Music Reviews



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Artist: FIX8:SED8 (@)
Title: Humanophobia
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Hailing from Wiesbaden, Germany, we are proud to present another well talented act which could earn some attention thanks to some well placed compilation appearances like "Endzeit Bunkertracks Vol. 2" ("Monolith") published by the Alfa Matrix label or the Zillo Clubhits Vol. 10 ("Blasphemia"). Behind the funny play with words of the band name hides only one person, "Sane", who follows musically the given tradition of old SKINNY PUPPY, MENTALLO & THE FIXER, VELVET ACID CHRIST and INFORMÄTIK in a darker vein. Here’s no overdone aggression provided through some Techno-like bass kicks beating in a 4/4 marching step, it’s more the kind to puzzle out complex and melodic synth lines – in short the ability which made the mentioned acts that strong and well recognized. The used sounds are therefore not taken and comparable out of the newest technology, they are more arranged to leave space for some wide atmospheric undertones. It can be said that Sane doesn’t arrange his music to storm some dancefloors, but Electro/Industrial is a club-based music, so here are some pieces which could be used for some mass motions like "Oblivion", "Blasphemia" or "Ultraviolent". I do personally prefer the slower pieces like "Monolith" – a track on which I thought Da5id Din personally would offer something new – "Minotaurus" and "Tranquillized". There’s also a harder arranged track called "Dementor" which holds some more disruptive rhythm parts on board. 13 tracks in all and no space for any filling fodder – for a debut, especially regarding the fact that this act is unsigned – a remarkable effort. Here’s so much talent under the roof that I’m sure we haven’t heard the last time from this act. Sane's efforts are to name in the same breathe with related German acts like OBJECT and MC1R. To purchase directly from the band by using Paypal, just use the given contacts here. Get it!!!
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Artist: I:SCINTILLA (@)
Title: Havestar
Format: CD EP
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Another new signing for the rising Alfa Matrix label, this time hailing out of Illinois/USA. I:SCINTILLA could already earn some recognition thanks to their musically style, combining Electro-Goth, Industrial-Metal, some Trip-Hop beats mixed with a seductive and crystal-clear female vocal performance done by the over-radiating front woman, Brittany Bindrim. Her voice is indeed that dominant and outstanding that some courageous voice already compare her with a chart breaker like EVANESCENCE – well, a bit exaggerated but surely an allowed comparison. It should be mentioned that I:SCINTILLA consist of four members, two men/two women. I dig a lot the fact that this EP features at first four original compositions of this quartet named "Havestar", "Skin", "The Bell" and their own remix of "Capsella (Toxin remix)". The first both mentioned tracks are the main tracks, but luckily the other two tracks can’t really be called b-sides fodder, because they aren’t any weaker. Add to this five remix works mainly hailing from the Alfa Matrix roster with the one exception, COMBICHRIST. Andy LaPlegua offers a dancefloor stomper remix of "Havestar" as it’s best! Also nice and ear-catching (as usual) is the work of DISKONNEKTED putting "Havestar" in a pure electronic-minded dress, while the IMPLANT remix offers a wanted/unwanted reduction to some simplicity which can’t satisfy this time. NEIKKA RPM transforms "Skin" into a more dancefloor compatible attitude, while KLUTAE has with "Capsella" a difficult remix work which can’t pick up the different mood of the remix work of I:SCINTILLA themselves. With I:SCINTILLA Alfa Matrix has definitively picked up one of their best – if not the best – act leaded by a female singer and the course and direction show clear to enter sales in not discovered dimensions. Lets hope the best that the upcoming album will prove this.
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Artist: FEINDFLUG (@)
Title: Hinter Feindlichen Linien
Format: DVD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****

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I really don’t know why many German bands seem to be nostalgic about their past when they ruled the Europe at the beginning of WWII and I don’t know how to take the fact the Feindflug take the WWII iconography as their own (see also their WWII soldier coats and their live stage structured as a trench). It could be a joke, it could be fashion, I don’t really know but... where have they found a tank to use into the "Truppenschau" video??? Anyway, the DVD, that cheers their tenth year of activity, is really packed with tons of live videos (it’s good to see that this time we have a professional live video with multi angular takes and all), interviews, videos, other live clips, a short movie (13 minutes long) titled "Zonen" by Jon Svärdhagen with Feindflug music. The dvd contains material for a total length of more than 170 minutes plus 60 minutes of extra material. The sound is presented in stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 and it gives a good idea of how the Feindfulg live sound is. The video footage span through the 1999÷2004 period and their major hits are covered. Here’s the full tracklist:
Concert Video :-
01. Intro
02. Truppenschau
03. Kahle Bedrohung
04. B66883
05. Kalte Unschuld
06. AK47
07. Grössenwahn
08. Gulag
09. Stukas Im Visier
10. Leere Gräben
11. Kopfschuss
12. Menschenjagd
13. Machtwechsel
14. Roter Schnee
15. Neue Sieger
16. Sturmwalze(r)

