Music Reviews



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Artist: SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS (@)
Title: Mind Over Matter
Format: CD
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
A bit dismayed after the listen of the first four tracks I took again the white cover of this promotional copy. No, it is not a new ASSEMBLAGE 23 album, it seems to be indeed the new SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS CD "Mind Over Matter". Astonishing poppy structures, well-placed vocals with good lyrics and overall a very good production which avoids minimal as well as overlaying structures and produces a warm and friendly mood – this all are the preferences of this release. I am still surprised how much musical maturity this band has experienced through the years – they are already active since 1993. Although I must also admit that I miss a bit more aggressive pieces here, a bit more effort which can help this band to come out of the almighty shadow of the big patterns. Tracks like "Downfall" or "Pale Candle Light" offer some good attempts but fall back into already known and often heard structures. "Apologize" then is a heart-breaking ballad which pushes back the speed and the male vocals are more melodious than ever before – stuff to suspend away. My deepest respect also for the extremely well played instrumental piece "Counterpart", which features outstanding synth layers and a cool space-like mood. This release is an excellent example of musically development well-placed in the genre Synth Pop, Future- or Electropop with some attempts into EBM/Electro. It does not break any ground or new territories but the overall mixing of the styles is well and flawless. This band can easily grow to a scene-leader...
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Artist: DREAMSIDE
Title: SPIN MOON MAGIC
Format: CD
Label: DANCING FERRET DISCS (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
In the mid 90's The Dreamside was one of my favourite goth/wave bands.
This is the return of this Dutch band and I am quite impressed.The Dreamside are Kemi Vita (vocals); Fried Bruggink, Cees Viset (guitars); Roman Schoensee (bass guitar); Merjin Mol (drums).
Their sound influenced by Dead can dance style is changed to contemporary dark rock in the vein of Gathering or Evanescence but their style is more charmingly, Kemi Vita’s vocals are dramatic and beautiful, memorable melody ,dark and mystical atmosphere,catchy refrain.This emotion evoking music is very unique.
The Dreamside are building a bridge between atmospheric music and rock
I wish The Dreamside a lot of succes.
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anymore
Artist: The SAND
Title: Red Riding Hood
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
After four years from the demo "The Memory of Dead Romances", here the return of Umberto Marconi with his one-man project from Italy named THE SAND.The sound remains to the dark rock of early Sisters of Mercy-style mixed to the aggressive Electro dance , but you can sure file it under gothic rock-darkwave-postpunk. The Cult influence of "Webcam n.9",and the souls of Mission, Banshees, Bauhaus appear from all the tracks, this album is perfect for who want return to the '80. Ispired from some short stories of Angela Carter. I may sound a little clichéd, but playing in the obligatory goth club scene.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Awake The Machines Vol. 5
Format: CD
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
Chapter 5 of the well known Out Of Line label collection comes this time in two different forms: first as a normal 17 track CD, second as a limited edition DCD with almost all bands signed to that label. The prices for both items justify without doubt the investment, 4,99 Euro for the single CD, only 8,99 Euro for the limited edition. Like on previous releases out of this compilation series, you’ll get a full playing time with lots of goodies, remixes or simply representative tracks by several acts from this label. Opener on the single CD are SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS and they surprise with clear vocals, a good mixing of melodies and beats – maybe a bit influenced by a big name like A23. HOCICO have already seen better days in their long years of existence, also the track "Spirits of Crime" is away from being groundbreaking. But this remix by the Swedish label comrades of SPETSNAZ is fair done and could give new entries a hint how the music of both bands can sound. Further valuable pieces I have found here with the mentioned SPETSNAZ (a real alternative version to the classic NITZER EBB back from the "That Total Age" days...), COMBICHRIST (get a remix by the Polish act CONTROLLED COLLAPSE – a band which just seems to be signed to the new Dependent side label NPT, leaded by Johan van Roy aka SUICIDE COMMANDO...), AMDUSCIA (Mexican Dark Electro which develops better and better...) or the to me never heard before NECESSARY RESPONSE (playing a perfect symbiosis between hard and melodic Electro...) from the USA. I also dig the overlaying stuff from SNOW in CHINA and the aggression of that new AGONOIZE track. Some "must-have" acts from the big roster Out Of Line has released in the past years like TERMINAL CHOICE, GOD MODULE, DECODED FEEDBACK or the up and coming AESTHETIC PERFECTION are for sure missed here on the single CD, but also this will justify the purchase of the DCD. This Out Of Line label compilation is well designed to have a good introduction to the label’s work for newbies, but it features also some stuff worth to collect for the experienced users.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Coup De Grace
Format: CD
Label: Invasion Wreck Chords (@)
Rated: *****
COUP DE GRACE is a new Invasion Wreck Chords compilation which include bands linked to Ambassador 21 (friends or collaborators). The twenty bands / tracks deal with power noise / techno grindcore / industrial bringing rhythm and noise to a new level. Try to imagine twenty years of industrial music all blended and brought to its extremes and you'll have someway how COUP DE GRACE is sounding like. There's also space for some hip-hop / grime mixed with techno industrial thanks to Deathsit.com, to Boot-Sector-viruz and to Maladroit, for the industrial e.b.m. of CTRLer, the updated 80's industrial electronica of Rasputin and On/Off or the ambient industrial of Flint Grass, just to name few. When you review compilations like these it is difficult to give a general judgement, because there are always some tracks you love, some others that you liked and others that doesn't sound that new but COUP DE GRACE is a good way to know new names and to find old friends of the noise scene.
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