Showing posts with label Mick Mercer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mick Mercer. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Veil of Thorns - Salon Apocalypse - Mick Mercer Review


VEIL OF THORNS
SALON APOCALYPSE
Inner-X-Musick

This where acid rock and Industrial-triphop fuse, where you try and make easy sense of it all and you lose. Worryingly, it does begin to make more sense the more you listen. The walls close in during ‘Still Bloody Action’ as the rhythm clashes with a set of vocals that make you think someone has woken Merlin. If that’s your sort of thing, read on…

Their collective lungs breathe out metal splinters in a confusing ‘Sleep, Cut And Run’ and I’m assuming that’s none other than Aidan McGoran on guitar, although it may not be, but he’s on here somewhere, and Pandora wheels away like an acid casualty cutting her safety chord on a space walk. There’s a different mood for ‘Intellectual Institutional Object’ as P. Emerson Williams rambles on like the Godchild of William Burroughs channelling Bob Dylan, offering a nice bit about ‘Devil to a half-Devil dissolve.’ Pandora’s got back into the space station and seems suitably contrite.

‘And The Beast Of The Vision Still Roams In Dream’ would appear to be a distantly observed orchestra balanced on an electricity pylon shrouded in fog. ‘Sepulchral Reminder (Torment Rose)’ brings in a solid beat as our vocal host sounds like a deranged headmaster as the sound falls in on itself, threshing wildly. (Imagine robots falling down very long stairs.) The psychedelic guitar motif that floats on high above ‘Nearer To Hell (Ideological Corpses)’ gives it all a stronger impact. At least we know we’re on Earth with a poisoned watery dance thing. ‘The Play Is The Thing’ appears to be a continuation, the guitar briefly evident before things tick into a slower, oppressive gear then disintegrates into am ambient maelstrom.

‘Nocturne’ is another thing entirely, windswept and ghostly, with some accommodating bass and fuzzy logic, all art dance friendliness. ‘Infinitude’ is a stripped down, pacey alt-rock avalanche, and ‘Seduction’ is a bit of a torch thing with Pandora waving the flaming torch a bit near your face and the music wandering into filmic horror.

‘Windows Blacked Out’ is a snatch of something mental, ambient with mumbled overlay, while ‘The Bell’ could be a rare recording of Vincent Price. ‘Autonomous Anonymous Anomalous’ returns to scuffed-up rock daubs jumbled into a cacophonous sludge. Me, I like a nice tune, so I have no idea what’s going on. ‘The Thing Is In Play’ fidgets and slithers with some dance intention or other, ‘Imagination Thieves’ is a moody vocal scene, ‘Veiled Shadows Glaze’ adding in some more vocal drama and musical swirls, before they come close to something conventional to close with ‘Soul Intervention’ sounding a bit like Red Hot Chilli Peppers spinning upside down on their heads.

We have the other two albums they’ve just released over the next two nights. To infinity and…somewhere else besides.

Veil of Thorns - Necrofuturist - Mick Mercer Review

VEIL OF THORNS - NECROFUTURIST 
Inner-X-Musick


Scarified vocals sprawl across the densely packed shuffling ‘Thought Pollution Evolution’ and you can sense there’s an eagerness to be freshly mangled, the triphop and dark atmospherics come whispering and whistling, not gnashing or self-eviscerating. No ideas what it’s about but the mood is strangely contagious. When ‘Through The Fire’ also limbo dances under the tension-free guitar barbed wire you know we’re in for some fun, and this is another unusual but invigorating track. As our relieved and seemingly addled host guides us through ‘Standing’ it’s light, engaging and gentle. Then we fall into ‘The Vandals Exquisite Corpse’ and it gets a wee bit trickier. That’s a slithery mindwarp of a thing, the sounds clattering and rustling, only for ‘The Lifeless Trio Kept Playing’ to be an idyllic segment, and ‘Wailing In Glass’ warped rockist fare pootling along, gradually dispersing into sub-atomic ambient mulch. So, the whole world is here.

A brief ‘Waltz’ verges on blistered Americana, ‘Pleasure In Nightmare’ keeps circling, bathing in its own perspiration, before an equally intoxicating ‘Giving Ascent’ digs in deftly for some dancey machinations, with a discreet sense of fun rather than flashing the rhythm around. Here we are in fertile dark indie territory, both filmic and mood-enhancing. ‘Dancing Revelation’, of course, moves away sideways, lightly aggrieved instead of inclusive. ‘Let Loose Into That Good Mourning’ is an interestingly gloomy soundscape where the machines seem to have won but find themselves down in the dumps. ‘The Reflection’ is the opposite, a lazily beautiful twilight night sky, with ‘Deny Fascination’ just as inviting, for all the disguised vocal intent. Things have got looser for a while in the VOT world and relaxation does wonders.

