‘Core Classics – ‘Shadow Moses’ by Bring Me The Horizon

I was at my mom’s house the other week and listened to some old cd’s, as I usually do. One of the cd’s that I listened to was Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal. It floored me all over again, particularly the song ‘Shadow Moses’. I had to write about its greatness somewhere, so here we are.

Is it really four years ago that ‘Shadow Moses’ was released? It seems like just yesterday that it popped up in my Youtube feed and blew my mind. I thought it was one of the most epic, relatable songs I had ever heard. From the slow beginning with the group vocals to the fantastic breakdowns and the nihilistic lyrics; I was in love. I played this video so much when it just came out. I still think it’s an unrivalled song within the genre, like a lot of BMTH’s work.

All together now: THIS IS SEMPITERNAL.

Inspiration for WGT

I can’t believe WGT is in 2 1/2 weeks already! I’ve barely been able to think about what I will wear. Ideally I’d go for over the top gothic lolita and Victorian-ish looks, with some trad goth mixed in. Unfortunately my wardrobe and budget are not too accommodating, but a girl can dream.

Here is a somewhat random smattering of my personal style inspirations for WGT.

aw2013-3From Alice Auaa’s AW 2013/14 collection

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Marie Dauphine basically embodies all my gothic lolita goals.

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fille_de_porcelaine_iii_by_remussirion-d9g1062Fille de Porcelaine

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Can never get enough of Penny Dreadful‘s Vanessa Ives and her fabulous wardrobe.

baroness-dress-7Picture from Fantasmagoria, obviously

One day I will get this Punk Rave dress. One day…

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Black Friday is one of my continual inspirations.

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As are traditional 80’s alternative styles. Trad goth outfits can be a lot more practical for clubbing too.

Hope you could find some inspiration in this post!

*Uncredited images are saved from Tumblr, where all credit goes to die.

Music Review – Motionless In White’s Graveyard Shift

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I have a love/hate relationship with Motionless In White. I adore a lot of what they do, but there is also a lot in which they just miss the mark. It also irks me how often they cover the same sort of subjects in the same sort of language. Always people making them fucking sick, fuck this and fuck that. Gets boring. I hadn’t been following their new music for this reason.

Then I watched Black Friday’s interview with Chris Motionless and my interest was piqued again. I followed the link she gave for MIW’s newest video, for a song called ‘LOUD (Fuck It)’, despite the same boring, over-used word in the title.

I was blown away. It was so fun, catchy and intelligent. Also confrontational, but in a subtle, interesting way. It reminded me of ‘Everybody Sells Cocaine’, a lovely little gem from their previous album, and made me excited about their music again.

Last Friday they released a new album, Graveyard Shift. With Graveyard Shift they further refined the spooky industrial metal sound they developed on Reincarnate. At the same time, they took the best of their early metalcore sound, mixed in some more Manson influences and lightened up a bit. They generally sound more melodic, though they can’t resist a good breakdown. The transitions between the melodic and heavier parts are super smooth too. Such an improvement over their earlier music.

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The same sort of subjects I mentioned in the beginning? Those are either gone or packaged in a more interesting way. Lyrically, and musically as well, Graveyard Shift is a lot more diverse than their previous work. There is a cringey line or two, but those are well compensated musically. I’ve already mentioned the fantastic ‘LOUD (Fuck It)’, which is by far my favourite song on the album. Other highlights are ‘Rats’, ‘Eternally Yours’, ‘Voices’ and ‘Untouchable’.

‘Eternally Yours’ is their best song about love until now. The songwriting is great and the imagery Gothic and lovely. Is there anything more darkly romantic than “I’m more than willing to rot in hell with you”? In ‘570’ there is the old defiance, though there is also pride of how far one has come and the recognition of flaws in oneself. ‘570’ has really been growing on me. It’s reminiscent of Parkway Drive’s ‘Dedicated’, which I love. Like Parkway, MIW seem to be moving more towards the ‘metal’ side of metalcore. On the unapologetically heavy ‘The Ladder’ MIW sound more metal than ever before. Then there’s the ridiculous horrorpunky fun of ‘Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2’, which is a lot more experimental and risky than the original ‘Dead as Fuck’. A lot on this album is more experimental and risky than their previous work.

