Music Reviews



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Artist: Lacrimosa
Title: Durch Nacht Und Flut (Through Night and Flood)
Format: CD
Label: Hall of Sermon/Nuclear Blast
Distributor: Nuclear Blast (USA) Hall of Sermon (Europe)
Their Copycat" video I saw a while back took the word awful’ to new heights, with it’s big hair and high kicking about in a underground crypt, all over some very stereotypical metal schlock. With this one, they have grown a deal, but still have a ways to go. At least the clichéd metal and big hair are gone, though the singer still can’t really sing above an Oasis-like nasal whine (in German) and bang out a guitar line that I’ve heard in every teen comedy ever made. Track 4 is the only one that really has any redeeming value to it, with it’s violin lines, though it still harbors a quasi-dance rhythm and that ’Stefan-Ackerman with Down Syndrome" German drone on it. This CD may be progress for them from the pits of their past laughability, but goddamn do they still suck bad. They pretend to be metal and the metal element is not there at all. They pretend to be goth, and all the goth there is in this is their clothes. And their classical element they tote so much is in short spurts no longer than 20 seconds. I’m hoping their full length is better and that this is just a bad mistake for a song, but I’m kinda doubting it. I was wrong on the one part, Track 5, the remix of "Not Every Pain Hurts" is the only redeemable one, getting me safe away from that German whining, and is actually quite skillfully done. And it took Sabotage’s remix of that to save it! Well, we can only hope on the next one... ... ... ... Rating: 2. For metal/goth/classical stuff save your money and get My Dying Bride.
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Artist: EMPIRE STATE HUMAN (@)
Title: Alpha & Omega
Format: CD
Label: Ninthwave Records (@)
I already knew part of the tracks of this ALPHA & OMEGA as at the time I interviewed them Aindan gently passed me a CDr with some of their new songs but listening to these fifteen songs all in a row is like listening them for the first time. You want to know why? Simply as abc (heheh... some fine humor in the house)... because Empire State Human for me are one of the finest nowadays synthpop artists. They aren't too retro (even if their sounds are deeply based on those of the '80s) and they mix in a cool way electronic, pop, techno and feverish rhythms. Coming from the sessions of their Martian Anthems and Pop Robot albums, ALPHA & OMEGA is a concentrate of what a cool CD should be: one hour of good songs/sounds, fresh ideas and passion. I assure you that listening to these recordings you can feel all the passion and enthusiasm the band put in their music. The album contains new songs as well as remixes and collaborations with some of today’s best underground artists (Count To Infinity, Freezepop, Wave In Head, One Lazy Ear & ESH). It contains also some covers of tv serial and movie themes as the opening theme of British show "The Persuaders" (which had Roger Moore and Tony Cutis as main actors. For those of you who don't remember them in France and UK there are the DVDs of the whole serie available...) and the one of "Halloween" (for those of you who don't know this, this theme has been written directly by Carpenter himself which is a good movie director and an interesting composer as well). This CD is something more than a compilation of outtakes, try it and lemme know...
Artist: AMPLE POPULATION (@)
Title: 4 Song Demo
Format: CD
Ample Population is John Ashe and Jasi Richardson, the first all black gothic/darkwave band that enter the gothic scene and been very well received in their hometown Baltimore, Maryland. My wife and a couple of friends of mine was shock when I told them that the band is black after I played them this awesome 4 song demo cd-r. Ample Population is a reminder of the early XYMOX & THE CURE. The cd-r kicks off with "Red Cloud Afternoon", a very intriguing love song, which I can't stop playing. This song got me so interested because of the catchy guitar/basslines and dark synth sound. "Road Map" have a dark edge with John's voice sounding so deep saying the words "There's no other way to be down/I take the negative with me underground." The guitar and bassline on "Sunshiny Road" and "Letter From Baltimore" have a Cure feel. AP have alot to offer to the gothic/darkwave fans who crave for more bands like them to listen to. Nice to see another black artist doing something distinguish besides myself.
Dec 18 2002
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Artist: CROC SHOP
Title: WORLD
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Reading the flyer for the concert of their’s I just missed, it states "crazy new Croc Shop sound evolving on you, now go go go!". I couldn’t agree more, because their new mix of old and new is infectious as all hell! They basically took their old guilds of simplistic MIDI sounds, driving percussion and raw energy, and twisted it up with a bit of synthpop and a little techno, making it very unique indeed. The title track plinks in gently with a poppy interlude and out come the anthemic lyrics and pop flow, showing off their new style with delicate ease. "Generation" is where the smooth flow really starts and I hit the rewind button more than a few times on this one. The bassline comes out very funky, with the newfound synths layering it off. And also I notice too the singing is a lot more soulful, with Mick trying more diverse elements and coming out of his shell. My other favorite track on here is "Destroy" the most soulful and bouncy track on this whole CD, discussing the consequences of hatred (as they were talking about in the interview with us at the end). Every track on here is pure energy, something I have known the band for for years now, and the formula has only gotten more daring and bold. And have to love the anime artwork, which is another bold retreat for the group from their usual art. Let the new Croc Shop sound evolve on you! Rating: 10. This I now officially proclaim to be Album of The Year.
Artist: VV.AA
Title: MODULE 1-RELAX
Format: CD
Label: 3D Vision Records
Distributor: 3D Vision Records
This is the sister CD to the Jetlag’ CD from 3dVision, and is, of course, the mellow ambient techno/chill side of the compos. The CD from the first track onward is very relaxing and yet energetic at the same time, beating the hell out of those cheap ass "Pure Chill" compos I see in Starbucks and Kmart. Though every artist shifts in style gradually it overall reminds me of NEWT, the Haujobb/Forma Tadre side project. Overall, this is my favorite of the two comps. Rating: 10
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