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What Is Goth?

by on April 24th, 2014 in Uncategorized | No comment

I have avoided the answering the dreaded WIG question for some time, mainly because in truth there is no one answer and certainly none anyone will agree on. Like religion and politics this question has dominated countless chats and discussion boards to the point where Godwin’s Law is the only resolution.

However, after almost twenty years in this fabulous scene, I think it’s high time I throw my own answer into the cesspit of definition, and rather than answer What is Goth, I’ll answer What is Goth to me.

First let’s get the history bit out the way. Goth arose as an underground music subculture with a new wave of bands emerging from the vestiges of the punk scene. These bands were labelled “goth” by the music press and even by some of the artists themselves owing to the roots of the word developed from the meanings of barbarous (from the Germanic tribe “the Goths”) which was later applied to a style of architecture used mainly for spiritually significant buildings (a style deemed as barbaric in relation to the clean Classical style some claimed to be superior) and then later to literature and art with dark and mystical themes. This encompassing word seemed to fit the murky and brooding sounds that were emerging in the early 80s. Many of the lyrics ran true to the genre too and in such a way the word “Gothic” got a new form of art attributed to it – music. Along with this (as true of any subculture) came a mind-set, aesthetic and way of life. (see http://www.scathe.demon.co.uk/histgoth.htm for further info, a great site written by one of the UK’s goth elder elite)

So now… what does Goth mean to me?

The thread that seems to run through all the encompassing elements is beauty in darkness. This can mean many things: finding a small place of light in a dark time in your life; rejecting the dogma that just doesn’t make sense to you; seeing the beauty in things that others may miss – or even worse – may spurn; knowing that you have to accept the darkness to see the stars. The commonality is that we all have a little darkness within ourselves, and we choose to create something beautiful rather than destructive. That’s why so many of those in the Goth scene are artisans of one type or another, even if your art is simply the way you adorn yourself and weave through the dance floor.

Goth starts off as an escape for many. When you come of age and realise that for some reason you don’t quite “fit” with the rest of the world, it can be a horrible experience. Many find solace in Goth and through it discover they are not alone. This is perhaps the reason many of the clichés of Gothdom are sombre and depressing to most. However we’ve chosen to embrace these notions and remove their power over us by making them our own. As we grow in Goth, a definite dark sense of humour develops as we come to terms with our sadnesses and develop strength and uniqueness through our trials.

Goth is an honest, raw understanding varnished in velvet, lace and black painted smiles. Making the mundane magic and giving our inner monologue a reply. We should not forget the music that gave birth to this scene and the art that continues it, and while the accoutrement falls in and out of mainstream fashion it’s important to know Goth is more than simply the clothes you wear. I guess that’s one of the reasons I rate Alchemy Gothic as quintessential scene regalia. While they play with the overt trappings of the Dark Cultures, weaving them into wonderful works of art, the company is borne from a patron of the punk scene who has continued to live his passions and chosen to share them with the world in this genuine craftsmanship for each of us to now make our own. That’s why I’m honoured to have been invited to share some of my thoughts and adventures here and chose this topic as my introduction.

So remember, whatever label ends up chiselled into your gravestone, be sure it’s inked with heart, soul and integrity and then no one can ever take it away from you…

Until next time,

Gothically yours,

Amaranth

www.ladyamaranth.com

www.fashionsalternative.com

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Get the strigoi off my back!

by on April 11th, 2014 in News | No comment

Strigoi? Yes, I spelled that right. It’s a Romanian word. What is a strigoi? Well, you could say it’s a zombie/ghost like creature that…actually I’m not here to explain the term to you, get the freakin’ Google search for that. I’m here to tell you a true story.

How would you feel like if you were carrying some sort of ghost on your back? Not that I have experienced it, thank the Gods, but these were the kind of things that happened in my grandma’s town and vicinities when she was younger. My grandma, ‘mamaie’, lives in Fierbinti, a small village near Bucharest, Romania. Sometimes, when I visit and she’s in the mood she tells me mesmerising stories; stories that she had heard when she was younger. The part that makes these stories so scary is that she tells them as though they had happened, as if they were a part of real life. And I could tell you sooo many stories, but for now I’ll stay with the ‘strigoi on your back’ tale.

