Growing Up in Lovecraft Country

Horror, true gut-wrenching and soul-crushing horror, is the absolute absence of hope and safety. As I mused in a previous article, about the unnatural ambiance of synthetic horror, this often takes the form of the unknown and unfamiliar. However, and perhaps somewhat ironically, it’s often when we feel at our safest that we’re actually at our most vulnerable and therefore more susceptible to the horrific consequences of our follies. After all, there’s a reason as to why the most successful experiences in horror are those which tend to cut the closest to home.

That is partly why, to this day, the opening sequence to Tales from the Darkside continues to haunt me; the idyllic countryside of dirt roads, covered bridges, rivers, and woods reminds me so much of where I grew up. It was my first taste, at a very young age, that something so beautiful and serene in the light could turn so sinister and menacing at night. Combine those haunting visuals with that mental anguish, then pepper in a creepy narration with equally freaky music, and you’ve got the recipe for something which scarred me for life as a child growing up in New England. I never again looked at the world the same… Continue reading

Nokogiri Nami Society presents “The Night Call: Vol. 1” in aid of Yorkshire Cancer Research!

Twitter friendly comp bannerIn a recent news post, where I announced the return of this blog from it’s month long hiatus, I mentioned a certain person by name who helped to design our new banner: Bernadas, one half of the UK based radio show The Night Call along with his friend James. Well, today I am extremely proud to announce that the two of them have started something special in the form of a new synthwave label entitled the Nokogiri Nami Society. Their first act is to put together a compilation of some top talent in the synthwave scene and donate 100% of the proceeds to Yorkshire Cancer Research (516898), which you can learn more about here: http://yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/strategy-and-objectives/

As for the Nokogiri Nami Society, they explain their own genesis as follows:

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Hexenkraft: The Infernal Schism

a2720626935_10To paraphrase the beginning narration to one of my favorite horror anthology television series of all time, “Tales from the Darkside”: synthwave lives in the neon-soaked world of what most believe to be the only genre, but there is unheard by many a genre straight from the underworld, a genre that is just as intense, but not as upbeat… a darksynth.

Imagine if you will the video game “DooM,” where the forces of hell merge with futuristic technology, but instead of a Cyberdemon armed with a rocket launcher they’re instead fully decked out with a synthesizer. They’re itching, crawling, and creeping into our world with one demon above the rest leading them toward our ultimate demise: Hexenkraft.

Releasing their newest album a day early, after an outcry from his acolytes, “The Infernal Schism” is another great battle cry from the forces of hell. Starting off with a kick down your door song in the form of “Hellfire Assault Battalion,” it gets you pumped for what lies ahead, featuring some familiar audio clips from the aforementioned “DooM”. It’s followed by “Technomagick Sacrament,” which due to its slowburn and brooding nature feels like a demon toying with it’s prey.

The next song is “The Infernal Schism,” the title track, and one of the singles from the album that was used to promote its release along with this video:

I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention how much that video makes me wish a game like that would actually become real! The next song, “A Flame in the Void,” is probably my favorite on the album due to it being a real showcase of fiery talent; it masterfully intertwines a variety of sounds and feelings with some great solos.

We then end with “Diabolus ex Nihilo” which, while it translates to “Devil from Nothing,” this track is certainly something. With a nice nod to “Hellraiser,” the track proceeds to do just that, sounding at times like a chainsaw through demon flesh. Overall, this album is fantastic, and just further solidifies Hexenkraft as one of the more underrated producers in the darksynth genre. If you’ve yet to join the dark side, now is the time to pledge your eternal soul. Infernal hails, indeed.