Curse of Cassandra
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Curse of Cassandra

Dayton, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Dayton, Ohio, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Electronic Dark Wave




"Of Kitties and Cults"

By Gary Spencer

Photo: Curse of Cassandra conjures ‘witch-dance grave wave’ at Blind Bob’s June 25; photo courtesy of Curse of Cassandra

Cats and cat-lovers are everywhere these days. Most people’s Facebook newsfeeds are flooded with photos of cute kitties, and furry fandom continues to be a growing subculture—obsessions that some people may deem to be cult-like (but in a playful, non-Jim Jones sorta way). Ohio-based electronic music duo Curse of Cassandra has decided to parlay their own love of felines and the furry community into an overarching theme for their current tour and second full-length album, aptly entitled Cult of Cats.

“Our obsession with cats stems from the fact that they are our magical animal familiars, much like in the history of witches or how Egyptian society worshipped cats as goddesses and gods,” explains Curse of Cassandra vocalist Nicole Richter. “We titled the album Cult of Cats because it’s a paradox: cats are fiercely independent by nature and would be most immune to forming a cult. They can’t be trained or controlled. And that inspires us!”

Curse of Cassandra was founded by Nicole and her multi-instrumentalist husband Jacob Richter just two years ago in Dayton with the goal of making “witch dance, grave wave” electronic music geared for performing live on stage.

“[I] had the idea to create a live band that emulated what electronic digital artists were experimenting with, yet more live performance aspects both visual and instrumental,” Nicole explains. “[Jacob] began writing lyrical, haunting melodies against electronic-driven dance beats, and [we] crafted words to evoke a world of ghost-like sphynx cats, obsessive love and a new utopia of open sexual expression.”

The songs found on CoC’s Cult of Cats does indeed conjure up such vivid imagery, both lyrically and musically. Musically speaking, CoC’s music has a lot in common with their musical inspirations such as Goldfrapp, Purity Ring, and Bjork—airy atmospherics, machine-like rhythm lines, spookily subtle melodies and breathy vocals invoke an auditory world of sensuality and sexuality in overdrive. With this cinematic musical foundation in place, song for song Cult of Cats alternates between tunes geared toward making moves on the dance floor and tunes for making moves in the bedroom. According to Nicole, such witchy nuances of “pretty gloom” were the goal when it came to writing the new record.

“Cult of Cats is our second album to arise from a dark fairytale of desire,” she explains. “We were up most nights in the studio burning midnight smoke until the witching hour, and the world of sound we created came together like a moonlit cauldron, each of its melodic floor-booming tracks unique and taking on a different style. We experimented a lot with diverse rhythms and drum patterns on the album and we used a Moog Sub Phatty to capture more live performance and analog sound, creating depth and atmosphere on the album.”

With a new album in tow, Curse of Cassandra is in the middle of a regional tour throughout the month of June in support of their new album and to grow their legion of dance floor kitty worshippers, including a headlining gig at this year’s Pandoracon, Cincinnati’s premiere Sci-Fi & Fantasy convention. Following that, the duo is going for broke by making their next tour a full fledged trek across the country and beyond; a year-long journey of performing live and spreading their musical paw prints across the globe.

“We are embarking on a year-long voyage for our Cult of Cats tour in our RV,” Nicole says. “The tour will hit most of the continental U.S. We plan to do the band full time for a year, go all-in and see where it takes. We have gotten rid of almost everything we own, and we are going vagabond and live the artists’ life. This is our first tour of this length and size. There will also be tour dates in Europe, and we plan to play in Prague, Berlin and a few other cities across the sea. This will be our first time playing abroad, and we cannot wait to perform for our online fans in these cities, and to see all of the curious cats out there. It is a definite risk but we can’t wait to experience it.”

As for Curse of Cassandra’s show in Dayton this Saturday, the duo is planning to give proceeds from the door to a worthy, cat-loving cause. Fans of kitties, spooky electronic dance music and cosplay are encouraged to attend.

“As part of our Cult of Cats tour, we are raising money for kitties,” Nicole says. “A portion of our door will be going to Tenth Life, Dayton’s no-kill cat shelter who helps care for cats. And we make cat ears for our fans so that everyone can join the
Cult of Cats!”

