Music Reviews



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Artist: My Sixth Shadow (@)
Title: Lovefading Innocence
Format: CD
Label: Masterpiece (@)
Distributor: masterpiece
Rated: *****
Italian gothrock-band My Sixth Shadow are at their second full-lenght album. The sound of this new album is solid goth rock with passionate and romantic mix of dark atmospheres. Recorded, mixed and engineered by Victor at Subsound studios and mastered in Finland by Mikka Jussila, the album includes 12 original songs and one cover (U2´s "With Or Without You") that should have been dropped off from the album. Unfortunately the sound hasn't big personalty, you can find some taste of plagiarism, from bands like Paradise Lost , Depeche Mode, My Dying Bride or HIM . Only for metal's elite that want visit the goth scene.

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Artist: ZMIYA (@)
Title: Solmamdenlo
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: AUDIOGLOBE
Rated: *****
A great revelation from the well know french label Prikosnovenie. ZMIYA are six french musicians blending electro ethnic, tribal groove and ritual mystica. Great influence from Dead can dance, Orange Blossom and world music from the middle est mixed with high tecnology. They use a diverse range of worldwide traditional instruments such as Oud, Hurdy-Gurdy with wheel, balaphon,didjeridoo, Egyptian flute,mixed with subtle electro beats and samples. The voice fly over more continents and has a urban groove. Mystical, shamanic or groovy, this uncommon band invites you to a trip into Africa, Australia, Eastern countries... 8 tracks+1 video live. Visit their website and discovery their instruments.
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Artist: Stahlfrequenz (@)
Title: Erstschlag
Format: CD
Label: Dark Wings
Distributor: audioglobe
Rated: *****
Erstschlag is the debut album of this German duo founded in 2002 by Markus Houben and Klaus Richter, the two members are involved also in many other projects where they find new influences.There are some obvious links with bands like Feindflug and Converter, the industrial sounds has it's own personality, but strongly based on Feindflug's sound. Stahlfrequenz converts the atmosphere of ramshackle, cold industry facilities into an acoustic attack of adrenaline. The sound starts from the atospheric collages and end with dancefloor killes.
"Permanent Decay" and "Gegenschlag" are very strong and are perfect to use on a dancefloor. A great debut album for a band that promises a brilliant development.
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Artist: Absorber (@)
Title: Open Your Eyes
Format: CD
Label: Pandailectric Records (@)
Rated: *****
German synthpop trio Absorber seems to run at cross purposes. On the one hand, in their instrumentation and vocal style the band does its best to make a legitimate bid for commercial crossover with this release, raising the specters of Depeche Mode and solo-era Peter Murphy with all approval. But I can't help but get the sense that Open Your Eyes is aimed at the teenie market more than anywhere else. The doll's face on the cover seems to suggest as much (and by the way, call me old and jaded but I have never understood the whole torn-up dolly thing in the goth/industrial scene. Fucking GROW UP already, people...).

It could be that Absorber have just a bit of a language barrier to overcome in their songwriting (just one of the twelve tracks is sung in German), and that I misunderstand who their intended audience is. But with lyrics like "Desire always wins/You are me/Can't you see/You might be happy," it's quite obvious that this kind of cutesy carpe-diem sentiment is strictly for fifteen-year-olds snogging in the girl's bedroom, the dude trying to get her training bra off. The cloying bubblegum and kiddie-sweat aroma is already way too overpowering to even continue.
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Artist: Beta (@)
Title: Reflections in Darkness
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions
Distributor: Metropolis (USA); e-noxe, Alive (Europe)
Rated: *****
This is Beta's debut, or so says BLC's rap sheet on this one-man Industrial crime wave. The website, however, of Ian J. Velasquez--Beta himself--shows a prior, out-of print release, Without/Within (and contains .mp3s of several of its tracks). But back to the task at hand. We are dealing with driving, relentless electro rhythm, laced throughout with hallucinated speech samples and nightmare-induced auditory imagery mixed in at just the right liminal level. None of the original-mix tracks on Reflections in Darkness is under five and a half minutes (save for opening track "Absolution," basically a song-length intro to the record itself); my current favorites are "Possessed," the de facto aggressive centerpiece, and the slower, slinkier "Escape." Four of the other tracks appear again in the back of the CD as guest remixes by different collaborators (Skoyze, Agonoize, Implant and Schattenschlag), but on first blush they don't seem to contribute as much to the overall Beta lustre, and therefore serve to max out the disc capacity. And therefore perfect for your next unbroken spell of doing whatever or driving wherever on your favorite type of rocket fuel, so get ready to settle in for the long haul. Speaking of which, although the label is based in Little Rock, Ark., a clue or two in the liner notes point to the Los Angeles area as Beta's likely habitat, so for God's sake don't piss him off in traffic. Cool body-part photo pastiche artwork, too, courtesy of a design entity named DeadDreamer.
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