When she was a child, my grandma and other children would gather around a local man with a wooden leg, (following injury suffered in battle). He used to tell them stories, but also recounted true tales he had heard on his adventures. The following was one such tale, which many others had also known of and still believe to this day.

One night, at midnight, a man woke up from his sleep hearing his name being called outside his house. The voice that was calling him out was strange and twisted; not of a man or of a woman. Yet the man still decided to step outside to discover who it was. But when he did, he saw no one. Suddenly, just when he turned his back to go into the house, he felt someone or something climb onto his back. He couldn’t see it! There was nothing to see, but he still felt a great weight on his back and shoulders. He could barely move, his knees almost giving out. It was a horrible feeling because he didn’t know what was going on. It felt very heavy and he couldn’t get it off. And to make it worse, the voice spoke again. It told him to take it to a certain house in town. The man was petrified. But did he have a choice? Maybe driven by desperation and hoping that this way the weight would go away, he decided to carry the invisible weight to that address. By the time the man arrived at the house he was exhausted, his body and mind almost falling apart. But then, just when he stepped on the front porch…the weight was lifted. It was gone, just like that, as if it had never been there at all.

Although sounding pretty unlikely, you have to realise that people back then and there had no TV and mostly were peasants, and so didn’t read fiction or were influenced in any way by the outside world. So where does this strange story come from? Boredom and superstition perhaps? Or maybe…just maybe…

By Niguanta, of Romania.

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Become an Alchemy Dealer!

by on March 31st, 2014 in News | No comment

Have you ever thought about becoming an Alchemy dealer? Whether you currently run a shop or webstore, or you are simply thinking of an extra or alternative income stream, Alchemy’s vast range of products and global popularity could be just what you are looking for!

Alchemy are the UK’s all-round alternative lifestyle-mongers, offering an unprecedented choice from a range of collections in one all purpose catalogue. Alchemy’s pedegree, background-history and long-experienced creative craftsmanship gives you everything you want to refine and indulge your own personal tastes.

Here at Alchemy we are wholeheartedly dedicated to the marketing of the brand to the benefit of all our dealers! With our increased marketing efforts, ever growing Licensed range of products and a standard of exceptional quality both our dealers and fans of the brand have become accustomed too, We have gained an enormous following the world over, with almost 120,000 fans now liking our Facebook page! So there is no better time than now, to come on board and reap the rewards of stocking a range of UK manufactured products from a highly successful well recognised brand which is continuing to grow from strength to strength each year!

When becoming an Alchemy dealer, your will be designated an account manager who will oversee the whole order process, taking personal care of your account and every need, offering as much advice as possible.

To find out more about becoming an Alchemy dealer, please visit our trade website www.alchemygroup.com and fill in the online registration form to receive our trade pack in the post, and login details to the site.

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ITALY’S GOTHIC METAL LEGENDS LACUNA COIL GET THE HORRORS

by on March 24th, 2014 in News | No comment

Alchemy’s old friends, the Italian Gothic Metal legends Lacuna Coil have been revealing a little more about their much-anticipated, forthcoming album. Entitled Broken Crown Halo, it’s scheduled for an April release, and a concept album. In conversation with TeamRock Radio, they explained that the record was heavily influenced by the classic, vintage horror films being made in their homeland decades back. Particularly gory cult 70s masterpieces such as Deep Red and Suspiria, directed by Italy’s maestro of the macabre, Dario Argento.

‘We kind of grew up with it because they were always playing them on TV and this is the type of scenarios that always attracted us – especially as a band – we’ve always been attracted and inspired by the darker side of music and movies’, explained the band’s glamorous singer Cristina Scabbia. ‘We approached the lyrics by getting some metaphors from horror movies,’ added fellow vocalist Andrea Ferro, ‘especially the early-70s-80s horror movies by Italian masters like Dario Argento, or Bava, or any of the other directors who use bands like Goblin or composers who use these 70s-80s keyboards.’ Goblin’s soundtracks – haunting, eerily experimental prog rock – have become almost as legendary as the films themselves, and the band has recently reformed to play them live in heavier arrangements.

