Music Reviews



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Artist: Blame (@)
Title: Water
Format: CD
Label: Klangdynamik Records (@)
Distributor: Mono Culture
Rated: *****
This debut album by BLAME was originally released under the flag of the small Serbian label Cold Trinity. But since BLAME-mastermind Boris Posavec has moved a few years before completely to Germany, the German label Klangdynamik has picked up this very limited edition and has brought it out as a re-release. Of course with the knowledge to hold something special in the hands, since the Klangdynamik-roster grows with demanding Dark Electro-acts. BLAME are a bit lighter minded than the usual Dark Electro-sound, the label sheet has explained with a mixture of COVENANT and DIORAMA. Well, the sound of Boris’ voice can be related to DIORAMA for sure, but I would also add some earlier STROMKERN works as a possible comparison. Musically BLAME plays in the field between Futurepop and EBM/Dark Electro, here and there some additional influences of some Techno/Trance-like productions are complimenting this. The programming abilities of Boris are indeed the winning point of this beautiful and varied album. The arrangements and chosen sounds are witnesses of an experienced musician, although Boris’ daily life is leaded of his being as a computer game programmer (he’s a quite good one, just check: www.3d-io.com). Solid stuff to invade the dancefloors is surely enough featured here, "I Hate Your Evolution", Legions – Across These Oceans" or "Evolution" have to be named. Boris’ duet with Jelena Kevic on the track "Unless (Violent)" has to be mentioned to be one of the outstanding pieces of work, even if Jelena’s good female timbre offers that featured special melodic content. "Waterside (Hypergeum)" then is the nearest example to the Dark Electro genre and another favorite. Jelena Kevic is also responsible for the cover art, showing a bluish drawing of a winter time area, which fits to the main theme of this album. For a debut already a very matured piece of work and worth to check out.
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Artist: System
Title: Self-Organising System
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Border Music
Rated: *****
No, that isn’t a typo in the title, which really wonders, since the mysterious Swedish Duo SYSTEM featured through the both members Herr A and Herr B are doing their best to fulfill a sentence found in the attached label sheet: "Machine made Electro-pop-music with the minimum human involvement." So it sounds if robots are producing music – and then such a typo? Oh dear, something went wrong in the SYSTEM I guess... But seriously, this Swedish duo somehow continues with its know style presenting a sort of Electro-Pop music heavily inspired by KRAFTWERK. As for the vocals, they mostly got provided in this typical "robot-like" style and someone may finds this quite entertaining and unique. To me this kind of emotionless vocal performance destroys a lot of the better-than-before compositions and arrangements. At least it is and will ever be the factor "human" in Electro/Industrial productions, which orders the ups and downs in this scene. That seems to be a lecture SYSTEM still have to learn, the importance of good sounding vocals hasn’t to be underestimated. Strange is the fact, that we had even a Swedish newcomer act named VOIDE which provided music in a similar way. It seems that this kind of music, but also generally Dark Electro/EBM currently reaches new ground especially in Sweden. As for SYSTEM, there's nothing wrong with their Synth-/Electro-Pop music, since some tunes are well designed and seem to be a bit more convincing than on their last release "Sample And Hold". But there's surely better stuff in this kind out there...
