Music Reviews

MORGUE: The Dark Files

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3476)
Mar 21 2007
Artist: MORGUE (@)
Title: The Dark Files
Format: CD
Label: New Will Productions
Rated: *****
A rendezvous with the past – with some personal issues for me.

The Brazilian Electro/Industrial act MORGUE, also known with the ridiculous addition MECHANISM (for the European listeners), have decided to bring out a collection featuring several unreleased goodies, remix works and a huge amount of impressive live recordings of their uncountable performances in Brazil.

For all of you who haven’t ever heard of them, MORGUE have started their musically activities now almost 15 years before as a duo, consisting of vocalist Rene R. S. Menezes and Gil O. Santos. Those were the days when CD contracts were hard to get, and where demo tapes were the only way for young and unknown acts to gain some international attention. MORGUE therefore can be called as some true innovators of the scene in Brazil, maybe asides the same-time starting AGHAST VIEW. They’ve recorded two studio demo tapes, "Breaking All The Bones", which was a kind of a first testing and to collecting some experiences. The second demo was the legendary "Scatology" tape, which caught some attention and it has been sold quite well. At least this demo made it possible for them to sign a contract with the Brazilian label Cri Du Chat for the release of a first CD called "The Mind Is A Labyrinth". This CD has featured nothing else than the recordings of the "Scatology" demo tape – this fact finally gives you a hint what kind of good quality this demo tape was.

"The Mind Is A Labyrinth" got also licensed to Europe to the German-based Subway Records. MORGUE were able to break out of their home country and could gain some international attention, some one-man gigs in Bratislava/Slovakia and Bremen/Germany (unforgettable!!!) happened as well, also stories, interviews and reviews in cult magazines like Crewzine, Vertigo and Side-Line could prove their acceptance. With the addition of Marcelo Manieri as a third musician they’ve started to work on a follow-up release. Since the situation with Subway Records was quite unacceptable, the band started to hunt for a new European label. A deal with Celtic Circle Productions at least came never to life "thanks" to the irresolution of this label – finally, as the history teaches us well, it was the best which could happen to them. Several months in unsafe conditions happened and at least they took again the option to release their second full-length CD "Sweet Apology Of Death" through Cri Du Chat.

This new album was a milestone away from the known stuff – MORGUE became more rough and could present the amazed audience much more musically maturity. Also real guitar riffs provided by the new band member Marcelo got easily integrated into the sound. Now the wonder happened: "Sweet Apology Of Death" got licensed to the German Off Beat label with a new artwork (I definitively prefer the old and original one...) and the band name addition into MORGUE MECHANISM. Suddenly MORGUE were signed to the same label like some "big players" like FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, the upcoming VELVET ACID CHRIST or MENTALLO & THE FIXER.

The sudden end of all business actions of Off Beat then also brought a long period of silence to MORGUE. Bad things happened as well, the third band member Marcelo died suddenly in 2K4 (R.I.P.) and MORGUE were in hiatus. Musically preferences have changed as well and both remaining band members have found different relations and got thrown away from their home.

Recently Gil O. Santos has reanimated this project and his very own label New Will Productions to release this collective effort, which I now can hold proudly in my hands. "The Dark Files" features 18 tracks, starting with two tracks originally featured as exclusive recordings for some magazine CD compilations, "Nature’s Freak (Fallen Angel Remix)" for the legendary US-based Culture Shock magazine, and "Light Of Suicide", available on the German Vertigo magazine compilation 1/96. Their cover version on NEW ORDER’s "Thieves Like Us" is also present as well as the studio version of the only on a Side-Line compilation tape released track "Antidogma". Several surprising well recorded live tracks featuring their biggest smashers like "Forever", "Coma" or "Promising Future" of their uncountable performances around the Sao Paulo area will give you a hint, how powerful their gigs were – I still hold all their "live action" demo tapes in my collection. Some remix works done by APOLLO IX, some recordings from their first demo "Breaking All The Bones" are featured as well and will give you a completely stylistically overview of all phases of the band. Of course, you shouldn’t expect a high-end sound quality – this release rather has a historically meaning. Let’s hope the best, that the dark and evil side in Gil O. Santos is alive and present – a continuation of MORGUE is required!

