Music Reviews

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Artist: Cyber Snake
Title: Internet Album
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: afmusic (@)
Rated: *****
While the silly title of the album might make you think otherwise, "Internet Album" is actually a very solid, well-produced effort. From what I can gather this is the first album by Cyber Snake, and it is a nice addition to the goth metal/ electro metal genres. Actually, there are various genres explored here, but the easiest points of reference are bands like Lullacry and Lacuna Coil, but with synths thrown in, and with a Russian vocalist and guitars that aren't afraid to get funky with the wah pedal on occasion.

This is nice stuff, though it does suffer a bit from the "let's combine various musical genres to cover up our lack of identity" syndrome. A lot of the songs start off in a more EBMish vein, before they eventually kick in to a metal or rock sound. I certainly wish they would stay with the former, as they have good beats and nice synth sounds. That said, Cyber Snake are talented musicians, and "Internet Album" is a good album. If you like your metal spiced with strong female vocals, prominent synths and the occasional funk bass, this is for you. It's available for free, so you may as well give it a chance.
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Title: the optician
Format: CD EP
Label: The spew (@)
Rated: *****
"Sometimes they come back"... and I’m glad they do, this just a mini-cd from the forthcoming work that’s gonna be out sooner or later in the next future and it’s a good antipasto. Compared to their early materials Psychofagist have increased the complexity of their sound and added more and more new influences. If once they could have been unjustly compared to Dillinger Escape Plan now we find them definitely located in a grey area where we find grind, math-rock, free-jazz core and fusion. References?! Holy shit, I’ve found so many influences we could add a whole list to the review but think of a bastardized version of Les Claypol playing with Rotten Sound, Dillinger Escape Plan and a Zorn-ian/Brotzman-esque saxophone teaming up with the drummer from Brutal Truth at the speed of light and slowing down with some breaks here and there. Luca Mai from Zu on sax helps a lot to free-jazz the salsa but theyve more and more arrangements and other guests. This short (too short) mcd includes a studio song, a nice and powerful live recording and the nightmaresque videoclip of "the optician". Kurt and Jake from Converge when speaking about the sound of their band used to define it "spastic-metal", even if Pyschofagist have just a little bit to of Converge their "spastic metal" definition is nothing but perfect to define what they play.

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Title: Nuclear Sun (Chronicle of a nuclear disaster)
Format: CD
Label: Ars Musica Diffundere (@)
Rated: *****
Divided into four main chapters ("Prologue", "The disaster", "The ghost city" and "The heroes of humanity") for a total of ten tracks, NUCLEAR SUN is new the album by Der Blaue Reiter. Based on Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, NUCLEAR SUN is a concept album that sees the duo mixing classical music (they used interludes by Albinoni and Satie), industrial sounds and martial electronic neo-folk. The album offers different kind of atmospheres: we have songs with mellow melodies as "The last days of Pripiath", "Walking to the abyss" and "The liquidators" (with upfront melancholic string orchestral sounds) as well as tense dark militaristic songs characterized by male/female duets or classical melancholic instrumental tracks. This alternation of genres make the album sounds fresh and for sure this will allow Der Blaue Reiter getting new fans
Artist: Realicide (@)
Title: Enduring The Viral Hell Part 1
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: D-Trash Records (@)
Rated: *****
Realicide and the related crew of individuals will always have a certain place in my heart. I know that sounds sappy, but it's the damn truth. I met Robert Inhuman when I was about 17, and he inspired me a lot. I had been making music of my own for a bit, but it was being exposed to his DIY ethic and getting a copy of some of his Morepunklessrock anthologies (Morepunklessrock is what his label was called originally, 5 years ago or so it changed to Realicide Youth Recods) that made me realize that it was actually a viable option to make and release experimental DIY music.

That really has nothing to do with this particular record, but I felt like saying it, so I did. Anyway, on with the review!

Enduring The Viral Hell Part 1 is a mix of various material, apparently both live and studio stuff, and I believe some of it showed up on other releases, but I may be wrong. There is a lot of different stuff here, from the more familiar harsh gabber speedcore to more experimental digital noise environments, to brooding spoken tracks with sparse textural backgrounds. Each style is effective, and they all have that awesome existential quality that I dig about Robert's work.

Tracks like "Bread and circus", "Death Machine" and "brickwall hardcore" all drip with a beautiful kind of nihilism that sound like the dialogue to some awesomely fucked up post-apocalypse slasher movie. And on the faster, super short digital hardcore grind side of things, "Truthfully unable to know", "hypothetical popularity" and "want runs thin" are all great blasts of cathartic shrapnel.
But it's all pretty asskicking stuff.

