Music Reviews



Oct 01 2007
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Artist: HOCICO
Title: About A Dead
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
The well-known Mexican duo HOCICO returns with a new teasing CDS-release to introduce their new and upcoming album. This release also should work well to appease the critical voices proclaiming the end of this act, since the predecessor "Wrack And Ruin" was reviewed scanty and that front man and vocalist Erk could earn success and respect with his own solo project RABIA SORDA (check out the interview with him somewhere also on our site here...). "About A Dead" is a typically fast-placed HOCICO-smasher, with which the band will definitely strengthen their own worked-out status – nothing and no one of the upcoming copycats will ever enter their throne. Club-hit, for sure! The surprise is the second new track "The Last Warning", which is contrary to the main title a creepy and sinister arranged item. It is striking that HOCICO can easily produce an ominous and still aggressive tune, also thanks to the fact that Erk’s vocal performance is present here. Follows then 3 different remix works of "About A Dead" provided by PROCEED, Out Of Line’s newcomer act LOLA ANGST and CEPHALGY. PROCEED are concentrating successfully to reduce the richer layered original to their known minimal EBM textures, while the work of CEPHALGY acts inconspicuous. The remix of LOLA ANGST, aptly entitled "Speedy Conzales-Remix", integrates some Mexican-Siesta-like trumpet sounds – spread in some humor into the straight HOCICO works, what a nice idea. HOCICO return here in best conditions and they’ll also headlining the upcoming Out Of Line-festival tour through Europe – therefore no serious reasons to doubt on them.

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Artist: Zelienople (@)
Title: His/Hers
Format: CD
Label: Type Records (@)
Rated: *****
Zelienople are a trio hailing from Chicago, formed by Matt Christensen, Mike Weis and Brian Harding. This is their first release on the eclectic Type label and comes after some awesome releases on Last Visible Dog, Digitalis Industries, Time-Lag and Root Strata. The album fires into action with the most canonical track on the album called "Family Beast", a sludgy and tormented composition. "Moss Man" shows beautifully filtered vocals and overwhelming feedbacks that somehow reminded me of Flying Saucer Attack. A cascading build-up of melted acoustic sources is the core of "Forced March", harsh avant-folk soaked in LSD. And after the freakout of the 4th track things go back to normal with the last track called "Sweet Ali". A 45-minute album that evolves on each track, "His/Hers" can seriously grow on you if you let it. Essential blues-tinged psychedelic folk with a skilled use of feedback - a perfect record for the winter to come.

