Music Reviews



Mar 21 2009
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Artist: Project Pitchfork
Title: Dream, Tiresias!
Format: CD
Label: Prussia Records (@)
Rated: *****
In the Greek mithology, the famous fortuneteller Tiresias got blind after a dispute between Zeus and Hera. One sunny day (as on Mount Olympus as well as on airplanes, the sun always shine, arguably!) those gods decided to summon him as a witness as he personally experienced both feminine and masculine sexual condition (just for having disturbed the copulation between two snakes... it should be a disgusting vision!) to solve a dramatic question: who has more pleasure in sex? The man, as from Hera's viewpoint, or the woman, as Zeus claimed? Mister Tiresias, who used to be a successful prostitute when he lived in the countenance of Lady Tiresias, unveiled the secret sentencing that women's sexual pleasure is far better than men's one. That's the reason why this unlucky forerunner of transgenderism obtained blindness by the angry goddess, but on the other hand he could predict future as a thanksgiving gift from Zeus... It could sound strange that the notorious German industrial/dark-electro band Project Pitchfork has chosen this mithological character to metaphorically represent all the rebels agitating our dirty society by a constant research of the hidden truth. An explanation of this choice could be justified by the fact that Tiresias was punished for revealing secrets to mankind... the same risky way some "fortunetellers" in our society are still running in order to contrast the will of blinding the whole mankind by governments and war lords, which looks like more interested in focusing mass attention on effects instead of causes... good conoisseurs don't need further explanations! It's not the first time this band uses interesting intellectual links to grab the attention of listeners all over the world. Nowadays they're followed by thousands of people, which are delighted by their unique mixture of whimsical and irriverent lyrics, exquisite 80s melodies and easy danceable rhythmical patterns... other thousands joined to the fanbase after discovering that Rammstein played side by side this band at their very first steps '“ could you imagine the powerful energy injected on audiences by this two great German bands sharing the same stage??? -. That's why there's nothing to wonder about if this release has been considered one of the longest awaited album in the beginning of 2009! ... and it seems they came up to their (and our) expectations! According to us, the choice of "staying electronic" is praiseworthy! Referring to his own personal and more experimental projects (Santa Hates You '“ a project fitting the "hard and loud" stylistic concept '“ and Imatem '“ which sounds more synth-poppy, focusing on deep melodies and enchanting harmonies -), Project Pitchfork's frontman and mastermind Peter Spilles stated: "Fulfilling the needs of these two musical alter-egos of mine, has the great side effect of generating a sort of creative "free space", providing me with clarity about where I really want Project Pitchfork's musical future to be, without trying to make it sound like something else. In other words: my two side projects allow Project Pitchfork to go back being Project Pitchfork, and to stay Project Pitchfork.". And the future of Project Pitchfork seems to be totally anchored to the combination of danceable beats and electronic well-crafted sounds pulsating synchronously with a provocative vein. All lyrics deals with contemporary problems and includes mind-blowing exhortations able to feed personal reflections without being too intimistic and obscure. There're an ironic condemnation of the (nasty!)habit of drugging children with psycho pills (finally a real parental advisory!!!), the easeness by which governments begin wars sacrificing young people in Darkness, the contradictions of some monotheistic religions in Your God. Other songs seem to run against personal experiences: Full of Life seems to be addressed to people who got their dreams lost blinded by life and its more offensive aspects, while The End fastens listeners' attention upon all kind of endings. But we adore Mr.Spilles' skill as a lyricist (and even its frightened eyes and possessed smile!) in the most "mystical" parentheses of the record... have a listen to The Tide to perceive the melting side of Tiresias' dream injection... Strophes saying "The moon was told to keep a distance/No one else could hear our call/An angel taught the word "resistance!" /and so the moon began to fall... " sounds prophetical enough... All songs are interlaced through inspiring "instrumental" parts called Dreams, with a considerable level of "transcendence"! So what... ? All Tiresias of the world unite... . And get ready to shake it! PS: Beware of the snakes!!!

NoLongerHuman: Antipathy

 Posted by Krzysztof Kramarz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 19 2009
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Artist: NoLongerHuman
Title: Antipathy
Format: CD
Label: Out of Line
Rated: *****
NoLongerHuman have released their first official album. It's enough to look at the booklet to realise that these guys pay attention to details, starting from fancy name and logo. The logo itself is fairly interesting - the dead cricket design might have been inspired by Hocico or Noisuf-X and makes me think of those bands, but is original enough to catch my eye. I hoped that their music was similar in this respect to the logo, that it was akin to the works of great bands but still fresh and attractive. Fortunately I was right. NoLongerHuman play dark electro based on reliable, well-known patterns. Fortunately, even though they failed to create absolutely new quality, the music isn't boring at all. The impression that they care about details didn't leave when I pushed 'play' button. The band managed to build dark atmosphere thanks to samples from movies, harsh vocals and all the stuff we expect from a band with such an antihuman name. This music is cold and sinister- it makes me think of scalpels, lancets and all the toys you'd rather like to observe from a distance.

