“We travel into the microverse. We leave a dying planet there. We discover a new place to live. We’re the light that shines amongst the stars at night… Love Won, Love Lost and Outer Space.”
In the pulsating heart of New York City, a musical entity known as Black Rose Burning, orchestrated by George Grant (bassist for Voltaire), emerges as a formidable force in the realm of dark alternative rock. This ensemble, a fusion of past and future, melds a deeply Gothic sensibility with the kinetic energy of dancefloor beats and the haunting melodies reminiscent of ’80s New Wave. Its formation in 2018 marked the convergence of talents including instrumentalist, producer, and engineer Grant, guitarist Frank Morin of World Inferno Friendship Society, and drummer Luis Infantas of Monster Zero.
Their sound, channeling the spectral echoes of Ultravox and Colourbox, and the transformative resonance of Winds of Change-era Scorpions, is a journey through time and genre. At moments, their music aligns with the spectral essence of The Damned, The Cult, and The Mission. Black Rose Burning navigates the foggy alleyways of art-pop with a post-punk verve, reminiscent of a noir-new romantic figure, transposed against a backdrop that blurs the lines between the grit of the urban landscape, and the boundless possibilities of the universe.
“I was always intrigued by the Latin phrase Ad Astra Per Aspera (to the stars with difficulty) – even when I was a kid,” Grant muses. “I have also spent a great amount of time in my life pondering a question – why are we all fighting and destroying planet Earth instead of reaching for the stars together? The way mankind is at this moment in history, I’m not even sure we deserve the greater universe. I’m hopeful that one day we will.”
Grant approached the record with this mantra in mind, interlacing technical and futuristic themes with timeless tales of broken hearts, broken dreams, and – as ever- hope.
“I quite honestly took my love, as an avid Sci-Fi fan, and poured it into quite a few of these songs and into the overall feel of the record,” he says. But don’t get me wrong – there’s plenty of both love and heartbreak written into it as well.”
In the Kubrick-inspired music video, viewers are transported into a near-future dystopia, a setting where the weariness of world-travelers is palpable. These voyagers embark on an odyssey that stretches into the furthest expanses of space, distancing themselves from Earth’s shortcomings. Accompanied by a strikingly beautiful hook, the video propels us at breathtaking velocity through the vastness of the cosmos. This visual voyage prompts contemplation: what mysteries lie in the uncharted territories of space? Is there a realm superior to our troubled Earth? The video leaves us in a state of hopeful speculation, pondering the possibilities that lie beyond our known universe.
“Ad Astra is the result of the real first time collaboration of the musicians who have been playing with my project in a live setting and myself,” says Grant. “On previous records, I recorded them solo – playing and programming all of the instruments. It only made sense to take it to a whole new level by taking a slight back seat and letting the fantastic musical brains I have surrounded myself with, to step into some spotlight and show their talent. Sonically it’s a major leap forward in the ever-growing sound of Black Rose Burning in every way. Letting experts do what they do has resulted in – a lush soundscape that’s better than I could have ever hoped for. And even though I again wrote all the material, having partners who understand my vision is both invaluable and awe -inspiring,”
In 2021, Black Rose Burning released their second album, The Wheel, one year after debuting The Year of the Scorpion. George Grant’s soulful vocal delivery, instantly recognizable voice, and solid instrumentation are standout features of this music.
Black Rose Burning has also contributed their exclusive Ad Astra (COLD VIGOR Microverse Remix) to the Goths for Sanctuaries compilation, which aims to raise funds for animal sanctuaries, shelters and rescues – and to bring the goth community together in mutual support.
Ad Astra is out now. Order Here, or listen below:
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