Music Reviews



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Artist: TRONUS ABYSS
Title: Kampf
Format: CD
Label: Pagan Moon
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
I was questioning myself if reviewing or not this release as we at CHAIN D.L.K. are firmly against fascism, white supremacy and shit like that but, since we're also for freedom of speech and since there aren't clear statements about fascism or that kind of stuff, the cd is getting its review. A little note for the people that are totally against these kind of influences on music: don't buy or listen to this CD as it has got military fascist songs excerpts (the whole "Epilogo" is based on a fascist song) and lyrics referring to nothern Gods/iconography. Anyway, despite the ideological contents, musically KAMPF has got good intuitions and it mixes in a good way a wide range of musical styles: new wave, dark ambient, black metal, apocalyptic folk, etc. The previous band's releases were pure black metal but since 1998 the band changed members (only Atratus is the original member left) and started to develop this new style. It's a pity that industrial music has got to have such references to get noticed by an audience which is fascinated by that halo of mistery but these are the sign of times and we've got to be aware of it...
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Artist: I-F
Title: Fucking Consumer
Format: CD
Label: Disko B (@)
Distributor: Caroline
Rated: *****
Dutch project I-F (the Parallax Corporation, Cocadisco) presents an original new face of the electro-clash movement. Teletransporting the sounds of the eighties, bypassing the ninetees and joining the new millennium's sinister new found joy for abstraction and sharp edges. Dazzling minimal electronic patterns with gentle injections of noise, leisure retro computer music and vocoders that remind of the Kraftwerk, beats that remind of Afx, technopop acidity that reminds of every single trip you've ever taken when listening to funky electro (without or without the use of pills). "Fucking Consumer" came out on their own label ViewLexx but is brought to the wide public by the attentive german label Disko B. The last track even gives you some vocals with G.D. from LA's Christian Death. So next time you want something oldie and yet fresh check out what's pumping in Den Haag, and you'll find that space invaders are among us and they're all smoking grass!
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Artist: Icon of Coil
Title: Machines Are Us
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****

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Cyberpunk EBM at it's finest! Icon of Coil, who's last album I felt had tracks that could have easily been used in a Matrix movie, especially with the coinciding lyrical themes, has stepped it up one more level with an album cover that is very much reminiscient of The Matrix's human 'pod' farm. Machines Are Us is also the culmination of where Industrial music and sci-fi has been leading us since the 1980's finally arrived. From the themes of movies like The Terminator in which man makes machines that turn against them and all the controversy over artificial intelligence culminates into a sort of armageddon of metal and flesh. It's the same landscape pioneers like Front Line Assembly helped forge through the mindscapes of William Gibson and Philip K. Dick meeting in the combined forces of Electronic Body Music and biomechanical technology meet head on. This is one album that will pound dancefloors everywhere. So stomp those Dr. Martens in your sleekest black clothing. This is the music that the producers of The Matrix missed. Too bad for them but goths and industrialists worldwide will continue to know Icon of Coil as a dancefloor tour de force. This is the vision Front 242 saw when they first put on thier dark goggles and looked toward the future of industrial-dance music. This is quite simply music you cannot sit still to - you must move, and bounce, and romp, and dance!!
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Artist: James Lavelle
Title: GU#026: Romania
Format: CD
Label: Global Underground (@)
Rated: *****
World famous Dj James Lavelle (also know for his latest Mo'Wax album "Never, Never Land" as U.N.K.L.E. and his remixes of Queens of Stonage, Dj Shadow, Metallica) takes the 26th spot in the list of places covered by Global Underground's world-trotting dj-spinning series and bangs out the coolest beats of his December 13, 2003 Romania set at Studio Martin. After his 100'000 copies selling GU debut with the Barcelona title, uncle James is sure to hit the jackpot again with a slightly different style and combination of elements, including lots of U.N.K.L.E. material and some of the remixes he's worked on (like the amazing opening track by Queens of the Stone Age, as well as Dj Shadow, a Sasha remix of U.N.K.L.E. and other cool tracks by Chemical Brothers, Richie Hawtin, Photek). This album is so powerful and eclectic that chances are most of you will find something in it to like about it... I certainly did, and, again, I am so psyched about that Queens of the Ston Age track! It is just pumping like crazy!
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Artist: In Strict Confidence
Title: Holy
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****

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The new In Strict Confidence CD from Metropolis Records is a most unique and intriguing addition to the ISC catalogue. First the music, Great dark EBM with industrial and esoteric flavorings. "Eye of Heaven" begins the disc with harsh dark elements. The second track "Seven Lies" has a bit of an alternative rock feel to it. "Babylon" has a bit more of a FLA industrial feel to it with some standard German EBM overtones while "Closing Eyes" adds some excellent female vocals (Nadine Stelzer) and further impacts the 'cyber' feel of the musical compositions. One of the things I find interesting about the structure of the lyrics here is that each line (thought) is split between male and female vocals with one finishing the other's sentence. This is my favorite track for a possible dancefloor track on the release. "Heal" drops down to a more industrial atmospheric tone, harsh and heavy downtempo. The female vocals on "Emergency" (Antje Schultz) and "Sleepless" remind me a bit of Collide's kaRIN. "Another Night" has a bit of guitar a la KMFDM style while "No Love Will Heal" is a bit of a dancefloor twitch with ISC's signature sound. The most mediocre yet still very good track on the disc is probably "The Darkest Corridor" which also features Nadine on vocals. The only reason I say this is because this is the sound everyone is trying to copy these days it seems but ISC is one of the pioneers of it however they do much quite a bit different on the rest of the release. Lastly, Alpha Centauri is an instrumental piece which is over thirteen minutes long and begins rather ambiently and slowly builds with some aspects that remind me much of FLA at their best while still infusing new and interesting aspects of their own making including some synthetic 'hand drumming'. There is this one fuzzy bass synth sound that sounds much like a breath snort of some large beast. Now, what really struck me about this album aside from the excellent EBM stylings of ISC is the artwork and the overall compositions contained within this release. Oddly enough I received this CD only a couple weeks after beginning a CD project on my own label (Latex Records) using an Ancient Near East theme and hoping to prominently feature EBM and other electronic dancefloor music. The graphic layout on this disc features ancient Coptic script and a topless nun in a corset. The first track is "Eye of Heaven", relating to the Sun/God myths and the last is "Alpha Centauri", one of the most likely regions in our sky, according to astronomers, to sustain life in outer space. There is also a photo in the inlay which shows the 'nun' holding the head of a man wearing a crown of thorns, a crucified man, and other esoteric "clues". The entire lyrics are esoteric in origin as well. I found this all striking because I had thought my idea a bit original combining EBM w/ the esoteric doctrines of ancient origins yet here it was lain out in plain site by In Strict Confidence. An excellent album on all accounts; musically, vocally, lyrically, CD layout, and of course overall theme (which is many layered I might add)!
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