Music Reviews



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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Goth's Paradise V – The Black Book
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Orkus
Distributor: Audioglobe
Ok, you should be familiar with Orkus periodical who's who of the gothic scene – this compilation follows the usual technical characteristics of the series: double cd chock-full of tracks, digipack sleeve, a booklet with succint song information, and cemetery photos all around. Music seems to be equally distributed between dark/goth and electro/EBM and I think all tracks are released stuff from the bands' latest records, or alternative versions/remixes from ep's. Thus said, here are some of the names featured: Lacrimosa, L'ame Immortelle (special prize for "most ubiquitous project": I still have to find one of these samplers without them, eheh), ASP, Lost Signal, Clan of Xymox, Tanzwut, Impressions of Winter, BlutEngel, Hocico, Paradise Lost, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Corvus Corax and a dozen others.
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Artist: AIN SOPH
Title: Rituals
Format: CD
Label: Misty Circles (@)
Distributor: Old Europa Cafe
Recorded live at a private gig performed into an ancient building in Rome downtown back in 1985, RITUALS is one of the first Ain Soph recordings since they released their first tapes in those years. Ain Soph 1, 2 and 3 (better known as "Crucifige") were the seminal recordings of this band which in those years was experimenting with sounds and magick rituals. Similar to those recordings, this live CD brings me back to those days when I first contacted the band (I also interviewed them for the fanzine I was doing in that period, called Maelzel) because I was fascinated by those intense sounds. The eight tracks are a sort of compilation of their first two tapes and represents one of the most amazing recordings of the first Ain Soph period. If you only them only for their later recordings (the ones released by Cthulhu as "Aurora") mind you that this is something totally different and "dangerous". Those were the days magazines in Italy started to talk about experimental ritualistic music. If you missed them, with RITUALS you've got the chance to catch a part of the spirit that was pushing a bunch of Roman guys toward the unknown...
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Artist: BLACK LUNG + XINGU HILL
Title: The Andronechron Incident
Format: CD
Label: Ant Zen
Distributor: Audioglobe
Being released in 1999 as a limited edition 10" THE ANDRONECHRON INCIDENT is a soundtrack of the same l'Ultimo Pictures International's motion picture. Performed by David Thrussell (Black Lung) and John N. Sellekaers (Xingu Hill) the CD is a revised edition containing the full nine tracks soundtrack. The music is a mixture of progressive groovy ambient tunes mixed up with catchy and dreamy soundscapes which suddenly stop and give some space to jazzy inserts raped by hisses and various noises. Listening to this soundtrack it gives me the idea that the movie should be surrealist, obsessive and experimental. Since I haven't seen it, let's see what the liner notes tell about it: "Never screened outside of italy, THE ANDRONECHRON INCIDENT, is an oddity even in the singularly odd genre (experimental european science-fiction) to which it clearly belongs. More arthouse, perhaps even surrealist cinema than spaceflight saga it juxtaposes minimal dialogue against startling visuals and an, at times, jarring soundtrack. One apparently normal morning the world awakens to the sight of large egg-like structures randomly appearing across our oceans. Various news items report the global reaction and inform us shortly of further unusual events. Hours after the first sightings a multitude of organic and non-organic objects sprout mechanical attachments and appear to grow in cyborg-like fashion". This movie should be like a nightmare and it's a shame we've got only the opportunity of listening to its soundtrack, but meanwhile...
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Artist: ATARAXIA
Title: A Calliope... Collection
Format: CD
Label: Four Dimensions
Distributor: Audioglobe
Inspired by water A CALLIOPE is a sum of twelve years of activity of this Italian band. Always focused on medieval atmospheres this CD represents the right compendium for whom would like to approach himself to the mellow melodies and the calm atmospheres of the Ataraxia's acoustic realm. Flutes, acoustic guitars, drums, piano and strings duet with Francesca's chants bringing to you ancient melodies and stories. Each release has been covered and fourteen out of sixteen tracks follow step by step the different CDs, starting from "Simphonia Sine Nomine" to "Suenos" passing through "La Malédiction d'Ondine" and "Il Fantasma Dell'Opera", just to name few. The last two tracks "Arcana Eco" and "A Calliope" are new ones and close the CD with a dedication to Calliope, sublime mother of their inspiration. The CD comes with a 32 page booklet and a poster which are the visual counterpart of the music.
Artist: Imperative Reaction (@)
Title: Ruined
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Spacey, aggressive and sedative, all at once. Having discarded the classic distorted vocals and harsh electronic aggression of "Eulogy For a Buried Child" this is a shift of direction for the young group. With this CD, they switch to a fuller, rawer sound, with nontreated vocals and danceable industrial-electro ferver, not too unlike the old Pendragon Records sound of experimental and progressive industrial, a little like Fektion Fekler a bit... They even incorperating a female vocalist for the ever-popular ethereal effect on "Disoriented", but none of the corny ethereal cheesiness incorporated wit most electro-ethereal transitions. Lizabeth Boada sings with pure sensuality, lacking from most ethereal vocalists. All in all I think this is a healthy mode of change for IR, that the first CD was their learning experience of sorts. Definitely recommended. Rating: 9.
Look for an interview here with the group very soon, by the way. Thanks Sara/Nocturna for the CD!
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