Music Reviews



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Artist: SANG.RAEL (@)
Title: Seasons Change And Illusions Fade
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This debut release of the US one man act SANG.RAEL proves once more, that it doesn’t need a label contract to bring out professionally a CD. Hailing out of Arizona, Nikolas Phrasavath could already enter some recognition thanks to his both tracks featured on both quadruple CD compilations "Endzeit Bunkertracks" Vol. 1 and 2, out on Alfa Matrix. This CD comes in a well done digi pack providing all relevant information and the cool artwork is done and executed by Michel Renfield of NOISE PROCESS (www.soilodge.net). I’m wondering a bit that until now no label could pay some attention on this act, moreover because the good quality of the music is without doubt. Musically you’ll get a fine arranged Dark Electro/Industrial stuff following the paths of known acts like the older INFORMÄTIK, yes, and it should be allowed to name NOISE PROCESS as a possible reference as well. Nick’s pieces here are pending between faster and danceable tunes ("A Brighter Day", "Prophetic" and my personal favorite "Inside Of You") to slower and more melodic pieces like the must-be-heard "This Moment" and "The Blue" (featuring a nice vocoder effect on Nick’s vocals). Three remix works are also available here done by THE AZOIC ("Prophetic"), HARDWIRE (an unknown name for me, but a well done work on "Inside Of You") and NOISE PROCESS (the winner of this "contest" with a darker than the original version of "This Moment"). Please make sure to contact Nick to purchase this limited to 1000 exemplars and numbered release of one of the best kept secrets the Electro/Industrial genre has to offer. Next to the lately discovered FIX8:SED8 another favorite which won’t collect dust here, get it!!!
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Artist: EO IPSO
Title: Endzeitstimmung
Format: CD
Label: GrenTzwert (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
It’s end-time mood for this mysterious German duo and all who’d expected a new harsh EBM output are wrong – Powernoise-Industrial, that’s the formula to describe this sonic assault. Second release also for the new label GrenTzwert after the debut of GREIFENKEIL, this release is a kind of collection of older material mostly presented on obscure and limited releases far beyond my knowledge. It includes of course some new pieces as well, so that this CD can be called a nice collection of the complete work of this act. The offered music fits well into the globally Powernoise/Industrial-Noise genre, it is mostly fat layered and rhythmically arranged. Pogo-like dancefloor action should be guaranteed with the steady tracks like "Erstschlagspolitik" or "Held Für Deutschland". Some words have to been said to the track names, which may do leave here and there some questions. It also has to be said because EO IPSO do provide vocals – as far how much they are understandable through the massive use of distortion and overdrive effects. They integrate phrases by repeating slogans or titles like a phrasemonger over and over again – a special kind to get a hypnotic effect, if the given tracks aren’t somehow noisy and monotonous enough for your taste. It is written in that info sheet that they don’t spread any politically message – well, check yourself with track names like "Millitärkomplex", "Globalisierungsgegner" or both above mentioned. It looks a bit that they follow in their own kind the ideology of a well known act like FEINDFLUG, while musically not comparable. A bit provocation can not hurt, it may can produce attention. Fans of rhythmically Powernoise efforts can’t go wrong with this item.
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Artist: Scanalyzer
Title: On the One and the Zero
Format: CD
Label: Positron! Records (@)
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
For you uninitiated, if your blood type is "0+1" but you don't know it yet, this is one of those CDs that will forever wed you to the Little Black Box. Formed out of the programming brains of Sister Machine Gun and Christ Analogue respectively, Chris Randall and Wade Alin concoct an all-instrumental sonic assault by the numbers. The special deal with this CD is that you, the buyer, become legally licensed for file sharing, podcasting, and even sampling the song tracks themselves, under something called Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 (those numbers, again...). What's neat about that added dimension is that On the One and the Zero doubles as both entertainment and raw source material to make even more entertainment. Although the music itself isn't much more than straight EBM canon, you really can't go wrong either way.
Artist: Grigori 3 (@)
Title: Exile
Format: CD
Label: Dark Star Records (@)
Distributor: Dark Starr Records
Rated: *****
Grigori 3's long awaited album came out nationwide on August 8th, 2006 called "Exile" It made it's mark and is quite what it was supposed to live up to! Gwen sings througout this album with beautiul Evanescenceque vocals with latin undetones.