Meanwhile, Lacuna Coil are confident that their new album will live up to Italy’s rich horror tradition: ‘Broken Crown Halo is a cinematic album that could be the soundtrack of our days – it is a dark vision of a near future when survival is second nature, and failure is not something to be avoided, but rather cultivated with lessons learned along the way… We locked ourselves in an age-old studio in Milan, Italy, where history was strong and the past met with our future, vintage gear and the influence of classic Italian horror movies and bands like Goblin meeting the fresh and rough sounds of the modern world with unique and invigorating results. Broken Crown Halo is Lacuna Coil introducing a new order, and letting nothing stand in our way.’

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ZOMBIE TO RETURN TO HORROR

by on March 18th, 2014 in Reviews | No comment

Rob Zombie is perhaps the only performer to successfully master both shock rock and the kindred parallel universe of horror cinema. But while he’s enjoyed fair commercial success in Hollywood, Zombie took a lot of fan flack while in the director’s chair – both for being too gratuitously brutal in films like The Devil’s Rejects, and for being too corporate by agreeing to helm two Halloween remakes. In the wake of the very mixed response to his most recent horror movie – last year’s bold and bizarre Lords of Salem – Rob very publicly announced he was done with directing horror for the foreseeable future. Until now…

Zombie’s plan had previously been to take a radical new direction with a film based in the harsh world of pro ice hockey entitled Broad Street Bullies. But in a recent interview with 3News, while on tour in New Zealand with his band, the singer revealed he was now returning to horror, after struggling to find enough backing for the sports drama he’d been developing. The director predicts that the new film will connect most with fans of his most provocative film, the Devil’s Rejects, while expressing puzzlement over the cult popularity of his directorial debut, House of 1000 Corpses, which he dismissed ‘a calamitous mess…

 

‘Well, people like it, but when it came out it seemed like everyone hated it,’ shrugged Zombie. ‘Now everyone acts like it’s beloved in some way. All I see is flaw, upon flaw, upon flaw, upon flaw… It’s so odd how people judge things, so I’ve stopped trying to figure it out. The one thing I’ve noticed is that as time goes on, nobody likes anything when it’s new. As soon as it’s old, it gets this weird, established gloss to it: “Oh, it’s a classic!” Really?… and it’s always like as long as it’s old, it’s good. They hate it now, in six months they love it, in ten years it’s a classic, so who gives a shit?”’

 

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I, Frankenstein – an all-out, centuries old war between two immortal clans.

by on March 11th, 2014 in Uncategorized | No comment

One of this year’s big fantasy-adventure movies has been inspired by well-known gothic novel. ‘I, Frankenstein’ is written by actor and comic book writer Kevin Grevioux – it’s based on his graphic novel, which was inspired by Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’. Fans of the vampire movie Underworld might remember Grevioux playing the werewolf Raze – he also came up with the concept behind the film and co-wrote the original screenplay.

‘I, Frankenstein’ places the scientist’s famous monster in the modern world where he gets caught up in a battle against demons who want to discover the secrets behind his creation. The film is released in cinemas in the UK on 29 January and stars Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy and Miranda Otto.

Get into the spirit of the original Frankenstein story with some of Alchemy’s key Victoriana pieces. Our Hi-Voltage Toric Generator Ring [R.149] is a replica of one of the parts to Ezekiel Empire Rosenstein’s incredible Galvanic Matter Transposition System. And Dr Von Rosenstein’s

Induction Principle Ring [R.44] dates back to a device used by the 18th century scientist, which pre-dates Victor Frankenstein. Both rings are made from English pewter and are available in five sizes for a great fit.

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LondonEdge

by on January 21st, 2014 in News | No comment

The exciting new Spring collection from Alchemy is soon to be launched at the upcoming LondonEdge trade show, staged at London Olympia from Sunday 2nd – Tuesday 4th February, it really is an event not to be missed for all in the industry.

 

Established in 2000, LondonEdge is the original and best International trade show for men’s and women’s alternative clothing, footwear, street wear and accessories. Firmly left of centre, LondonEdge brings retailers 100’s of established punk, rock, street, gothic, burlesque, retro, vintage creative and commercial collections alongside a constant supply of the very best, brand new exhibitors from every corner of this planet of ours. Reliably effective for both retailers and exhibitors, this trade show provides the ideal balance of order-writing and entertainment.

