Music Reviews



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Artist: Kaos-Frequenz (@)
Title: Never Ending Torture
Format: CD
Label: Sonic-X / Danse Macabre (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Well, sometimes I am really late with reviews, since this one has been released in the first half of this year. To my apology I received this one quite late, later than usual. KAOS-FREQUENZ is, as the chosen band name announces it – a newcomer act out of Germany consisting of Torsten Kroke, who’s responsible for the complete music production. He gets some support for his live performances by the French female Khaly. The chosen title of this album describes quite well the musically formula, which follows the often walked path of the harsh EBM/Hellectro-formula. Nothing new for sure, but Torsten’s debut offers some ingredients which really rock my socks. The positive thing is Torsten’s heavily distorted vocal performance, which sounds still full of emotion and energy – let’s say, that his vocals are able to transport perfectly his angry messages. A lot of much more recognized acts with cold and emotionless robot-like voices can seriously take some lessons from Torsten. The sound itself hasn’t too much surprises in stock. Musically it all floats in between the acts of the NoiTekk- and ProNoize label rosters, some tracks got more, some lesser distorted. That he also likes to integrate some SM/Fetish-related themes to strengthen visually his hatred messages of double-moral of the generation, control and observance or religion comes out quite expected, too. The title track or "New Inquisition" surely have the potential to set fire under the dancefloors, while the favorites are those pieces, which take a deeper and more demanding grip into the arrangement-box ("When The Angels Burn", "Sick World"). Not bad at all, I see no real reason why this act shouldn’t be able to take a better placed seat in forefront side by side with some Hellectro global-players. A bit more diversity and a refining in some production-related things should be the goals to reach with the next album. Keep it on!
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Artist: ALBIREON (@)
Title: I Passi di Liu'
Format: CD
Label: Palace Of Worms (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
At three years from their latest album "Il Volo Insonne", Albireon are back with a particular new one titled I PASSI DI LIU'. The ten tracks of the CD differs a lot from their new-folk tunes as it has been created as a sort of concept album to commemorate the memory of a dead girl (it isn't specified if she's an hypothetical one). Musically the album is sounding more like an experimental Italian progressive rock work (like the early Le Orme albums such as "L'uomo di pezza") and it's nice to see the band looking for new ways of expression. If you aren't used to Italian progressive music of the seventies, well, forget the word rock for a moment, because on some cases it wasn't sounding like rock music at all. On our case, Albireon recalled me that kind of sound mainly for Davide Borghi vocal style, because if we talk about music, most of the tracks are composed of oneiric treated sounds. Only "Cendra", "Cerbastri", "Nymphalidae" and the closing "Gennaio" have folkish acoustic guitar parts. A particular interesting work full of pathos and sadness.
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Artist: Boundless (@)
Title: Mentis Vici Omnis
Format: CD
Label: Backscatter / Dungeon-Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Fans of this ex-DSBP-recording artist had to wait quite too long, until Xon, the mastermind behind BOUNDLESS, could decide to return with a new full-length album after his glorious debut "Perpetual", out in 2003. Since the years have gone by, also musically and production-wise there has been some improvements. The compositions of Xon have reached definitely a higher quality. He also provides his voice lesser distorted and with a "real" singing attitude, which sounds to the same time emotional and charismatic. Musically, "Mentis Vici Omnis" is a lighter, but also a drastically developed version to "Perpetual". The arrangements are turning into a more smooth sound outfit, the harsh EBM-like outraging tunes of Xon’s too early gone project SYMBIONT or the energetic pieces of "Perpetual" like "Sordid Trooper" or "Club Trash" seem to be relics of the past. The new BOUNDLESS tracks are concentrating to impress with thick layers, some piano drops, diverse programming kinds and a more or less moderate speed. Seldom, quite seldom Xon’s new compositions are fitting well with some dancefloor movements ("Shadow Reaper" featuring FUNKER VOGT), and if they fit, they are musically more based to provide a refreshing sort of a Techno-/Trance-driven outfit ("Vitals Interrupt"). This all doesn’t mean that this has to be seen as a flaw – it’s rather the opposite, since Xon tries hard to deliver a special album, which drifts a bit away from your usual Electro/Futurepop-listening procedure. Also the invitation to several guest musicians with some prominent names like above mentioned FUNKER VOGT, GASR, ARZT & PFUSCH (what a spooky outro entitled "Crepesculum") or the demanding collaborative track "Seduction" featuring LOST SIGNAL and Frank M. Spinath of SEABOUND helps a lot to fill in diversity, but it also documents the new BOUNDLESS-style. This album is pending between Synth-/Electropop to EBM, but it is musically always tasteful and demanding arranged. Quite well-done with a crystal-clear recording quality, but especially the integration of some global players should help to reach a higher level of attention of the international audience. Let’s finally hope, that we don’t have to wait another 5 years for the next BOUNDLESS-album.
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Artist: Tonlos
Title: Retromantic
Format: CD
Label: FlashPop Media (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
This is the debut release for the new German Electro/Industrial label FlashPop Media, which has produced itself headlines with the announcement to release the new album of the renowned German duo FINAL SELECTION. TONLOS itself is the debut release of the Bochum-based Electro/Industrial-musician Sven Reisner. Sven is also a professional barber and has his own business shop entitled "Herrenstudio". Well, this studio has also been the place of the recording of this album, which draws musically inspirations out of early-80ies Pop/Wave-culture and minimal dark Goth- and EBM-tunes of acts like FAD GADGET, SECOND DECAY, old THE ETERNAL AFFLICT, old DORSETSHIRE, or PSYCHE. Therefore the album-title is wisely chosen, but it has generally to say, that this album lacks a bit of originality. There’s nothing to complain to refer on the above mentioned patterns and in times, where veteran and old-school are reaching ground again, this release may makes sense. On the hand this album misses a bit of a refreshing wind. Lyrics got offered both in German and English, dealing a lot with typical and genre-specific themes like love, hate, death or loss, while the vocals are sounding a bit dull. For nostalgic fans this release may is in some way interesting, but I’m quite sure, that they would never enjoy "Retromantic" more than theresults of their above named heroes. A bit too far away from the nowadays expected line.

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Artist: Impact Pulse (@)
Title: Optimal Contrast
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Hungary’s high-energy duo of IMPACT PULSE returns with the second full-length album. Since their debut "[Pulse]ing Modules" has been itself an impact to the international Electro/Industrial scene, the expectations on this new album have grown enormously in advance. But Gunhead and Cipree don’t disappoint, "Optimal Contrast" provides once the optimal contrast between straight Futurepop-music and energetic EBM/Electro with nearly FLA-like assaults. The winning point once again for IMPACT PULSE is their ability to program attractive arrangements, which are to the same time demanding but straight oriented. New floorfillers are available with "I Want You", "Till We Die" (Bill Leeb is available on this recording, isn’t he?) or "I See Your Love" (featuring some female co-vocals). But the winning pieces of this internal contest can be named with "New Delight" because of its great layer programming and diverse vocal manipulations and the ripping "The Blinds’ Reaper" (what a FX-manipulated and delayed bass line...). IMPACT PULSE once again matches heavily and still receives a high amount of spins here. They prove that up-to-date sounding Electro/Industrial music doesn’t need to follow long left paths provided by billions of Hellectro troopers – here’s both: identity and diversity. An amazing album!
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