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Artist: Pride And Fall
Title: In My Time Of Dying
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Only one year after their predecessor release, the Norwegian-based Futurepop-act PRIDE AND FALL returns with a new full-length album. It also marks one of the very last releases by the German Dependent label and since this happening is more than sad enough, the band has decided to include some dedicated words to thank the label for the fruitful cooperation. Musically not too much has changed in the PRIDE AND FALL outfit. Still balancing out the genres between Synth-/Futurepop up to EBM, it nevertheless can’t be ignored that the term "epic" has to be added. Their arrangements are sounding rich, detailed and multi-layered, while I sometimes miss a bit the try to experiment with additional synth-sounds. Another striking point is the sad and romantic mood which the compositions of PRIDE AND FALL offer. All of you who draw relations of Synth-/Futurepop with happiness should use and listen this release to experience something different. Of course, as the title announces it already, globally the featured content here deals with dark, sad or depressive themes ("I Wither") – arrangements and lyrics full of "sunshine-reggae" would be misplaced. For sure the right album for some cold and dark autumn evenings in front of a fireplace, I also like to forgive them the here and there obviously try to sound like VNV NATION at their "Empires"-phase. "Adored" is a fine and catchy worked out Futurepop-tune, which should be able to cause some action on the dancefloors. "The Burning Faith" surprises with a cooperation-effort by the Japan-based Ambient-musician KENJI SIRATORI, who’s responsible for the lyrics and vocals. "In My Time Of Dying" is a very good produced album which deserves the so-called Dependent quality-seal, although nobody should expect the re-invention of the light bulb.
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Artist: MARY AND THE BOY
Title: Mary And The Boy
Format: CD
Label: Low Impedance Recordings (@)
Distributor: Msen Music
Rated: *****
Formed in 2004 as Mougra Band, Mary And The Boy during these years produced music for dance shows and theater. Coming from Greece the band is formed by two musicians and a dancer. Their first self titled album has a high dramatic and theatrical component and (not only because they're coming from Greece) the female vocals sometimes remember me of Diamanda Galas. The tracks are based on electronics and guitars but the main part is represented by the vocals (both female and male). In this way we have musical experimentations with a melodic structure which is functional to the theatrical aspect of the project. Lyrics deals with sex, death, humiliation and failure and they aren't descriptive of a particular situation, instead they are like flashes. "Black terror" for example opens with: "Oh black terror. Black whore of silence. That man nailed me down. He took his knife and ripped my heart". Musically the album opens with a duet with chants and piano just to explode with the second track, "Death", where a distorted guitar and a bass line create the right background for a crying woman. The band is good at the creation of these particular dramatic atmospheres and they deserve your attention.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: WHW
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: SkullLine (@)
Distributor: SkullLine
Rated: *****
Germany’s special mail order service and underground Powernoise-label SkullLine releases only a few month after "Document A" another compilation. This time they like to celebrate their 1st anniversary of the SkullLine label and for this event they’ve invited besides the complete own roster several acts musically based in the wide field between EBM, Powernoise, Minimal, Ambient, Martial Industrial and Neo-Folk. Of course and thanks to the rich amount of acts joining this compilation, this release comes out as a double-CD packaged in a huge DVD case. Also – as usual – it is limited to 200 hand-numbered copies, from which 64 exemplars will be released as a box-set including a T-shirt.
Giving CD1 a first spin, it is already conspicuous how diverse the musically playing field of this compilation will turn. SkullLine’s very own act TT provides an intro-track which comes unusual dark, while KALIBER 9 storming merciless in your brain with a hefty Powernoise tune, a remix of their track "Neurotoxin". Neo-Folk-inspired works musically supported by acoustic guitars you’ll get with the appearances of BERKANA ("Sehnsucht Nach Dem Frühling" – lyrics originally written by August H. Hoffmann, a well-known traditionally German text) or ROSE ROVINE E AMANTI. Rather sedating comes the Dark-Ambient tune of EINHEIT 731, while BLEIBURG surprises once again with an outlook to a coming new album, "Der Meldereiter" comes out as a straight rhythmic-oriented track featuring some amusing German voice samples. In between we have STANDGERICHT, another project new signed to SkullLine, offering Minimal textures with a slight noisy ingredient. Something new also from SHIFT 69, the track "Arbeit" features retro-EBM structures and sampled and vocoderized vocals – WELLE:ERDBALL can be named to be a quell of inspiration. The term "Noise" in a rhythmically form returns with the appearances of both ZYANKALI and TRITON 83, and with LIFE’S DECAY one of the international better known artists joins this comp. MANMACHINE, last but not least, ends this compilation with a rather dark Ambient-tune, also from this act a new release out on SkullLine is in the works.
CD2 got opened by MARK LANE offering a moody Dark Electro/Ambient-driven track entitled "Atomium". Other striking appearances have to be named with LADY MORPHIA ("Widerstand" – something between Goth and Neo-Folk, well-done male vocals and a orchestral-like musically building.), NEJET NOK ("Singen, Lachen, Töten", minimal retro-EBM structures with pitched vocals and German lyrics which cause a smile...) and SCHALLGEWALT ("Electrocabinette", a minimal but speedy rhythmic piece remixed by BLEIBURG). Also a positive point is the fact that especially the second CD of this set doesn’t forget to include some more or lesser known acts like MELEK-THA, HYBRIDS, CONTAGIOUS ORGASM or KENJI SIRATORI, all providing stuff in their representative styles.
Although the second CD out of this set may features the better-known names, the favorites can be mostly heard on CD1, at least to my personal preferences. SkullLine-chief Harald Jarosch has once again concentrated to collect a very diverse and wide-ranging music compilation, on which no appearance sounds like any other on here. Some surprises drifting in unexpected musically regions seems to become more and more a trademark of his work for the SkullLine label as well, so let’s listen and see what the coming months will bring until we’ve to celebrate the 2nd year anniversary.

Tracklist:

CD 1 :
01. TT – WHW (intro)
02. Kaliber 9 – Neurotoxin (RMX)
03. Berkana – Sehnsucht nach dem Frühling (Lyric of August H. Hoffmann)
04. Einheit 731 (S.T.A.B ELECTRONICS INC.) – Last Glint
05. Rose Rovine E Amanti – Noi Ritorneremo
06. Von Thronstahl – Returne your Revolt into Style (Boss / Lagerfeld Mix)
07. Standgericht – Total Discipline (V2)
08. Bleiburg – Der Meldereiter (RMX)
09. Shift69 – Arbeit
10. Heiliges Licht – Untitled (only for WHW)
11. Zyankali – Zyklon
12. Triton 83 – Insolent Ungodliness
13. Life’s Decay - Regimental
14. MDMA – Vengeance
15. Bonemachine – Rhythmus der Einsamkeit
16. Manmachine – We Love in Still

CD 2 :
01. Mark Lane – Atomium
02. Genocide Lolita – Haganah Whores
03. Lady Morphia – Widerstand (symphonic version)
04. Melek-tha – Complaint de la Terre Brulee
05. Nejet Nok – Singen, Lachen, Töten
06. Hybryds – Resistance
07. Von Liebenfels – Sailing Homeward
08. Zhark – Eisenzeit (C-64) Dedicated to Josef Maria Klumb/Von Thronstahl
09. Kenji Siratori – Rebirth
10. Exemtum – Tribute to Club Moral
11. Camisole – Recycle the Dead
12. Contagious Orgasm – The Fall
13. Iron Youth feat. The 120 Days – White Comfort (Re-2007)
14. Lonsai Maikov – Coup de Grace (demo)
15. Schallgewalt - Electrocabinette (RMX by Bleiburg)
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