Music Reviews



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Artist: CYANIDE REGIME (@)
Title: Visions Of Order
Format: CD
Label: Gorestone
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
After having thankfully received a pre-demo of this Florida-based male/female-leaded duo, CYANIDE REGIME now can present earlier than expected their first official full-length release on the new label Gorestone. This new label seems to be rather a kind of community which shares mutual efforts, CYANHIDE REGIME are just one part. Other also Florida-based acts will follow soon with STAINED GLASS INCUBUS and RC DRONE. These acts share the opinion that the times of starting a mutual label in times of the still growing use of digital downloads and recognition of internet portals like Myspace can’t be any better – let’s hope they’re right with this. What we’ve noticed since a while, has become reality – after RETRACTOR there’s a constant growing movement of Harsh EBM/Industrial acts hailing out of this part of the United States, other names to come up soon asides both above mentioned have to be named with DOT EXECUTE or FORCE.IS.MACHINE. Back to CYANHIDE REGIME and their 12-track full-length CD – the first 6 tracks are known to me, including the powerful track "Die Bitch", which was – intentionally or not – the hidden 6th track of the demo. The smasher is definitively the harsh pounding "Vanquisher" with some nice stereo effects on the pulsating bass lines and a remarkable dark-melodic content. Conspicuous is still their kind to concentrate on catchy synth textures nice to listen on tracks like "Prevail" or "Imperio" – it is really played instead of using known Trance-/Techno-inspired arpeggio programmings – an appreciated attitude which pushes them above the average. The alien-like vocal performance of front man Fernando Silva comes genre-typical heavily distorted on all pieces – here and there some additional flanging effects ("Die Bitch") can be heard, too. Also the second half of this CD has my attention – "Apathy" can easily take the speed of "Vanquisher", while "The Threat" starts slow and melodic – until the speed invades with the refrain. All in all you’ll got a well-done Harsh EBM debut release which has its depth and edges to stand all comparison to some scene-leading acts. Good work, keep it on!

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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electro Arc Compilation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Electro Arc (@)
Distributor: Icare Media Distribution
Rated: *****
This is a new German Electro/Industrial label leaded by a radio DJ (www.feindsender.net) known under his pseudonym Intrendent, a long-time and experienced member of the scene. You’ll get here a first compilation featuring mostly new and relatively unknown names asides of some old-school veteran acts like THE WEATHERMEN, STRATIS or TWILIGHT RITUAL – while they all don’t offer the highlights here. As usual for compilations I tend to name only the most recognizable pieces here. The compilation starts with HUMAN DECAY providing a remix work of the Belgian sound wizard Len Lemeire aka IMPLANT. While I dig Mr. Lemeire’s modern IDM/Electronica efforts, the provided distorted vocals can’t come to a satisfying result and are rather disturbing – somehow it doesn’t fit to the music. C8K – I guess a German project – have listened a lot FLA’s "Tactical Neural Implant". They’ve learned well: convincing and catchy synth layers meet fine worked-out textures and arrangements and a well-tuned vocal performance not to far away from Mr. Leeb – it results in the best appearance here above all averages. A promising newcomer act to follow immediately! EISSCHOCK comes next with a speedy EBM piece featuring whispered female vocals – not bad, keep it on! SUKKA are also traveling on the EBM train and their "Renn!" comes musically to a satisfying result, while the vocals really sound "tormented". Electro with a doze into the Goth/Wave genre you’ll got serviced by WARFORGE – successful composition, one of the better pieces. AD:KEY with their track "Lass Mich Los" like to offer a NEP/ORANGE SECTOR-like old-school EBM tune. Shouted vocals, ripping minimal bass lines, a solid bass kick and snare work – this formula works once again fine for this RECTOR SCANNER/ARMAGEDDON DILDOS side-project. Hungarian-based acts CONSECTUM vs. SERVO.HATRED take up some speed by offering a Harsh EBM/Hellektro-like track in vein of some global players like TACTICAL SEKT or DAWN OF ASHES; especially SERVO.HATRED could recently convince with an appearance on BLC Productions Interbreeding VIII compilation. STANDGERICHT then adds another color to this comp by offering a rather noisy inspired instrumental tune. At least INDUSTRIAL WAVE STUDIO – well, this "band" name sounds rather like a software title – offer a calm instrumental outro. Diversity is rich present here – while there’s no extremely course into Synthpop or IDM-related styles. The emphasis is concentrated on EBM/Electro in all variations and luckily without any overwhelming concentration on the still creeping Hellektro virus. Not bad at all for a first compilation, while the second volume is already in the works and promises a lot with the appearance of some German favorites like OBJECT, MC1R, FIX8:SED8 or ALPHA QUADRANT...

