Music Reviews



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Artist: SHAM RAIN (@)
Title: Empty World Excursion
Format: CD
Label: Watch Me Fall - Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
I don't know if you ever listened to Codeine's stuff. They were a band active in the mid '90s and they were one of the founders of the slowcore scene. Taking audible inspiration from the third Velvet Underground album they added a more aggressive tone and slowed down the tempos. Well, what all this has got to do with Sham Rain? Well, they took melodic metal, goth, melodies that remeber the Cure of the "Disintegration" or "High" period and added tons of ethereal atmospheres, doing something similar to what Codeine did in a different contest. The nine tracks of EMPTY WORLD EXCURSION are melodic but they can't be filed under easy listening stuff. The rhythmical section of each track is very similar so you've got to catch the whole effect created by Sham Rain's music, if not, you'll find yourself getting bored becasuse of a superficial listening. I'm not too keen to this kind of sounds (in fact "High" and "Disintegration" are my least favorite Cure albums) but listening to the CD a couple of times helped me appreciating the dreamy atmospheres and the melancholic touch of the album.
Feb 06 2004
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Artist: BLANK (@)
Title: Overhead
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Art Of Fact (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
After being interviewed on these pages some time ago (a couple of years, maybe), Blank recently found a record deal with Art Of Fact and now they are ready to rock the e.b.m. dancefloors. "Overhead" is their first official release and contains four different versions of the main title ("Extended Dance Mix", "Implant Mix", "Moonitor Mix" and "Tim Schuldt Mix") plus another track "Event Horizon". The style of the band on this release remind me of early In Strict Confidence or Covenant. The remixes are true to the original version but adding to it a touch of techno ambient sounds (like on the "Moonitor Mix") or a guitar boost (on the "Tim Schuldt Mix") just to make of it something near KFMDM latest tunes. The album "Artificial Breathing" has been just released and it will give a better vision of Blank's music. For the moment this is a good starting point...
Feb 03 2004
Artist: IN A SENSE (@)
Title: Demo
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Self Released
A couple of months ago I received from John Sepulveda (do you remember the interview we did years ago about his main project, Matrix, before they released their Out Of Line CDs?) a three tracks demo he composed along with his friend Steve Ferraro. This time John takes care of synths and stuff, while Steve sings and write the tracks. I'm sorry this demo has been buried under the pile of stuff I've got to review, because the sound of In A Sense (this is their name) is already mature and ready to jump on some label's wagon. "Passion In Your Eyes", "Beautiful Girl" and "Will You Be There Sometimes" are definitively three potential radio hits. This is finest electro synthpop and the band's personality is well shown and recalls also '80s big names of the electro scene (there's no need to name them, ins't it?) without cloning them. I wish I could receive this sort of stuff at least once a month, just to feel again that urge that pushed me into the adventure called CHAIN D.L.K.
Feb 03 2004
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Artist: NARR!
Title: Souls Are Flying Now!
Format: CD
Label: Cursed Land (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Narr! is an Italian duo formed by Vince Mustone (which has been a member of Limbo and partecipated to the composition of three of their albums: "My Whip Your Flesh", "Our Mary of Cancer" and "Vox Insana") and John Cordoni (which has been lead guitarist with Necromass since 1994). The project started back in 1999 and soon after the demo "Gaia" saw the light. Then the band concentrated their efforts with the live activity which had its highlight with the Italian tour as Sigue Sigue Sputnik's support. At the end of 2001 the band started to work to their first album SOULS ARE FLYING NOW, album that I'm holding in my hands right now. Musically the twelve tracks take their inspiration from the old Limbo albums but mixing that sort of feelings with e.b.m. tunes and goth anthems (see the Sisters Of Mercy cover "Lucretia My Reflection"), creating in this way a sort of hybrid between the old Italian electro goth of the early '90s and the nowaday sound of bands like Hocico, In Strict Confidence, etc. Half of the tracks have got Italian lyrics but they are reduced to few distorted, whispered and repeated lines which gave only an idea of the imaginary created by the music. Lyrics don't seem to be a matter of interest for the band as inside the booklet there are only few extracts and the rest of them are impossible to understand by listening to the tracks as they are buried within tons of effects and distortion. Anyway... At a first listening most of the tracks seems to work pretty well and I think that Narr! will be welcomed also by the foreign e.b.m./electro audience.
Artist: ONIROT
Title: AVGVSTA TAVRINORVM
Format: CD
Label: Inner Gravity (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Onirot is an Italian project coming from my hometown, Torino (the name is only Torino spelled backwards) and their first CD is titled AVGVSTA TAVRINORUM (the latin name of our town when it was a Roman outpost). Each of the eight long tracks paint an ideal trip through the occult places of the city which is famous, along with Paris and others, to be part of an ideal triangle of magical currents. "Walking Through Villa Genero", "Trompe D'oeil", "Piazza Statuto (Passage To Hell)", "Church Of San Filippo Neri And The Alchemic Gold", "Torino And The Devil", "The Gran Madre And Direction Toward The Grail", "Corso Francia The Way Towards The Peak" and "Crocetta, Liberty: a style..." are the tracks title and as I told, they have got references to famous places as the Gran Madre church: about this church is told that the finger of the statue that's in front of it, points to where the Grail is buried. Musically the project could be filed as dark ambient with clare references to bands like Lustmord or early Megaptera. As bonus, you can find a video track, "Mental Bukkake". A video made of various visual cut ups (I recognised the beginning of Von Trier's "The Kingdom" and "Suspiria") which show human brutality and depravation in all their aspects.
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