Music Reviews



May 26 2009
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: Across The Divide / Heretic Angels
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Distributor: Voiceprint
Rated: *****
Reissuing all the back catalog Attrition is now printing live albums. They are sold separately but being released on the same period I'm reviewing them together. Anyway... ACROSS THE DIVIDE is a live album of a concert held in Holland in 1984 during the Attrition/Legendary Pink Dots tour (the first Attrition tour outside UK) and it has never been released before. On this one Attrition were Martin Bowes, Julia Waller and Ashley Niblock and it contains tracks coming from "The attrition of reason" and "Voice of God" EP. It has been recorded directly from the mixer and even if the tapes were twenty five years old there's only a minor flaw during the opening "Pendulum turns". If you like minimal electronic wave with post industrial attitude this one is for you. HERETIC ANGELS, instead, have been released already for Trisol in 2000 but it have been unavailable for long time. It contains ten songs recorded in 1999 during the band's USA tour. Christine Reid replaced Julia Waller on vocals and that was the period when Attrition collaborated with Franck Dematteis (he played violins and viola and he came from the Paris Opera) at the "Jeopardy maze"/"Etude" albums. Here the sound see the caractheristic Martin/Christine vocal duets and the tracks turned from minimal electronics to dark electronics influenced by early e.b.m. The tracklisting have songs coming from "3 Arms And A Dead Cert" ("Prelude" and "Acid tongue"), "The Hidden Agenda" ("Lip sync", "Interference" and "The mercy machine"), "The Jeopardy Maze" ("Atomizer - custom mother"), 'A tricky business" ("A girl called harmony", "Right Hand Man" and "The second hand"), "The Eternity EP" ("I am eternity"). Both the CDs have a remastered sound and are representative of a different period and if you are a fan for sure you'd be interested...

Wynardtage: The Grey Line

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 22 2009
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Artist: Wynardtage
Title: The Grey Line
Format: CD
Label: Equinoxe (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
We've noticed a great publishing effort behind the fourth studio album by one of the most unpretentious and underrated Dark electro project, the young but hyper-prolific German (from Chemnitz, a town sited in the ex-East Germany nearby the Czech borders, formerly known as Karl-Marx Stadt) band Wynardtage, supported by a lot of meaningful trademarks of the scene and co-released by Equinoxe (release number 66) and Rupal Records (release with the magical number 23... ), entitled The Grey Line, maybe referring to the homonymous one, which people studying earth sciences know very well, referring to the band which separates daylight from darkness. Following his previous album Praise The Fallen, widely acclaimed by specialized press as well as by EBM-dark djs, we're almost sure that this brand new album will obtain a comparable acclamation mainly for an aspect which should not be underrated by electro dances, often called "danceability". Even if Wynardtage declares "The world is still the same '“ only I have changed... ", the listener which knows Kai Arnold's (the mastermind unraveling the threads of Wynardtage) past albums easily recognizes that the themes are more or less the same of the previous works, mainly rooted in ferocious critics to social matters and false morality mixed up with personal statements, fears and wishes, even if it seems that the (strictly darkish!) canvas enwrapping this lyrics all over the 11 tracks of the album is more intended for dancers wearing obscure spectacles (or gas masks!)... Harsh sounds combined with suffocating ones, martial 4/4 sequenced beats, epic atmospheres and great vocals will kick your ass and perfectly fits this nervous times! A song like Cutting Down is what we imagine is "silently" resonating in the minds of managers on the point of announcing an imminent cut of work forces (sometimes suicide inducing..), while the title track is one of the best episodes of the whole album: the guest singer Melanie G. from the band advantage perfectly interpretes the depressively foggy breeze of this sybilline song inviting the listener to create a vision to (re)create a personal delight. And the whispering and suggestive dialogue introducing If There Is No Tomorrow seems to be tragically predictive, don't despair and dances on the corrugated front-row beats shaking that song. We like the recurring habit of interweaving spoken parts and smashing beats with swampy electronic sequences and rusty vocals tumbling down on rhythms which sometimes reminds to us slushing wheels, especially in tracks like Crash Of A Star '“ a song which seems an angry reflection on the delicate matter of young people suicidal pulsations, nicely contrasting with the following track, Now We Are Alive, a song which will arguably echoe in unhappy existences... especially the Painbastard's remix '“, My Life or The Frozen Point (paradoxically one of the highest point of the whole album according to our ears and tip-tapping feet... ). The European version of the limited edition includes three remixes: the above-mentioned one by Painbastard, a more "elastic" crushed version of Mask by ESC and a disengaged techno rush by X-Fusion remixing Tragic Hero, but we know that American and Russian tracklists are slightly different as they include other remixes. After you listened to the album you could ask to yourself if Wynardtage chose a similar title '“ The Grey Line '“ just to preannounce a forthcoming transition from dark to light or arguably to make a present to people afflicte by split personality, but it's possible that you'll formalute similar silly question panting and panting after dancing... So... keep on dancing on the grey line, folks!
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Artist: OBSZON GESCHOPF
Title: Erection Body Mutilated (Back From The Dead)
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: BLC Productions
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Fourth album for Remzi Kelleci's musical project and second for BLC Productions, ERECTION BODY MUTILATED is a granitic album where the Wumpscut meets Ministry blend finds Obszon Geschopf at their best. Taking inspiration from horror movies, serial killers (see the clown outfit Remzi often wears as well as the track named after "John Wayne Gacy") and stuff like that the twelve tracks of the album don't offer a wide range of sound solutions or any other particular idea. Once you press the play button of your CD player the sound and the rhythms stick pretty much around the same thing. What amazed me is that even if all the tracks have a 4/4 rhythm and many similitudes the album sounds convincing. You, know, it's like listening to a Ramones record but with more deads. This edition has also a second CD with fifteen remixes of various Obszon Geschopf tracks reworked by Circus of Dead Squirrels, Steril, Heimataerde, Cyber Axis, Joachim Witt, Vigilante, Out Out, FGFC 820, Bosch, Ikonoklast, Schattenschlag, Xentrifuge, Inertia, Cynergy 67 and Tempest & The Diaspora. Many sound good but I prefer the original...
May 17 2009
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Artist: FrontierGuards (@)
Title: Predestination
Format: CD
Label: Aliens Productions (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
The Slovakian label Aliens can be seen as a kind of last bastion, which defends itself successfully against any hypes and up-to-date kinds to produce Electronica music. Rather following the classic style to produce authentic Dark Electro music, also the Czech project FRONTIERGUARDS fits well with the labels’ manifesto and releases with "Predestination" its debut. FG is a side-project of the rather EBM-related outfit BEAMSHIP, which we had on here with their debut a few years before. Martin "Atreid" Pavlik, who is responsible for all audio results of FG, presents a different musically environment compared to BEAMSHIP, which allows a constant Ambient-related influence to take part. "Predestination" is for the most part a pure instrumental album, only on two of the 9 own compositions Martin has picked up the microphone to provide some vocals. It is definitely the dark and complex layered mood, which attracts on this album. A track like "Betrayed By Light" is a marvelous example by integrating a rough and rather experimental drum pattern programming, some good samples and a menacing but remarkable synth programming. Some of the classic yelworC-recordings come to mind by listening to this tune. And no, "Predestination" avoids to satisfy the needs of a dancefloor-junkie, mostly all of the tracks are based into mid-tempo, if not into slowness – with the one exception entitled "Transcendental Experiment", which disturbs with its faster structure a bit the float of this fine Dark-Electro/Ambient-Electronica-album. Additional remix contributions by musically relative related acts like the DISHARMONY-side-project OXYD, the Greek SUBHEIM or the label colleague of ANHEDONIA offer their best abilities, to produce some fine alternative versions to the original compositions. "Predestination" is also the return of multi-talented graphic artist Tom Galle, who could himself make a quite good name thanks to his collaboration with their side-project HEEL – extremely well documented through a special bonus video track. Demanding, but attractive Electronica music not to underestimate.

