Music Reviews

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Title: The Tenth Stage
Format: CD
Label: Crash Frequency (@)
Rated: *****
The Tenth Stage is a particular project coming from Australia. Formed by Roberto Missaglia and John Von Ahlen. Their debut album has their same name and include fourteen tracks. Since the first listening you can realize that the duo have already worked in the musical field because the skills they show on the album aren’t the ones of newcomers. In fact I read that Roberto collaborated with Tankt and John works (or owns) at the Subterrane studios where they recorded the songs. Anyway. Their music is a particular blend of darkwave with some dub, blues, reggae and classical inserts (one for each track and not all together) everything filtered with electronic arrangements. I know that only by reading such a definition it could sound like rubbish but this is the case where you should listen to what I’m talking about, because the band sound is really particular. Let’s try to explain things this way: try to imagine the latest Depeche Mode with their blues influence and their electronic arrangements (check "Wolfcall" where we have as guest Carl Learmont of Angelspit, "Banquet for 8" or "Mary Rose" with Rowena Martin of additional vocals). Ok? Done? Add some Sopor Aeternus dramatic feel on tracks like "Maman Marie’s fance", "St. Giles in the fields (1665 AD)" (guests on this one are by Lisa Marshall of Opera Macabre and Chris McCarter of Ikon) or "Francois Martin" and "I never promised you a rose garden (guest, Lisa Marshall of Opera Macabre, again). Some electronic dub and reggae on "Storage problem", "Sweet Jenny" and "The Hangman retribution" (guest on bass guitar an ex Human League: Ian Burden). Some electro e.b.m. on the opening "The tenth stage" (guest on this one is Andzelika Staszewska), "Criminal world" (the Metro song brought to success by David Bowie on his "Let’s dance" album) and on the closing "Epilogue". THE TENTH STAGE is a CD that will amaze you and if you are open to new ideas you’ll appreciate their style as much as I did.

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