Music Reviews



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Artist: Hystakmine (@)
Title: Hedonistic
Format: CD
Label: Hellektro Holocaust Records (@)
Rated: *****
Another new release by the Hungarian label Hellektro Holocaust Records brings us the debut of a new Portugal-based three-men outfit. HYSTAKMINE got formed with prominent band members, since this project consists of Walter of IN[PERFECTION] (currently in the final stages to release an official debut album – more about this talented Portuguese music project soon in this heading...) and Hypecrash and Chainheart of EDEN SYNTHETIC CORPS (ESC – check our interview and reviews about them on here...). So here aren’t bloody greenhorns at work and this can be easily recognized, since the arrangements of HYSTAKMINE follow a higher technically standard compared with the label mate of SYNDROME X/209. "Hedonistic" shall feed the inner need of your usual Hellectro-consuming-experience and this works for the most part. "Thrill" or "Allergy" set fire under the feet of the dancefloor-junkie, while the highlights of this album can be rather found in the musically more thrilling tracks like "Winter’s Pulse" or "Lust", which impresses with a muscled bass-line programming. The overall good impression, which this album leaves, gets altered through the unnecessary integration of at least 5 pure instrumental tracks, which lack of originality or they are that uninspired arranged, that they can’t attract attention at all. Also the speedy "I Am The Reaper" feeds too obviously the often discovered cliche this genre seem to be trapped into. A must-have release for all the Harsh Electro enthusiasts – I agree on this with the label info – but it remains the question, why especially the both gentlemen of ESC felt the need, to come out with a side-project in a pretty much comparable music style...
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Artist: TONY WAKEFORD
Title: Not All Of Me Will Die
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
Active for twenty years now under his main moniker Sol Invictus, Tony Wakeford during this time released also some albums with his name. NOT ALL OF ME WILL DIE is his fourth and it has been released two years after "In the woods" by the Israeli label The Eastern Front. Based on the life and work of the Polish-Ukrainian Jewish poetess Zuzanna Ginczanka, who was executed by the Gestapo in Kraków in 1944, the album contains six tracks which lyrics are based on her writings. Joined by guest musicians and vocalists, including avant-garde composer Susan Matthews and members of Orchestra Noir, Zunroyz and Sol Invictus, Wakeford opens the album with a twenty two minutes opus "Non Omnias Moriar" where acoustic guitars, percussions, oboe, strings and vocals perform a folkish experimental suites full of pathos. When vocals join in after eleven minutes the track already reached its top but Wakeford is able to add some magic to it. The second track has a bit of jazzy influence with that swing bass line but the other instruments play a mix of psychedelic improvisation where noises, effects and strings lead the dance. "Fullness Of August" is the third track and the second to have a proper title (other have only their track list position number) and it sounds like a slow joyful ballad which melodically remembered me Killing Joke of the "Brighter than a thousands suns" period. Here dulcimer, treated guitars and oboe create a sort of wavering sound that cradle the listener. Tracks number four is a dramatic instrumental strings based tune while on fifth guitars, oboe and vocal samples develop the sound of the previous one. The sixth and final track mix tribal percussions, treated guitar sounds (reverbs and reversed sounds are used) closing with a touch of dreaming atmosphere a good album.
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Artist: AGNIVOLOK / CHAOS AS SHELTER
Title: Hebane
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
HEBANE isn't the newest Agnivolok release as it contains the very first recordings of the duo plus the early Vadim Gusis recordings under the Chaos As Shelter moniker. The album has been previously available as bootleg in 1999 with the title "Belena" and this The Eastern Front edition is its first official release. The five Agnivolok tracks mix folk, experimental sounds and tons of melancholy while the four Chas As Shelter ones are based on industrial experimental sounds where reverb and thin melodic sounds create a sort of clashing effect where everything is blent into a nightmarish wave. While Agnivolok, thanks to Vera Agnivolok's voice, to me represent the voice of thousands of souls in pain, Chaos As Shelter's music is the soundtrack to despair and titles like "Alien", "Purgatory" or "The sacrifice" make me think that I'm right. Agnivolok's tracks sometimes sounds like litanies full of sorrow and you have to be in the right mood to enjoy them.
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Artist: Syndrome X/209
Title: Feline Daemon
Format: CD
Label: Hellektro Holocaust Records (@)
Rated: *****
According to the chosen name of this newcomer label, it’s no longer a riddle, which musically content will be presented with this as well as with all future releases. We’re welcoming Hellektro Holocaust Records out of Hungary to the international scene and wish them good luck, to invade the dancefloors of the worldwide dark clubs by storm. Hellectro/Harsh EBM is still a promising formula for success in this rather niche-like music genre, although it endlessly repetitions start to rumble in my stomach. It fits, that also SYNDROME X/209 out of Stockholm, Sweden, are completely new to the scene. Consisting of Kettil Sundberg, this music project offers the first steps on a pressed silver circle with a globally satisfying result, if you’re a genre addict. Hate towards to a person out of his personal life has been a quell of inspiration – so the description in the attached label info sheet. Well – nothing else? Jazz and Grindcore have been his previous musically playing fields, but he got fed up with those and has concentrated more to produce Techno, which turned more and more into that Hellectro/Harsh EBM environment. Kettil knows how to punish his machinery to produced the expected bass lines and lead synths – but as expected – his arrangements are still too foreseeable and the used sounds still lack of an own signature. No problem at all since the normal user stomps to everything presented and Kettil isn’t an exception. However, he hits at best the target with some rather dark-minded and ominous sounding tunes like the title track or "Blad", while those speedy contributions like "Rage" rather leave question marks in the faces of the listener. But best track – and this one really needs to be pointed and named out – is the last slow, with orchestral-sounding arrangements constructed track "It’s All Over". This track stands for the biggest discovery: He is able to produce real music! Let’s hope, he continues to develop with a possible next album and allows more different sounding tracks to strengthen his expected outfit.
Aug 06 2009
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Artist: MAGAS (@)
Title: Violent Arp
Format: 12"
Label: Punch Records (@)
Rated: *****
Presented into a special fold cut cover and limited to 333 copies on transparent red vinyl (containing also a coupon to download it as high quality mp3s), VIOLENT ARP is the latest Magas release. The last time I listened to his stuff was when he was on the now deceased Ersatz Audio label as I wasn't aware that in 2006 he had an album out. Anyway, this new MLP contains six tracks (five new and a cover of Couch's "Devil is flying", band where Jim Magas sung) composed using the Arp Odissey 2800 Mk I with the add of an old drum machine (it sounds like a Roland TR606). The six tracks are based on distorted synth melodies with an urge to make the speakers bleed. These sounds coupled with Magas voice create a sort of primitive electronic punk that will shake your guts. Even if few sounds are used, melody has a privileged place where dissonance and pop intuitions help making VIOLENT ARP a good lo-fi electronic record. Let yourself be convinced by the r'n'r ride of "Statue" or by the dark distortions of "Life's lonely grind". Punch Records with this release is confirming itself as one of the few Italian quality label: good ideas, great packaging and will to refreshen the alternative musical scene. You can check three tracks at the label's website.
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