Music Reviews



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Artist: KILLING OPHELIA (@)
Title: Last vision
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
This could easily be the best Black Rain release in a long time. UK act Killing Ophelia (Karen King and Lee Lauer) manage to play a kind of electro which is not overtly predictable in programmings and arrangements (something which sadly affects 90% of current electro-EBM projects) and actually try to write songs that you can tell from one another. Emphasys in on layers and overall structure rather than just on beats, and the voice DOES sing - no distorted filters or tricks like that. It has a warm, melancholic slant which sometimes even reminded me of Martina's on Tricky's "Maxinquaye". And it luckily avoids gaudy gothic extravaganzas. Not an album I'm overtly interested in, but a decent effort which stands out in an ocean of mediocre releases.
Artist: DEATH BY VISITATION OF GOD (@)
Title: Heavy Blunt Objects
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Self Released
The Death By Visitation Of God born in Sao Paulo, Brasil, in 1993 thank to J. Bernucci and W. Corradini, helped by various friends. In 1997 Bernucci decided to move to London, followed by Corradini in 2001. Here the couple didn't forget their musical project and joyned by P. ALexander (who left recently) on bass guitar, recorded the tracks of this "Heavy Blunt Objects" demo. The five tracks of the demo are a sort of blend of goth and early post punk played with guitars and a drum machine. The result is quite fresh and some tracks are catching. The recordings are quite good for an home recording session and the band adds also some weird sound, percussions and attitude to the lot just to help the personalisation process. I assure you that I listened a lot of worst stuff from other pompous new comers that make me say that this band has got good ideas which they could exploit / explore only if they would be more lucky with band members that leave :)
Aug 26 2003
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Artist: Pride And Fall
Title: Nephesh
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
To say this one is unoriginal would be a understatement, as is alot of music from this FuturePop scene. But this one sounds waaaaayyyyyy too much like VNV Nation, from the beats to the synth and particurally the singer, who sounds like he's listened to way too much of VNV's "DarkAngel". Lacking though is VNV's lyrical prowess and sense of theatrics, which is one of the things seperating VNV from a run of the mill dance group. Only real song of note on here is "Construct", where the synth play has that same old same old FuturePop feel, but oddly sticks to you after a few notes. Everything else to me is that same club music that's grated on my nerves for quite a while, and seems thankfully to be getting backlashed against in favor of angrier, more experimental bands like Hocico. This group is to me simply a pure,all out VNV Nation clone, pure and simple, with nothing to offer after the FuturePop fad goes away. I'd much more recommend VNV Nation or even Assemblage 23 over this. Rating:2.
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Artist: RAIN PAINT
Title: Nihil Nisi Mors
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
I noticed that a lot of metal bands are taking inspiration from new wave instead that melting their sound only with goth or industrial. Maybe they decided this path because it allow them to explore sadness and depression instead than only rage. Rain Paint aren't neglecting their metal background (the band members played with Prophet, Fragile Hollow, Rapture, Diablerie and Denigrate) but they decided to melt together gothic metal, dark wave, doom, progressive rock and melodic death just to create something more personal as possible. Guitars on most tracks are definitely metal as well the songs' structure but vocals are clear and generally melodic (only sometimes vocals are like grunts but only on few moments, like on "Rain Paint" and "Miss Spring"). Sometimes is like to listen to Cure jamming with Metallica. NIHIL NISI MORS is goth like the latest Type O Negative could be but if you listen to "Raven Nevermore" or the six minutes of "Loose And Over" you'll release that this is something different. The only weak point is that if the sound is well defined and powerful, there isn't any track which melody sticks into your mind without allowing you to sing something else...
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To my knowledge, this band has yet to do a bad CD, and are one of my all time fave goth artists. It’s like they keep the line between gothic rock and dark new wave melody alive, as well as bring it into the 21st century with almost no effort at all. This group brings me back to those days when it was often me and some old school goth tunes, such as Bauhaus and Joy Division, back to those days when goth strangely enough had a pure energy, not the stereotype it is these days. And they were one the first to dare put goth elements into electronic music, making masterpieces like "Medusa", which sounded like what Joy Division would sound like after tutoring under post "Exile" Gary Numan, and "Twist Of Shadows", possibly the most enjoyable and clever dark-wave CDs to come out of the 80's. Always they manage to bring some type of new element to gothic music in ways that almost no others can, and where many of the others who have COX’s amount of fame (such as The Cure or The Damned) have failed. On this release, Ronny and his gang of merry men and women bring a combination of what could be "Notes From The Underground" meets Souxie And The Banshees’ "Superstition", making what could best be described as 80's darkwave for the 21st century, complete with that Clan Of Xymox ambience we’ve come to know so well and love. And as mentioned before, it’s got that old school gothic boogy and melody which is outright addictive, something you could get only from seasoned pros like COX. Dancey goth-pop patterns and danceable drum beats are met with chainsaw guitar riffs, making for a very addictive mix, all topped with Ronny’s charming and emotive baritone vocals. The patterns are always tricky, and always shifting around, but it does give you that feeling like you’re back in a nightclub in the post-Joy Division era, something that I rarely experience in this day of cookie cutter glam-goth bands and rehashed Bauhaus clones. My two favorites from this CD have to be "It’s Not Enough", with it’s bouncey goth-pop guitar work and sharp melody, and "There’s No Tomorrow", which is the old Clan Of Xymox feel with a 22nd century dance line attached to it, making it the perfect cross between gothic sensibilities and dance floor ethic of today. Another masterpiece from one of the most influencial European bands out there, and one of the few in goth who are always looking forward. Also of high note are "Creatures" and "Notes From The Underground", but anything of COX will not steer you wrong. Rating: 10.
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