Music Reviews



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Artist: OHGR
Title: Devil In My Details
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Symphony (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
The first question every Electro/Industrial-junkie asks, is the one, how much Nivek Ogre’s new solo-album will sound like a work of the famous veterans SKINNY PUPPY. I guess all readers of this web resource are familiar with PUPPY, therefore it doesn’t need any further excursions into their meaningful career. But OHGR is OGHR and hasn’t got too much to do with the famous Canadian giants. "Devil In My Details" comes out full of experiments, which multiple unheard sounds (you should hear the brass interments (!!!) on "Feelin’ Chicken"). Has Ogre especially under the PUPPY-moniker being often discovered as a spooky and scary person, the open-minded musician shines through his solo work. It is at least the work, which strengthens his status as being a real musician over his status as being the monstrous vocalists of a scene-related icon. His vocal performance is surely the one and only unique point which reminds on PUPPY, but that can’t be avoided. But thanks to the already reached status Ogre has received so far, this new album comes out quite unconventional, unorthodox and full of weird ideas. It isn’t a "hit" album which has to follow selling-related structures, it’s rather more the psychotic result, if Ogre and his band members are able produce without boundaries. Therefore most of the tracks are following each other without clear interruptions and it was intended to produce an album with only one long track. But at least here’s the point, where the record company has set a stop. If you’re ready for a musically quite diverse coarse, then give this album a try.
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Artist: Autoclav 1.1 (@)
Title: Love No Longer Lives Here
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Another act with a so-called cult status now signed under the flag of the uprising Tympanik Audio-label, the British Electronica-specialist Tony Young and his infamous AUTOCLAV 1.1 project presents a new studio album. If the chosen album title and the generally depressive mood caused through Tony’s arrangements on this new album have any deeper with some personal experiences , maybe of a gone relationship is at least still a secret out of Tony’s private life, but I guess that Tony reflects quite often internals through his music. At least, this would fit also to the impression the beautiful album art with black/white photos in a digipak provides. Musically Tony has seldom before produced an album, which offers so much organic elements like guitars (check "All Long Black Spirals" featuring Jamie Blacker of ESA)and piano sounds besides the expected doze of IDM/Electronica music. It is surely a quite different and interesting point of view to explore a more organic sound outfit asides the known and futuristic Electronica elements – yes, this fusion may can be called innovative – but at least, those more Electronica-layered sounding tracks like the struggling "It’s Indifference" or the mechanical-moving but quite melodic "Hell Is The Face Of Love" (featuring a bass guitar performance by Dave Pybus of CRADLE OF FILTH) have my preference. "Love No Longer Lives Here" comes generally out surprising straight and 4/4-oriented, Tony’s often discovered complexity in his main rhythm structures have been reduced to take a backseat in the new AUTOCLAV 1.1 sound outfit. It is nevertheless a highly recommendable album full of refreshing ideas, but it needs an open mind and horizon from the listener.
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Artist: FGFC 820 (@)
Title: Law And Ordnance
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk / COP (@)
Distributor: COP International
Rated: *****
The return of the both New York-based DJ’s Dräcos and Rexx Arkana under their moniker FGFC 820 comes out in a quite expected kind. Their second album aptly entitled "Law And Ordnance" is another onslaught musically following the path of a Harsh-EBM/Club-oriented Hellectro-sound, while it lyrically may speaks out a bit louder the things going wrong in the huge and almighty USA. Be it to name social, political or at least the problems of the strict mass-media-driven separation between "red" and "blue" states – FGFC 820 have never been shy to name the hard content. This isn’t surely the relaxing way of being a Harsh-Electro act and "Law And Ordnance" doesn’t at all provide a "Yes, We Can" – mood full of hope and confidence – no wonder, this album has been produced in the icy times before the presidential election. Also optically they still "play" with the typical-EBM-related Military-inspired outfit, also provided through their cover art (yep, the tank still rolls and has left ruins behind...). Musically, "Law And Ordnance" follows rather the already walked path already discovered with the predecessor "Urban Audio Warfare". Straight-to-the-legs oriented Harsh EBM tunes, which for the most part avoids to integrate surprises. FGFC 820 aren’t offering high-end programming skills and some tunes really turn into purest simplicity and minimal constructed ideas – it rather all depends on the message and the energetic kind especially provided through Rexx’ vocal performance, which sounds still as one of the best the genre has to offer. Maybe this minimal kind also separates them from any label colleagues like DAWN OF ASHES or TACTICAL SEKT, because a more reduced arrangement can’t offer to much Techno/Trance-related outfit and this is still more preferred. As for musically surprises, you’ll get a cover version on Pop Will Eat Itself’s "Ich bin ein Ausländer", which offers next to the Breakcore-like beats some Black-Metal-like guitar-riffs provided by Dräcos. As for perfect club burners, well, the whole album has enough to offer, but "Welcome To Baghdad", "Killing Fields" and of course "The Heart Of America" are the best worked out tunes to appeal anyone. Not bad at all, gentlemen, and quite effective produced.
