ALBUM REVIEW: Paradise Lost – Obsidian

Many consider the British band, Paradise Lost to be the fathers of the Gothic Metal genre. Formed in 1988, four out of the five members have been there since the beginning. This tight-knit group of guys is a prime example of a hard-working band who knows how to stay creative and original. The exploration and determination of this act has led them down some unique roads over the years. After experimenting on albums like One Second (Music for Nations)  and Believe In Nothing (EMI), Paradise Lost got back to their roots in 2015. They embraced their Death Metal background with the release of The Plague Within (Century Media Records) and 2017’s Medusa (Nuclear Blast). Now with the release of their sixteenth record,  Obsidian (Nuclear Blast), their heaviness is being fleshed out with even more distinct devastation.   Continue reading

Flat Earth – None For One

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

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREMIERE: Her Despair – “Blaspheme With Me”

Up and coming UK gothic metal band Her Despair is releasing their new EP this summer, the amazingly titled ‘Mournography.’ The EP drops on July 20th, and we’ll bring you more news soon about this exciting band. In the meantime, Ghost Cult has teamed up with the band to debut their new music video for the track ‘Blaspheme With Me, so check it out! Continue reading

Peter Steele Passed Away Eight Years Ago Today

As we do every day of the year here at Ghost Cult, we celebrate the life and work of Peter Steele from Type O Negative, who passed away on this date (4/14) in 2010. We remember him especially on the day of his passing, and his birth, January 4th, but really all the time. Carry Peter with you today, and if he affected you personally with his music in Type O or Carnivore, or just in some special way. Share it with others to keep his memory alive. You can see a bunch of retrospective content below.  Continue reading

H.I.M. Farewell Tour Dates Announced

H.I.M. announced back in March that they would be breaking up following the completion of a farewell tour later this year (read the full statement), and today that tour has been announced. Continue reading

Slipknot Announces Knotfest Mexico For December 5th

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Slipknot, who has hinted at other Knotfest events, has surprisingly announced Knotfest Mexico for December 5th this year taking place at Foro Pegaso in Toluca, Mexico. The impressive bill sees Slipknot followed by Megadeth, Lamb of God, HIM, A Day to Remember, Trivium, Atreyu, Asking Alexandria, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Here Comes the Kraken and Tanus. Tickets and other information can be found at the newly launched website here:

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Lyric Video: Dommin – Rise, New Album Due June 21st

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US Alternative rockers Dommin will be releasing their second album titled Rise, on June 21, 2015 via DNRecords, and are streaming their first lyric video for the title track below. The album was produced by Matt Squire (Panic! At The Disco, The Used, HIM) and mixed by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool). They have launched a PledgeMusic campaign to pre-order the album plus plenty of rare and unique items. Check it out here.

Enigmatic frontman and guitarist Kristofer Dommin reveals, “Rise is a musical evolution. I don’t enjoy repeating myself creatively so this album offers fans another face of the band. The songs are more empowering, maybe a bit more pissed-off, and definitely a lot more tongue-in-cheek.” Dommin’s keyboardist, Konstantine, sums it up with one word, “swagger.”

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Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker

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It is nearly two decades since Apocalyptica first muscled their way into our collective consciousness as “that band that plays Metallica songs on cellos”.  What at first appeared merely a neat gimmick has seen them become a fully fledged, credible and long-term band – one who have proved that metal doesn’t need to be played on electric guitar, and a tale of two cities, with big vocal singles such as ‘I’m Not Jesus’ and ‘I Don’t Care’ sat alongside stimulating dark instrumentals. It is this successful formula they look to replicate on eighth album Shadowmaker (Eleven Seven).

Having previously relied on a (frankly impressive) guest list of vocals (including Corey Taylor, Cristina Scabbia, Max Cavalera and Till Lindemann amongst many others), this time around the Finnish cellists have enlisted Franky Perez (Scars on Broadway/Slash) on 7 of the 11 full tracks, the first time they have used the same vocalist across an album.

However, consistency is an issue in the vocal led tracks; first track proper ‘Cold Blood’ is confident, competent and possessing of a strong chorus, and ‘Hole In My Soul’, a simple balladic shuffle, tugs on the cello strings of the heart; not a million miles from the more lachrymose moments of HIM, but ‘Dead Man’s Eyes’ fucking drags on and on becoming a song that fails to evoke any emotion other than annoyance, ‘House of Chains’ could be a Shinedown outtake, and ‘Sea Song’ sees interest wade out amongst the waves.

Meanwhile, the title track gets stronger and more interesting for the lengthy mid-to-late instrumental section, ripping through a Kirk Hammett style lead that segues into a Mercyful Fate darkened ambiance; ‘Reign of Fear’ intrigues and ensnares with mournful cello leads dancing languidly over riffs of varying tempos; and the aural voyage of ‘Til Death Do Us Part’, with its lengthy emotive passages dovetailing with stabs and lurches, is the album highlight.

Ultimately, Shadowmaker shows that the true essence of Apocalyptica lies in the instrumental. Unfettered by the constraints and adamantine chains of a traditional rock song structure they are, as they always have been, at their best, most dynamic and most interesting. Flitting between that and standard rock fare leaves them with a patchwork quilt of an album – the stitching may be great, but the overall aesthetic is muddled.

 

6.0 /10

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STEVE TOVEY

Moonspell – Extinct

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Despite heaps of plaudits and a sturdy career as metal stalwarts, Portuguese brooding metallers Moonspell have never quite achieved the huge acclaim and success (outside of their native country where they are a chart topping act) that they perhaps warrant. Certainly their latter day output surely has some mainstream appeal and accessibility, especially considering the worship that some Gothic metal bands (HIM being the prime example) have garnered. If any album of theirs should see them herald a wider audience then Extinct (Napalm) could well be that moment.

Certainly their most instant album to date, Extinct showcases the band’s finest elements to the full. Dark and melancholic in tone and subject matter but the hooks have an almost pop vibe to them, with some remnants of the pace and ferociousness of their black metal days, such as on album opener ‘Breathe (Until We Are No More)’, an anthem and potential rock club floor filler in the making. Fernando Ribeiro’s vocal displays are as luring and diverse as ever, veering from a seductive croon to a visceral bark with ease and fluidity.

The real ace in the hole is the Pedro Paixao’s atmospheric samples and piercing synths; adding a whole new dimension and tone to proceedings; exceptionally so on the likes of the title track where they steal the limelight with ease. There are even the faintest hints of a prog influence, shown on the eerie, piano led close ‘La Baphomette’.

Always a familiar name to some, especially those in the know, but now one that has all the qualities that scream out mainstream success, Moonspell should begin to hit the big time with Extinct if there is any justice. Bleak and full of despair yet anthemic and catchy as hell, with plentiful layering and nuances to find; a stunning work.

 

9.0/10

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CHRIS TIPPELL