Music Reviews



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Artist: LONE WOLVES
Title: Skeleton Tracks
Format: CD EP
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
Lone Wolves is a band featuring members of UCNX, Amorphite, MC2 plus others. They recorded the five tracks of the SKELETON TRACKS during an experimental jam sessions and Momt is giving us the chance to listen to a good E.P. where creativity and energy don't find no boundaries. Post punk and electro industrial music are the core elements of Lone Wolves' music and every track has its own atmosphere. The E.P. opens with "No failing" where electro industrial percussions mixed with synth leads find a female vocal shouting slogans just to follow with a punk industrial tune titled "Noname" where a guy performs his best shouts helped by guitar riffs distortions. "Patience & stillness" changes everything with its melancholic piano mixed with digital feedbacks. "My name is betrayal" is next and the atmosphere turns tense with a mix of mid tempo rhythms, early e.b.m. electronics and female readings. The closing "Lowlit" is an upbeat electronic instrumental with synth pads and cool syncopated drum machine rhythms. At the end of it there's a sort of joke track where the sessions turns into an alcoholic happening. Nice release that is able to mix melody, aggressive sounds and energy.
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Artist: HUMINOIDA (@)
Title: Huminoida Loves You
Format: 7"
Label: Out Of Range Records (@)
Rated: *****
After one year and half from the "Other side" 7", Huminoida is back and now only K.K. (ex Neuroactive vocalist) is left to please our thirst of electronic synth sounds. HUMINOIDA LOVES YOU E.P. contains three new tracks which function as appetizer of their first album that will be released later in this year. This new single finds K.K. inspired and willing to explore the classic synth sounds of the 80s finding new ideas and energy from fat synth bass lines and excited oscillators. The opening song "Obsession" is a mix of 80s dark wave and early e.b.m. (like a blend of John Foxx and Klinik) and it has catchy melodic lines and upbeat tempo. I really love it. Side B has two tracks that form a sort of suite where the first part "Bygone wars" is composed by melancholic mid tempo synth lines with WWII samples just to end into "Whiter noise", a slow piano/vocals ballad really touching. In ten minutes of music, Kimmo put so many ideas that all the "two sounds synth wave bands" will feel ashamed. Can't wait for the album...
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Artist: RM74
Title: Reflex
Format: CD
Label: Utech Records
Rated: *****
REFLEX is the fifth solo album by Reto Mäder (Ural Umbo, Sum of R, Pendulum Nisum) as RM74. Since from the cover art, Reto, is giving us some ideas about the sounds we're going to listen: bats make me think about caverns, about the ultrasonic sounds they have to use and about their un-straight flight. Translate all these factors to music and I think that you'll have pretty much the idea of how the eleven tracks of REFLEX sound. RM74 uses processed guitar sounds, tones, drones, piano, harmonium, dissonant sounds, samples, etc. The result is a creepy schizophrenic symphony which cause dizziness into the audience. The great thing is that even if Reto used unconventional sounds, every track has a melodic line or a rhythm to follow which give the musical sense to the whole opera and I liked that! Presented in a heavy matte sleeve printed with dark metallic ink. Includes fold out insert.
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Artist: Prospective (@)
Title: Perfect Evolution Of Humanity
Format: CD
Label: Fire!Zone (@)
Distributor: COP International/DDT
Rated: *****
Maybe it's because the talented singer Carola Muller dyes her hair with the same brilliant red by Sonja Kraushofer aka Persephone and Hannes Medwenitsch aka Nature Destroyed or the keyboardist Marco Thomaschewski weighs his fingertips on keys and frets in a way which could remind Thomas Rainer's one ' a trained musician could easily find other resemblances as well'¦- , some reviewers use to consider Prospective's style to L'Ame Immortelle's one, but if you listen The Dark Side of Life, their promising debut album, and its follow-up entitled Perfect Evolution Of Humanity, you'll easily guess this young band has not so many connections with the so-called Neue Deutsche Härte, even if they massively use similar aesthetics, based on a combination of hard EBM and gothic elements. Their lack of originality ' it's undeniable the sounds they use are too common and already heard with some exceptions (Rampage, Lovely Cruel Punisher)'¦- have been partially compensated by Carola's talent, somewhat meaningful and provocative lyrics (even if sometimes look too generic) and a slightly careful songwriting. I appreciate their efforts and I recognize Perspective's is still an unripe project as maybe they're still too young in order to compete against other successful band in a scene increasingly competitive and in my humble opinion the only way to stay on the stage is trying different pathways and a constant search of originality as implicitly suggested by some remixers ' especially the Lost Area one of The Light Faded (one of my favorite song proposed in this album), adding a propulsive electronic breeze to the original track and the Re : \Ligion Rmx of Slavery with a more martial step added to the heroic dreamy atmosphere of the untreated version, a sort of electronic ballad featuring hopeful words -. Let's wait their next stage to say it's just a transition to a new artistic and musical phase. I'm sure Perspective's polite band which could dare to develop a more personal musical language! It belongs to any Perspective by the way!
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Artist: Celadon (@)
Title: Bitter Sweet
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: CD BABY
Rated: *****
Celadon is back with a new release titled 'Bitter Sweet'. The last I heard from this Seattle project of Eria Maia's was his 'Post Industrial Delicacies' CD a while back. As I recall, it was kind of a scattershot, unfocused affair that left me scratching my head. There were some good ideas and signs of talent but it seemed buried in the effluvia of excess with a lo-fi veneer. I'm happy to report though that Celadon has solved most of these problems and added a few new twists.

