finally finds release from its songwriting restrictions as does the unexpected (but totally rad) Highwaymen cover ‘Highwayman.’

Metal is a business that’s always existed on the border of parody, especially when you decide to throw in some of that goth seasoning. Not every band has to go the Type O Negative route and play it tongue in cheek (although it paid dividends for them). Katatonia and Moonspell have had long careers accented by classic albums, but they always relied on the songs. Beseech doesn’t quite have them here.

5.0/10

HANSEL LOPEZ

[amazon asin=B01A72FT3I&template=iframe image1]

Audio: Van Halst Stream– Questions, Debut Album Next Month

Photo Credit: Renee Robyn

Van Halst, Photo Credit: Renee Robyn

 

Edmonton, Alberta’s socially conscious metal band Van Halst releases debut album entitled World of Make Believe on March 4. Their third single from the album is ‘Questions’ which you can stream at this link or below:

 

 

Lead singer Kami Van Halst talks about ‘Questions’:

“I wrote Questions with my sister Brittney Grabill. This song deals with victim blaming and how the victims of sexual assault are often criticized and blamed for putting themselves in the vulnerable position, which allowed them to be abused or exploited. This is wrong, we should not be blaming or scrutinizing the victims of abuse. We need to remove the stigma and put the blame where it rightly belongs- on the abuser.”

 

Van Halst - World Of Make Believe album cover 2016 ghostculltmag

World of Make Believe track listing:
01. The End (4:31)
02. Save Me (4:12)
03. Ryan’s Song (4:11)
04. World of Make Believe (3:46)
05. Questions (3:23)
06. Denying Eyes (4:08)
07. Monster (3:29)
08. Plastic Smile (5:11)
09. Put Him Down (4:33)
10. Perfect Storm (4:44)

Album Length: 42:14

 

VICTORIA ANDERSON