Music Reviews



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Artist: Project Rotten (@)
Title: Cinema Bizarre
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
No time to shed any more tears after the demise of Twisted Flesh Recordings, Fredrik Croona and his partner 'X/209' (Yes, that is the guy behind Syndrome X/209 = Kettil Sundberg) have ready done their new and second album after their last years' official debut 'The Freakshow' of Project Rotten. 'Cinema Bizarre' has been recently released via the Hungarian Advoxya label and proves to be a logical development to the debut.
This album is an action-filled onslaught, which offers all good ingredients one expects from a modern produced Harsh EBM/Hellectro album. Razor-sharp synth bass-lines, a bone-hard rhythm work, and - surprise, surprise - a massive recognizable development in the quality of the vocal fx-processing. Already with the opener 'Soul Stripped (No Future)' this duo pushes the rotten bodies forward to storm the dancefloors. Be assured, that they don't take prisoners and that they won't stop with their straight, fast-forward pummeling attitude until they reach the very last track - which is a hidden, unnamed 12th track with rather minimal instrumentation - a fun track maybe?
'Cinema Bizarre' additionally offers some interesting collaborations. One of the best worked-out tracks, 'The Hunger', introduces the Spanish vocalist Javi Ssagittar from the lately highly recognized newcomer Terrorlokaust (signed to Infacted Recordings), who adds a rather melodious sounding performance to this track. Johan van Roy doesn't need an introduction; 'Club Death' features him for some co-vocals. Also the Greek duo of Pre-Emptive Strike has collaborated for the track 'Visions Of Death'.
When it comes to search for the hairs in the soup, well, and that counts for nearly 90 % of all releases out of this specific genre: the word 'unique' is a vocabulary, which can't be named in a same manner to describe this album. Project Rotten haven't definitely re-invented this genre, they rather play with already discovered properties this genre normally offers - but on a high level of quality. I also would like to hear here and there one or two tracks, which offer more musically depth provided through tempo changes or just a different style of composing. To break out of the musically one-dimensional course, which the Harsh EBM-genre inevitably falls under, is still that undiscovered piece of a puzzle, which Project Rotten need to add on their 'to solve'-list.
But the die-hard fans of this genre will slightly ignore this request, because the ongoing sharp-shooting stuff available on 'Cinema Bizarre' will completely satisfy their need for body movement. Project Rotten offer a professional produced follow-up album (mastered by Sander Kapper / Stahlblack Productions), which should be able to push this duo internationally to the forefront of the Harsh-EBM genre. Also Advoxya Records grows more and more to one of the leading bastions for this style of music.

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Artist: THE DANSE SOCIETY (@)
Title: Change Of Skin
Format: CD
Label: Society Records
Rated: *****
For sure you already read it on the internet. The Danse Society have reformed. If you have a Facebook account and you are a fan of the band's Reformation Plot page, you know that at first they (guitarist Paul Nash who on this album takes care also of the bass parts, keyboard player Dave Whitaker and drummer Paul Gilmartin) contacted the old singer Steve Rawlings who now lives in California and he seemed interested into working on new tracks. Unfortunately after a first enthusiasm they lost the contacts again. At that point, Maethelyiah, already singer and front woman of Blooding Mask proposed herself for that spot. On Facebook the old fans were mainly disappointed to have a female singer replacing Steve but they went straight to the studio and recorded thirteen new tracks. First of all let's make clear that The Danse Society split happened twenty five years ago, so even with Steve it's quite sure they should have been sounded different. On the contrary the reunion could have suffered the risk to sound fake and empty if Steve wasn't that sure of his commitment. The new album CHANGE OF SKIN has some classic The Danse Society characteristics: Paul's guitar riffs are still based on arpeggios which are of great sustain of the overall atmosphere, Dave's synths are still creating a cool ambient background with nice melodies and pads (even if unfortunately the sounds are of digital synths, to my ears) and Paul's drumming is still tribal and powerful. At this point you could think that the old band is back, well... nope. Maethelyiah's contribution is too personal to make them sound a copy of themselves and they didn't look for such a thing. Her vocals are powerful and her choruses will make you think she has three lungs. Musically try to imagine that the new Danse Society did the great record that the Siouxsie And The Banshees never did in they last period and add the characteristics I mentioned before and you'll have pretty much the idea of how they sound. Another thing that would haven't been possible to have without Maethelyiah, are those lyrics: she wrote about her thoughts on nowadays world, religion ("Vatican" is an anti clerical song in Italian, Latin and English) and visions which seems to be influenced by occultism or a spiritualistic way of living. Another peculiarity of this album are two long tracks: "Slowfire" and "End Of Days". The first one has some atmospheres that could remember their old cover of "2000 Light Years From Home", while the latter is a ballad based on piano/vocals duet which on the second part turns into a roaring semi metal tune because of Paul's riffs just to change again into its final part with a piano acoustic guitar switch. This is the tune that convinced me less but I'm convinced that the new The Danse Society have so much to give to their new and old audience.
Oct 13 2011
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Artist: IMPAKT
Title: Resonant Escape
Format: 12"
Label: Solar One Music
Rated: *****
RESONANT ESCAPE E.P. is the sister E.P. to the "Resonant Escape" CD album that has been released on June always by Solar One Music. Containing six tracks of which four new ("Dance The Pain Away" and "At The End" were already present into the CD), RESONANT ESCAPE E.P. is containing tracks which I think didn't find place on the CD but that aren't rip offs. The E.P. opens with "Computer Boogie", a robotic 4/4 bouncing dance tune with a touch of histerya. "Dance The Pain Away" is a nice instrumental retro electro upbeat track which sounds like a soundtrack of a travel as gathers melancholic melodies and syncopated rhythms. "Resonant Escape" was already released into Impakt's first digital album "Brb, Writing Some Tunes On My Computer". It's a short two minutes and half mix of i.d.m. rhythms and slow melancholic arpeggios. B-side opens with an ironic track titled "Sodomacid" which mixes porn samples and acid music. It has nice stop and go and electronic lashes. "Come On, Ah Yeah" mixes acid bass sounds, fast obsessive rhytms and tiny monophonic leads which play nice melodies. "At The End" closes the E.P. with an atmosphere similar to "Dance The Pain Away" but sounding a little faster: electro synth leads and pads form a web of intricated melodies that come and go which make me think of a man running toward a distant point who sometimes stops to breath a little just to start his run. Nice release which is available in only 200 copies.
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Artist: Saltillo (@)
Title: Ganglion (re-issue)
Format: CD
Label: Artoffact (@)
Rated: *****
Rewording the title of the initial song of this nice act by Menton J.Matthews III's creature Saltillo "A Necessary End", the publishing decision by ArtOfFact's headquarters on Ganglion, which was issued in 2006, could be defined as a necessary re-issue. When it was issued some trip-hop and broken beats' amorous liking was already almost extinguished in the music market, which was waved by gothic velleities on whose regard many more or less known bands and producers were experiencing some flirting with lyrical and melodic nuances. The musical hybridization by this versatile musician, who recently launched a series of comics called Monocyte throughout IDW Publishing (it could be useful to have an idea of his imagination) under the moniker menton3, based on an intriguing braiding of dark-tinged melodies, intravascular trip-hop, intrauterinee downbeat, a balanced dosage of electronics and instruments (particularly his violin, but there're many sketches of cello and piano as well) and a compositional structure which could be associated both for its cinematic hooks and its general atmosphere to a possible soundtrack, could be placed inside an imaginary garrison on the borders between the above-mentioned souls of music.

