Music Reviews

Title: King ov SalÚ
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Nova Media Distribution
Rated: *****

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The Swiss band is a really particular mixture of Gothic Rock, Apocalyptic Folk, Metal and Electronic. Provocative and extreme in their "fight against stupidity, god, religion, humanity and totalitarianism" they were in the past accused of being only a Fetish-Satanist band and forced to play only in small circuits. Today the JESUS AND THE GURUS are recognized as Artist (with capital letter) so they receive more attention by official press and their offensive and challenging shows include both small clubs/squats and great exhibitions in international festivals. As said, their music is difficult to catalogue, a sort of Neofolk where martial drums and electric guitar, storming keyboard pads and organ support a deep and evocative voice chanting hymns. Simply exciting is the chorus of the second track "The End is Near", with martial attitude and a wonderful epic choir, apocalyptic and powerful, and great are also "The Song is the Weapon" and "We just Fight" alternating an acoustic guitar with symphonic explosions. "March to Hell" is another charming martial hymn while the use of Islamic adhan (the call to prayer) at the beginning of "Storm of Steel" sounds like a call to the final battle of mankind. "Holy Town" and "Hail Satan" remind me the morbid vocal approach of Marilyn Manson, while in "Dust to Dust" this influence mixes with a bit of Death in June. They use Satanist imagery, Christian teachings (Praise the Lord, Dust to Dust), Islamic references, giving the impression of a band belonging to no religious background, equidistant from all traditions and criticising them using only the power of their mind. It took me some time to understand the musical approach of the band (at first I only noticed the other bands’ influences) but once you realise what is unique in their sound you love them: their songs are great, good compositions with intense and touching melodies and a powerful approach that will please a large audience.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Interbreeding IX: Kuru
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: BLC Productions / e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Fasten your seatbelts - here comes the new killer compilation released by the fine US label BLC Productions of this ongoing and successfully Interbreeding series. With "Kuru" we’ve reached now thematically the birth of some cannibalized and mutated children which is here supported and right placed in a breathtaking artwork done mainly by the BLC "home"-graphic specialist Wilhelm, The Austrian Dead Dreamer, Do you’ve got own kids? Well, this art may isn’t designed for their eyes. Also active as a graphically guest artist, GYDJA out of New Zealand, providing a mysterious jungle-based art full of black magic and voodoo occultism. GYDJA also contributes on both CD’s with six different "Kuru" interludes some sample-driven, ominous sounding instrumental pieces.

Disc 1, entitled "Necromastication", brings us a new reign of mainly harsh pounding Electro/EBM troopers providing once again the conceptual idea behind this comp, to combine newcomer with established acts. That KUBIX are still rather unknown is to me a riddle, as I’ve discovered this act a longer time before on the MP3 portal Soundclick. They open this comp with a rather slow pure Electro piece but have some more styles in stock. Another name to point out is the appearance of the US-based act VISCERAL DRIP, which like to start a first hefty Harsh EBM assault and conjure up some "Demons". BOUNDLESS is leaded by XoN of the legendary but still in hiatus situated act SYMBIONT. He has composed a special track for this compilation, "Klan Of Kuru", which is a rather danceable Electro-Pop track. Harsh EBM returns hefty with both new signings of the German NoiTekk, XENTRIFUGE and DERMA-TEK. Especially the track of DERMA-TEK will follow you into your deepest nightmares. "Rise From The Ashes", originally released on the last full-length album "Corpus Technological", got remixed by the German act PAINBASTARD and somehow this musically copulation is like an asteroid impact on earth – it kicks ASS – one of the best appearances for sure! STEREOMOTION is a German act signed to the BLC partner label e-noxe and provide us here a special remix on their track "Torment", which shows some interesting drum patterns, but could need a bit more punch. Another quality appearance we’ll got with "Believe In" by the still unsigned German duo of DVATION. They show more maturity than most of their featured colleagues with their harsh EBM style with this previously unreleased track. Brazil’s DEAD JUMP then joins the ranks here offering a good remix by the US act MESMERS EYES of their track "Resist", originally released on the last DEAD JUMP full length "Immortal". Also worth a mention are STATIK SKY who like to "Make Me Feel Better" ;-) , featuring some deep layered textures, ominous sounding samples and a breathtaking speed. BLC’s own Argentinean act ALIEN PRODUKT provide us an exclusive track called "Slave To System" which fits with their already discovered style. Finally we got a marvelous instrumental tune featuring some excellent synth textures and cool layers by FUNCTION 13 and I hope for a great comeback of this US act.

