Music Reviews

CYCLONE B: Consequence of Hidden Truth

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 04 2005
Artist: CYCLONE B (@)
Title: Consequence of Hidden Truth
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Last Exit
Rated: *****
Electro/Industrial music makes a step forwards to conquer Eastern European states and sets a mark in Tallinn, Estonia with the debut of CYCLONE B. They are not really unknown and have made some remarkable appearances on highly acclaimed compilations like "Cryonica Tanz Vol. 3" or the quadruple CD box "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1". The new Russian label Advoxya Records finally could get the deal with this 3 men outlet and so we have here a 11 track debut release which is – and I can take this realization in advance – one of my personal favorites of this year. CYCLONE B have produced a fine Dark Electro/EBM album which shows the listener with simple but effective means how to create and compose remarkable tracks which surely deal with several already known ingredients. I would qualify and compare this band with the recent works of PAIL and DEPRESSIVE DISORDER but of course without any clone syndrome. Tracks like "Reflection" or "Deathember" are playing skilful with decent melodic synth layers and also the almost distorted vocals show some progression to a more melodic content. Nice and remarkable done, but be sure that this band will not fall into any Futurepop cliche. "Agony" is more slow and filled with a depressive mood, while tracks like "Sputnik U.S.S.R.", "Nothing" or "Razor" will let the rivetheads invading any dancefloor in some dark clubs. Nice to hear are also the variations and progressions on the vocals. There is not the same singer at all, but CYCLONE B have also a fine taste to include some different effects like a vocoder or different kinds of distortion. Here is also no lack of ideas regarding the bass line sequencing, almost everything is filled with inspiration. And so we have a well done CD which can set some standards. This is a marvelous release of a promising band which seems to be soon a giant.

VV.AA.: Different

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Aug 03 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Different
Format: DVD
Label: BLack Rain (@)
Rated: *****
Black Rain in the last couple of years, along with its sister labels NoiTekk, Funk Welten and Ars Musica Diffundere, grew its rooster of bands as well the number of people who is interested into the mixture of industrial e.b.m. music of Noitekk, the goth electronic of Black Rain, the Ars Musica Diffundere apocaliptic folk of Novalis and Kutna Hora or the industrial martialism of Predella Avant and to the ambient electronic music of Funk Welten with Echorausch and Flint Glass. Into the DVD you can find seventeen band videos (most of them are live performances recorded at the Wave Gotik Treffen festival or at the Summer Darkness festival) where you can have a good idea of the music proposed by the labels. Sometimes the audio isn't the top notch (it seems recorded with a good digital camera as well the videos are) but you can have an idea about the music anyway. Along with the videos we have a good extra section where you can find images of the people at the 2004 Wave Gotik Treffen (this is for die hard fans of the festival or for the people who was there), excerpts of Aslan Faction, Grendel and Feindflug performances at the 2002 Maschinensturm festival, a video of Feindflug 2000 tour, the backstage of the same band at the 2000 Wave Gotik Treffen and different galleries of the band with audio tracks.
Artist: H.E.E.L. (@)
Title: Light in the Hell
Format: CD
Label: Monopolrecords (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
Coming in a beautiful dark digipack, here we have the debut of H.E.E.L., a musically and visually side-project of Patrick Lev, one half of the soon to be giants DEPPRESSIVE DISORDER and Martin Pavlik. Compared to the main project, H.E.E.L. offers us a music far away from the Dark Electro/EBM inspired style, while not forgetting it. The music remains dark and scary and features some angst-driven voice samples. The mood here is based on Ambient/Electronica styled music, vocals are very sparse filled in here and almost distorted or revamped with vocoder effects. The whole musically concept leads me to some comparisons to old GRIDLOCK at their best times and to their label comrades of DISHARMONY from Slovakia. This is mind-blowing dark Industrial stuff reaching at times phrases taken out of the Powernoise/Industrial genre ("Heel"), Dark Electro ("Alien" or "Nerve"), Electronica ("Transmission") up to slow and monotonous Ambient stuff ("Convulsion"). Globally very thick and scary music stuff here which you should check out under a good pair of headphones. The visual part of this release was done and arranged by Tom Galle. It features a nice done data track "Hell for You" which includes several manipulated photos and graphic experiments plus a viewer program with which you are able to check out all of that stuff while listening to music. While I really dig the music content of this release (don’t listen to a track like "Alien" at night times – it can cause nightmares!!!) I am also thankfully to get an insight of the graphically ideas for what this project stands. Both, music and visual art, are marvelous produced. Excellent work, gentlemen!
Artist: DIVERJE (@)
Title: The Distortion Chamber
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Rated: *****
This review of the already 6th release of DIVERJE I would like to start with a quotation taken from the title track "The Distortion Chamber":