Tracklist Electro Arc Compilation Vol. I

01 Human Decay - Anti-Fate (Agnostic mix by Implant)
02 The Weathermen - Scan me
03 First Aid 4 Souls - Seelenlos
04 C8K - Storm
05 Eisschock - Panic attack
06 suKKa - Renn !
07 takhtahk - Dropdown
08 Slipstream One - Bloodlust
09 Warforge - Rage
10 Stratis - Crossing borderline
11 AD:key - Lass mich los
12 Hertzinfarkt - Stell lauter
13 Ferus Odium - The ceremony EE
14 Consectum vs servo.hatred - Sewn in rapture
15 Twilight Ritual - Wired to the machines
16 Standgericht - Broken life
17 Industrial Wave Studio - Mountains of madness

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Artist: ARDITI (@)
Title: Standards Of Triumph
Format: CD
Label: Equilibrium Music (@)
Distributor: Augioglobe
Rated: *****
I know that this one has been released a while ago, but I had the opportunity to have a copy only now and I didn't want to skip the review. Anyway... As you may already know Arditi take their name from a branch of Italian army that were active during the first decades of the twentieth century famous for their efficiency and also appreciated by the Italian Futurist Movement. Nowadays, Arditi, is a duo formed by H. Möller and M. Björkman (active also with Puissance and Algaion). STANDARDS OF TRIUMPH is their fifth release (counting also the split with Thoroid) and it contains nine new epic militaristic suites. The Arditi's sound has the taste of rust and dust and is really evocative. Recorded with a low-fi approach, the album is really hypnotic and when the orchestration duet with distant choirs of unknown provenience you are like charmed. The few sung tracks increase the bitter taste created by the music by declaiming the death of the West. Read the lyrics of "The Sinking Ship". It says: "The world is a sinking ship / Sunk by the weight of six billion people / We were sentenced to this fate / By those who preached that they all / Are as good as you and I / That they all should decide our destination / Though none of them has found a meaningful / Direction for themselves / Now everything we loved will die / Unless we get another go at steering / So here we stand, / On the summit of the aft, / Hurling defiance / at those who are our misfortune". I know that it could sound like the same old Militaristic Neo-Classical soup, but try it and tell me how it tastes...
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Artist: MATS GUSTAVSSON / PAOLO ANGELI
Title: s/t
Format: CD + Vinyl
Label: PhonoMetak (@)
Distributor: Wallace
Rated: *****
The first chapter of this vinyl series opened with Zu duelling with Iceburn, the follow up is a face to face that puts Mats Gustafsson in front of Paolo Angeli. Talking about the swedish saxophonist (here he plays also alto fluteophone) what should I add you don't know already?...personally I've loved his combined effort together with "Rome's only" Zu (with Takemure more then ever in full blossoming), by the way what we have here is an acoustic improvised performance not so far from many releases coming out on Creative Sources, I'm saying that for many newcomers, since in the past this form of "reinventing the instrument" has been already used in other genres of music. Despite the fact his "weapons" (on this recording) have solid bass timbre, Gustafsson's side presents some crippled, suffocated playing that brought to my mind "a choking" Braxton, Birgit Ulher, Scott Rosemberg or something in the vein. "Men in his boat desperately crushing the ice" instead is a bit more "traditionally" played and is more accessible also for those confidential with jazz recording in solo of other wild saxophonist. Honestly the most interesting side of this split is that referred to the single live-suite played by Paolo Angeli. Beside recommending you to visit his personal website to see what kind of incredible prepared guitars he designs, let's say he lately got the attention of many jazzists for having been commissioned some guitars from Pat Metheny. This live recordings with no overdubs presents the sardinian guitarist crossing jazz boundaries to hybridize it with psychedelia and who knows: post rock?...but that's probably related to the fact this' guitar driven music. Angeli clean performing is an interesting blend of different ideas and techniques and the funny thing is that while changing atmosphere and style, he maintains a good dose of continuity. If you miss Frith and Kaiser teaming up with their acoustic prepared-guitars, here you can hear both of them fused into one with moooooore and mooooore melody.
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Artist: VESTIGIAL (@)
Title: Vestigial
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Distributor: Tesco
Rated: *****
Dark ambient is a difficult genre. This could sound a stupid sentence because everyone with a computer and a decent sound card is able to growl into a mic and to sample some CDs, but in the same sentence you can find the naked truth, because if everyone could be good at making industrial or ambient music the difficult part is represented by giving a good ambience to the recording itself. Vestigial, fortunately for my ears, is really good at making sound his music involving and disturbing thanks to the good mixture of pads, reverbered vocals and treated noises. The four tracks of his first MCD remembered me something of Lustmord of the "Paradise disowned" period. The grinding sub-tones and the cyclic synth sounds form suites where the concept of the "sun that never sets" take form. Check Vestigial myspace page to check his sound at http://www.myspace.com/sunthatneversets.
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