They do appear to be dropping slowly into the abyss for the groaning ambient doldrums of ‘The Only One Left’, like whalesong at closing time. In the skittish ‘Die As One’ it’s all very clandestine and chilled, the energy locked down tight as it bustles past on an espionage-fuelled mission.
‘Entertainments Subsume Concern’ sounds like a panel show doomed to failure, and it does appear to sound like a repair man trapped inside a cathedral organ, trying to fight his way out.

We’re into gloopier electronic sounds as ‘Head Up Get Out’ wibbles around over a toxic bassline and we’re ushered out by ‘The Dead Channel’ which is more restrained but shadowy fare, vocals unwelcome visitors in an imposing room staffed by jazz-obsessed ghosts.

Definitely one of the weirder Veil Of Thorns offerings, because of its orderly approach, and really quite lovely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

THE MICK Issue 49 Is Online Now for Free Download



THE MICK issue 49 is online now for free download, containing interviews with GIANT PAW (UK), DJ MARK SPLATTER (International Man), ROME BURNS (UK), THE RABIES (USA), THE BROTHERHOOD OF PAGANS (France) and THE DROWNING SEASON (USA) as well as 34 REVIEWS.
http://www.mickmercer.com/themick.html

My website also now has the direct link to my new book on Goth, the 624 epic MUSIC TO DIE FOR - http://www.mickmercer.com/
During the next six weeks eight exclusive books I am self-publishing will be appearing. These include ‘Author Editions’ of my first books, Gothic Rock Black Book (celebrating it’s 21st anniversary!) and Gothic Rock, both of which will be redesigned to include an extra 200+ pages featuring previously unseen photos of classic Goth bands, as well as a three book series of Gothic Interviews, and a three book series of Gothic Images. ‘Author Editions of Hex Files and 21st Century Goth will follow shortly thereafter, as will a series of Punk-related books, and several reviewing bootlegs.

Meanwhile, please consider adding to:
http://www.myspace.com/musictodieforbymickmercer
http://www.myspace.com/mickmercer
http://www.myspace.com/themickmagazine

Sunday, April 5, 2009

MUSIC TO DIE FOR BY MICK MERCER

MUSIC TO DIE FOR
BY MICK MERCER
Cherry Red Books £17.99



My fifth book has now arrived. It is 624 pages long, containing individual entries on 3,581 different bands, from 70 countries, with 183 photos. It covers bands from the beginning of these scenes to the present day and wherever possible contains full line-up details and discographies as well as unusual facts revealed by many of the bands. This is the biggest guide ever printed about the underground scenes in which Goth, Post-Punk and all things noir co-exist with equal splendour

You can find this on Amazon, Barnes & Noble (etc) but if possible please use the link below to buy direct from the publisher. They accept Paypal and for such a chunky book they’re doing a very cheap deal on postage. Content details behind the cut.

This time around I am delighted to have discovered details on many countries I had never been able to infiltrate before. The world unfolds as follows:

Argentina - 31, Australia - 75, Austria - 22, Belarus - 3, Belgium - 28, Bolivia – 7, Brazil – 53, Bulgaria – 11, Canada – 77, Chile – 24, Colombia – 28, Costa Rica – 2, Croatia – 6, Cuba – 2, Czech Republic - 13, Denmark – 12, Ecuador – 4, Egypt – 3, Estonia – 2, Falkland Islands – 2, Finland – 47, France – 174, Germany – 346, Greece – 35, Greenland – 1, Hungary – 7, Indonesia – 1, Ireland – 13, Israel – 2, Italy – 172, Japan – 25, Kazakhstan – 2, Latvia – 3, Lebanon – 2, Liechtenstein – 4, Lithuania – 11, Luxembourg - 1, Macedonia – 5, Malta – 1, Mexico – 60, Monaco – 1, Netherlands – 49, New Zealand – 14, Norway – 28, Pakistan – 1, Paraguay – 3, Peru – 6, Philippines – 8, Poland – 36, Portugal – 55, Puerto Rico – 9, Romania – 20, Russia – 70, Serbia – 1, Singapore – 2, Slovak Republic – 6, Slovenia – 3, South Africa – 4, Spain – 84, Sweden – 93, Switzerland – 31, Thailand – 5, Turkey – 6, UK – 579, Ukraine - 11, United Arab Emirates – 1, Uruguay - 5, USA – 1092, Venezuela – 6 and Yugoslavia – 5.

