Ariel Maniki and the Black Halos are Darkest Gothic Rock from Costa-Rica. The band hailing from San Jose have been making music since 2013, toured extensively in both South America and Europe previous to the Pandemic and since their debut LP ‘The Descending’ was released in 2015 have built up a loyal fanbase as well. The last few years, as is often the case has seen a few line up changes and “Black Light” their 5th studio album released today Monday 23 August 2021 see’s the band as a now solid 3 piece: Founder, songwriter and multi-instumentalist Ariel Maniki on Vox synths, bass and programming. Janice Black on Synths and keyboards. And Eva Red on bass and Vox.
The Halos (like most of us here, I’ve no doubt) are obviously influenced by many of the early 80’s and 90’s Post Punk & Goth Rock acts we all love. And whilst you can indeed hear some of those influences with every musical mouthful, peppered throughout “Black Light” like perfect mellifluous seasoning. It’s more a showcase of extemely clever writing as it’s all got the dark and brooding ingredients you’d expect from the genre but presented and played with original flair, skill and musicianship, is excitingly fresh and is certainly no bland, by the numbers, follow the recipe creation. This is “Michelan Stared” Goth and “Black Light” will make your musical tastebuds sing for joy & have you salivating for more! .
Released on Deepland Records there are 15 tracks featured on the album, all of which are worthy of many multiple listens and any of which, really could be single worthy. Several feature guests such as Caro Campos on Vox for “Mirrors” and “Absence” and the eerie whisperings on playout track “Cocoon”. Nino Sable of German psychedelic Goth Rockers Aeon Sable who wrote the lyrics and sings on track 9, aptly titled “Nine”. It also features the fantastic talents of Mr James Perry of Ashes Fallen on Sax for “Oh Milena!” The first Single and promo vid for track 2’s “Strangers” also has remixes available from UK DJ, Coveted Cover Maker, Bass monster, Producer and World Goth Day co-founder Lee Meadows aka BatBoy Slim. As well as a Re-mix from fellow Latin American darkwave/coldwave duo Antiflvx from Columbia.
Part of the UTM PR music group family that includes US icons the Wake and Caroline Blind and my favourite antipodean Post Punk upstarts Sounds Like Winter, The Black Halo’s are at the forefront of the current Tartarean explosion of outstanding dark and alt acts coming from Latin America and rightly deserve to be at the forefont globally too.
Released August 23, 2021
All music by Ariel Maniki.
Arrangements by Ariel Maniki, Janice Black, Eva Red, Caro Campos, James Perry, Nino Sable.
All lyrics by Ariel Maniki except “Nine” lyrics by Nino Sable.
Ariel Maniki – Vocals, guitar, synths, bass, programming.
Janice Black – Synths/keyboards.
Eva Red – Bass on tracks 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12. Vocals on tracks 1, 4, 13.
Caro Campos – Vocals on tracks 6, 8, whispers on 15.
James Perry – Saxophone on track 5.
Nino Sable – Vocals on track 9.
Recorded at MediaLuna Studio, San Jose – Costa Rica
Engineering, mix and mastering: Ariel Maniki
Recording assistance: Janice Black
Produced by Ariel Maniki
CD release by Deepland Records
Press and promotion: UTM Music Group
You can support the band by picking up a copy of “Black Light” here: https://arielmaniki.bandcamp.com/album/black-light