Music Reviews

DAVANTAGE: Global Badlands

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 16 2002
Artist: DAVANTAGE (@)
Title: Global Badlands
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Triton
A short time after the "No candle light" ep (see archive), here's the new full length by the German trio. Listening to the ep, I thought this work would be more melodic and singalong, but it actually resembles much "Virus: Hate" in its preference for mid-tempos and gloomy, heavy atmospheres, with davaNtage's characteristic low, unfiltered vocals. Only "Crisis" has a faster pace, and the catchiest tune along with "No candle light", while other tracks opt for a darker and more meditative approach. All lyrics (which, oddly enough, are written by an external collaborator) are very political and are mostly focused on globalization, market policies, riots and international crisis; one exception being "Coldest Place", which, if I'm not wrong, is inspired by the tragedy of the Kursk submarine in Russia. All comes out very honest and straight from the heart; it's somehow nice to see that davaNtage put a lot of effort in conveying a message and not just throwing off some rhythms. The layout, by EchoRausch, is a mix of hi-tech design and small real life photos accompanying the lyrics - not my cup of tea, but it works and is quite adequate to represent the band's mix of technology and political message.

Kidneythieves: Zerospace

 Posted by Johnny Apathy   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 15 2002
Artist: Kidneythieves
Title: Zerospace
Format: CD
Label: Extasy Records International
this cd is a mixed bag. the first half of the cd is excellent, making you glad you bought the cd...but then it starts to unwind and mellow the last hour of a keg party. it just gets all somber, and depressing. The female singer has a beautiful voice, and a lot of the music is done well, but after 20 or so you still care?

FEINDFLUG: Hirnschlacht

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 13 2002
Title: Hirnschlacht
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Triton
The new 9-track (+ video) cd from Feindflug, their fourth on Black Rain after two full lengths and a mini. The release was a bit delayed due to the luxurious "special ten site digipack" that nobody seemed able to print - I'm only reviewing the promo edition: "If somebody wants to sell you this CD, kill him... and take the CD!!!" states the cover, so you've been warned, eheh. Feindflug play an energetic and obsessive mix of electro-EBM and techno, most times very fast and repetitive and with a noisy edge. No vocals, just some samples here and there, so the emphasys is on pure rhythm. Not bad at all, and better than most electro due to its hyper-simplified, and more aggressive, approach, which must work really well live. The video consists of 3 screens, a bigger one on the left and two smaller ones on the right - the former is focused on gig shots, while the right section is mainly backstage plus some concert scenes. I don't know why the second screen on the right is just a filtered version of the one on the top; it's not that artistic looking and only distracts the attention... Feindflug live feature 3 people, electronics + guitar + live drums, but the odd thing is that "Roter Schnee" seems to be a studio track, and I really couldn't spot any acoustic drumming, just programmings and some guitar riffs. So there's a kind of gap between the visuals and the music, and besides that the gig scenes are a bit repetitive. So while a fan could be interested in seeing some concert shots, the video itself is really not that great.

CENOBITA: Metamorfosis

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 10 2002
Artist: CENOBITA (@)
Title: Metamorfosis
Format: CD
Label: Triso (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
After three years from the release of "Neo Milenio" finally the band did it, releasing a perfect blend of melody and power titled METAMORFOSIS. The album is really different from the first one and even if the band didn't detach from the ebm genre this new one opens the sound to new influences and ideas. Being less raw than "Neo Milenio", METAMOFOSIS with tracks like "Estrellas" or "Indiferencia" explores better the electronic/melodic solutions obtaining in this way more exposure toward the alternative dance scene. They aren't sellouts but the tracks in this way sound more fresh and interesting than the usual beat assault. For sure the tracks are based on the ebm cliche but you know, there are different ways of using the gears... The only weak point in my opinion is represented by the excessive lenght of the tracks which during six of seven minutes tend to make loosing the attention to the listener.

Massiv In Mensch: Die Rein

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 08 2002
Artist: Massiv In Mensch (@)
Title: Die Rein
Format: CD
Label: ArtOfFact Records (@)

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While Massiv In Mensch virtually exploded on the scene with their ArtOfFact debut Belestandes Material whose trademark sound was hard industrial with high energy rhythms and harsh vocals, this release is much less harsh. With Die Rein they have taken a bit more of a turn which encompasses synthpop while maintaining their hard and heavy attitude toward club oriented dance tracks with a lessened focus on the harsh and industrial sound. There is still quite a bit of heavy rhythmic thumps, pounds and clanks but not as much as before. This album also seems to have a bit more of a focus on the instrumental track and an almost hardbeat trance influence from time to time. They have maintained high energy without a doubt and are showing some versatility which is always good but I do miss the nearly gutteral German vocals. This album is more likely to be more compatible for a wider range of late night dance club play. While this is more focused on dance music it still remains atypical of the usual genres of dance music, techno, and trance.
One of my favorite tracks on the disc is "Mein Erstes Bonbon" which translates as My First Drop. It is, like much of the album, an unusual marriage of techno, trance, synthpop and industrial rhythms. The only thing I don't like about it is that it begins using some traditions rave sounds. There is even a track titled after the band which sounds like Prodigy's original style in many ways - the orchestral slams and hyper-rhythms. The only track with a bit more vocal and the only with female vocals (I think) is "Endorph-Fusion vs. Reiner's Festung" and is the only track which sounds a bit more like the first album. "Schneiders Sphaere" is a very smooth track too and is one of the best on the disc along with "Entferner" - all very different tracks.
While this is a great album by itself I miss the vocal combination from the previous album and prefer less techno influence. I do however like the exploitation of variance from the original album to display that the band is not just one sound and one style but can play different forms of music.

© Copyright 8/2002 TG Mondalf. All Rights Reserved

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