Second disc named "Cannibalized" starts with an appearance of the French one-man act ZAUBER, which I lately could also check out with a decent track on the Caustic Records DCD compilation "Electronic Manifesto". This "Noise House" reminds me a bit on some older SUICIDE COMMANDO works. With THE PANIC LIFT this compilation continues to integrate some promising newcomer acts, also they can offer a decent work for the Harsh EBM sector. One of my most Australian favorites, Lee Bulig aka STARK, returns with a new Dark Electro tune, far above the known Hellektro paths, although it isn’t one of the outstanding works of this highly talented artist. The Brazilian duo of HOMICIDE DIVISON can also satisfy with an exclusive mix of their track "No Tears To War (Terror Mix)" – lately and thanks to this track they got signed to the BLC label. ARMED FOR WAR then let the sirens howl and give a speedy and harsh EBM tune taking some influences out of works of FUNKER VOGT. An instrumental work then follows done by Netherlands’s STIGMATA, while there’s some movement at the female-leaded front, FRIGHTDOLL, reminding not only for the distorted vocals on some UNTER NULL works. From the Florida-based CYANIDE REGIME I could lately thankfully receive a first CD and they prove with this exclusive work "Sick From Hunger" their talent – their bass lines and textures seem to be better worked out compared to some other Hellektro acts – an artist contract should be already in sight for them. RUN LEVEL ZERO from Sweden – always a fine and well seen guest on several issues of this series – return here and provide a remix work of their fellowmen of NECRO FACILITY on the Dark Electro track "With One Voice" – ending with the result that this track is more straighter than expected. With SUICIDE SOLUTION feat. LUJHBOIA the Argentinean connection strikes back somehow based on the musically ideas of HOCICO – both should come up soon with own releases. SUICIDE SOLUTION also receive a double-play by providing a remix work for the Spanish act ASSEPTIC ROOM, signed to the fine DSBP label. Strange that this second disc likes to place the best pieces to the end – ENGELMACHER can once again totally convince with a straight and danceable produced Dark Electro pearl called "You Will Because You Are". Also this track is exclusive to this compilation and can not be found on the recently self-released debut "Birds Of A Feather". SLAVY AXIS are sounding quite different to most of the Hellektro-driven acts here, contents out of the rhythmically Powernoise genre are obviously featured. Not to forget that this speedy track doesn’t show any mercy for the faint-hearted. Last but not least we got an edited version of FIX8:SED8’s track "Tranquilized" – finally this is the real Dark Electro music heavily influenced by classic works of SKINNY PUPPY or PLACEBO EFFECT – to me like a long sought oasis in the desert. A fine demonstration how to create melodic, but dark synth textures.

With 37 different audio efforts I’m always nailed down by the huge and massive content this fine compilation series offers – it takes some time to discover the pearls. I guess this edition compared to all predecessors maybe features the most content of Hellektro/Harsh EBM compiled so far. With the coming end of Dependent and so the stop of the "Septic" series, BLC Productions are gonna be able to provide the one and only most successfully compilation series. And the anniversary release, Interbreeding X: Execution Chamber is already in the works. A must-have – like all editions of this series.

