Music Reviews



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Artist: CAPRICE (@)
Title: Sister Simplicity
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Rated: *****
SISTER SIMPLICITY is the fifth Caprice's album. For this new release the Russian ensemble did something different by giving a musical comment to Britain's best poets (Shelley, Byron, Wilde, Shakespeare, Wordsworth). Anton Brejestovski did a wonderful job by creating fourteen classical pieces based on piano, viola, flute, oboe and completed by Inna Brejestovskaya's voice (also Anton gives his voice by reading some poems such as Shelley's "Winter" and "Summer" plus the bonus track "The dole king's daughter" remix. Remix which is a sort of divertissment as makes of the original track an classical song mixed with hip hop arrangements). The result is astonishing as the band succeeded into producing an album which sounds fresh and inspired at the same time. Dramatic and joyful moments are well underlined by Caprice's music and the listener is guided through a different world made of kindness and sorrow. The data section of the CD contains an interview which will make you discover the passionate members of the band and then you'll be able to share their vision of music.
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Artist: CRYSTAL ENTITY (@)
Title: Close To Dawn
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Looking at the band’s photos I expected a Doom or Orchestral Doom Metal band, as THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL or the first THE GATHERING, and at the first listening I wasn’t positively impressed. But I never write reviews at first listen. Time passed, and already at the second listening I discovered a band with very good potentialities. CRYSTAL ENTITY (from Netherlands) offers a sort of Gothic Rock with rhythmical and fresh atmospheres, dark and heavy but not oppressive. Atmospheres can be described as New-Wave/Dark but sometimes guitars show a light Metal influence. Voice is melodic, listenable and it’s not the usual slow orchestral female voice: enjoyable melodies, good choruses, sometimes Maja’s voice makes me remember the great SIOUXIE, showing personality and resolution. I think voice is good, but in the future it could be used in a better way: English pronunciation is a bit harsh, a more fluent one would support better the music, but above all less hesitation in releasing her energy, I’m sure she has much to give.
"Their River" is a great song, showing their THE MISSION (UK) or, I would add, ROSETTA STONE influences, but they’re not copying something already done and the band could be recognized for various personal elements. "Leaves", "A New Dawn", "Close To Me", and I could continue mentioning all the tracks for everyone is a good song: many of them (as "A Quick Bite" and "Take Me With You") could become a hit single, with a better production and with a more pressing and energetic voice.
This is the first official work, and already reflects a mature band. I’m sure in a next future we’ll heard much about CRYSTAL ENTITY.
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Artist: THE ULTIMATE ARCHITECTS (@)
Title: Elevata
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Distributor: Musicactiva
Rated: *****
The Ultimate Architects - Kyuss9 (guitar and keyboards), D'Architect (vocals, keys, programmings) and [f.] (bass, keys and backing vocals) - are a Portuguese trio born in 1996, but only recently surfaced with a self-titled promo ep, followed by a series of concerts and compilation appearances. This is their official debut mcd, and obviously a lot of work went into it: packaged in a lavish 3-panel digipack, it features 5 tracks plus a multimedia part with videos, live clips, bio/discography and a bonus remix by Sci-Fi Industries. They definitely care about visuals, but the disc would have been nice also for the music only. The Architects play melancholic synth/electro-pop with roots in dark-wave ("The Pain") and that great "I'm so depressed I'll make you dance"-feel that is typical of '80's pop - meaning that the music always has a sad feel to it, but is also catchy as hell. While there's room for improvement in the vocal department, the melodies are quite memorable, and the songwriting is solid, both with medium- ("Neon moon", the instrumental "Nebula"), fast- ("Endorphine", my fave one) and slow- ("The Pain") paced tracks. I'm not an expert of this musical genre, but this is a very enjoyable ep.
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Artist: NEW RISEN THRONE/LOCUST REIGN (@)
Title: Prophets from the abyss
Format: CD
Label: Deserted Factory
Rated: *****
Three tracks from Gabriele Panci/New Risen Throne and eight from Florent Siglieri/Locust Reign, on a nice cdr released by Deserted Factory, a Japanese label dealing with industrial, dark ambient and extreme metal. As someone has pointed out, this is a very homogeneous split, almost to the point of not noticing when a project succeeds the other. Which is not necessarily a negative thing, when you're listening to well-done, brooding dark ambient. New Risen Throne has a track which is also on his recent "Chants for the cold and dying sun", and the style is in the same bleak ambient/industrial vein. Locust Reign, present with more tracks, is maybe a bit more varied - Lustmord-ian, introspective, melodic... different nuances of the dark ambient thing. If you're into it you'll surely dig this cd. New Risen Throne is a promising new name (by the way, his next release is due out on Cyclic Law), and I'm surely looking forward to hearing more from his partner.
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Artist: COLIN POTTER
Title: Drone works # 2
Format: CD EP
Label: Twenty Hertz (@)
Rated: *****
Second release in the "Drone works" series, and unsurprisingly it's from renowned dronemaker Colin Potter (Ora, Monos, Nurse With Wound...), who has recently shared two cds with Twenty Hertz owner Paul Bradley ("Confluence" and "Behind your very eyes"). And, equally unsurprisingly, this is a brilliant work, immediately going for the throat with metallic spirals of sound which create a sense of anguish and unrest. Then, the choking vapours gradually rarefy, but the tension never ceases up to the final sinewaves humming. This is one of the few ambient works that you can hardly use as background music, because it will actually STALK you. User un-friendly drones that have quite obviously reminded me of Nurse With Wound's masterpiece "Soliloquy for Lilith" and Organum's works, with which this 24-minute track shares the same unrelenting, obsessive force.
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