Symmetry of Asymmetry: Useless Breed

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 12 2009
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Artist: Symmetry of Asymmetry (@)
Title: Useless Breed
Format: CD
Label: Sturm (@)
Rated: *****
This is a quite surprising newcomer act hailing out of Latvia, since the musically direction of this 3-men-project turns into the Electro/Industrial-related genre instead of the expected vein of a Power Electronics outfit. 3 members as their MySpace accounts announces it, but responsible for all compositional efforts seems to be Roberts Skekets, mastermind and brainchild behind this band pseudonym. "Useless Breed" is filled with more than 79 minutes of a hard and angry driving EBM/Dark Electro-minded sound construct, which luckily leaves out any up-to-date Hellectro influences. That of course doesn’t mean, that SOA are a piece of cake and easily to consume. They are raging hefty by including a recognizable doze of Punk influences against humanity and its useless being on mother Earth. This theme of course doesn’t allow a smooth music outfit and SOA integrate different, but for the most part dark and scary layers and a nightmarish atmosphere to spit out their hatred messages. The vocals are provided in a rough and for the most part screaming kind, it may remembers a bit on Erk of HOCICO. But musically they can call acts like yelworC as being an idol for their music arrangements, several tracks offer a comparable mood. This album isn’t meant to offer another Saturday-night-dancefloor-compatibility, although some tunes like "Destiny = Doom", "What Is Your Way" or "Torture Chamber" may would allow this. You also shouldn’t be surprised to hear some guitar riffs woven into the background, this elements even strengthens the rough outfit of this act. Highlights can be named with those rather fearful moments like "Dead Trauma", the both parts of the title track (cool piano-driven intro in Part 1), and the harsh slapping and guitar-supported "Melting Chaos". SOA may lack a bit on better polished production, while I strongly recommend them, not to get trapped by following the newest trends – no one really needs an additional Virus- or Vanguard-copycat. This style and kind is well chosen and comes out more authentic than most of the so-called leading acts would be able to create. A great Sturmmandat, Keep it on!


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