Curse of Cassandra brings the Cult of Cats tour to Dayton Saturday, June 25 at Blind Bob’s, 430 East Fifth Street in downtown Dayton. Electro Cult Circus, Goodnight Goodnight and Praey are also on the bill. Admission is $5 for patrons 21 and over. Doors open at 9 p.m. For more information, please visit - Dayton City Paper

"Music Review-- Curse of Cassandra Cult of Cats"

Formed and lashed together in early 2014, Curse of Cassandra has become a staple in the Dayton darkwave, electro-goth circuit playing any and all venues that allow the gothic, burlesque hedonistic crowd that follows.
Jacob and Nicole Richter (a.k.a. Asher Black and Electra Complex) have established their following through the smooth, seductive sounds from the keyboards and electric musings onstage incorporating a classical gothic vibe with shadowed hints of S&M interplay with themes of love, dominance and unique lifestyles. A little bit of blood-letting, vampiric or otherwise is a kin for the show.
Described as witch-dance and grave-wave, their electro dark dance tunes combined with industrial dance pop, bring the bones out to the dancefloor, releasing those private, innermost thoughts that would most likely best lay hidden otherwise.
Their second record Cult of Cats pours and purrs with electronic satisfaction, hissing with claws out when threatened. There are some stories going on here that rarely get out of the underground club or private dungeon.
Richter’s vocals are subtle, breathy, seductive and sexual throughout with playful interplay, implication and exploration. A bit on the pop side at times but the lyrics and music give her delivery more depth than simple, happy love songs.
There’s an indie pop vibe on Carpe Noctem starting with a banging bassline opening with whispered witch like vocals, sending incantations into the mic like trailing incense. There’s a haunting simplicity in delivery, casting late day visuals of lonely travels in the woods, watching the sun fade through the tree branch hands. A ceremonial enchantment hides treacherous warnings as the sun sizzles on the horizon.
Dragon on a Leash has a personally freaky choice of flavor and Eurythmic charged opening like knives slashing through a curtain and keyboard effects hitting like oncoming traffic. It’s playful in its sarcasm with hints of Fergie and Maria Brink in attitude. Not acting one’s age is part of the experience.
Ghost of You slithers and recoils with groove experimenting with jazz and R&B. Richter’s vocals carry a submersed quality like voices swept into the ocean or dark liquid abyss, fading away like hookah smoke or last remains buried in everlasting obsessive love.
The tribal dance is done against the fire and flames in open air celebration of deity’s and astrological relations on We will not Hide. We are who we are. Pop diva sensations and sentiment come out, staying mature.
Jacob gets the chance to weave some spells on Falling. Nicole joins the chorus like merging liquid.
Stardust’s electronic, sensory neurons fire off like computer language. Evolving beeps and swirling audio shapes infiltrate the ears as Richter’s voice sneaks in, flowing on audio waves, let it rain down.
Darkborn’s depressive distilled vibe clanks with industrial pipes (possibly literally), with wailing words echoed from the ether or the womb.
Hold Me, Kill Me Slay Me ends with a psychopaths, serial killers and/or sociopaths love letter with tit for tat, eye for an eye, in any situation or the whip for a kiss. The wails of past seduced, used and discarded victims roam the air like poetic karma. - The Guardian

"Curse of Cassandra"

Walking into the room we pass through a chainmail curtain into a space steady pumping with a rhythm like blood flow. The lights are blooming bursts of colors, flashes that feel like explosions of excitement. These effects catch pace, divert from, and charge against. This could have a somewhat dizzying effect if it weren’t for the fact you’re instantly swallowed up, hypnotized, lost in the music. A smooth female voice goes from whisper to pure melody. She sings against a backdrop of pounding beats and haunting synth work. The effect is alluring, disarming and entrancing. This music is often too enticing, to rhythmic, not to dance, but still manages to lose no edge from its darker undertones. It’s like dancing with the devil, you can see and feel the dark dangerous edge, but you simply can’t resist.

This band is Curse of Cassandra and believe it or not they’re from Dayton Ohio. This incredible show, and fantastic performance was in fact a release show for their new album Night. Being a local born Dayton girl myself it wasn’t too hard to hunt down this band.

Curse of Cassandra formed in May of 2013 when Jacob Richter (synths/vocals) began writing songs and discovered Ryan Wolfe (percussion/effects) through the internet. Originally playing bass on synths, Nicole Richter stepped into the role of lead vocals in 2014 to form the band that exists now.

