Ghostfire is one of my two favorite Steampunk bands, along with Victor Sierra, so I was eagerly awaiting their next release after The Tydburn Jig.
Strictly speaking, Skeleton Coast is not steampunk. As you can guess from the title, it is pirate-themed. This did not dim my enjoyment of the EP in the slightest. Skeleton Coast delivers four very atmospheric songs, ranging in style from shanties, “Fire In The Hole”, to classic Ghostfire style like we have heard on The Tydburn Jig, “Griminsky’s Soul”.
The brand-new, twelve-song release of French steampunk band Victor Sierra does not disappoint and is a fabulous addition to steampunk music.
With their mix of rock, EBM, ethnic influences and multilingual vocals, Victor Sierra delivers another great album and proves they are an original band, not just in the steampunk scene, but in general.
Everyone even remotely interested in steampunk music is no doubt aware that Jody Ellen is one of the singers of steampunk band Abney Park. Now she also has her own solo project, something fewer people know.
Which is a right shame as this album is awesome. Simple as that. In my opinion, who is a fan of Ellen’s vocal work with Abney Park should give this twelve-song debut album, Skyscrapers & Helicopters, a chance.
The first, self-titled, album of the Violet Steam Experience is a good, solid German alternative-style album with hints of tribal and Jazz, making it more original, fresh and pleasant to listen to.
Contrary to many bands, this group does retain its own particular live vibe on record, which is something not heard very often these days when bands tend to sound better live than recorded. The songs are of a good mix between uptempo, slower and ballads, which brings a great variation to the album.
Last but not least out of the Phantasium live reports, the review of the group pretty much everyone in attendance showed up for at the fifth anniversary opening night: Abney Park, the Seattle-based sixtet that is probably the best-known steampunk band out there.
The first mainland European (as they have previously performed in the UK) concert of the band was something many steampunks and dieselpunks did not want to miss and so they came down from several countries to witness the musical exploits of the crew of the HMS Ophelia.
Even though Victor Sierra were the actual headliners of the day, most people had clearly come to see Abney Park, leaving the French steampunk band to sadly perform for a near empty venue. Regardless of this regrettable fact, the band gave its all, performed admirably and so the lucky few who did stick around were treated to the best steampunk music France has to offer that I’ve heard so far!
With their visually enticing combination of beautiful steampunk tribal dance and Victoriana style costumes, taxidermy and adorable steampunk mechanical set pieces, all of this combined with their most excellent music, The Violet Steam Experience was the first of three steampunk bands to please the audience’s ears on the opening night of the fifth anniversary Phantasium convention held at the Eindhoven (The Netherlands) Beursgebouw.
The talented Nathaniel Johnstone has compiled both his EPs Brazilian Surf Mafia and The Heart Unwound into Evidence of Past Misdeeds, which I’m pleased to review whatever title is used (although it really is Evidence of Past Misdeeds).
I really love how this work stands out among that of other (steampunk) artists. It’s a heavily ethnic-influenced, mostly instrumental work, but don’t let the lack of “proper” lyrics fool you, it really is an excellent collection of songs that pulls the heartstrings of the listener and that will make you dream of adventure, just as steampunk music is supposed to do.
Before I start, I have to admit that before listening to Unwoman I was never much of a fan of the cello as an instrument. After listening to The Fires I Started, it has definitely earned a place in my heart. That alone says a lot about the skill displayed on this particular album.
The most recent full album by Erica Mulkey, better known as the solo performer Unwoman, The Fires I Started exceeded its Kickstarter campaign goal by several times and it’s easy to understand why. This sixteen-song release is a modern marvel, a brilliant juxtaposition between contemporary beats and classical cello-playing, combined with Unwoman’s strong vocals that hit the listener just right.
Fight Like A Girl takes the listener on a seventeen-song musical journey almost told like the soundtrack to a tale spun by Emilie Autumn and I feel that some songs would actually benefit from visuals to enhance them. I’m pretty sure they’ll be better live than on record.
It’s a well-balanced album, some songs better than others, with lyrics matching to the background setting of madness, asylums and carnivals, revenge and all other things associated with it. There’s a good balance between anthems, melody and ballad, with Autumn’s voice remaining strong throughout, proving she isn’t bound to a certain genre or style and neither will she allow herself to be.