Music Reviews



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Artist: LEXINCRYPT
Title: This Descent
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Do I really have to introduce this act? Justin "Wrythe" Cameron (SYMBIONT) is back with the second CD of his sole project LEXINCRYPT. Long awaited from the listeners and fans around the Salt Lake City area, although Justin made a break with his old label Backscatter (www.backscatter.biz) , which is leaded by his SYMBIONT partner in crime, XoN, who has also a remarkable solo project called BOUNDLESS. Justin also moved away out of the SLC area, he is now based at Seattle, WA. The connection to Tommy T and the DSBP label is luckily intact, so here is the long awaited second effort "This Descent". Starting with the first two tracks "Beginning of the End" and "One Way to Escape" I recognized still the typically mood and sounds hidden under some heavy beats mixed with an uncountable amount of well chosen movie samples. The vocals are of course – genre-like – rough distorted. But – is it me – or are most of the tracks a bit more danceable and more straight constructed? This for sure when I compare it with most of the tracks on Justin’s debut "My Sepulture", which can easily be called a classic in the huge output of the DSBP label. Critical people could easily fill "This Descent" under the overrated Hellektro/Terror-EBM genre – and this wouldn’t be fair. This album plays with that style for sure – but it is luckily mainly based to build complexity through some dark and scary layers, than simple to fall into redundancy. The dark mood, also strengthen through Justin’s well done use of tons of voice samples taken from some scary movies – this are the outstanding and important points behind this production. A very good example for this is the collaboration with Scott Sturgis (CONVERTER), who is responsible for the vocal part on the dark track "Crawlspace". Some favorites can also be found in the menacing "Victim Again", the depressive "Sleepwalker", or the almost Powernoise-like instrumental with the nice German title "Hilf Mir" (help me). Ah – and be sure to check out also the hidden and untitled bonus track. Have I said already, that this release is an absolute must-have? No? Well, it is! Finally I hope that the stories that Justin has called the day and stopped until further notice this great solo effort is only a bad rumor. Like SYMBIONT, both acts are so strong and talented – a stop would be very pity. Keep it on, Justin!
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anymore
Artist: ACUSTIC
Title: Welcome
Format: CD
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Moving gently between i.d.m. rhythms and ambient sounds, Acustic's third release presents us twelve enchanting tracks. Always in balance between interesting loops and semi melancholic melodies, Jesper Skaaning (third member of Future 3) creates tracks that apparently sound static: most of them are built around a melody or a rhymth and then slowly they grow thanks to new little pieces of sound added. A tiny beat, a little piece of melody make the track change and in no time the track acquires personality and there's also space for reggae influences on "Se 2" and dub on the closing "Tsp". I appreciated the upbeat tracks like "Flow" or the tiny melodies of the title track "Welcome", of "Vm" and of "T.P." where the web of sounds created a catchy atmosphere. If you want something more respect the usual ambient record and something more melodic respect the i.d.m. extravaganza, try this one!
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anymore
Artist: FEAR FALLS BURNING
Title: He spoke in dead tongues
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Projekt/Ikon
Rated: *****
Fear Falls Burning is a new creature of Belgian musician Dirk Serries', whose long running activity in the areas of ambient and industrial as vidnaObmana surely needs no introduction. His new alias is still a drone-based project, but this time using electric guitars and a bunch of analogue effect pedals as the main sources - "vintage guitar drones" is indeed the laconic self description he offers. "He spoke in dead tongues" is quite a massive debut (recently followed by a self-released tour cd) - two discs, both over 70 minutes, which would be a suicidal choice if Serries didn't know how to grasp the listener's attention even with deliberately monotonous and often lengthy tracks. While occasional doom chords (disc 1, track 2) unavoidably remind of Sunn 00))), the rest of the two cds is made of lighter, intimistic guitar ambient, quite close to a more physical and stripped down version of Growing or Stars of the Lid - a "communicative" sound which surely does good to the emotional impact of the work. Don't expect much layering or variations: every piece basically revolves around a looped sound, be it a guitar chord or a more abstract and ethereal drone (disc 2, track 2). This deliberate reductionism, especially if associated to the mammoth length of the two cds, represents both the charm and the potential weakness of "He spoke in dead tongues", but as for me, the former definitely outweighs the latter. The current result is quite an exquisite listening experience; but I venture that, with a more daring composition and a synthesis of all the inputs offered here, Serries could give birth to an even more memorable work.
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Artist: MOLJEBKA PVLSE
Title: Irdlirvirisissong
Format: CD
Label: Mystery Sea
Rated: *****
A solo project of Sweden's Mathias Josefson, Moljebka Pvlse has a remarkable series of releases on cult labels like Cold Meat Industries, Eibon, Segerhuva or Fin de Siècle, not to mention his own Isoramara. Every cd of his I've listened to is slightly or notably different from the other, but always maintaining a heartfelt and passionate approach to minimalism which makes it unique. This limited release on beloved Mystery Sea is a lengthy 65-minute track which flows smoothly from one atmosphere to the other, eventually sounding like a perfect synthesis of Josefson's darker pulses (as in "Sadalmelik" or in some live performances) and the more melodic and less claustrophobic pieces on "The leaves of their songs". While shades are still present overhead (just listen from minute 40 onwards), it's clear that Moljebka's ambient doesn't belong to the same niche as, say, Lustmord's or Raison d'Etre's, being rather close to the suspended soundscapes of Monos, Mirror, Andrew Chalk or even Eno's "On land".
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Artist: CRIA CUERVOS (@)
Title: des tempes qui se vitrifient ou se marbrent
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Taalem (@)
Rated: *****
Lately I was talking with a friend about 3" discs and about the fact that's probably the most appropriate format for some genres. Be it the 3" dimension or the incredibly improved sound quality of the release, but Cria Cuervos has become a top notch "isolationist". Here you have a soft mechanical drones in slow motion that keep increasing for almost ten minutes. The sound grows slowly like a cancer, the atmosphere is cold as steel, and is as lysergic as an acid pill. This short "cold trip" stops its slow march all of a sudden and the listener is left with no ground to walk upon, after this violent interruption the suite starts again with a low echo from nowhere. With the second "movimento" an odd drumming awakes like a mammoth back from the ice age. After having reviewed several releases composed by this italian musician I have the impression he keep on spending the most of his days into a freezer cause if you ask me: "cold" would be the adjective I'd use to label his music. Cria Cuervos not unlike Lustmord has a soundtrack mood that could go really well with images, that's why is hard to deny this 3" was probably meant to be a one way ticket for visionary people. The comment is: "Severe music for heavy falls".
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