Music Reviews



Artist: Nox Arcana (@)
Title: Transylvania
Format: CD
Label: Monolith (@)
Rated: *****

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Take a journey through the darkness of Romania, deep in the Carpathia Mountains, where vampires, witches, and werewolves lurk to haunt their prey who hears their echo whispers and beckoning call. The seduction of one's desire to be intoxicated and fall into the mysterium bliss by the sexual touch and kiss from the soulless demons; incubus and succubus. Nox Arcana delivers a visionary and visual effects of gothic beautiful soundscapes that's sinister with orchestrations, melodies very haunting, choirs and well produced eerie sound effects so creepy. A perfect soundtrack that wil go with Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula". Production work brilliant. Overall, the whole album is awesome, the musicianship excellent-melodic beauty mixed with chilling doom-laden darkness. The layer of each track that adds enough dimensions will keep the listener interested. "Transylvania" is a darkly atmospheric with its shadowy grace. The cd features artistry and quotes from Jonathan Harker and Van Helsing, which combines a psychodramatic narrative enhancing the overall superb creation. A timeless quality to have in your cd collection.


1. Transylvania Overture
2. The Voyage
3. Gossamer Mist
4. The Black Coach
5. Sentinels of Stone
6. Into The Shadows
7. Castle Dracula
8. Visitors in the Night
9. Brides to Darkness
10. Grande Masquerade
11. Memento Mori
12. The Howling
13. Nocturne
14. Bats in the Belfry
15. Gothic Sanctum
16. Gypsy Caravan
17. From Dusk Till Dawn
18. Night of the Wolf
19. Echoes from the Crypt
20. Shadow Hunters
21. Lair of the Vampire
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Artist: TAMTRUM (@)
Title: Some Atomik Songz 2005
Format: CD
Label: DSBP / La Chambre Froide (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This is the remastered re-release of the 2003 debut album of this French duo which was only available officially in Europe in limited conditions. The US underground label DSBP had the idea and was looking for a band already thrown in into the scene with an authentic sound near to HOCICO and alike. Lately this band is often heard and in all mouths, because only a few weeks after the release of this 2005 edition the Belgium label Alfa Matrix has announced TAMTRUM to be a new signing for 2006. Strange that a band can change the label like other people their underwear. Anyway – some words to this re-release which features of course all of the little underground "hits" like "Datura Dream" (in two versions, original and the remix of H.I.V.+), "My Vile Venom" or "Extazy". For this re-release they added a special remix done by GRENDEL on "Le Son De La Pluie" – that track could enter some euphoric reactions on the last "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1" quadruple CD boxset and can be named as the stone which rolled the avalanche of their recognition. Here is also as special a video clip of the track "My Vile Venom". This release rocks hard and hefty straight in your face and the tempo in some of their tracks left me still breathless. Nevertheless people who own already the original release should check this piece out at first and then decide if the presented stuff here is worth enough to do some investments. Musically without any doubts – get it!
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Artist: NEXT LIFE (@)
Title: Electric Violence
Format: CD
Label: Cock Rock Disco (@)
Rated: *****
If I should sum my review I'd say: "wow". Next Life are so original and gather a lot of what I like about different musical genres: tension, distortion, dissonant melodies, originality and rage. Hailing from Oslo, Next Life are a duo formed by Hai Nguyen Dihn (guitar, programming and quadrasid) and Tormod Christensen (synthesizer). Their music is a sort of death metal played with Atari sounds, where most of the tracks sound like a soundtrack of violent arcade games. If the low bit sounds, bleeps and duet with the drum machine that nervously builds a web of upbeat tempos, the guitar cry out loud roaring while the processed vocals make me remember Naked City's Yamatsuka Eye but filtered and reduced to an angry toy. How would it be to be kicked in the balls by Big Jim? Anyway, most of the tracks are two minutes long explosions but sometimes tracks like "Storm" or "Under water" (that are without guitar) make me remember of Philip Glass compositions mixed with Vangelis. Here the melodies create intense moments where you don't bother about the low-fi sounds because they just sound perfect thatway. The longest one is the closing track titled "The dungeon". It starts as a dark ambient track with long notes/sounds just to spread its power after a minutes and a half: it has different moments which create a sort of stop and go effect and it's just beautiful! On the multimedia section you can also enjoy a live video of the band where you can check how much great they are.
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Artist: Muscle and Hate (@)
Title: a tribute to Nitzer Ebb
Format: CD
Label: Nilaihah (@)
Distributor: Amazon.com, Best Buy, Metropolis, A Different Drum, Harvest Media, CD Baby, Isolation Tank, DSBP, Middle Pillar, Musicwerks, Storming the Mailorder, Kinetic Response
Rated: *****

