Music Reviews



CTRL: Lose The Image

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 26 2004
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Artist: CTRL (@)
Title: Lose The Image
Format: CD
Label: Diffusion Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis
Rated: *****
After releasing their first two albums, Ctrl's singer decided to leave so their fans had to wait other three years for this new LOSE THE IMAGE. During the break, Brad MacAllister focused his efforts on his side project, Low Technicians, just to decide soon after that it was time to give a new form to Ctrl. He recruited a new member Alex Virlios (formerly of Provision) and with Jason Fenimore (already on guitars on the previous band incarnation) started to work hard to give a form to their third album. LOSE THE IMAGE is a real good album which has got hard 80's influences (melody of tracks like "Left To Find" make me think about A Flock Of Seagulls) but keeping opened the door to let e.b.m. and electro sound/structure come in. Even if the short "Transition Three" made me think about "Carnage Visors" (the long The Cure's track/soundtrack which was present into the tape version of "Faith") and the bass sound is really new wave oriented, the general feeling isn't of a musical revival. Power and melody are for sure elements the band is taking care of and the fifteen tracks are the evidence. Good one!
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Artist: Skinny Puppy
Title: The Greater Wrong of the Right
Format: CD
Label: SPV Records
Rated: *****

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After eight years of absence from the scenes, one of the greatest electro-industrial-metal bands ever is back with their 13th album "The Greater Wrong of the Right" (on SPV US), and their come back is big time! Nivek Ogre (vocals) and cEvin Key (electronics, percussion) teamed up with producer Mark Walk and Ken "hiwatt" Marshall (of Tool fame) to bundle ten kick-ass tunes packed with aggressive guitars, stomping percussions, political lyrics, exciting electronics and an impressive and brilliant audio engineering production focused around a tight and complex work of editing and slicing, effecting, cutting and pasting, and of course a full, ballsy and straight in your face sonic impact.Skinny Puppy's history started back in Vancouver, Canada, in 1983, and they have certainly gone a long way, maintaining their signature-style sound and attitude and re-inforcing the explosive mixture with new generation musicians (the album guest-stars Tool's drummer Danny Carey and Static-X's singer Wayne Static on one song and features musicians such as Otto Von Schirach, Omar Torres, Collide co-founder Statik), breathtaking production, great lyrics (Skinny Puppy is one of the few bands who did stick to their guns throughout the years, spreading world-awareness about socio-political situations such as new world order, animal abuse - and the title says it all anyway...), great vocals (intelligible, with less distortion than in the past) and a sense of what and when that is absolutely extraordinary. Even though you can recognize the original elements that made the sound of Skinny Puppy unique and un-imitable, "The Greater Wrong of the Right" is not an exercise in nostalgia but rather a new step in their successful career that, to use their own words, "lacks any manner of forced anachronism or supposed nostalgic flair - it's about right now!". In other words you will be blown away by this: it is so strong and intense, so original and true and yet so innovative and forward thinking that it deserves 5 stars, just because the ruler doesn't go up to 11. It is quite simply Skinny Puppy! Look out for Skinny Puppy on tour with guitarist/bassist William Morrison and drummer Justin Bennett (Professional Murder Music, Thrill Kill Kult) starting June 11th in the US, with gigs in Europe in mid July.

