Music Reviews



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Artist: NEXUS
Title: Wrapped In Cellophane
Format: CD
Label: Cyberdelia Records (@)
Third album for this band coming from Greece and lead by the label's owner Mike Pougounas. For whom didn't read the review I did of their last CD I can tell you that Nexus is a goth rock band influenced by a wide range of musical styles that go from NIN to Sister Of Mercy passing through Psychedelic Furs (in fact Mike's vocals sometimes remember me of Butler's way of singing). The ten tracks of the album generally have got a certain sick and dark vein which gives to the whole work a touch of mistery and coolness. The band's sound, as on the previous album, has got metal influences as well as goth and industrial ones, maybe this won't be an highlight for goth purists but I don't think the band is caring that much because this isn't affecting the result and songs like "Born In Razors" "Master Of The Game" or "Satan Is My Baby" will convince a wide range of audience. The band will tour around Europe soon as well as they'll do a mini tour in Italy in February/March. Try them!
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Artist: AGENCY X
Title: Don't Hold Your Breath
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Delicious Records (@)
Maybe you remember the name of this new synthpop band because in the David Mahr review I named them. Even if they slightly changed their name from The Agency to Agency X (they discovered a punk band using the same name in Miami) the band is always formed by David Mahr and Lars Wallden of Avant Garde (a Swedish synthpop band which released a couple of CDs for Synthphony Records). DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH is their first release and the track will be also available in their first album titled "Mission Impossible" which will see the light sometimes during 2003. The single contains five different versions of the song: the "Single Mix" and the "Yellow Magic Mix" are similar as structure and atmosphere (classic synthpop catchy tune influenced by Vince Clarke's musical style) while the "Waste Of Time Mix", the "Indecision Mix" and the "Deep Mix" take the original mix adding punching drum sounds and dance influences. The "Radical Mix" is the one I prefer because is the most radical and present something different from the original version. The last track "Walk Away From Love" is a remixed version of the Yazoo's song the band covered for the Nobody's Diary tribute CD compilation and has been remixed directly by the band giving to it a fresher touch. I can't wait to listen to their album...
Artist: vv.aa
Title: Viscera
Format: CD
Label: Luminal Records
Distributor: Luminal Records
Very nice, cheaply priced compo of some of the top bands in the industrial/EBM/goth field. I’m guilty but I skipped on to the Ikon track," Heresy", given how big of an Ikon fan I am. They are simply the one band that gives Australia any merit in the music world (well them, Leviathon and Snog). The new track may be not yet fully produced but it is a strong indicator of yet another majestic, old school goth masterpiece by the seminal group. I was supposed to do an interview with them but I think they either dropped off the earth or forgot me. Highlights on this CD are Morthem Vlade Art’s "Splendor In The Grass" (reminds me of latter day Gary Numan vocally), Sabotage’s "Beat Up" (reminds me of an industrialized Souixie and The Banshees), Ikon’s "Heresy" (but of course), and 8KhZ Mono’s "Frequency" (reminds me a bit of X Marks The Pedwalk). Only bad points are In The Nursery’s cover of (take a guess!) Joy Division’s "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and Ophelia Burning. In the Nursery as usual is great on the track but the annoyance stems from the overcovering of the song by every band under the sun. They do it great but that shadow cannot be escaped. Why has no one covered "The Eternal"!??! Ophelia Burning is great until the chorus where the girl just bellows Cranberries style, otherwise I hear they are pretty good. The rest of the song is solid though, just the bellowing chorus needs to go. Nice little intro for those new to the scene and for current fans. Rating: 9
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Artist: ROOM WITH A VIEW
Title: First Year Departure
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution


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It's a long time that I hadn't the occasion to listen to the kind of sounds the Room With A View play. You know, for all the nineties we have been used to listen to goth bands influenced mainly by Sisters Of Mercy or Fields Of The Nephilim but luckily the band seems to take as inspiration bands such as Modern English but using also metal influences (only on some parts of "End Of Season" and "Madeleine") and particular arrangements using trumpet, piano, accordion or a tambourine. Generally the tracks sound fresh and interesting even if sometimes they need time to get an hold on the audience because of all the influences and idea they mix: for example tracks like "Madeleine" merge a catchy melody and an experimental intro with the song's melodies and the radio stations sounds. The only thing I didn't appreciate that much is the alternance of metal vocals with mellow ones but since this is their first album they have time to grow.
Dec 29 2002
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Serial Killer Electronics
Format: CD
Label: Tatra Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe


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The third electro compilation from Tatra! SERIAL KILLER ELECTRONICS has got as subtitle "Norwegian Technopop, Futurepop, Industrial Collection" and features 16 tracks of Norwegian-only artists. Here's the tracklist:
01. Gothminister - Hatred (Serial Killer Version)
02. Echo Image - Endless Day (Club Version)
03. Super Jupiter - Got to Get Some
04. Icon Of Coil - Violations (Minimal Hardware Version)
05. Mortiis - Mental Maelstrom (Video Edit)
06. Spektralized - Stop and Rewind (S.G.E. Version)
07. X.Machina - Endgame
08. Pride And Fall - Inside
09. Sweep - Last Train to Paris
10. Magicka - Lex Tailoris
11. Panzerveps - Deported
12. Apoptygma Berzerk - Until the End of the World (Dark Club Mix)
13. Conetik - Lost Control
14. In Vein - Amended
15. Off.Tribe - Solid Ground (v.2.0)
16. Computorgirl - The Touch.
The sounds go from distorted ebm to modern synthpop passing through the new metal electronic vein of Mortiis for seventy minutes of "no mercy" music. Good compilation and bands, check it out if you are into modern synthpop and ebm.
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