Music Reviews



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Artist: BLEIBURG (@)
Title: Way Of Crosses
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
Bleiburg is the musical project of Stefan Rukavina, ex-producer of Thaglasz (Death in June Friendship). With at his active about a dozen CDs and double CDs (eight or more released during the last year), Bleiburg smartly used the contacts he had during the Thaglasz period and collaborated with many bands/projects of the industrial, ambient, new-folk scene producing tons of tracks (some of them have been collected into the CDs released by Cold Spring and Old Europa Cafe). By listening to his releases the first adjective which is coming to my mind is: eclectic. The fourteen tracks of WAY OF CROSSES (of which a couple seem to be taken from Croatian folk records if I'm not wrong) to an occasional listener could sound destabilizing because we have dark ambient tracks, neo-folk, electro dub, weird electro folk tunes ("Dra mi de" is the track I appreciated less because it sounds like a drunk gipsy singing on a simple electronic tune), martial folk (see "Shadows will survie") and sometimes we have a little bit of everything on the same track. I know it could sound twisted but on most of the cases the merging is working and if you get along with the electro martial style of "Der meldereiter" you can pretty dig every of the tracks you'll find on this CD. I see Bleiburg a sort of experimenter of electronic/industrial/ambient genres as well as Allerseelen is for neo-folk. Maybe Stefan produces too much without filtering but I found most of his tracks intriguing. Check some of them at http://www.myspace.com/bleiburg
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Artist: LA DIVISION MENTALE (@)
Title: L'Extase Des Fous [Introspection Létale]
Format: CD
Label: Blood Fire Death
Distributor: Twilight Distribution
Rated: *****
[Note: I'm reviewing this one only because between the black metal/grind tunes the band uses industrial sound or dark ambient intros but I won't review other stuff of this genre, because we aren't into it and we aren't able to talk about it.] Anyway... La Division Mentale is a French duo who had three guests helping them on vocals (Mg was the narration vocal) and with electro arrangements on five out of ten tracks (thanks to Yd [absent] and Bk [babylone chaos]. Their tunes have a good amount of melody and despite the usual cried vocals, the double bass drum and the chainsaw guitars La Division Mentale isn't far from the concept of industrial band using guitars and a drum machine. The opening "La voix des ombre" for example is an hybrid of dark ambient and industrial with horror ambience with no guitars or drum and it is doing its job really well. Also "En mon ame et conscience" is a noise industrial tune which is able to create a good tense moment. I appreciated their style even if they are still a bit too black metal but if you appreciate bands of the likes of Carcass of the "Necroticism - Descanting The Insalubrious" period you'll find the French combo interesting.
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Artist: The Serotonin Sunset (@)
Title: Futurestate
Format: CD
Label: Serosun Records (@)
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
This is a new project by the British musician Paul Five released on his very own Serosun Records label, which is based in his chosen home, the Spanish holiday island Ibiza. Paul has formed THE SEROTONIN SUNSET in 1999 and has brought out a first EP in the fall of that year. Afterwards he was a member of SYNTHETIC (now SYNARA), has recorded three albums in five years and has toured in Europe. Due to "geographically" differences (as mentioned above, he lives in Ibiza, the other band members in Germany), Paul has left the band to concentrate on his own solo efforts. A first solo CD called "The Poetry Of Drugs And Promiscuous Sex" got released in 2006, musically rather re-animating his Rock’n’Roll roots. With THE SEROTONIN SUNSET he returns now into that musically register, for which SYNTHETIC/SYNARA stood for – to mix straight EBM/Electronica bass lines and synth textures with energetic drum patterns, haunting Rock guitar riffs and his deep and dark-sounding male vocals. Paul has also integrated two further members with Sarah P. and Prawnstar, mainly responsible for some action behind the drum pads. A musically field somewhere between the Alternative-minded VNV NATION and Rodney Orpheus/THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX comes to mind for giving out a possible comparison. His Rock attitude shines through almost all tracks, but his guitar play sounds much more authentic than the poor efforts of several Electronic bands sampling the needed riffs from the latest SEPULTURA CD. You’ll find here also four rather Electronica-driven instrumental interludes, which work well ("Fade", "Outside") to spread some breaks in this album. Favorites can be named in the more catchy tunes like "Sun", "Everything" and especially "Revolution". "Futurestate" is a quite straight and danceable produced album without offering high-end complexity for the Electronica elements, but with some real guitars and a dynamic male vocal performance which doesn’t need to be treated with uncountable effects. This release should appeal to open-minded Rock- and Electro-fans. A new 5-track EP entitled "Kein" is already in the works.

