Music Reviews



Artist: Critical System Error
Title: Ctrl/Alt/Decieve
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Hailing from Chicago is a one man project fronted by Xero who is the brains behind this operation and Residue 3. Xero does it all, vocals, synths, sequencers and also dj's in Chicago and helps run Electrohell a once a blue moon special night of indeadstrial, power noise in Chicago. We open with Track one, " Crisis Perverted " which is an all out nuclear assault and all instrumental that violently jumps in your face to get off your arse to danse to the beat of it's own destruction. We move to track 2, " The Guilty dance with the Devil ", which is terror/ebm at it's best. Xero sounding very Agonoisesque and loud as ever. This track has hit the Chicago Circuit hard sending it blasting through our dansefloors in unision with hard breakbeats and lots of stomping. Xero sings, " the guilty dance with the devil, the guilty spit in the face of god." No remorse, no release as he sings his tale of the old ones and what they wish to possess only to find empty promises from our human race. Still mover forward, we come to track 4, Apocalypse which is exactly what the title states. Samples galore bringing us back to the old Skinny Puppy days. Oil drums, machinery all about and total annilation of the planet all summed up in one track and leading us to the stomping fields. A total danse floor war waiting to be had by the indeadstrial nation to fill the void and sending grand recognition and raising their fists and joining in the mayhem this track brings. Next is track 5, " Ctrl, Alt, Decieve a play on words and clever than ever. Xero sings, " Death in the name of prophecy, torture is your God's policy." This by far is one of my favorites and I got up and danced by arse off to its promises. Definitely a track to remember and forever burn in our brains for it's unforgettable lyrics of truths to be told. Still moving further ahead, we come to track 7, " Digital Antichrist", which is another danse floor hit that took us all by storm. " Samples underlying from movies about no believe in god stopping the show to get it's cryptic message across then letting go so the danse chaos can begin. Truly a brilliant track from start to finish with the end result of a full danse floor. Track by track this album offers little surprises behind each corner we turn in this non stop electric train that it seems we can't get off due to it's hypnotic showdown it brings to us, it calls to us and won't let go. They say when you use Control/ Alt/ Delete you are supposed to get out well when you enter your Critical System Error you may never want to leave. A pure genius album to experience. ~ 4 stars Michelle Russo
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Compendiu de Muzica Electronica vol.2
Format: CD
Label: FIR (@)
Rated: *****
After listening to the second volume of this intriguing musical summary coming from the obscure Romanian industrial and dark -ambient scene, someone could argue that Abraham Van Helsing, the famous Dutch old teacher with a passion for vampires'hunting in the novel by Bram Stoker which probably gave good fame to an almost unknown Carpathian region commonly known as Transilvania, now lives a brand new life out of those notorious papers in disguise of a talent-scout, searching for obscure electronic acts and grabbing demo-tapes from young virginal musicians or alternatively from skinny vampires which decided to suck blood from music machines instead of human bodies - maybe contemporary pollution turned even vampires' habits of consumption as human blood arguably turned into something disgusting! - throughout Romania! Joking aside, it really seems that something belonging to those literary stereotypes has been decanted from the well-crafted Draculian set of goblets to sound machinery and magnetic stripes. Just for instance, have a listen to tracks like Noverbia's Prime and you could imagine enchanting female girls bitten by Count Vlad whistling from a foggy crypt or little nice bats angrily squeaking! That's just an example on how the artists and bands from that land which is now sucked by a vampiresque crew of thirtsty (for money) businessmen could result into appreciated stamina for your imagination. Abbildung's Last Journey To the Hypersphere - one of the most interesting track included in this selection - shows a massive use of samples(there's also a train...!) on exquisite drones (not so dissimilar to those by Origami Galaktica), an hypnotic glassy chime and abstract sound suctions which are able to speak to the listener even by trascending words! Your senses're going to be ideally washed inside a mesmeric tub while listening to the suspensive and ethereal reflections by Koldvoid, while Ekasia's Urban Child looks like an obscure mixture of a sort of spell-rhyming and a narration about an intimate torture of the soul resolving into a state of consciousness!!! We know you know how this kind of things could play! Sketches of soporific Arabian flutes, funerary bells, Russian radio intercepts, crunched basses and industrial intermittances crowds Pământul (Planet Earth in Romanian language) in the anxious represantion by La Ghica Hainu, while a sort of anguished shriek saturate the noisy engine by the Transilvanean project Hunyadi P.H. Whoever loves nice tricks for mind will easily get in love with the two final tracks: the first one crafted by Narkoletpik, an enchanting drone with a sine-frequency finely described by the title itself ("Morbid Obsession"), while the latter is an intriguing blend of frequencies beginning with dark tinged atmospheres and attaining to tinkly psychotic placid setting. Those listeners seeking for involging emotional tracks are going to be grateful for this amazing compendium. It works well!