Live Clips :-
01. Feindflug ( V.04 )
02. Glaubenskrieg
03. Kopfschuss
04. Würdelos / In Gefangenschaft
05. Tötungsmaschine Mensch
06. Roter Schnee

Bonus Clips :-
01. Truppenschau
02. Stukas im Visier
03. "Zonen" - short movie by Jon Svärdhagen
04. Glaubenskrieg
05. Bonusclip / Outtakes

+ Bonus Hidden Track with credits by Feindflug
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anymore
Artist: VIGILANTE (@)
Title: Juicio Final
Format: CD EP
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****
Formed back in 2004 Vigilante is an industrial metal e.b.m. band coming from Cile. It’s the first time I hear about an e.b.m. band coming from that country but I’m glad things are moving all around the world. For sure they, as well as the Mexican band Hocico, know really well what they are talking about when they sing about control, suppression and such kind of things. A year has passed since Vigilante released their debut album "The heroes’ code", so it was time to propose something new to their audience. JUICIO FINAL contains three Spanish versions of "The other side" (called now "Juicio final"), "One good reason" (now "Resistir") and "Survive" (now "Sangrar"). In addition to these there’s a preview of a new track "Justice" (a track that mix e.b.m. and Fear Factory kind of sound) that will be included into their next album. Along these new songs you can also find five remixes thanks to Funker Vogt, Z Prochek, Chiasm, Amateur God and Obszon Geschopf. Each remixer exalted the metal e.b.m. style of Vigilante mixing it with their characteristic sound. A good E.P. that will please the lovers of the genre. P.s. Into the CD extra section you can find a professional video of "The other side".
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Artist: Cheerleader 69 (@)
Title: Godriders in the Sky
Format: 12"
Label: Steelwork Maschine (@)
Rated: *****
First off, this is a vinyl release, but I cannot comment on the pressing, etc. itself because I was not sent a copy of the album itself, only a CDR of the songs. I know how some vinyl fetishists are (not that kind of vinyl fetish... .) – I’ve heard people describe particular albums as "beautifully pressed," etc. So if you want to know about the texture of the album you’ll have to go elsewhere. The disc I was sent was an unmarked CDR and a bad printout of the cover art. So already we were off to a bad start. Luckily, the music was excellent, even if the first impression didn’t win me over. I’ve never heard of this project or his other outfit, Punish Yourself. The man behind the project states two reasons for creating Cheerleader 69. The first one relates to the music: "I needed an output for this kind of music, because I couldn’t use these soundscapes with my regular band, Punish Yourself, (http://punishyourself.free.fr) - cyberpunk dancefloor chaos can mix with bombastic orchestral stuff, yeah, but only if you use a small amount of the strings’n’brass’n’marching drums extravaganza... And I wanted to use a full blast of soundtrack-like orchestrations." This should give a pretty good indication of what you are in for. But I was not prepared for how well done it was. This is some really good soundtrack-esque kind of work with militaristic percussion thrown in for good measure. From the first track, "Your Book is Full of Killings," Cheerleader 69 manages to keep a nice dark undertone going without it becoming too oppressive. On "Bad Tape," it sounds like he borrowed heavily from The Anti-Group’s "Union With Sirens" off Iso-Erotic Calibrations and anything that reminds me of TAGC is definitely a good thing. When we reach "Godriders (in the sky)," the music completely changes, with heavy percussion, chaotic brass, and what sounds like a choir singing. This track reminds me of the more bombastic elements of Coph Nia or In Slaughter Natives. This is by far the standout track on the album. The rest of the album vacillates between the two extremes of militaristic percussion with heavy orchestration and subdued soundscapes that bury voices and noise just beneath the surface. The final track on the album, "Transgression," is a good example of the latter. Drones and voices mixed with a repetitive melody that cycles through song. It is a peaceful, soothing track that still manages to keep an unsettling vibe throughout. The three tracks available on the limited edition CD also maintain the mixture of subdued ambience and militaristic soundtrack type music. "Rotta Flammis Circumsepta" reminds me of old Laibach, with heavy percussion and orchestration. This is an excellent album and well worth picking up. The other reason for picking it up may be ideological. Cheerleader 69 explains the other reason for forming this project: "I wanted to bring back some left-wing ideas into ambient/industrial/neoclassical stuff, there are WAY TOO MUCH fascists roaming that scene. So if you are one of these nazi fuckheads, or have any sympathy for them, you have to understand this is not music for you. Because I believe in everything you hate and hate everything you believe in." This LP is limited to 500 copies and is available in three versions: Black LP (93 copies), Yellow LP (357 copies), and a Special edition with a CD (50 copies). If you only get the LP, you aren’t missing a lot – the music is similar and the standout tracks are on the LP, but the CD music is not just filler - it is able to stand on its own merit.
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