Nov 2016 22

The Regency, San Francisco, CA – 10/09/2016
 
VNV Nation Compendium 2016

 

Compendium wasn’t just another chance to see VNV Nation; it was a celebration of music and joy. No opener… just VNV Nation for three solid hours playing whatever the band wanted.

[..]

Oct 2016 14

The Metro, Chicago, IL – Saturday, 09/24/2016
 
ColdWaves V

 

Not nearly enough good can be said about ColdWaves, Chicago’s yearly event celebrating the life and music of Jamie Duffy, raising funding and awareness for suicide prevention, and providing a communal experience for what has often been referred to as the “biggest smallest scene” – industrial/rock. Taking inspiration as much from the more atmospheric, experimental, and purely electronic styles that underlie virtually every permutation of the genre and infusing them with the tonal and lyrical heaviness that pervades alternative rock and metal, ColdWaves has done well to represent all of these disparate elements in equal measure, with past events often dividing the focus among its various nights – i.e., one night would be more rock-centric with the other night more on the electronic side. While ColdWaves V maintained this arrangement, the variety of bands on display at this year’s event blurred the lines between these divergent styles further than ever; while it can be said that the first night was more centered on the electronic and poppier aspects, all of the bands exhibited an energy and dynamism on par with the more guitar-oriented rock stylings that this second night presented. Not to be outdone by the first night’s roster, the acts that took to the stage at the Metro on Saturday seemed determined to give the audience a powerful and memorable helping of industrial/rock.

[..]

Oct 2016 12

The Metro, Chicago, IL – Friday, 09/23/2016
 
ColdWaves V

 

“I can’t believe it’s the fifth year.” Such were the words uttered to this writer at this year’s ColdWaves V in Chicago, the fellow patron’s face bearing the simultaneous traces of astonishment at so monumental an achievement and sadness for the circumstances that brought the event about – the passing of Jamie Duffy, one of the Windy City’s most beloved and celebrated musical personalities. Having earned a formidable reputation on and off the stage, in and out of the studio, Duffy’s life and music helped to shape what we now think of as the underground industrial/rock scene, his skills having served to strengthen both longtime veterans and up-and-coming acts. Carrying on this legacy, ColdWaves has served as a platform not only for new and burgeoning bands to make their mark but also for long defunct legends to reunite and remind audiences of the music that created this scene, with this year’s events heralding some of the most anticipated performances from both ends of the spectrum.

[..]

Sep 2016 20

Stimulate, New York City – 09/16/2016
 
The Cocks

 

Once upon a time, before people stopped buying vinyl and then started again, and before literally everyone in Brooklyn was a music producer, there were few notable stars in the industrial scene. And there was perhaps no single bigger personality than “Uncle Al” Jourgensen, that temporarily faux Brit of “Revenge”-era MINISTRY Cuban American who one day suddenly spilled out all over the scene and turned music into a chain-linked drugged out haze of cowboy twang and chunky guitar riffs. Chasing dragons and immortality from Chicago to Texxarkana, ’80s Al had the Midas touch, and the power-packed stadium sludge of his Revolting Cocks could do no wrong. It’s ironic, then, that as the band reunited founding members Luc van Acker and Richard 23 alongside past participants Paul Barker and Chris Connelly for a limited six date tour as The Cocks that kicked off Friday night at Stimulate in New York City, Al would be the only one absent. [..]

Feb 2016 22

Silver Spring, MD, Fillmore, 09/22/2015
 
Ghost - live in Silver Spring, MD by Katherine Gaines

 

In a few short years, Sweden’s Ghost has risen to the heights of international acclaim from both critics and audiences. With each band member adorned in matching costumes that present an image true to their moniker, vocalist Papa Emeritus III being the most distinguished with a prosthetic skull face that has been described as a form of “demonic anti-Pope,” it would be easy to dismiss Ghost as all style and no substance… that is, until one hears the band’s vicious and decidedly blasphemous brand of doom-laden Satanic gothic/metal. [..]

Oct 2015 23

Masquerade, Atlanta, GA – 10/13/2015
 
Genitorturers - Fall Tour 2015

 

“Ooh, you should wait until she gets her hooks into her dog/pig gimp slave – so badass!”

 

Uh, excuse me; what now? It’s difficult not to pay attention when one receives a text like this before a show. In retrospect, this seemed to be one of me milder visual elements to be viewed this event. But before I get too ahead of myself, it might be appropriate to offer a little word of warning: If you are reading this article hoping for someone with an advanced knowledge of the entire Genitorturers discography, you may want to look elsewhere; short of listening to “Lecher Bitch” on repeat while in a virtual goth club while playing Vampire, The Masquerade: Bloodlines, along with perhaps a few other singles, this writer has almost zero knowledge of this band. I’ve heard plenty of stories, but finally, I was able to experience things for myself – at a music venue called Masquerade, no less… it all comes back around, doesn’t it? [..]

Oct 2015 08

The Metro, Chicago, IL – Saturday, 09/26/2015
 
ColdWaves IV

 

The first night of the fourth installment of Chicago’s foremost industrial music festival – ColdWaves – was a raucous and energetic introduction in a more intimate setting, acting as a primer for the sustained heaviness of the subsequent main events. The following night showcased ColdWaves IV’s distinguished and remarkably different atmospheric focus from the past with a greater emphasis on noisier and more experimental acts, culling from the darker ambient, emotionally decrepit, and perhaps even apocalyptic perceptions of human existence. While not lacking in energy, it was certainly a different tone, but one that appropriately exhibited the industrial music genre’s diversity and the levels to which different styles come into play even within the parameters of coldwave. Given ColdWaves’ standing as a tribute to the late Jamie Duffy and, with the partnership of Hope for the Day, is an ever strengthening voice in suicide prevention, the frailty of the artistic side of the human condition was laid bare on this first night, but it was perhaps not completely felt – at least, as far as this writer perceived – in its fullness until this second night of ColdWaves IV. [..]