Music Reviews



Artist: Halovox (@)
Title: Halovox
Format: CD
Distributor: A Different Drum
Rated: *****
This self-titled cd is a nice piece of work by Halovox, a synth-pop project by Frank Freda. Some of the tracks talks about love and a relationship that's in trouble. Simple electronic melodies that's corporate in retro 80's and the modern style. Every song on the disc carries a value message, which can interact with the listener's feelings inside, no matter what the situation is. My favorites that stands the cd out are "Make Me Yours", a lustful sex song, "Deception", "Save Yourself", which telling a person where to get off at and worry one's self, not the other. And "Insecurity". I even give Frank credit for doing a good job covering Depeche Mode "Fly On The Windscreen" in his own unique special way. Halovox sound is kinda similar to Depeche Mode, but not too much. The singing is strong and brings out the emotional tense and the production is very good. Halovox is to lookout for and will soon breakout with new fans all over the world.
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Artist: H.I.V.+
Title: Rotten Beat Manifesto
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames Records, e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
With the signing of the Powernoise act H.I.V.+ from France the polish label Black Flames adds another very different musically project to their rich stable, when we don’t count the Belgium band STIN SCATZOR to this genre. H.I.V.+ is an industrial legend to life time, a solo effort done by Pedro Penas y Robles, originally born in Spain. Fans and friends of the Powernoise genre know this project already very well through three own full length CD’s and several collaboration efforts in this scene. What you get here tells the title of this new CD and also the cover art with a bloody air very well – almost all kinds and styles of harsh, distorted, rhythmic, electronic Powernoise. Already after the first listening you can easily realize the strong effort to avoid the too much typically flaws like the pure monotonous redundancy this kind of music often offers. Pedro has produced an album filled with own tracks as well as some remix works to give his audience a wide view into several kinds of his style. We can hear some attractive Dark Electro cuts like "Illegal Tanz (Extended Club-x) " and "Havoc 2027 (Electro Dark Mix)", both manipulated by BAK XIII, as well as harsh noise tracks like "Testament" or "Feedback 1968" which can also set the dancefloors under fire. Mixing to this some Ambient and atmospheric tracks like "Broken Childhood" gives the whole album a pretty diversity feeling. Not to forget the stomping tribute to NITZER EBB named "Body Electric" which could also find its way into the clubs. This "Rotten Beat Manifesto" can easily satisfy the listeners of both music genres, Powernoise and Dark Electro and I can only recommend to give it a try!
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Artist: THE RETROSIC (@)
Title: God of Hell
Format: CD
Label: Tribune Records/Minuswelt (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Uuhmm – what evil we are... Well, we have 1997 and Rudy R alias :WUMPSCUT: has just released his long awaited "Embryodead" full-length CD, a masterpiece for the history books of hard Electro/EBM/Industrial music. And here are five musicians collected under the name THE RETROSIC, also hailing from Germany, who have spent too much time with hearing this mentioned masterpiece. So we have here the biggest flaw of this production – to copying their unreachable idol without any sense, without any own idea or musically identity, and most of it – 7 years too late! Really true, I haven’t heard in the more than 15 years I am listening to this music genre any other band which can be called that easy as copycats. There is a big hype behind this act, also Metropolis Records did license this CD for the release in North America. After listening to this album five times I must really ask why? On their danceable tracks like "The Storm", "Maneater" (listen to this stupid German voice samples – wow, we are so eeeeevil!!!), "New World Order", "Total War" and "Antichrist" (ooh, the names of this track list is a big hint... we are sooo damned eeeeevil!!!) they present us their dancefloor 4/4-floor stompers along the mentioned :W: lines but – and this is what makes the biggest difference to :W: - without any edge or remarkable ground. Only listening to this stuff bores me and if you have heard one of this track, you know them all. If you are familiar with this kind of Electro/Industrial music you can check this out without hesitation. Also the cover art is well done, but also nothing what we haven’t seen before. Guys, take your equipment and try to explore new sounds, create something that doesn’t sound like the one and only track you have already composed in the 4 years on your previous releases. There is nothing wrong to be angry or evil, but bring it in a line with an own identity.
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Artist: XP8
Title: Re_Productions (Das Licht + Wet Dream) EP
Format: CD EP
Label: Black Flames Records, e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Future Pop is still able to find its audience it seems and I think no other band (one big exception: A23) out from this music genre could receive so much positive feedback than this band from Italy. This belongs on their successful debut CD "Forgive(n)" out earlier this year, and so they are now back with an remix EP featuring several different mixes and versions of two of the best tracks from "Forgive(n)", "Das Licht" and "Wet Dream". The names list of the remixers who put their hands on the XP8 stuff features both, well known and also new names. T3CHN0PH0B1A, SYRIAN, BLANK, and EPSILON MINUS do all an excellent job here, but it can’t convince me too much, because all of these mentioned acts are playing almost in the same style, close to that XP8 stuff, so that they can’t offer any interesting new. Outstanding are the remix works of DELOBBO (nice, very Ambient-styled sounds) and VIRTUAL EMBRACE (harsher sequences, some noisy Indus patterns – easy done, but damned effective!), who are also responsible for the final production and mastering of this EP in their own Mao Music Productions studio in Berlin. Adding to this the two new created versions from "Das Licht (Dunkel Version)" and "Wet Dream (Closer2Home)" plus a new and previous unreleased track "Your Heat" by XP8 themselves, all in their known style. The whole EP is convincing enough to lead the public again to the dancefloors but only average when you look for something new.
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Artist: BLACK SUN (@)
Title: "Its Creeping Rage" + "Di Fersi Morendo Eterni"
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
After releasing a CD-r on early 2003, Black Sun released on September of 2004 new material just to fill two brand new 3" Cd-rs. ITS CREEPING RAGE and DI FERSI MORENDO ETERNI are the titles of the new releases and even if at a first listening they could sound similar, the first one (which contains tracks composed during the last year) contains more varied tracks (talking about atmosphere and composition). On DI FERSI MORENDO ETERNI Black Sun bring us five tracks plus a cover of the Halloween main theme that show a certain personality but that sometimes lack of power (see the "Halloween" track which takes the main melody making of it a nice electronic song but forgetting to giving it a certain amount of creepiness). ITS CREEPING RAGE has got five tracks (the last one, "Heaven sends you", is a The Mission's cover) which having different guests on vocals do sound different also because Luca focused his efforts by giving to the sound a certain beat by blending, e.b.m. rhythms with goth atmospheres. In this way the atmosphere is intriguing and kinda sick because of the melodies while the rhythm is always one of the main element of the tracks. The new tracks kinda lack of intriguing atmospheres and concentrate the sound on the rhythms and on the vocals of Federica Cerruti, while the combination of melody/rhythm/intriguiing atmpsheres was a winning solution. Probably I would like a little more the new tracks without being capable of confrontating them with the old ones. A little more "tuning" and I think that the Black Sun will be capable of achieve a wider audience.
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