Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Sigma Octantis (@)
Title: Dissipations
Format: CD
Label: Malignant Records (@)
Rated: *****
Sigma Octantis is a magnitude 5.42 star in the constellation Octans most notable for being the current South Star, approximately 270 light years from Earth. Sigma Octantis is also a band from France, and 'Dissipations' is their final album. Formed in the early 2000's, they have three prior releases from 2007 - 2012. They make no bones about their admiration for Morthound, Benny Nilsen's project that had four releases on Cold meat Industry back in the early 90's. I often wondered why Nilsen dumped Morthound in favor of his other projects, but so it goes, and CMI isn't around anymore either. Leave it to these French guys to carry on the Morthound tradition (sort of) while bringing something new to the table in the process. This isn't exactly a typical Malignant release, but I'm sure they heard something in Sigma Octantis that made them an interesting addition to their roster. (The CD was released on OPN Records in France.)

The band is basically a trio - guitar, bass and drums, with additional electronics, but any similarity to any "power trio" you may ever have heard ends here; that's not at all what Sigma Octantis is about. Although there is power to spare when they're really cranked up, Sigma Octantis is well versed in the ambient aspects of their sound too. 'Dissipations' is an entirely instrumental foray into a twisted, post-industrial landscape of the unfathomable. From the album's watery beginning swimming with electronic eels in the murky depths of an ancient lake, you might think you've stumbled upon an unreleased work by Tangerine Dream. Not so, once the martial thudding of the tribal drumming begins. Distorted guitars carry forth a theme of semi-melodic origin in a glorious cacophony that would make the noisiest shoegazer band quiver with envy. What melody there is is incidental (maybe accidental) and as simplistic as it gets. 'Fantôme Infinitésimaux' is one of the heaviest psychedelic mantras I've ever heard. It is indicative of the way Sigma Octantis just builds on a basic them that doesn't involve any more than a few chords (often just a couple) but makes an atmospheric smorgasbord of dark delights that overwhelm the senses. Much of 'Dissipations' is spacy modern psychedelia at its finest. In many places, the sound is just huge, giving an awesome impression of the megalithic juxtaposed with the futuristic. "Parle Moi, Il Fait Si Noir' is atypical track that has a lighter, wavering, bellish electronic ambience before the heavy drums and groaning guitar kicks in with a stately, yet bombastic theme that swell in your head over and over. Final track, "Farewell" is a glorious outro, swollen with all the sturm und drang Sigma Octantis can muster, yet tempered in the middle with a kind of shoegazer break, before it builds to another bombastic conclusion. If you're a fan of Morthound, Deutsch Nepal, or the latter works of Caul, this album is a must. Limited to only 500 copies. Get it before it's too late.
cover
Artist: Himiko (@)
Title: Victims of Greed
Format: CD
Label: DTrash Records (@)
Rated: *****
Himiko's at it again, a new release of 13 tracks in the Digital Hardcore, Speedcore, Death Metal, Grindcore, Goregrind, Gabber, and Breakcore mode, and none of them over a minute in length. I get the impression that she's refined what she spewed forth on 'DethNoizzz', and may be taking it to the next level of nastiness. There is an often present squealing/whistling on this album that may not be surprising considering the revolting pig image on the CD cover. The album smacks of total excess, a point I'm sure Himiko is painfully trying to make. I'm not sure how much further she can go in this genre, as much of it is beginning to sound the same. Would have been nice if she threw in something completely different just for shit and giggles (something to make you say, "what the fuck???") but Himiko remains true to form throughout, perhaps too much to appeal to anyone except the fans she already has. If that was the intent, it works, but I think she's going to have to shift gears for the next one if she wants to gain more traction.
cover
Artist: Unearthly Red (@)
Title: Purgatory
Format: CD
Label: Camerata (@)
Rated: *****
Unearthly Red is a collaborative project between Dustin Terry (Void of Axis) and Tim Risher (Paragaté) working together in the dark ambient soundscape vein here on 'Purgatory'. Terry's Void of Axis is in the dark electro synthpop genre (influences being Assemblage 23, Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode) with melodic vocals, and Risher's Paragaté (also with Tom DePlonty) is more in the ambient/dark ambient mode, at times reminiscent of early Robert Rich, among others. The music on 'Purgatory' is soundtrack fragments for an imaginary film, set in the village of Quiet Springs, beginning with innocence and sliding into the hidden terror that dwells there. Sounds a little Lovecraftian...anyone know if I can catch a bus to Arkham from here?

