We hope you enjoy them and we wish you a most blessed Christmas!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Crawling Tunes Issue 5:
Tyves Oben from Place4Tears has produced another beautiful issue of Crawling Tunes Magazine, this time offered with an accompanying DVD that includes videos and music from a lot of great artists.
In the issue you'll find an interview with BATZZ in the belfry. The DVD includes a song by Scarlet Slipping, the haunting work of our good friend and Shinto Records label-mate Dawn Wagner, and a song by BATZZ in the belfry.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Gothic Magazine Issue 61:
A big "THANK YOU" to the kind folks at Gothic Magazine for including us in the latest issue (No. 61) and the accompanying compilation CD (No. 41)!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Hello everyone -
We're thankful to the gracious Kitty Gunn from the Overthrow webzine for her very kind review of "Sparks Fly Upward."
After hearing BATZZ in the belfry on their myspace page I was pretty excited to hear this new CD of theirs, Sparks Fly Upward.
The first track was an unexpected instrumental; I didn't see that coming after hearing the hard hitting tracks on their webpage. After playing the disc a few times I really began to enjoy that opening instrumental, its melancholy tinge is a great transition into the triumphant and driven second track "speak" which really brought to mind for me the beloved Sisters of Mercy.
The third track "fade to grey" (no, it's not a cover) has a solid gothic rock bass line intro and smooth transitions through a melodic mix of keyboards and dreamy guitar. And just when I thought I was off to never-neverland in sleepy time after their gothic orchestral rendition of "oh holy night" the track "come and die" enveloped me in a velvety blanket of warm, bellowing male vocals and swimming guitars, the vocalist, Nelson; reminds me a bit of Peter Murphy in this one. Next we moved through another instrumental "once darkness", a cavernous atmosphere of synthetic ambiance followed by the seventh track "trusting" where I found myself really enjoying the male choir-like backing vocals. This was one of the most moving tracks for me as there is something very desolate and emotionally vulnerable about it. However, the weight of this is quickly uplifted by "praying hard" with its upbeat tempo and beautiful chorus line. It's this track where I really begin to notice the articulation in Nelson's words, I think this guy has a lot of insightful things to say and I would love to read the lyrics to this album sometime. It's a solid album that exercises the bands many talents
in several different tracks. For those of you unfamiliar with BATZZ; I will dare to compare again to a bit of Sisters of Mercy and a bit of Peter Murphy with their own unique precision of musical talents. The vocals where never disappointing and especially wonderful in track 10 "war of roses", the entire album continues to present true gothic beauty.
Kitty Gunn - Overthrow
May 26, 2008
Take a peek at the new issue of Crawling Tunes Magazine, the beautiful work of Tyves Oben from Place4Tears. All in German, you'll find interviews and articles featuring Martin Sprissler, Tragic Black, Bone Orchard, and others. Oddly enough, you'll also find a review of "Sparks Fly Upward" by yours truly. If that wasn't enough, there's a great compilation CD with songs by some of our friends: Blood Penny, Dr Arthur Krause, Immundus, Leper, A Rebours, and again, yours truly.
April 5, 2008
We’re flattered to be included in the current issue of HM Magazine in their "Pick of the Litter" section.
A special "thank you" to Erin from Gyroscope Arts for keeping us in the loop.
BATZZ in the belfry "Sparks Fly Upward" (self-produced)
The musical project BATZZ in the belfry originates in San Francisco in 2003, endeavored by Nelson, the "deus ex machina" of the group, with the objective of creating a sound that is tied to the most traditional goth and ethereal. To that end, five years after their debut, the American band has released their first full-length work "Sparks Fly Upward" in early 2007, consisting of twelve songs with a fifty-three minute duration.
The excellent compositional aspect of BATZZ in the belfry is quickly apparent in the opening instrumental track "Radiance," which is reminiscent of the best composers of the nineteenth century. The cinematographic sound that begins the record could surprise those approaching a goth album, but in reality, the ability to create intimacy and surrealistic atmospheres is a distinct characteristic of the group.
Less cold than Diary of Dreams and more gothic-rock than any other group categorized as "heavenly voices," the "ethereal" of BATZZ in the belfry is derived from the synth-wave pieces of "Floodland" by Sisters of Mercy. The influence, more or less conscious, by the group of Andrew Eldritch is most obvious in "Trusting" but generally present in all the atmospheric songs on the album, like the ascetic "Knowing God" or the cathartic "Soon," in which there is an absolute harmony between the deep baritone voice and the acoustic piano and violin. Along those lines there is "O Holy Night," which is destined to be placed side by side with "The Christmas Song" by London After Midnight as a gothic Christmas favorite.
In the DNA of BATZZ in the belfry, however, there is not only the ability to create atmospheric tracks, but there is also a strong component of gothic rock and guitar wave: "Speak" has all the elements to be a classic on the dance floor, thanks to its powerful pace, which musically places it between The Wake (US) and the latest Screams for Tina, and the same goes for "Come and Die" or "Praying Hard," while "War of Roses" is the only one outside of the trend, due to the "clean" acoustic guitar asserted against the electric instruments and drum machine.
Much more cold wave is "Dream," characterized by layered synth, and "Fade to Grey," where the ideal wave-pop beat is accompanied by bells and reverberated guitar in the style of Mephisto Waltz.
In summary, this album by BATZZ in the belfry delivers every bright expectation in the long distance debut of a band, confirming again the richness of the American underground scene and, above all, it demonstrates that old school gothic-rock can still make its followers dream.
December 13, 2007
Hi everyone ~
We've posted our Christmas songs for free download (click the links below), including a new one, our rendition of an old Austrian carol called "Still, Still, Still."
We're very thankful to Alex and Silvia from Italy's Ascension Magazine for their kind review of "Sparks Fly Upward" in their recent issue 16. Below is the review in Italian and English and here is where you can check out their cool magazine:
Da San Francisco, ecco qualcuno che con personalita si ricorda ancora come fare del bel dark di stampo classico come una quindicina di anni fa (soprattutto nella vicina Los Angeles).
Nonostante la collocazione geografica di questi Batzz In The Belfry (do non confondere con tre o quattro alter band chiamate "Bats In The Belfry"), il synth-punk della Bay Area stavolta non centra nulla. Il romantico impeto gotico con cui questa band californiana accarezza i suoi strumenti e come un dolce requiem dedicato alla notte e alle sue creature piu affascinanti: o perlomeno questo e l'effetto che fanno i pezzi principalmente imperniati sul binomio tastiere (o piano) e voce.
Le cose cambiano notevolmente quando in aiuto di voce e tastiere arrivano le chitarre elettriche e la batteria. Anche se il suono tende qui a rimanere "notturno" e romantico, si propende per soluzioni piu rock (dark) che sono a meta strada tra i Last Dance degli inizi (quando Rick, Jeff e compagni non sapevano ancora cosa fosse l'elettronica) e tutte quelle alter band (americane o europee) che una quindicina di anni fa presero spunto dai Sisters di "First and Last and Always" per dare vita a qualcosa di nuovo, buio ed intrigante.
Qualche ballad di meno e qualche pezzo veloce di piu avrebbero reso il CD ancora piu interessante e facile da digerire al primo ascolto; ma "Sparks Fly Upward" funziona in fondo anche cosi.
Consigliato a chi abitualmente annovera tra i propri ascolti cose tipo Rosetta Stone, Clan of Xymox (periodo "Hidden Face"/"Creature"), Sisters, The Last Dance, The Prophetess, London After Midnight, Ikon, etc….
Alex Daniele Ascension Magazine ________________________
From San Francisco, a band with personality that still remembers how to make beautiful dark music of the classic old school mold, like it was fifteen or so years ago (above all in the neighborhood of Los Angeles).
In spite of the geographic positioning of this Batzz In The Belfry (not to be confused with three or four other bands called "Bats In The Belfry"), synth-punk of the Bay Area does not apply. The romantic gothic style with which this California band approaches their instruments is like a sweet requiem dedicated to the night and its fascinating creatures; or at least this is the effect of the pieces that hinge on the keyboards (or piano) and voice.
Things change notably when the electric guitars and drums arrive in aid of the voice and keyboards. Although the sound tends to remain "nocturnal" and romantic, it leans more towards gothic rock, halfway between The Last Dance it their early days (when Rick, Jeff and company did not know about electronics) and all those other bands (European or American) that fifteen or so years ago took their cue from the Sisters of "First and Last and Always," giving life to something new, dark and intriguing.
Fewer ballads and more fast pieces would have made the CD still more interesting and easier to digest on the first listen, but "Sparks Fly Upward" works from top to bottom.
Recommended for fans of Rosetta Stone, Clan of Xymox ("Hidden Face"/ "Creature" period), Sisters, The Last Dance, The Prophetess, London After Midnight, Ikon, etc....
Alex Daniele Ascension Magazine
September 28, 2007
We were honored to be interviewed recently by Gothic Rock Russia. Thanks, Phil!
July 16, 2007
You are cordially invited to the House of Voodoo 8th Anniversary Gala Celebration in San Francisco on August 24th. Although we won't be playing, a few of us are bound to be there, so come and say "hello." The Voodoos will be giving away BATZZ in the belfry CDs, along with other fine CDs from Kooper Kain, S/N Ratio Records, and others.
