Music Reviews

Artist: THYX (@)
Title: Super Vision
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Mailorder
Rated: *****
Since the Austrian Electro-/Industrial magicians of Mind.In.A.Box are quite bonded thematically to the ongoing story-board of the main protagonist Black and his adventures in the Dreamweb (story written by A. Gruber,, it may has become a bit boring for the mastermind behind, Stefan Poiss So this MIAB side-project has come to life and has been named after a song written by Poiss about 15 years ago. This song and its name have a deeper meaning for Poiss, because this name stands for a synonym of a specific kind of soundscape he has once discovered. So now he hunts after this soundscape under THYX and tries hard to re-create what he once discovered. 'Super Vision' is already the third album on this hunt in a very short time-line. Of course, Poiss cannot at all wear off all of the sound ingredients which have made MIAB that famous and highly recognized. Also under THYX he produces his well-known formula with a futuristic sound-design, with bombastic synthesizer layers and also the often with MIAB discovered vocoderized vocals. So THYX is more than a valuable copy to MIAB and you can be assured to get another high-quality release out of the Austrian sound-stable. Musically Poiss services a wide playing-field and entertains with genre-bending changes. 'Robots Don't Lie' is a decent sci-fi storyboard with wobbling synthesizer-leads and a straight beat-work. Another great tune to satisfy the dancefloor-junkies in the dark clubs can be discovered with 'Forgotten', while the charming pop harmonies of 'Our Only Home' have to be mentioned too in the highlight-listing of this overall marvellous album. 'Für Immer' combines different vocal performances into a darker than usual sound design. This list of highlights can be continued endlessly while it only proofs that Strfan Poiss still enjoys his being in creating unique soundscapes for the after-world. If you've been impressed with MIAB before you will also love THYX. 'Super Vision' is a top-notch Electronica album and another lecture for all the poor wannabes out there providing keyboard-music with factory preset-sounds.
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Artist: Xenturion Prime (@)
Title: Mecha Rising
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
Last years' news of the demise of Code 64 has been rather a kick into the stomach, since their last studio album 'Trialogue' was and still is one of the best releases of the Swedish Progress Productions in the last 2 ' 3 years. But here comes the cure like phoenix out of the ashes: Xenturion Prime isn't the working title of the new 'Transformers' movie, but the new project of 2/3 band members of the last Code 64 crew. Vocalist Bjorn Marius Borg and Hans-Olof Mattsson have agreed to keep the flame burning and continue under this new project name. Their first sign of life for this new project was the track 'Rise' released in December 2013, which could successfully enter Germany's GEWC-charts. So here comes their official debut album with 12 tracks and surprise, surprise, the stylistic components often heard and beloved in Code 64 are globally featured on this album too. 'Mecha Rising' impresses with its skilfully arranged Electronica sound-outfit and satisfies the highest demands. Mostly woven into a straight and danceable Electro-/Futurepop sound-environment, the excellent produced music also leaves enough space for the compelling vocals of Bjorn Marius who has impressed already on 'Trialogue'. Generally compared with the last Code 64 album I tend to say, that under Xenturion Prime they also allow a bit tougher styles to enter in the whole sound environment. They like to experiment with the vocals to produce different moods and already 'Rise' was a good example for this. This album features many examples to allow dancefloor action: 'Second Nature' and/or 'Vermilion' have to be named as they also leave scorches of catchiness in the ear-channels. Still attractive I find their obvious dedication to futuristic, sci-fi-related themes. So they often use Spacesynth-like, epic synthesizer-arrangements and their whole outfit sounds very opulent and bombastic, 'Radiant' has to be named as a perfect example here. 'Realms' then adds a bit rest and slows down the tempo in comparison to the rather action-driven other tracks and presents us vocoder effects on the vocals, nicely done! And at least, just if you think this album turns out a bit lesser intense than it started, the final tune 'Beyond Infinity' is another valuable diamond worth to mention. Albums like this won't be written that often and 'Mecha Rising' stands brightly out of the uncountable mass of mediocrity releases. Xenturion Prime is not only the valid follow-up project to the highly respected Code 64, this powerful project rather replaces it!