Music Reviews



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Artist: SOSTRAH TINNITUS (@)
Title: Les Debris De L'ete
Format: CD
Label: Beyond Prod (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
What is the point where isolationism and ambient music turn into a dull moment to pass, searching for something like a sound or a rhythm that could be interesting to follow? This is an hard question and sometimes I found myself questioning it while I was listening to this Sostrah Tinnitus first release. Fortunately I decided to give it a second try because I know that this kind of albums need the right moment to be listened to and maybe yesterday evening wasn't the right one. This morning I was thinking about what to writing about this one and I wasn't convinced into writing a negative review. You know, it could be easy to write few negative words just to move to another more entertaining album. Fortunately this morning I decided to put on my best headphones on and to listen to LES DEBRIS DE L'ETE a second time. Well, first of all I have to admit that this isn't my favourite album of the month but it's also true that after Lustmord's "Paradise Disowned" it's hard to redefine the dark ambient genre. Maybe I don't dig that much long static suites as I was used to. Now I find hard to listen to few looped sounds repeating themselves for ten minutes. We've got to admit that is also hard to create ten minutes of interesting sounds without falling into the trap of the abuse of effects. Sostrah Tinnitus' album in my opinion stand in the middle between an interesting album and an excercise of dark ambient. Sometimes it seems they used low bitrate samples and this is disturbing when you try to listen to an ambience which should involve the listener. Of the lot of ten tracks I prefer the first five as the remaining ones tend to repeat too much the atmospheres already explored. All in all this is a interesting first release and the first solo project of a Tvmvlvs Seraphim's member but in my opinion this is not enough to make of it an indispensable album of my discography.
Apr 19 2004
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Artist: RUNES ORDER (@)
Title: The Hopeless Days
Format: CD
Label: Beyond Prod (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
It's a long time I hadn't the opportunity to listen to Runes Order so when I received this promo, I was curious to listening how they sounded like nowadays. You know, I was used to their improvised suites (we played also a concert together in Bologna in 1994. I did that gig as Gerstein as usual) and I knew they changed line up several times (at the time I saw them they were a duo) and that their suites turned into something more structured on albums like "Winter" or "The Land Of Nothing". Since the last line up change (Daniele Magarelli and his wife Paola, respectively on keyboards and vocals, left on 1999), Claudio Dondo (the original member who started it all) deciced to focus the project on dark emotional analog suites which seems to be structured like soundtracks. For this one seventy minutes length album, Claudio has been helped out by Trevor (Camerata Mediolanense and Northgate member) and they collaborated during the last two years to record the fifteen tracks of THE HOPELESS DAYS. Musically the CD sounds like a mix of various genres. Listening to it you can hear echoes of Ennio Morricone's soundtracks, Goblin, Tangerine Dream and tons of other musical sources. Fortunately the result isn't a musical pastiche as it sounds like a mature and honest work. Innovation isn't the main thing about this work but I think that Runes Order wanted it to sound like something personal and full of emotions. This is the effect that the listener has got while the CD lasts so I think that Claudio hit the target.
Artist: Miba (@)
Title: The Corplate Porblem
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Pax Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Miba, a duo from the San Francisco Bay , bring us a glictchy, atmosperic, minimally rythmic compositon. Full of dark ambience, droning vocals, and yet also gracefull bell tones, idmism compositions, and floating vocals. Moments of moving sub-bass, and broken noise interupt the compositions, flowing in and out of the sturctures of the songs.The cd itself flows through the different aspects well, keeping us on an emotional roller-coaster of sorrow and joy. Each track going in a different direction so that the listener is kept aware of the general tone, but unable to assume what is next. Varied and highly enjoyable. The cd works well as a whole and seems out of place in a seemingly art-rock/academic noise area. This would appeal more to the fans of such acts as VROMB or ORPHX, and labels such as Hymen, M-Tronic, Warp, ect.
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Artist: Mirabilis (@)
Title: s/t
Format: 7"
Label: The Fossil Dungeon (@)
Rated: *****
Mirabilis is Dru (of This Ascension) and Summer Bowman (of The Machine in the Garden), two extremely talented gals whose vocal skills can be checked out on this debut release of theirs, a beautiful 70-gram black vinyl 7" featuring four tracks of vocals-only ethereal neo-classical music. Although the last song features some instrumentation, the focus of Mirabilis is on intertwining vocal melodies, layers of harmonies and gorgeous vocal parts. The two are open for collaborations and are looking to expand the line up, which would make it even more interesting and beautiful, I bet, and they have a full lenght CD planned for release on Middle Pillar, entitled "Pleiades".
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Artist: Mephisto Walz (@)
Title: Nightingale
Format: 7"
Label: The Fossil Dungeon (@)
Rated: *****
Following his departure from Christian Death in 1985, musician/artist/engineer Barry Galvin founded Mephisto Walz, and after almost two decades, is still producing the original gothic music, the good stuff, not derivative and as personal as it gets. The "Nightingale" 7" (a format that I must say fits the genre and these particular songs perfectly) presents the title-track and the song "Witches Gold", two authentic goth tracks with MW's signature sound made of washed guitars, dynamic drumming and the ethereal voice of Christianna. Rough around the edges, but a gemm inside. Originally released on a hand-autographed CD-R single, these songs will later be included (in edited format) in MW's new full-length album, in both cases with artwork by the Soil Bleeds Black's Riddick brothers. This white vinyl 7" is limited to 500 copies and comes in a beautiful folding cover.
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