Music Reviews



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Artist: Locrian (@)
Title: Drenched Lands
Format: CD
Label: Small Doses (@)
Rated: *****
I had not heard of Locrian, but this seems to be their debut CD release. The label explains that they have been active since 2005, "finding the right blend of noise, power electronics, dark ambient, and black metal to work into their sound." OK, with track titles like "Barren Temple Obscured by Contaminated Fogs," you can see some of the black metal influence. I must admit that I am not a huge fan of black metal, but I am a huge fan of noise, dark ambient, and power electronics, so three out of four shouldn’t be bad. Overall, I would have to call this one a mixed bag. Locrian does a pretty good job of trying to build an atmosphere, but in some places it becomes a bit cheesy, for example, the screaming throughout "Barren Temple Obscured by Contaminated Fogs," which I find to be overdone in most tracks like this. However, on others, such as the 30 minute long "Greyfield Shrines," they do a great job of building tension and atmosphere without resorting to horror movie samples and the like. Moreover, this seems to be the only track that really approaches anything I would call noise, as the guitars and voice blend into drone and feedback. I would say it is way too long, but nicely done. This would be a decent start for someone into metal who was looking for a bit more slowed down guitar oriented experimental sound, although those who are looking for noise, power electronics, or dark ambient in the vein of Lustmord or anything coming out on the Cyclic Law label will be disappointed. This disc is limited to 1000 copies and weighs in at 64 minutes.
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Artist: SCORPION VIOLENTE / THE DREAMS
Title: Self Titled
Format: 7"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
Limited to 300 copies the Scorpion Violente / The Dreams 7" is the second of the newest Enfant Terrible releases focused on the bands that played during the Hex Nights events in Amsterdam. The two bands of the 7" share some members and are coming from Metz, France. On the platter we have two tracks for Scorpion Violente, the first is "Force de Droite" and it is a sort of introduction to the band's sound: it is based on two notes and repetition but during its 2:42 it is able to ooze analog distortion while the band adds little by little more sounds. "Saignement Hallal" is a minimal obsessive 4/4 distorted tune with vocals and it sounds like Suicide playing electro punk. The Dreams' "Tropique du Cancer" has a different atmosphere with electronic instruments roughly recorded with the add of a maniacal guitar/synth duet. Psycho electro post punks are here... and we like it.
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Artist: Grindlestone
Title: One
Format: CD
Label: Noh Poetry Records
Distributor: cdbaby
Rated: *****
"One" is the instrumental project of California artists Doug Erickson and Don Falcone. Consisting of ambient textures with guitar soloing, one can find hints of industrial music with a canopy of loop based samples and self described avant garde approaches. While not always prevalent, their influences are Eno and Fripp, Robert Rich, Bass Communion and Tangerine Dream. Fans of guitar-leaning ambient and tribal experimental music may find this an interesting listen.


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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Monopol Records – The 5th Anniversary Compilation
Format: CD
Label: Monopol Records (@)
Distributor: Monopolrecords Shop
Rated: *****
Some labels do celebrate an anniversary quite silent – regarding the Czech label Monopol Records, I guess only a very few hard-liners of the international Electro/Industrial scene have realized this. It needs to be said, that there has been some silence around this label during the last two years after the release of the last DEPRESSIVE DISORDER studio-album. This may is a logically consequence of the currently uncertain times and the ongoing lack of sales of the physical CD’s – especially young and small labels suffer enormously through this. However, it’s good to see and it warms my heart that Michal Lepsik still hasn’t given up his fight to offer quality Electro/Industrial music especially to the fans and listeners of the Czech and Slovakian and other East-European countries. And the featured content proves his efforts right, because all band take this chance to offer new and for the most unreleased stuff and some of them do really the best they can. The already mentioned DEPRESSIVE DISORDER are still highlighting the label roster and offer with "Apology" a marvelous Dark Electro tune, while the remix of Germany’s THE RORSCHACH GARDEN on "Reality" scores with its minimal EBM bass-lines. The collaboration with Aliens Production out of Slovakia is still alive, as DISHARMONY (they offer a fantastic teaser named "Evolution" of their upcoming new album...), OXYD (the rather Ambient-minded side-project of the both DISHARMONY-protagonists...), FRONTIER GUARDS (featured on here with another great and unreleased cinematic score...), ANHEDONIA ("Evacuation Guidelines", recently on returning with a new album...) and LAST INFLUENCE OF BRAIN (couldn’t decide to continue with the ex-Vendetta-Music side-label E.A.R. and have joint instead the ranks of Aliens...) prove this. Also Monopol’s projects asides DEPRESSIVE DISORDER offer remarkable stuff, MASTERMIND (offer a seducing Electropop-tune...), GREGORY and especially the trio of NO NAME DESIRE are featured and hitting the nail. Plus, there some new and undiscovered names I strongly recommend to follow regarding upcoming activities like MY ASPHYXHIA, INTERFACE SURGERY (isn’t that a DEPRESSIVE DISORDER side-project?) and/or ECLIPSED. A lot of good and interesting stuff to discover, this Monopol Records compilation is a great example and acts like a guide-line for many other labels doing something comparable. Let’s hope the best that we can welcome Michal and his fine label roster with a 6th, 7th, 8th and so on anniversary compilation again.

01 bratri v tracku : photo
02 disharmony : evolution
03 depressive disorder : reality ( the rorschach garden rmx )
04 mastermind : time is out
05 my asphyxia : poison
06 interface surgery : critical impact
07 oxyd : alcasonic
08 last influence of brain : revolution
09 anhedonia : evacuation guidelines
10 gregory : relax
11 eclipsed : countenance
12 no name desire : caustic
13 depressive disorder : apology
14 frontier guards : insider
15 broom carwell : vltima ratio regvm
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Artist: Heimataerde (@)
Title: Unter der Linden / Vater
Format: CD
Label: COP International (@)
Distributor: DDT
Rated: *****
No one can be sure about this, but the German Electro/Industrial project HEIMATAERDE can be the next "big thing" of the scene. Licensed through the German label Infacted Recordings, this special release by COP International unites two EP’s of this mysterious project. The musically mixture out of harsh EBM/Industrial and Medieval music supported by various folk instruments and style-fitting voice samples causes attraction for sure, although the content of this special US-licensed release focuses quite a lot to satisfy the dancefloor-oriented audience. So most of the highly anticipated tracks like "Unter der Linden", "Vater", "Khadavergehorsam" or "Mutter", which made it already onto the dancefloors of the US-based clubs via expensive import releases, can be newly discovered herewith. Good news to those, who are fed up with to many unnecessary remix contributions of foreign act: the complete audio stuff, even if there are different versions ("Unter der Linden", "Vater"). Yes, the protagonist Ashlar von Megalon knows well, what his listeners and growing fan-base prefers. Good stuff, two EP resulting in album length for this special American release, interesting stuff to consume also asides the dancefloors.
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