Music Reviews



La Magra: Schwarze Boten

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Aug 12 2008
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Artist: La Magra (@)
Title: Schwarze Boten
Format: CD
Label: Rupal Records (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Second full-length album of this German Dark Electro-act, which follows the tradition and style of the debut "Music For The Living Death", out on the X-Cem collective leaded by Kai Arnold (WYNARDTAGE), who’s nowadays one of the responsible people behind Rupal Records. Brainchild of this act is Louis Cyphre, who expresses through LA MAGRA his addictive dedication to the dark and mystic side of life. He draws an enormous influence out of vampire sagas, zombie stories and other unholy stuff and presents this mainly through his lyrics and the use of cinematic voice samples. Musically it is Dark Electro with some end-time scenario flavor, which follows the patterns of renowned acts like BLUTENGEL or CEPHALGY, but luckily with a lesser commercial-oriented aspect. The music is thrilling and fits with the attitude of the artist, although it includes nothing what can be called new or never heard before. Hellectro is mainly unavailable, the rather more Gothic-Horror influence with its spooky mood takes almost all attention. Nevertheless also "Schwarze Boten" offers enough forward-moving stuff ("Angel Of Darkness", "Wesen Der Nacht") which shall impress the darkest creatures to storm the dancefloors. The stronger moments are also present, if Louis hires some of his female co-vocalists like DeeKay ("God Is Dead", "Phoenix") or Conny ("Guardian Angel", "Flieh Mit Mir"). Also worth to mention is the title track ("Dark Messengers"), placed as a special gimmick at song position 66. Yes, you’ve assumed it right, the most content featured on this album deals a lot with Goth-related cliches – but name an act which avoids cliches at all, can you? Not bad at all, and of course a production-wise improvement to the debut is noticeable.
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Artist: Disharmony (@)
Title: Cloned - Other Side Of Evolution
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Yes, Slovakia’s export act Numero Uno, the highly talented duo of DISHARMONY does it again and spits out another marvelous release following a conceptual idea, which has been seldom released. Slowly it becomes a trademark, that once again the highly skilled Tympanik Audio label catches once again the complete curious audience for another 70 minutes + playing time of a demanding Dark Electronica sound-trip in front of the home entertainment. Right on, Lord Sauron and Ryby have decided to bring out this album through a different label, although the friend- and partnership between both labels is obviously. "Cloned – Other Side Of Evolution" is a sort of collection of remix works, but not in the usual sense. Very often bands give out remix kits to see and hear what different artists would like to create out of the original recordings. Those remixes get very compiled to release an alternative album or simply to fill some playing time on the next studio album. Seldom, unfortunately very seldom the remix contributions are able to fill in anything innovative, something what would add a different and valuable view on the already discovered original. The virus to collect as much as possible remix works no matter who’s providing that stuff, has become in parts ridiculous – it is mostly a sort of money-taking game especially with so-called "scene-leading" acts, which often like to bridge some "free" time between two studio albums. Well, nothing all of this boring procedure can be discovered on this new DISHARMONY album, since the basic concept represents the opposite of the normal above described kind. This album isn’t the collection of DISHARMONY’s original tracks remixed by multiple foreign acts – this album collects remix works done by DISHARMONY on other acts. Some of them may got released on the representative albums of these acts, while others surely collect dust in some undiscovered archives. Original tracks by among others POLYGON, Australia’s EMPTY, the French Electronica sensation FLINT GLASS, Brazil’s Harsh EBM act DEAD JUMP, or Germany’s MNEMONIC got revamped and manipulated by these Slovakian wizards and the result is nothing else than a once again quality Dark Electronica release by them. 12 different remix works, two new and unreleased tracks following the style of the last years’ album "Malignant Shields", plus a special mutual track with the German female act SARA NOXX, which I tend to rate as being the most exceptional work of this high-quality album are featured on "Cloned". Let’s move forward, I hope that the fine golden day will come for this duo, on which they’ll get rewarded for their quality efforts delivered since years.

Red Cell: Lead Or Follow

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Aug 04 2008
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Artist: Red Cell (@)
Title: Lead Or Follow
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Border Music
Rated: *****
The unexpected success of their debut album "Hybrid Society", which could enter higher sales Charts in Sweden has surely strengthen the expectations behind this new album. But there has been a questionable personal decision made in between the band, RED CELL became a trio instead of quartet and they unfortunately had to replace their guitarist. Really, it was the energetic but very clean produced form of Electro/EBM-Metal Crossover which made them that outstanding and the highly praises of the debut were deserved. With respect to the rather Futurepop-inspired excursions on tracks like "New Condition" or "Lust", the music on "Lead And Follow" is related to the Electronica components somehow similar and flawless compared to the debut – but what lets RED CELL still sounding unique in this wide and often copied Electro/Industrial-genre? Correct, unfortunately not too much. Yes, Jimmy Jöhnsson’s vocals are still that sort of energetic and full of raging power with the exception of the above named rather smooth sounding tracks, but the lost of the guitar riffs means for RED CELL something like to erase the soul out of their sound – strange that I have to rate this that drastically, since I’m for the most part an Electro purist. And since RED CELL could especially grab attention in the Swedish Metal-scene, it will be rather more questionable if "Lead Or Follow" will be able to compensate the success of the debut. To all those longing out for a straight and well produced Electro/EBM/Futurepop-album, well, pick it up, it is a fine one. To all of you expecting a fair and Metal-Industrial-inspired follower of their great debut I recommend to give it a spin first.
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Music Videos
Format: DVD
Label: DTrash Records (@)
Rated: *****
In celebration of their 100th release, Canadian power-electronics label, DTrash Records, has released this DVD collection. This DVD collection includes 18 music videos of 15 artists and bootleg videos of another 6 artists from the label, including the perversely insane French band, Punish Yourself. And, not to outdo themselves, DTrash Records also celebrates their 100th release by including a track from each of their releases in a jukebox.

DTrash’s 100th release DVD collection is over 5 hours of content. Never mind that every band on this release is from a different corner of the extreme electronics genreGabber one minute, Digital hardcore another, and breakcore the next. Watching this DVD is like having my head kicked around and stomped on from Play to Stop, and I like it: I feel like a kid in a candystoreand it’s all mine.

So, if you are craving a nearly unlimited collection of new, aggressive electronic sounds, and four hours of eye-candy to boot, pick this up. There is sure to be something you won’t enjoy, but who fucking cares? DTrash has outdone themselves with their 100th release, which speaks quite a bit for their commitment as a label.

VV.AA.: A Compilation 3

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 22 2008
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: A Compilation 3
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Black Rain (@)
Rated: *****
New year and new low price double compilation of Black Rain, NoiTekk, Ars Musica Difundere, Funk Welten and Fire Zone rosters. Presenting a total of 28 bands/tracks (with many anticipations coming from the upcoming releases) the CDs span from the particular goth electro folk of Dandelion Wine followed by the romantic wave of Rise And Fall Of A Decade (Black Rain is reissuing the remaining albums of the band), the new folk of Novalis Deux, the goth e.b.m. of Killing Ophelia, the metal goth of The Pussybats and Jesus & The Gurus just to relax the atmosphere with Reliquary and the Nordic melodies of Narsilion. Wave folk is here presented by Onix Eyes while Brillig are here with "Escher", picked from their MCD "The plagiarist" (already reviewed here). Atomic Neon with their classic goth present "Mein kleid" while Die Perlen (reviewed here recently) revive the atmosphere with their electro punk with a track coming from their latest album. Aslan Faction are here with "Bring on the dying" coming from the forthcoming re-release of their "Blunt force trauma" album and OTX close the first CD with a cinematic electronic ambient track coming from the album "A world in red". The second CD, the one dedicated to electro/e.b.m. sounds, opens with the energetic distorted electro of Jabberwock just to follow with the upbeat e.b.m. of Derma-Tek. C-Drone's "Morituri te salutant" make the audience have a sneak peak on their forthcoming album with a convincing (but not innovative) bouncing e.b.m. track where distortion and melodies are well balanced (it isn't the usual "Sturm und drang" approach). IWR are here with "Ketamine sedation" coming from their latest album here reviewed months ago. Distorted Memory's "Disciples of the watch" is a classic e.b.m. mid tempo while Prospective's "Deadly sins" combine romantic goth female vocals with punching e.b.m. sounds. Dym's "Autonomy of the will" is coming from their upcoming album and make us know that distorted upbeat e.b.m. is still in the make. Tyske Ludder present "Thetanen" from their good "Scientific technology" MCD (this is the kind of e.b.m. that I like). Feindflug new track "Ersatzteil" is coming from their new album and it didn't differ that much from their usual martial e.b.m. Dawn Of Ashes bring me memories of the old Velvet Acid Christ sound with their "Torture device" while FGFC820 with "Killing fields (battle of nations mix)" are making us have an appetizer from their next album but I had enough of dancey distorted e.b.m. so I skip to Vigilante's "Fire" coming from their latest album already reviewed here. The Panic Lift's "Failsafe" is coming from their next album but it sounds like thousand other hellektro tracks so I let Xentrifuge close the second CD with "Light extinguished" which unfortunately sounds just like the previous track.


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