"Step inside, the distortion chamber
electro-body-music takes you in
immerse in sound – synthetic pleasure
this is our secret, to keep us sane.
Step Inside, the distortion chamber
razor-sharp-beats, pounding you down
electrofied – you don’t want out
addicted to this energy now."

I couldn’t find any better words to describe finally the feeling not only by listening to this new output by Tommy T. Rapisardi, head behind DIVERJE, as well as in the rising DSBP label and the "Cyberage" radio show ( ). Tommy could again invite several talented musicians to help him up with programming, synths and composition, so you find here contributions by Xon of BOUNDLESS, Justin of LEXINCRYPT, Len Lemeire of IMPLANT, Vince Pujol of E.S.R. and a few others. The lyrics and vocals are still done by Tommy, while the music shows a huge amount of diversity simply caused through the different hard- and software the mentioned musicians use. So like it is mentioned in the booklet, this CD is recorded all over the world from the USA, to France, Belgium and New Zealand with the headquarter in the DSBP studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This album is mastered by the famous Da5id Din (INFORMÄTIK, din_fiv) at his Corossive Audio studio – you expect the best, so you get it. My personal favorites can be found mostly in the tracks in which Vince Pujol of E.S.R. has included his talented input. The Opener "Enough to Destroy" is one example of this and this track get some very good reactions through its appearance on the Alfa-Matrix quadruple compilation "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1".Another fine contribution between Vince and Tommy T. is the track "Your Pleasure" which is featured here in two different version. Well worked out futuristic synth layers meet extravagant vocals and impressive rhythm programmings, while things slowed down with a track "Time is the Enemy" where this two musicians teamed up with a third talented artist, Matt Ossen of TYPE001. The lyrics of Tommy are dealing mainly with happenings or problems around his life as a musician and label manager ("The Decline of the CD Generation"), but I assume also a huge personal influence out of his private life here, for example of a lost affair ("I Walk Alone", music arranged by Justin Cameron of LEXINCRYPT), same thematically with a slight hint in "Test Samples" (music arranged by Len Lemeire of IMPLANT). Not to hide I want also the fact that you also get some grinding guitar riffs here. Not unusual for DIVERJE of course – but the purist should be warned. In all we have a nice new and for the best DIVERJE album so far. One reason to get this CD is the fact of the long playing time of almost 75 minutes. And so you get a full-scale assault of diverse and varied arranged Electro/Industrial album which is not like anything else or easy to compare. A splendid release!

VV. AA. : Decibel

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 31 2005
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Artist: VV. AA. (@)
Title: Decibel
Format: CD
Label: Plutonium (@)
Rated: *****
I've always thought it was surprising how some techno music and some dance music were not that far from "mechanical beats" and how that sound was somehow "industrial", this electronic sampler goes even more close to "industrial environment" I was talking about. Harsh electronics, techno beats, dark ambient, power noise, distorted samples, hypnotic loop: despite the different tracks this' not a senseless "bricolage" since the most of the acts on this cd have that "rave-till-death" flavor that makes the difference, even the rhythmic "tunes" (the 70% of these songs have a solid rhythmic structure) have a strong "industrial rave" heaviness. After having taken for granted the rhythmic astonishment is a constant for most of the songs don't forget there's an incredible abundance of distortion almost everywhere (Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails have based a carrier on effects like that) and sure, the "mental disturbing" sensation created with the repetitive loops by these young swedish musicians is there to "blow your brains out", for sure. No Merzbow worshippers here, neither some techno avant-gardists like Massimo (the italian guy on Mego and Staalplaat) even if we're not that far, probably that's the kind of music you'd love when under the influence of a bad trip. Even if that's another cup of tea never forget Brighter Death Now comes from up there: "the mechanical heaviness of repetitions", if this sentence stirs your curiosity, here probably there's something for you ears and mind.

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