Ghost Cult caught up with Oceans of Slumber’s frontwoman Cammie Gilbert recently to discuss their upcoming new album, Oceans of Slumber, due out September 4th via Century Media. We discussed the current state of affairs with both the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests in their hometown of Houston, their new self-titled album, new sounds and styles the band felt emboldened to incorporate on the records, Cammie’s own background as a singer and her goals for the album, the influence of bands like Katatonia and Opeth, the bands phenomenal cover of Jazz legend Billie Holliday’s “Strange Fruit”, the bands’ Type O Negative cover of “Wolf Moon”, some love for Peter Steele, and much more. You can pre-order the album here! and check out our chat. Continue reading
Ghost Cult caught up with Binary Code leader and guitarist Jesse Zuretti to chat all about his new album, releasing this week, May 15th. The three-year journey to release the record was an arduous one for Jesse and he had many personal issues to overcome. He did so with the help of making music, which, if you hear this new album, is amazing. Jesse went into depth about the ordeal he went through, his creative process, how each member of this band and team stepped on this album on every level, working with producer Aaron Smith (7Horns7Eyes) the songwriting process, their cover of Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You”, their abandoned (for now) covers EP, how Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy/Nevermore) came to play on the album, making music as a composer for Marvel Entertainment and more. Warning: this podcast contains a frank discussion of suicide and mental illness and may cause some distress to the listener. You can pre-order Memento Mori here and listen to our chat now! Continue reading
The anticipation of the crowd was building for the show to begin. This was the moment they had patiently waited for. The final show of the run for The 69 Eyes, Wednesday 13, Sumo Cyco, and special guests the Suicide Puppets would happen here at the Reverb in Reading, PA. Continue reading
Hailing from the heavy music haven of Finland (seriously they must put something in the water over there) and with members previously in HIM and Amorphis, is Flat Earth. On their debut album, None For One (Drakkar Entertainment) the Finnish four-piece combine a Heavy Metal approach with melancholic and emotive sensibilities, the result being a supercharged take on Grunge and a textured record with equal amounts light and dark. Continue reading
Lacuna Coil celebrated twenty years by filming The 119 Show – Live in London (Century Media) in that bastion of musicality, London Town. The more than two-hour show showcases all that’s good about Lacuna Coil and features amazing performances by Incandescence Circus Theatre Company. From the freaky circus backdrop to the band taking the stage in unsettling white face paint, The 119 Show is a mélange of American Horror Story Season 4, a wicked Lacuna Coil show, and amateurish editing. Continue reading
Born in 2012 Bloody Hammers are a husband and wife gothic/doomy metal duo from North Carolina, founded by singer, guitarist and bassist Anders Manga with said wife Devallia providing the keyboard, organ and synth sounds. They may be new but by Jove are they productive, as this album Lovely Sort of Death (Napalm Records) is their fourth in as many years. Continue reading
To celebrate the recent release of their new album Fiber, Atlanta’s Dead Register teamed up with Ghost Cult to give away a prize pack including a CD and a t-shirt. The winner is Jonathan Meyer of Montclair, NJ! Congrats Jonathan and thanks to all who entered. More contests are in the works so follow Ghost Cult for more prizes!
Formed in 2013, Dead Register plays a mix of goth rock and doom, sometimes described as “post-Goth” “doom-gaze”, that will find fans from bands such as Type O Negative, Soundgarden, Killing Joke, Skinny Puppy, Pinkish Black and more. The band is comprised of front man/bassist M. Chasta, his wife Avril Che, and drummer Chad Williams. Stream Fiber (AVS Records) at this link:
Order Fiber from Dead Register at Bandcamp here:
Atlanta, GA Gothic doom band Dead Register released their début full-length album last week, entitled Fiber (AVR Records). Now the band has teamed up with Ghost Cult to give you chance to celebrate that release with them by winning some music and merch from the band. Just share this post on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtags #DeadRegister #Fiber to enter. One winner will be chosen at random. The contest ends on May 12th at 5 PM EST.
Formed in 2013, Dead Register plays a mix of goth rock and doom, sometimes described as “post-Goth” “doom-gaze”, that will find fans from bands such as Type O Negative, Soundgarden, Killing Joke, Skinny Puppy, Pinkish Black and more. The band is comprised of frontman/bassist M. Chasta, his wife Avril Che, and drummer Chad Williams. The streamed their new album last week which you can hear at this link:
Order Fiber from Dead Register at Bandcamp here:
Mick Moss has created a delicate, involving and contemplative sixth Antimatter album. Opening up, just as he does with many of his lyrics, to Ghost Cult, the English songwriter took the time to discuss the heart, soul and creation of ‘The Judas Table’ (Prophecy)
“The Judas Table absolutely needed to be recorded. Those songs had festered in my head for too long and I needed to clear the decks out.
“The second need was to get the songs recorded in a manner that was interesting to myself despite the fact that I had heard them again and again within the jukebox of my own brain. Job done. Both of them.”
While intrinsically melancholic art rock, Moss has brought together another album of personal, introspective reflection and revelation.
“It’s good to get things out, of course, but it’s not so much catharsis as hardcoding my realizations into lyrics so that I can live those empowering conclusions again and again. I actually want to revisit these realizations rather than to spit them out and be done with them. Hopefully if the listener can relate to my conclusions then they can use them to their own benefit.
“I wouldn’t call it selfish, but I absolutely must think of only myself whilst working” states Moss when asked what his consideration when writing is. “The ‘listener’ is potentially everybody else in the whole world. Therefore, it would be impossible for me to work whilst always considering the listener in the back of my mind, as it would be impossible to please everybody, or worry about not pleasing everybody. I would go insane.”
That said, there is an acceptance that the nebulous “listener” plays a hidden role in the workings of most musical craftsmen.
