Music Reviews



HOCICO: About A Dead

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3949)
Oct 01 2007
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Artist: HOCICO
Title: About A Dead
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
The well-known Mexican duo HOCICO returns with a new teasing CDS-release to introduce their new and upcoming album. This release also should work well to appease the critical voices proclaiming the end of this act, since the predecessor "Wrack And Ruin" was reviewed scanty and that front man and vocalist Erk could earn success and respect with his own solo project RABIA SORDA (check out the interview with him somewhere also on our site here...). "About A Dead" is a typically fast-placed HOCICO-smasher, with which the band will definitely strengthen their own worked-out status – nothing and no one of the upcoming copycats will ever enter their throne. Club-hit, for sure! The surprise is the second new track "The Last Warning", which is contrary to the main title a creepy and sinister arranged item. It is striking that HOCICO can easily produce an ominous and still aggressive tune, also thanks to the fact that Erk’s vocal performance is present here. Follows then 3 different remix works of "About A Dead" provided by PROCEED, Out Of Line’s newcomer act LOLA ANGST and CEPHALGY. PROCEED are concentrating successfully to reduce the richer layered original to their known minimal EBM textures, while the work of CEPHALGY acts inconspicuous. The remix of LOLA ANGST, aptly entitled "Speedy Conzales-Remix", integrates some Mexican-Siesta-like trumpet sounds – spread in some humor into the straight HOCICO works, what a nice idea. HOCICO return here in best conditions and they’ll also headlining the upcoming Out Of Line-festival tour through Europe – therefore no serious reasons to doubt on them.

Pride And Fall: In My Time Of Dying

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
 Edit (3947)
Sep 27 2007
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Artist: Pride And Fall
Title: In My Time Of Dying
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / Metropolis-Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Only one year after their predecessor release, the Norwegian-based Futurepop-act PRIDE AND FALL returns with a new full-length album. It also marks one of the very last releases by the German Dependent label and since this happening is more than sad enough, the band has decided to include some dedicated words to thank the label for the fruitful cooperation. Musically not too much has changed in the PRIDE AND FALL outfit. Still balancing out the genres between Synth-/Futurepop up to EBM, it nevertheless can’t be ignored that the term "epic" has to be added. Their arrangements are sounding rich, detailed and multi-layered, while I sometimes miss a bit the try to experiment with additional synth-sounds. Another striking point is the sad and romantic mood which the compositions of PRIDE AND FALL offer. All of you who draw relations of Synth-/Futurepop with happiness should use and listen this release to experience something different. Of course, as the title announces it already, globally the featured content here deals with dark, sad or depressive themes ("I Wither") – arrangements and lyrics full of "sunshine-reggae" would be misplaced. For sure the right album for some cold and dark autumn evenings in front of a fireplace, I also like to forgive them the here and there obviously try to sound like VNV NATION at their "Empires"-phase. "Adored" is a fine and catchy worked out Futurepop-tune, which should be able to cause some action on the dancefloors. "The Burning Faith" surprises with a cooperation-effort by the Japan-based Ambient-musician KENJI SIRATORI, who’s responsible for the lyrics and vocals. "In My Time Of Dying" is a very good produced album which deserves the so-called Dependent quality-seal, although nobody should expect the re-invention of the light bulb.
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Artist: SIGILLUM S (@)
Title: 23120
Format: CD
Label: Verba Corrige
Rated: *****
After seven years from their latest release, Sigillum S (Eraldo Bernocchi, Paolo Bandera and Luca Digiorgio) are back to celebrate their twenty years of activity. The new album 23120 has been issued as CD and limited double vinyl and they differ because they have seven exclusive tracks each, for a total of 23 new tracks. At the moment I received only the CD edition, so I'm going to talk about that one. I know Sigillum S since day one and I must say that I appreciated a lot their early stuff and a bit less the "Malattia" saga, musically talking. With 23120 they are back with a sound that sum twenty years of musical experiences that the trio had with Sigillum S and also with many other projects (Eraldo collaborated with many dub/experimental music gods as well as Paolo gathered many recordings under the Sshe Retina Stimulants moniker where we can see him as noise manipulator or under the Komplet one). As far as I understood Paolo gathered tons of sound sources (noises, electronics, samples, etc.) and Eraldo recorded and engineered everything. Many other people helped them with audio contributions (Andrea Marutti, Zu, Xabier Iriondo, Mark Solotroff to name few) and some tracks see also guests on vocals, guitars, etc. The sixteen tracks of the CD edition amaze first of all because the sound production and because the "thick" ambience they are able to create. If you want me to be more specific, I can talk about 23120 as a great obscure ambient dub album with many industrial and experimental inserts. You can find tension on each track and if on the dub/industrial crossover of "Soil-Borne Bacterium Root To Insect Pets & Safe To Higher" it explodes (thanks to the distorted vocals of Della Volpe), on tracks like "Legacy Of Identity Politics (Kill, Kill, Kill)" (which reminds the sound of one of their old tapes "Bardo Thos-Ghrol) or "Adventurous Contemporary Tune" is something more subtle, more like a crawling sensation. Great sounds and great atmospheres are making of this album a really good come back for Sigillum S. Do yourself a favor and check it!

