Music Reviews



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Artist: TEX LA HOMA (@)
Title: Dazzle Me With Transience
Format: CD
Label: Superglider (@)
Tex La Homa hails from England bringing us echoes of Jesus & Mary Chain and Velvet Underground with a touch of electronic arrangements for how the vocals and instruments are sometimes treated. Try to imagine a slow version of Lotus Eaters performed by an indie band that uses also electro arrangements along with acoustic instruments. Formed in May 2000 by Matt Shaw, the project soon began to compose tunes. Soon after Tex La Homa released the first four songs EP. That record was released by Kamikaze Records as last release. The label was set up by Matt and Griff with the help of their friend Kerry. After this first record Matt has been joined by Mal, Richard and Griff to form together Superglider Records. The first release has been a Tex La Homa EP and soon after, joined also by Mooro, they released music by True Swamp Neglect, Sancho Panza, Betika, Seemonster, Robot Dog, Factotum and TLH. Talking about DAZZLE ME WITH TRANSIENCE I can say that for sure it's an intimate record but not melancholic. The soft atmospheres aren't self celebrating (you know how that "how miserable I am" attitude of some bands is) and songs like "Feel Tied Down" or "Launch" (oh my... The Jesus & Mary Chain distortions are still making school... hehehe) could make your day. Certainly you have to listen to albums like this being in the right mood because if you are in need of an energy's injection to shake your bones this could be harmful :)
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Artist: Opeth
Title: Damnation
Format: CD
Label: Music For Nations,Koch Records
Distributor: Music For Nations,Koch Records
OK, imagine if you got a goth, a folk lover, and a metalhead all to write down their dream group that they could agree on, and Opeth would very well be the result. Already hailed in many metal circles as the best metal band out there, not many Goths have yet caught onto their fragile, delicate music yet. Also, being considered the best metal band in the world, there is one catch to them: they are not completely metal either, nor are they all that brutal as they are just dark and moody. They often go from slow, doomy death metal right smack dab into very dark, accoustic folk, not unlike a more technical Death In June.
Yet on this CD, the sound takes a full circle swing, as it is the softer companion to the bombastic and brooding "Deliverance". Gone are any traces of death metal, replaced by acoustics and a melancholy sense of progressive rock. The CD opens with the violin and acoustic laden track "Windowpane", whose slow riffs on top of gently plucked strings give additional warmth to the marvelous voice of Mikael Akerfeldt. All of it is like a musical version of a French cuisine, where all the ingredients work in rhythm with one another, never overpowering in the least. In the back lies trained and true jazz drumming, patient and again never overpowering. Add to that the violin lines in the back and you quickly see how this band has even gotten the hardest metal elitists into it’s spell. This is music that universally speaks past genres, and often probably doesn’t even notice them as much as they just simply put emotion to music.
Then comes the track "In My Time Of Need", following as a seeming flow to "Windowpane", where the two songs never seem to conflict. Much of this whole CD stands as one whole, not as a song to song format. "Closure" flows along in this manner, yet injects more of their signature melancholy riffs as well, and then pumps up the notches on the technicality. Put onto that the energetic but controlled, meticulous drumming in the middle of the song, along with a haunting chorus in the back.


Listening to the music, one cannot help but notice the beautiful artwork on the CD. Every Opeth CD has exceptional artwork, such as the art for "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park". This is a band that seems to have no weak areas at all. The lyrics may not be as complex this time as "Still Life" but the lyrics seem to fit the mold for the music to a tee. It still borders on sheer poetry, reflecting isolation and various morose feelings, not mention it’s sung by some incredibly beautiful vocals. Metal fans looking for some of Opeth’s more heavy material should look elsewhere, but for those into their constantly evolving style, it’s highly advised. I recommend this group in general for those who are willing to take a view into a band that dares to march forward in so many directions at once! Many have said they have changed the way metal can be played, but I argue that. I say they have well changed the way music as a whole can be played! Folk singers are taking note, metal bands are taking note, maybe even goth and death folkers are taking note. I can smell the copycats starting up to try following in their footsteps already.