June 27, 2007
We're very honored to be included in the latest "newcomers" compilation CD from Gothic Magazine, titled "Goth Is What You Make It, Vol.6." Unfortunately, the CD is only available in Europe, but also online. It's a double CD. Track listing below.
1 Black Heaven - Durch leere Straßen 2 Nadia Sohaei - Strong 3 James D. Stark - Realize 4 Cryptcha - Sorrows Away 5 BATZZ in the belfry - Come And Die 6 Lacasa Del Cid - Thinking Of Sin 7 Lament - Time Off (Cut Version) 8 Curious - Thrill B. 9 Apareil - Glory 10 Experiment Nnord - Feindesland 11 New Days Delay - Uniform 12 Eisherz - Ihre Welt 13 The Offering - How Far 14 Dada Dumdums - Hourglass Land (2007) 15 Legacy Of Music - You'll Never Know 16 Decades - Chemicals 17 No Tears - Prisoner 18 Place4Tears - Illusion
1 Tat - Vampyr 2 The Flaw - Shadow Play 3 Downscarred - White Lilies On A Coffin 4 The Sin:Decay - Deathlike Addiction 5 Red Cell - Society 6 Krachwerk - Tod der Masken 7 Virtual Victim - Schicksal 8 Aseptie - The Cage (remixed by X-Fusion) 9 Siva Six - Opponent 10 Patenbrigade:Wolff - Ostberliner Bauarbeiter (Clubmix) 11 Mechanical Moth - Obsession 12 Zelle 40 - Kapitulation (Radiocut) 13 Eisschock - Sag mir nicht 14 Amnistia - Red Coloured Emotions 15 Wynardtage - No Human Survive 16 The Dark Unspoken - Ich schleich umher 17 Superikone - Dein Spiel
April 28, 2007 Almost five months after the release of "Sparks Fly Upward," we're very grateful for all the encouragement and positive feedback we have received. Thanks to all of you that have been so supportive!
February 3, 2007 We're very happy to announce the release of our new CD, "Sparks Fly Upward." It is currently available at CDBaby and will soon be available at Apple iTunes, Yahoo Music, Best Buy, Rhapsody, Napster, MSN Music and elsewhere. Listen to samples on our music page.
December 2, 2006 Hello again. We've posted a couple of Christmas songs for download, one new, one old:
"O Holy Night" is from the upcoming BATZZ in the belfry record titled "Sparks Fly Upward," which is due out after the first of the year.
"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" is from the original BATZZ in the belfry 7-song CD.
We hope you enjoy our rendition of these classic hymns. We wish you a most blessed Christmas.
August 19, 2006 Hello everyone. We're so sorry for the long period of silence. We've been very, very busy with BATZZ stuff and other things. We're wrapping up the full-length CD, tentatively titled "Sparks Fly Upward." The release date will depend on whether it is picked up by a label or we release it independently, which at this point is undecided, so stay tuned. We should have news about that in the next month or so.
At the risk of being trendy, you can now find us at MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/batzzinthebelfry). Not much there yet, but we'll flesh it out soon and probably post some previews of the upcoming album.
Thanks to everyone who has written. We really appreciate the support. 'Til next time.
March 3, 2006 In loving memory of Carl Crandell, Owner, President, and Founder of PsychoAcoustiX Records, who passed away on December 6, 2005. Carl was a good friend to BATZZ in the belfry. He inspired us in many ways. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and the PsychoAcoustiX Family. Until we meet again, be at peace, Carl.
December 24 2005 A very blessed Christmas to all from your friends in the belfry.
December 20 2005 The Lunar Eclipse CD from Cold Fusion Music is now available. You can pick up a copy at Flaming Fish Music, Amazon, and other fine retailers.
I our humble opinion, this is a great collection of "dark" music. The styles vary (dance, metal, goth, ethereal). BATZZ in the belfry is honored to be among such a fine group of artists.
October 15 2005 Watch for BATZZ in the belfry to appear on the Lunar Eclipse CD, available November 2005 from Cold Fusion Music. This is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Moonlight Cathedral compilation CD. The CD will include the following artists and songs:
The Last Dance - Desperately Still Necromance - The Beyond Subterfuge - The Judas in Me Coriolis - Resurrection Night Virgin Black - Rennaissance Simple Shelter - Common Thread BATZZ in the belfry - Lie Lost in Place - Kardion Ever - Idyl The World Black - In Me Kohllapse - Gravitation Leper - You Don't Know Me Bitter Grace - Burning Kisses Frolic - Forged
"The album unfolds delicately like a black rose in the early hours of dawn. A shadow of dark old-school Goth embraces the album and a religious presence lingers in the gloom with “O come, O come Emmanuel”. The vocals are abysmal and funereal, sustained by euphonious guitar and warm, subdued keyboard. Batzz in the Belfry is aesthetically mature and a majestic EP."