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Artist: Bahntier (@)
Title: Venal
Format: CD
Label: Rustblade (@)
Distributor: COP International / Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Italian label Rustblade continues its march to be a leader in the European Electro/Industrial-scene at least mostly for that special area. Their main act BAHNTIER returns with a new studio album two years after the predecessor "Blindoom". Because of the growing success this act could reach before with the mentioned album, as well as with mouthwatering live-performances, the expectations on this multi-diverse act have grown high. The end result at first, BAHNTIER in the year 2008 are still able to convince higher listening demands. Woven in a mixture of EBM, Industrial, Tribal, Noise, Ambient, IDM and Electronica, the fabulous three band members Stefano Rosello, Fillippo Corradin and the SKINNY PUPPY live-drummer Justin Bennett are able to create a very own and authentic sort of music. This mixture still finds quells of inspiration by ideas of acts like the mentioned SKINNY PUPPY, North-American-like Electro/Crossover-influences and some Belgium-based veterans like DIVE and/or MONOLITH for sure, but in this kind how BAHNTIER are producing their music, it still sounds unique. "Roots" is surely the most traditional-like Electro/Crossover-tune featuring a guitar performance by William Morrission of OHGR. The speed grows enormous with the pounding tracks "My God" or "Neurosickness" and "Loud" is not only a four-letter-word. "The Drown" at least is a layered Dark-Electro-like instrumental-tune which leaves the listener impressed to the final end. As for a point of criticism, well, to offer only a playing time of just 35 minutes for a full-length is at least not enough, especially not, if the quality walks on a high path like on "Venal". But to keep on the tradition to offer a special goodie to the fans, also for "Venal" there’s available a rare and limited boxset, which is available directly from the Rustblade-shop. A collectors item to hunt for immediately. A full recommendation for this varied album, which celebrates the fact that this band has found a niche which sounds different to your usual Electro/Industrial listening procedure.

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Artist: Lucidstatic (@)
Title: Gravedigger
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Nowadays Electro/Industrial scene brings only very seldom artists to the daylight, which can use the term "innovative" to describe someone’s music style. The Alaska-based sole effort of Jimmy Church, LUCIDSTATIC, is surely one of this few acts, on which this term doesn’t sound platitudinous. We had Jimmy and LUCIDSTATIC, as well as his rather Downtempo-like side-project PANDORA’S BLACK BOOK already with some previous and self-released items on here. So I’ve been warned in advance what kind of storm would join my home entertainment. Even if it is fucking cold for the most part in Alaska, LUCIDSTATIC offers a hot and heavily pounding rhythm torturing kind of music. By taking inspiration out of styles like IDM, Breakcore, Powernoise and classic Industrial tunes, the percussive elements are the leading and driving force behind this act. Complex rhythm programming can sound layered, here you’ll get the proof for this thesis. And if Jimmy integrates too a sort of a synth-driven ambience in between his percussion rows, he earns surely the most applause for tracks like "Mercy Of A Bullet", "Unknown Test Subject" or P4tr10t". Some special collaboration with different but rather more unknown acts like IAMMYNEWT, SUMBRAXIS or THE PLASTIC EULOGY are featured as well. "Gravedigger" is a pure adrenaline-driven onslaught, whose valuable content needs to get discovered. Worth to spend your bucks on!.
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