CYANIDE REGIME: Visions Of Order

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3475)
Mar 20 2007
Title: Visions Of Order
Format: CD
Label: Gorestone
Distributor: CDBaby
Rated: *****
After having thankfully received a pre-demo of this Florida-based male/female-leaded duo, CYANIDE REGIME now can present earlier than expected their first official full-length release on the new label Gorestone. This new label seems to be rather a kind of community which shares mutual efforts, CYANHIDE REGIME are just one part. Other also Florida-based acts will follow soon with STAINED GLASS INCUBUS and RC DRONE. These acts share the opinion that the times of starting a mutual label in times of the still growing use of digital downloads and recognition of internet portals like Myspace can’t be any better – let’s hope they’re right with this. What we’ve noticed since a while, has become reality – after RETRACTOR there’s a constant growing movement of Harsh EBM/Industrial acts hailing out of this part of the United States, other names to come up soon asides both above mentioned have to be named with DOT EXECUTE or FORCE.IS.MACHINE. Back to CYANHIDE REGIME and their 12-track full-length CD – the first 6 tracks are known to me, including the powerful track "Die Bitch", which was – intentionally or not – the hidden 6th track of the demo. The smasher is definitively the harsh pounding "Vanquisher" with some nice stereo effects on the pulsating bass lines and a remarkable dark-melodic content. Conspicuous is still their kind to concentrate on catchy synth textures nice to listen on tracks like "Prevail" or "Imperio" – it is really played instead of using known Trance-/Techno-inspired arpeggio programmings – an appreciated attitude which pushes them above the average. The alien-like vocal performance of front man Fernando Silva comes genre-typical heavily distorted on all pieces – here and there some additional flanging effects ("Die Bitch") can be heard, too. Also the second half of this CD has my attention – "Apathy" can easily take the speed of "Vanquisher", while "The Threat" starts slow and melodic – until the speed invades with the refrain. All in all you’ll got a well-done Harsh EBM debut release which has its depth and edges to stand all comparison to some scene-leading acts. Good work, keep it on!

VV.AA.: Electro Arc Compilation Vol. 1

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3474)
Mar 19 2007
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Electro Arc Compilation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Electro Arc (@)
Distributor: Icare Media Distribution
Rated: *****
This is a new German Electro/Industrial label leaded by a radio DJ ( known under his pseudonym Intrendent, a long-time and experienced member of the scene. You’ll get here a first compilation featuring mostly new and relatively unknown names asides of some old-school veteran acts like THE WEATHERMEN, STRATIS or TWILIGHT RITUAL – while they all don’t offer the highlights here. As usual for compilations I tend to name only the most recognizable pieces here. The compilation starts with HUMAN DECAY providing a remix work of the Belgian sound wizard Len Lemeire aka IMPLANT. While I dig Mr. Lemeire’s modern IDM/Electronica efforts, the provided distorted vocals can’t come to a satisfying result and are rather disturbing – somehow it doesn’t fit to the music. C8K – I guess a German project – have listened a lot FLA’s "Tactical Neural Implant". They’ve learned well: convincing and catchy synth layers meet fine worked-out textures and arrangements and a well-tuned vocal performance not to far away from Mr. Leeb – it results in the best appearance here above all averages. A promising newcomer act to follow immediately! EISSCHOCK comes next with a speedy EBM piece featuring whispered female vocals – not bad, keep it on! SUKKA are also traveling on the EBM train and their "Renn!" comes musically to a satisfying result, while the vocals really sound "tormented". Electro with a doze into the Goth/Wave genre you’ll got serviced by WARFORGE – successful composition, one of the better pieces. AD:KEY with their track "Lass Mich Los" like to offer a NEP/ORANGE SECTOR-like old-school EBM tune. Shouted vocals, ripping minimal bass lines, a solid bass kick and snare work – this formula works once again fine for this RECTOR SCANNER/ARMAGEDDON DILDOS side-project. Hungarian-based acts CONSECTUM vs. SERVO.HATRED take up some speed by offering a Harsh EBM/Hellektro-like track in vein of some global players like TACTICAL SEKT or DAWN OF ASHES; especially SERVO.HATRED could recently convince with an appearance on BLC Productions Interbreeding VIII compilation. STANDGERICHT then adds another color to this comp by offering a rather noisy inspired instrumental tune. At least INDUSTRIAL WAVE STUDIO – well, this "band" name sounds rather like a software title – offer a calm instrumental outro. Diversity is rich present here – while there’s no extremely course into Synthpop or IDM-related styles. The emphasis is concentrated on EBM/Electro in all variations and luckily without any overwhelming concentration on the still creeping Hellektro virus. Not bad at all for a first compilation, while the second volume is already in the works and promises a lot with the appearance of some German favorites like OBJECT, MC1R, FIX8:SED8 or ALPHA QUADRANT...

