Music Reviews

BOHÉMIEN: Danze Pagane

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 01 2004
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Artist: BOHÉMIEN (@)
Title: Danze Pagane
Format: CD
Label: In The Night TIme (@)
Rated: *****
BOHÉMIEN are an Italian dark band formed in 1985 but, after only two years of great live performances, problems related to the dark/gothic scene crisis forced them to spilt up. In 2002 they finally decide to show the world what they have hidden in their closet, reforming the band and rearranging the old songs in a more modern way. Three are the original members, supported by the new bass player Giovanni Staccone and the vocalist/keyboard player Stefania Minutaglio.
The first song "Danza Pagana" embodies BOHÉMIEN style: New Wave/Dark with strong ’80 influences, supported by a very good use of instruments that makes each song an involving and intense experience: you can’t include them in the list of modern clone-bands, reproducing the past well-known cliché, for BOHÉMIEN don’t copy anyone, THEY WERE A PART OF THAT MOVEMENT. The singer Alex Buccini has a personal vocal approach, very particular but not simple to appreciate at once, accomplice the choice of singing in mother-tongue and the Italian new/wave vocal tradition (he remembers something of the first DIAFRAMMA’s approach). A sad piano introduces the song "Libido", enriched by a great guitar, playing notes like drops falling down. "Dirsi Addio" starts with cadenced Hammond chords in ¾, like an Italian or Eastern Europe folk song, a dramatic and sad ballad, really touching. I don’t know why but while listening to this song I imagine an old ’20 movie like "Nosferatu" or "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", ruins of castles and a gloomy sense of solitude. One of the best song. "Nella Nebbia (non oltre sarò)" emerges for a very good rhythmic bassline and a romantic chorus, while in "Les Jeaux Sont Faits" Stefania Minutaglio shows her sweet but disturbing voice on a dynamic and obsessive rhythmic section. A track in the pure style of traditional dark-rock, but with the right amount of melody and personal approach that makes the song very pleasant. A real torture for the soul is the piano introducing "Tra specchi", like looking at dawn in a winter day, strangled by anguish, drowning in the "long and dirty mirrors" showing our sins. Another great track, no doubt. Tribal and powerful is the drumming of "Sangue e Arena", while bass and guitar explode in the chorus. A bit of Spanish influence is in the air, nothing obvious, but you can feel it in guitar solos and chords, sweating passion. The next "Eclissi" is presented in two versions: the first is "Eclissi (dell’anima)" starts as a fast ride, with a great guitar and bass work, and a very passionate singing; the second one is a dreamy and romantic instrumental version, with something à la CURE, in particular for the keyboards pads. With this album BOHÉMIEN have closed with honour their debt with the past. I hope they’ll have now the force to look ahead and produce new songs, more and more affirming their personality and style. They’re back, and I hope for long.

AMBER SPYGLASS: Accelerating Parcae

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 29 2004
Title: Accelerating Parcae
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
After three years the release of the "Creep" MCD, Amber Spyglass are back with their first full lenght titled ACCELERATING PARCAE. At a first listening the tracks made me remember also about some English folk bands of the '70s (Amazing Blondel and Fairport Convention, to name a couple) which mixed rock and folk creating hypnoting ballads. Kelly and John don't write about old traditions, instead they deal with emotions and you can feel it also by their songs. The album opens with "Pearls of blue", one of the various acoustic ballads you can find into the album. The voice of Kelly is really expressive and if you don't count the few vocal soution which sound a little out of tune here and there, you'll realize that she's a really good performer. With the third track "Hand in position" their goth influence come out and the sound become dreamy and energic at the same time. With "Catalyst groove" (a good goth rock song really Siouxie sounding) the album change its skin and Amber Spyglass take out the rabbit from their hat. The sound turns into a mix of acoustic goth and electro (really good their version of the Bowie/Eno track "I'm afraid of Americans" with stops and go and a little bit of funky). Also on "Her dark swan", "Divide", the almost instrumental "Venus in the 8th house" (a beatiful ambient experimental jazz track) and the closing "In white" the band seem to be more confident about the tracks and about their sound. Five nice track and six good ones could be a good result for a first album and I think that the audience will appreciate it.