Musically we have representatives from these distinct and Goth-related genres:

‘Alt’ (covering a multitude of sins) – 336, Ambient – 71, Classical/Ethereal – 33, Comedy – 1, Deathrock – 12, Electro – 99, Electronic(a) – 79, Folk/Country – 67, Glam – 11, Gothic – 1042, Gothic/Metal – 449, Historical – 4, Horror – 25, Indie – 99, Industrial – 117, Other/Exp/Minimalist – 135, Post-Punk – 356, Psychobilly – 93, Punk/New Wave – 234, Rock – 238, Shoegaze/Psychedelic – 36 and Surf/Garage – 44.

Please spread the word now that it’s out! I hope you find it worthwhile and useful, and I obviously want as many people as possible to do likewise. Your help in circulating the news is much appreciated.

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/books/musictodiefor.php

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mick Mercer Reviews Cognitive Dissonance

Mick Mercer Reviews Cognitive Dissonance


I have to say I'm aglow from reading this one. One sends out ones creations to be reviewed and what comes back is usually expected. Sometimes what is written is surprising, sometimes completely off the wall, to the point that you want to check and make sure you sent the right CD. But when it's understood, whether the review is positive or not, that's one of the greatest rewards. 



VEIL OF THORNS
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE
Mythos Media


Although working at another end of the noisy bastard spectrum to History Of Guns, Veil Of Thorns, and other P. Emerson Williams projects, provide the same alternative. Just when you have become used to experiencing your guitar stimulants, your ethereal relaxants, your electronic placebo, along comes Doctor Thorns, like a knight in deliberately ill-fitting armour and bellows ‘No more!’ causing all patients to fall from their beds. Where a lot of old-school Industrialists make deliberately obscure, ugly amateurish trash and new Industrialists churn out whatever club-friendly sounds they hope will land them a big record deal, there are some artists wading sternly through the same muddy waters with more artistic sensibilities. Veil Of Thorns may make threatening music but it is not without gentler asides, and often presents itself in alluring form. This is their most stylish work, but some of the thorns have an extra edge.

It’s really just down to P. Emerson Williams on virtually everything but the live drums of James Curcio, whose alarming novel I am currently reading. That’s the thing – music and other genuine influences, with P. himself a very talented artist, as I am sure many of you realise. It infuses what might be a trudging sound and throws light into murky corners. ‘Peripatetic’ has a dark rhythmical flow below a bright needling guitar and the drums stay furtive, the vocals commendably aghast, the song briskly cantering into action. It is actually hard to follow the vocal narrative but maybe that’s a good thing? ‘A Weirdness Less Expressed’ is great. If ever robots develop their own Thrash genre with a glaring sheen and viciously seedy bass pulses they will point to this song as a formative spark; more keenly urgent vocals and liquid guitar unusually catchy at times.

‘The Enigmatic Rarely Atone’ is slippier, as guitar slides away from the gleaming, undulating core. ‘Fallacy Decides Initiative’ lurches off after the seamless intro into a sighing, tumbling exercise, but ‘Delusions Of Excitement’ has low key, sweeter sounds and a dignified comeliness, deeper slopes and a playful atmospheric element. ‘Surgically Dream Like’ does what it says on the bloodbag, the cello providing a blurred setting, as though orchestral ocean liners were calling to one another, Industrial whale song!

‘Languishing In The Rusting Valley’ is not the worse holiday brochure ever, but a fractious combination of tingling guitar and grating rhythm in a plainly enjoyably melodic cacophony, as pert as the ungainly ever get. ‘Corrode And Engulf’ is deep growliness, like an ambient intestinal voyage. ‘Night Access Hallucination’ is a weird entity, being spindly, addled art-rock, with a touch of the Frank Zapata about it, with ‘Anomalous Breaks’; fun, not fearful. Austere, like monks hungover on mescaline, and then the title track itself sends you home with a cold bowl of sonic porridge.

They’re one of the few creative outlets for these more tangled sounds, and this gets the thumbs up, being a fine record, and one which some people might find easier to get into than earlier works as it’s got elements you’d recognise. Okay, you may develop extra thumbs with prolonged exposure, but what is life without risks?

http://www.veilofthorns.com
http://www.myspace.com/veilofthorns
http://joinmycult.blogspot.com
http://www.myspace.com/choronzon333

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