Abney Park – Stigmata Martyr

By • Jan 18th, 2008 • Category: Gothic, Industrial, Music, Punk

Abney Park Band

One of my favourite books is “The Difference Engine” by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. The book is set in an era where steam power is still widely used, say, an alternate Victorian era England.  Steam won ,silicon never got a look in. (You really should read the book it’s a ripper).

Now if anyone ever makes a movie of this book have I found the band to do the sound track. Abney Park are a steampunk gothic industrial band from from Seattle, Washington.

Picture yourself walking down a Victorian London street, mist fills the ait, Holmes and Watson pursuing baddies across the road. You head down a steam filled alley and find a door to a private club filled with the flotsam and jetsam of the period and then the band fires up. The music drips steampunk flair and dark haunting sounds, eastern tones ring from steam powered guitars, the groove is entrancing and the voice of singer draws you into their collective conspiracy. Intrigued? Try Stigmata Martyr over at www.abneypark.com/ (or www.myspace.com/abneypark) and you will see what I mean.

I should add that the website is just gorgeous (I will have to try and convince Jools that we need another upgrade). Over at their website you can read about the backstory for the band. Yep a band with a backstory that includes zeppelins, the steam-powered guitars and some eastern influenced gypsy rock to round it off.

Here is the more prosaic stuff…

Abney Park was formed by Robert Brown in 1997. In 1998 they released their first full-length album Abney Park, and in 1999 they released Return to the Fire. Tracks from these two albums as well as a couple of new ones formed their third release, titled Cemetery Number 1. In the early years of Abney Park, the band featured a gothic musical and visual style.

In 2005, the band released Taxidermy, which is a collection of new versions of songs from past albums, three live tracks and two covers. In the same year, they started to change their visual style, from goth/industrial to a form of steampunk. In 2006 they released the album The Death of Tragedy. After the release, their line-up changed as well, with the departure of Traci Nemeth, Krysztof Nemeth and Rob Hazelton, replaced by Magdalene Veen, Jean-Paul Mayden and Nathaniel Johnstone. Shortly thereafter Jean-Paul departed the band to be replaced by Daniel C. As part of their transformation, Abney Park invented fictional identities of themselves, complete with a background story that describes the fictional history of the band as the crew of an airship named the Ophelia.

The Band

  • Robert “Dread Captain Robert” Brown – Songs, Lead Vocals, Darbuka, Piloting
  • Magdalene “Screaming” Veen – Songs, Couture, Vocals, Undulations, Infusionistics, Internauting, Protective Headgear
  • Kristina “Angel” Erickson – Keyboards, Vocals, Navigation, Accounting, Skepticism
  • Daniel “It Was Supposed To Explode” C – Bass, Gadgets, Gizmos, Flintlocks, and Fire Extinguishers
  • Nathaniel “Two Sheds” Johnstone- Guitar, Violin, Stockroom, Doling Out the Shots (Drinkable and Otherwise)

This is a sample of what they do…

Now for the really good bit. Abney Park are out due here in Australia as part of the Bloodlust Carnival Tour playing in Melbourne on May 18th 2008. I really have to see these guys.

is fascinated by guitars, music, guitars, production, silly noises, guitars and used to be a musician. Did I mention the thing about the guitars?
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