Tracklist Electro Arc Compilation Vol. I

01 Human Decay - Anti-Fate (Agnostic mix by Implant)
02 The Weathermen - Scan me
03 First Aid 4 Souls - Seelenlos
04 C8K - Storm
05 Eisschock - Panic attack
06 suKKa - Renn !
07 takhtahk - Dropdown
08 Slipstream One - Bloodlust
09 Warforge - Rage
10 Stratis - Crossing borderline
11 AD:key - Lass mich los
12 Hertzinfarkt - Stell lauter
13 Ferus Odium - The ceremony EE
14 Consectum vs servo.hatred - Sewn in rapture
15 Twilight Ritual - Wired to the machines
16 Standgericht - Broken life
17 Industrial Wave Studio - Mountains of madness

MORIARTY: Equation Of Madness

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
 Edit (3470)
Mar 19 2007
Artist: MORIARTY (@)
Title: Equation Of Madness
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Moriarty is the collective project of John Cult, JeFF Boss, Bertand Barbier and Stan Adry, all involved in electronica / dark electro projects in France and Belgium. After their first CD "Synthetic feelings" they prepared their second full length by sharing ideas and recordings through the web. EQUATION OF MADNESS is the newest release of the combo and at a first listening I have to say that it is a real dark one. Most of the tracks are based on a dark ambient/experimental approach. At the end of the album I can't tell that I remember something of it, I feel almost disturbed and this is a good result anyway. Of the twelve tracks I preferred the dark suites based on synth sounds (like "Staring at yourself" or "Dark light") to the ones based on pure sound manipulation, because they were sounding more personal. For sure this is an album that needs more than a listening to be full appreciated and for sure along with that disturbing sensation you'll find something more.
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Artist: The Young Gods
Title: Super Ready / Fragmenté
Format: CD
Label: Ipecac (@)
Rated: *****
The Young Gods' brand new record was an unexpected surprise in my mailbox today. One of my favorite bands, I've been following them since the early days (mid eighties) when nobody outside Switzerland (where I am originally from) knew them yet. 20 years and 13 albums later, The Young Gods are still ahead of the curve and haven't missed a beat!

"Super Ready / Fragmenté" contains 12 compositions that invest you with the dazzling power and audacity of a violent album about violence that covers pretty much all the ground they've covered extensively in the past, stylistically quoting themselves and bridging the gap between the guitar-rock-infused "TV Sky", the flying up-tempo electronica of "Only Heaven" and "Second Nature" and the spacey and ethereal atmospherics of "Heaven Deconstruction" and "Music for Artificial Clouds". You'll find it all in this album: a complete vision of The Young Gods, touching base with what was but reaching out to what will be.
It's the Young Gods all over again, from the trademark held out guitar samples to the steady and syncopated drumming, from the climaxing singing and the poetical and socially inspired lyrics to the unique art of sounding like a rock band without actually being one (or are they?). Brief and straight to the point tracks that breath and throb with energy, style and intensity as well as psychedelic sound-work that elevates the random but career-recurring ten-minute long pivotal compositions.
With amazing sampling and sequencing work by Al Comet and untiring swiss-clockwork precision drumming by Bernard Trontin, this album intensifies their sonic attack and weaves among colorful palettes of sounds and visions, from the minimalist rock-driven to the tripped out and deviant.

Considering that in the USA people start shooting themselves at age 2 and go mall shopping for fire arms of any kind, it amuses me a little bit that Trichler is concerned with the number of unaccounted for guns in Switzerland (probably one of the safest and most livable and civil places on earth) but Treichler's unmistakable multi-language voice spits out lyrics of high sociopolitical value that you should get translations for right after you burn through your first round of track-fire.

The Young Gods are the holy grail of timeless rock-inspired electronic music! They climbed the alps and the mountains of marketing that is required for a band from Europe to make it overseas, or even just outside of the national boarded, and their calling has reached you now: Answer it or you'll forever wonder what one of the best bands of our times sounds like! (is it really obvious that I dig their music? did the point get across?). "Super Ready / Fragmenté" will come out on Ipecac in stores April 24th. Don't miss it!

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