“Admittedly, there are some incidents during the writing or construction process where I’ll come up with something that I feel is moving, and I’ll get excited and wonder if it will move the listeners the way it moves me.”
“During the writing and construction process of any piece of music, I always work to how my body and mind are reacting to what I’m writing (and) playing. This is how I navigate a piece from start to finish, trying to manipulate my inner feelings through the sounds that come back to me. So, yeah, it is an intention that the music is uplifting for myself. I then assume that if it can do that to me, it will do the same to some of the people who hear it.”
A similar assumption allows Moss to be fully expressive and personal in his lyrics; to exhibit a bravery in allowing his vulnerabilities and reflections to be exposed to others.
“It’s all I’ve ever done, so it’s not scary to me, no. Since my very first songs in 1996 I’ve been pouring my heart, fear, pain into my lyrics. Sometimes if I’m writing (something) too personal I can always wrap it up in metaphor, to protect myself I guess. But that’s something I’m doing less and less as I get older, and I’m making the lyrics more direct. I wrote the lyrics to ‘Epitaph’ from Planetary Confinement (The End) 30 minutes after I was notified of the death of a close family member, so I’m not sure if there’s anything too personal for me to write about.”
As far as Antimatter goes, Moss has always worked alone; he is neither distracted nor persuaded by the whims of others, but instead is able to hone and lead the path his music takes, keeping it a pure, personal vision. As such, there is a palpable bond between albums, with familial resemblances evident, a shared genetic make-up, alongside progression and development. The Judas Table, for example, bears the hallmark of its forebears but continues the evolutionary arc.
“Any new album carries over some traits from its predecessor. But there’s also a natural urge to go to new places that weren’t previously explored” Moss considers. “Plus, before Fear Of A Unique Identity (Prophecy) was recorded, the majority of Fear… and Judas… both existed in my head at the same time, so there’s going to be some links between the two there.
“After the frenetic arrangements of Fear…, I focused on simplicity. The brief that I set myself was to have everything nicely arranged and with no crazy tangents – although two songs did end up with a slight detour – (and) also to let a song tick over and explore that space with ethereal melody, as was successfully done with ‘Hole’ and ‘Little Piggy’.”
“There’s no real rule, except that I tend to know what I want to write about, and this flows out in a kind of stream-of-consciousness jam with myself. I then adapt the acoustically written songs to the full-band scenario based upon the drumbeats and dynamics that I hear in my head. I make a demo at my home studio and then record the album based on the demos; it’s a well-oiled way of working for me now, things just flow.
“Apart from the drums, which were recorded at (the) prestigious Parr Street Studios, Liverpool, I recorded the album in my home studio. I decided early on that, after the ‘Too Late’ single, which was partially recorded at home, I would do everything here where I would have the time needed to get everything just right rather than looking at the clock in a studio and having to pack up and leave at a specific time. It turned out great, actually, and has given me the courage to go on to do more here.”
For those of us of a heavier, more rock/metal background, the likelihood is we were introduced to Antimatter due their association with Anathema, being the project Duncan Patterson turned to after leaving the progressive metallers, teaming up with Moss for the first three albums, with Moss continuing alone for the subsequent trio.
Interestingly, though, while they shared writing duties, they didn’t necessarily collaborate in the truer senses of the term. “When Duncan and myself worked together, we didn’t actually work together… I would craft half of an albums worth of complete songs and Duncan would do the same” confirms Moss, reflecting on any potential for expanding his song-writing to include collaborating with other artists.
“Ergo when he left, I didn’t lose a composing partner as I’d always worked 100% on my own material. The only thing that changed upon Duncan’s departure was that I then composed twice as many songs, which wasn’t a struggle as I already had a good archive of work by that point. In some ways it was actually better for me as then I had complete control over the album as a whole rather than it being two separate visions fused together.
“I can’t imagine myself ever working with somebody to write a song from zero, it’s such a personal experience and it takes a certain vision to get it finished. I would imagine that there would be quite some disagreements. And I certainly wouldn’t involve anybody else in the creation of what is known as ‘Antimatter’
“If I were to work with another person then it would be under a different moniker, such as the Sleeping Pulse project I launched with Luis Fazendeiro in 2014. Despite what I say about not wanting to compose with somebody, Sleeping Pulse was a fantastic opportunity to work with Luis’ existing music and then craft vocal melodies and lyrics over the top. A wonderful experience that allowed me to operate fully as a vocalist and lyricist, and to put all of my energy into those jobs alone without having to worry about all of the other instruments, like I do in Antimatter.”
The Judas Table is a beautiful, reflective and uplifting album that works as an immersive experience, or, through its delicate melodies, as a calming influence. Aware of previous comments Moss had made, that, for him, success of an album isn’t measured in terms of personal profile or “fame”, just what would “success” for The Judas Table look or feel like, or is it something that has already been achieved in its creation?
“That’s a difficult question, as success can be judged in different ways.
“The album I made was better than the album in my head, so that alone is quite a success. Again, most reviews are positive, some are overwhelmingly positive, the fans have received it with love and enthusiasm, and the live sets are now stronger due to the inclusion of songs such as ‘Can Of Worms’, ‘Killer’, ‘Stillborn Empires’, so, again, I would declare it a success. How it does commercially is a different matter, and I have no way of knowing that at this time, but even if it sold just one copy I would still love the album completely.
“One by-product of taking the new songs out on the road, one thing I’m not sure I had really expected, was that the addition of this new material strengthened the Antimatter setlist like crazy.
“It was like a shot in the arm.
“The setlist we now have is like none I’ve ever had in the past, and one thing I’m thinking lately is I just want to enjoy this moment live for a year or so, really celebrate the place Antimatter is with these new songs in the repertoire.”
WORDS BY STEVE TOVEY