Music Reviews

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!."
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!


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

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)
Artist: LA MAGRA (@)
Title: Music For The Living Dead
Format: CD
Label: X-Cem (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
With this debut release of the solo project LA MAGRA the growing X-Cem community offers another out put of their Dark Electro/Endzeit Industrial roster. Also LA MAGRA install their music in already known and discovered styles, just think on acts like older SUICIDE COMMANDO or INFACT. Some relations here and there as well to the collective members like WYNARDTAGE and in parts with MAY-FLY are also possible comparisons. With 78 minutes playing time the medium CD is fully used. Musically and mostly lyrically this project services mainly all related things about vampires and the life in darkness. This whole album seems a bit of a conceptual release which drowns in this cliche-afflicted themes – but maybe LA MAGRA is only based and so conceptual related to this? Also genre-like are the spooky vocals in both English and German lyrics, integrated and the chosen voice samples remain in German. Personally I find this album in comparison to some related works a bit slow and the structures a bit repetitive. Nothing against the well worked out track "Infect Me" or ""Fürsten der Nacht" – but globally LA MAGRA can’t offer anything new. My favorite here can be found in the bonus part of this CD, "1000 Jahre" in a remix done by MAY-FLY. You’ll get three additional remix works here done by the already mentioned WYNARDTAGE, ACYLUM ("Infect Me" – have created a difference to the original like day to night...awesome!) and the better and better coming out Powernoise-inspired duo FORMALIN. Fans of the genre don’t do anything wrong by ordering this item.
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Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Mila records (@)
Rated: *****
This band with a weird japanese female sounding moniker consist of two guys from Ebria records and the half of mighty I/O. I'm sure you'll be already following this equation: "Ebria : I/O = Kokoro.: experimentalism", well if you did it you’re wrong. The keyword is eclectism and here these freaks are playing a drunk, demented sick blues-rockenroll with reminiscences of Shorty, Jesus Lizard and Killdozer, Touch and Go and Skin Graft. The funny thing is that even if the singer is the same guy singing for I/O he applies a completely different vocal technique, thus not "post '70ies-avant-prog-Demetrio Stratos-Meredith Monk-Dave Moss-vocalizations" but more bluesy Dave Yow alike psychopathic singing. The whole record is instilled with a genuine sick bluesy/rockenroll mentality but with an odd combination of sounds with which they probably pay homage to some of their inspirators. Just give a listen to that James Chance sax here and there, obviously these weirdoes have probably spent time listening to some good ol' No Wave classics and it means you sure have to ad Contortions to the ingredient list. They’ve put together some really good tracks among which there's a real gem: "Wait".
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Artist: ORLA WREN (@)
Title: butterfly wings make
Format: CD
Label: Expanding (@)
Rated: *****
I think I've already wrote I like Expanding: this label has a clear direction both for the melodic-electronic music (without vocals) they produce and for the artsy photographic aesthetics of their releases. I'm not afraid to say that even if lately I've received several good or at least interesting electronic oriented releases, Orla Wren got immediately my attention. Tui a.k.a. Orla Wren wears an ordinary classy electronic costume, therefore don't expect it to sound crippled like Autechre, cold as Pan Sonic or experimental as Ikeda...nay, I'd say this should be filed like easy listening electronic music to relax listeners ears. So this is "music for lovers" and not for proto-intellectual-freaks, soft electronic sketches mostly evolved around piano sounds, synths, glitches and good tempos. I've been listening this cd in heavy rotation while trying to clean my room and I've caught myself thinking it puts together an brilliant poppy attitude to a stylish decorative taste. Harp synths, guitar loops floating on the background and a repetitive but never boring structure...early Mouse on Mars and Plaid meets Nyman?. Good and never prosaic melodies that accentuate Tui's short comment at the end of the thanks list: "I am inspired".
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