Music Reviews



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Artist: NEW RISEN THRONE (@)
Title: Chants for the cold and dying sun
Format: CD
Label: God Is Myth (@)
Rated: *****
Very recent cdr from Stielh on God Is Myth, which mainly releases underground black metal. The packaging looks nice, with b/w digipack, pro-replicated cd and printed insert: good job. And after a few listens I guess a black metal-oriented label is quite appropriate for these "Chants". Jeez, this is so bleak and cold - NRT has lost the more emotional aspect he had in "Flowing ashes" (see archive) to embrace total darkness. Desolate dark ambient with a Nordic industrial feel (Nordvargr, Megaptera), based on chilling electronic wails, obsessive percussive loops ("Seeds"), pitch-altered vocal samples (the twin tracks "Prophet II" and "Rex verminorum")... NRT handles all the tools of the trade really well, and this is one more strong release under his belt. I just think it's a bit more repetitive and less memorable than the excellent "Flowing ashes", but on the other hand, its utter obscurity is fascinating.
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Artist: Last Influence of Brain
Title: Illusions And Reality
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames records / e-noxe / Alive (@)
Rated: *****
Slovakian duo Last Influence of Brain just released their first full length album "Illusions And Reality", which follows their 1998 debut demo-CD "Revolution Countries Evolution", from when they first got together. The duo added live drums on some tracks and guest vocals and guitars on the powerful and thoughful track "N.O.A.C.O.". Their creative EBM mixture will be appreciated by most fans of Leather Strip, FLA, :W:, Mentallo & the Fixer and such. The CD came out on the polish label Black Flame records (who also signed Mexican artist E.R.R.A. - cmp review elsewhere on these pages), sports 13 tracks, of which the last two are bonux remix tracks by E.S.R. and K.I.F.O.T.H. and, among other things, comes with a really beautiful artwork. The bright side of this album is definitely its decidedly powerful full frontal attack, its in your face attitude and its aggressive approach. Altough, in my opinion, EBM is slowly dying due to lack of oxygen, artists such as "Last Influence Of Brain" remind me and probably others what made the genre so great!
Sep 06 2004
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Artist: E.R.R.A. (@)
Title: Light of Love
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames records
Rated: *****
Electro-synth-pop music with a fascination for extraterrestrial phenomena is what young Mexican artist Rick Nava presents to us with his presumably debut CD "Light of Love", a collection of 13 tracks with up-tempo dancefloor-friendly beats, layers outer-worldly sounds, rave-synth lines, lyrics in English and Spanish (really just one song). The CD comes with a beautiful artwork (even though the in-lay card came out with some printing allignment issue), and the S.E.T.I.-attitude helps spark interest, but musically the young machine lover has to further develop his already remarkable skills to become more personal, original and stand out in the crowd, which I realize is a very hard thing to do in the genre he picked. Keep up the good work.
Sep 06 2004
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Artist: davaNtage
Title: unholy
Format: CD EP
Label: Black Rain records (@)
Distributor: Nova Media Distribution
Rated: *****
Even though it's got 13 tracks and 1 hour running time, "Unholy" is referred to as a CD EP, mostly because it features seven tracks (one of which is a cover version of the punk band Skeptiker's "Ja Ja Ja") + six remix versions by Suicide Commando, Soman, LC, Echorausch, Supreme Court, Solitary Experiments. The german trio carries around the word of electro body music with well programmed sequences, drum machine patterns and vocals that are treated with the same old distortion or sometimes with less distorion and more reverb, which isn't bad. Some remix versions are interesting and worthy of mention: Suicide Commando's version of the title-track is more martial/minimal/apocalyptic; Soman go for minimal electro-rhythm in Daft-records style (even though it assumes more dance-friendly shape later on); Echoraush's remix of the afore-mentioned punk classics brings back some guitar rings and more noises, and also slows it down, making it more evil-sounding. "Unholy" is a nice EP and davvaNtage are a good trio of musicians that spend muchh of their time polishing and arranging well written material, too bad the genre itself just seems to be stuck in itself...
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Artist: BJÍRG┌LFSSON/PIMMON/THORSSON
Title: Still important somekind not normally seen (always not unfinished)
Format: CD
Label: Crˇnica
Rated: *****
Coming in a gorgeous psychedelic layout, this cd documents the live performance of Heimir Björgúlfsson, Helgi Thorsson (both from Stilluppsteypa) and Paul Gough aka Pimmon recorded at the Melkfabriek, Den Bosch (The Netherlands) in October, 2002. The recordings were edited some time later by mighty Robert Hampson (Main, Comae, ex-Loop, Godflesh, Indicate etc.) at his Thirst studio. The laptop, etc. trios live recordings have become quite frequent, and sometimes the results are very good, as in the two Fenn'o'berg discs. So now, does the result live up to the names involved? I guess the answer is, unfortunately, no. This is a flow of the usual digital frequencies, glitches, hisses, samples, minimal rhythms etc., but without the coherence and quality that one could expect from these artists. There are some fairly engaging moments (track 1 and 4, for example), but as a whole this is just mildly interesting. Probably the original performance just wasn't that strong, which is not a crime since it's not easy to improvise with this kind of sounds and always have a super-tight output. Not bad, just uneventful.
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