Category Archives: Reviews

REVIEW: Kladovest – Ignitiate

REVIEW: Kladovest – Ignitiate 

Review by Ekaterina K./ Dark Art Conspiracy 


1. Hermit Dungeons
2. Beneath The Reaper Shadow
3. Shore Of Ancient Moons
4. Carved In Scars…
Dmitriy K. – music, all instruments
Gjenfard – vocals
Vintrald – lyrics
Kladovest is a Slavic Neopagan concept signifying the “well of knowledge” that can be compared to the Akashic records in theosophy and related esoteric schools.
From the first note it lugs away into the deeps of melancholic canvas.

Imagination immediately creates the branches of the trees that have their leaves long lost. Dirty guitars vary with atmospheric clean ones, and sharp and fast riffs – changed by slow and stringy like a spider web, ones.

As “Shore of Ancient Moons” clean guitar parts are beaded on a lackluster thread of main black-metal riff. Embittered, collapsing on the verge vocal, gives the impression that the voice, reaching the edge, falls into the deep and disappears from the musical cloth. But it throws and shouts words till the end.

There is nothing original or new that Kladovest came up with, but together it turned out to be magical in its own desperation.

Score: 5/5 definitely.

”Ignitiate” is available via No Colors Records.

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REVIEW: Courtesans – Better Safe Than Sober EP!

Courtesans – ‘Better Safe Than Sober’ EP review

Review by Carina Lawrence / Dark Art Conspiracy

Courtesans are a four piece doom pop act hailing from London, UK. Their unique sound embraces many styles and subtleties to capture the best elements of each including grunge, alternative rock and electronic, which results in their genre bending and innovative sound. Following the release of their widely received debut album, ‘1917’ and their successful Pledge Music campaign in 2016, they aren’t holding back in any way and are ready to solidify their stamp in the scene further with their highly anticipated new E.P ‘Better Safe Than Sober’ out March 31st.

The EP kicks off with new video single, ‘Mesmerise’ which immediately masks us in an dark enthralling ambience, aided by the effects and isolated vocals, with resonant instruments to give extra oomph, and when it peaks at the crescendo you truly are taken under there mesmerising allure. The end is particularly powerful and defiant with more angsty vocals, leaving you hooked and ready for more…
‘Feel The Same’ keeps us guessing with a rap style intro, before a sweet melodic alternative pop chorus comes in, going between the transition between the two genres, which is excellently constructed and is highly effective. The talking sections get more emotive and bleak as it progresses with the instruments helping to reflect the tone. This is cleverly portraying a dark meets light sound.
‘John Doe’ sounds eerie and desolate, making an atmospheric start, with soft pleasant stripped back vocals to accompany. Again the beats and melodies grow effortlessly and seamlessly along. It possesses a strong presence that is soaring and all consuming, and the same can be said of all the tracks featured on the EP, making it easy to get lost in the diverse sounds.
‘Knowhere’ is instantly heavier sounding from the off, portraying their doom rock influences more so with catchy dark riffs all wrapped in a dance trance vibe, with great sonic sounds throughout.
Last song, ‘The Tide’ goes back to their trip-hop sound which comes off as vulnerable and helps add extra depth and complexity to their invigorating style. The structure and use of sounds is intelligible and immense, flowing like a calm ocean current, leading up to a full blown tidal wave. This is a very appropriate way to describe their immersive sound also.
This E.P toys with your musical expectations and senses in the greatest sense, defying what you know and creating something different and exciting. It is irresistibly dark and captivating and leaves you thirsty for more.
Score: 5/5
‘Better Safe Than Sober’ is released 31st March 2017.

Courtesans are:
Sinead La Bella – Vocals
Saffire Sanchez – Guitar
Agnes D. Jones – Bass
Vikki Frances – Drums

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REVIEW: Quintessenz- To the Gallows

