The first of Monsterland’s last two hurrahs, Black Mass was a fanged masquerade of the new and old, the electronic and the organic. DJ Apollynon and DJ Aeternum’s sets were a marriage of pounding industrial and old-school Goth, attracting an impressive array of metal-studded rivetheads and top-hatted goths. The elaborate setting of Monsterland, with all of its extravagantly ghastly props of werewolves and pumpkinheads and a life-sized Freddy Krueger lurking in the corner, was amplified to Gothic ecstasy with a callback to relics of the genre like Christian Death, Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, and The Sisters of Mercy. Flashing specks of bright crimson and purple blinked across the tight black leather stomping on the dance floor. Some danced, some stood and talked, and some lurked in the back and scowled behind their pale makeup and fishnet shirts. Switchblade Symphony’s “Clown” brought the night to a slow, swirling groove, while Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” demanded a blissful free-for-all.
Think Sanctum, but with a sizable injection of that gift of sin Rozz Williams was encouraging over 30 years ago. And with the sorts of props that should be included in every Goth night.
The knowledge of Monsterland’s impending death tainted the atmosphere ever so slightly. The sigh and look of dulled distress on the occasional Goth’s face was a testament to how much uncertainty Arizona’s darklings face while looking for a new home. The legacy of Monsterland passing like a wind (or hurricane) leaves the culture’s talented DJs and fans in disarray. At the moment, DJ Aleksandr Aeternum has promised that Black Mass will not be going out with a whimper. Or a bang. Or at all: “We are currently looking for a new home for Black Mass and full intend to carry on.” Step away from the casket.
– Zander Buel