Music Reviews



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Artist: 23 EXTACY (@)
Title: Download the Rapture
Format: CD
Label: Dungeon-Recordings (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
23 EXTACY is a mutual project out from the Salt Lake City area consisting of Chris Alvarado and Kevin J. Cazier (LITTLE SAP DUNGEON or his solo effort PERCEPTION CLEANSE PERCEPTION). They play a kind of Hardcore-Electro-Metal with some rather chaotic ingredients as well and they do release here their second full-length CD. The whole music is almost guitar-driven combined with some nice Dark Electro sequences and with some brutal vocal efforts. The song structures are hard-banging with full speed, it awakes here and there some chaotic Punk attitudes. This is surely not the soundtrack to float away in a fairytale, no, it doesn’t take any prisoners. Personaly I like of course the more Electro-driven pieces like "Kill a DJ" or "Rise and Fall" but also this tracks are pretty much in the globally mentioned style. Remarkable – and with a funny hint – is the hardcore cover version of DIVINE’s "I’m so Beatiful", an Italian disco icon from the Eighties who died in the meantime (can anybody remember the original song?). If you feel you need to rinse your brain with some acid you should give this piece a try at first. Released out on Kevin J Cazier’s label Dungeon-Recordings, check also out the entirely DSBP catalogue.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Rump Comp Volume One
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
After releasing about one year ago the first Rumpistol album, Rump recordings entered on a hiatus preparing its come back. After a year, thank to RUMP COMP VOLUME ONE, we can finally be aware of the label's rooster. The compilation contains twelve tracks by bands (eight on the vinyl version which does not include Zoffmann, Kriipis Tulo, Pellarin and Prinz Ezo) which made of electronic music their meaning of life. Most of them are newcomers while others like Manual & Syntaks and Prinz Ezo have already released stuff for other labels (the duo is active since 1992, first in the experimental post-rock band Limp and then as a duo while Prinz Ezo, a.k.a. since 1995). Since every band is coming from Denmark this compilation could represent a good way to test the state of electronic music on that land. About the compilation, I can say that the label tried (with success) to give a form to the CD by picking up tracks with a similar approach to electronic manipulation. The label put a condition to the bands: "come up with something melodic yet experimental". Each band produced tracks with a bit of that characteristic Nordic melancholic vibe but giving their personal interpretation of the initial request by focusing the structure on rhythm, melody, atmosphere or a mixture of the three. Bleeps, alternative dance, electronic experimentations and a bit of melancholy will entertain you for about one hour.
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Artist: GOTHIC (@)
Title: Grim
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
GOTHIC is a very strange project now at their 11th work.. They describe themselves as a multimedia project, a total art ensemble with a high experimental approach. This, united to the choice of releasing a double cd album (that took four years of composition) and giving also an electronic presentation, made me hope great things. But problems now starts. Every word the band use in their "Grim’s Presentation" is a hagiographical praise of themselves, describing tracks as a disturbing and perfect fusion of dark, electronics and heavy metal. Unfortunately the songs, in my opinion, are really far from a complete maturity, resulting in a confuse and out of phase arrangement. The two cds show two different approaches, the first electro-dark/goth-prog, the second mixing industrial, post-dark and metal. In both the cds the songs last for 7-8 minutes and are composed by many parts, following each other often without a sense, alternating good atmospheres with absurd falsettos, aggressive loops with keyboards whose sound had to be cured a lot and totally confused. Listen to the opening "Lurking Limbo" from the second cd, to understand what I say: I don’t know how they can consider this work, but I’ve found myself shocked not understanding if they were joking or not. I don’t say they always fail to hit the mark, "Forlon" is a good song and you’ll find many single parts showing a good intuition and a compositive quality, but at once, after only thirty seconds, in the following passage they destroy what they created. Ten demo have been released before "Grim", and I never heard anything of the band GOTHIC before, and they’re from the same country of my own. Probably the band members have to ask themselves why. A bit of humility will show them their limits and maybe will help them to find the right way. I repeat, they have compositive capacities, and many times they’re damn good, but they absolutely need to distinguish between the good intuition and the too confused arrangement.