I recently got an opportunity to speak with the lead singer Nicole Ricter. I was excited to find out exactly what inspired and influenced their music; “The music and lyrics are inspired by vampires, cyberspace, the occult and otherworldly encounters intertwined with concepts of the night and the erotic connections that may ensue.” Ricter explained to me.

With a band of such wide influences one can wonder how they developed their specific sound. “Curse of Cassandra’s sound began with dance beats and haunting melodies, and has since become bound up with the seductive undertones of steampunk and gothic aesthetics.” Ricter said.

My mind drifts back to the incredible performance I’d seen that night. I ask about what they aim for fans to experience when attending a Curse of Cassandra show. “Definitely dancing and a sense of beholding the night as a temporary time of play, eroticism and enjoyment.” Ricter said.

Night, this is the one word title of the new album. Night looms overhead, like a black sky sprinkled with stars, like the dark in which people feel unrestrained and anonymous enough to embrace their own secrete desires. This album has been made with professional care, skill and the dedication of a band who gives it their all. “The producer of our album Jason Rubal (Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer) flew to Dayton to spend time getting to know each of us on a personal level, listen to music and consume cinema to better understand who we are in order to create the best possible album that is an authentic representation of us. He so did smoothly and with effervescence.” Ricter explained to me about recording the album. “It differed from previous experiences in that we are an electronic band that seeks to emulate live what DJs and EDM artists do. Jason helped us create live percussion using real drum sounds that are unique to our album, and mixed in the synths and vocals with a sense of space and depth.”

Night is a beautifully constructed album that showcases very well the band from which it comes. In her own words Ricter describes the album as; “Sexy. Playful. And of course, dark and sensual.” Night is undeniably an album that showcases Curse of Cassandra at their best. - Most Metro

"Anti-Valentine's Day Massacre"

Photo: The Blackheart’s Ball is the brainchild of Curse of Cassandra, who will perform Friday at Therapy Café; photo: Alien Twilight

Valentine’s Day is a “holiday” people either love or detest – there isn’t much room in between. And if you fall in the latter category, chances are you won’t be much in the mood for chocolates, flowers or a lovey-dovey dinner and movie for your Valentine’s Day weekend entertainment. No, chances are you might be in the mood for a more devious, dark or sinister way to spend your weekend. If that’s the case, break out your best all-black outfit and dance shoes – the inaugural Blackheart’s Ball at Therapy Café this Friday might be just the place for you.

Blackheart’s Ball is the brainchild of Dayton-based dark new-wave style dance trio Curse of Cassandra (CoC). According to CoC vocalist Nicole Richter, the inspiration for the debut event was two-fold: “We want to celebrate Halloween twice a year and that is what we are trying to do with Blackheart’s Ball – replace Valentine’s Day with Halloween,” she said. “ We reject society’s mass-produced, commercial image of romantic love. Valentine’s Day can be very lonely for people not in relationships and can create conflict and division for those who are. People strive to have this perfect day and in that pursuit of perfection, failure is the only outcome – fantasy doesn’t match reality. We aren’t anti-love – we are anti-fake, plastic ideas of love. This is an event to bring together people regardless of relationship status to celebrate the darker side of life.”

With the concept of Blackheart’s Ball in place, the band wanted to select a venue that would not just have good live sound and lighting, but also a room that could enhance and provide an atmosphere with a darkly romantic vibe. Therapy Café in downtown Dayton seemed like the perfect choice.

“Therapy Café is an excellent venue with a great stage, dance floor and a powerful sound system, which makes it perfect for Blackheart’s Ball,” Richter said. “They gave us a lot of freedom and creativity to program the evening. Recent updates and remodeling have taken the venue to a stylish new level.”

With a venue to house Blackheart’s Ball in place, it was time for Curse of Cassandra to select a few other bands to join them on the Therapy Café stage that also visually and sonically represented the theme and message of their Anti-Valentine’s Day extravaganza. According to Richter, Cincinnati hard industrial dance legion Hematosis and Dayton’s purveyors of dark shoegaze Where the Nameless Dwell were perfect choices for a variety of reasons.

“We wanted to program an event that brought together Ohio’s underground music community and we wanted the evening to be an artistic experience, not simply a collection of bands playing a bar,” Richter said. “We thought Hematosis was perfect for this since they are in a network of the goth/industrial community and they have a highly energetic stage performance complete with dancers that add theatricality to the show. We invited Where the Nameless Dwell to play since they are working like us to build a dark music scene in Dayton through their experimental, shoegaze sound.”