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Artist: EX-VOTO
Title: DOLOROSO
Format: CD
Label: POOR ALICE MUSIC
Distributor: POOR ALICE MUSIC
Rated: *****
I got the pleasure of seeing this quartet at the Wale the Dead 2 fest in Los Angeles. This band is one of the most Goth Rock bands I have ever seen, they hail from New Orleans and are not to be missed live! The cd is "Doloroso" and it is pure Goth Rock at it's finest. We open with Track one ~ Seven Sisters . a Gothic masterpiece with Larry singing.in a dark haunting voice, " They run, they run, they run, someone watches over me." This track is sure to tear up a dance floor for sure. We proceed on to Track two ~ " Spiritual Lies " which is one of the hardest sounding tracks on the album. Guitar driven and full of speed. Larry sings, " Why can't you see, why can't you listen to me, spritual Lies, spiritual compromise. " A kind of I told you so lesson to be learned that we can all relate to. This track has some kick to it to get you moving and grooving. The next Track three ~ Clean on the Outside was the most amazing track to me on this cd. Larry screeches , " So clean on the outside, Jesus Christ what a mess on the inside." making us think of all that have hurt us in the past. This song should be an anthem to the ones that wrong us. Super Goth Rock guitars blasting with heavy beats beating hard with the heavy expressions that match this song. With lyrics and uniqueness all around. Larry sings again, " My world is crashing, sound the alarm." Once again, clever as it gets. We then proceed on to Track seven ~ She Got it Big which is another great dance floor hit. This song truely Goth Rock at it's finest. Larry sings, " She got it big, she got it hard, knife in her back, right through the heart." This song tells the tale of animals that can tear you up and take your soul. A no hold barred in your face track that has fury and gets under your skin to warn you of evil that is making itself known. A track we can always keep in the back of our minds to have a tale to tell. Then next is Track eight~ Not a Single Tear which describes myself to a tee. It was a track that I had too much in common with and made me laugh a bit. Larry sings, "A black dress and spider webs, crucifix around her neck." Track after track they are all unique and awesome in their own way but Track nine ~ I Can See Right Thru You is by far my favourite track on the whole album. This track was embedded in my mind from the first time I ever heard it. Too damn cool and making me a believer that Goth Rock still exist I got up from my chair and starting dancy in a frensy when I heard it agaiin for this review. Larry sings so dark and so savage, " Your lies will crucify you" Your lyiing ways, your cheating days, and yourself my friend." A tell all, tale that once again is a thorn in our side, that we all bear of the ones that have betrayed us. Everythng about this song I love and will always cherish. It is a new song that I will put up in the high ranks of my favourites. The rest of the album is pure Goth Rock Elegance at it's best and everyone should buy this cd and give praise to " Doloroso " ~ 4 stars Michelle Russo
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Artist: :WULGATA: (@)
Title: Echoes Of The Past... Not Far Away
Format: CD
Label: Beast Of Prey (@)
Rated: *****
Containing eight tracks exploring the dark ambient/industrial realm, ECHOES OF THE PAST... NOT FAR AWAY isn't properly a new album by :Wulgata: as it gathers tracks which previously have been released on the MCDr "Echoes of 3rd", one remix of a Multipoint Injector track included into their "Altered states album" plus two compilation tracks (basically this is a CD reissue of the "Nag Hamadi - Unfinished Story..." CDr released by Mizantrophy Label back in 2005). Of the lot I appreciated most the five tracks coming from "Echoes of 3rd", because they are able to span through different dark ambient/industrial ambiences trying to diversify the sound. So, if "Abyssynthia" is based on minimal sounds/noises with bells and water noises that suddenly break in, "Le jour du soleil noir" has a strong mid tempo rhythmic section (a Middle Eastern kind of rhythm) with distant distorted guitar rumbles and a synth joining in after a while, enriching the atmosphere. "R.otten I.ra P.uryfication", instead, has a background of vocal and drum machine loops and creates a total different mood. The compilation tracks are nice industrial ambient tracks with ethnic references (this concerns "Gange flows") but they kinda stick on the same ground.
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Artist: AHRAYEPH
Title: Marooned On Samsara
Format: CD
Label: D-monic (@)
Rated: *****
Goth music doesn't interest me lately and generally I kinda always preferred post punk to it. Today I received from D-monic the debut album by Ahráyeph, titled MAROONED ON SAMSARA. From their website I read that that M-tronic sub-label is focused on goth music and I started to be afraid about its content. Born as a solo project of Raf Jansen, ex member of Belgian metal/death metal bands Crucifire and Ancient Rites, Ahráyeph started to gather interest on the local musical scene and as a logic consequence Raf found himself in front of people and friends asking to join in. After a bit of rehearsing the band started to work at this album. At this point you'd be ask yourself the reason of all this introduction for a genre I'm not interested into, well... the fact is that Ahráyeph's music is goth but to be true it is more dark than properly goth. It is dark music blending metal, goth and post punk. If on some track I hear influences of Type O Negative, on some others there are light traces of Cure (very feeble). In any case I can't clearly point out influences and similarities because MAROONED ON SAMSARA sounds like a nice blend of genres with good atmospheres, well working synth samples and guitar riffs.
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