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anymore
Artist: DIFFERENT STATE (@)
Title: Knar
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
Originally released in 1996, KNAR has been the first Different State release. In balance between Sonic Youth and Godflesh sound, the nine tracks of the two album's sides (the first is titled EGO and the second BURDEN), show a good band who was son of those times. Distorted bass guitar, dissonant electric guitars build a good wall of sound but the band didn't focus their attention on power only, they alternate 4/4 powerful noise tracks with other particular ones (see the second song, "Silvery hebrew" where we have a jazzy structure painting a semi post punk slow ballad a la Birthday Party and "Kna?", an experimental soundtrack sounding track with looped sounds, metal percussions and mysterious atmosphere). The tracks have been remastered and on this edition we also have two bonus tunes: "Traktat 1" (an track based on acoustic guitar, strings and flute) and "Traktat 2" (a great dark industrial track with synthesizers, weird sounds and tons of tension). Really interesting...
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anymore
Artist: THE GREEN MAN (@)
Title: From Irem To Summerisle
Format: CD
Label: HauRuck! SPQR (@)
Rated: *****
Originally self released four years ago, FROM IREM TO SUMMERISLE is the first band's album which contains also the four songs of the limited 10" titled "Irem" that have been released also by HauRuck! SPQR on the same year. The duo formed by Eliahu Giudice and Marco Garegnani on the first half of the album already showed the seed of their particular folk oriental sounding based spoken word. Style that on the following four tracks of the "Summerisle" part, finds its balance where the acoustic guitar is mixed with a good background structure made of synth sounds (strings, trumpets, etc) while Eliahu alternates spoken word and sung parts. Since the early days lyrics have been important as well as music was and already on this album the band dealt with religious or philosophic matters in a personal way. This lead them to compose the following album "The Teacher And The Man Of Lie" as a concept album (you can read more about the topic on the review I did). This new reissue contains full lyrics, a new graphics and two new songs: "Corn rigs" (an arrangement of Robert Burns ballads and Scottish, Irish, and English tunes) and "Liber Al", that is a partial version of Crowley's "Liber al vel legis" with a music commentary ("The book of the law" is the central sacred text of Thelema, written by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in the year 1904. He claimed he wrote the text but the author was an entity named Aiwass, whom he later referred to as his personal Holy Guardian Angel).
Mar 16 2009
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Artist: V2A
Title: Mechanized Machinery
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Biohazzard Records (@)
Distributor: AL!VE
Rated: *****
Some like it harder indeed. The German-English V2A trio is no newcomers in the EBM scene. In 2002 their debut album simply entitled "EBM" was released by Trisol and since then their fanbase has grown tremendously. V2A shared the stage at their numerous live performances with no lesser acts than Funker Vogt, Covenant, Suicide Commando and VNV Nation. As these lines are being written "Mechanized Infantry" occupies the tenth position of the DAC albums chart. The cyborgs among you that have already got works of The Retrosic, Suicide Commando, Megadump, Grendel and similar artists on their CD-shelf are going to dig this album. The tracks are aggressive, in your face and really loud. Both Kevin (the British) and Ines (the German) sing in English and German. So much bilingualism can only be welcomed. The female voice adds a relatively untypical element to the Industrial-EBM sound, which is normally associated with rough, masculine vocals. By the way, V2A is a kind of stainless steel. As far as the music is concerned all is just fine. This, still young, band demonstrates a rather advanced level of composing skills. All compositions were written in the best tradition of the genre. All the tracks are rather high tempo, catchy, danceable and not monotonous, while many believe monotonousness to be the greatest plague of the extreme electro music. The tracks are 3-5- minutes long; just the right length for a club. One is a soulless machine if he/she would not start off to the dance floor when he hears the V2A beats. The weakest link in the album are the lyrics. Topics-wise the band dealt with the majority of the subjects common for EBM: machines, military & war, and sure as hell anti-Christian content is there, too. (Thank god for the freedom of speech!). Most likely the band itself considers the lyrics as an inessential matter. It is doubtful that the vocals they were primarily meant to convey much serious meaning, but rather to serve as a complementary instrument (for the most part distorted). The line "one life, one sky" in Jesus Loves You echoes with "one world, one sky" by Covenant while "this is my rifle, this is my gun" on Contagen made me think of "this is my rifle, this is my life" by Combichrist. In "Deliver us from Evil"
V2A bash religious dogmas while they broadly use lines from canonic Christian prayers: "if I die before I wake, I pray lord my soul lord to take... " and "hallowed be thy name". Per se there is nothing wrong with striking your opponent with his own weapons, but those very lines were used more than just a couple of times in the dark scene and for that reason they sound overused by now. But one may see it otherwise, of course. Perhaps broadening the spectrum of issues dealt with would guarantee distinctiveness of the lyrics. The younger cyborgs are going to be utterly enthusiastic about Mechanized Infantry, whereas the veterans might miss a bit of unmechanized imaginativeness here that would make this release stand out of line of other very good albums and make V2A’s sound dissimilar to the rest of their electroconvulsive colleagues. One can look forward for V2A’s forthcoming concerts. Get your gasmasks and cyberlox ready!
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