There're many moments which couldn't be buried into oblivion: A Hair on the Head of John the Baptist, a pretty musicalization of the notorious first scene of the third act of Shakespeare's Hamlet; the most dnb-oriented track, A Simple Test, where Matthew plays a funny mix of programmed broken beats with a distorted lead guitar on the final step, close to some stuff by Snog and KMFDM, and didactic notes from a recorded malee voice, which can remind those educational record in the 60ies; the fractured rhythmical and melodic patterns of Backyard Pond, not so far from those electronically shaken eccentric hybrids by Funckarma, Funkstorung or Proem; the hypnotic "Remember Me?" - definitively my favorite one -, a superb concontion of banjo, violin, cello and drum machine, which dram a sort of balanced mantra; the mellow song Giving In, whereas an important role in the sound stage belongs to the wonderful voice by guest singer Sarah Matthews, whose somewhat imperfect inflections perfectly fit to the obscure whimsical atmosphere of the sound; songs like Praise and Blood and Milk where the influence by Portishead sound seems more remarkable; the infected ballad I'm On The Wrong Side, pierced by that feeling of renegade purity and corrupted beauty. Reinvigorated by remastering, Saltillo's Ganglion cannot be but electrically heartened.
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Artist: Orryelle & The Hermaphroditic ChaOrder of The Silver DUSK
Title: 156=Musick=Babalon=Kaos
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
The HermAphroditic ChAOrder of the SILVER DUSK is an international network/webplay of artist-magickians, employing musick, visual arts, theatre, ritual, and various other multimedia as menstruums for earthing magical currents. The tracks of this record are, at least apparently, recorded in ritual context or with invocational intent and then treated by the members of this collective.
"156" opens this album with atmospherical synth and harmonic chant while "EquiNOXULiuqE Circle" relies on chant upon, almost apparently, field recording. "Line by the Nile" is a track that could well fit in a world serpent (rip) record with his chant and religious organ creating a magickal soundscape. "AZOTh" is one of the two longest track of the record and seems the registration of a ritual, a really strange track. "Daleth" is another long track where layers of vocals are juxtaposed above the soundscape. "ssSOROBOROSss" is a popular dance while "She Shall Ride He (Parzival and the Holy Grail)" close this release with all the experimental aims of this outfit.
This album is a completely un-easy listening demanding an unusually commitment by the listener for the strange musical result of the process used by this collective. A must have for the musical curious.

p.s.: this album has no rating because, as your musical curiosity could suggest, this album could be rated as 1 star, if you consider the formal qualities, or 5 star, if you consider personality and intent. Just make your choice :)
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