Review by Ekaterina K. / Dark Art Conspiracy

In 2010, Quintessenz was formed as a one-man-project by Genözider.(Bulldozing Bastard,Vulture,Luzifer). After the first Demo in 2011. The First EP under the banners of “Evil Spell Records“, namely “Okkult Metal Spell” from 2012, was a contiunuation to this kind of Metal . Rough sound, simple Riffs,Fuck-off-attitude! In 2013 the first Album “Back to the Kult of the Tyrants” comes out and was a complete dedication to the “First Wave of Black Metal“ Bands like Venom,Celtic Frost and Hellhammer.
The new Album  “To the Gallows” goes one step further and is more melodic. The development results in more complex song structures, many details in songwriting and surprises the listener with unawaited elements that gives an in depth experience. They ́ve added a lot of influences from classical heavy metal this time full of variety in the songs which are often hymnic melodic, but also aggressive without denying their roots.
Straight to the edge and very in your face Quintessenz’s second album crashes on the listener’s head their uncompromised sound from the first song – “Zeitgeist Verreke.” Abrupt drums, harsh vocal and raw guitars are making a good…Quintessenz. Influenced by heavy metal melodic solos, as in ‘Sounding the Funeral Bell” or “Endless Night” for example, bring diversity to raw riffs in early thrash’n’black metal traditions, which at some moments get closer even to crust. Aggressive harsh yelling switches to clean vocals gives dramatic drop to the dirty sound. Especially it gets its high point in “Endless Night” when vocal mixed with acoustic guitar sound and then turns into slow guitar solo. Worthy to mention eastern-type melody, which gives an exotic breeze to “Seth” and then continues in fast riffs during the whole song. Need to mention interesting elements like recitative in beginning of “To the Gallows” and female vocal, which gives more atmosphere to this song. Songs’ structure is also diverse, changes in tempo and guitar work make album more complex and deep. “To the Gallows” is made smoothly, all songs are on their place and don’s stand out, though this album can’t be described as monotonous. Strong and quite interesting release.
Score: 4/5


01 Zeitgeist Verrecke
02 Of Majestic Shores
03 The Claws Of Nosferatu
04 Her Spell
05 Sounding The Funeral Bell
06 To The Gallows
07 Endless Night
08 Seth
09 Gloomweaver
10 Cursed By Moonlight
”To the Gallows” has been released in January 1st via Evil Spell Records.

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REVIEW: Ande – Het Gebeente

Review by Ekaterina  K / Dark Art Conspiracy

Ande is a Belgian one man black metal project that started in early 2015. It’s a personal way to honour black metal that was, is and will be. The first release “Licht” is published at the very end of 2015.
In 2016 a new track “Zoer” was published through the “Merchants Of Air Year 2” compilation. The second album “Het Gebeente” will be available early 2017.
Ande’s “Het Gebeente” meets us with dark cover painted in grey and blue shades, and already creates somber atmosphere, which can be perceived through the whole album. “Het Gebeente” begins with slow and short piano intro, which turns sharp into the next song – “Argwaan”. It begins with dirty sound riffs and typical for a bit plastic black metal blast-beats. Although it can be considered primitive when it begins, but after careful listening it must be said – no, it’s definitely not.

Though guitar parts are typical for this genre and nothing original had been invented, they are not boring or toneless. The melody and tempo is often changed during all the songs, when fast aggressive riffs abruptly lose their speed and changed by slow, and kind of leisurely ones, let’s say. Wall of riffs gave its place to melancholic clean guitar in the middle of “Leeg” and then continues its dense march with croaking vocal, screaming from afar. Vocal is pushed onto the background and gave the impression “Het Gebeente” ends with ambient thing “Uittrede”, which matches as perfect close to this release. Dense raw black with atmospheric breeze sounds like good continuing for Ande.

Score: 4/5


1. Intrede
2. Argwaan
3. Gebukt
4. Oud en Vet
5. Leeg
6. Uittrede

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REVIEW: Synaptik – Justify & Reason

Synaptik – Justify & Reason Album

Review by Carina Lawrence.

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                                                                                  The album track list:

1. The Incredible Machine                                   2. Human / Inhuman
3. Conscience
4. White Circles
5. Esc Ctrl
6. A Man Dies
7. As I Am As I Was
8. I Am The Ghost (intro)
9. Your Cold Dead Trace


British heavy metal five-piece, Synaptik from Norwich, UK have a mighty sound that combines thrash, power and progressive metal elements, forming to make their own unique concoction, that they have been delivering since their origins in 2012. Following their critically acclaimed 2014 debut album “The Mechanisms of Consequence”, they are back to make an huge impact with the anticipated new album, “Justify & Reason” which is released on March 10th. 2017 is the year of Synaptik, having already signed with DeFox and Heart Of Steal records as well as landing a US deal with Divebomb records and re-releasing a remixed heavier version of their hit debut. The sophomore album sees the band reach new heights, truly honing in on their already distinct sound, with a bigger focus on progressive depth and darker sounds…

