Music Reviews



Artist: mindFIELD (@)
Title: Singularity
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This Boston based electronic project is run by Gabriel Shaw. Shaw, who is known as a prolific keyboardist, has collaborated with such well known projects as Fear Factory and Killing Joke. He has toured live with Chemlab on their 2005 tour and has been hired by Apple Macintosh to perform at thier computer shows as well as touring as the drummer for MonoChrome. When he tours live he takes fellow keyboardists Regan Miller and Stacia Tucker. Heavily influenced by early 80's bands as well as projects like Orbital Gabriel combines the emotionally driven sounds of the early Wave bands with well structured loops and bass lines to create a sound all his own. Singularity was recorded entirely at home on his PC, a mode many modern electronic independent musicians are taking these days as the album ends up in MP3 format eventually anyway. Singularity tends to be dark and melodic, music that is good for lounging or the dancefloor. Evidently mindFIELD has seen some earlier success when MP3.com was alive and hopefully this release will help to revive Shaw's recognition to the public audiences. There are many nearly ambient backing elements to support the dance rhythms and smooth vocals which comprise this release which I find a welcome compliment as I prefer music that is versatile to different moods and environments, something this definitely fulfills in a skillful and artful manner at that. Gabriel's eclectic tastes and love of music definitely show through fluently within this release. The album follows a rather consistent trend until you come to track six titled "1:1.618" which was initially released as free download from the band's website which features a bit more of a drum-n-bass beel to it with heavily vocoded vocals. This and track nine "An Antiphon Cure" are the most obvious standouts on the disc but not because they are better, just much faster. It's rather difficult to choose any tracks on this release as 'better' than others as they are all unique in their own ways and all beautiful in others.
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Artist: Ego Likeness (@)
Title: Water to the Dead
Format: CD
Label: Noir
Rated: *****
After a remix for the new Cruxshadows remix album "Fortress in Flame" as well as upcoming remix work for Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Voltaire, the six-piece band Ego Likeness present some of their own material with "Water to the Dead". The album is divided into two parts: the "In the Water" part, including the first eight tracks, and the "In the Ground" part, featuring the last three songs of the album (the third of which is a traditional southern folk hymn called just like the southern folk band "Wayfaring Stranger". The elegant mixture of gothic, ebm and dark is focused around the vocals of Donna Lynch and Steven Archer, who are the main songwriters. Slow rhythms, nice beats, piano parts and long guitar chords, synth pads represent the playing ground for these poets of the noir sonic affair (speaking of noir, this album comes out on Dancing Ferret Discs' division called Noir records). All photography in the beautiful album's art work is by Lauren Simonutti.
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Artist: the Cruxshadows
Title: Fortress in Flames
Format: CD
Label: Dancing Ferret Discs
Rated: *****
After the success of "Ethernaut", the Cruxshadows have decided to ride the wave of that success with a remix album featuring exclusive remix versions of "Ethernaut"'s songs by Clan Of Xymox, Subway to Sally, Razed in Black, Neuroactive, Iris, Trevor Brown, Eyes to Heaven, Absurd Minds, Alice2, Ego Likeness, In Strict Confidence, plus a couple of redux/revox versions and the tracks "Dragonfly" and "Edge of the World". 60 minutes, 14 songs and an array of names like this surely will keep fans of one of the most popular electro-goth acts from the US warm and fired up for their next release.
Artist: Veil of Thorns (@)
Title: Cafe Flesh
Format: CD
Label: Foamin' Bone Productions
If you put together old school goth rock, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and gothic-electro-industrial and came out with something all its own, you'd have Veil of Thorns. Foamin' Bone Productions' rerelease of the classic indie goth album "Cafe Flesh" is a chance for today's underground listeners to check out some original music. P. Emerson Williams was one of the members of this mood-thick burst of new wave sensitive dark gothic existential angst and he is also to be found behind the goth-industrial flavors of Beyond Flesh and the extremely unique industrial black metal act Choronzon. Well, his (and his fellow artists') creativity is evident here. The staples of Williams' work - eclectic artistry and soulful nihilism - run strongly through Veil of Thorns' gothic musicality. Electronic flavored beats, heavy synthing mixed with edgy guitar weepings and highly new wave influenced vox come together on a goth act that should not be ignored by those who grew up listening to The Cure, Bauhaus and others. Only Veil of Thorns' sound is all its own, mind you.
Artist: Beyond Flesh (@)
Title: Birthed
Format: CD
Label: Foamin' Bone Productions
Within the tracks on "Birthed", a CD by Beyond Flesh, you can hear parallels to industrial bands such as Pig, Razed in Black and Nine Inch Nails and, more often than not, you can hear the pure creativity of P. Emerson Williams. Anything created by this man, the brain behind Choronzon (black metal tinged with experimental, ambient and industrial edges) and Veil of Thorns (electro infused gothic rock), you would expect to be eclectic and creative. It's his trademark. Herein you'll encounter thick, pummeling, distorted spears of electro/guitar industrial, D&B, goth, dirgey slow industrial moodiness, etc., etc., etc., etc., in fact, etcetera ad infinitum. What's persistent in Williams' smooth, creative and original fusion of various elements is the sustained tone and mood, like that of a soul resigned to nihilistic fate. None of Emerson's creations are quite like anything else, even when you're hearing touches of something else in there. His fierce originality score another point for the underground.
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