She has a very unique voice that matches the Gothic/Industrial rock heavy guitar and surprize baroque downtime that compliments this album greatly. We open this album with "The System" that is truely a dansefloor hit to start out with. Gwen sings to our doomed planet." There something inside, they us to hide, society's rule they brandish us fool." "Listen to me, heed my please, wer're bleeding from the inside, infecting thoughts to control our minds. Complete control, it's inside you." The machines are taking over and she's pissed! Next we move to "Visions" sung by Gwen and special guest Jewel from the band Deconstruct.


This trio compliment each other singing melancholic and all knowing. Gwen sadly sings to us," With broken arms or broken wings give me the treatment your denying prechorus ( your eyes) I can see it." This song is beutifully orchestrated with melodic keyboards and heavy hard hitting guitar that keeps you moving and feeling the pain she is expressing to us all. Then we have "Awakening" that really sticks out a lot due to pure latin lyrics and talk of the unknown. Gwen sings solmenly to her masses,"Clarity of visions knowing the unknown, awakening in visions a new world will unfold." Rhyming in time and gettting to the point. "Kindred" is next and flows like the blood through our veins. "Abandon all who enter, you will release the hunger."

"Living in the darkness, hiding from the light, you've walked among us for centuries." This track is perfect for a soundtrack to and old German expressionist noir film. "Shadows" is next and keep haunting us with Gwen singing," Shadows of old worlds gone." keeping us entranced and wanting more. We then move on to "Defende" a almost all latin track singing, " Defend us in battle, defend, defend. "Enlighten us here from today, give us the strength, to stand tall, defend us in battle." Beautfiul keyboard antics backing her voice and leading us into armageddon. Another keyboard Baroque masterpiece is "Feast" that reminds me of a classical sonata written for the banquet of the damned. Singing," We feast with a thrist of this we can't deny." "We drink from the vine inside, we feast on your thoughts inside, we drink from the vine, inside we feast on your thoughts inside." Total mind control as you feel Gwen reel you in and take your brain and turn it into mush. Truely hypnotic programming and hard hitting danse beats. "Silently Breeding" is the slowest and most haunting track on the whole album.

It truely reminds me of an alienesque trilogy jumping out to take over your body to harvest it's young, truely horrifying and in your face. If you knew this singer, she literally sings in your face and makes her presence known! This track someday I see being on a soundtrack to one of those extraterresial movies, you watch, someday it will. "Megotholis" is not only a song but it will be a book someday by Ray the guitar player.

This song is like your own Gothic Metropolis coming a world near you. The lyrics are cryptic and are thought provoking. Gwen sings to us once again." Technology rules our fate, laser scorched numbers, grids inside our heads, a matrix encases in chrome, a grid full of numbers, our future plan reminiscing with numbers tattooed to each of our ands." Words to live by and to fear. Look for the book to come out soon to a town near you. You may never be the same. After this one comes " Night Aire", by far one of the most phantom of the operaesque masterpieces to hit this album.

A ode to the night and all creatures that stem from it! Night Aire is one of the most beautiully written tracks on this album, elaborate and bold. Lyrics such as " We bid farewell to power, we hail hello to fear the night air, thickens with lost souls while all survive, we're running and screaming like children playing on a warm midsummers day." Treuly some of the most clever stories of old tradition, an ode to the night and all that desires and worships it. You won't stop dancing throughout this whole album, it was written with blood, sweat and tears and really shines through. The most special. sentimental and last track on this album is "Think me wicked." This track was written by Gwen for me based on myself for always being a nonconformist to our society and always doing things my way, like Frank Sinatra sang about! Gwen sings to me, " I believe in fairytales, enchanted worlds with frost in the air, Gothic gardens castles everywhere, think me wicked you dare compare."

