Music Reviews



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Artist: NOVALIS
Title: Last years calling
Format: CD
Label: Ars Musica Diffundere/Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Triton
God, I thought this was another electro duo but no, luckily Novalis play dark folk. Songs tend to be good, with effective arrangements and sober playing - acoustic guitar, keyboards, some percussions and trumpet, and two voices alternating from track to track; at best, the production's similar to Death In June's "Rose clouds of holocaust", like in the opening track "Human". Influences logically embrace the good ole days World Serpent rooster (a lot of DIJ, some Sol Invictus and Fire + Ice in the more epic moments -like "Of the golden future time"-, a bit of Current 93), Swans ("What if", my favourite one), and unfortunately some gothic/wave slips in a couple of tracks ("Hey God", "Bloody") which are, in my opinion, the weakest of the whole work. I'd say the first half of the cd is really quite good, while the second one presents not that memorable songs. It must be a matter of tastes, but I wish Novalis stuck to folk ballads increasing traditional arrangements ("Von Traum", for example, has a great atmosphere for that) and dropping the goth influences that stiffen their sound.
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Artist: DIGITAL NOISE DISTORTION
Title: Industrial Machine Evolution parts I/XII
Format: CD
Label: Spatter (@)
DND is a recent Italian project who had self-produced 2 cdrs before having this work released by Spatter (in the usual DVD box and an edition of 100). Well, he may not have been active for long but this is really good shit, surely reaching the standards of a lot of big names out there. The cdr is opened by a tranquil ambient fragment just to smash everything a second later with an all-out attack of brutal noise. Harsh frequencies with that cold surgical touch given by digital equipment, and some structured rhythmic pattern here and there adding some frenzy to the chaos. I think this easily reaches the standards of Merzbow's late laptop noise production.
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Artist: ERIC ALEXANDRAKIS (@)
Title: I.V. Catatonia
Format: CD
Label: Y & T
Eric Alexandrakis is like a modern Sid Barret, l.s.d. included... I.V. CATATONIA is divided in two parts: "Treatments 1-6" and "Treatments 7-12" while the tracks are twentytwo. Each track is on its own because here you can find deranging piano or guitar based songs as well as tracks like "The Big Church Theory" which is completely a no sense collage of tv, answering machine and God knows what else, samples. Eric will to experimenting with melodies and particular solutions made him releasing an eclectic album full of irony and weird songs. I have also to admint that someway the album is catchy and songs like "Hooligan Hotline (You Walk Away)" are immediate and remember also some old Sonic Youth tunes mixed with alternative pop melodies. If you need something that is able to surprise you and you ain't afraid of odd solutions try this album.
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Artist: Diary of Dreams (@)
Title: Freak Perfume
Format: CD
Label: Accession Records
For those of you who decided the August 6th domestic date of this CD is too far away, I say you're right!
Keeping to his promise, Adrian Hates delivers yet another disc of raw emotive power, uniquely dark classic-tinged electronic ambience, and enigmatic lyrics ("Emotion dealers that have not learned to cry liquid pearls" from Traum:A,or Dream:A in English). Adrian explores new vocal styles including a soft flowing voice that seems very unlike his super deep bass vocal style of usual. Still, his vocal style blasts with a powerful turret of emotion layred on top of almost Anne Sexton-crossed-with-Death in June type metaphors. This is a guy who could tell you he's cooking you breakfast and make you cry out loud at the same time, his vocals are that emotional and incomparable. Even a couple of German tracks, which was missed on the last CD. Highlights are TRAUM:A,THE CURSE,BASTARD,VERDICT,AND SHE AND HER DARKNESS. While not as strong as his magnum opus,One of 18 Angels, this is definitely a strong buy, as well as anything by DOD and his old band,Garden of Delight. Rating:10++++++
Artist: WURT ORGANUM
Title: Nervino Mon Amour
Format: CD
Misanthropy: this is the main message. Two guys coming from the North of Italy linked by a deep hate towards humanity. There's no place for harmony in their music, noise is the keyword. Judas H.I.V. provides harsh-sounding synthetic landscapes together with ultra-distorted vocals screaming against mankind (but there are no lyrics included). Julius Ebola works on guitar and its digital effects, creating noise and dissonances rather than playing his instrument. The last three tracks of the record are remarkable as there is more concern about rhythm, with some EBM-like and distorted techno patterns, pushing even more on aggression pedal. But the whole record is filled with energy and intensity, maybe trying to punish the human ears which dare to take a listen, indeed I find the tracks very catchy! Real aggressive and not depressive misanthropy.
Judas H.I.V. c/o Diego Crippa, Loc. Valgra 20, 14100 Asti
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