Black Ships Ate the Sky

Black Ships Ate the Sky
by Current 93
Durtro/Jnana (UK), 2006

 

Few bands are recognized for their overt interests in Thelema, chaos magick, and Hermeticism. Current 93 is one of them. Others include Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle, Death in June, Nurse With Wound, and Coil. All of the aforementioned are interrelated, and members have worked together in the past. Their songs speak of magick, reality, and emotion, and all are appealing to Witches and magicians of all types.

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Blessings

Blessings  
by S.J. Tucker
Skinny White Chick Records, 2007

 

Religious records are tricky. At best, such music elevates both artist and audience; more often, it deteriorates into God/ess-shouting. Even so, music captures spiritual feelings better than almost any other medium. When an artist moves beyond pious clichés, the results can be …which Blessings often is.

Tucker’s music has always had a Pagan lilt, and Blessings brings that element to the forefront; this album is a love note to modern Paganism. Several songs ― especially “Come to the Labyrinth,” “Hand-fast Blessing,” “For Love of All Who Gather,” (both versions) and “Witch’s Rune” ― work best in ritual context. Others, notably “Rabbit’s Song” (the album’s weakest cut), use earth-spirit influences for conventional songs. Several songs were composed for rituals in which Tucker took part, and these songs ― “Labyrinth,” “Rune,” “For Love of All Who Gather/ Spirit Call,” “Handfast Blessing,” and “In the Name of the Dance” ― are the album’s strongest cuts.

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Cold Memories & Remains

Cold Memories & Remains  
by Violet Tears
The Fossil Dungeon, 2008

 

Can an album be joyfully morose? If so (and I’d say “yes”), than this is one such album. A lush example of the Ethereal Romantigoth style, the band Violet Tears mixes English lyrics with their native Italian to craft sensual soundscapes of misery.

Recalling the Cocteau Twins (with more coherence), Black Tape for a Blue Girl (less emoting), and the quieter moments of The Gathering, Violet Tears originally recorded Cold Memories back in 2004. Recently, the album was picked up for US distribution by The Fossil Dungeon — a label whose eclectic darkwave sound includes Sol Invictus and The Soil Bleeds Black. For fans of Projekt Records and Cold Meat Industry, I highly recommend this label. They do good work with intriguing artists.

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Vesta

Vesta   
by Lovespace
Lovespace Music, 2007

 

As tribal fusion bellydance grows in popularity, the artists associated with that style blossom. One such artist is healer/ dancer/musician Diane Gardner (formerly Kirkland), an English composer who forms the foundation of the music-healing project Lovespace.

Trained in bodywork, dance, and musical arts, Gardner has assembled a handful of backing musicians to accentuate her sensually spiritual compositions. The majority of the work in Vesta, though, is Diane’s. An entrancing collection of sound-scapes woven around the idea of a “new divine femininity,” this album glides from New Age ambiance to engaging bellydance beats. The latter tracks (“Dance for the World,” “The Silk Road … Within,” and “In Exile”) present many of Vesta’s strongest moments. Several of the ambient cuts (especially “The Hag” and “The Dark Feminine,” neither of which seems ominous enough to suit their titles) meander into synth-y whooshisms reminiscent of early Kitaro.

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Live Devotion

Live Devotion    
by Ménage a Music
Ménage a Music, 2007

 

Robin Renee’s Live Devotion is a beautiful, healing prayer of devotion to the Divine Feminine. Kirtan chanting and devotional songs are part of an ancient practice that allows us to let go of the chattering mind and access deeper states of consciousness. Vocalist and musician Renee blends traditional Indian instruments and chanting with modern instruments and arrangements. The result is a gorgeous CD that soothes the spirit, heals the heart, and is the perfect complement to meditation, yoga, and ritual.

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Hidden Power

Hidden Power    
by Robin Brock
A2 Records/The Rock Empire, 2003

 

Canadian Goddess rocker Robin Brock is getting the best press of anyone you’ve probably never heard of. A powerful voice, a powerful presence, an award-winning songwriter, a spirit-driven, Goddess loving artist, Brock is an up and coming mainstream artist whose latest CD, Hidden Power, is getting enthusiastic press all over Canada and Europe, and airplay on commercial and internet radio.

Toronto’s Seemagazine exults, “Brock’s voice puts other Canadian vocalists to shame” and UK’s Phase 9 Music calls Hidden Power an “impressive powerhouse” of a CD. Described as “dynamic,” “raw and powerful,” and “vital,” and favorably compared to Shania Twain, Ann Wilson of “Heart,” and Pat Benatar, Brock is attracting a lot of attention for her passionate, har- rocking style and powerful lyrics. Her sophomore effort, Hidden Power, showcases a rare musical talent: confident, self-assured, and elegant even in its roughest moments.

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