Enduring The Viral Hell Part 1 is an exercise in diverse experimental speedcore gabber that really has few peers. If you like your music fast, harsh, loud and dark, you will dig Realicide. And after you download this, consider buying an album from Robert's Realicide Youth Records, cause the guy deserves it. This is the real deal folks, check it out!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Septic VIII
Format: CD
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Welcome back at the front-line, Stefan, and fire free for the new and 8th edition of Dependent’s legendary "Septic"-compilation series. Germany’s label giant Dependent is back for good after they’ve decided two years ago to stop all business activities due to the ongoing stagnation of sales and illegal file piracy. But it is still a dangerous situation – the awful situation of illegal file-sharing is still imminent and a promising tool against this hasn’t been invented so far, and to run a label in professional structures requires fully attention and a lot of right decisions regarding the label roster. On the other side – and I say this out of deepest conviction – it does so good to have back a rivaling pendant to the too-big-too-arrogant operating Out Of Line giant. Coming to this release, the name "Septic" and to participate with a track still has still a lot of meaning for an Electro/Industrial project. And so Stefan could easily collect again some cool and promising newcomer acts to offer them a free slot to publish their talent to a widely interested audience. Some veteran and well-sounding global players of course needed to be added too, as they get the possibility to promote upcoming stuff. The winner is for the most part the listener, who receives always a wide ranging diversity between the styles. As for a point of criticism, "Septic VIII" acts a bit too obviously as a pure label collection, more than half of the participants have been collaborated in some or another way with Dependent before. Although MySpace and consorts offer for the most part uninspired mediocrity - the point which Stefan often picks up and argues - there’s out there quality music, you only have to search for it a bit better. And the listener even nowadays doesn’t understand the drama of label politics, so the pleasant return of Dependent would have been also a chance to bury some old hatchets.
Now turning the attention to the music, the good things are starting with Sweden’s legitimate answer on SKINNY PUPPY, the duo of NECRO FACILITY, which offers an energetic new track. "Do You Feel The Same" draws a fine balance between aggression and melodic calmness with typical Ogre-like vocals, some guitar riffs and tasteful Dark-Electro synth arrangements. INFORMATIK’s "Temporary", in this case remixed by THE SYTHETIC DREAM FOUNDATION, is one of the winners of their self-arranged remix contest following their last studio album "Beyond". This cool interpretation gets not only rewarded with a free slot on here, it will be too available on INFORMATIK’s new album "Arena". Back for good also for South-Africa’s ACRETONGUE with a musically demanding Dark-Electro tune – just try to sing along to that tricky rhythm programming! No surprise, but still a breathtaking quality – as usual – from MESH ("Who Says" sounds rather edgy like their earlier recordings... ), EDGE OF DAWN and BIOMEKKANIK (solo project of Sweden’s Christer Hermodsson, who been part of S.P.O.C.K and producer of among others AND ONE or CAT RAPES DOG), as they all can be thrown into the lesser dark, but modern and refreshing sounding Futurepop-genre. Denmark’s ARZT + PFUSCH and their Lo-Fi - Electro/Industrial-sound is something, I’ve missed through the years – unfortunately they seem to have no interest to reach again their best days with notorious hits like "Boneloc" or "Skumfuck" – their new one "Constipated Disembowelment" is a quite uninspired tedious piece of Dark Electro music, which does nothing else but boring. And how can Stefan explain us the sense to prostitute himself and to offer free slots for those toxic brownfields like AERODRONE (a demo version??? I as a listener of this self-entitled highly anticipated compilation would feel of being fooled - yes, it’s the new project of Gary Zon/DISMANTLED) and VELVET ACID CHRIST (a whiny Goth-like acoustic tune with "real" vocals? Can that be called "back to the very early roots", Bryan?). But luckily this compilation turns back on track by offering convincing appearances of GHOST & WRITER (an interesting new collaborative effort by J.-M. Lederman/The WEATHERMEN and Frank M. Spinath/SEABOUND, EDGE OF DAWN), ENCEPHALON (yes, they’ve also been known guests on an earlier issue of "Septic"), and Germany’s personified Dark Electro god FIX8:SED8. Also not to be missed is a musically trip to the pure Coldwave-related genre with appearances of KMFDM vs. SKOLD and WE GOT THIS FAR.
"Septic VIII" is another tireless appetizer, which works well to introduce talented newcomer acts asides already discovered and renowned global players. What’s good on this has been said – what’s bad and doesn’t satisfy has been mentioned too. As much as I enjoy the wide-ranging diversity of the presented styles and the big effort Stefan has once again invested to collect this compilation, I personally miss a bit of his often proved pioneering sense. By collecting this album to celebrate the return of Dependent, he has missed a really big chance to break with some inner boundaries and to search for valuable contacts – collaboration and the exchange of ideas of how to promote this still sort of niche-music can safe the medium CD with better sales for a longer time. Some labels out of IDM/Electronica-scene seemingly have recognized this already. Therefore "Septic VIII" entertains in a similar kind as all other parts out of this compilation series too. But it looks a bit, that nothing has changed too much...

1. Necro Facility - Do you feel the same
2. Informatik - Temporary (Synthetic Dream Foundation Mix)
3. Acretongue - Dragonfly (nymph)
4. Mesh - Who Says? (Rough Mix)
5. Apparat - Arcadia (Telefon Tel Aviv Remix Edit)
6. Edge Of Dawn - Stage Fright
7. Biomekkanik - Pitch Black Ocean
8. Arzt+Pfusch - Constipated Disembowelment
9. acid.milch&honig - Was ich seh
10. Non Plus Ultra - Free Falling
11. Aerodrone - Ready To Love (Demo Version)
12. Velvet Acid Christ - Black Rainbow
13. Ghost & Writer - Nightshift
14. Encephalon - Scar On Scar
15. KMFDM vs. Skold - Bloodsport
16. FÏX8:SËD8 - Dormicum
17. We Got This Far - Sedona
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