Graveyard Shift is definitely MIW’s best effort so far. It’s the first album of theirs that I can listen to all the way through, without skipping (or wanting to skip) songs. Not to say that all the songs are flawless; just that the weaker ones have something good to compensate for those flaws.

Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that MIW are good at what they do.

Rating: 7.5/10

Recommended for fans of Marilyn Manson, Bleeding Through, Parkway Drive, Murderdolls, Deathstars etc.

Every Time I Die’s new video for ‘Map Change’

A couple of days ago Every Time I Die, one of my favourite bands ever, released a new video for their song ‘Map Change’. They described it as a “love letter” to their hometown, Buffalo. ETID tend to make either very random or party-heavy videos, so I was not sure what to expect.

It is a breathtakingly beautiful video. Bleak and brutally honest, but beautiful. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it brought tears to my eyes. It’s extraordinary how, despite the very specific setting and inspiration for the song, relatable this is.

I’ll just add this to my mental list of why ETID are so great.

Lyrics:
Am I the only one that saw the sun burn out? The locusts keep their rhythm. My watch has broken down. I wake up and take on water, sink to the peak of despair. What I need is a cigarette. No more prayers. The planets unaligned. We have saints without a shrine. A storm comes and the city’s abandoned. The ship is going down with the captain. I am the man that sank atlantis. The bottom is not the lowest we get. Further down still the dark’s absolute. Further down than that its only me and you. I assure you that hell is not a myth. We both vacation there. Hell is not a myth. We spend each winter there. No one can prepare. A storm comes and the city’s abandoned. The ship is going down with the captain. I am the man that sank Atlantis. The bottom is not the lowest we get. I thought I knew the best part of the secret: the truth is the thing we forget. The glory I had witnessed was just a sleight of hand. These hearts cannot be salvaged, these bones cannot withstand. I have either been forgotten or I was never seen. Now I’m in the negative space between. I weighed down the earth, through the stars to the pavement. I’ve weighed down the earth. No use trying to save it. I’ve weighed down the earth, through the stars to the pavement. I’ve weighed down the earth. Not sure I can take it. I’ve fallen out of frame. A strangled, distant flame. Clenched in the jaws of anguish are only godless men. Chaos is drawn to silence like life is drawn to death. The dusk is so much clearer than the dawn had ever been. I’m a ghost, and yet I’ve weighed down the earth. Through the stars to the pavement. I’ve weighed down the earth. No use trying to save it.

If you liked/loved this too, be sure to check out the other work of the director, Kyle Trash. It’s more great, beautiful stuff. I especially liked the video he did for Four Year Strong.

‘Core Classics – ‘The City’ by The Chariot

Lately I’ve been listening to The Chariot again. I hadn’t listened to them in ages, but when I was editing I got the urge again.

The Chariot never gets old. Every time I listen to them, their music grips me as much as the first time in 2011. It still sounds fresh and exciting.

I could go on about all their work, but the song that I’ve had on repeat is ‘The City’. Six years and it still gives me the chills, every time. When Josh Scogin screams “This is a revolution”, it goes straight through my soul. There is so much that I could feel I could say about this song, but I’ll leave you to listen and experience it yourself.

Lyrics:
This is only the start
You’re only opening the book
You’re only on the first line of what’s going to take a little while
I hope you don’t hold your breath because they revolt like a choir
They say the language is dead, well, then why do we speak
I hope you understand that my brain is fixed

Into the next town
This is only a revolt

Enough is enough because we cannot be late
Basically, you’ve been defined as “unworthy of love”
And I confess, I had placed in my heart the same address but I paint with my words
“You’re free, don’t fear, this is just a revolt”

Into the next town
This is only a revolt

Calm rose: violent wind
The only “surrender” tonight, shall not be our own
They cannot escape, one if by land, two if by sea
I saved my money, but it can’t save me
And maybe there is blood from the past, but that is not from me
They can take away one man, and they can take away his mic
But they cannot take us all
No, they can’t dig a hole the right size to fit all of our dreams
They can’t bury me, they can’t bury me
We can’t hope that somebody else take our place
No, we can’t hope that somebody else take our place

