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Friday, August 24, 2012

Aleister, Mercury and Mephisto Walz

Mephisto Walz are/were (?) an interesting US band formed by Barry Galvin, a former Christian Death member, in 1985. We 'll talk extensively on them some other time.
In 2003 they released a single "Nightingale" as a forerunner of their 2004 album "Insidious" on Fossil Dungeon records.
The cd version of this release had printed in the inlay and on the cd itself this symbol.

This very one is a mixture of two well known glyphs in the world of symbolism.
The first is of course the symbol of planet Mercury but also of the element, an ancient symbol for what the alchemists refer to as First Matter. It has been very often been used in goth band imagery. See it here along other planetary glyphs.

The second is the unicursal hexagram, a symbol that represents "a high level of self-confidence and belief that one can achieve the highest of goals and become a divine figure".
It is one of the most used glyphs by Thelema, the spiritual philosophy -now turned official religion- that occult magician and philosopher Aleister Crowley, a very controversial personality indeed, created in the early 20th century...

To complete for today see the inlay spreads of Mephisto Walz's maxi cd and note the wonderful cover...

Stay tuned for more!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Press material and gig ads (part 4)

Here's some more clippings that may appeal to you:

Lets start with this 1981 two days festival in... Leeds of course!
Interesting to see less known gothic bands like Altered States figure here.
Note the presence of US bands like the mighty Wall of Voodoo.
Quite a mixture on this bill!

Same year and an odd bill with Talisman, psychobilly kings The Meteors and Jaz's gang...

This festival -associated with Amnesty International- remained to some peoples 
memories as one of the finest Killing Joke live moments...

And to close with for now get some color - a funny add for a Play Dead live in 1984.
It looks bizzare and awkward I think, how Peter Saville's unmistakable style 
for Manchester's Hacienda is used to promote a gothic band's concert...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Danse Society logo (part VII)

Danse Society was curiously an underrated act. They started as a Bauhaus influenced band only to display soon an array of great, dreamy sound-scapes that turned into great and haunting songs....
I repeat - they were great, they should have been BIG!
They formed in Barnsley, England around 1980 and through their short spanned early life (as they' ve reformed lately), they bore a strange symbol, that of a crown of thorns.

The crown of thorns was worn by Jesus on his final moments and in christian iconography it is often represented with the three nails of the cross. 
Danse Society used it from 1982 to 1985. The members of the band who reformed around 2010 decided apparently that this symbol represents them so it is again to be seen in their current websites, shows and releases.

Their first release to bear it was the 12" of "Somewhere" in 1983.
It was also the main motif on the cover of their splendid LP "Heaven is Waiting in 1984.

I recently discovered an a christian children's colorbook with this very similar depiction of the crown!

See how it's used today by the band on their website: