Music Reviews



Artist: THE EFFIGIES
Title: Reside
Format: CD
Label: Criminal I.Q. Records
Distributor: Criminal I.Q. Records
Rated: *****
Just saw The Effigies last night at club Damaged and it was history in the making. The Effigies have been around since the early 80's and have played throughout the circuit for years and years. They took a break for a while and now are back older but better than ever! The album called, " Reside " and it rocks. we open with Track one, " The Full Weight of Failure" is a fun guitar oriented track about the art of failing. John sings to us, " There once was sky, hope was high, now full weight and is just heavy on the eyes ." Truth to be told and told well to teach us a lesson that the chips may be up but sometimes they are down. Next we move on to Track two, " Night Train " which is an all out dance assault to begin with. In your face and ready for action to get you moving and dancing the beat of this great band. John sings to us , " Once was hoped for it's now too late, once was worked for it's now too late, once was planned for it's now too late, once was loved towards it's now too late. " John things of the grim things in life how they don't stay the same and how sometimes it's not for the best. I personally got up to dance to this then resumed on this review. Still progressing on we move to Track 3, " Cold Plate" which is a track I see racing against time. A pure mission track to be played in the car for that long drive to your destination through pure rock and roll. John sings to us, " Do you remember we met? , a better man would forget? This track had balls of steel and really told the tale and well to the many that wanted to listen to this dark tale of past and present. One particular track that stuck out was Track 6. " The Guv'ner " which was one hell of a political track that really had some blood, sweat and tears poured into it. John sings, " Cause this is war, we've had enough, if you need more, this is the place where I live." I admire anyone that can sing about the concept where it stands, too much war and to tell it like it really is, kudos to that.! All the tracks on this album have a continuing thread of chapters in this mans life through good and bad and great challenges and ricks that make up life. I really can appreciate a singer who tells it like it is no matter how bad the truth hurts, rock on to that aspect. The rest of this album is just pure heavy energy all mixed up in a ball waiting to burst out and get you rocking to the beat and leaving home with something to remember. See this band, buy there album and burn the effigy and celebrate history like it should be, in your face and telling its tale to be written again. 4 stars ~ Michelle Russo
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Artist: EXTRAWELT
Title: Schöne Neue Extrawelt
Format: CD
Label: Cocoon Records (@)
Distributor: Intergroove
Rated: *****
Formed by Hamburg born artists Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe, Extrawelt is releasing the first album SCHONE NEUE EXTRAWELT after three years passed releasing 12"s for labels such as Kompass Musik, Traum Schallplatten, Gemini Recordings, etc. Active since the early '90s in the dance scene Arne and Wayan started to release their own tracks on 1999 as Spirallianz and the year after also as Midimiliz. The duo started to work at the first Extrawelt album two years ago: they wanted to span through different genres of electro/techno/ambient and prepared 25 tracks but they soon realized that in the end that wasn't working for them so they experimented different tracks during their live show and then they re-worked them during that period. The twelve tracks of SCHONE NEUE EXTRAWELT (nine on the double album edition) deal with minimal techno music bringing to the audience different ways of interpreting it. Using a lot of melodic ambient subtle melodies on the opening "One three hill" and on the following "Darkside of my room" the duo created two fantastic tracks that are able to hypnotize with their dreamy like sound and at the same time energizing the listener with techno low frequencies rhythms. "Wippsteert" and "Messy machinery" change the approach by using less catchy melodies and sticking more on cyclic rhythms/melodies more usual to minimal techno. "Must attack" mix ambient to acid techno while "Trümmerfeld" has pure distorted techno bass lines mixed with treated/reverbered synth lines. "Wolkenbruch" mix house rhythms with acid/ambient sounds creating a particular effect. "Added Planet" mix ambient and techno with electro vocals while the one minute short "Kurt Curtain (Skit)" sounds almost like an experiment with rhythms. "Daten raten", "Lost In Willaura" and "Homing" mix ambient atmospheres with minimal techno and close this 77' long album which has a lot of good tracks and sounds but if you want my honest opinion at a first listening you'll fall in love with "One Tree Hill" and "Dark Side Of My Room" because they are able to create a great ambience with catchy melodies.
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Artist: TOTEM>
Title: Solar Forge
Format: CD
Label: ESP-Disk'
Rated: *****
A (true) power trio formed by Bruce Eisenbeil (guitar), Tom Blancarte (upright bass) and Andrew Drury (drum set), TOTEM> deliver with four tracks of spiky, angular free music. Always intense, hectic and never resting, their interplay merges the taste for elegant, microscopic details with a current of sheer power pervading all of their performance. At their most intense, Eisenbeil's atonal plucking, acquiring a rhythmic quality here ("Hephaestus' Wrath") or writhing in electric signals there ("Annealed"), streaks the low-end droning of the bowed upright-bass. Inventive cubist music with a cutting edge.
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Artist: Greifenkeil (@)
Title: Blood Mystery
Format: CD
Label: GrenTzwert Musiclabel (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Again sorry for another too late done review, but at least the heap here on my table shrinks a bit. Germany’s Dark Electro/Ambient art-project GREIFENKEIL returns with a new full-length album again signed and published to the Munich-based Grentzwert label. The resume in advance: also this new album requires the full attention of the listener, since the musically course once again draws influences of the darkest music styles electronic music can deliver. A. von Greifenkeil, the mastermind behind this project, has again created a sonic assault, which integrates the darkest Dark Electro, Dark Ambient and Powernoise impressions, at times all styles pressed into a single track ("Vendetta"). New and worth to mention is the fact, that A. von Greifenkeil is able to watch over genre boundaries, also the integration of guitar riffs ("Blood War") is nowadays an allowed stylistically element. If the chosen album-title may suggests a close dedication to some terror-EBM- or vampire-related content, GREIFENKEIL has never been and surely will never be thrown into this redundant field. "Blood Mystery" also hasn’t got anything to do with a normal biologically process, it rather offers a higher, but still mysterious and intellectual content. It’s a bit to keep the inner out, the might of blood seems to have a deeper meaning to A. von Greifenkeil, as he announced, that this will be only the starter for more excursion. Also the length of the main tracks – mostly provided with 8 + minutes playing time - are speaking for a rather artistically content, instead to follow a Mainstream-oriented "chorus-bridge-refrain" kind of work. GREIFENKEIL offers once again an amazing sound excursion, which even has the ability to touch a deeper part of your mind. It’s definitively more than a usual Hellectro act has to offer. A video edit of the audio content on the main title "Blood Mystery" accomplishes this album (watch out at Youtube for this act...), while some first live performances of this project have meanwhile occurred.

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Artist: Autodafeh
Title: Hunt For Glory
Format: CD
Label: Sigsaly Transmissions (@)
Distributor: Nova MD
Rated: *****
The old-school EBM-movement brings out more and more promising newcomers, which may haven’t eaten something like innovation with spoons, but they awake the ideology of some long forgotten days. Technically spoken, EBM remains EBM and hasn’t too much changed – just in case you don’t accept the Harsh Hellectro-/Trance-/Techno-driven formula as being a comparable style. That means that some sounds, beats, samples or messages, which have been up-to-date in 1988, have survived the time. Some frustration has become imminent, since the Hellectro-rush still celebrates promising sales and receives still attention. Same also for the Swedish newcomers of AUTODAFEH, although there’s an important point, which draws a big difference to any "get-hard-be-strong" artist out of this style: the members of AUTODAFEH aren’t at all teenagers getting some first experiences to manipulate synth and drum computers. They are rather elders with some rich musically background. The existence of AUTODAFEH can be may explained that the band members Mika Rossi, Anders Olsson and Jesper Nilsson got fed up with the current styles. "Hunt For Glory" surely collects all audio results of their mutual time after forming this band, because AUTODAFEH has been built in late 2007. The musically formula behind AUTODAFEH is quite reduced with its hard pumping EBM bass lines, a solid kick and snare work and two male shouters providing mostly easy-minded lyrics with a singing-along-guarantee. That is all pretty much along the expected alley, but also the production is crystal-clear and like the state-of-art. Flaws? Not really, maybe some hints: I would suggest for the future to reduce the inserts of the second co-shouter a bit – at times this repetitive kind reminds on a parrot ("World Is Dying"), a bit lesser could be more. Of course, this album is a must-have for any fan of the old-school EBM sound following pretty much the ideas of some early NEP/242-productions. Lets wait and see, what ideas AUTODAFEH will be able to integrate to reach more an own unique sound for the future.
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