To book your place or to find out more please visit www.Londonedge.com

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New Year, New Start

by on January 13th, 2014 in Uncategorized | No comment

Did you make any new year’s resolutions? According to a survey, losing weight, saving money and giving up bad habits are among the most popular promises we make to ourselves but studies suggest that many of us will abandon our good intentions before the end of January.

There are loads of self-help lists being blogged at the moment but some easy ways to feel more virtuous include saving cash with packed rather than bought lunches and swapping your bought morning coffee for a home brewed variant in a thermal mug. You could squeeze in some extra exercise by getting off the bus a stop earlier or parking the car a little further away from home, school or work and walking the difference or perhaps learn a new skill or language with the help of some free online videos.

Remind yourself of your good intentions with a special piece of Alchemy jewellery, such as our Claustramoris [P.647] necklace. This black key is decorated with Swarovski crystals and a miniature skull that hangs around your neck to help with self-control. Or, if your resolutions include being more spontaneous, why not grab a Hi Roller [ULR.3] ring from our UL13 range. It’s a six-sided ring that can be used as a real dice when you need to make a fast decision.

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TGI Friday – Hollywood’s favourite masked maniac back from the grace. Again!

by on December 13th, 2013 in News | No comment

With the number of skulls, bats and fangs we incorporate into our designs, it should come as no surprise that a number of us are keen horror fiends here at Alchemy. Veteran fans of the brand with good memories might even remember that we had a dedicated horror range many years back. It featured such ghoulish and gory items as a Freddy ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ Krueger belt buckle, a chainsaw pendant, and a hockey-masked killer badge. The latter was partially a tribute to Jason Voorhees, the iconic, unstoppable killer from the similarly unstoppable Friday the 13th franchise of stalk-and-slash horror films.

The first Friday the 13th film was made way back in 1980 by writer-director Sean S. Cunningham, though Jason didn’t become established as the silent, machete-wielding maniac horror fans know and love till later in the series. Since then, Jason’s left his Camp Crystal Lake home to take Manhattan, and even go into space, in no less than nine sequels, faced off against rival boogeyman Freddy Krueger in 2003’s ‘Freddy vs Jason’, and was the subject of a reboot of the whole franchise four years back. Now Cunningham intends to bring his most famous creation back to life one more time. “There will be another ‘Friday the 13th’, which will probably get shot in the spring,” he revealed in an interview coinciding with the recent release of a definitive 10-disc ‘Friday the 13th’ collector’s edition.

“If it all goes as I would like, [the new film] would then be released at the beginning of 2015,” he added. Cunningham also has plans to introduce Jason on the small screen: “I think there will also be ‘Friday the 13th: Crystal Lake Chronicles’, which is sort of a ‘Smallville’. We’ve been on-again off-again with that for years and there are a bunch of great stories to be told, but I think the way that it’s finally going to get delivered is not through a conventional television network, but through the Internet. I can’t tell you who the delivery people will be, but it won’t be the traditional route. There’s also the possibility of webisodes, and I think we even have an idea for a terrific Friday the 13th video game.”

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There’s just over two weeks to go until Christmas…

by on December 10th, 2013 in News | No comment

and a little less than that if you celebrate Yule on the Winter Solstice. We’ve spotted some fantastic seasonal decorations in the shops and are really looking forward to the big day. Have you finished your festive shopping yet?

If you’re stuck for a present, the Alchemy catalogue has a huge variety of ideas for anyone who follows alternative fashion. Check out our gothic and metalwear and don’t forget about our UL13/17 ranges for urban and retro wear. We’ve also released a brand new budget range of resin giftwear that’s available in the UK just in time for Christmas. It’s called The Vault and we’ve created 15 pieces, including some stocking filler skulls.

For more substantial gift ideas from The Vault, try the Stormgrave Chronometer [V15]. This is an elegant clock with an early 20th century look that will look stunning on mantelpieces, bookshelves and bedside tables. We’ve also got three new mirrors, including Fate Of Narcissus [V9]; an elegant hand-held variant decorated with elaborate knotwork. Cast in a heavy-duty bone-coloured resin, it’s an eye-catching design that will look beautiful on any dressing table.

You can search for a stockist in your region by accessing the dealer link at the top of the page.

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