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Artist: GREIFENKEIL (@)
Title: Symbol
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: GrenTzwert (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
The Bavarian-based mysterious GREIFENKEIL project returns with a complete new studio album. Their label GrenTzwert has decided to change the distributor, so from now all of their releases are coming out under wings of the German distributor Alive! – for sure a right and wise decision. That they could also arrange a totally DJ support with the helping hand of the Hamburg-based Hardbeat Propaganda still surprises – I at least like to get introduced to the open-minded DJ, who’s seriously be able to deal with the diverse musically onslaught of GREIFENKEIL. Besides the "normal" 1CD edition, which already caused attention thanks to an extraordinary package and artwork, this release comes also out as a limited DCD collectors item edition featuring a more detailed art packed into a DVD-like paper box set, a booklet featuring expansive explanations on every single track, a mystic "touch key" with detailed descriptions how to use it and of course a second full-length CD offering alternative Club versions on the GREIFENKEIL tracks and several remix collaborations by diverse artists.
As expected, the music of GREIFENKEIL is mostly a very dark and spooky arranged output by integrating elements out of Dark Electro, rhythmically Powernoise, Dark Ambient and Ritual-Industrial impressions. GREIFENKEIL can be described as a whole artistic concept, consisting not only out of the audio results, they are also a kind of performance act. Musically on the hunt to pick up the ideas and tendencies of some 4AD legends like THIS MORTAL COIL or DEAD CAN DANCE, the like to re-interpret these artistic aspects without known boundaries mainly based into harsh Electronic-/Industrial-minded fields. You’ll be warned, because it isn’t all the Trance-infiltrated Harsh EBM formula which unfortunately still floats nationwide through the dark clubs – therefore I tend to call this DJ initiative as being courageous. On the other hand and if you seriously like to grab attention by the unprepared listener, you have to start actions like this, because mostly this music still gets heard for the first time in the clubs – as sad as this maybe is.
As "usual" for GREIFENKEIL and the band leader A. von Greifenkeil, they like to pick up again a thematically mixture out of the critically consideration of "prominent" religions, the European finding and its cultural and historically background – and, to my surprise – they nowadays deal with politically inspired themes like the Iraq crisis ("Survivor") and the generally, but unfortunately questionable right to present an own opinion ("Democracy"). What differs to the self-titled debut is the fact, that GREIFENKEIL more than ever before draw offensive their aversion against Christianity and the questionable kind how the church and its legations like to act. This was rather hidden or subtle presented on their debut ("Irina") and only recognizable with some background info, but on "Symbol" (here the track "Untergang") they offer an open statement. But main theme and maybe the most important quell for the creation of this album is the finding of some archaeologically stones ("Platz Der Alten Steine") in Goseck/Germany – a sign ("Symbol"), maybe a kind of forefathers temple of a culture which historians and scientists expecting to be 7000 years old – therefore older than the pyramids. Do we have completely to re-write all historically textbooks?
As for the limited second CD of this album, GREIFENKEIL themselves are offering alternative and rather club-oriented versions on the tracks "Symbol", "Democracy", "Untergang" and "Survivor". Several colleagues based into stylistically very different kinds of Electro/Industrial music with the best known names like IMPLANT, FIL/QNTAL, MONOLITH or ACYLUM are providing remix works based on both tracks "Symbol" and "Democracy". Regarding the fact that I am personally involved with my own music project providing a remix work on "Democracy", I come here to the point, where I don’t fall into the mistake to rate any of the appearances here. At least there will be out several other dedicated colleagues writing for different resources, which should be able to review this item and aren’t personally involved.
Anyway, musically also this new GREIFENKEIL effort is a release which requires your fully attention. Several rotations are needed to get a simple glimpse of the idea and impression behind the artistic work of GREIFENKEIL. You got also warned if you’re heavily follow your whole life the catholic ideal of a Christ – without being open-minded to different kinds of a belief, you’ll could be offended by some musical/lyrical/artistically content here. To me personally, I’ve given it now several spins here – and like on the debut I still have the impression, that I’ve missed some content. The atmosphere and mysticism which GREIFENKEIL likes to explore and present is a dark and complex one - free time without disturbing influences seems to be required to sink into this...

Track list

1. Symbol
2. Untergang
3. Survivor
4. Democracy
5. Selling your Souls
6. Curse
7. Departed
8. Platz der Alten Steine
9. Ahnentempel
10. WinterSolstice
11. Symbol (Reprise)

Track list Remixes

1. Symbol (Greifenkeil Club Version)
2. Symbol (FIL / Qntal Remix)
3. Symbol (Implant Remix)
4. Symbol (La Magra Remix)
5. Symbol (Puissance Remix)
6. Untergang (Greifenkeil Club Version)
7. Survivor (Greifenkeil Club Version)
8. Democracy (Greifenkeil Club Version)
9. Democracy (DemoCrazy RMX by Monolith)
10. Democracy (violent nation RMX by acylum)
11. Democracy (Synaptic Defect Remix)
12. Democracy (Puissance Remix)

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Artist: SANDBLASTING (@)
Title: Adrenaline
Format: CD
Label: Rustblade (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Active since 1997 Luca Torasso's personal project Sandblasting is presenting to the fans of noise industrial percussive sounds his latest release titled ADRENALINE. Starting from its name, Sandblasting wanted to define its target and its sound: grinding noise which is able to remove rust from listener's heads. With this purpose in mind, Luca recorded, helped by Stefano Rossello (:Bahntier:) and Justin Bennet (who produced and played on the latest :Bahntier:'s album), eleven tracks in balance from percussive industrial noise and breakcore which are influenced by early Test Department (see the metallic percussive sounds used), Merzbow (see the white noise parts) and early Ant Zen bands (see how the rhythm layers are built). The result will please the lovers of the genre and if with the opening track "Near the dead" I feared of being about to listen 70 minutes of wild noise, the second one (the first rhythmical one on the album) made me realize that something else was going on. Luca is good at blending all his sound, being able to build a well working wall of sound but, for my tastes, sometimes he's stuck into a loop and someway the tracks end into repeating themselves with the noise and the rhythms going back and forth like a wave of liquid concrete. I'd rather prefer tension and dark ambience to this amount of noise but it's only my opinion and if you love industrial rage check this out...
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