Music Reviews



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Artist: HOH (@)
Title: We Can Work It Out
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Zang: Records (@)
Rated: *****
Active since early 2000s Hoh a.k.a. Helge Olav Øksendal is releasing for Zang Records a new MCD after his latest album "Bestemor" published the last year. Unfortunately for me, this is the first time I have the chance to try his music and it's really difficult to understand his music having two original compositions and four remixes of those two. Anyway, the CD opens with "Lovebreak", a track which starts slowly like a dripping water tap and slowly it's rhythmically enriched sounding like a dub i.d.m. track. After a couple of minutes the track reveals itself adding a nice nervous bass line which subsequently is coupled by the performance of an agitated vocalist. The Dj Woo and the QRT remixes give to that track a break-beat and an electro experimental treatment. The second original track is the main one "Wecan work it out". The track is twelve minutes long and it starts with a calm synth loop. After a while rhymth and a nice female vocal are added and some other little synth layers are added. The tracks plays with these elements for its whole length without being changed that much. Is like HOH wanted to create a melodic moment suspended in time. The ".P remix" of the tracks de-construct it by slowing it and adding distortion little by little until there's nothing left of the melody. After three minutes (on the middle of it) a sort of industrial scenario made of a looped synth pattern plus some other throbbing sounds has take a hold and it sounds like Godzilla stomping on a birth cake. Nice one. The closing track is a radio edit which represent the essence of the track. A better one, because it's less dispersive.
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Artist: MENACE RUINE
Title: Cult Of Ruins
Format: CD
Label: Alien 8 (@)
Rated: *****

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After releasing the demo "In Vulva Infernum", the mysterious duo behind Menace Ruine started to play gigs around Canada. The Montreal band soon caught the attention of the Canadian label Alien 8 which already released other bands which had metal influences on their sound. The first album by Menace Ruine contains seven tracks and despite some black metal influences (see the vocals on the opening "Process of bestialization") and some obsessive percussive parts, the band is capable of creating a convincing mix of dissonant melodies, despair and tension which find its top on "Kill the egregore". On this one we have a razor like sound which seems to come from the sewer where a guitar which sounds like an Farfisa organ duet with a rumbling percussive tambourine and a female chant. "They who enter caves" has a similar scheme but the male vocals are less original because follow the black metal rule of having bleeding sore throats on vocals. If you don't consider that, CULT OF RUINS will sound different to your ears and you'll appreciate the mud which will drip from your speakers...
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Artist: EFTUS SPECTUN
Title: The Tocks Clicking
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Rated: *****
If I start by saying this' a strange release nobody will be surprise since we're talking about Public Eyesore. Eftus Spectun are the result of a weird mix of influences not so far from a less technical answer to Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum, they're just softer, much more swinged and less crippled whatever it means. Can you imagine Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, 8-Eyed Spy, Mr Bungle, Beefheart and James Chance on novocaine jamming in the same band? If you can, then you probably have a sort of idea of what you're gonna experience during this collection of short songs. 8-Eyed Spy more than Contorsions since unfortunately for Eftus Spectun even if they're talented musicians and they're damn odd, they're not as flipped out and not even that nihilistic. By the way, don't think this combo is that linear for they've added some really dark, quasi dark ambient tracks to this already unconventional collection of sketches and what follows is a consequential scary atmosphere. Dark-post-no-wave work? More than this that's why I've said these people is ideally comparable to Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum, for example take "The moth and the oval vase" and "Spekled Nesbit" it's not always obscure music, sometimes I can guess there's the shadow of Zappa (... Faith No More?) gone deformed and in some way: "fusion". I think now you've everything you need to start painting a picture of this weird weird english band.


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Artist: LYSERGENE
Title: Critical Mass
Format: CD
Label: Aesthetic Death (@)
Rated: *****
After publishing the Dead Beat Project, Aesthetic Death is releasing another solo album by a member of Esoteric. This time we have Gordon Bicknell, Esoteric's guitarist, who under the Lysergene moniker is bringing us a good album titled CRITICAL MASS. The album has nine tracks which are in balance from ambient industrial, industrial e.b.m. and 70's cosmic ambience. The album opens with the main track and just after one minute of tense ambient sounds it literally explodes proposing a multitude of sounds: on the background we have light industrial percussions, upfront we have a drum machine which duets with distorted horns and synth layers which gone mad. An intricate web of sounds which only apparently is chaotic. "Twisted and evil" is less chaotic and it's a sort of continuum to the opening one. It starts like an ambient track just to turn into a rhythmic tribal electronic dance. "Monolith" is pure industrial e.b.m. while "L.s.d." starts like an ambient track just to turn into a cinematic electronic tune. "Neon flow" and "Network tv" are ideally linked to "Monolith" bringing more instrumental industrial e.b.m. to the menu. With "The groke" the album changes and we have a sort of industrial version of Sunn o))) just to turn again on a more ambient industrial e.b.m. ambience on "The becoming". "Shock treatment" closes the album with a blast, proposing a mix of all the above. If you love cinematic tense atmospheres, ambient industrial CRITICAL MASS and 70's electronic as well as kraut rock, try this one...
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Artist: LUASA RAELON (@)
Title: season of the witch
Format: CD
Label: Snip-Snip records (@)
Rated: *****
Luasa Raelon is another project involving Harvest Reed that we've recently reviewed with his other moniker Envenomist, and it's a high quality release. Differently from his work title "Abyssal siege" he's put out with Envenomist name, "Season of the witch" is less focused on distant sounds and although you hear he used reverbs, the context is a bit different. Harvest Reed's touch is easily distinguishable and it's still a dark-ambient work, but everything moves essentially "around" you and the drowning sensation this time is not haunting the whole recording. I find this work is less trippy and way more sinister and I got this impression from the early tracks. I don't know exactly the background of this american musician, but differently from many post-black-metal-dark ambient projects, this music is obscure but also incredibly elegant, that's why my hypothesis is he's probably took big doses of industrial/isolationist/experimental listenings. The fact is Season of the witch" reminded me of some of the most intense releases Lustmord, Hafler Trio (when going more ambient), Lull, Eclipse just with a more actual sound. Generally I don't go mad for that kind of works, but Luasa Raelon and generally, everything else I've heard from this Reed, is really intense and the funny thing is its simplicity. After having played this cd several times my impression is that Reed is somewhere among isolationism and dark ambient and that's what probably makes the difference.
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