VITTORIO VANDELLI: A Day Of Warm Rain In Heaven

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 26 2004
Title: A Day Of Warm Rain In Heaven
Format: CD
Label: Equilibrium Music (@)
Rated: *****
You know that I'm not a big fan of medieval atmospheres and before listening to the first solo release of Ataraxia's Vittorio Vandelli, I was thinking if passing this CD to one of our collaborators. You want to know why I decided to review it anyway? Well, first of all Francesca (here she's the guest singer on almost all the tracks) uses her voice in a different way, putting back the chants and the acutes. Second: the fifteen songs span through folk ballads (some sound Spanish, some French), dark dreamy tracks a la Dead Can Dance (see "The curse in a dead man's eye"), goth electro moments (like on "A sadder and a wiser man" and on "I killed the albatros") and other thousand ones. Being classy and eclectic, Vittorio succeeded into creating an interesting album which could catch a wide range of audience. It ain't rock or electro for sure but for whom are in search of something sophisticated and inspired it could be a good choice.

BLACK SUN: "Its Creeping Rage" + "Di Fersi Morendo Eterni"

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 16 2004
Artist: BLACK SUN (@)
Title: "Its Creeping Rage" + "Di Fersi Morendo Eterni"
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
After releasing a CD-r on early 2003, Black Sun released on September of 2004 new material just to fill two brand new 3" Cd-rs. ITS CREEPING RAGE and DI FERSI MORENDO ETERNI are the titles of the new releases and even if at a first listening they could sound similar, the first one (which contains tracks composed during the last year) contains more varied tracks (talking about atmosphere and composition). On DI FERSI MORENDO ETERNI Black Sun bring us five tracks plus a cover of the Halloween main theme that show a certain personality but that sometimes lack of power (see the "Halloween" track which takes the main melody making of it a nice electronic song but forgetting to giving it a certain amount of creepiness). ITS CREEPING RAGE has got five tracks (the last one, "Heaven sends you", is a The Mission's cover) which having different guests on vocals do sound different also because Luca focused his efforts by giving to the sound a certain beat by blending, e.b.m. rhythms with goth atmospheres. In this way the atmosphere is intriguing and kinda sick because of the melodies while the rhythm is always one of the main element of the tracks. The new tracks kinda lack of intriguing atmospheres and concentrate the sound on the rhythms and on the vocals of Federica Cerruti, while the combination of melody/rhythm/intriguiing atmpsheres was a winning solution. Probably I would like a little more the new tracks without being capable of confrontating them with the old ones. A little more "tuning" and I think that the Black Sun will be capable of achieve a wider audience.

Wyrmwood: Strange Angels

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 15 2004
Artist: Wyrmwood (@)
Title: Strange Angels
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
It was very sad to hear about Switchblade Symphony break up back in December 2001 because of music differences. Anyway, another goth female duo known as Wyrmwood, based out of San Antonio, Texas, was able to make a mark in the gothic scene as a new comer. They even opened up for The Cruxshadows and The Last Dance. Wyrmwood got their name from a book by young dark writer, Poppy Z. Brite, which depicts various short stories she's written. "Strange Angels" is a well produced dark dance album. Most definitely, this one is a keeper. The goth dolls present a demonstrated visual picture of good vs. evil, escaping darkness to come to the light and saving souls. To put it ina better way, to describe these gothic beauties, they're a christian goth band. Aria's vocals is interesting along with her gothic adorable look. Her voice stands out well with the music itself. So ethereal, she'll take you on a journey with embellishment details. Positive lyrics and catchy electronic melodies. The tracks "Voices", "Mirror, Mirror", "Take It Too", "Alice", "Red Moon Rising", and the self titled "Strange Angels are my favorites. These will bring out the elegance of swirly gothic dance styles among goths on the dance floor. The cd features pictures of the band and a well directed video of "Voices" that tells of a young woman in an abusive relationship with a boyfriend who wanted to get revenge, but God wouldn't let her. If you're tired of being depressed and lost in sin and darkness, Wyrmwood is your deliverance and the way to seek the Lord Jesus Christ!

Aria-vocals, lyrics, programming
Lysa-synth, beats, programming

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