Music Reviews



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Artist: COUP DE GRĀCE (@)
Title: Place Of No Return
Format: CD
Label: EQUINOXE Records (@)
Distributor: MASTERPIECE Distribution
Rated: *****

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This is the first album for the German band COUP DE GRÂCE, showing a mixture of Gothic Rock, metal riffing, and neoclassic/neofolk influences, with the use of bagpipe and violin. The first song "Until the End" is more metal oriented, with somethings that reminds me of TIAMAT’s "Clouds", involving and rhythmical. Both the second track "Untitled", with a neofolk opening with violin (à la ALGIZ) and "When You Are Gone", with acoustic guitar intertwining with bagpipe, start softer to explode with harder metal electric guitars and a rocker attitude, with sometimes growling voice. The chorus of "When You Are Gone" is really good, such as the melodies of "Running Away", probably, in my opinion, the best chorus in all the album. "Deathbed" is like a Gothic Metal song, orchestrated and powerful, but it’s not "doom" because of a jumping and shaking rhythmic section. What is, I think, the lack of this album is the rough sound of the violin, not giving the right sweetness and atmosphere to songs, and above all the unripe use of vocals: English pronunciation is too "deutsch" and, even if probably this is the singer’s strongest feature, the voice is nearly always whining, and it could be annoying at last. It’s a pity because the singer Martin Krauß has a good timbre and could surely do better in the future.
So, a good album showing an interesting new band, but they have to dedicate more time to smooth some roughness, both in sounds and composition.
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Artist: LYS
Title: Melisse
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Rated: *****

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After three years of preparation Lys (which is the personal project of Frederic Chaplain, Prikosnovenie's manager) released his second album MELISSE. The twelve tracks of the CD sum the label's intentions and flavors by mixing oriental samples with shamanic voices and poetry. Lys music has got ethnic influences as well as ambient and trip hop solutions thanks also to the collaboration of Liz Van Dort of Faraway (on "Zen"), Cecile Rabhi of Anassane (on "M'h'ta"), Mihaela Repina of PinknRuby (on "Rebirth"), Steve Roach, Francesco Banchini of Gor (on "Aranda"), Aziz El Hachabe of Gnawa Musician of Fes (he plays vionlin of "Des rivages atlantes"). Even if so many people helped Frederic for the realisation of this second album, the tracklist is well balanced and generally you can find a dreamy atmosphere along all the CD. Even if some tracks are mostly based on rhythm, the effect doesn't change that much and during all the album you'll find yourself floating between chants and melancholic melodies. My preferred tracks are the opening "Ma Hata", the beautiful "Melisse" (its melody is really relaxing and catchy while water sounds calm your spirit) and "Fleur carnivore" (a tense ambient track with ethnic percussions based on loops and whispers with some vocalisation that change its atmosphere on the final minute).
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Artist: Monstrum Sepsis (@)
Title: Deep Sea Creatures
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: WTII Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Written & composed by Rob Wentz with additional instrumentation from Paul Karlik & guest vocals from Shikhee of Android Lust. This is the Monstrum Sepsis' debut on their new label WTII Records which also features a host of great new Industrial, EBM, and Darkwave such as cut.rate.box, In Strict Confidence, Beborn Beton, Arcanta, Melotron, Regenerator, Trigger10D, & Stromkern. Experimenting with Industrial, EBM, Noise, and other subterranean rhythms and melodies I'm fast wishing I'd had more time to review this sooner! The CD layout and cover features primordial-looking semi-transparent blue jellyfish like creatures gracefully floating in a sea of darkness. I find this an apt artistic design for this work especially when combined with the futuristic LCD readout stylings. This music is definitely ethereal and transient, an album that would easily be appreciated by dark-ambient artists and fans. At the same time, this release also has upbeat dancefloor appeal. It sort of reminds me of an industrial version of Sven Vath's "Accident In Paradise" with it's continual flow ebbing between melodrama and ambience and hard-hitting trancey dance tracks. Excellent work! I can see why my friends at WTII picked up on it so readily. A healthy addition to any true music lover's collection!Also check out Doors & Windows, the companion to and first EP from Monstrum Sepsis' critically acclaimed full length, Deep Sea Creatures.
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Artist: Monstrum Sepsis (@)
Title: Deep Sea Creatures
Format: CD
Label: WTII Records (@)
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from CD BABY (CDBaby.com)
Written & composed by Rob Wentz with additional instrumentation from Paul Karlik & guest vocals from Shikhee of Android Lust. This is the Monstrum Sepsis' debut on their new label WTII Records which also features a host of great new Industrial, EBM, and Darkwave such as cut.rate.box, In Strict Confidence, Beborn Beton, Arcanta, Melotron, Regenerator, Trigger10D, & Stromkern. Experimenting with Industrial, EBM, Noise, and other subterranean rhythms and melodies I'm fast wishing I'd had more time to review this sooner! The CD layout and cover features primordial-looking semi-transparent blue jellyfish like creatures gracefully floating in a sea of darkness. I find this an apt artistic design for this work especially when combined with the futuristic LCD readout stylings. This music is definitely ethereal and transient, an album that would easily be appreciated by dark-ambient artists and fans. At the same time, this release also has upbeat dancefloor appeal. It sort of reminds me of an industrial version of Sven Vath's "Accident In Paradise" with it's continual flow ebbing between melodrama and ambience and hard-hitting trancey dance tracks. Excellent work! I can see why my friends at WTII picked up on it so readily. A healthy addition to any true music lover's collection!Also check out Doors & Windows, the companion to and first EP from Monstrum Sepsis' critically acclaimed full length, Deep Sea Creatures.
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Artist: Libitina (@)
Title: The Shadowline
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****

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This is the third album by Libitina, a UK goth band, Libitina. As one of the rising goth acts of our time Libitina combines elements from the more traditional goth-rock sound with modern rock and synth elements. This album sees a bit more focus on the electronics but without losing any of the traditional goth heart and soul. Late 2002 saw the retirement of their previous frontman Peter and this is the first album to feature Phill (Thank the gods it's not Paul) as the main vocalist. Libitina would sit nicely next to bands like Behind the Scenes, Cruxshadows, Bella Morte, and Written In Ashes. I've always liked that Libitina is never too mainstream yet easily accessible while at the same time brings in elements of dark spirituality while not being overt and takes the subtle approach much like Faith & The Muse might. Goth music has always been that which approaches the darker sides of humanity while at the same time being unafraid to inquire about the unknown and Libitina does this nicely. Great to listen to in your bedroom, private dungeon, or stomp on the dancefloor to. The mixing of electronics into traditional goth-rock has somewhat blurred the lines between Darkwave and Goth but it seems to be suitable when bands like Libitina can maintain the more traditional sounding elements of the Gothic genre without losing it to the coldness of electronics. Nicely done!
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