Music Reviews



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Artist: TEMPLE OF TWILIGHT (@)
Title: On Your Knees
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Formed in Dortmund three years ago Temple Of Twilight is a goth band that tried and succeed into avoiding the goth cliché thanks to the warm and personal voice of Andy and thanks to their particular goth metal formula. If you want an example check "Away", the fifth and closing track of their second E.P. titled ON YOUR KNEES, it is a rock ballad that has also a moment where it turns into a seventies catchy track (if you know the Persuaders series main theme, you can understand what I mean). Another good example of their eclectic approach is the second title "All the believers": it blends goth metal with a semi techno e.b.m. synth and it has also a couple of changes that make of it a cool track. The opening "On your knees" sounds like a classic goth metal track while "Through the rain" is a pure rock ballad that prepares the audience for "Graveyard", another good goth tune. Don't make you stop by the unappealing cover and if you are a curious guy, Temple Of Twilight sound has something to say...
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Artist: TECHNO SQUIRRELS (@)
Title: Om Mani
Format: CD EP
Label: Rave Police (@)
Rated: *****
After releasing the last year their debut E.P. Lisa and Ryan continued working on their music developing it in a sort of trance pop techno. The new single OM MANI contains two new tracks "Om mani" and "My shrimplike beat". The first one, as indicated by the title (coming from the mantra "Om mani padme hum"), insert obviously Indian sitar sounds and a trance rhythm. Lisa vocal is like a gently loop that repeat the mantra constantly (adding some verses here and there). Also the melody follow the same scheme and the repetition of two of three patterns meet the sitar sounds that come and go. The second track is more influenced by trance and acid house and it sounds less pop. Here Lisa vocals are surrounded by layers of synths and ambient pads and the upbeat rhythm make of it a track more dancefloor oriented. The remaining three tracks are remixes of the main title. Rene Patrique version is more techno house oriented, he removed most of the vocals concentrating the attention of the main melody and on the pumping rhymth. Mount Oliphant worked more on the techno front adding also ethnic sounds making a particular version excessive but also with some delicate sounds (acoustic guitars, sitars, etc). The last version is the Robert Jax vs. Techno Squirrel version and it removes all the ethnic references but the voice, focusing the sound on a pure house techno sound really functional. As for the first single the Techno Squirrels prove themselves good at making pop dance tunes that work well also on clubs. If German style is too aggressive for you and you love remixed versions of Madonna's songs, try this one.
Artist: Modern English
Title: Mesh & Lace
Format: CD
Label: 4 AD
Distributor: Amazon
Rated: *****
Modern English was very well known back in the 80's by being a new wave band with their number one chart buster hit "Melt With You", which is still being played on the radio stations and being used in television commercials such as Ritz Crackers. Their second album "After The Snow", which the single appeared on was a successful seller that took their music career off the ground. before the band went through transformation by being a pop band, they was once Goth & Punk and very heavily influence by Bauhaus, including Joy Division and The Sex Pistols. Their first 1981 release "Mesh & Lace", which is now digitally remastered and feature bonus tracks tells it all. Before Bauhaus, Dead Can Dance, The Cocteau Twins, Clan of Xymox, The Pixies, Throwing Muses, X-mal Deutschland and many others who was signed on the label by Ivo who started the company, Modern English was the very first band to be signed on the 4AD label. "Mesh & Lace" is a dark gloomy album that shows off being deep mentally disturb, angry, frustration, sadness, and depression. All 15 tracks on the cd is worth a listen. Whoever thought Modern English making dark moody music? The Children of the 80's and Goths will be certainly get a big surprise once they hear this classic release. The album feature the singles "Swans On Glass", "Gathering Dust", "16 Days", "Smiles & Laughter", and the self-titled "Mesh & Lace". You can hear the Bauhaus influence with a combination of scratched guitars, industrial noise, and film samples in their music, but also their signature sound as well, which you can hear in their 1983 release "After The Snow". This first release is brilliant and impressive and delivers a strong emotional intense COLD and DARK moody side. The cd cover a bizarre shocking that is characterised by ethereal imagery and surreal visual shocks; a masturbating fish. This is an import and was only released in England. But you can check your local record stores or order it off Amazon.com or from the 4AD label. A classic collection item to have for Modern English, New Wave/80's and Gothic fans.Tracklistings:1. Gathering Dust (4AD 15A)2. 16 Days3. Just A Thought4. Move In Light5. Grief6. The Token Man7. A Viable Commercial8. Black Houses9. Dance Of Devotion (A Love Song)10. Smiles And Laughter (AD 110)11. Mesh And Lace (AD 110)12. Tranquility (AD 15B)13. Home (BAD 11)14. Swans On Glass (AD 6A)15. Incident (AD 6B)
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Artist: Ahasverus (@)
Title: Evocation
Format: CD
Label: Ahasverus Records
Rated: *****
Ahasverus is the musical project of Swedish archaeologist/linguist Henrik Summanen. In the stunning booklet of his second work "Evocation", we find images of pagan (Mesopotamian?) gods. As for the music, there is a meticolous and ever-evolving mixture of dense "old school" dark ambient background mixed with distant chimes, bells and more environmental sources. The intricate network of sounds added to each dronework gives a less static feel to the compositions. An intrepid work that would definitely suck you into mystical depths, a must-hear for fans of Moljebka Pvlse and other non-conventional dark ambient artists.
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Artist: ENDE SHNEAFLIET
Title: Twistin' On The Tombstones
Format: CD
Label: Enfant Terrilbe (@)
Rated: *****
Do you remember the cool compilation released by Enfant Terrible the last year that gathered tracks by bands that recorded for the Dutch label Trumpett? Well this double album by Ende Shneafliet is an ideal prosecution of that releases as two tracks ("Aeroplane" and "Session Zeitgeist") were already included into that compilation. The 22 tracks contained into this limited release have been recorded during the 1981/83 period and released by Trumpett on tape on those years. Ende Shneafliet were an interesting band that focused their sound on minimal electronic wave experimentations and even if they lasted only two years their production is a must if you are a lover of early Joy Division, Minny Pops, Crispy Ambulance. The tracks pass from a bass/drum/filtered vocals structure to a synth/drumbox wave upbeat one passing also through ballads like "Rendez-vous Met Betsy" (that seems an eerie version of Cocteau Twins) or cold wave synth soundtracks like "Corps Diplomatique". Be aware that only 500 copies have been printed and I assure you that if you love this sound this release is a must have.
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