May the history book read of all of our names
Be it blood, be it ink, but at least we were free
This is only but a fraction of what I’ve got to say
But it must be said, it must be said
If I leave this earth tonight may it be said that I spoke my peace
I spoke with the wrath of his grace
Calm rose: come violent wind
Oh we stand hand in hand and we walk without fear
This is a revolution

Series Review – The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

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I don’t usually watch shows on a whim. Television series are an investment in time and attention. I usually want to make sure that I spend my time and attention well. So I’ll browse through IMDb, gather reviews and question people who’ve already watched it. This kind of research is also an investment in time, I know, but that’s not the point. Point is, I like to know that a show is good before I watch it.

One night, I saw a series called The Lizzie Borden Chronicles appear on Netflix. That title, the beautiful cover picture and Christina Ricci’s mischievous smirk were all that I needed. I watched two episodes that very night.

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Oh, it is glorious. The characters, costumes, setting, storyline, dialogue… Perfect.

It starts with Lizzie Borden getting acquitted from the murder on her parents, to the outrage of the town. She and her sister get difficulties with the inheritance. Lizzie goes out of her way to fix those difficulties and start anew. At first you feel sorry for her, but it soon becomes apparent that she needs nobody’s pity. It was such a delight to see how consistently Lizzie solves all her problems. Christina Ricci is at her best in this role. She effortlessly goes from a cold-blooded killer to a sweet, innocent girl and back again. Completely steals the show.

Of course, the other characters and performances are fantastic as well. Like Emma Borden. I did not find her that interesting in the beginning, but halfway through the series she won all my sympathy. Poor Emma has to endure so much from her psychotic sister.

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The storyline gets increasingly absurd, which only adds to the fun of the show. It goes from a legal fight over an inheritance, to a private investigator’s ill-fated quest to prove Lizzie’s guilt, to difficulties with local gangsters, to dog abuse in the neighbourhood. There are even two genuinely touching romantic subplots. This show goes in so many directions, but somehow it all works together, for the first six episodes. Unfortunately, it does not keep up this momentum for the last two episodes.

The last two seem awkwardly tacked on, after the main storyline was resolved in the sixth. A lot of new characters and a new setting are introduced. The main characters are on a new journey, which starts and ends abruptly. It would have been so much better if those two episodes had been fleshed out in a second season. Then we could also have enjoyed the performances of Michelle Fairley and Chris Bauer for longer. What a waste to only feature them, and the characters they played, in one or two episodes.

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Other than that, nothing negative to report about The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. I can highly recommend it. If you enjoy dark period pieces, black humour, quirky anti-heroes and detective-type stories, do check it out.

Rating: 8.5/10

Music Review – Creeper’s Eternity, In Your Arms

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Last year I heard Creeper’s ‘Black Mass’ and fell in love. Their sound, subject matter, aesthetic; everything about them excited me. Not since AFI (1999-2003) has there been a band that merged punk rock and goth themes quite like this. I have anxiously been awaiting a full length album by Creeper since. And last month, they delivered. Oh, how did they deliver.

Eternity, In Your Arms is everything a spooky punk rocker could ever want. I have continuously been playing it for the past couple of weeks.

There is such a variety in the music, from the ridiculously catchy ‘Suzanne’, to the slow, minimalistic ‘Crickets’, to the theatrical ‘I Choose To Live’. This keeps it interesting through many listens. No two songs sound the same, though some lyrics can be a little repetitive. They deal with themes such as longing, heartbreak and lost youth. There is an overall sense of 90s goth nostalgia: sometimes subtly in a description like “skirts of velvet”, sometimes more explicit like the song titled ‘Winona Forever’. It also reminds me of my own teen years and all the superficial drama that went on, in the most endearing way. At the same time it reminds me that those years are not lost; they will forever be a part of me.