"Ur Of The Chaldeans opens the CD as an intro. The dark rock Shinar is next. Bazz (In The Belfry) comes from San Francisco, USA and introduces a five song disc. You can enjoy the peaceful Sunday Mourning or the instrumental Aspire To Heaven. The drums play an important role in O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, another dark rock piece that ends the short album."
"It doesn't happen very often that CDs with just one song on them are released and it happens very rarely that I like gothic music that is sent my way, but it happened this time. Packaged in what looks like a Xmas card, this 3" mini CD (less space wasted) delivers the lyrics and music of "Come and Die". Some of you might know that I stopped reviewing goth/dark a while ago because everything sounds the same and is mostly crap or, when you are lucky, a good carbon copy of the old masters of the genre... Well, altough you still can hear the echo of the Sisters and the Nephilim (if you consider the drums, the Peter Steel-ish vocals and the nice string arrangements and songwriting) or even the Cure or Lycia (for the lush chorused guitars), Batzz's echo is actually a pleasant one, one that doesn't necessarily lack in personality. It is hard to be original in the genre, but it's quite something when at least you can get personal, and that is what Batzz have done. Beautiful gothic music, just short enough not to bore me or anybody and offering you a good time with some deep vocals and almost unusually fast-paced and (dare I say?) even ever so slightly happy solar progressions. Very beautiful indeed."
September 01 2004 Starvox Music Zine review of the BATZZ in the belfry 5-song EP:
"They must be new, going on the Spartan website, but I can well see this bunch growing on people and enjoying a fine reputation for the gentler side of Goth with some highly artistic constructions. From opener ‘Ur Of The Chaldeans’, whatever that might be about, their use of winsome keyboards works to their advantage in creating a gentle song, will fills out weirdly like some kid’s xmas film, then they cut back with ‘Shinar’ displaying deep dark vocals, a mean guitar riff and Great Big Drums, and that severe beast keeps going, as the vocals turn into a grim mist, with an abrupt ending that I suspect was a mistake. The clash between the two styles shows they have depth in abundance which they are only experimenting with right now.
The understandably emotional ‘Sunday Mourning’ has slow, beautiful keyboards, and soothingly reaches a sedate end, but with weird pomp trills throughout that seem jarring and quite mad. The ‘Aspire To Heaven’ instrumental may remind some of Laurie Anderson’s biggest hit initially but in its soft and twinkling icing there is something deeply uplifting, then they take a grave religious tone for their ‘Emmanuel’ item, and it becomes an ominous malaise, with disciplined drums. It is unusual and refreshing.
Easily a band to watch."
~reviewed by Mick Mercer
August 07 2004 Automata Magazine review of the BATZZ in the belfry 5-song EP:
Automata Issue 7.0 Review by the Saj
"Batzz in the Belfry show themselves to be a surprisingly catchy act. At first it seemed like another “pretty ambiance” album, but the second track erases all such notions as it runs straight into thumping drumbeats followed by cavernous vocals. And although simplistic, all the aspects are wonderfully woven. The next piece takes things back down quite a bit, but in so doing brings the listener to an eerie, worshipful tranquility… only to be struck moments later with chords and notes reminiscent of the ‘80s… then right back down into mellowness. The fourth track is a mellow neo-classical new age-style piece. The CD then closes with perhaps the most surprising song of all: a gentle, brooding rendition of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” with vocals that cause your mind to drift as the words blow them to and fro."
"It's nice to see that somebody actually reads and pays attention to our submission guidelines. BATZZ have provided us with their latest CD-R EP (whose songs are also available as MP3's on their site). They are shopping for a record deal for what basically is a sound made of dark facets, long reverbs, electronic layers, melodic atmospheres and mixed feelings of sadness, melancholy, happiness and fear. Their ethereal mixture of darkwave and electro is a good support for lyrics about evil and good, heaven and hell, politics, life and spirituality. The instrumentation used includes software drum machines, guitars and synths. I particularly like the episodes where the deep low voices create somber soundscapes. When these goth vocal parts are joined by martial drumming or grand neo-classical orchestrations, they sort of sound like a band that could be on Cold Meat or the Dungeon Fossil. They have a polished sound and good ideas but they're not quite evolved as much as other bands are. I do think, though, that in a few years or a few records, whichever comes first, they might be able to score a deal with, say, Projekt records."
Review by: Marc 'the MEMORY Man' Urselli-Schaerer
January 29 2004 Listen to BATZZ in the belfry (and lots of other great music...) on The Shape of Things to Come radio show.