Rating: 10. Also recommended is anything from Opeth, especially "Orchid" (haha good luck finding this little gem) and "Still Life". Also, if you can find Moonspell’s acoustic performances, that would be a nice addition.
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Talking to Harald, the mastermind of Chandeen, on my messenger last week, he told me this CD would be a good bit more organic than "Bikes And Pyramids". So naturally, I didn’t expect another pop journey, given that and Harald’s massive palate of musical skills (hence my nickname for him, "Der PopMusikMeister"). The CD takes a much more classical approach to the Chandeen formula, yet still has that same beautiful kind of wave undertone. And Antje’s vocals are solo this time, no longer accompanied by Stephanie’s harmonious pipes. But that also helps give this CD it’s emotional edge, as the music would not quite mix in with dual vocals. It would simply overwhelm such delicate and fragile melodies, which are to be the full cast of actors, not hiding behind a curtain of vocals. Many ethereal groups make that mistake, yet Chandeen did their homework not to fall into it. Antje’s vocals have also improved, as if there was much more improvement needed! The more laid back tone of this music gives her more power to show off her real vocal talent, which is an effortless flow from key to key. It’s as if she sings scales on a wavelength rather than having to divide notes and separate them. And not one crack in her voice to be heard! Her voice is perfection, like a wine aged through centuries and centuries.Much of the keyboard work of "Bikes And Pyramids" you’ll notice has been replaced by piano and guitar, with the subtle keyboard-aided backdrop breezing on by like a playful ember on a cool spring wind. It could be safe to say Harald has learned his fair share of instruments through the years, and has perfected the one man band style (well one man if you take out vocals). The style reminds me of his Lowy/Javelin project gone through a classical filter, with a touch of Opeth’s folk moments. Literary fans will notice a song version of Edgar Allen Poe’s "A Dream Within A Dream" (oh if only Poe were alive he’d be a happy 160 year old man hearing this haha), as well as song versions of William Blake and Oscar Wilde. Could this get any better??!?! Well, if Anne Sexton poems were on there, but eh you can’t ask for the world you know ;-). Plus her poems would be a bit gruesome for this. Pretty solid CD throughout, as well as any of Lowy’s works.Rating: 10.
Apr 28 2003
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Artist: Front 242
Title: Still & Raw
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
As if the upcoming "Pulse" CD enough to give any EBM and F242 fan a week long orgasm, it’s followed up with this EP filled with all new exclusive songs. This CD will give you the template on which they are working with on "Pulse", with a gymnastic display of electronic prowess that makes you wonder half what equipment they use and half if they are melded to them. Consider this the more vocal-oriented, less instrumental version to "Pulse", giving us more of the slower songs ala "Tyranny For You", giving us a duality between this and the new CD. Great companion to your pre-order. Rating: 10. Awwwwwwwww tis the day to be an F242 fan. ;-) Look forward to an interview soon with the group as well, and don’t forget our interview with their project Speedtribe in our interview section.!
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Artist: IN THE NURSERY (@)
Title: An Ambush Of Ghosts
Format: CD
Label: ITN Corporation
Distributor: Audioglobe


BUY from  BUY NOW from MUSIC NON STOP (MusicNonStop.co.uk)
First issued in their Third Mind period back in 1993 AN AMBUSH OF GHOSTS has finally been reprinted by In The Nursery's own label ten years after. Released between "Duality" (already reprinted a couple of years ago) and "Anatomy Of A Poet" the album has got the same imprint and musical atmospheres of the mentioned albums even if it's a musical score. ITN were commissioned to write the filmscore after the director Everett Lewis heard some of their music and decided that it was perfect for the psychologic drama the movie was about. The film presentation sheet talked about it as a dark, hallucinatory voyage into the mind of George Bets (Stephen Dorff), a Los Angeles teenager who ten years before witnessed the accidental killing of his seven year old brother by their mother Irene (Geneviève Bujoid). The following years where tough for a youngster who had to face his mother's insanity and his own fears. George's ineffectual father, Bill (Bruce Davidson) is often forced to rely on restraints and sedatives to subdue his wife. Even if George tries to lead a normal teenager's life, he is unable to escape from his past. Just like his mother, George goes over into his own internal world - a world where he can protect his brother. The Humberstone brothers wrote the whole score helped by oboist Jill Crowther and cellist Catherine Bassill. Even if they had the complete control over the soundtrack (in fact they recorded everything on their own studio in Sheffield) the movie production hired a producer and a musical adviser to oversee the final mixing session. The twenty tracks are dreamy and disturbing at the same time as the duo wanted to preserve the movie's atmosphere. In "White Robe", for example, the tension grows little by little with a percussion crescendo which explode in the initial part of "Cop Shed". If you already know the other In The Nursery soundtracks as "Hindle Wakes", mind that this is a totally different one and you'll like it if you dig the dark side of the band. P.s. This reissue has got also as a bonus track "When I Write To You".
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