Music Reviews



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Artist: ALL HAIL THE TRANSCENDING GHOST
Title: All Hail The Transcending Ghost
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring Records (@)
Rated: *****
All Hail The Transcending Ghost is a collaboration project between Henrik Nordvargr Björkk (MZ.412, Toroidh, Folkstorm etc) and Tim Bertilsson (Fear Falls Burning, Switchblade). The first is in charge of producing industrial drones and haunting atmosphere and the second gentleman, with his guitar, produces few melodic lines here and there and tons of guitar drones. The whole album is permeated by an hallucinated atmosphere where cinematic vocal samples (like on track 4) help giving birth to a sense of sickness. Like a soundtrack most of the tracks are focused on the effect they have to create. There's a certain feeling of progression and a sense of growing pain that increase with the listening of ALL HAIL THE TRANSCENDING GHOSTS. Industrial music and drones rarely worked this way being able to create such a convincing atmosphere.
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Artist: SPLINTERSKIN (@)
Title: Wayward Souls
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring Records (@)
Rated: *****
Recorded in Oregon, Ohio, from Autumn 2006 to Autumn 2008 Splinterskin's debut album WAYWARD SOULS bring to the attention of dark folk music lovers a new storyteller. The mysterious solo project of Saint John with the seventeen songs of the album is able to create a personal world made of creeping tales whispered into your ears with the aid of a classic guitar and a violin here and there (like on the opening tune "Chanting bells call shadows" or on "The thing that wasn't). What pop out immediately when you hold in your hands the CD is the beautiful booklet which with its great paintings/graphics it's making of Splinterskin a sort of multimedia project headed by a bearded giant with eyes on fire. If you are keen to modern dark folk music prepare yourself to something different from the Odin tales or the medieval influences, because WAYWARD SOULS sounds like a Poe tale sung by a leper. "Calmly, it said to me, through the darkened hallway in my home. I heard a rhythm of tapping, or maybe a scraping in my walls. A crackling of a throat perhaps, from my closet behind my hats, could it be? Birds bending a branch, my cat in the attic, or maybe the leaves. But my mind starts to... shiver, like my bones in the winter" (from "Something in the walls").
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Vermin Street Dub Series: Issue 5
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Vermin Street (@)
Rated: *****
Influenced by the old school Ragga-Jungle sound of the mid-nineties, Vinyl Blight opens the double A side digital download single of Vermin Street's Dub Series Issue 5 with "Falling empires", a mid tempo track with a leading fat bass line which like a snake makes its way through drum blasts, distorted synths, dub vocals and break intuitions. On the other virtual side you'll find Tremourz with "Take it personal", a dub mid tempo distorted tune with exotic melodies and late 90's dark D'n'B influences. Both tracks have a certain mysterious dark touch that will please also lovers of old Scorn sound. As the other releases this one is available through Addictech, Digital-tunes.net, Juno.co.uk, iTunes and Amazon.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Vermin Street Idm Core Series Issue 3
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Vermin Street (@)
Rated: *****
Third issue of Vermin Street IDM Core series sees Encanti performing a tune based on picked strings instruments, choirs, furious drum patterns. "My heart is blindness" is a strong track that mix epic melodies with digital assault. Innerfuze's "Blinkou" is less furious and it sounds dark, dilated and atmospheric. Its synthetic pattern repetitions coupled with a rich drums section and mysterious melodies make of this singlea good release to check. It is available through Addictech, Digital-tunes.net, Juno.co.uk, iTunes and Amazon.
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Artist: Noblesse Oblige
Title: Privilege Entails Responsibility Re-Release
Format: CD
Label: Repo Records
Rated: *****
The British-German duo consisting of Sebastian Lee Philipp and Valerie Renay presents these days their newest work. Well, it isn’t that new after all. At least on the British Isle it was already released once. Now it’s about time for the rest of the world to have an opportunity to enjoy "Privilege Entails Responsibility", rereleased with no less than ten bonus tracks.
This is really difficult to label the musical genre the two play. It ranges from chanson (Offensive Nonsense") over electro killers (Bitch", Fashion Fascism"), Indi-Blues (Nervous"), alternative Avantgarde (Bite Back", Surrender"), incestuously disturbing (Daddy (Don't touch me there)", genius (Was keine Zeit zerstört") to a French-German Popsong (Quel genre de Garcon") everything is just there. The intro rehandles a theme from Tchaikovsky’s ballet "Romeo and Juliet".
In the first part of the CD Valerie and Sebastian help themselves with various instruments (synthesizer, guitar, bass, piano) and vocals-wise the spectrum ranges from whispers, shouting from the top of their lungs, clear and brazen and all that in three languages by both artists. Simultaneously or interchangeably. You can never anticipate what the next song will bring upon you.
Liking the album is a matter of taste, but the duo is undeniable creative, non-conformist (even for an independent kind of a band) and artistic, while they show a serious portion of potential. The artists seem to be totally confident about their diverse style.
Part II of the CD, the bonus tracks, are ten remixes by renowned artist e.g. Mona Mur, En Esch, Toulouse Low Trax, Musiccargo, Laurent Ho, Avius, Mark Reeder and by Sebastian and Valerie themselves. On this part the styles are just as diverse as in the first one, ranging from Postpunk to Wave, Trance, 70s, 80s to a bongo song. Anything a heart (better an ear may desire). The last two songs are from the previous Noblesse Oblige album "In Exile".
All in all "Privilege Entails Responsibility (Re-Release)" is a well done album. The artists worked really hard and showed themselves and their skills from numerous sides. They work on every single detail. There is lots of power, art, expression and pleasure in making music. The album is very diverse and for that reason can be played in whole range of different situations and places; on a dance floor, high way, kitchen, bed room etc. Let’s see what their subsequent releases will bring.
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