Music Reviews

Title: Geist
Format: CD
Label: Dungeon-Recordings/Backscatter (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Surprise, surprise, a new collaboration project release done by two of the leading Electro/Industrial acts out from the Salt Lake City area which grabs my whole attention. And what a release this is!!! The package itself left breathless. This full length split-CD is hidden in a kind of sharp aluminum case which is hold together with a screw. You need some tools to open it, a kind of package which reminds me on some Powernoise works done by a label like Ant-Zen. Comes next to this that this release is limited to 100 numbered exemplars. This will surely cause that you are able to buy it lately in two years, but then via Ebay for a horrible high price if you not act now! This will be a rarely collector’s item and I am very happy that I received one (thanks Kevin!!!).
To the music: It was indeed a hungry longing to get to hear some new stuff from BOUNDLESS, the solo effort by Xon, one half of the legendary SYMBIONT (see interview here somewhere...). Still in a good memory is Xon’s debut CD "Perpetual" out somewhere in 2003 on DSBP/Backscatter. Here we have 9 tracks of this project which can be called an addition to his highly underrated debut. The opener "Vext" I have discovered already on the "Hotgoth Vol. 1" compilation a few weeks before (see also review somewhere here on this website...), but this version here is a new edit of this glorious track which unites all good aspects of the music from BOUNDLESS. Danceable surely, rich melodic layers, excellent sequencing and vocals ranging between undistorted soft to harsh screams are the trademarks of this track. Comes then a good and dancefloor oriented remix of SYSTEM SYN for "Predatory" which was one of the best pieces taken from the "Perpetual" release. Third we have a remix done by LEXINCRYPT (right – the other SYMBIONT member...) for the depressive track with a German title "Allein Stehen". Xon’s vocals are more tormented here and the whole track received some massive steady beatings. It is such a pity that SYMBIONT is now almost in hiatus because when I hear this remix and the strong vocal efforts by Xon, it could easily be a new SYMBIONT track! Follows then DA BEST BOUNDLESS TRACK EVER, "Grace of God", also a new one with outstanding synth layers, Xon’s distorted vocals, great samples, and, and, and. This is the piece on which I penetrate my "Repeat" button over and over again – more, more, more, what a marvelous track! Back in reality comes then a remix done by CARPHAX FILES for "Vext". This one is more EBM oriented and features excellent baseline sequences – well done, although I hear here some arrhythmic patterns near to the end of this track. Best remix work and to me personal the biggest surprise is the "Dancefloor Quarantine Mix" done by LITTLE SAP DUNGEON on "Club Trash", a track also out from "Perpetual". From LSD I do normally expect a somewhat dark, harsh, scary-like piece – but not a total EBM smasher which KICKS ASS!!! LSD will burn the dancefloors and it is one of the very few exceptions on which I prefer a remix work more than the original version! C2 give us then a remix of "Predatory" which consisted mainly of distorted break beats and fuzzy undertones - interesting work but not my cup of tea. "Imprisoned" is surely one of the darkest pieces out from "Perpetual" and here it gets a remix work done ROSES AND EXILE. Some nice reverberations and a overall dark mood – but not too far away from the original version. Finally then we have an incredible instrumental piece here, "Unjust" on which Xon performs with some excellent layers and piano sounds.
Track 10 is a short "Backscatter / Dungeon Recordings Segue" which marks the change from BOUNDLESS to LITTLE SAP DUNGEON.
The latest LSD album "Silent Entities" is still fresh and often present in my discman and so this band takes the chance to offer their growing audience some revised works of older recordings. It starts with the track "Through the Abyss of L. S. D.": dark melodic layers breeding a scary tension until the steady beatings hit your brain. Follows then some rough vocal performances with some more dark played guitar riffs and ready is a hard-in-ya-face stomper which ends almost in chaos! I am always again impressed how this band is able to create different dark moods and how tough they can destroy it in the very next moment. "Love Vs Hate Vortex" features some excellent melodic layers which make me forget some SKINNY classics!!! Marvelous played with some great distorted drum patterns near to the end of this track. Follows then the Acidland 25 Mix of the track "Ask Alice" originally from the "Ten Strip Sacrament" CD in 2001. I am not sure if this is a remix work by another band or simply a cool name for an own remix work. Anyway, this remix differs a lot to the original which is sample loaded and overall dark and atmospheric. This remix takes a step to a higher speed and includes some steady beatings here plus also some real sung vocals. I would say a kind of a real new track. Also the revised version of "Phantasm", originally also out on "Ten Strip Sacrament is of course totally improved and the whole sound quality is not to compare with original. Then we have the "Neu Tötland Remix" (Aaahm,... German here?) done by BOUNDLESS of "Never Ever Land" which can surely be described as one of the outstanding tracks from their marvelous last CD "Silent Entities". BOUNDLESS re-designed this track completely with adding a more dancefloor oriented beat and modern sounding synths. This gives the whole track a very different feel far away from the original. Finally we have a slow, scary piece with some great piano sounds, dark synth layers reminding me on haujobb.’s "Skull Fision" taken from their first "Homes And Gardens" and a surprisingly undistorted vocal performance by Kevin J. Cazier. This is one of their most intense works up to date, so must a slow and dark Electro piece sound! Marvellous track and one of my long list of favorites here.

So we have here an outstanding Electro/Industrial release from two highly underrated acts which surely deserve more attention. This piece in style, art and music is a MUST-HAVE! Finally I am not sure if this release will ever be distributed through DSBP or Metropolis, so it is better to make your contacts with mentioned acts and ask to get this collector’s item. This is one of my all-time favorites!!!