Opening track, ‘The Incredible Machine’ kicks into action furiously with rich melodic vocals from vocalist, John Knight to accompany the intricate guitars and changeable backdrop. The intelligible transitions quickly show their talent and craftsmanship and prove they run a tight ship, with all the rights cogs turning in unison, coming together to amass to six minutes of epicness. Luckily they grip you and give you many ‘reasons’ to keep listening…

‘White Circles’ has a more serene atmospheric approach in contrast initially, helping to show the diversity and range of vocals and sounds they can portray, before they go fully charged and up the angst with aggressive vocals and menacing guitar riffs; The guitars particularly shine here, with an impressive solo, although each member gets their moment to revel, and as a collective unit they are unstoppable rampaging on…

‘Human Inhuman’ features some interesting rhythms and time signatures which make this stand out, with sweet melodies and vocal lines that soar and drive it. It contains some impressive instrumental sections that will draw in fans of bands like Dream Theater, as you get a feel for the bands many musical influences coming through. ‘Conscience’ opens on a blazing harmonic guitar intro that is bound to impress, with guitarists Ian Knight and Jack Murton in their element, and again showing as throughout their technical abilities.

The first single and closing song ‘Esc Ctrl’ is a perfect introduction and representation of the band, as it immediately asserts their unique progressive sound. This is flawless with slick guitars, brilliant production and demanding powerful vocals. You can’t escape from their huge consuming sound, once you hear it you are hooked! They leave you hanging and wanting more as we reach the end.

“Justify & Reason” displays exquisite textured and highly melodic metal that still packs a deadly bite. Each song is expertly crafted and progresses effortlessly in an epic manner, aided by the sheer length of all the songs, as well as the rich flair of sounds and technical showmanship exhibited throughout, in every element. The bands already signature sound stands strong and it will surely assert itself in the metal scene. There is simply no ‘justified reason’ not to listen and admire this impressive collection of songs.

‘Justify & Reason’ will be released physically March 10th 2017 via Snakes On Fire Records (UK), Divebomb Records (US) and digitally via Defox Records worldwide.

For US fans it’s a double dose as the remix album and the new album, ‘Justify & Reason’ will be released as a double album directly via Divebomb Records at .

The first pre-orders for this collection will be February 1st. The album will be released worldwide everywhere March 10th and the remix album digitally January 30th.

If you can’t wait for the official release of ‘Justify & Reason’ and like what you hear, the band are currently offering a great deal if you head over to their website  and sign up, you will get a free download of ‘ESC CTRL’ and £10 off your next order.


SCORE: 5 / 5
Links for Synaptik:

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KEROSCENE – Like The First Time (Single Review)

KEROSCENE – Like The First Time (Single Review) by Carina Lawrence 


London quartet Keroscene have created an interesting sound for themselves, not putting themselves in a box. They are free to explore and play with the genres. They have gained attention from Q Magazine and been placed in noteworthy Spotify playlists, highlighting them as a new and upcoming band to watch.
The band recorded two singles with Matt Peel (Eagulls, Pulled Apart By Horses). The first ambient single, “I Can’t Do A Thing” showcases their vast influences, drawing from a more post-punk vibe.
And now with a year new, brings a new single titled “Like The First Time” which has dark undertones with a slight melancholic sound, with lyrics such as “like the first time you killed me” and “forever entombed” adding to this sombre side. It features twangy indie guitars tinged in a dark ambience, aided by the electronics creating more atmosphere and depth. As it progresses more elements creep in with a crescendo, making quite a powerful impact. This isn’t really heavy music, but through its bleak and broody sound it intrigues and demonstrates the band have a lot to convey. The song is thought provoking through its lyrical content, as its about being alone, not loneliness, but more about we are on our own when we come into the world and when we exit and about the importance of understanding life to lead to content and fulfilment. So the band manage to successfully take us on an interesting and philosophical journey, both musically and lyrically. This is an impressive feat for a new band, and gives you even more reason to check them out.

Video link – “Like The First Time”


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