"The striking synth/goth songs on the latest from Vlimmer feel 50 stories tall, with gigantic walls of sound and bleak, ominous vocals." - Bandcamp: New & Notable (USA)
"Götterdämmerung 2021? Absobloodylutely! [...] Vlimmer impress with their Debut LP [...] Nebenkörper is a non-stop tsunami of synth-scary doom and gloom thunder. At times with a weird sort of dark opera chants (Mutem / Minusgesicht / Kartenwarten), at times with Front 242 shockers (Ad Astra / Wangendruck / I.P.A.), at times with hallucinatory bangers (Meter / Kron), but always with infuriating intensity and wall-breaking orchestration from start to climax." - Turn Up The Volume (BEL)
"Very occasionally, an artist comes along who seems to create sound in an extra dimension, constructing mind-blowing soundscapes that result in a thrilling sensory overload for the listener. Trent Reznor was one such musical genius, The Soft Moon’s Luis Vasquez is another, and Vlimmer’s Alexander Leonard Donat can now be safely added to that list. His Vlimmer project’s debut album, Nebenkorper, after a series of bewilderingly eclectic EP’s, was a stunning showcase of his talent, with I.P.A. the standout track." - Goth Postpunk Revival (SCO)
"Darkwave run through a blender [...] Unsettling tracks that darken the project's already bleak and atmospheric take on post-punk and Gothic music. The musician aurally attacks with powerful tribal drumming, the heightened frisson of futuristic synths, a plethora of industrial noise, and foreboding to morose vocals. [...] jack-hammers the senses - senseless!" - Big Takeover Magazine (USA)
“9/10 - Vlimmer offers the entire range of ghost-post-punk, grim wave and darkwave with massive dystopian devotion.” – OX-Fanzine (GER)
"8/10 - The sound has evolved towards a darker and harder result. Vlimmer has accomplished a new tour de force. Some passages remind me of The Cure, but this work sounds more violent. The rhythms are impressive, but I also noticed some irresistible icy synth leads [...] Some [...] parts are like controlled chaos, revealing a totally different approach than what we’ve been used to hearing from this artist. Vlimmer is constantly evolving" - Side-Line Magazine (BEL)
"8.5/10 - The clenched fist of “Nebenkörper" breaks away with the more atmospheric shoegaze and pop-rimmed post punk of the [past] EPs to the more tribal, raw sound of “Nebenkörper [...] Vlimmer deserves to be heard above all because Alexander Leonard Donat knows how to add a portion of magic to his rather eclectic musical concoction, creating a separate and unique sound that sounds diverse and also coherent. A fairly original sound in 2021 that still fits perfectly with the scene that we all love so much or with which you might have a love/hate relationship." - Dark Entries (BEL)
"German genre-bending powerhouse Vlimmer has finally come blazing with a full-length record that abandons all preconceived notions of its limits. ‘Nebenkörper’ is a cumulative catharsis, far less dreamy in scope than the project’s ambitious eighteen-EP opus – this is a swirling vortex of rage, anxiety, and dread that sonically pulverizes itself in a seamless, endless ouroboros. [Vlimmer's] usual blending of darkwave and shoegaze [...] takes a backseat to an understated psychosis of of melodic black metal here, undercut with atmospheric synthwave [...] and it all comes together brilliantly, if jarringly." - Firefly Mouth (USA)
"Can be used perfectly as a soundtrack for our present. [Vlimmer's] sonic escapades almost have the quality for an out-of-body experience. These songs may have arisen out of a trance. The mind detaches from the body and strives for enlightenment."Nebenkörper" cultivates dystopia and works as the soundtrack for the eve of the apocalypse. His songs are like walking through an industrial ruin, while bright flashes of lightning in the black sky illuminate the scenery for fractions of a second. On the album, structures that you have come to love dissolve and make room for sheer tonal despair. Vlimmer achieves a great feat: He enhances the Gothic genre a lot further and manages to take the listeners on this journey." - Unter.Ton (GER)
“[I]t's ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE [...] This album of gorgeous, punishing, evasive, psychedelic goth music [ …] feels like a quiet moment of global change […] a major moment of transition. It feels both inscrutable and inviting […] One has to accept it and cease all attempts to make it something it is not, because it will repeatedly pull away from you when you attempt to do so […] [It's] a display of absolutely impeccable songwriting […] a strong contenter [for] album of the year rankings” - Issues Magazine (USA)
