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Artist: Anatoly Pereslegin
Title: Fastgood: E-Psalms_
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock (@)
Distributor: Gamma-Shop, Groove.nl (NL), Cue (D), Eurock.com (US), DWMmusic.com (US), Marquee (JP)
As if we didn't have enough pseudo-priests trying to evangelize us in this world oppressed by Christianity (and other religions), Anatoly Pereslegin's second release (composed, arranged and performed in Jerusalem, Israel; while edited, recorded and mixed in Moscow, Russia) brings you some more words from the Book, precisely from David's psalms (Anatoly even thanks David, for the inspiration I guess). If I try real hard to put aside my bias against Christianity and the lies of the beautiful tales that the bible tells, I will tell you that we are dealing with an interesting electronic neo-classical album with somewhat medieval influences and an experimental approach to the blend of the ingredients. Looped sequences, churchy synthesized sounds, soft string pads holding long chords, organs playing lines, harpsi-chord-like sounds playing fast sequences repeating forever, heavenly bells punctuating high chords or creating intertwined textures in the background and ghostly synth voices are the main sounds you will hear, but this record is made unique by the addition of a cello (Alexander Zagorinskiy) playing sad but lovely melodies and by the tenor and baritone vocal performances by Ivan Jmaev and Yuriy Valenkov, respectively... The nine tracks (with awfully long titles, taken from the bible itself) will take you into a decadent vortex of claustrophobic and dark atmospheres that, if anything, will make you think about hell rather than paradise, which gives it a weird twist, considering the used lyrics's origin. Very discomforting, sombre and nightmarish, tonal dark paranoia, rather than solar, this is not church music or anything like that, to me it's more like the soundtrack for a trip through eastern Europe's regions forgotten by god or, alternatively, a Roman Polanski or a William Friedkin movie.
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Artist: Rotting Christ
Title: Genesis
Format: CD
Label: Century Media
Distributor: Century Media
Gothic metal is kind of a vague term once you see into the metal underground,as alot of bands like to use it in the same way bands like Slipknot use it: to market themselves and nothing more. This band,Rotting Christ, I heard quite a while ago when I had their first CD "Triarchy of The Lost Lovers" and I can safely say this band fits the goth-metal mold. Nice dark imagery devoid of the Dio-esque cliches,and most of all mixing mood with melody and heaviness, not allowing the powerchords and riffing to choke the emotion. Not too far from Paradise Lost, whom I still have a thing for.The opening track "Daemons" starts off with a nice little opera atmospherics before jumping into the sludgy speed section. Track 2,"Lex Talionis" which is sung in Greek I believe,does stumble a little bit on the drumming but clears up easily by the chorus. The speed these guys play at it amazing as well,but again not forsaking the emotion involved. Track 4,"Nightmare" is a good slow one that catches me,and probably strikes me as my favorite for it's slow drawling vocals laced in with the snarling vocal lines. Overall,good slow gothic (black) metal with an intellegence and good use of sampling with the Delerium-like opera vocals. Some good atmoshperics here overall, and should please both black metal fans and goth fans alike. Beats Cradle of Filth,that god awful excuse for music. Rating: 10Also recommended are Septic Flesh,also from the great land of Greece,though at times they are more death metal.
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Artist: Nachzehrer
Title: Teen Taken From Tent By Aliens
Format: CD
Label: Nanopop
Distributor: Nova
Dunno,this is a little too 80's to me,like they are trying to live up this whole 80's revival thing. Not too much my style actually,but if you're into that give this a try. It has a little bit of goth element to set it apart too. Not really my thing but not bad at the same time,just a matter of taste. RAting:6. Recommended for Apop fans (except these guys are better. Apop now sucks so fucking bad you wouldn't believe it!)
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Artist: Midnight Syndicate (@)
Title: Vampyre: Symphonies from the Crypt
Format: CD
Label: Entity Productions (@)


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Vampyre is a slight departure from previous releases only in the sense that after producing Gates of Delerium which is heavily FX oriented the band wanted produce a more music oriented CD. That does not mean that Vampyre is completely devoid of effects because it is not. However what you do get is a stronger focus on the electronically produced symphonic sounds produced like only Midnight Syndicate can. These symphonies are haunting and ominous with a sense of impending dread which has become somewhat the trademark sound of the music of Midnight Syndicate. Midnight Syndicate has found a unique nitch in the music consumer market by focusing on the Haunted Attraction Industry. They have become a major staple for professional haunts worldwide and major Halloween productions. Their music is also loved by Halloween aficiandos, horror film/music fans, and gothic music lovers worldwide. Since it's creation the band's goal has been to create music that aids the listener is transporting themselves to worlds of their own creative imaginings. As usual, their most recent release comes with the same promise. Vampyre while having less FX involved in the compositions is not any less creative or thought provoking but instead proves that Midnight Syndicate can accomplish their goals without the heavy use of FX. Their musical compositions are dark, brooding, and imaginative enough on their own. This release, as the title suggests, focuses on the nightmare world of the master of the undead, the Vampyre. While powerful are foreboding these creatures also have tendencies toward depression begin caught in a life without end. Walking for eternity and stalking their prey in the night their unlife can be either ecstasy or damnation. Midnight Syndicate aptly capture the mood of this creature in their compositions, sometimes sounding full like a film score and at other times like a lone creature tinkering with a cathedral organ or harpsichord and still at others capturing the internal longings and defeats that a life such as theirs could bring them. Basically, Midnight Syndicate have once again proved their status in the industry and of their talents. It's simply amazing what these guys can do musically in creating imaginative music. However, after speaking with Ed from the band I can promise you the next album will contain more FX for those who love them.
