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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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Artist: GAPING CHASM (@)
Title: Fragments Of War
Format: CD
Label: Aliens Production (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution
Rated: *****
The official debut release of the Slovakian EBM/Dark Electro act GAPING CHASM somehow surprises me, because I have not expected to see and hear this project after its demo tape phase back in 1994 to 1996 again. GAPING CHASM is Roman "Ergo" Petro, and maybe some of you elders have this name still in a good memory. He was one of the leading editors of the world’s best Electro/Industrial fanzine Crewzine, which could grab some euphoric attention in the early nineties. As I said, Roman was already active lately 10 years before under the GAPING CHASM moniker, but not very successful and convincing. The acceptance of his first recording was rather limited. Later on he started with a second project called ANIMA MUNDI and with this project Roman was more or less active until to the last two years. So now he returns with GAPING CHASM – and nothing is like it was before. The music has improved and developed a lot into a well balanced and produced Dark Electro inspired EBM music. The let the cover art give you some hints on Roman’s music – here’s no Endzeit pseudo-aggressive act, or a FUNKER VOGT copycat at work. The sequences are filled with rich details and there’s always the try of Roman to integrate well arranged melodic synth layers. If I have to start some comparisons, I would like to fill in some works of MENTALLO & THE FIXER or some pieces of NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT – well, that are for sure not the worst references. "Day D" surprises with a not expected smoothness and calm sounding vocals, while "Only Shadows Will Survive" or "Another Day In Paradise" are classic inspired Dark Electro pieces. Best piece – and this track is here available in two excellent versions – is the track "To Be Free". Especially the remix should give you exciting stuff to storm some dancefloors of the dark clubs. It is not the hardest Electro you’ll get here, but I am impressed how rich and detailed it got produced. Hats off, Mr. "Ergo", for one of the best surprises this year has to offer.
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