Music Reviews



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Artist: MENTALLO & THE FIXER (@)
Title: Enlightenment Through A Chemical Catalyst
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Gary Dassing finally tries to enlighten us with his new sooner awaited new full-length album. The term "full-length" fits extremely well with more than 73 minutes playing time – but only pressed into 9 tracks. So you’ll get a new MENTALLO release presenting the very own multi-layered and complex style Gary likes to create and is known for, almost in the same vein like the EP "Commandments For The Molecular Age" has announced it in spring last year. So this album needs the fullest attention of the listener and it is recommended to use a good pair of headphones. Futuristic-apocalyptic end time Electro/Industrial sound somewhere in vein of DOWNLOAD or SKINNY PUPPY, but I guess lesser accessible. The classic MENTALLO releases like "Revelations 23" or "Where Angels Fear To Tread" of course won’t get in danger to be thrown from their throne of history – also "Burnt Beyond Recognition" isn’t in reach with this. Somehow I have the impression that Gary could need a helping hand to put his stuff in order, somebody who – at times – tells him when a song definitively needs to find an end ("Amigdula" clocks more than 14 minutes...). I guess this album will find its audience with some old-school influenced fanatics and music junkies which can invest time enough to spin it several hours. The typical Electro/Industrial listener, who still prefers that repetitive Hellektro madness won’t find access to the rich content this album for sure offers. This isn’t a bad album at all, but I guess Gary overtaxes the "normal" listener a bit...
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Artist: NEON WOMB (@)
Title: Intimate Moments
Format: CD
Label: Cranial Fracture Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Not a very fresh release indeed, this review covers the only one real output the Australian Powernoise/Industrial label Cranial Fracture has brought out. The reason to include this here belongs on the fact, that this label under the leadership of Leon Tranter currently works hard to start a comeback. For sure another fine resource out of Australia of a growing scene next to the Crash Frequency collective. Besides this, it features with NEON WOMB experimental recordings of the musician Lee Bulig – whom we all here know much better under the name STARK. Experimental recordings compared to STARK – well, indeed, and you shouldn’t expect to get a similar sonic onslaught. His signature is recognizable also with NEON WOMB, but with a very few exceptions you’ll get a harsh electronic-based almost instrumental album, which totally avoids the known 4/4 bass lines, which brought comparisons to a big player like :WUMPSCUT:. Globally a noisy and disturbing work of Lee, far away from some "Intimate Moments", while this track is available next to the original also as a remix work by SCALAR. Not that harsh Powernoise effort this label stands for, because Lee’s Electro-minded background is still alive. Designed for all STARK fans out there to grow deeper into the musically universe of this talented musician.

FLUTWACHT: Creta

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3317)
Jan 03 2007
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Artist: FLUTWACHT (@)
Title: Creta
Format: CD
Label: apocalyptic radio , the tourette tapes (@)
Rated: *****
Fluctwacht is a (very prolific!) German industrial act, and "Creta" is surely his most mature work to date. I had the chance to listen to his previous "When The Dogs Come Out" which was a nice experimental album dealing with treated and mostly high-pitched field recs. What you get with this new record is 12 tracks of straight forward death industrial with some more contemplative and abstract moments to recover from the sonic assault. In the end what strikes me most about "Creta" is the quality of the sound composition, quite unusual in these extreme musical territories.This project packs quite a punch and will not let up anytime in the near future. A must for Steinklang lovers.

MANUFACTURA: We're Set Silently On Fire

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3315)
Jan 02 2007
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Artist: MANUFACTURA (@)
Title: We're Set Silently On Fire
Format: CD
Label: Crunch Pod Media (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
Already the fourth full-length for this highly anticipated US Powernoise act of mastermind Karloz .M, who had to bear some hard times full of personal tragedies (I think you all know...). His episodes are for sure also the reason for some thankfully words to his fans, family and supporters in the sleeve of the CD, as well as a tragic memorial to his died father. Musically I’m quite surprised that this new album isn’t that rough and merciless Powernoise effort like expected. For sure, here are some snatching pieces like "Live By The Knife, Die By The Knife", "Mephistopheles" or "Unforgiving Dreams ", but moreover Karloz tries to offer a different musically output. There’s a constant Dark Electro attitude presented on a lot of pieces here, just check out "The Divine Discontent", "There’s No Destination" or "The Betrayal". Pleasant also to hear that Karloz really cares to include vocals, mostly a kind on which other related acts fail. There’s no need to ask for a deeper meaning of the lyrical content, alone some track titles like "Death Of The Other" or "The Whore That Loved Me" will give you the right impression. But compared to the music I also can’t imagine to hear some "love-and-sunshine" bullshit. Also included a co-operation track with DJ Helltrash with the track "I am The Enemy". For Karloz maybe a difficult album regarding the influence of his personal issues, but maybe also a kind of cure that he still finds acceptance and recognition. Good job here, keep it on!

VV.AA.: Violent Nation Vol. 1

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3314)
Jan 02 2007
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Violent Nation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: X-Cem/Rupal Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
A compilation of four acts out of the German X-Cem roster, released under the Rupal Records fanatic series. Compiled by Pedro Engel of ACYLUM this release features 6 tracks by his very own side-project CHROME DIVISION, 7 tracks by SONIC VIOLENCE EXPERIENCE, 3 tracks by FORMALIN and 2 tracks by SENSOGEN. The musically content tends into rhythmically Powernoise, here and there combined with Dark Electro. CHROME DIVISION are opening loud and merciless this comp. While Pedro’s highly recognized main project already offers several elements out of the Powernoise genre, CHROME DIVISION differs a bit. Remove the vocal performances of Kai Arnold (WYNARDTAGE), reduce the nightmarish Dark Electro-inspired melodic ingredients and add just more pounding dissonance. His signature of course remains here, how could you expect anything else? SONIC VIOLENCE NATION consists of R. Kulawik and he continues to produce pounding Powernoise efforts here, maybe with a bit more reduced musically attitude. It seems a bit that only rhythm counts, they offer a rather minimal and monotonous approach and this 7 tracks can be named a kind of debut. The German male/female duo FORMALIN I’ve already discovered with some excellent remix works for WYNARDTAGE and a comp appearance here and there for the X-Cem collective. Their music is rather based on energetic Dark Electro but it takes some hints out of Powernoise. Very rhythmically structured of course, too, but with changing vocals and diversity in the textures and arrangements. Their three tracks are the outstanding work on this comp for sure. Finally last but not least two tracks of Kai Arnold’s side-project SENSOGEN providing his vision of aggressive Powernoise besides his currently very successful WYNARDTAGE project. He won’t get mad with me when I take ACYLUM as a reference, lesser dark and melodic but harsher. Valuable stuff as well, which keeps the hopes high for an own SENSOGEN release. The mostly Dark Electro-inspired sound of the X-Cem collective has already attracted several people, but the more harsh and noisy kind isn’t lesser interesting. There’s more to come from this collective, make sure to watch out for it in 2K7...



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