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Due to the huge number of very very bad bands and lame attempts at copying the style of the original masters of the EBM/Industrial genre, lately I had been experienced a huge loss of interest in Electronic Body Music, the very thing that got me hooked many many years ago and that actually made me start D.L.K.. This record brings me back good old memories of what it is supposed to sound like and how it is supposed to be. It re-awakened my initial excitment and passion for EBM at once!Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris, a.k.a. Nitzer Ebb, have been among the most influential and historical artists of that period... Along with Skinny Puppy, Die Krupps, Cat Rapes Dog, Depoche Mode, Die Form, Das Ich, Sloppy Wrenchbody, Nine Inch Nails, Front Line Assembly and many many illustrious other great bands of that time, Nitzer Ebb were writing history one record after the next, with german-sung anthems, pounding beats, fast-paced keyboard sequences, distorted vocals and all the other elements of the original blend.Today, thanks to the collaboration of the Italian band XP8 and Sebastian R. Komor (of Icon Of Coil, Monofader and Moonitor fame), you get to re-live it all in this awesome tribute record, that goes to show not only how tribute records outta be made, but also what EBM is supposed to sound like. Teach those many talent-less kids a lesson.
Jan 30 2006
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Artist: Moldover (@)
Title: Live Remashing
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
I don't know what the hell is wrong with today's labels... When I see a band like this still unsigned, I get mad angry and wonder what's wrong with the picture... I even think about starting my own label to make things right, but you know what they say, been there, done that, not worth the hassel in today's industry (of course I can see how clearing and licensing of an album like this might be the hellish reason why Moldover wasn't picked up yet)... Then again, maybe this Brooklyn-artist actually is indiependent by choice and has the balls to prefer remaining un-affiliated, so that he can do whatever he wants. Wherever the truth lies, Moldover's CD has been following me around the world for the last 30 days and I've listened to it more than any other CDs. It's been in my car, in Europe, in my home CD player in my head... It's too soon in the year to make bold "best CD of the year" type of statements, but this is definitely the best CD I've heard so far and I am wholeheartedly giving out my first 5 stars in 2006 (which I do rarely...). But let's cut the chit chat right to the chase and get down to business. What is so special about this guy?
Mash-ups, or the art of mixing together two differnt songs, usually the instrumental version of one song and the vocals of another one, by matching tempo and pitch (like you might have heard DJ Dangermouse doing in "The Gray Album", where he mashes up Jay Z's "The Black Album" with The Beatles' "White Album") have become a pretty popular phenomenon lately, but Moldover takes it to a whole new level because he actually does the shit live, on the fly, real-time!
It's relatively easy if you do it on your home Pro Tools system and you spend hours tweaking, pitch-correcting and time-stretching until it sounds just right, but to do it with a laptop equipped with Abelton Live and Native Instrument's Reaktor software, requires a whole other new set of skills that obviosuly very very few people master. That is exactly the area of expertise where Moldover excells and exceeds your every expectation.
His "Live Remashing" features 27 mash-ups featuring Tom Petty & the Hearthbreakers, Billie Holiday, Beastie Boys, AC DC, Janis Jopin, Edgar Winter, Dr. Dre (Snoop Dog), Steve Miller, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, Prince, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Kool & the Gang, Steppen Wold, Jane's Addiction, Nirvana, System of a Down, Dick Dale & his Del Tones, A-Ha, Johann Pachelbel, NIN, Violent Femmes, Black Sheep, Metallica, Chirstina Aguilera, Kermit the Frog as well as samples from countless movies including Pulp Fiction, Pi, some Kevin Spacey flick I don't remember the name of, and god (or Moldover) only knows how many other bits and pieces that I haven't recognized (besides the ones I just haven't mentioned to keep this review acceptably short).
NYC's Moldover has been playing guitar in various bands, spinning records in clubs and even built his own mobile dance club, hauled it to Nevada's Burning Man festival just to burn it afterwards. That's what I call an inspired dude who gets things done!
As far as I am concerned, I'll try to go see him perform as soon as I can... As far as you are concerned, stop messing around and get this CD from his website right away! There are no excuses that will hold up here... "Live Remashing" is an encyclopedia of modern pop culture in sound format, it is the milestone of ultimate digitally-assisted live performance, it is the best example of how to use modern technologies to enhance and extend musicianship and artistic vision, it is the new form of DJ-ing, it is two thumbs up, straight up!
PS The MC Esher-inspired and reworked (or should I say remashed?) front cover is very cool as well!
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