Music Reviews



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Artist: O QUAM TRISTIS (@)
Title: Meditationes ultimes
Format: CD
Label: Palace of Worms (@)
Rated: *****
While listening to O Quam Tristis I've been thrown back in the middle age. It's medieval folk with latin lyrics, if you're familiar with bands such as like Ataraxia, Qntal e Dead Can Dance ("Aion" era) you probably know what we're talking about. I like this album: it's solid, "focussed" but at the same time kinda heterogenous, it contains a various range of atmospheres. The most of the times the mix of electronics and traditional instruments is well done, some other times the mix of "eighties-oriented" keyboards sounds a bit strange together with that traditional vocals/instruments. Palace of Worms describes this record as "a modern interpretation of medieval and ancient folk music" and after all it's the best possible definition for a work like that. The most interesting thing of this release obviously is represented by the vocal parts (gregorian chant have been a real turning point in the history of music) since the male singers are good, but the female ones are even better. This' the third cd by O Quam Tristis and the band shows how maturity helps to refine the "modus operandi" in songwriting. The funny thing is that while one may expect an epic record with a completely ethereal mood, "Mediationes ultimes" is full of mid-tempo "danceable" tracks (Quoniam tu solus, Terrae for exemple). If you imagine a cd overwhelmed with evocative songs give it a chance since in the past some songs would have been a great soundtrack for a banquet.
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Artist: SILENT LOVE OF DEATH (@)
Title: The poet's senses
Format: CD
Label: Palace of Worms (@)
Rated: *****
Romanticism in full effect, from the name itself of the spanish combo to the lyrics and the artwork of the cd. Piano, Keyboards, acoustic guitars, violins, vocals "a la Ian Curtis" and some military rhythms (but not yet neo folk). This cd demonstrates decadece and new wave can still get along together very well. The packaging is really nice like the rest of the Palace of Warms' releses and all the new age/dark-dogmas have been respected, the sound is good and the Toledo brothers know how to write depressive ballads. Listening to the whole cd I noticed it's a bit too long and I think it's sad cause without a few songs "The poet's senses" could have been much more "heartbreaking". Even if every single ballad is really inspired, most of the tracks arrangements could be improved (that's a personal opinion). This last thing anyhow has also to do with the fact this cd has been recorded almost three years ago therefore it can be considered a really good debut. Dark-folk traditionalists can put the name Silent Love of Death in their agendas but if you're looking for a Sol Invictus, Blood Axis, Curent 93 oriented band, well you'd better listen the cd a couple of times.
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Artist: H2S (@)
Title: Le voyeurisme de l'absurde
Format: CD EP
Label: Black Orchid/Biostasi
Rated: *****
H2S comes from Italy, his debut release was a split 3" cdr with Cassetta Dinamica. "Industrial is the thing!" and if ever anyone has been labeled as "analog-industrial": you can bet this definition fits really well with the music of H2S. Analog synthesizers, drum machines used to give an "electro" atmosphere to distorted bass almost in loop. I got the impression that Fabio Degiorgi's music is deliberately obsessive as the sound of some samples gets sometimes mechanical like in the fourth track "Vulcano 3". H2S performed and recorded everything by himself and without any doubt he did a really good job since many "official" records sound much worse. There's that "eighties" flavor here and there, I think it has to do with Fabio's taste when using keyboards and drum machines, so I'd say it all is completely intentional. Sometimes the single track may sound a bit "long" but if "obsession" is one of the main plot of the cd, "the weight of repetitions" becomes part of the ticket. Gas masks landscapes, "ordinary life" viewed as "repetition" and s&m sex...who knows why but that's what comes to mind when listening to "Le voyeurisme de l'absurde". I think Fabio has to develop his music to the next level, but I wouldn't be surprised if after every release he'd become more and more popular, he knows how to do it. This' a collectors item since it's limited to 150 copies.
Jun 10 2005
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Artist: SUPREME COURT (@)
Title: Yell It Out
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****
Kay Härtel of Davantage just released his second release as Supreme Court. The new album YELL IT OUT for sure takes inspiration from classic e.b.m. bands but luckily it is enough inspired of its own to result a hell of a record. You know, on these days it's really difficult to face this musical genre because there are so many Hocico clones and sometimes the bands loose the point and tend to forgot why they are playing what it should be considered "their music". Kay succeeds into the difficult mission of merge classic e.b.m. solutions with personal songwriting alternating powerful solutions, industrial moments (see "Mass media murder" or "Terror Chat"), dance rhythms and tons of intriguing melodies. In this way the album results well balanced offering different solutions that save the listener from a bad purchase.
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Artist: TAMMY
Title: Amor De Computadora
Format: CD EP
Label: Sonic 360 (@)
Rated: *****
Tammy's AMOR DE COMPUTADORA is a re-release of a E.P. released back in 2000 by the Independiente label. Tammy is the alter ego of Juan Auistín Nesta, an Argentinian producer/musician who worked also with Dj Hell. At the moment he's working with fellow Argentinian 'Gurtz'. The E.P. (which as each Sonic 360 release is only available for download at Napster/ITunes) contains five instrumental tracks (only "Lunares" contains few lines of vocoder) which ideally take inspiration from everything that can take place between Kraftwerk and New Order. The bleeping sounds paint a dark icey picture while the melody has got feelings of melancholy (see the marimba on the opening title track). The E.P. isn't of an immediate enjoyment because the tracks haven't got a "main part/refrain" structure but it slowly makes its space through your daily listenings. Light minimal electronic meet melodic tunes and their blending create five tracks to discover.
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