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Artist: POINT B
Title: Suicide Beauty Spot
Format: CD
Label: Combat Recordings
Rated: *****
Active from different years now Merseyside born Richard Bultitude (now living in London) is delivering his latest Point B album SUICIDE BEAUTY POINT on London based label Combat Recordings. The fourteen tracks of the album create a good mix of ambient dub and grime/dubstep music. The ambient layers create a dreamy like atmosphere while the rhythm section delivers tons of syncopated bass frequencies. Focusing the sound on minimal sounds as well as on powerful bass lines, Point B, creates a rich mixture of sounds that balance ambience and energy needs. Also melody follows a minimal approach and between the intricate rhythm section you'll find tiny melodic sounds that will catch your attention. Check, to name few, "Minerals" or the cinematic "Alien language" and let yourself be hypnotized by a new sonic world.
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: Keepsakes And Reflections
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods
Distributor: Voice Print
Rated: *****
Originally released in 2001 by Invisible Records, KEEPSAKES AND REFLECTIONS collects rare singles and compilation tracks coming from the 90's period of Attrition. Including covers of John Foxx's "Underpass", The Dead Kennedy's "Kill the poor" (boy, this does sound different!), Ministry's "Cannibal song" and Black Tape For A Blue Girl's "Memory, uncaring friend" this release is showing at its best the electronic dark period of the band. Upbeat tempos, male/female duets and intriguing melodies are joined by dark introspective tunes (see "Metamorphosis", the following "High tide" or "L'echange") showing the different sides of the band which has been able to update its sound always finding a way to be coherent. This new remastered edition contains two extra tracks "Nine tails, to follow you round" (a dark thrilling intermezzo with piano and samples) and "The cage - refrain" (an upbeat orchestral re-visitation of the tune). Good release not only for collectors.
Artist: ASYLUM (@)
Title: Mare Tranquillitatis
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Rated: *****
Born in 1999 in Naples, Italy, Asylum is the personal project of Cryos and MARE TRANQUILLITATIS is his fourth demo. The release contains six tracks which mix industrial sounds, gabber hardcore rhythms and some industrial ambient intuitions. If tracks like "Faster harder industrial!" (besides the naive title) or "Dancing in the light from start to star" succeed into balancing the different influences, others are focused mainly on the gabber distorted rhythms and on looped patterns, without, in my opinion, evolving that much. The sound production isn't bad and if you are into the genre you can check a couple of tracks on the band's myspace page.
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Artist: ALL HAIL THE TRANSCENDING GHOST
Title: All Hail The Transcending Ghost
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring Records (@)
Rated: *****
All Hail The Transcending Ghost is a collaboration project between Henrik Nordvargr Björkk (MZ.412, Toroidh, Folkstorm etc) and Tim Bertilsson (Fear Falls Burning, Switchblade). The first is in charge of producing industrial drones and haunting atmosphere and the second gentleman, with his guitar, produces few melodic lines here and there and tons of guitar drones. The whole album is permeated by an hallucinated atmosphere where cinematic vocal samples (like on track 4) help giving birth to a sense of sickness. Like a soundtrack most of the tracks are focused on the effect they have to create. There's a certain feeling of progression and a sense of growing pain that increase with the listening of ALL HAIL THE TRANSCENDING GHOSTS. Industrial music and drones rarely worked this way being able to create such a convincing atmosphere.
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Artist: SPLINTERSKIN (@)
Title: Wayward Souls
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring Records (@)
Rated: *****
Recorded in Oregon, Ohio, from Autumn 2006 to Autumn 2008 Splinterskin's debut album WAYWARD SOULS bring to the attention of dark folk music lovers a new storyteller. The mysterious solo project of Saint John with the seventeen songs of the album is able to create a personal world made of creeping tales whispered into your ears with the aid of a classic guitar and a violin here and there (like on the opening tune "Chanting bells call shadows" or on "The thing that wasn't). What pop out immediately when you hold in your hands the CD is the beautiful booklet which with its great paintings/graphics it's making of Splinterskin a sort of multimedia project headed by a bearded giant with eyes on fire. If you are keen to modern dark folk music prepare yourself to something different from the Odin tales or the medieval influences, because WAYWARD SOULS sounds like a Poe tale sung by a leper. "Calmly, it said to me, through the darkened hallway in my home. I heard a rhythm of tapping, or maybe a scraping in my walls. A crackling of a throat perhaps, from my closet behind my hats, could it be? Birds bending a branch, my cat in the attic, or maybe the leaves. But my mind starts to... shiver, like my bones in the winter" (from "Something in the walls").
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