Things don't exactly sound innocent on 'Purgatory'. It does begin quietly, but there is a strong undercurrent of the ominous right from the beginning. Murky dark ambience and a little minimal rhythm, then - UPHEAVAL! - with industrial noise indicating something has broken the tranquility of this place. Murky really is the key word here, as the subdued ambience is the unifying factor nearly throughout. A feeling of foreboding and dread permeates most of 'Purgatory' with its rumbling often rattling my overworked subwoofer. There are a variety of sonic elements - electronics, dark chimes, disquieting pianos, industrial loops, and other audial strangeness that emerges now and then, but it is mostly understated. Sometimes, as on "Rhythm of the Mind" (track 8) a weird processed electronic rhythm emerges but for the most part, it's low-key atmospherics. That's not to dismiss this at all, in fact, low-key dark ambient is my absolute favorite kind of soundscape. Even when there is some breaking of the calm, these occurrences don't degenerate into harsh noise. The atmospheric tempering here is spooky, creepy, and never throws the horror directly in your face. There is a good amount of variety too that serves to break up the dreariness often encountered in bleak, minimal dark soundscapes. Not that any of that "variety" could be construed as anything happy, because there is no happiness in purgatory. The last track, "Remorse", is the only thing close to anything musically conventional, with chordal string pads and minimal electronics in a repeating pattern over a minimal drum track, and that may be the dullest thing on 'Purgatory', but still makes for a nice outro.

Overall, 'Purgatory' is a worthy effort from Dustin Terry and Tim Risher, one that should get repeated plays from this reviewer, and I can't say that about nearly everything I review, even that which I've liked. It may want to make you check out Void of Axis and Paragaté, which you probably should. Available in both digital download and CD format. Nice!
cover
Artist: Jarl | Envenomist
Title: Tunguska Event
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
This album is a collaboration between Erik Jarl and Envenomist trying to reenact the Tunguska event 'a large explosion which occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River ['¦]. It flattened 2,000 km2 of the forest ['¦] The mystery is still unsolved'. To recreate this phenomenon they use drones, noises and field recording underlying the narrative aspect of this musical form, dark ambient, as boring in his abused form as enchanting in his well constructed form.
The first track, 'Tunguska Event Part I', is an amazing juxtaposition of drones and noises able to evoke the unexplainable situation that inspired this release. As this release continues, 'Tunguska Event Part II' features the noises of the emergency personnel that has to manage this events. 'Tunguska Event Part III' sounds like the perplexity of someone that has to rationalize all the situation. 'Tunguska Event Part IV' as the pain of the victims and 'Tunguska Event Part V' as the question that has to be resolved.
This is an album that is completely focused in the cinematic property of sound and structure and, in the language closes to the canon of the genre, is something that could be enjoyed perhaps even by a casual listener curious enough not to be afraid by strange sounds. Recommended.
cover
Artist: ForrrestDrones (@)
Title: Najas Flexilis Exequiae
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum.com (@)
Rated: *****
This could sounds as the first cd published by this composer but is presented as Robert SkrzyÅski, otherwise known as Micromelancolié, whose last album was praised by me as it 'tries to search new grounds reasoning on structures'. This statement is confirmed by this new release, a single long track represented, in his beautiful sleeve, as an owl seeing the moon phases, in a meditative, but happy, mood.
The crackles of an old record introduce the listener into a soundscape made out of drones and small noises that has the quality to escape the obvious suspension of time searching the hypnotizing effect. The drones and loops enters and exits through the track and are unheard until it's realized the change of the loop. So, at first listen the overall effect could sound static but closer analysis reveals the clear music path followed by the composer.
This release is another one that could not be recommended to anyone as it's perhaps too focused on a particular structure to be enjoyed by everyone. However all fans of drone and ambient will enjoy this album and wait for the next release from this composer. Really nice.
[ Next ]

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha