Hailing from Gloucester, gothic / pagan rock band Inkubus Sukkubus were originally formed in 1989 by graphic design students Tony McKormack (guitars, keyboards, programming), Candia Ridley (vocals) and Adam Henderson (bass) at college in Cheltenham, initially under the name Incubus Succubus.
A self-released debut album “Beltaine” was issued in 1990 and by the time their first album for label Resurrection Records “Belladonna & Aconite” surfaced in 1993 the group comprised McKormack, Ridley, Henderson and drummer Bob Gardner. In 1995 the band revised the spelling of their name to Inkubus Sukkubus and Gardner switched instruments to handle bass, with drum parts being provided by drum machine.
In the past twenty years more than a dozen albums have seen the light of day and the band have built a solid reputation, albeit without a great deal of media exposure, as a good live act.
Coming some eighteen months after “Love Poltergeist”, October 2015 sees the release of the band’s sixteenth (I think) studio album “Mother Moon”.
Opener “Mother Moon” reminded me a little of 80s gothic band All About Eve, up tempo and quite poppy in a way. More in keeping with pagan folk is “Dance Of Death” with plenty of acoustic guitars under Candia’s vocals, a theme continued on the slow burn ballad “Lose Yourself At The Nymphaeum”.
“Shadows In The Darkness”, “Witch Child” and “My Demons” are far more rock-based numbers, with plenty of synths in place too, giving a somewhat nostalgic 80s goth rock feel, which is no bad thing.
That said, my favourite tracks are the more acoustic pieces, which include “I Am The One”, “Zephyrus”, “Bitter Sweet Succubus” and “Honey Song Of Lorelei”, which I personally feel tap into the pagan subject matter more effectively.
The final track “No End To War”, replete with bells, begins with a Western (as in cowboy film) feeling before the guitars come in later in the song. A few minutes silence are followed by the hidden coda of the track, this time presented in a monk-like chanting style.
Another high quality album – particularly bearing in mind that resources are likely tight for a band at this level – with some very good songs, performances and production, and a worthwhile addition to the band’s catalogue.
“Mother Moon” tracklist:
1. Mother Moon / 2. Dance Of Death / 3. Lose Yourself At The Nymphaeum / 4. Shadows In The Darkness / 5. Zephyrus / 6. My Demons / 7. I Am The One / 8. Dark Sisters / 9. Bitter Sweet Succubus / 10. Witch Child / 11. Honey Song Of Lorelei / 12. No End To War