The second album from the band formerly known as Beastmilk is one part love letter to 80s goth, one part heartfelt attempt to jump-start it for the 21st century. It’s a ringing success on both fronts.
Frontman Mat ‘Khvost’ McNerney – an ex-pat Brit who has spent the last 15 years embedded deep in Scandinavia’s extreme metal scene – cites depression, the impending apocalypse and ritual magic as inspirations, and he certainly hits all the right reference points: the Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, Echo And The Bunnymen, The Chameleons.
But this is no backwards-looking crepuscular karaoke. The defiantly modern-sounding Utopian Scream and New Hip Moon swaddle their hearts of darkness in stadium-sized melodies, while Lipstick On Your Tombstone could be the theme tune to some bleak, alternative-universe Twilight where everyone dies in the end and doesn’t come back.