"14/15 - Atmospherically, [Vlimmer] comes very close to The Cure [...] the songwriting and arrangements, however, are much too independent. Driving percussions, innovative synths. [...] Vlimmer projects a very own film that you should definitely watch." - Legacy (GER)
"A beast of an album [...] a swirling amalgamation of gothic darkwave with shoegaze and a big helping of industrial. It is raw and at times won’t let you stop hearing new and unique things in the musical aether. At times you can almost swear you can hear a choir in the mix backing up Donat but this is an illusion and a rather masterful one." - Onyx Music Reviews (AUS)
"One of the most astonishing albums of the year is Nebenkörper. For those who say that there is nothing new under the sun, well, here’s Vlimmer. Deliciously weird." - El Garaje De Frank (SPA)
"Brought to our realm from a bizzaro alternate dimension, [...] not like much else I personally have heard." - The Rotting Zombie (UK)
"I really like how this can be sort of scary but also on the dance floor. With rapid fire drum machines and spooky synths, this cassette begins in a state of somewhat horror. There are these elements of The Cure, but it also feels like a glam rock band in the sense that it has this big stage presence. There are these industrial aspects to it as well, as the percussion starts and stops, raining down like doom." - Raised By Cassettes (USA)
"Offers a thousand and one lively ideas, [it] highlights with great impact. Being a hybrid, Vlimmer interweaves styles and shapes his material, which is fully his. "Nebenkörper" is offensive, yet at the same time more thoughtful. [...] The whole thing is trippy, sometimes tribal too, imbued with a clouded vocal lyricism. A demanding opus, therefore, Nebenkörper shakes, shakes feelings. [...] It allows us to discover a multi-stylistic, powerful pancake, littered with sounds that float in the wind or sink into bacon." - Muzzart (FRA)
"The longed-for full-length [...] With the new album [Alexander Donat] further displaces us, [...] completely revolutionizing his own instrumentation and redefining that sound not without the captivating eclecticism [...] stabilizing between the fields of post-punk and darkwave. [...] a compact work that, once more, shows the eclecticism, the inspiration and the talent of its indefatigable creator, who has been careful not to limit himself to following those already beaten and familiar paths. [It] will require several plays to be fully assimilated and appreciated." - Darkroom Magazine (ITA)
“[P]resenting us something fresh and new for our supper. Vlimmer proves you can take a few music genres that may not have a bunch in common and fuse them together and make your own sound [...] The vocals sound [like] a satanic fire of chanting. All of this combines and fits a bill for the perfect demonic dirge" /// "Sounds like the soundtrack to the post-apocalyptic world that we’re currently running to at full speed. It’s well crafted, it’s provocative, there’s a lot of complex layering and sound textures that, kind of, forge a compelling sonic structure. It ebbs from the brittle and gorgeous to the abrasive and agitated in a delightful matter […] I love this album.” - The Shadow Transmission (USA)
"Recommended! [A]t times quite theatrical, at other times softly mystical, dominantly sultry or urgently cold. With layered voices, heavy tribal drums and strikingly complex synth lines, this has become a very artistic, unique and aesthetically strong album. For those who want a different goth sound than the classic 80s sound" - Luminous Dash (BEL)
"I'm enthusiastic. The great thing about Vlimmer is that time and again he manages to find a new angle within a certain recognizable sound. It's almost as if his EPs paved the way to this album. Bach [...] also did beautiful preliminary studies before setting up a certain larger work and without those works being less before it. In fact, Vlimmer has done something similar and shows a broad and mature sound here. [He] plays a fresh, headstrong and emotionally beautiful sound in the darkness." - De Subjectivisten (NED)
"I have no idea what Vlimmer sings about. Yet the use of German is certainly not an obstacle, because these songs with a tribal, frenetic and desperate sound still speak a straight language, perfectly aligned with the deepest anxieties of all. And then what a bomb of sound, deafening post punk, declined coldwave between The Soft Moon, Nine Inch Nails and heavy metal in free fall." - Shoegaze Blog (ITA)
"This is art [..] It's a confrontation [...] but it has the great power to tell a bigger story. [...] What a crazy creative mind [...] The great, great strength of this work lies in its extreme diversity: Although many passages or even entire pieces constrict my breath with this massive sound, Meter is unbelievably danceable - that was not to be expected!
