Rhombus – Here Be Dragons

Artist: Rhombus
Album: Here Be Dragons
Released: 2013
Genre: Goth rock

If I say “Huddersfield”, your first reaction isn’t likely to be “Goths!”, but Rhombus’ fourth album might just change all that.
Hailing from West Yorkshire, perhaps the Best Yorkshire (well, maybe if it included Sheffield, but we can’t have it all), Rhombus are a well-established force in fun, well-crafted goth rock.

The album kicks off with the intro, sorry, “T’Intro”, then blasts into the wonderful “Fallout” and doesn’t let up from there. The twin assault of male/female vocals is always a winner in my book, and tracks like “Lifeline” and “What You Wanted” clearly show a band who have found their sound and make the most of it.
Guest appearances from members of Berlin Black and Dead Eyes Opened seal the deal.

When you buy it, check out the enclosed map. I won’t say why, but it rounds out an already-excellent purchase.
Top-notch, guys!

Rating: 9/10
Recommended Tracks: Fallout (a million times), Here Be Dragons, Lifeline, What You Wanted
Reviewer: DJ Catnip (original review found in Vanitas #004)

The Presets – Apocalypso

Artist: The Presets
Album: Apocalypso
Release: 2008
Genre: Synthpop

Released in 2008 as The Presets’ second album, Apocalypso is exactly what you would expect from a synthpop album.
I don’t know what it is about the style, but a grown man whining about relationships is actually quite forgivable when underpinned by this electronic squelch.

I like the Australian duo, and especially their wide range of synth-scapes and tempos, but at the same time I do feel a little disappointed by how, despite it all, it does start to sound a bit samey after a few tracks.
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Australia!

Rating: 7/10
Reviewer: DJ Pasta (original review published in Vanitas #002)

Brotherhood – The Dark EP

Artist: Brotherhood
Album: The Dark EP
Release: 2013
Genre: Goth

We’ll get the obvious things out the way first: yes, they are called Brotherhood, and their first album takes its name from a Sisters lyric (“Turn The Gold To Chrome”). But we all know the dangers of judging before listening, so here we go!

To be fair to them, Brotherhood have some real potential. Whilst I wasn’t 100% taken on my first listen, after nine or ten repeats, I was actually quite enjoying listening out and finding the subtleties in this EP.
Sure, the lyrics CAN sound a bit forced at times, but this is goth after all!

Standout tracks are definitely “A Heartbeat Away” and “Dead Inside”. The former I can only criticise for not being longer, but the latter is where the band have perfected their atmosphere – the production is top-notch, and you will find yourself (as I did) chanting along to the ending.

To the listener – Try this EP. It may take a few listens, but you will enjoy it.
To the band – Avoid any more Sisters references, get the production from 99% to 100% and you will have a bright (dark?) future ahead!

The Dark EP is released on afmusic on 13th September 2013

Rating: 7.5/10
Recommended Tracks: A Heartbeat Away, Dead Inside
Reviewer: DJ Catnip (original review published in Vanitas #004)

Inkubus Sukkubus – Queen of Heaven, Queen of Hell

Artist: Inkubus Sukkubus
Single: Queen of Heaven, Queen of Hell
Release: 2013
Genre: Goth, pagan rock

One of the most reassuring things about a new Inkies album is that even though, musically-speaking, you know what to expect, they always manage to exceed expectations.

The album starts off slowly with the chanted “Lilith, Kali, Nemesis, Morrigan” and the lovely “Forest Hill” before the rock kicks in, with that sea of reverb-drenched drums and organs we’ve all come to know and love, topped off by Candia’s voice, sounding as sweet today as it did 20 years ago. The six-minute title track especially encapsulates the band’s charm, rounding off the album excellently.

As well as new material, three remixes of older material feature, including a folk-tinged remake of 1995’s “Corn King”. Fans of more orchestral Inkies releases will be right at home here, with enough rock to keep everyone else happy. Blessed be!

Rating: 7.5/10
Reviewer: DJ Catnip (original review published in Vanitas #003)

Andy Romano – Every Time Feel Allright

Artist: Andy Romano
Single: Every Time Feel Allright
Release: 2010
Genre: Disco, italo

A crazy italo and electro EP from 2010, though it sounds at least 25 years older.
Pulling together sounds from West Coast US Hi-NRG, New Wave and classic italo, this EP honestly does not have a single bad track on it.
We played the electro-disco b-side “Sayonara Robot” last month [June 2013]. One of the better newly-produced yet retro-sounding records in our collection!

Rating: 9/10
Reviewer: DJ Pasta (original review published in Vanitas #003)