Music Reviews



Artist: Isenngard (@)
Title: Forgotten Intentions
Format: CD
Label: Unsigned
Distributor: Future Synergy
A very very welcome revival of the goth rock/electro-goth mix of the old days, coming from the unlikely spot of Guadalajara, Mexico (one of the more popular resort towns there to most people). There are those classic chainsaw guitars ripping out soaring riffs that could even make the metalheads turn and take note, and then at the next turn painting an intricate metallic web with it’s lower C chord textures. The vocals are surprisingly are completely in English, which is quite rare to see in the Mexican music scene, sung by vocals that are rather reminiscent of Italian goth-group Artica, very dry and appropriately sepulchral on top of the tense guitaring and ambient patterns in the back. A little bit of industrial, a little bit of Clan Of Xymox-style keyboarding, that marvelous guitar playing, and the vocals all add up to one band that can stand up there with bands like Clan Of Xymox, Artica, and.......well, not too many others (given that Corpus Delecti are gone and the rather cheesy but good London After Midnight are missing in action), really, in keeping the old school goth rock tradition alive and well. And for those disenchanted with the whole goth thing like I am, the music is refreshingly glam-free and emotional, just like the golden oldies I used to grow up on! And finally another goth band besides Artica that can play guitar, and not another glam goth band just beating out nu metal chords and their sloppy riffs! Some of the material, to actually compare and give you an idea of their sound, is basically somewhere between the late great X Mal Deutchland and post "Creatures" and "Notes From The Underground" era Clan of Xymox, with perhaps a pinch of circa "Sin Pecado" Moonspell. Also, as a side note, for those who have not gotten to check out Mexico’s incredible goth and industrial scene (I don’t know about it’s synthpop scene. Mexican death metal is utterly brutal though I will say that!), definitely give it a peek, it’s soon going to be THE place to go for this type of music. The goth and industrial music coming from that region is so raw, so honest and a new twist of sincerity is in it, it revolutionizes the way one can think of music in general, both as a matter of expression and as a matter of social revolt and pride. With Hocico and Cenobita spearheading the industrial side of Mexico with other fine bands like Deus Es Machina (Machine God), Isenngard spearheads the movement with almost no other peer but Fernando Viana (another amazing Mexican goth artist). No makeup and posing in this group, just sheer emotional goth-rock that seems like it could well be a necessity for them once you hear the amount of emotion involved on this CD. This is goth rock the way bands like Joy Division intended it to be: as a necessary catharsis for one’s self, not posturing. Every last note sung and played on this CD is meticulously planned and executed, with a bit of classical principle behind this already massively complex and elaborate mix. Favorites on this CD are very hard to pick, but to choose a couple I choose "A Lady’s Craft" and "Eclipse". But overall, you can listen to this CD all the way through and still pick up something new on your next playing of it, like a piece of the atmosphere you didn’t catch before in the keyboards. Hopefully next time around they will whip out some of those Spanish vocals, which would sound perfect on this CD. Highly recommended, and all this from an unsigned band (to the labels: best start getting to it before you lose this one!)! Rating: 10 all the way.
Jul 20 2003
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Widerstand
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Stateart (@)


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At a first listening WIDERSTAND could seems only a power noise compilation but the whole project, which took some time to be finished, has got a different meaning. First of all, this double compilation born as a manifesto of the Post Resistance Era (whatever it could means) and the whole work started from an Herman Hesse's statement: "So that the possible can be created, the impossible must be tried again and again". So, the main point where to focus our attention is the meaning of resistance. You know, industrial noise or power noise has always been a sort of extremisation of a personal revolution which is taking the form of noise. The main thing is the struggle men have to face each day. Social, personal, against lazyness, against politicians, against each dark behaviour men could achieve. There isn't a specific way this struggle is definited and for this reason along with a Stateart statement (which you could also find at their website), the booklet which you can find along with the two CD compilation, has got also the writings or the graphics of the various participants. Propergol, 4th Sign Of Apocalypse, Prphx, Allgrena, Control Resistance, Genitor Lvminis, Blood Conspiracy, Predominance, Dream Into Dust, Citadel, Survival Unit, Con-Dom, Maison Close and Wutanes Heer are giving their interpretation of the concept and the most important thing is that this is no noise for the sake of it but this is an invitation to fight. For yourselves first...
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Artist: ISZOLOSCOPE (@)
Title: Au Seuil Du Néant
Format: CD
Label: Ant Zen (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe


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Iszloscope born in Canada in 1999 thanks to François Bénard (who left two years after) and Yann Faussurier. They were already djing at a local radio station and the step that moved them to start experimenting with sounds was short. As reported on the label's website the concept behind Iszoloscope is "an artistic portrait of the effects of isolation on judgment, mental health, interpersonal values and anger on a human being. An acoustic interpretation, in a very personal way, of it's consequences on one's mind. As the inability to express and understand thoughts & feelings that results in irrational thinking and overwhelming anger that climaxes in unpredictable cycles". AU SEUIL DU NEANT isn't their first CD, even if it's the first on Ant Zen, the band already released a couple of CDs on Spectre (their first work "Coagulating Wreckage" was launched on September 11th 2001) and a couple of MCDs. AU SEUIL DU NEANT is their first work concentrated on rhythms and the production of it took two years because the sixteen tracks are composed of many alternating layers which give a sense of power, inspiration and incoming darkness. Distorted rhythms, drones and creepy ambient sounds are a band's characteristic and make of this release an indispensable item for your collection. On the second CD you can find fourteen remixes of "Skotophobique", "Crimson Road", "Spontaneous Cognitive Combustion", "Prima Momentum", "Phobos II" and "Le Dénominateur Commun" thanks to Urusai, Antigen Shift, Ah Cama-Sotz, 45 Cep, Mortmain, Sinequanon, Pin, Pupil, Kuuda, Asche, Liar's Rosebush, Imminent, We V2 and If Then Do who gave their personal interpretation of the tracks expanding the ambient side or the noisy one. Get it, you won't be disappointed!P.s. There's also a vinyl version of the album (titled "This Monstrosity Is Part Of My Fibric") but it contains only six out of sixteen tracks and no remixes.
Artist: Beautiful Assassins
Title: Preamp
Format: CD
Label: Positron! Records (@)
Distributor: Positron! Records
BEAUTIFUL ASSASSINS is Matt Walker, a multi-talented drummer/programmer who played with Impossible Recording Machine, Filter, Garbage, and Smashing Pumpkins. His first debut "Preamp" is blend of industrial, ambient, and electronics. Two guest vocalists appearances, Michelle Cross, who have a voice that sounds like the female singer from Garbage, and Preston Graves, lead singer for the band Cupcakes, sings on some of the tracks. There are some tracks that I really dig. Let's start with "Unraveled." It have a trip-hop feel and a simple bassline. Morelikely reminds me of Portishead, which I am a big fan of theirs. "Inertia" is an instrumental that is ambient and techno. My number one favorite is the remake of Sting's "Bed's Too Big Without You." Both Michelle and Preston share vocals on this electronic pop track. Preston's vocal brings the song out 100%. His voice certainly have that Sting's similarity. Another fave is "Hellbent." A love song with an industrial feel sung by Preston alone. Mostly the line you'll hear is "I want you/I want you so bad." Michelle sings on "Generator." This track resembles Garbage pure sound. Kinda industrial rock that will be good for the mainstream audience and radio. "Preamp" is a good cd with electronic mayhem and intoxicating vocals. Hopefully we get to hear more from BEAUTIFUL ASSASSINS in the future.
Artist: Fictional
Title: Fiction
Format: CD
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Ficitonal- Fiction a new release. Did a cd giveaway recently for this excellent band. Gerrit Thomas and Kai Schmid are the brains behind this cd. Every track is quite unique and changes with every listen. One of the most dancy allbums I've heard. With every track comes a dance flloor hit to surface. Track 2- The Weatherman starts out calling to the dancefloor saying, I am the weatherman, some people call me snow, I do what I can for my final show. Very poetically based lyrics mixed with electronic beats making you move. Track 3- Dorian Gray is a haunting track like a background set for an abstract b- movie. Creepy synths with creepy lyrics calling to you from the mist, Dorian Gray is one of my names, all of my stories are written down, I am never growing old. Telling us a historical story making us look in that mirror on the dance floor for a second look. Track 6- Little Girl is the track that stuck out the most. This track is very personal and definately trying to express just what can happened in a world involved with drugs. Kai sings, Stay away from the hyperdermic needles, come back to a normal life. Don't start injecting anymore now, come back and be my wife. Very low, depressing lyrics telling a personal story that he has endured backed with upbeat beats. Reminds me of what Morissey is all about, depression in a dance format. Over all this cd has a lot of promise to top many electro charts, look out for this one. This cd is far from fiction but very true to life.-4stars
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