Music Reviews



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Artist: Lacuna Coil
Title: Unleashed Memories
Format: CD
Label: Century Media Records
I know this review may be a bit late,but most people in the ethereal genre may tend to overlook this great band for the reason it's on a label associated more with metal than ethereal, though it gave us great bands like The Gathering. After hearing this band's "To Myself I Turned" on MP3.com, this Italian band hooked me. Extrememly strong female vocals, at times subtle guitars sometimes louder guitars, and intersesting drumming,make for a very strong formula,especially the vocalist,Christina Scabbia.
The album is strong throughtout,though a bit heavy for most ethereal fans. Think This Ascension with a brighter side and more versatile vocals, or TA crossed with the Gathering.
The strongest points on the CD are "Heir To a Dying Day" and "Senzafine" which is all done in their native Italian.
The band, though they tend to go heavy at times,are best at their most subtle, adding sprinkles of keyboard to add to their uniquely dreamy mood.
Overall, a very strong CD, and to me,a must for fans of both the hard gothic rock and ethereal sides of the spectrum. Rating: 9.
Artist: Das Ich (@)
Title: Anti'Christ
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Amazon.com


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Harsh dark German symphonic industrial in the vein of Neubauten, Laibach, Wumpscut, Hocico and The Young Gods. Das Ich follow a precarious balance between Industrial and Gothic as well as harmony and chaos. Pounding beats and classical strings meld in rhythm with Stefan Ackerman's gritty vocals. There is much here that would appeal the the Naubauten fan or any fan of German industrial as most of the lyrics are in German and the vocals are of a similar style to Blixa Bargeld on early Einstuerzende pieces. However, the music is much more modern and a bit less experimental as the compositions remind me much of Laibach. It smoothly combines hard industrial rhythms and percussion with classical strings and orchestral styled pieces as well as some heavy Gothic choir and ethereal overtones while utilizing bits of modern EBM to bring it all to the modern ear.
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Artist: LoveSpirals (@)
Title: WindBlown Kiss
Format: CD
Label: Projekt Records
When Love Spirals Downwards left off/disbanded, the last effort, "Flux" a masterpiece by all means,left us with a poppier,more upbeat version of ethereal. And like me, alot of people may have expected those influences to seep through. But with the new group,which appropriates the name change, new influences have come through, with a strong jazz element. To think of it this is like Billy Holiday with better vocals and more of a mood!
The first track, "Oh So Long" starts off with a sensual horn section and Anji Bee's masterful ethereal vocals, which go for mood and emotion,not a high pitch like alot of ethereal vocalists. She reminds me alot of the girl from Portishead a bit,but softer. As good as Suzanne Perry was, Anji Bee has her matched,though I would damn well love to see them do a song together. The rest of the album flows with a very controlled calm,very laid back and sensual.
Overall, I still like "Flux" better mostly because I have great memories with that CD,and soothed me in some bad times. But this is still a welcome shift of direction,and should please fans of both jazz, ethereal, and emotional folk music. And if you're looking for that CD for you and your lover to listen to under some candlelight,this is it!Very recommended. Rating: 9
P.S.,
Look for an interview with the group I'm conducting right now as we speak! And find out the shocking news on what has become of Suzanne Perry of Love Spirals Downward! You will never guess.Thanks to Anji Bee and Ryan for the CD!
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Artist: Mlada Fronta
Title: Oxydes
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Parametric (@)
It looks like French musician Remy Pelleschi is becoming more prolific as the days go by. Another MF double CD has hit the streets packed in an astonishing folding digipack with great graphics... I don't know whatever happened to M-Tronic, but "Oxydes" is coming out on his own outlet Parametric and seems to be overall more pushing... The first of the two CDs contains new and original material. Pulsing Dive-like saturated power electronic patterns reinforced by semi-distorted disturbed industrial beats collide with Young Gods-like floating ethereal sampled sounds and occasional pads. The peace is mostly slower and almost mysterious, but truly powerful indeed. It feels like the beast is hiding and observing, but rarely attacking in full blast. However when it does, it happens the right way: brutal force, true industrial strength... Finally an album of today with sounds of today that even the old "real" industrial pioneers wouldn't be ashamed of. The chemical elements are still used as song titles. The second CD contains remixes by himself, Gom (trancey), Tarmvred (noisier), Milligramme (more prodigy-techno-like), Dither (going ambient/experimental), the great Mimetic (power noise-ish/ebm-ish) and Data Raper (more epic and new-industrial type). And what do we have here? \Remy also presented us with unreleased video tracks... There are four concert clips here that you can enjoy only if you have Quick Time 5.02 or later installed. Recorded with the same long-sleeve shirt in Liege, Cannes, Bordeaux and Lyon, the performances stay pretty true to the record and would be a lot more exciting if supported by some kind of additional visual aids such as videos, projections, special lighting etc (from that point of view Lyon's performance is probably the best, thanks to pounding trance-inducing almost Detroit/Jeff Mills-like techno, lots of slowly changing and filter-sweeped sounds and cool red over-lights and blue/green laser-like stage lights... too bad it seems like he's playing in a big place with very few people)...
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Artist: ULTRA FUCKERS (@)
Title: Beyond the Fuckless
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Crazy shit I wasn't expecting to hear on Public Eyesore, except for the fact that this trio is Japanese. Ultra Fuckers start off as a garage-punk-hc band on speed recording in a basement with cheap equipment; cross Le Shock + any "Flex Your Head" band + The Boredoms + Teengenerate and you'll get close to the picture. Punk fuckin' rawk. From track 5, things get a bit weirder. Lots of raw (raw is the key-word here) psychedelia (ok, maybe that's why the cover says "we are psychedelic warrior... " - sic!), acid jams, some kraut rock too. Think of Can without any academic background recording in the same conditions mentioned above (minus the speed). Explicit titles like "German Rock Radio II" and "Let's go space beach". The last track, "D.A.F. (Kubitsukasan Mix)", reminded me of DEVO with its spastic electronic rhythm and grotesque vocals. This sounds like a joke, and I enjoyed listening. Super-cool layout.
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