New York based atmospheric coldwave collective BLACKLIST released their highly anticipated sophomore album Afterworld today via Profound Lore Records. Featuring ten brand new tracks packed with the band’s captivating and distinctive sound, “Afterworld” seamlessly picks up where its critically acclaimed predecessor Midnight of the Century (2009) left off: Powerful and dark anthems, blending elements of shoegaze and heavy metal with coldwave in a fluid motion.
In support of the new album, the band has just released a music video for the track “Lovers In Mourning,” streaming below:
Joshua Strachan about the song: “A lot of strange and maybe seemingly unrelated things came together with this song. But with Blacklist I like to lean into those. Post-punk is in some sense a genre exercise, so there’s no point in doing it by-the-numbers. As with much of “Afterworld,” this song is about desire and longing, but also about feeling as if love might be impossible or forever out of your reach. Whether because of distance, isolation, or lots of bad luck, I think we all have hit those walls at one point or another.
“What started musically as an early MÖTLEY CRÜE/mid-80s Ozzy style riff morphed really quickly into this wistful sounding thing when I kicked on the synth pedal. I had just finished the MERIDIANE record a few months earlier, a dark ambient collaboration I did with Pieter Nooten (Clan of Xymox) with guest appearances by Warren Defever (His Name is Alive), and Kennedy Ashlynn (SRSQ, Them Are Us Too). Working with Pieter I learned so much about arrangement and dynamics, so I decided to jump head first into a sort of “Hounds of Love” big drums and strings feeling with this. It came together shockingly naturally.
“The chorus references “star-crossed lovers,” a well-known expression from Shakespeare — but I think fewer people know that it’s a reference to astrology, to this idea that what you personally want isn’t mapped out in the future the stars foretell. So when I say “stars crossed don’t mean anything,” it’s about feeling doomed, but also rejecting that hopelessness. At the time I found myself relating to very familiar vampire films like “The Hunger” in a new way, as characters who have experienced eons of isolation from the wider world, for whom love is complicated or maybe impossible. I became interested in this idea of paying a certain shameless homage to standbys like “Bloodletting” by CONCRETE BLONDE and “Black No. 1” by TYPE O NEGATIVE while hopefully also pulling them into new territory, where once you peel back the meta-gothic tropes, there are layers of authentic inner life that connect to our deepest emotional turmoils.