Music Reviews

Dec 28 2006
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Title: Dirtward
Format: CD
Label: Aentitainment
Rated: *****
If you are a Napalm Death fan, beware, this band has nothing to do with them, even if their name is the same of one of the early albums by the English grind band. Utopia:Banished is the personal project of a guy called Chris. I don't know anything else. The only thing I know is that he previously released for Aentitainment two EPs "Nano" and "Innocent pt.II". His songs sound like a hardcore version of early Nine Inch Nails and if I never been involved by their music, instead, Utopia:Banished sound make me feel a lot more tension. If you listen to "Spare time" you'll understand what I mean: on this one there are a couple of whispered vocals, a drum machine and a light distorted guitar that sometimes plays some arpeggios or is being lightly beaten. For all its length this song is about to explode but if you want a real explosion you can check the opening "This is my platoon" or "The hedonist". Chris did all by himself (but the sound engineering) and the album sounds convincing, tense, industrial and with the right blend of apparently quiet tracks and semi industrial punk cavalcades.

ASTARIEL: Let's Kill Fame

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3306)
Dec 27 2006
Artist: ASTARIEL (@)
Title: Let's Kill Fame
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Rated: *****
Astariel is the personal musical project of A. Taylor. He sent me this CDr and I don't know if its already commercially available. I doubt this has been released by a label, because the sound is a bit rough even if functional. Anyway... Astariel plays something between electro wave influenced by Bowie, Marc Almond and The Associates. He's quite good and his tunes are catchy melancholic minimal electro pop/rock songs. With a little bit of production he will find a wide audience. You can check his three tunes on his myspace page at


 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3301)
Dec 27 2006
Title: Faetish EP
Format: CD EP
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
A new EP from the leader of the DK Gang of Terror, Claus Larsen aka LEAETHER STRIP, released on Halloween 2K6. Also again a proof of his currently high productive phase, on which I had my first doubts with its predecessor, "Walking On Volcanos". I really thought on mass-production rather than to offer quality and the rich textures LEAETHER STRIP is known for. After checking "Faetish" I finally come to the result, that he works on some parts hard to reach again the intensity of his old glorious days. 10 tracks at all give you again the impression to hold already a new full-length in your hands. Tracks like "Manic Aggression", "Watch It Burn" and "Punctured Eyeballs" can spread the same aggressive attitude like the classics "Strap Me Down" or "Nothing Seen – Nothing Done". You need a comparison title? Well, here you go with an unexpected 2006 version of "Adrenalin Rush", surely one of the biggest club hits Claus has ever produced. Thumbs up for this work! The title track instead can’t follow this pieces, a bit too simple constructed I would say. Some more trips into his more orchestral-arranged side is presented with "We Walk With Pride (Moscow 28th May 2006 version)" and "The Kitchen Knife (Pocket Knife version)". Also a cover version is featured again, this time "Tears Run Rings" originally composed by Marc Almond. With "Frank Tovey Told Me Things" he has also composed a homage to some electronic pioneers to give them a hug for their early work. If you were comfortable with his last releases "Walking On Volcanos" or the full-length "After The Devastation", you will dig this release for sure. Claus could integrate a bit more inspiration than on "Volcanos...", also simply alone with the killer version of "Adrenalin Rush" this EP is a must-have. Also available as a special DCD edition featuring a 5-track special CD called "Halloween" – of course a limited edition for the die-hard fans.

Saints of Eden: Shameless EP

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3296)
Dec 22 2006
Artist: Saints of Eden (@)
Title: Shameless EP
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Metech Records (@)
Distributor: Code 7 / PHD
Rated: *****
Unlike many other CD singles, this one only has one version of the title-track (the only version, in fact). UK based Saints of Eden start the dances for their new single "Shameless" with a full band of metal headbangers and a pretty talented young rapper by the name of 2 Planets T.Amore. If you were to consider this special collaboration, you might think that they are trying to be the dark wave version of Linkin Park (white singing dude, black rapping dude, electronic-inspired metal band behind them, kind of thing...). Truth to be told, the rest of their songs on this CDS are more typically EBM compositions, mostly electronic based, which makes for a pretty strange choice, which might possibly be interpreted as a hint to a future change of course. Although there are some guitars, it is basically a germanic-inspired EBM act with all the bells and whistles of the genre. There is more to Saints of Eden than just this little disc. They already have three full length albums out already (which by the way you can buy together from their website at a special price), so if you are into EBM go check them out.

RABIA SORDA: Metodos Del Caos

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3292)
Dec 20 2006
Title: Metodos Del Caos
Format: CD
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
Several people expected a longer time-out for HOCICO after their hardly satisfying "Wrack And Ruin" – this ends at first for the front man Erk Aicrag providing here after a first SiCD release his full-length album "Metodos Del Caos". Of course, some similarities to his main and very successful project can be heard here – who wouldn’t expect this? But besides some known elements Erk tries hard to figure out different kinds of sounds and arrangements to work out an own created style. The huge distortion/overdrive effect machinery are more unused than expected ("Misery"), some Ethno/oriental-sounding instruments can be also discovered "What U Get Is What U See". It seems that Erk has analyzed his music career so far and he came to the result that a sound design harder than HOCICO wouldn’t make sense – there’s nothing what HOCICO haven’t explored before, it also would cause into some awful DULCE LIQUIDO comparisons. But besides this, this album proves well what a great composer Erk finally is – maybe better said, what he could reach through the years. This album is not the work of a new get-hard-be-strong artist, it moreover proves from the first tunes on Erk’s experience and dedication to hard Electro/Industrial music - finally with its highlight "The Shape Of A Name". Alone this piece offers a multiple kind of chosen instruments (did I hear guitar sounds here???), which leaves any possibility open for this fine solo effort. If Erk will be able to provide his stuff also on stage, needs still to be cleared up. A very good album which I can recommend to all fans of Electro/Industrial music.

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