Music Reviews

DOLLS OF PAIN: Dec[a]dance

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Mar 02 2007
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Artist: DOLLS OF PAIN (@)
Title: Dec[a]dance
Format: CD
Label: Hydra
Rated: *****
It was a surprise for me to receive a packet from Salvation Films. I already know them for their catalog of dvd (I also watched some of their releases like the Rollin movies) that covers different genres like bondage, gothic, horror, etc. Anyway, Salvation opened a musical section launching two labels: Hydra (which covers e.b.m., industrial, apocalyptic folk, etc) and Triple silence (which deals with black metal and similar stuff). Their second release is a reissue of the first album by Dolls Of Pain, a French band formed in 2003, which signed a deal with Urgence Disk Record in 2005 and released DEC[A]DANCE the year after. Hydra decided to reissue that album for the English market and to promote the band worldwide. The album contains eleven tracks plus three remixes and I must admit that Dolls Of Pain music is a good blend of industrial e.b.m. with a bit of electro here and there, driven by good synth melodies (they don't use distorted samples) and distorted guitars on the upbeat tracks. The tracklist is well balanced with energetic tracks like "Join pain" or "Inside" or dark electro influenced ones (most of them) like the opening "Bring me some flesh", "Why?" or "Donjon". Sometimes they recalled me some atmospheres of Limbo of the Discordia period. Good debut which will be followed by "Slavehunter" on April, released by Urgence Disk.
Feb 28 2007
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Title: The Tenth Stage
Format: CD
Label: Crash Frequency (@)
Rated: *****
The Tenth Stage is a particular project coming from Australia. Formed by Roberto Missaglia and John Von Ahlen. Their debut album has their same name and include fourteen tracks. Since the first listening you can realize that the duo have already worked in the musical field because the skills they show on the album aren’t the ones of newcomers. In fact I read that Roberto collaborated with Tankt and John works (or owns) at the Subterrane studios where they recorded the songs. Anyway. Their music is a particular blend of darkwave with some dub, blues, reggae and classical inserts (one for each track and not all together) everything filtered with electronic arrangements. I know that only by reading such a definition it could sound like rubbish but this is the case where you should listen to what I’m talking about, because the band sound is really particular. Let’s try to explain things this way: try to imagine the latest Depeche Mode with their blues influence and their electronic arrangements (check "Wolfcall" where we have as guest Carl Learmont of Angelspit, "Banquet for 8" or "Mary Rose" with Rowena Martin of additional vocals). Ok? Done? Add some Sopor Aeternus dramatic feel on tracks like "Maman Marie’s fance", "St. Giles in the fields (1665 AD)" (guests on this one are by Lisa Marshall of Opera Macabre and Chris McCarter of Ikon) or "Francois Martin" and "I never promised you a rose garden (guest, Lisa Marshall of Opera Macabre, again). Some electronic dub and reggae on "Storage problem", "Sweet Jenny" and "The Hangman retribution" (guest on bass guitar an ex Human League: Ian Burden). Some electro e.b.m. on the opening "The tenth stage" (guest on this one is Andzelika Staszewska), "Criminal world" (the Metro song brought to success by David Bowie on his "Let’s dance" album) and on the closing "Epilogue". THE TENTH STAGE is a CD that will amaze you and if you are open to new ideas you’ll appreciate their style as much as I did.

VV.AA.: Interbreeding IX: Kuru

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 27 2007
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Interbreeding IX: Kuru
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: BLC Productions / e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Fasten your seatbelts - here comes the new killer compilation released by the fine US label BLC Productions of this ongoing and successfully Interbreeding series. With "Kuru" we’ve reached now thematically the birth of some cannibalized and mutated children which is here supported and right placed in a breathtaking artwork done mainly by the BLC "home"-graphic specialist Wilhelm, The Austrian Dead Dreamer, Do you’ve got own kids? Well, this art may isn’t designed for their eyes. Also active as a graphically guest artist, GYDJA out of New Zealand, providing a mysterious jungle-based art full of black magic and voodoo occultism. GYDJA also contributes on both CD’s with six different "Kuru" interludes some sample-driven, ominous sounding instrumental pieces.

Disc 1, entitled "Necromastication", brings us a new reign of mainly harsh pounding Electro/EBM troopers providing once again the conceptual idea behind this comp, to combine newcomer with established acts. That KUBIX are still rather unknown is to me a riddle, as I’ve discovered this act a longer time before on the MP3 portal Soundclick. They open this comp with a rather slow pure Electro piece but have some more styles in stock. Another name to point out is the appearance of the US-based act VISCERAL DRIP, which like to start a first hefty Harsh EBM assault and conjure up some "Demons". BOUNDLESS is leaded by XoN of the legendary but still in hiatus situated act SYMBIONT. He has composed a special track for this compilation, "Klan Of Kuru", which is a rather danceable Electro-Pop track. Harsh EBM returns hefty with both new signings of the German NoiTekk, XENTRIFUGE and DERMA-TEK. Especially the track of DERMA-TEK will follow you into your deepest nightmares. "Rise From The Ashes", originally released on the last full-length album "Corpus Technological", got remixed by the German act PAINBASTARD and somehow this musically copulation is like an asteroid impact on earth – it kicks ASS – one of the best appearances for sure! STEREOMOTION is a German act signed to the BLC partner label e-noxe and provide us here a special remix on their track "Torment", which shows some interesting drum patterns, but could need a bit more punch. Another quality appearance we’ll got with "Believe In" by the still unsigned German duo of DVATION. They show more maturity than most of their featured colleagues with their harsh EBM style with this previously unreleased track. Brazil’s DEAD JUMP then joins the ranks here offering a good remix by the US act MESMERS EYES of their track "Resist", originally released on the last DEAD JUMP full length "Immortal". Also worth a mention are STATIK SKY who like to "Make Me Feel Better" ;-) , featuring some deep layered textures, ominous sounding samples and a breathtaking speed. BLC’s own Argentinean act ALIEN PRODUKT provide us an exclusive track called "Slave To System" which fits with their already discovered style. Finally we got a marvelous instrumental tune featuring some excellent synth textures and cool layers by FUNCTION 13 and I hope for a great comeback of this US act.

