Music Reviews

Artist: Sensory Gate (@)
Title: Civisolation
Format: CD
Label: MHz Records (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Let's introduce the MHz-label a bit, since it got established by the Klangstabil-leader Maurizio Blanco. In the past this label has been often acted as being a side-label to Ant-Zen with the often discovered renowned Klangstabil project, although it can look back on a long-year past with tape compilation releases mostly based in the Experimental / Rhythmic Noise genres. Prominent artists like P.A.L. for example have been often invited guests in their early years. The connection to Ant-Zen is still alive and vital, as Ant-Zen takes care about the distribution of MHz-releases.
Also the Italian duo of Sensory Gate isn't that unknown to me. I discovered them with well-sounding remix contributions for the highly appreciated Ambient-/Electronica-project Sleepthief and also with two appearances on the highly recognized "Surge & Subside: Queensland Flood Appeal" compilation by the Australian Aphotic Audio label. What I had to learn is that this duo has already brought out a debut album entitled "Ianus" released by MHz in 2010. As for this new album, both band-members Andrea Pozzi and Max Iannuzzelli have composed 11 tracks in a musically expression between smooth Synth-/Futurepop to more aggressive EBM undersigned with some Rock-/Metal-like guitar riffs. The tracks are well-produced and the compositions offer demanding themes to think about. The main theme of this album deals with the ongoing isolation of people although they are surrounded by civilization. We see this phenomenon in big cities where people live in total anonymity. As described, this album impresses with its genre-bending attitude of the above mentioned styles. After the bombastic sounding intro "Among The Dead" with both German and English lyrics, comes with "Domino Effect" a straighter produced Electro-track with danceable beats, a natural sounding vocal performance and some guitar riffs. Next comes a true Synthpop pearl with "City Diary" with catchy as hell synthesizer- and piano- arrangements, plus a chorus line to sing along. Great track, it fits perfectly to the main theme of this album. "Slash", a track co-written by Claudio Dondo (Runes Order) surprises with some FLA-like bass line programming skills and vocoderized vocals. "Invictus" then is a true experiment based lyrically on a same-titled poem by W.E. Henley in German and English language. Additionally this one is dedicated to the world-wide deeply respected Nelson Mandela (R.I.P.). The last track then is a musically performance of a prayer which features guest vocals provided by John van Loon (Dark Territory): "Kyrie (Prayer For The Lost)" with Gregorian-like voices and a brilliant performed chorus. This album features all good things for a long and satisfying listening experience. Even if they throw in guitars, it gives the whole work a quite edgy and organic touch. I am fascinated by the depth in both compositions and arrangements behind this marvelous album. More than a secret tip - it's one of the spring-time highlights!

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