Gabriel And The Apocalypse, the brainchild of vocalist Lindy Gabriel, is garnering quite an underground following through incendiary live performances and ultra creepy videos. A band that has that rarest of rare ingredients, instant connection with their core audience. Many will identify with Gabriel herself, as she has such a strong and alluring persona, a persona not seen since the early days of Marilyn Manson. The kind of persona that made two grown men fight over a ripped piece of body stocking, thrown into the crowd in Manchester by Manson, on his first visit to these shores. Not my finest moment by a long shot, but there was no way I was going home without it…
Manson is a good place to start with on any comparisons, the imagery, the lipstick smeared across the face, the video for “Beauty Under Glass”, all inspired by the “God Of Fuck” himself, but Lindy’s vocal style?.. Manson, yes, but more Shirley Manson than Marilyn… the same fragility, the same grit, and the same ‘do-not-fuck-with-me’ attitude. “March Of The Dolls” opens up with a staccato guitar riff, which gives way to a glorious mash-up of loops and pounding drums, but it’s the clean vocals that make it stand out from the standard “industrial” fare. There are moments when it comes a little too close to Manson’s “Fight Song”, but these are fleeting, and shouldn’t detract from the fact that it’s a belting track. The use of samples and loops works very well as Gabriel And The Apocalypse lay down an almighty wall of sound on “Until We Dream”. Even though it’s slow burning, it still packs an almighty punch, and Gabriel’s understated vocal performance is spot on.
“Colour Of Winter”, and “Behind The Sun” are softer, and highlight the fact that Gabriel And The Apocalypse are not merely ‘one trick ponies’. Offering a respite from the relentless industrial intensity, they are a powerful and emotional few moments. The intensity ramps up a gear or two when “Beauty Under Glass” and “Thrill Of The Kill” roar into life. Again, the electronic samples play a major part in their DNA, but it’s the drum sound that impresses most… fast, powerful, and beefy as hell. “Mazarine” is dark and mysterious, with a siren-like vocal from Gabriel. Had this appeared on the last album from Garbage, the mainstream music press would have been falling over themselves to hail the return of Shirley Manson. It’s dreamy vibe is head and shoulders above anything remotely classed as alt-rock today, and begs the question, why is this not on wall to wall rotation on any self-respecting radio station?
The title track is harsher, with Gabriel changing from a spoken word vocal style to almost rapping, as she spits her words out with vitriol. Very atmospheric, and this will no doubt form a cornerstone during the live shows. Closing this impressive album off is “Since We’ve Become Ghosts”, a brooding four minutes, where the quiet vocals succeed in getting under the skin. Unsettling, if you’re listening to it on a pair of cans, while watching a repeat of Negan swinging his bat in The Walking Dead season seven premiere. Hands up, I had not heard much of Gabriel And The Apocalypse before this. They had me after one listen. All we need now is for Wednesday 13 to bring them over here on his next tour… happy days.