Music Reviews



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Artist: Helter Incendo + Hollowing + When Joy Becomes Saddness
Title: The Golden Age of Darkness II
Format: CD
Label: Dragon Flight Recordings (@)
This is a three way split CD between newcomer Helter Incendo (compared to Sephiroth, In Slaughter Natives, Protagonist), Hollowing (Rectrix records founder's project, also present on the recently reviewed three-way split CD "The Obsolete View") and When Joy Becomes Saddness (spelled that way on the CD so I guess that's the name of the band). The opener is about as diabolic and satanic as it gets, with its down-pitched backwards voices and sounds, breaths and whispers, dark-industrial mayhem, gloomy atmospheres and what not, a perfect soundtrack for a Polanski horror film. Hollowing is more into long suites of sinister sounds and minimal hypnotic beats, with occasional operatic vocals or other spoken/whispered material, continuous and cycling bursts of chaotic audio, a one-time-appearance classical guitar and other obscure material in theme with the title and the mood of this CD. The band with the unusual spelling (that already counts releases on Somnambulant Corpse, 26th Circle and Force of Nature) keeps the door to dark land wide open and draws out the path downwards with made-in-inferno murky and lumber material composed of windy analog synth knob-tweaking, sporadic distortions, prolix somber soundscapes with explicitly recited speeches about profane topics that would feel at home in Dante's. 7 tracks of dark industrial ready to go.
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Artist: LEGENDARY PINK DOTS
Title: All the King’s Horses
Format: CD
Label: Big Blue
Distributor: Audioglobe
The Pink Dots have been haunting our ears and brains for decades and they still do... Lyricist and vocalist Edward Ka-spel and keyboard-player Silverman have been joined by Dutch musicians on guitars, violins, sax and other wind instruments; all together they lead us down the dark visions that we have learnt to cherish, coming as they do from the Dots. Other bands wouldn’t get away with it, would be written off as self-indulgent. In fact, repetition over the years doesn’t lessen the impact at all, if anything it makes the picture ever richer with details. It is good that the this new Cd, published by a Polish label, has all the lyrics in the booklet. Most of the songs are ballads full of love cherished or remembered in the midst of ruin and apocalypse. Black humour has always been the Dots trademark: fancy opening a Cd with the words of love sent by a passenger on a crashing plane to a woman who is probably sleeping with her lover! Ka-spel may be the poet of day-to-day desperation, but he is painting the bleakness awaiting us with such an unusual and clear-eyed palette that we feel we have gained knowledge and not just shared in another queue to Doomsday.Musically, there haven’t been sharp revolutions over the years. The Dots are not the kind of bands who feel the need for a fashionable brush-up. You have to like Edward’s unique voice, sad, plaintive and warm; the use of keyboards as well as the arrangements will sound to someone eerily outdated, despite Raymond Steeg’s sound wizardry (far from brash and assertive). The Dots pursue a line of composition which has woven in a very personal way New wave, Progressive, complex songwriting: they have followed their own path in such a degree that they are virtually in their own field. If I have some reservations, they have to do with the tracks where the sax comes in (doesn’t do too much for me, I am afraid), or the partly improvised "A Bargain at Half a Price", a jazz-rock-prog piece. But as long as Ka-spel sings with his mellow voice disturbing fancy-tales such as "Lisa Goes Surfing", I for one don’t care if there is a sax too much. I have always believed that the Dots’ lyrics are on a par with the best poems around. They are steeped in fantasy and shot through with love and compassion, laughter and tears. And they are not afraid to point their finger at the biggest delusion of humankind: Power and powergames. There is also an uncomprising politics at the heart of it all, from a band that virtually chose exile rather than staying on in Thatcherite Britain. And the arrogant voice of the day-to-day imperialist (the Western tourist) can be heard in "It’s the real thing": "I’m a tourist at the poorest place on Earth. I’ve got a straw hat, palm tree shirt. Throw a cent, they’ll lick you – bring you Monkey-on-a-Stick.... Deep down they know they are here to serve the Sun King. Hear me hum God Save the Queen’". Amen.