[...] The artificial, of course, intensifies the absorbing darkness. [...] The walls get closer and closer, the pulse rises. There is no (musical) hope here, it is the absolute abyss." - Luserlounge (GER)
"Proof that the “dark post-punk” tag doesn’t have to necessitate rehashing forty year old tropes, but can be used to create elaborate and strange new forms. Recommended. While nominally sitting somewhere on the darkwave/post-punk spectrum, like the best of Donat’s work Nebenkörper‘s defining features are its energies and emotions rather than genres. Fraught and despairing yet also defiant, Donat’s voice careens through the nightmarish “Fensteraus” and the elegiac “Minusgesicht” with verve and passion, and even if the German lyrics are passing you by, the sense of wounded anxiety won’t. Acting as a counterpoint to that vocal directness is the incredible detail and shading pressed into nearly every second of Nebenkörper‘s arrangements." - I Die: You Die (CAN)
"8/10 - A wonderfully dark and disturbing album. [...] This album places Vlimmer deep in the maelstrom of Grim Wave, goth Industrial darkness that seems in tune with the times we live in. [...] Mutem has deep disturbing tribal drumming and vocals that move around the speakers like they are whispering all sorts of nasty things in your ears to disrupt and disturb you from being just another faceless member of society. [...] Wangendruck is a title that sounds like a strange perversion and the blast beat and dystopian synth sounds conjure up the darkest of fantasies making the old Bauhaus dictum of the Passion Of Lovers is for Death sound pleasant as you imagine the horrors unfolding in the back of that truck." - Whisperin' & Hollerin' (UK)
"An eclectic experience you've never experienced before. [...] Vlimmer's sound is clearly special [...] sometimes violent, sometimes melancholic, sometimes dramatic, sometimes meditative - the fast-changing sound image invites listeners to a permanent nightmare from which they never wake up." - Cold Experiment (JAP)
"An exciting, sometimes confusing, yet enjoyable journey with plenty of surprising stops. [...] The album in its entirety is a success. [...] To describe Vlimmer perfectly is about as easy as deciphering the paradoxes of Zeno by Elea. A wild mix of post punk, electronics, cyperpunk, cold industrial, noise, shoegaze, film music and sequenced harmony. Vlimmer is chaos and order at the same time." - Amboss Mag (GER)
"The journey doesn't seem to be over yet. [...] With flight sequences in strange-sounding spheres it goes off and then into space and into dreamy deeper zones in the subconscious which Alexander stimulates. [...] I admire Alexander's creative zeitgeist, which does not follow trends, but is consistent in implementation and comes along with unusual ideas, views, implementations or content." - Underdog Fanzine (GER)
"Right in the eye of the storm. Disaster rages all around. It's quiet in the middle, but every centimeter outwards promises a roar and a crash. Is that what it looks like when the apocalypse is closing in? In the quiet zone of this thundering hurricane, Alexander Donat throws away all of his previously used equipment, sheds his skin briefly and shakes himself. Then he sets out to activate the 'secondary body' with new equipment" - SaitenKult (GER)
"Vlimmer is a truly gifted artist." - Sounds Obscura (CAN)
"Full of great, strange and sometimes scary ideas. [...] You don't have this album played in the background during a cozy dinner. Attention and a minimum of patience and the ability to suffer are required here. [...] Edgy shoegaze meets opulent dark wave and pounding industrial sounds" - Bierschinken (GER)
"An album somewhere between Coldwave and Post-Punk, and calls his sound “Grimwave”: That's a fitting term, because songs like “Kartenwarten” are on the one hand melancholically flowing and dreamy, but also anarchistically threatening. Music, made for a foggy autumn day ..." - Tonspion (GER)
"Really enjoyed listening to this album, its disquieting melancholy was inspiring." - Blaue Rosen (UK)
"Intense darkwave music, which, however, differs significantly from the genre prototype of the eighties and nineties. The songs have elements of flashy noise rock, industrial rattling, shoegaze melancholy and black metal darkness in their DNA" - Sanctuary.cz
"Berlin-based Alexander Leonard Donat must be one of the hardest-working and creative men in the business, a kind of goth Prince, [Vlimmer] has produced an outstanding new two track EP whose lead track, Fensteraus, begins with a haunting analogue synth riff which has the same unsettling effect as solo John Foxx or early Human League. With shouted distant vocals a la Nine Inch Nails, the song takes on a vaguely low-fi industrial feel, before imaginatively taking a different turn over a post-punk bass riff, before combining the elements in a dramatic closing section. The imaginative whole has the cumulative cinematographic effect of a more daring Kissing The Pink, a less intense The Soft Moon or even a more avant-garde Imagine Dragons, such is the epic feel of the song from one of Europe’s most prolific artists." - Goth/Post-Punk Revival Blog (SCO)
"[Vlimmer] takes his sound in an even darker and rougher direction. As well as on "Fensteraus" and "Kron", he pairs hard industrial beats with distant-sounding singing and screaming. On the first song shoegazey synthesizer layers dominate while on the B-side he has his post-punk sounds explode into noise sounds." - Visions (GER)
"Alexander is back again, with a new two track EP and again stretching the range of one of the great sonic sculptors of our time. This is shake your ass club thump. The open expansive feel of the synths, the thunderous driving bass, I couldn’t help throw my hands in the air. Beautiful syncopation and vocal cadence. Track one Meter has a Blondie Atomic energy while pulsing in hues of violet and crimson.