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Artist: Various Artists / Cass
Title: Spundea Presents Cass
Format: CD
Label: Mute Liberation Technologies (@)


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Unusual DJ talent Cass continues his legacy of Spundea Presents Cass which features artists from the Spundea Recording label as well as the DJ's own talents of mix and composition. While there are other DJ mix compilations out there this one is unique in a few ways, one of which caught my attention was how Cass mixed his own Future Sound of Pornography, a track which he says is an ex-girlfriend (Miss Kiss) talking dirty to him with a bottle of wine in her hand, spread over tracks three through five creating an unusual mix event. Cass's style seems to be a lean in interests toward deep, progressive and tech-edged house, breakbeat and techno. Cass starts you off with a bit of minimalistic house music by Jeff Sharel then picks up the pace a bit with the Detroit styled track "Restless". This ends sort of dreamily but Cass gets the beats going with some overlaying into Bushwacka!'s "Smashed". This then bleeds into "Panikattack" by Plastikman which frankly I found while this is an excellent track, especially with Cass' additions from Miss Kiss it does not sound very much like what I'm use to Plastikman sounding like. The mixes on all these are so smooth you almost never know when you're going from one to the next where as most DJs 'pop' a track in Cass blends them seemlessly. By the way, the vocals by Miss Kiss are VERY explicit! Only an audiophile could capture something like this so nicely. "Panikattack" gets a bit trancy with some chaotic sounding beats with the Miss Kiss vocals overlayed on top of it. The tempo picks up again but with some nice ambient moods from Nu Mood Orchestra. "Microgroove" keeps somewhat the same tempo but is less ambient and more straightforward dance music. "Found" is driven mostly by it's bassline but is the type of track that I absolutely love to hear in those late night hours on the dancefloor when you get into that solid dance-trance that could go on endlessly. As for house music styles "Ladyshave" by Gus Gus is some great prog-house with traditional smooth house music vocal stylings. Cass brings back Bushwacka! to create a bit more of a pounding rhythm for us and increase the trance. I personally like all the ambient and additional stuff in the background. The main vocal sample reminds me of a 90's techno track by Awesome Three if I remember the name correctly. The bassline on "Because" sounds similar to the one we all know from The Matrix but more subtle. Some of the keyboard work later in the track sounds like something you might expect from Bill Leep of Delerium. "Backwards Retro" is driven by a vocal sample and some heavier keyboard work, a bit of an aside from most of the other tracks. "Please" is the best track on this side with some heavy house and I'm assuming the Marc Almond used here is the musical pieces which sound like his solo works which have that sort of 'musical' feel to it. This is also the most upbeat track and most interesting. Overall I find that this side contains lots of great music but which is too ambient and mellow - though dancey - for my taste for the dancefloor but then again I'm an EBM head. However, since I do like house, trance, and ambient quite a bit this is an excellent CD that runs smoothly and has lots of interesting switches which are masterfully compiled. Disc two begins quite a bit differently that the first with a very experimental electronica sound from Charlie May, half of Spooky. While it does have some ambient portions it continues with some harder beats and a much more upbeat atmosphere. This upbeat tempo continues with Dark Globe's "Mondo Scuro" which has some rather clever breakbeats. This track is much more to my personal tastes. Experimental with an element of chaos but maintianing a solid rhythm. This is followed by house music by Si Brad that has an interestingly experimental electronica sound, almost more like IDM-house with a touch of lounge if that's possible. "Moving With Me" continues the house style taking it a bit 'deep' with a bit of a dub flavor. "Shake It For Me" keeps the rhythm pumping. A very nice bump-n-grind with vocoded vocals, funky. "Be Wiz Me" still maintians the tempo driving us further into funk territory. It's got a very disco bassline. Still not dropping the tempo we move into more experimental techno territory with the hard driving "Locked In, Locked On" by Hairy Butter. This is sort of semi-hard beat trance with some trippy samples and noisy rhythms. "The Search" takes it down just a bit with some bizarre sci-fi sounding interludes so they can pump you back up again. The next one is by the DJ himself, Cass, performing "Mind Rewind" and contians some interestingly experimental interludes especially about three quarters of the way into the track where it practically disolves into synthetic noise and buzz tones with rather odd looping and effects but drops back in with a really nice dancefloor bump. "Spatialize" is by Excession which I understand is Grant Collins who was originally part owner of Fire. Great breakbeats and addictive dance rhythms. This is one of those tracks you can't help but move to and is rather non-genre-specific as far as electronic dance music goes. Awesome track! Next is "All The Freaks" by Cass & Slide which begins with a tripped out vocal sample of the song title and a truly funky bassline that would make Bootsy Collins proud. Disappointingly Cass ends with "The Game" which just doesn't have the power nor energy of the last two tracks but I'm assuming he wanted to break it down for us a bit before ending the release. This last track is some Deep Dish house music by B16. Overall Cass has produced an interesting CD set of some great underground dance sounds which takes you through various moods from the more laid back to the more upbeat. Definitely an interesting listen to say the least and practically a requirement for anyone into the undeground DJ music scene.
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