Music Reviews



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Artist: Asylum (@)
Title: Rattus In Sanguine
Format: CD
Label: Dead Love Records
Rated: *****
This cd is the official reissue of the demo already reviewed on this site. The album is released by the Australian label Dead Love Records and, compared to the demo, the sound quality has improved. Yet, I could confirm some of the observations years ago Maurizio Pustianaz wrote: seems that the one man band hasn’t decided yet which is its personal style, and it’s a pity because many ideas are quite interesting and could lead Cryos (the artist behind this work) to a bright future in the industrial area. All tracks are instrumental and show a large use of psychotic loops and distorted drums, usually in a crescendo that involves the listener in Cryos’ morbid Weltanschauung.
I prefer tracks like "Everybody’s Dead", with obsessive strings loops and harsh drums, or "Ancient Poets (Scream of Butterfly Remix)", obscure and sad but with a light remembrance of Enigma, the painful and distressing "Ploratus" or even "Lesbo Sado Dance" with its obsessive hardcore drums, a good track for smoky and crowded techno/industrial clubs. I can’t understand how can be in the same album tracks like the above mentioned and completely different ones, like "Crying People" (with some Vangelis’ atmosphere) or "Human Model", where the commercial influence is excessive for my taste.
Sincerely, ASYLUM has to decide with is its main path, giving an internal coherence to its production (at least on the official releases): the same confusion can be seen in the name of the band that changed continuously so that every time I look at the website I notice a different monicker (Asylum, Porno Machine, Angel Machine). This, together with a much better production (more clearness on string pads and noisy background and emphasis on the powerful drumbeats), could give to Cryos’ project the opportunity to emerge and place himself among the other good Italian industrial acts.
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Artist: MULPHIA (@)
Title: Dark Sides
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya-Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
With MULPHIA the Hungarian-based Advoxya-Records label likes to introduce us another newcomer one-man act hailing out of the Czech Republic. I had to have a watch after the website of this act to recognize that this release is rather a kind of collection of older material of the band instead of being a new produced release. Anyway, this "Dark Sides" give a fine introduction to the internationally Electro/Industrial audience. Musically MULPHIA are based in the wide Dark Electro field featuring a constant Goth influence in all pieces. I would tend to compare them with some early works of SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS and CEPHALGY with a lesser megaseller attitude. It’s definitively not the freshest water of chosen sounds and – so I think – equipment with which the band has to cook here their musically work and I’m not sure if their use of almost forgotten sounds of about 10 to 15 years is intentional or not. The vocals are on most pieces rather natural and almost unaffected performed, while some tracks offer some well-done vocoder effects ("Dark Side", "Into The Core"). It isn’t too much EBM-driven and thanks to the Goth influence rather the tracks tend to concentrate on compositional efforts (nice example: "Broken Down"). Not bad at all and a decent debut, but I’m sure that this act can reach a wider experience to add a bit more complexity in the programmings – also a bit more refreshing of sounds and production should help.
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Artist: AUTO AGGRESSION (@)
Title: Artefacts
Format: CD
Label: Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
With the second CD release of Lukas Schneider the German label Dependent brings out just one of those beloved, but also courageous and in some phases strange release for which this label has reached a fine name world-wide. AUTO AGGRESSION isn’t at all like your daily and usual Electro/Industrial listening and like on his debut Lukas provides again a rather diverse and experimental minded kind of work. The concept for this "Artefacts" (NO typo here...) means to collect and to re-assemble audio byproducts out of digital sound manipulations. What sounds in this description as a real inaccessible extreme experiment isn’t at all that strange. Musically he offers his fine worked out mixture which combines Electro (A Thousand Fires"), rhythmically Powernoise ("Blame", The Sky Is Not Yours", "Speed"), Ambient, Electronica ("Mechanical Sun") and Pop art ("Shallow Things"). Definitively from the intelligent side of music, the used sounds are of course self-created and arranged. Mostly instrumental tracks, Lukas could add again Nives Garasevic doing the female vocal parts on two tracks, and Eskil Simonsson of COVENANT to perform on the track "A Thousand Fires". Always cool to discover something different, unfortunately also this release will be one of the last of this fine label.

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Artist: MOCKINGWYRD
Title: Cracks In The Void
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Some Place Else (@)
Rated: *****
Limited to 150 copies, CRACKS IN THE VOID is the first release by Mockingwyrd. Behind the project there's a mysterious bass player that probably is also collaborating with Kaaos in Eccentris, Typhon Sleeps Heavily and Rytannia. Also on this release the person behind Mockingwyrd uses only the bass guitar to create two suites that remembered me the drones created by the guitars of early Earth records. The bass roars through the effects beings picked, rubbed and used as a magical wand just to create isolationist landscapes that are capable of catch the attention in no time. "Primordial soup" and "Stirrings of life" will fight to find their place into your CD players by winning other boring ones which have tons of cool sounds but without passion... Try it.
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Artist: BATTERY CAGE (@)
Title: A Young Person's Guide To Heartbreak
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records / Alive
Rated: *****
BATTERY CAGE infected by the Dark Romantic virus? BATTERY CAGE goes BLUTENGEL? Nah, not really. Back with a new full-length album after their successful Metropolis debut release "World Wide Wasteland", BATTERY CAGE know well how to surprise the audience. Regarding the new "lovely" looking cover artwork someone may can expect a different musically course inspired to the mostly in Germany based Wave/Romantic attitude. But luckily musically not too much has changed in their known formula, maybe the guitar parts are more integrated. They still produce a convincing kind of Electro/Industrial music featuring Tyler Newman’s rough, but mostly clear performed vocals, attacking guitar riffs and a satisfying amount of Electro bass lines and textures. Their dedication to some classic Coldwave/Industrial influences is obviously, but no real wonder, since they are active since 12 years. The title maybe announces it a bit, BATTERY CAGE have produced a conceptual album, which draws all facets of a love relation starting with the first meeting ("This Party Sucks, Let’s Leave), building attraction ("Hustler", "Single"), intercourse ("I Want To Take You Home"), the connection generally ("Something Wonderful"), desire up to slavery ("Lethal Angel"), starting routine and first doubts ("Compulsive Behavior"), to the creeping and heart-breaking dying of a relation ("Do You Even Remember Me Now", "All Because Of You") up to a horrible requiem-like end ("Fatal Skull Penetration"). No more content of mankind’s failures, no more political and social-critical content – BATTERY CAGE seem to leave this playing field to Mr. "Cyberlord 575" producing some tunes with soundcard and PC. Here are real compositional efforts, real hand-made Electronic music, real guitar riffs, produced under best conditions in 6 different studios in San Francisco and Boston, finally mastered by Mr. Magic himself, Da5id Din, Tyler’s partner in crime (when do we get a new INFORMÄTIK release???). They’ve produced this "guide" in a chronological manner to give the interested listener an easy to follow story board. No need also to pick out the best track here, this album has to be consumed in one turn to get the full dedication on a thematically content, which all of us have more or less experienced. With 19 tracks and more than 76 minutes playing time this album also fulfills the term "full-length", so for what are you waiting for...?

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