Actually Hocico and Noisuf-X don't seem to have influenced the authors of 'Antipathy'. The record is closer to the works of Tactical Sekt, Aesthetic Perfection or Supreme Court. It's equally energetic and works equally well both while listened at home and on a dancefloor.
The only drawback of this record is that I can't get rid of an impression that I have heard it all before . Nonetheless, I'm sure that they'll work out their unique style soon. Antipathy is a good album, but I feel that its successor will be even better.

V2A: Mechanized Infantry

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Mar 19 2009
cover
Artist: V2A
Title: Mechanized Infantry
Format: CD
Label: Biohazzard Records (@)
Distributor: AL!VE
Rated: *****
After the issue of an omonymous cd-single, which has been hugely appreciated by EBM indomitable lovers, the album by the Anglosaxon (just a synthetic way to say they're half German half "Anglische"...and just to remark their double roots they sing using both languages...an unusual aspect for this kind of stuff!) band V2A starts with a suffocating introduction, a sort of war declaration for the intestine battle against decay hieratically ordained by the scraping filtered voice coming out of Kevin Stewart. The gears surrounding this Mechanized Infantry sound like a nice playset appearing like a soiling of a lot of past danceable acts. In spite of references to the inventory belonging to band such as Covenant, VNV Nation, Combichrist and Suicide Commando, this records is not inteded neither for nostalgic people nor for "romantronic" spoons weeping for new wave necrotic sing-songs as it's able to inject brand new stimulations to all those dancers wearing gas masks and "gummyplasticous" overalls even if sometimes it looks they drink from lyrics pushing the dark pagan scene as a source for inspiration! That's the reason why the weakest ring of the heavy chains bolted by V2A are lyrics, while from the other side compositions and rhythmical patterns are well-forged as they perfectly fit to the wide range of motions (of bodies and souls) for people attending ebm parties. Flushing meadows of pushing beats, aggressive kicks, metallomelodic sequences, harsh sounds and even a set of flaming laser-like sounds - have a listen to the hissing Mechanizm just to chew that solid imaginary set! - as well as captivating dance-songs scattered with convulsive beats such as Contagen, Demons and Electro Whore (just a whispering vocal anthem like "love like an angel, fuck like a whore" perfectly fits a fetish party!) are going to set you on fire! In tracks like Stahl-Tanz (steel dance!) or aggro-tech with gummy kickdrums tracks such as Jesus Loves You (which reminds some acts of Angelspit) or Kill -9, the basslines and the hard kick seems to be the soundtrack for the frenzy dance of mechanized spiders. A countdown from 9 to 0, a persuasive song repeating "you're demons" intended for dancers with potential identity crysis, filtered basses sounding like electric saws, cranioclastic rushing rhythm make this chunky album danceable from the beginning to the end and the length of each track (no more than 4 minutes...) is the most reccomended by djs playing for dark dancehalls among steel chains, Mad Max-like haircuts and black skin boots. When you'll finish listening to (or more presumably dancing on...) V2A's last work, you'll have more reasons to agree with their beloved statement. EBM is not dead!






V2A: Mechanized Machinery

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Mar 16 2009
cover
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!

VV.AA.: Hyperakusis

 Posted by eskaton   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (4991)
Mar 12 2009
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Hyperakusis
Format: CD
Label: audiophob (@)
Rated: *****
In case you were also wondering, according to Webster’s online dictionary, hyperakusis (in English, hyperacusis) means, "An abnormally disproportionate increase in the sensation of loudness in response to auditory stimuli of normal volume." According to the press sheet that came with this disc, this is audiophob’s 10th CD. This is a compilation of exclusive tracks from the artists that have already put something out on audiophob: Alarmen, Nerthus, Mandelbrot, Spherical Disrupted, and Zero Degree. Alarmen kicks things off with mellow, glitchy synth sounds over some beats. "Make Your Day" removes the beats and starts off promising, but becomes a bit too repetitive for my tastes. Overall, it’s OK, but not really as complex as I like this kind of material to be. Nerthus follows so much in Alarmen’s footsteps that if I did not have the tracklist in front of me I would think that they were the same band. Pleasant, but doesn’t really push the envelope. Mandelbrot changes it up a bit by laying down an interesting dark ambient soundscape that is best described as cinematic. At 13 minutes, it is also long enough to really get into. Quite enjoyable. Spherical Disrupted takes us on a similar ride with "Ghost of Jupiter," although with a more minimalist approach that really drew me in. This is an artist that knows how to make use of quiet passages and dynamics. "Arctic Circle" changes the mood with a repetitive synth line that has minor shifts just below the surface, but doesn’t really seem to evolve quickly enough. I much preferred the previous track. Finally Zero Degree finishes it all off with "Frozen Sunlight," a nice mix of calming synth pads, beats, and electronic blips. Overall this is a good introduction to the label that is worth checking out. This disc weighs in at 66.48.


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