Track listing:

Disc One: Necromastication

1. Kubix -- Do It Again (Evolution Mix)
2. Nolongerhuman -- Transcend Humanity
3. Viscera Drip -- Demons
4. Boundless -- Klan of Kuru
5. Gydja -- Kuru001
6. Xentrifuge -- The Wires Speak
7. Derma-Tek -- Rise from the Ashes (Painbastard Remix)
8. Wertstahl -- High Speed Death (Radio Edit)
9. Gydja -- Kuru002
10. Stereomotion -- Torment (Kuru:2012)
11. Prototype -- Save Yourself
12. Dvation -- Believe In
13. Deadjump -- Resist (Mesmers Eyes Riot Remix)
14. Worms of the Earth -- Earth (Theatre of War Mix)
15. Gydja -- Kuru003
16. Statik Sky -- Make Me Feel Better
17. Alien Produkt -- Slave to the System
18. Function13 -- Revolutionary Precision

Disc Two: Cannibalized

1. Zauber -- Noise House
2. The Panic Lift -- Remnants of a Dead Age
3. Stark -- Wilt
4. Gydja -- Kuru004
5. Homicide Division -- No Tears to War (Terror Mix)
6. Armed for War -- Holocaust
7. Stigmata -- Hurt You
8. Frightdoll -- Controverse
9. Gydja -- Kuru005
10. Cyanide Regime -- Sick from Hunger
11. Brainclaw -- The Temporal Tide (Infantivore Remix by Brainclaw)
12. Run Level Zero -- With One Voice (Necro Facility Remix)
13. XP8 -- Muv Your Dolly (Swedish Erotica Mix by Mortiis)
14. Suicide Solution feat. Lujhboia -- Suicide Solution (2K6 Mix)
15. Asseptic Room -- Faith Without You (Suicide Solution Remix)
16. Engelmacher -- You Will Because You Are
17. Gydja -- Kuru006
18. Slayv Axis -- Pulse
19. Fix8:Sed8 -- Tranquilized (Edit)
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Title: I Put A Record On
Format: CD
Label: Monika Enterprise (@)
Distributor: Wide Records
Rated: *****

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Already active in the past with Malaria!, Matador, Einsturzende Neubauten as well as founder of two labels like Moabit Musik (where she reissues material by Malaria!, Matador, Miasma and other projects with a personal involvement) and Monika Enterprise, Gudrun Gut is a multifaceted personality of the German’s musical scene of the last decades. If Malaria! were a post punk artsy experimental band, her solo project is keeping the experimental approach to music by de-constructing and reassembling folk (like on the opening "Move me"), rock’n’roll tunes (on "Girlboogie 6"), i.d.m., ambient and electro pop with a personal touch. The result is a convincing sonic patchwork’ that sounds now detached and now passional (like on the beautiful "Rock bottom rise" where we can also find Uta Heller and Matt Elliot as guests) but always with a song structure that glues everything and that help creating curious but indeed interesting tracks. On the CD you can also find the video for "Celle". The video is an excerpt of the video installation by GutaRist, that sees Gudrun Gut collaborating with Pipilotti Rist. It has afirst shown at the ex Polish embassy in Berlin Unter den Linden, Sonambiente Festival the last year.
Artist: PUISSANCE (@)
Title: Grace of God
Format: CD
Label: Equilibrium Music (@)
Rated: *****
After three years from "State Collapse", Puissance are back and they have a lot to say and a good amount of new sounds to propose. If you already read the interview I did with them you are aware that the Puissance's trumpet is calling for a people's awakening but I don't want it to sound like a preacher thing because on GRACE OF GOD Puissance don't talk about abstract thing. They talk about world domination: a thing that is happening right now, starting from your tv screen. Anyway, if their themes didn't change too much, their way of playing became more incisive and kinda melodic as on most of the tracks the duo included choirs and electronic pads just to give a support to the sound that in this way sounds powerful than ever. The catchy melodies along with the marching rhythms are a winning solution and if the drums, the piano, the trumpets and the ambience given by the electronic gears help creating a thick sound, the duo on some tracks like "Warzone" or "In Death" change their way of singing by introducing some melody. The effect is amazing and you'll be convinced that this was worth the waiting. Be also sure to check their website for a close examination of Puissance's themes.