Where the Nameless Dwell guitarist Jeffrey Linder shares Richter’s vision and enthusiasm for the Blackheart’s Ball concept.

“I think the concept of a dark-vibed Valentine’s Day event is great for lovers and for those who feel slightly jilted in life and want to have an Anti-Valentine’s day party to go to,” Linder said. “[Where the Nameless Dwell] brings the heart wrenching storylines and dark feel, Curse of Cassandra brings the sexy, dancey vibe and Hematosis will just crush the evening out with their epic and entertaining music. I feel this is an event for those with and without someone special to hang out and have some fun.”

Cincinnati’s harsh industrial dance duo Hematosis, aided by the spooky and sexy Nekrodancers, will headline this Friday’s Blackheart’s Ball. Hematosis producer/programmer Scott Dowers is looking forward to performing in the Gem City again with other like-minded musical acts for a crowd and event seemingly tailor-made for their intense and theatrical live show.

“Hematosis strives to bring the audience the visualization of live theater to mix with the aggressive dark ambient beats we create to indulge in a fantasy-filled dream,” Dowers said. “Dayton has a captive audience in the Gothic/Industrial genre, for which fashion and dark alternative [culture] have non-discriminate elements of beauty and atmosphere to ensure each individual a mesmerizing time.”

And if all of these attributes aren’t enough to entice one to embrace the dark side of their heart by attending Blackheart’s Ball, Nicole Richter shared one more detail to share that will surely seal the deal.

“All of these bands have incredible hair. You have to see it to believe it.”

Blackheart’s Ball will take place Friday, Feb. 13 at Therapy Café, 452 E. Third St. Hematosis, Curse of Cassandra and Where the Nameless Dwell will perform with DJs Endpe and DitDot spinning between sets. Admission is $5 at the door for patrons 21 and over. Doors open at 8 p.m. For more information, please visit - Dayton City Paper

"Blackhearts Ball Slices Through Friday the 13th at Therapy Café"

Def Leppard said “Love Bites,” The Vinnie Vincent Invasion warned “Love Kills,” and on this 13th day, the water logged guy with the machete regularly slaughtered those making love. So it was fitting on Friday, February 13th, everyone’s favorite pre-bloody Valentine’s Day, the Therapy Cafe held the Blackhearts Ball. Hearts, candy and flower’s done darkwave, experimental, shoegaze and industrial style, with lots of balloons to kick around. The masquerade masks, stilettos, makeup, leather and lace were on display and it didn’t really matter who wore what.

The inaugural Blackheart’s Ball was the creation of Curse of Cassandra and something they hope to repeat every year when love fills the night and the guy with the miners outfit and pick axe comes back. Why not celebrate Halloween twice a year?

The Anti-Valentine’s Day event was an answer to society and the media’s almost scolding message, that if you are not involved with someone you are unable to buy them our holiday jewelry, romantic dinner specials and sweet nothing’s. Valentine’s Day is a day that plays on people’s best and worst emotions. If you were single, looking and not in the mood for all that lovely-dovey commercialized crap and a free online communication weekend wasn’t in the schedule, the only candle light needed, was to burn something with. The ball was an event to bring people together regardless of romantic status and celebrate what lies in the shadows at night. If you were looking for something safely insidious and be among your fellow non-mainstream folk, the ball was the place to be.

COC put together a bill that celebrated the Ohio underground music scene with Hematosis. A band firmly established in the underground while Cassandra and Where the Nameless Dwell try to build a stronger underground Dayton scene. For those who remember and mourn the great night clubs of yesterday when 1470 West (now Club Masque), The Asylum, The Foundry and others ruled downtown, while Club Vex stands strong, Richter has said that they’re pushing for more of a goth/industrial presence at Therapy. They played to the crowd from the unluckiest day of the year’s early night to the early darkness of Valentine’s Day.

Dayton’s newly transformed trio Curse of Cassandra played in the middle, to the delight of both genders. With a rain of flying undergarments and a bisexual vampire movie on behind them, caped S&M whip carrying storyteller Electra Complex’s soothing, seductive, breathy coo kept the audience’s attention. The electro, pop, synth group played songs from their new Night CD along with a few older ones. They started with the icy cool vocal breeze of “Shiver.”

With Asher Black supplying the classical, tension-anticipating sounds at the moment of seduction. With Wolf pounding out the hot blooded pulse of the set. “Hunger” brought out those closed door appetites that go unspoken and only happen at night. She jumped into the audience going fifty shades on “Bite,” introducing the temptress that delivers, when she put her lips, there. She wanted a victim, that night. CD opener “Blonde” started with fingers through the hair. Then they went…. where!?!?

They “Cursed” the audience with illumination but the vast majority saw it as a gift as breathtaking fire-dancer Ali Matta took over the floor, spinning and weaving the flames. Flowing to its bright, hot kiss as the rhythmic music took over. By the end everyone wanted the blood mark of damnation. Your pretty mouths brought out the “Twisted” sister in Electra. Being entangled in chains, brought the “Sex Addition” to the surface for the 18 and up crowd and all the private taboos into public light. They finished, going cosmic on the mechanical baby-doll feel of “Stardust.” - Covering the Scene

"Awards Watch: Curse of Cassandra"

A Local Band: Curse of Cassandra (local being the Dayton, Ohio area)

Recently, I found out one of my college professors (who, during my career as a student, was instrumental in shaping me into the media-wonk I am today) is in a band. I was cautious at first, as I always am whencurseofcass somebody tells me “I’m in a band.” Those kinds of phrases—especially from people you like—can be a bit dreadful: “I’m in a band” or “I wrote a book/screenplay/poem” or “I have an opinion on this hot-button political issue.” Dreadful because there’s the very likely reality that whatever they’ve poured their heart and soul into, or whatever opinion they’ve labored (or often times, not labored) to come to, just won’t be that good. And that just makes things awkward for everybody. What a relief, then, when I actually heard Curse of Cassandra’s debut EP. It was a bit of a revelation, actually, in a year that has yielded very little in the way of genuine pop pleasure for me. There’s a touch of Reznor-esque industrial grunge to the beats here, if you caught Reznor on one of his dancier days. What Curse of Cassandra really serves up is industrial-dance, gutter-glam gloom. Gothic, gauzy synths mingle with buzzier bass lines to propel these songs violently forward and get your body moving. Much like some of Reznor’s best moments, there’s a Rock spirit in Curse of Cassandra’s work, but it’s animated by the synthetic heartbeat of Pop—and that always makes for a compelling pairing. Head over to ReverbNation and check out their page. You can give all four songs on the EP a listen and it’s well worth it. If nothing else, don’t miss out on the highlight “Binding”—a proper bop in every way. And, you know, go support local talent. - Awards Watch

"12 Concerts to Catch at Millennium Music Conference"


Curse of Cassandra

Siren vocals combine with gritty beats in Curse of Cassandra. It's beauty and the beast in electronica form. - Penn Live


Cult of Cats--2016
Produced by Big Dragon Music 
1. Carpe Noctem
2. Dragon on a Leash
3. Ghost of You
4. We Will Not Hide
5. Falling
6. Stardust
7. Darkborn
8. Hold Me, Kill Me, Slay Me

Produced by Jason Rubal
1. Blonde
2. Cursed
3. Hunger
4. Cyber
5. Darkkiss
6. Bite
7. Velvet
8. Twisted
9. Possessed
10. Shiver 

Self-titled EP 2013



Curse of Cassandra is an electronic duo from Ohio. Dark, whispery vocals mix with glittering dance beats to conjure worlds of ‘witch-dance’ and ‘grave wave’. Their new album Cult of Cats has radio play on more than 150 stations nationally. They were voted Best Electronica in Dayton 2015 and 2016. They are currently on a year-long national tour promoting their new album Cult of Cats. They have sync licensing deals with major networks including MTV, ETV! and A&E to use the new album in 15 upcoming shows this spring. 

Curse of Cassandra's "music has a lot in common with their musical inspirations such as Goldfrapp, Purity Ring, and Bjork—airy atmospherics, machine-like rhythm lines, spookily subtle melodies and breathy vocals invoke an auditory world of sensuality and sexuality in overdrive" (Dayton City Paper). They have had a successful tour so far with 40 shows and 12 states to date, including headlining Pandoracon, Cincinnati’s Premier Sci-fi & Fantasy Convention, playing at Midwest Synth Fest, headlining Ye Olde Yellow Cabaret Steampunk Extravaganza, and opening for Angelspit on their most recent national tour.

Band Members