SUICIDE BOOTH: Aura E.P.

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3942)
Sep 25 2007
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Artist: SUICIDE BOOTH
Title: Aura E.P.
Format: 12"
Label: Das Drehmoment Records (@)
Distributor: Neuton
Rated: *****
Formed on April 2007, Suicide Booth is a German duo formed by Spif Anderson and Stefan Fenzel. The band took inspiration from the film "The last man on earth" starring Vincent Price. Movie which was based on the Richard Matheson novel "I am a legend". The AURA E.P. contains four original songs plus a "Rendezvous" remix by Divide. If the opening track "Aura" could be seen as an electro track with some 80's e.b.m. intuitions the following "I am a legend" presents itself as a cool dance electro wave retro song with catchy refrain and sounds. "Rendezvous" is a mysterious mid tempo sounding so wave. On this one the clean vocals are really catchy and sometimes they recalled me the italo disco singers of the 80's (see Den Arrow, Gary Low or Gazebo) as well as German bands of the likes of The Twins. "Raumpilot" is a robotic instrumental track that introduce the listener to the "Cosmic rmx" of "Rendezvous" made by Divider. On this one the tracks has been slowed down a little and a certain dark/mysterious pitch has been added changing the original atmosphere but without turning down its "coolness". Das Drehmoment as usual did a great work by producing new cool electro bands... dig it!
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Artist: Terror Punk Syndicate (@)
Title: Extendet Playtime
Format: CD
Label: Progress Productions (@)
Distributor: Border Music
Rated: *****
After having discovered John David Karlgren’s project available on some well-achieved compilation like "Interbreeding VII" or the last "Burn/Evolve/Progress" compilation I was expecting a very near to FLA-like output of this debut release. But TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE’s musically horizon goes further and a simplification on only the FLA-formula is invalid. TPS combines some of the Leeb-esques structures like already offered with "Dysmorphia (Epicentre Version)" on the mentioned compilations with a rather classic Coldwave/Industrial-sound – the rich given info in the art names among others MINISTRY, KMFDM, NIN or PUPPY to be quells of inspiration. This somehow fits very well, and it has to be mentioned that John uses his art to inform the listener about his dedication. I find it quite funny that he explains, that the band name TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE was suggested by a band name generator and has no significant meaning – I would use this name to baptize a notorious forum :-D...
Well, back on topic, this TERROR PUNK SYNDICATE debut therefore doesn’t follow the Trance/Techno-driven ultimate Hellektro-power, though the band name may suggests this. It is classic structured and composed with angry lyrics and an enraged male vocal performance reminding me in the clear and natural sounding moments ("Dark Is The Psyche Of Man") a bit on BLUE EYED CHRIST (...and I refer ONLY on the EBM-related releases a long time out of print on KK Records...). Straight and linear produced ripping synth bass lines unite well with guitar riffs, also some rhythmic D’n’B-loops are featured as well, this album offers several highlights like "Horizon (Version)" (conspicuous melodic with harsher effected vocals), "Respect" (moves forward and should cause action on the dancefloors...), "I Wish I Was Retarded" (excellent ironic lyrics causing a smile), "Transhuman Dream" (kind of a Pop-song, maybe? Catchy as hell and excellent vocoder effects on the vocals...) and "Animal Love" (a "hot" theme with some sheep-samples, funny and sarcastic interpreted...).
And although that the EBM-purists maybe a bit frightened by the included guitar riffs and the generally American-sounding outfit, this album acts well like a long missed friend. Isn’t it funny how some newcomer acts seriously think about to escape the currently happened musically stagnancy by integrating the ideas of some veteran acts? Maybe the times 10 – 15 years before were better – musically I have to agree and would undersign this claim – this fine debut is an excellent proof.


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