Second disc named "Cannibalized" starts with an appearance of the French one-man act ZAUBER, which I lately could also check out with a decent track on the Caustic Records DCD compilation "Electronic Manifesto". This "Noise House" reminds me a bit on some older SUICIDE COMMANDO works. With THE PANIC LIFT this compilation continues to integrate some promising newcomer acts, also they can offer a decent work for the Harsh EBM sector. One of my most Australian favorites, Lee Bulig aka STARK, returns with a new Dark Electro tune, far above the known Hellektro paths, although it isn’t one of the outstanding works of this highly talented artist. The Brazilian duo of HOMICIDE DIVISON can also satisfy with an exclusive mix of their track "No Tears To War (Terror Mix)" – lately and thanks to this track they got signed to the BLC label. ARMED FOR WAR then let the sirens howl and give a speedy and harsh EBM tune taking some influences out of works of FUNKER VOGT. An instrumental work then follows done by Netherlands’s STIGMATA, while there’s some movement at the female-leaded front, FRIGHTDOLL, reminding not only for the distorted vocals on some UNTER NULL works. From the Florida-based CYANIDE REGIME I could lately thankfully receive a first CD and they prove with this exclusive work "Sick From Hunger" their talent – their bass lines and textures seem to be better worked out compared to some other Hellektro acts – an artist contract should be already in sight for them. RUN LEVEL ZERO from Sweden – always a fine and well seen guest on several issues of this series – return here and provide a remix work of their fellowmen of NECRO FACILITY on the Dark Electro track "With One Voice" – ending with the result that this track is more straighter than expected. With SUICIDE SOLUTION feat. LUJHBOIA the Argentinean connection strikes back somehow based on the musically ideas of HOCICO – both should come up soon with own releases. SUICIDE SOLUTION also receive a double-play by providing a remix work for the Spanish act ASSEPTIC ROOM, signed to the fine DSBP label. Strange that this second disc likes to place the best pieces to the end – ENGELMACHER can once again totally convince with a straight and danceable produced Dark Electro pearl called "You Will Because You Are". Also this track is exclusive to this compilation and can not be found on the recently self-released debut "Birds Of A Feather". SLAVY AXIS are sounding quite different to most of the Hellektro-driven acts here, contents out of the rhythmically Powernoise genre are obviously featured. Not to forget that this speedy track doesn’t show any mercy for the faint-hearted. Last but not least we got an edited version of FIX8:SED8’s track "Tranquilized" – finally this is the real Dark Electro music heavily influenced by classic works of SKINNY PUPPY or PLACEBO EFFECT – to me like a long sought oasis in the desert. A fine demonstration how to create melodic, but dark synth textures.

With 37 different audio efforts I’m always nailed down by the huge and massive content this fine compilation series offers – it takes some time to discover the pearls. I guess this edition compared to all predecessors maybe features the most content of Hellektro/Harsh EBM compiled so far. With the coming end of Dependent and so the stop of the "Septic" series, BLC Productions are gonna be able to provide the one and only most successfully compilation series. And the anniversary release, Interbreeding X: Execution Chamber is already in the works. A must-have – like all editions of this series.

Track listing:

Disc One: Necromastication

1. Kubix -- Do It Again (Evolution Mix)
2. Nolongerhuman -- Transcend Humanity
3. Viscera Drip -- Demons
4. Boundless -- Klan of Kuru
5. Gydja -- Kuru001
6. Xentrifuge -- The Wires Speak
7. Derma-Tek -- Rise from the Ashes (Painbastard Remix)
8. Wertstahl -- High Speed Death (Radio Edit)
9. Gydja -- Kuru002
10. Stereomotion -- Torment (Kuru:2012)
11. Prototype -- Save Yourself
12. Dvation -- Believe In
13. Deadjump -- Resist (Mesmers Eyes Riot Remix)
14. Worms of the Earth -- Earth (Theatre of War Mix)
15. Gydja -- Kuru003
16. Statik Sky -- Make Me Feel Better
17. Alien Produkt -- Slave to the System
18. Function13 -- Revolutionary Precision

Disc Two: Cannibalized

1. Zauber -- Noise House
2. The Panic Lift -- Remnants of a Dead Age
3. Stark -- Wilt
4. Gydja -- Kuru004
5. Homicide Division -- No Tears to War (Terror Mix)
6. Armed for War -- Holocaust
7. Stigmata -- Hurt You
8. Frightdoll -- Controverse
9. Gydja -- Kuru005
10. Cyanide Regime -- Sick from Hunger
11. Brainclaw -- The Temporal Tide (Infantivore Remix by Brainclaw)
12. Run Level Zero -- With One Voice (Necro Facility Remix)
13. XP8 -- Muv Your Dolly (Swedish Erotica Mix by Mortiis)
14. Suicide Solution feat. Lujhboia -- Suicide Solution (2K6 Mix)
15. Asseptic Room -- Faith Without You (Suicide Solution Remix)
16. Engelmacher -- You Will Because You Are
17. Gydja -- Kuru006
18. Slayv Axis -- Pulse
19. Fix8:Sed8 -- Tranquilized (Edit)