Their subject matter is a breath of fresh air in the current scene. So many heavy bands with a goth or horror aesthetic waste their potential churning out the same rebellious drivel over and over (Motionless In White, I’m looking at you). Creeper goes for something more vulnerable and interesting.

Some of my favourite lyrics are: “We’re going through this phase where we feel nothing / Making out with ‘loneliness’, cheating on each other with ‘regret’ / We’re so forgettable and miserable”, “When all I wanted was a hand to hold to watch the world explode / I was all of the things that you always dreamt and then never did / All of the lives that you could have led but then never lived / The midnight kids” (‘Black Rain’), “And it’s breaking  me to see you so happy / I just want the worst for you / So selfish and typical of me / To sail and sink with you” (‘Winona Forever’), and basically all of ‘Misery’.

Rating: 9/10

If you like bands like AFI, Misfits, My Chemical Romance or Alkaline Trio, you should definitely give Eternity, In Your Arms a listen.

How to edit a novel

  1. Print out the whole draft, marveling at all the words you conjured out of nothing.
  2. Read through it. Make notes as you go along: mark where the structure is illogical, where the characters are acting OOC, cross out the stream-of-consciousness filler, and don’t forget to add lots of question marks in the margins.
  3. Despair.
  4. Go back to your original document. Start making changes.
  5. Fiddle around with the structure until it’s more logical and/or interesting, starting with the first chapter.
  6. Flesh out scenes. Write 500 words of descriptions you skipped the first time.
  7. Delete 1000 words of that same chapter.
  8. Despair.
  9. Force yourself to move on to the next chapter, even though the previous one is still hella flawed.
  10. Repeat 5-9.
  11. Get lost in the chapter with the worst structure and content so far. Stare at your piece of shit document for hours on end.
  12. Despair.
  13. Move scenes forward in the novel. If you build it up more slowly, it will be better and more logical. Of course, now you’ll have to write a lot of new scenes in-between.
  14. Scenes, new scenes. You can figure this out.
  15. Get a drink.
  16. Or two.
  17. Stare at the document for several more hours and hours until your eyes are burning out of your skull.
  18. Force the words out, all words, any words. Scenes are made out of words, right?
  19. Read what you’ve written the following day. Delete 75% of the chapter.
  20. Despair.
  21. Repeat 14-20.
  22. You’ve been working on the same chapter for two weeks, haven’t you?
  23. Is the prospect of the remaining 23 chapters giving you panic attacks yet?
  24. Twenty-three, twenty-three, will the end ever come in sight?
  25. Why did you ever write a novel?
  26. Why did you ever think you should be a writer?
  27. You should have gone to medical school like the other smart, privileged kids.

Short story – Rapunzel

Very short retelling of (a part of) the story of Rapunzel, written for a contest.

“A prince came by the tower today.” Rapunzel sat in the high circular room with the witch. She brushed out the witch’s long dark hair, always tangled from her adventures in the forest.
“Is that so?” The witch looked at Rapunzel’s reflection in the mirror. Rapunzel pretended not to notice.
“Yes,” she said. “He came right up to the wall and called to me.” Rapunzel took another lock of dark hair in her hand. “He said the same thing that you do, in a rather high-pitched voice.” She brushed the lock from the bottom. “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. Like I would be fooled so easily.”
The witch laughed. “I would be disappointed in you if you were. What did you do about him?”
“I told him to leave.” Rapunzel continued brushing. “He got flustered by that. You don’t understand, he said. I’ve come to save you.” She raised her face. Her eyes and the witch’s met in the mirror. “I told him, No, you don’t understand. I don’t need to be saved.”
“That’s my girl.” The witch turned around.
Smiling, Rapunzel put the brush down. She leaned forward to give the witch a long, deep kiss.

Video – Thrift haul

I went thrifting in Rotterdam the other week. I love thrifting. You come across so many great things that you wouldn’t find otherwise. Plus it’s much better for the environment & cheaper than buying new.

I got a nice all-black, gothy haul. I’ve been very inspired by 80s and 90s goth styles again; most of these choices reflect that.

Thank you for reading/watching! Hope you enjoyed.