Music Reviews



Artist: Grendel
Title: Prescription : Medicine
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Dark and aggro, yet somewhat minimal in the sense that there aren't that many layers (though the music doesn't come across as thin), Grendel's angry electro-industrial attacks the hypocrisy of religion, the evils of corrupt government, and explores generally the dark side of life, the universe and everything (ten points if you caught the in-joke there, ha ha ... ahem ...). Goa tinged melodies slice along like a knife while distorted beats propel this grim but danceable music. Wicked vocals hiss at you (much like the mythological Grendel monster might have, one suspects), delivering its scathing condemnations at conventional moral and social parameters. Grendel is another band to add to the list of aggro-industrial distorted electro raspers like Front Line Assembly and Wumpscut, and others. Crisp and slick, yet emotionally violent, Grendel seems to have a smooth handle on this sub-genre.
Artist: Battery Cage
Title: World Wide Wasteland
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Batter Cage's "World Wide Wasteland" represents a blend of trance, EBM, synthpop and industrial (granted, these are all related in one way or another, but I can detect distinct elements). Vocally it isn't quite the clean cut smoothness of Apoptygma Berzerk, for example, but neither is it the total aggro distorted vox of the likes of Decoded Feedback, et al. It's sung, not distorted or grinding, but it is a bit throaty and deepish, so you still get vocal elements of melody while also a slight feeling of pain or aggression. The BPMs are fast but not furious, making Batter Cage danceable but not exhausting. The electronic melodies are layered nicely, keeping the music from being too spartan; neither are they too dense. Some of the melody lines represent the darker, goa-ish side of electro while others are more synthpoppy or EBMish. Guitar also pops up a wee bit, a nice touch that waves distantly at the harder levels of industrial. Overall, Batter Cage is a nice middle ground standing between the pop realms of electronic and the dark spheres of aggro-electro-industrial.
Artist: 54seconds
Title: Coma
Format: CD
"Coma", from 54seconds, is one of those CDs you lay back, close your eyes and drift into. Roughly categorizable as shoegazer, though without the heavy distortion element sometimes found in that arena, "Coma" is a very aptly titled release, not because the music is boring - it's not - but because it is so inward reaching you'll find yourself inhabiting a state of mind, not body, as you sink into the sadness and contemplativeness of 54seconds personal and expressive lyrics. Drifting through the clouds and pondering one's life, mind and soul ... this is the sort of realm inhabited by 54seconds' music, which comes off sort of like indie rock heavily filtered through ambient. Pianos, lethargic guitars and psychedelic effects, topped with quiet, sad vocals, create a sound that is melancholy but also capable of bringing you into the realm of musical relaxation.
cover
Artist: TEN HORNED BEAST (@)
Title: Ten Stars - Ten Horns
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Whoah. This is one of the most diverse and intriguing self-released cdrs that I've come across in a long while. THB is the solo project of Christopher Walton, who used to be part of well-known ambient occultists Endvra (whose "The Watcher", on Old Europa Cafè, is still one of my faves in the dark drones field). Chris also plays dark ambient/neoclassical music as Servants of the Secret Flame, but THB has been his main activity for a while. What can I say? Experience and talent shows. THB is pitch black drone-doom. Everything is black just right from the impressive package: the cover design has been printed on transparent film, so you can barely see it when housed in the DVD case; the cdr is black, as is the cardboard insert with black wax and black lace - talk of indicative packaging. And the music is great, and fairly different from what I thought. I was expecting some doom minimalism à la Earth or Sunn))00, but nope, THB seems to walk his own path. There are little to no '70's influences here, instead I was reminded a lot of great UK post-metal acts like Godflesh and Scorn: though THB's pieces are notably different, some characteristics (heavy drum programming, cold and very dilated guitars, etc.) are definitely there. But again, THB is really quite individual. Imagine a bass line or guitar riff obtusely repeated over and over again; drumming is rare, but provides for an obsessive militaristic feel; and then, the best part, the dark drones spiralling and coiling all over. Actually, I think that the more ambient tracks, like "Ten Stars Ten Horns", are just perfect. Pure solipsistic despair. Instead, the more "doom-oriented" ones, while good, could be bettered - at times, the riffs still sound a bit detached from the whole. But the massive, 20-minute "Shrines I-III" does reach the perfect combination. As Walton is working on a lot of new material (including tracks, allegedly, "up to 50 minutes in length"...), I expect some stellar release from the Beast in the near future.
image not
available
anymore
Artist: LEVIATHAN/GRIMBERGEN
Title: ...of revisionism and relinquishment
Format: CD
Label: Monkeyhouse Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
A split effort of these two young UK ambient projects, both swapping/mixing each other's sounds in some compositions as well. Leviathan, who released other 2 cdrs on Monkeyhouse (that have also been recently collected) is definitely interesting, as it's not really typical dark ambient - instead, it is fairly melodic, with a melancholic and elegiac tone. Good point: the melodies are pleasant, and well managed. Bad point: the effects used are quite terrible, basically a simple, fixed distortion which never changes throughout. So it's like having good music filtered through a distortion pedal. "The Unattainable Object", which should be a remix of Grimbergen's material, is much darker and heavier, with slowly crawling bass drones - a successfull track, with both tension and a trance-inducing effect. Grimbergen's sound heavily relies on swirling synth sounds, with some obsessive mechanical percussions ("Entering the Painfields") and a taste for epic melodies. It sounds very... Nordic, so to speak. His mix is clearer than Leviathan's, but I personally don't like synths when they're so recognizable and standard-sounding. But "Is this the place?" has a more subdued minimal throbbing which does build an atmosphere. All in all, my impression is that both project have promising qualities (all tracks are fairly well constructed, and not boring) but still have to work hard for better results, both stylistically and technically.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821...830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861] [1862] [1863] [1864] [1865] [1866] [1867] [1868] [1869] [1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910] [1911...1920] [1921...1930] [1931...1940] [1941...1950] [1951...1960] [1961...1970] [1971...1980] [1981...1990] [1991...2000] [2001...2010] [2011...2020] [2021...2030] [2031...2040] [2041...2050] [2051...2060] [2061...2070] [2071...2080] [2081...2090] [2091...2100] [2101...2110] [2111...2120]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha