Music Reviews



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Artist: [X]-RX
Title: Unmöglich Erregend
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
A new German act signed to the ProNoize label and I was expecting a new Powernoise onslaught with a straight dancefloor-oriented attitude. Well, of course, it is dancefloor-oriented and works extremely well for the clubs – but unfortunately ONLY at the clubs. And where’s the noise??? This album offers nothing more than 70 minutes of redundant and repetitive beating Trance/Techno/Harsh EBM instrumental music, on which any artistic basic idea is missed. You may like to argue that any Harsh EBM-act nowadays follows a similar path. This is right regarding the chosen sounds, but there are many bands out there which at least try to figure out alternative textures and moods. There’s nothing comparable to X-RX and it has to be asked, why the band has decided to set in pauses in between the tracks, since all of the tracks offer the same sounds and percussion instruments – a 70 minutes-Megamix wouldn’t alter this useless album. Where is any depth? Where is any compositional recognizable effort? Why to blow this album to the length of 70 minutes if the featured ideas and sounds work for only 2 – 3 tracks? Well, the end result and rating of this album can be easily explained with an addition to the main voice sample of the title track: "Klingt irgendwie unmöglich – klingt irgendwie erregend – klingt unglaublich langweilig!"
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Artist: DER BLUTHARSCH
Title: The Philosopher's Stone
Format: CD
Label: HauRuck! (@)
Distributor: Tesco Germany
Rated: *****
Change has been the crucial issue for Albin Julius/Der Blutharsch during these last years. First he decided to change musical direction turning his martial industrial music into martial psychedelic rock. Then, he turned his project from a solo into a proper band, helped out by Marthynna, Jörg B. (of Graumadh), Bain Wolfkind (of Novo Homo and also with some releases under his own name). Now the time has come for a new change, I haven't understood if it's another change in direction or if THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE is the final chapter of Der Blutharsch. The key phrase is the one you can read on the rear cover: "Uniform are always changing, Rock'n'Roll is forever". What has this in common with the title? The philosopher's stone is a legendary substance, supposedly capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold; it was also sometimes believed to be a means of making people younger, if not making them immortal. For a long time it was the "holy grail" of Western alchemy. So, what's next for Albin Julius? We really can't guess. At the moment we have nine new tracks (one of them is an hidden one which starts at 13'54" of track eight) which have much in common with the ones of "When Did Wonderland End?" because of the rock psychedelic approach (there's the constant presence of driving guitar solos) and because of the rhythm section which hasn't a real drum but different percussions and a constant throbbing bass guitar. Most songs gave me the impression of a cavalry horse ride where speed up dark rock ballads find a new home. There's also space to some new experiments like the ones of the opening track (as usual tracks haven't titles) where synthetic rumbling noises are paired with psychedelic guitar solos an soon after an upbeat ballad starts. The opening part of track three, starts with a semi oriental loop while the hidden track is the most particular one as it has a little synth loop, some basic percussions and it is based on a spoken word. This is an album that needs a couple of spin to be appreciated. For being the final chapter of something I would had expected something more risky but THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE is an album you could enjoy.
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Artist: HARALD BOSH
Title: Die Sonne Scheint Fur Alle Umsonst
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Dercho Music (@)
Rated: *****
For the fist album of the Siberian born electro pop act Harald Bosh, his label Dercho Music decided to do big things. They produced a digipack CD with a bonus DVD containing the same track list plus some extras. Musically what Harald calls epic electro pop isn't bad even if some atmospheres/ideas tend to be recycled within the album length. Basically his music sounds as a blend of slow/mid tempo future pop (with semi e.b.m. rhythmic section) and melancholic electro pop with an epic edge (thanks to some little orchestration solutions and to the Harald vocals). The DVD instead isn't that thrilling as some catchy melodies on the CD. You'll ask me why, since it contains exactly the same songs. Well, the DVD contains a fake concert held on a stage with basic lighting and Harald sings while a guy stands behind the synthesizers. The video has a basic diction with zoom in and zoom outs and the extras show Harald at the Munich airport, in Stuttgard or working in the studio. Unfortunately the DVD hasn't any subtitle so if you don't understand German language there's no chance into joining the contents. P.s. Basically I'm confirming the review that Marc Tater did some months ago. The album contains nice music (some songs more than others) but the other contents needed a better production.
Artist: AntiQuark (@)
Title: MiniSky
Format: CD
Rated: *****
I recall not particularly liking AntiQuark's debut CD from one or two years ago and dashing out a not so favorable review back then. However, I am happy to find that, whatever course their music evolution took it definitely seems to have gone in the right direction, at least for my taste (it is all subjective after all).
The main difference here is that AntiQuark is not an all female duo anymore and Ant Dakini has now paired up with Sergio, who delivers all the vocals (except one song where she also sings). Since I used to like Maren, this is not what makes me like "MiniSky" more, I just think that the musical vision of AntiQuark has matured into something more cohesive, current, complete and interesting. I still hear a couple of synth lines here and there that I might not go for as a composer/producer, but in general the arrangements are much hipper and the sound palette is enticing. The male vocals give it touch of synth-pop sobriety and when you combine that with the disco-friendly electro-industrial-inspired programming, you have an artist that is however sub/consciously embracing a path where dark electronica is energized by dance floor beats, house/techno sensibility and an EBM heritage.
I believe this record is not released yet and there are rumors that Hungry Eye records might sign AntiQuark. Either way, keep your eyes peeled and look out for this when it hits the streets (or the ether I guess).
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anymore
Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: Etude
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Distributor: Voiceprint
Rated: *****

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Having into their D.N.A. the experimental gene, Attrition after seventeen years from their born and thanks to Franck Dematteis, an Attrition fan and member of the Paris Opera who contacted the band and collaborated at viola on their "3 arms and a dead cert" album, did ETUDE, an album containing twelve old tracks revisited under the classical key using viola, violin, cello, organ, percussion and voice. Giving to the tracks a sort of baroque arrangement, Dematteis did a good work by enhancing the dramatic side of Attrition songs. In this way songs like "Cold genius" or "I am (Eternity)" are like naked in front of the listener showing their darkest decadent side becoming perfect for a Peter Greenaway movie. Originally released by Project in 1997 the album is for the first time distributed worldwide.
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