LIMBO: Compendium: The Light Fall

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 20 2004
Artist: LIMBO
Title: Compendium: The Light Fall
Format: CD
Label: Cursed Land (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
COMPENDIUM: THE LIGHT FALL is the last chapter of one of the oldest (in sense of years of activity) electronic Italian bands. In fact, Limbo born in February 1984 and after twenty years of activity (even if, to tell the truth, we could say that Limbo stopped the activities on 2001, when they did their last concert), Gianluca Becuzzi decided that it was time to close this chapter to focus his efforts only on his new project: Kinetix. COMPENDIUM: THE LIGHT FALL is the last part of the MILLENIUM trilogy and the first two parts were: "Continuum: The fire front" and "Cospiratorium : The ice line". On the first one Limbo covered classic tracks of the electronic/industrial scene fathers, like Kraftwerk, DAF or Throbbing Gristle, while on the second one Limbo covered tracks of Italian bands such as Kirlian Camera, Kebabtraume or L.I.N. and they were helped by different members of the covered bands. This third release is focused only on the band's material and it's a sort of sum of what they did. Be aware that this isn't a simple compilation, because each song has been remixed or revisited, but always starting from the original sound, so this isn't something similar to "Hell's Gate Vision (1986/1996 A Total Revision)" where the tracks have been totally revisited and played. The first fourteen tracks span their career starting from their first demo (too bad they hadn't a decent copy of it, because along with their first MLP it's my favourite Limbo release!) arriving to "Inter Uterum Et Loculum (L'amour Sadique)" picked up from their latest real studio album "L'Etre Et Le Néant" (their weakest release, in my opinion). The period that has been better covered is the one that include the first four albums: "My Whip Your Flesh", "Our Mary Of Cancer", Vox Insana" and "Evirazione Totemica Seriale". Most of those tracks were produced by Paolo Favati and maybe they are the most representative tracks of what the real spirit of the band was. The new version of the tracks is really intriguing and generally they acquired power and energy. Especially on tracks like "Libido Mater Nostra", the following "Dein Gott Ist Tot" and "Magic Bathory" you can check what I mean. Tracks fifteen to seventeen are revisited or live version of songs coming from the previous two "Continuum" and "Cospiratorium" releases. The last song "Madre, Chiesa, Libido" is the real latest band's studio track. It's a medley that gathers together: "Libido Mater Nostra", "Thee Pack", "Mater Libido", "Control Sex, Technology" and "Madre Chiesa, Clinica". It's a pity that Limbo career should end without the release of a real compilation (maybe in the future?) and that their very first releases will be inaccessible to most of their fans but for the moment feel the taste of this good release and wait for Kinetix. So long, Limbo!
May 19 2004
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Artist: Censor (@)
Title: Empire Holds Down
Format: CD
Label: Hive (@)
Rated: *****
I am now used to the fact that Hive is synonimous with quality, so I have no fear and no doubts when popping in one of their releases, knowing I will be dealing with some kick ass dark-electro-drum'n'bass band. And so it is. Censor spring out from the NYC metropolitan area and carry their urban heritage around with them proudly. What once used to be an exciting underground club scene with pioneers of the bad and nasty live drum'n'bass movement, such as Jojo Mayer, is now (unfortunately) only a network of people making great music out of their bedrooms and occasionally throwing a great party in some club... Censor is probably among these people, as he spits out industrial-breakcore like a machine gun. His dynamic and altering mixture of dark, powernoise, drum'n'bass, electronics and industrial is viscious and infectious. The entire album has an extremely fast pace, which adds to the overall excitment and aggressive impact. This is a truly a small gemm of its kind and in its genre, where all elements work together towards a unique pumping blend of powerful music, explosive like nitro!
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Artist: Dope Stars Inc. (@)
Title: 10'000 Watts of Artificial Pleasure
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Thanks to Jett Black at Nocturnal Movements, we get a piece of the hot action too: Dope Stars Inc.. A brand new four piece group from Italy whose attempts at merging electronics, industrial, glam rock, goth and punk are definitely successful. Taking into account that this is their first try as a band (even though the line up includes members of other projects, including My Sixth Shadow and Chaos Zero), their artistical maturity and attitude is surprising and they seem to be ready to blow up, straight in your face, with a big record deal (where is Wax Trax when we need them?). They have everything you might ask for: the glam/goth fashion and looks, the quality in their music, the raw attitude, the aggressive impact. We'll see... The five tracks of their debut MCD feel like a raging and explosive mixture of Rammstein, Marylin Manson, Skinny Puppy, Pigface, Orgy, KMFDM, where furious guitars and bass, hammering drum machines and excited vocals spit fire at every turn. What is amazing is the intensity and the driving force. You can feel the power and the sonic impact coming right at you. I wonder what they must be like on a show. The band also has an impressive following of people (fans, supporters, street teams, publicists, promoters etc) so they they're pretty much ready to rock'n'roll the (not so) free world. Stand aside, you've been warned!


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