Music Reviews



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Artist: NAEVUS (@)
Title: Relatively Close To The Sea
Format: CD
Label: Hau Ruck! (@)
Distributor: Tesco Distribution
Rated: *****
After a year from their "Silent life" album, Naevus are back with their sixth full length CD titled RELATIVELY CLOSE TO THE SEA. The album opens with the beautiful and powerful title track. Apparently calm, the song, thanks to its slow and crawling rhythm explode on some parts thanks to a suffering guitar that with its controlled feedback gives to the track a dramatic touch. After this one we have three tracks where the the influence of folk (maybe Gaelic) is evident and it's mixed with Naevus post punk/neo-folk distinctive characteristic approach to sound. Violin, acoustic guitars and the great John Murphy drumming create great moments made of tension and dreamy atmospheres. The touchy moment comes with "The German", a track that behind its folk atmosphere hide the story of an homicide of an ex German soldier (my interpretation) who after the war moved from East Germany to find a new life but who ends killed hit by the shovels of the crowd he found going to a pub. After two other tracks ("Dented mess" and "The troubadour") we find a masterpiece titled "Go grow". It is a 18 minutes track where guitars, violin and accordion duet, making slowly increase the tension (see the Velvet Underground) without never losing the control or the boundaries of the song structure. Good one...
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Artist: CARILLON DEL DOLORE
Title: ...Per Portarti Questo Scrigno
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: In The Nigh Time (@)
Rated: *****
Active from 1983 to 1986, Carillon Del Dolore released two demo tapes (of which the second one "Ritratti dal vero" have never been officially distributed), a self released MLP "Trasfigurazione" and an album titled "Capitolo IV" released under the Petali Del Cariglione moniker and heavily mis-produced by Valor (on an interview to the band I read that they had a really bad experience with him, because he was supposed to produce their sound but he wasn't able to and unfortunately the worst was that he acted like an asshole). PER PORTARTI QUESTO SCRIGNO gathers the remastered recordings contained into the two demos "Fiori malsani" and "Ritratti dal vero". About "Fiori malsani", you have to know that the tracks of the tape were the same of the "Trasfigurazione" MLP before the band decided to switch their lyrics from English to Italian. So basically these are the English recordings of those ones. Unfortunately, maybe because of copyright problems with Contempo (the label that distributed the first print of the MLP and then reissued it into a limited 500 copies run), you aren't able to check the Italian version which, in my opinion, sounds more dramatic. Along with the demos you can find plenty of unreleased tracks (eight tracks recorded during rehearsals that doesn't sound perfect but that are able to catch the moment and the atmosphere) plus twelve live tracks recorded during their whole activity (i.e. 1983÷1986) and three recorded on 2007 at their reunion gig (note that they are all crowd recordings and the quality sometimes isn't really good). With this compilation you have the chance to check one of the best goth Italian bands of the '80s. Maybe their technical skills weren't the best around but they were able to catch the decadent spirit of that scene. Their scenic impact was as much important as their musical one thanks to the theatrical performances of different artists/friends of the band. Check for example the graphics of their MLP and you'll have a good idea. Born under the punk impetuosity the band soon slowed down the rhythms creating in that way their peculiar sound.
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Artist: AUTOPSIA (@)
Title: Radical Machines Night Landscapes
Format: CD
Label: Illuminating Technologies
Rated: *****
RADICAL MACHINES NIGHT LANDSCAPES is one of the most "difficult" releases by Autopsia. In balance from dark ambient and modern classical music the album sees also new musical influences thanks to the collaboration with Achtar. I don't know who they are but I suppose that it's because of them that on "Night landscape III", the following "Radical machine XIV", "Radical machine VIII", to name few, there are also breakbeat rhythms and i.d.m. influences (and I must admit that these sounds work really well along with the strings and the dramatic atmosphere created by Autopsia). The ten tracks sound like suites based on tension where strings meet percussive sounds (military ones like on "Night landscape XVI" as well as the aforementioned i.d.m./breakbeat rhythms) where melody is often dissonant. The album is based on the concept that some machines are changing the perception of everything we know and they are avoiding the humans to go beyond their known limits. This boundaries are tying men that have the perception to be fulfilled. Practically they are only waiting for their death. Autopsia call these machines, thanatographical machines (thanatos=death) and they change/manipulate reality creating a new one. A real conceptual release which sees Autopsia reaching new sounds but always keeping their spirit alive.
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Artist: Eisschock (@)
Title: Play The Game
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Sonic-X / Danse Macabre (@)
Rated: *****
Germany’s female EBM-chansoneuse EISSCHOCK alias Amortalia S. returns with a new Web-only EP and likes to invite to "Play The Game". Her rules of the game are still comparable with her efforts known from her debut, mostly minimal fast-forward moving EBM rhythm patterns combined with Madame EISSCHOCK’s diverse kind to perform vocals. Her emotion in the vocals ranging from bedroom-sweet to sick and mentally disturbed offer her tracks a very own kind and listening experience. Musically it seems that some tracks have experienced an improvement, an increase of equipment seems to be happened too. But this also burdens a bit the aggressive outfit of the new EISSCHOCK stuff, "Far, Far Away" comes out musically never-heard-before ingratiating and catchy. Not sure also, if the title track is THE composition of the year, that one, also featured in a short video edit, lacks definitely of compositional depth. But a track like the nasty "Hass Mich" works excellent to varnish all of those weaker moments, this one also shows the whole dimension the hell-angel EISSCHOCK is able to awake. With the help and support of the German Sonic-X label and the specialized studio which hides behind it, I’m quite sure that this EP is only a sort of intermediate result. There’s more to come.
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Artist: Psychonaut 75
Title: Infection EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Promofabrik (@)
Rated: *****
Already a veteran Industrial-act hailing out of Texas, since PSYCHONAUT 75 are active since 1997 in different formation and "Infection" is a sort of free available download-teaser for an upcoming new album. 4 tracks got included providing a typical American-sounding kind of Electro/Industrial sound outfit, which lacks a bit of some refreshing ideas. There’s nothing wrong to re-animate some structures and arrangements out of the early 90ies, but this scene has already seen some more promising efforts. You’ll get also both male and female provided vocals and while the female one comes out calm and convincing, the male one got effected, manipulated and comes out rough. A little PUPPY-an style combined with some Dark Ambient-influences can’t argued away as being a quell of inspiration for this act, but that music outfit generally could need a better production or the help of a more experienced studio musician. Too average for this moment, but maybe the album will sound differently?
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