Category Archives: featured

REVIEW: Katatonia – ‘City Burials’


KATATONIA - City Burials

REVIEW: Katatonia – City Burials by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Swedish metallers Katatonia have returned from their unexpected hiatus with their highly anticipated eleventh new album ‘City Burials’ which is set for release on 24th April through Peaceville records. They are back with an invigorated and more progressive sound which was certainly worth the wait…

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REVIEW: ABORTED – ‘LA GRANDE MASCARADE’ EP


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REVIEW: ABORTED – ‘LA GRANDE MASCARADE’ EP by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Belgian death metallers Aborted unleash barbaric new EP titled “La Grande Mascarade” on the 17th April 2020 via Century Media Record which is a limited release featuring two new offerings along with a previously unreleased song from the 2018 ‘TerrorVision’ album sessions. Prepare for the onslaught…

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INTERVIEW: TWIN TEMPLE


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Interview by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

If you haven’t already heard of up and coming act Twin Temple – then get ready to be acquainted with a new sound that you have never heard…Satanic Doo-Wop!

Twin Temple consists of married couple and practising Satanists Alexandra and Zachary James who hail from Los Angeles.  The duo is already getting a reputation for their live shows and they are set to play at Download Festival UK this summer which will surely gain them some new followers – we asked them about this, how they created their genre and much more!

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PHOTO REPORT: SWALLOW THE SUN


To celebrate twenty years of existence, Swallow the Sun are doing “20 Years of Gloom, Beauty and Despair” tour. In Finland, their tour consisted of a two set evening. The first set, playing the second album of the Songs from the North trilogy called “Beauty” in its entirety acoustically and accompanied by a string quartet. The second set was somewhat “by request” from the fans. In December, the band asked across social media, for fans to vote for one song from each album they would want to hear live. The setlist did consist of some songs that haven’t been played in a long time, but also surprisingly, a few songs they had been playing live often, and as recent as their last tour. They will continue the tour to North America in April, and I wonder if and how they might tweak the setlist.

I had seen the show in Turku, on the second day of the tour, just as an attendee. The venue was a lot more intimate than the one in Helsinki, and you could tell the band was still getting the hang of the arrangements for the acoustic set (as well as some of the songs from the second set) which also added to the intimacy, in a way.  Not only was the band seemingly more at ease, and comfortable with the show in Helsinki, the string quartet also seemed more confident and able to get into the music more. Although I could tell the difference a few more shows made in the confidence and smoothness of the gig, both nights were equally amazing and unforgettable.

During the first set, the stage was alight with warm bulbs hung and places around the stage. There wasn’t much extra stage lighting so the ambiance was dark and almost ethereal. The guys were dressed up a bit, classy jackets and hats, only Juha had his hood up but it barely covered his face. It was a very unique experience for all attendees, no matter how well you knew the bands music, but it was extra special, and quite emotional, for fans who have been following the band for many years or have a deeper appreciation for the band and their music. I noticed those warm lightbulbs gleaming in many teary eyes and wet faces. The audience was completely enthralled in the charming, intimate gloom of “Beauty“.

The second set was no less unique of an experience than the first, specially the songs that haven’t been played often. I won’t list them here, (although the setlist is searchable elsewhere), but the energy during a few of the songs was so raw and tangible I found myself taking a deep breath after they ended, as if I had forgotten to breathe for a while. I have seen Swallow the Sun quite a few times in the past few years and the air of this evening held something different than the others. The guys all seemed to be into the music on a different level than ever before. The addition of Jaani’s vocals to a few of the older songs gave me chills. Juho and Matti’s energy and interaction with the crowd, Mikko and Juha’s more stoic presence, and Jaani and Juuso’s smooth vibes all concocted a beautiful, geniuine atmosphere that no photo or video could capture (speaking of which, it seemed they were recording the show for something, there were cameras and extra microphones around the stage and in the audience… what is to come?) but that being said, here are a few photos from the evening.

First Set


Second Set


Dates for upcoming North American tour:
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PHOTO REPORT: ALCEST, BIRDS IN ROW & KÆLAN MIKLA


Alcest, Birds in Row and Kælan Mikla played a sold out show at Tavastia in Helsinki on February 18, 2020. The intensity was solid through all three bands in very unique ways. Although Kælan Mikla suffered some show stopping technical difficulties, they put on a positively unforgettable show. Their dreamy and somewhat eerie aesthetic (including incense and glow wands) and chill but intense vibes set a unique atmosphere to start the show. Birds in Row shattered that with a full volume hardcore set that left me wondering how the light bulbs they used in their decor didn’t shatter. It was a very drastic switch genre wise and energy wise, but Alcest pulled it all together. They had a balanced mix of both chill, dreamy and crazy energy. The band seemed real present at the gig, into their music and connecting flawlessly with the audience. Although the gig was sold out, they made it seem like a much more intimate show, connecting everyone. They played mostly songs from the new album Spiritual Instinct but snuck in a few classics. Although they left me extremely content, I cannot wait to see them again at John Smith Festival.

Here are some photos from the evening:

Kælan Mikla –

Birds in Row –

Alcest –

INTERVIEW: Imperial Age (Russia)


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Interview by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Symphonic metal act from Russia Imperial Age formed in 2012 by singers/keyboardists Alexander ‘Aor’ Osipov and Jane Odintsova, soon after forming, they landed some great support slots for international bands such as Epica, Paradise Lost, The 69 Eyes, Tarja, Therion and more.

In 2014 while opening for Therion, founder/composer and guitarist, Christofer Johnsson of Therion approached the band and offered to distribute their CDs via his label Adulruna Records and after they joined them on a big European tour which was the start of big things for the band.

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