Music Reviews



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Artist: ARTIFACT (@)
Title: Abandoned
Format: CD EP
Rated: *****
Artifact is a band coming from Stavanger, Norway. Formed in late 2002, after several line up changes, in 2004 the band was joined by Tor Arne Fassotte (of Unpure and This Negative Karma) which along with Bjørnar Landa (which also plays with Sirenia and Deathfare) and Pål Evensen recorded their first release, the ABANDONED E.P. Musically the five tracks of the MCD show very well the band's influences which goes to Type O Negative (check Tor's deep vocals), Sister Of Mercy (for some vocal melodies, like on "Scapegoated & Demonized") and Rob Zombie. Even if being influenced by rock metal, the band didn't forget to insert also electronic moments or metal eruptions (check Tor's vocal which goes bestial along with the guitar distorted riffs). Energic guitar riffs duet with guitar arpeggios creating calm moments which turns into metal industrial explosions (like on the opening part of "Mask of apathy"). I appreciated the energetic moments and how they were mixed with the calm ones but sometimes the influences sound too evident. This isn't a weak point, because the five tracks already show the band's peculiarities and I'm sure the guys are already working on these...
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Artist: COLD CLUSTER/GERSTEIN (@)
Title: Bipolar/Wring the wrist
Format: CD
Label: Purity records (@)
Rated: *****
This split release is completely devoted "to synthesizers", the particular itself may bring to your mind the "hey days" of synth pop back in the Eighties and probably you wouldn't be that out of place. The goth touch of Cold Cluster didn't prevent me from thinking to Depeche Mode and to the waveish songs of the early Death in June. Old fashioned sound is the "key word" but also "invuluntary" trendy in an age where the mainstream rediscovered that "neo-romantic" trashy "synth pop" sound. Cold Cluster beat is often squared and at times even danceable, some of his tunes could be potential icebreakers in your favorite goth club. The only problem with Cold Cluster is the cheap recording of many vocals, a real pity above all when his voice is not filtered with a vocoder. If you're familiar with Gerstein "power noise I'll blow your brain out!"-early days forget it, the turines is wearing a "back to the eighties" suit for this special occasion. The production is quite good and the vocals are better recorded even if it's still the Achille's heel of the songs. Gerstein style is a bit poppier if compared to his split-mate, let's say if Cold Cluster recalls Depeche Mode, Gerstein will make you think of Human League or Heaven 17 choked into a crepuscular salsa. You can get this cdr straight from the website of the label (www.noisebrigade.co.uk/shop.html) by sending 6.5 Euros + postage. Purity is gonna repress "La pomata delle femmine" (what a title!) a rare k7 with some Gerstein early anthems played live in 1989.
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Artist: John B. Arnold
Title: Logorythms
Format: CD
Label: Compagnia Nuove Indie (@)
Rated: *****
This cd shows just one of the many possible evolutions of jazz at the beginning of the millenium. Logorythms features some impressive guest musicians such as like Uri Caine, Massimo Urbani, Marc Abrams, Daniele Tittarelli and many others coming from the jazz scene. If to the guest list for this cd, you add John Arnold basically plays electronic drums, yes!: "the whole is equal to the sum of its parts". Electric jazz that I'm almost sure the last Miles Davis would have appreciated, the musicologists reading out there will probably think of Davis during the "Marcus Miller era", no way! This is electric but not "synth jazz" and above all neither "cold crossover influenced by funk". "Cool jazz" atmospheres arranged with a straight beat, Arnold had to specify the 95% of the drums on the record have been played live and not pre-programmed, he did it for a good reason since I dare everybody to understand ther's no drum-machine here. Great production and classy refinement but the "cocktail" could be improved a bit, since the jazz soloist and pianos are not perfectly melted with the electronic drums. The global result of this work is that of jazz redefined in the view of a dj and it's kinda strange since that's not the real background of John B. Arnold. At times it may give you the impression you're listening a colder version of some releases on K7 but above all of those on Compost (the label of the legendary "Future sound of jazz" series). "Modern jazz with a mid-90ies electronic cut"?!.
Oct 25 2005
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Artist: GOD MODULE (@)
Title: Viscera
Format: CD
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
Having started somewhere in 1999 on the small Inception Records label, this US duo has made its famous way now up to the top players of the globally Electro/Industrial scene. In North America now signed to Metropolis-Records, they have released with this "Viscera" album in Europe now their already 2nd full-length after the predecessor "Empath". Musically they are standing on the highest mountain of modern and danceable Electro/Industrial music, while not falling too deep into irrelevant Futurepop or harsh Hellektro themes. This is one of the very few releases which is designed for an extended club-use, as well as possible to listen to at your home entertainment. Just pick up the starter "The Source" with some fine included metallic noises in between. The vocals of front man Jasyn Bangert had never been that intense, roughly distorted, but not disturbing. So you get into this energetic Electro album and inhale the speed! Some lighter tracks are included as well with "Still so Strange" and "Sections", both featuring some female vocals. But this both tracks deliver only very short some relaxation, the speed is back with the other two outstanding tracks here, "Lucid" and "Winter Torture". My deepest respect, Mr. Bangert, this new God Module album is of course the best up to date, there is no real filler.
The skill is high and there is a lot of dancefloor potential on this whole CD. I should admit that this album will also available in Europe as a limited DCD featuring some remix works and extra stuff. A must for dancefloor addicts and worth enough to use for your home entertainment.
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Artist: PAUL DOLDEN
Title: Dèlires de plaisirs
Format: CD
Label: Empreintes Digitales (@)
Rated: *****
Composer Paul Dolden arrives at his fourth album on the prestigious canadian label Empreintes Digitales. As you probably know if you ever heard something on this label you know they often deal with material that's "learned music", but at the same time their rooster is full of musicians with a big personality: the obvious result is that the most of their releases is simply out of ordinary. Paul Dolden shows he combined such a big range of influences that's hard to think how he can mix it all together, do you think I'm exaggerating?...ok, who else ever mixed together "contemporary classic music" (it reminds me basically of many contemporary american composer of the last half of Twentieth century), keyboards that "taste" of Mike Olfield crossed with Philip Glass, fast guitar-solos in the style of Satriani tripping for Paganini exercises and a good amount of studio production?. The first four tracks are different movements of Dolden's latest work: "Entropic Twilights", "The gravity of silence. Resonance #5" and "The heart tears itself part with the power of its own muscle. Resonance #3" (great title!!) instead have been composed in the midst of the nineties, but the personal style of this composer was already formed therefore it all sounds homogeneous. Can you imagine "contemporary-classic-glam-music"?..well that's it! I think there's a lot of irony in the music and in the approach of this canadian: on the cover of this digipack there's the shadow of a long haired biker playing a violin while flying surrounded by mountains, some guitar necks are hanging on the back of his motorcycle and instead of being followed by gas his bike is followed by notes. I can't say I've been blown away by this cd but for sure I've never heard anything like that before.
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