Music Reviews



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Artist: ARCANE ART
Title: Nightly Terrors
Format: CD
Label: Trinity Records
Rated: *****
I generally try not to review cds that I think are really bad, but there are times when duty calls and you can't avoid it. Well, out of the Penitent-related batch on Trinity Records, this cd by Arcane Art (Karsten Hamre and Ciprian Pastragus) is surely the worst one. It opens with "Amore Morte", a mix of triumphant drumming and keyboards patterns, which unfortunately gets swamped in a repetitive tune (that is, repetitive in a boring way), and, most of all, clearly betrays one of the main defects of this cd, i.e. an annoyingly flat production and mixing. There are genres which could even benefit from lo-fi recordings, but symphonic dark ambient is definitely NOT one of those - and "Nightly Terrors" sounds like a barely acceptable demo. But besides that, there's also a lack of ideas and taste, as in the basic synth swoosh of "Interlude" or the equally primitive programming of "Sell Your Soul" and the abrupt cut of "Morbid Ana". Let's say that Penitent's cd wasn't exactly memorable or sparkling with new ideas, but it worked alright; Arcane Art, on the contrary, is truly below average.
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Artist: PLAN E
Title: Bassonova
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
After a couple of years from the previous "Best Kept Secret" Jani Lehtosaari and friends created the fourth chapter of their adventure under the Plan E moniker. Producing their songs using everything but electric guitars (only bass guitars are used along the other instruments) the band creates another masterpiece of powerful sadness that doesn’t sound nihilist. Have you in mind the effect of the tracks of the third Nick Cave album titled "Your funeral my trial"? Tracks like "The carny" where the crawling effect created by the gypsy atmospheres were splitting the hearts in two? Plan E did the same with "Remember the future" but using a rock structure. 70s rock meet new wave atmospheres with a metal approach a la Type O Negative. The ten tracks will entertain you exploring the deepest corner of you soul. This is passionate music!
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Artist: X-SANGUIS (@)
Title: Pavor Nocturnus
Format: CD
Label: Ainia Records (@)
Rated: *****
Formed back in 2002 X-Sanguis released only three tracks at the moment and you can find them all on their album PAVOR NOCTURNUS. The three tracks are long ritual suites made out of cyclic parts played with drums, bass, and samples (only the third track "Epäonnistuneen messu" is based on electronic instruments and this because this one has been their first track recorded in 2002, while the other two have been recorded two years after). The result is really dark and hypnotic. The effect is like to listen to a darkwave version of Black Sabbath mixed with progressive music. The thing I appreciated most is that X-Sanguis take their influences from early Current 93 and early Cold Meat Industry and then they reprocess everything taking off the superfluous and adding also some melodic lines on some moments. "Eeli, eeli, lama sabaktani", "Partition 2" and "Epäonnistuneen messu" will convince you and will prove you that there's still a way to present something new into the genre.
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Artist: BUNKER SOLDIER (@)
Title: The Debris Field
Format: CD
Label: Neo Cultural Front Records


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From the blend of industrial, hip hop and new wave of the first Bunker Soldier 1996 release titled "Quite a dilemma", Tim moved to new wave / e.b.m. / industrial influences on his 1999 album "Innuendo". 2004 was the time of the "Triple threat" single where with the two electro industrial songs "Warlocked" and "Firewall" you can find a sign of Bunker Soldier opening to commercial music. "Flying" was a catching track that with its danceable structure was able to satisfy the radio audience and also the electro lovers that were also interested in commercial stuff. The new album THE DEBRIS FIELD moves a step ahead into the concept of blending really commercial songs (too much commercial for my taste) with electronic tunes influenced by 80s new wave (see bands like A Flock Of Seagulls or Psychedelic Furs). With the help of five different singers Tim packed ten songs of which nine new (the tenth is a version of "Flying – I want to go"). The opening "Darkness falls" recalled me the Psychedelic Furs while "Close the door" has something of U2 (the guitar style) and the following "When all is lost" has got something of Bryan Adams. Basically half songs of the track list have for a commercial approach (sometimes they are too rock for me) while the other half have still that electronic industrial new wave blend (see the track "Disappoint" or "Infection") that I have already appreciated. It is difficult to tell if this is a good album or not, because I really liked the tracks influenced by 80s and by electronic but I feel a little confused about the commercial rock ones. I'd give five stars to half of the album and I'd leave the other half without a judgement because it isn't really what we are dealing with usually.
P.s. There's also an instrumental version of the album available and it is titled "This void beyond measure"
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Artist: TERENCE FIXMER
Title: Silence Control
Format: CD
Label: International DJ Gigolo Records
Distributor: EFA Medien
Rated: *****
Thanks to his latest collaboration with the legendary voice of NITZER EBB, Douglas McCarthy, the French TERENCE FIXMER could earn a not expected success and attention of the Electro/Industrial/TBM scene. The kind and style of this collaboration is still alive and has experienced a nice impact also for his new release "Silence Control". His origins are still placed in the Techno scene – which is still a present kind in his music – but FIXMER shares also the EBM infiltrated kind of electronic-based music. This is one of the countless releases done by a DJ spinning some dark loops until he gets here and there some impressive and convincing sound ideas. Not the classic style of doing a "real" composition, but still unique enough. Not all of his tracks here get my totally dedication, but so are different people’s tastes. A favorite can be named in the teutonic piece "In Dust", which hammers out some excellent percussive work. I must admit that I miss a bit the clear vocals of Douglas McCarthy, his own voice and the ones of his "guests" here can not follow in any case the abilities of McCarthy. Musically diversity is rich given here and so this release should get some good reactions by an open-minded audience.
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