Truely written based on my views on this life and how I conquer it, cease it and make it mine." In a nutshell this album is truely a brilliant masterpiece and I am honoured to share it with you and be a big part of it. We have waitied so long for this to hit and here it is, so let us take your mind and say to you," You will listen!."
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: alfa matrix re:connected [2.0]
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Released in a beautiful paper card box with a nice art work here comes a new DCD compilation set of the Alfa Matrix label group out of Belgium. The reason for the release is simple, also Alfa Matrix celebrates its 5th anniversary. With an ever growing roster the need for DCD is surely required to pick all active acts. Almost all bands offer new stuff, or hard to find items. Check the track listing below and pick out your favorite, but a few need to be mentioned here. HEADSCAN opens the first CD with a new cut "Tomorrow Square" – high skilled and modern with some well integrated Trance elements as usual. ZOMBIE GIRL also return with a tougher remix of "Bleeder" which really kicks! TAMTRUM also satisfy here with a remix of their cut with the unspeakable name "Paranoiak, Hypokondriak & Toxicomaniak (The Poison Gift Remix)". Great tracks are also presented by INURE with "Neverending" – this act gets better and better – and STRAY, a side-project of the beloved she-devil UNTER NULL, although on her "Intoxicate (b mix)" I can’t see the sense for this side-project, because the relation to UNTER NULL is immense. Not to forget is Claus Larsen providing a track under his very own name. Second CD offers a new UNTER NULL cut, which follows the kind of her past work and I’m sure the listeners and fans of Erica’s stuff will dig this new tune as well. Both latest new signings I:SCINTILLA and TECHNOIR presenting the title tracks of their EP’s (TECHNOIR offers a special "Birthday Mix"), which got both released besides this compilation in these days. Another new signing is the Swedish act MIND:STATE which follows musically the given course of acts like ASSEMBLAGE 23 with out convincing completely – a bit more own ideas and identity please. SKANDA is a new project between the AIBOFORCEN member Benoit Blanchart and the a;GRUMH frontman J3, also presenting here their first musically sign of life, stylistically playing an ominous kind of haunting EBM – well done, I’ll look forward to hear more. Always to mention has been now and then PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE providing us the old-school formula, and this works also beautiful with "So Schön". The value of this compilation is of course presented though the exclusive stuff all bands have to offer. If you have discovered this growing force out of Belgium you have to pick up this fine DCD set ASAP!

TRACK-LISTING

CD1:
01. HEADSCAN . tomorrow square
02. NEBULA-H feat. PANGEA . andalusion
03. ZOMBIE GIRL . bleeder (industrial strength mix by Seb)
04. IMPLANT . the stimulator
05. SERO.OVERDOSE . your road
06. REGENERATOR . angelie
07. LEAETHER STRIP . gaza strip (occupied territories version)
08. DUNKELWERK . your love (rough cut)
09. TAMTRUM . paranoïak, hypokondriak & toxicomaniak (the poison gift mix)
10. FRONT 242 . headhunter (live)
11. INURE . neverending
12. O.V.N.I. . panic inside (edit)
13. STRAY . intoxicate (b mix)
14. AGONISED BY LOVE . frozen in me (GOD'S OWN MEDICINE mix)
15. CLAUS LARSEN . dannebrog

CD2:
01. UNTER NULL .prophecy
02. MENTALLO & THE FIXER . brute force uploading (mescalero radio edit)
03. AYRIA . the gun song (shooting blanks)
04. I:SCINTILLA . havestar
05. KLUTAE . happy birthday
06. DISKONNEKTED . 10 years (V 0.1 repeat)
07. MIND:STATE . belief
08. TECHNOIR . manifesto (birthday mix)
09. AIBOFORCEN . confusion (PRIDE & FALL mix)
10. GLIS . dead set [7am]
11. SEIZE . craving (press the mushroom mix)
12. MONOLITH . al ahali (techno mix)
13. SKANDA . soma
14. NEIKKA RPM . demon breeder (anno 5 mix)
15. PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE . so schön
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