Apr 21 2003
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Artist: Front 242
Title: Pulse
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Ok, I realize how psyched up the scene is about this CD coming out, since it is the first F242 in over a decade (not counting "ReBoot" the live CD). But also realize some changes within the group, which may leave some of the hardcore fans who thought ReBoot" was just a phase a little disappointed. Gone are the hard rhythms of "Tyranny For You" and the industrial danciness of earlier work, replaced now with a much more technofied edge, loaded to the brims with MIDI in and erratic patterns. This CD is very... ... ... ... .unique... ... .unpredictable... .and is up to the hype that this is a CD that will keep others in the electronic scene scrambling to keep up. You have to remember most of this band’s peers are bands they inspired thoroughly, so not too many people can give F242 a run for their money outside of Frontline Assembly. Gone also are the most of the vocals of earlier work, this time relying much more on just base structure than anthem tracks. Also it seems as if half the CD is one track with some sharp turns and some time shifts, to the point where you wonder how track 1, "SEQ666" suddenly became track 5 "Beyond The Scale Of Comprehension". After that comes, ummmmmmmmmm "Song", where Jean Luc DeMeyer’s vocals pop in, and the olden industrial rhythms (yeah!!!!! Rivet stomp time!) in the chorus. Good old school F242 shining through! Then comes the slow track, "One", with it’s plecking drum line and subtle backdrop of multiple soundlayers, all over Jean Luc DeMeyer’s softened vocals, ala C-Tec’s "Darker". Still seems like he has that same emotional juice left from that project, which I’m anxious to see if it’s in Gaiden and MorF. "Matrix" pops into the foray with it’s laid back grooves, and simplistic analog synth lines all layered over top of vocals and subdued, dubbed layers of sound. I absolutely love the faded drum line on this one, it kind of reminds me of a tap dance rhythm!And just when you think you got the last track on here, and the hardened 242 fans start to sob... ... ... .. welcome to hidden track heaven!!!! It’s simply hidden track after hidden track of whole complete, thought out songs, practically enough for most labels to shove onto a second CD and charge more. All in all, over 20 tracks, and too many strong ones to name here in detail since I’ve blabbed enough... ... .. So, all in all, if you’re looking for rivet stomping gold like the old days, may wanna stick to your older stuff and C-Tec. But, all generic bands that have been passing themselves off as EBM, be prepared to be like sickle before the grain! This CD is an odd combo of that and thick-ended techno, with a hint here and there of industrial, but overall done with a severe addiction factor and a danceable factor that may just leave many newer so called EBM bands (and Future Pop bands that pass themselves off as such) either tossing out their instruments in surrender or starting to upgrade their synth and programming skills. The masters are back and the sound is like a million mile totem pole looking down on all others in electronic with a loud fuck you’! Rating: 10. Very highly recommended.
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Artist: Wumpscut
Title: Music For A German Tribe/Preferential Legacy
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records/Beton Kopf Media
Distributor: Metropolis Records/Beton Kopf Media
Wumpscut doing electro pop?!? Any Wumpscut fan would cringe at the thought, but don’t worry it’s Rudy’s old stuff on here. The song being "All Cried Out", which is bouncy, but me being used to Wumpscut’s rivet stomping industrial-goth gold, it’s kinda odd.This double CD set is an examination of his older days and some new goodies for the Wump Troopers out there, along with a completely German version of the classic CD "Music For a Slaughtering Tribe". You may remember the German track for Soylent Green" from the Electropolis 1’ compo CD (another classic) not too long ago, it of course being a more in tune version versus the English version. The German seems to fit the track so much better! You get all the essentials on this set, from a German version of gems like "Die In Winter" and the hidden track from Bunketor 7’ now revealed as "Red Water", written I’m guessing in memory of a lost friend of his. It’s always been one of Wumpscut’s most beautiful and entrancing tracks, and seems to have even more potency as a eulogy. One tends to forget that under all the Teutonic, blistering tracks Wumpscut does, Rudy also has the undeniable power to make cold yet emotional music, as well as his powers in programming and sequencing. I could go on forever about all this CD has... ... ... ... ... ... ... .A cover of Dive’s "God", the previously unreleased "Crang March", a good deal of his remix work (including the hard to find remix of Cleen’s "The Voice"), complete versions of tracks from Bloodchild’, and much more! Perfect for the newbie rivethead on your block, the ones curious to Wumpscut’s magic and even some goodies for the hardcore :W: collector. This and anything from Wumpscut is essential in any industrial collection, this is the evolution from the old Leatherstrip sound everyone was copying around the time this group started (they are strongly Leatherstrip influenced, but it definitely has it’s own edge and style). It can well be argued that this group saved industrial, as well as laid roots for bands such as Hocico and Cenobita. Bring the kids, and come feel the love and warmth that is Wumpscut! Haha!Rating: 10. PS, also watch for my interview with Rudy now underway. Also check our Issue #5 for an in depth interview with him.
Apr 18 2003
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Artist: RESURRECTION EVE (@)
Title: Rapture
Format: CD
Label: Ground Under Prods (@)


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Australia for us is kind a mistery. We think about it like a sort of mixture of Asia and USA with an unknown history and with misterious people and animals who reside there. Personally I know few bands coming from that land. I know also an Australian goth website (Aether Sanctum http://www.goth.org.au) and that's a sign that goth and electronic music have a following there too. From Melbourne (what a coincidence, it's where my uncle lives) arrives Resurrection Eve, an electro goth duo which to my ears sounds like a mixture of the last Covenant and O.M.D. with a goth touch here and there. A thing is for sure, their second CD RAPTURE will be a pleasant surprise for a lot of people. Well produced with good melodies and a training dance background: these are the highlights of this CD which musically isn't innovative but will appassionate the lovers of melodic e.b.m.
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