Favorite Track: Kartenwarten – The glorious sway and slide of this track. I’m on a cliff staring at the sea, feeling the slow shifting power of dark water. So many textures and concepts bleeding together in harmony. A true work of beauty." - Sounds & Shadows (USA)
"Hot, excruciating glaring synth swathes transfix the tumultuous inner chaos embodied by a menacing, cloudy tide of driving thundering beats, throbbing bass resonances, and glistening hallucinatory reverberations to create uneven bursts, cuts, and spirals of angry energy, smouldering back and forth around the agonizing sorrow of crushed, baritone male vocals, struggling against the disturbing realization that society and loved ones are divided on life-altering world views. Decisively more introspective and elegiac the flipside, “Kanterwarten”, amidst tiresome hypnotic heavy beats and sharp, blinding synth glares, drowning deep in a sorrowful meditation steeped in oppressive and disturbing anguish until the cathartic and heartbreaking final cry." - White Light / White Heat (ITA)
"Great one [Ad Astra]" - The Brvtalist (GER)
PRESS RELEASE: English
Dedicated to the end times: Founded in 2015 near Berlin, Vlimmer is a one-man project with a mission to create a bleaker version of shoegaze, kicking off with a double EP entitled "I/II" which belongs to an 18-EP series. To his own surprise, Alexander Donat quickly found himself between the chairs of the darkwave, post-punk and goth scenes instead of shoegaze – which, of course, reveals a lot about the origin of the genre. The plaintive, floating, often dreamy vocals merged with the reverb of the overlapping synthesizers and guitars to create an apocalyptic whole that was driven by constant (often Kraut-infused) rhythms.
Fast forward, January 2021: After the end of the EP series, Donat bans all instruments used on the previous recordings from his studio and starts with a clear vision and new equipment. The dystopian "Nebenkörper" LP pushes hyperactive (tribal) drums - especially toms in all sizes - into the foreground and creates a modern variant of atmospheric wave with now more aggressive vocals and the psychedelic use of the new "Polybrute" synth. In their DNA the songs have elements of blaring noise rock, clattering industrial, flooding shoegaze and nagging black metal. Years ago, talking about Vlimmer, the Swiss magazine ArtNoir put the fitting term "Grim Wave" into circulation - now it’s a perfect match. Yet, it’s not everything: The album starts sedately with African drums and hypnotic synth waves that feignedly lurk and peek out again and again over the course of the 40 minutes. It’s the permanent premonition of an oncoming storm.
Der Endzeit verschrieben: Vlimmer ist ein Ein-Mann-Projekt aus dem Berliner Raum, das es sich 2015 zur Mission machte, Shoegaze in seiner düstersten Version zu kreieren, und mit einer Doppel-EP namens „I/II“ loslegte, die den Beginn einer auf 18 EPs angelegten Reise markierte. Zu seiner eigenen Überraschung fand sich Alexander Donat recht schnell zwischen den Stühlen der Darkwave-, Post-Punk- und Gothic-Szenen wieder, statt im Shoegaze - was natürlich einiges über die Herkunft des Genres aussagt. Der klagende, schwebende, oft dreampoppige Gesang verschmolz dabei im Hall der sich überlagernden Synthesizer- und Gitarrenspuren zu einem apokalyptischen Schauspiel, das von steten (oft krautigen) Rhythmen angetrieben wurde.
Fast forward, Januar 2021: Nach Abschluss der EP-Serie verbannt Donat alle darauf genutzten Instrumente aus dem Studio und startet mit einer klaren Vision und neuem Equip-ment. Die dystopische „Nebenkörper“-LP schiebt hyperaktive (Tribal-)Drums - Toms in allen Größen! – in den Vordergrund und schafft mit aggressiverem Gesang und dem liquiden Ein-satz des neuen „Polybrute“-Synths eine moderne Variante flächigen Waves, der in der DNA Merkmale zisch- enden Noiserocks, tackernden Industrials, übeschwemmenden Shoegaze als auch keifenden Black Metals trägt. Das Schweizer Magazin ArtNoir brachte für Vlimmer einst den Begriff des „Grim Wave“ in Umlauf – nun passt er wie die Faust aufs Auge. Und dennoch drückt er nicht alles aus: Das Album startet sedierend mit afrikanischen Drums und hyp-notischen Synth-Wellen, die auch im Verlaufe der 40 Minuten immer wieder hervorlugen und Beruhigung antäuschen. Es bleibt die dauerhafte Vorahnung des hereinbrechenden Sturms.
released September 24, 2021
Music and mix: Alexander Leonard Donat
Mastering: Pete Burns (Kill Shelter)
Artwork: Alexander Leonard Donat