Beginning with 'Dark Decorum: The Gothic Charm School Theme Song' (polite mix), Maia shows that he can pull off an instrumental track with some complexity and panache. It is sort of pleasantly melancholy neoclassical little tune with a spritely pace. I get the impression that Eric didn't write the song, as it is 'based' on the music from the Gothic Charm School video. I went to check that out, and had a good chuckle, not because of the music. 'The Lady of Manners,' Jillian Venters, who started this Gothic Charm School thing (book, website, videos, etc.), is a hoot! Well, I suppose Goth needs a spokesperson to defend its poor maligned image, and she's as good a choice as anyone to take on the job. Anyway, Celadon carries off the track with aplomb, and I suppose the association can't hurt in the publicity department.

The next track, 'Passageway' features vocals by Sataray backed mostly by harmonium and percussion. Sataray's witchy voice sounds like she's invoking some kind of ancient ritual magic, and it sounds pretty spooky. 'The Deepest Sea' is a remix of an older Celadon track with a shoegazer flavor submerged in an ocean of sonics without being shoegazer music. 'Fuligin' might be what Tuxedo Moon would sound like if they were an Industrial band and had a progressive rock guitarist guesting. Somewhat slow and heavy with atypical percussive accents and a lot of background ambience. 'Sinister Device' has Balinese-like percussion rhythms, a dark bass undercurrent and a variety of other dense sonic elements that weave in and out of the music. We get another mix of with 'Dark Decorum: The Gothic Charm School Theme Song' (subversive mix) that is a bit heavier than the first, but to me, it's a case of 'too much of a good thing'. Moving on, 'The Long Walk Home' features Vanessa Skantze on wordless vocals that aren't quite in the Lisa Gerrard category, but still present a sorrowful wailing lament. Celandon's musical backing keeps it from getting buried in tragedy. 'Wisteria' follows, with Sataray again lending her voice, and this time it's an actual song with lyrics. The song is enshrouded in a ghostly musical atmosphere with quasi-trip hop beats. Nice track; Mr. Maia ought to work with this lady more often. 'Last track, 'A Stately Decline' was done live as a solo bass improvisation for butoh dance, but it doesn't sound much like a bass solo to me. It does feature the lower frequencies enmeshed in a wailing wall of noise, but I couldn't really get into it. Overall, 'Bitter Sweet' is a pretty decent release; it certainly has some good things going for it. I think Celadon needs just a wee bit more tempering, and maybe a full-time creative co-conspirator.
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