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Artist: OBSZÖN GESCHÖPF (@)
Title: Son of Evil
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Another debut out on BLC Productions, but for this band hailing from France it is already the second full-length CD after the own released "Yell of Fright" CD (distributed and co-released in Europe by Pandemonium in 2003). OBSZÖN GESCHÖPF, so the German band name, translated it means "obscene creature", consists of Remzi Kellici and he presents on this album his kind of Dark Electro/EBM music. The band name and several names from the track list like "Face of Swine", "Strip of Flesh", "Hate and Despair" or "Dead Christ" will give you a hint of what kind of music you can expect here. Thematically based on crimes, sex, horror/splatter and all black chapters of human being, Remzi plays a somewhat old-fashioned minimal Electro music with some similarities to SUICIDE COMMANDO’s first works like "Critical Stage" or earlier combined with some more steady EBM-influenced baselines. Adding to this some raw sawtooth sequencer works and rarely included strange Alien-like vocal performances which give some tracks a binding hypnotizing approach ("Resist" or "Fright Night"). This is surely not new or in any case something innovative - but it has an own charismatic feeling. It cannot be compared with the often and over-polluted "We sound like SC/Tactical Sekt-attitude" where too much bands are trying to copy simply the mentioned acts – no, this has a more classic touch and also the sounds of this have an analogue edge. Outstanding tracks to my taste are the both dancefloor stompers "War" and "Dead Christ", on the more hypnotizing kind of this band I would recommend the already mentioned "Resist". If you look for the real dark and sick EBM with a nostalgic touch you can’t go wrong with the OBSZÖN GESCHÖPF. Keep on your style, Remzi!
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Artist: BOHÉMIEN (@)
Title: Danze Pagane
Format: CD
Label: In The Night TIme (@)
Rated: *****
BOHÉMIEN are an Italian dark band formed in 1985 but, after only two years of great live performances, problems related to the dark/gothic scene crisis forced them to spilt up. In 2002 they finally decide to show the world what they have hidden in their closet, reforming the band and rearranging the old songs in a more modern way. Three are the original members, supported by the new bass player Giovanni Staccone and the vocalist/keyboard player Stefania Minutaglio.
The first song "Danza Pagana" embodies BOHÉMIEN style: New Wave/Dark with strong ’80 influences, supported by a very good use of instruments that makes each song an involving and intense experience: you can’t include them in the list of modern clone-bands, reproducing the past well-known cliché, for BOHÉMIEN don’t copy anyone, THEY WERE A PART OF THAT MOVEMENT. The singer Alex Buccini has a personal vocal approach, very particular but not simple to appreciate at once, accomplice the choice of singing in mother-tongue and the Italian new/wave vocal tradition (he remembers something of the first DIAFRAMMA’s approach). A sad piano introduces the song "Libido", enriched by a great guitar, playing notes like drops falling down. "Dirsi Addio" starts with cadenced Hammond chords in ¾, like an Italian or Eastern Europe folk song, a dramatic and sad ballad, really touching. I don’t know why but while listening to this song I imagine an old ’20 movie like "Nosferatu" or "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", ruins of castles and a gloomy sense of solitude. One of the best song. "Nella Nebbia (non oltre sarò)" emerges for a very good rhythmic bassline and a romantic chorus, while in "Les Jeaux Sont Faits" Stefania Minutaglio shows her sweet but disturbing voice on a dynamic and obsessive rhythmic section. A track in the pure style of traditional dark-rock, but with the right amount of melody and personal approach that makes the song very pleasant. A real torture for the soul is the piano introducing "Tra specchi", like looking at dawn in a winter day, strangled by anguish, drowning in the "long and dirty mirrors" showing our sins. Another great track, no doubt. Tribal and powerful is the drumming of "Sangue e Arena", while bass and guitar explode in the chorus. A bit of Spanish influence is in the air, nothing obvious, but you can feel it in guitar solos and chords, sweating passion. The next "Eclissi" is presented in two versions: the first is "Eclissi (dell’anima)" starts as a fast ride, with a great guitar and bass work, and a very passionate singing; the second one is a dreamy and romantic instrumental version, with something à la CURE, in particular for the keyboards pads. With this album BOHÉMIEN have closed with honour their debt with the past. I hope they’ll have now the force to look ahead and produce new songs, more and more affirming their personality and style. They’re back, and I hope for long.
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