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Title: Music For The Night
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Being the fourth full release for this German band, MUSIC FOR THE NIGHT represent a good melting pot of metal, rock and goth. Sometimes I heard also echoes of Pink Floyd and David Bowie (see the charming "Phantastronaut") into the melodic textures of the band and everything has been mixed with a certain taste and there are also some electro inserts (the final part of "L'avion ivre" for instance fade into an electro ambient/industrial mixture and a lot of other songs has got samples and electro arrangements) along with particular solutions (see how they used the trumpet on some tracks along with other orchestral arrangements and with powerful rock). The album is a sort of concept album where the band musically paint a journey following the spiritual ideas of James Joyce, Arthur Rimbaud and William Blake. I'm not that much into guitar solos but this album has got so many highlights that I didn't care at all.
Artist: AMATEUR GOD (@)
Title: Around The Corners Of Our Mind
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****
Amateur God is a particular band in the electronic scene. I hadn't the opportunity to listen to their first release "Near Life Experience" (released by Wampus Multimedia back in 2002) but this new AROUND THE CORNERS OF OUR MINDS shows really well the peculiarity of the project. There are different aspects of the CD that make me think about Amateur God as a multimedia band (the video of "Openmindead" won an award at Festival of Slovene Animation as the best animated musical video. It was also accepted on V.A.I.A 2004, International Show of Video Art of Alcoi in Spain and Dark Light Festival in Ireland), something that link the music deeply to the visual side. Most of the tracks haven't got a defined melody with a refrain and the structure of a classic song. Their songwriting seems to be focused mainly on the effects and the ambience they could create. Musically the voice of Spela Podgornik could remember the Cranes and listening to all the tracks in a row there's a certain feeling of melancholy and emptiness. The only note I can report is that all the album deals with the same atmosphere, so you've got to check if it catch you immediately.
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Halloween Horror Movie Themes
Format: CD
Label: Turn Up The Music Inc.
Distributor: Turn Up The Music Inc.
Rated: *****
This is a compilation of horror movie themes, which is compiled by Drew who has also put out numerous of compilations of his favorite music by other artists. On the debut release he chose his favorite Hollywood movie horror themes. I pick this up from the Dollar Tree store, which I only paid a dollar for it. Some of the themes on disc are my favorites, also which I had a very hard time trying to find it in the soundtrack section at the record stores, especially "The Shining". Other famous horror tunes includes "Halloween", "Psycho", "Exocist Theme (Tubular Bells)", "Blade Runner", "Poltergeist", "and A Nightmare On Elm Street". Let this be a collective item in your cd collection. A perfect compilation that will be good for 2005 Halloween celebration in the month of October. All 16 tracks are the original scores from the film music composers.

1. "Halloween"-John H. Carpenter
2. "Psycho"-Bernard Herrmann
3. "Exocist Theme (Tubular Bells)"-Michael Oldfield
4. "Theme From Jaws"-Allan Parker
5. "The X-Files Theme"-Mark Snow
6. "The Silence Of The Lambs"-Howard Shore
7. "The Prince Of Darkness"-John H. Carpenter
8. "Christine"-John H. Carpenter
9. "Scream"-Marco Beltrami
10. "Dracula"-John Willaims
11. "Blade Runner"-Vangelis
12. "Poltergeist"-Jerrald Goldsmith
13. "Exocist II: The Heretic"-Ennio Morricone
14. "Friday The 13th"-Harry J. Manfredi
15. "A Nightmare On Elm Street"-Charles Berstein
16. "The Shining"-Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind
Artist: HIV+ (@)
Title: Rotten Beat Manifesto
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames (@)
Distributor: Black Flames
Rated: *****
The next wave of Noise is here and reporting for duty, and thy name is DJ Pedro aka HIV+. Besides combining elements of Powernoise, Industrial, Techno, and EBM into one menacing album ROTTEN BEAT MANIFESTO, HIV+ (or HIV-Positive) are also infamous for major club/event/festival DJ appearances throughout Europe and have been doing it successfully with high praise for over 16 years. HIV+ have already released a handful of albums on various European electro labels, and today they are a member of the noteworthy BLACK FLAMES label.ROTTEN BEAT MANIFESTO begins with the intro track appropriately entitled "Introduce The Virus" sounds more like an electronic virus taking over the speakers at an exponential rate... really cool effects as well as an original idea for an intro. The album progresses with excellent distorted rhythms without over doing it’, such as on track 2 "Testament" and track 3"Illegal Tanz ("Extended Club –X by Bak XIII)". Track 4 "Broken Child (Original)" is an ethereal beat-less aura of excellent synthetic harmonies and borderline eerie ambiance, resulting a very skilled arrangement of sounds and melody. Similar to albums by praiseworthy acts such as Terrorfakt, ROTTEN BEAT MANIFESTO is produced extremely well, which is always a challenge for albums that feature as much distortion as such. Basically ever sound on track 5’s "Feedback 1968" illustrate different levels of distortion, resulting in what is probably the most "Powernoise-esque" track on the album. "Taliban’s Law (Rmx by Babylone Chaos)" is an awesome display of beats, computer-blip noises, followed by a yet another eerie aura in the middle of the track and then ending with a full-on beat assault! Also of note, is the final track "Body Electric (Tribute to Nitzer Ebb)", an awesome Power-DJ mix of the 1986 smash "Body Electric", including some additional HIV+ rhythms and sounds. ROTTEN BEAT MANIFESTO is definitely recommended for the listener who prefers edgier electro, but it’s also a great starter for someone who is looking to crossover. Either way, check it out, and you won’t be disappointed!
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