Music Reviews



VIRTUAL VICTIM: Transmission

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (3365)
Jan 29 2007
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Artist: VIRTUAL VICTIM (@)
Title: Transmission
Format: CD
Label: Rupal Records / X-Cem (@)
Rated: *****
Long awaited official debut release for this German Dark Electro/Industrial act consisting of Christian Glaß. VIRTUAL VICTIM was surprisingly voted to be the winner of all participated acts in 2K5 of the Sonic Seducer talent contest they year by year organize in autumn through their printed magazine. The winning track, "Away" is of course featured here, but besides this indeed fine worked out track, Christian proves well his talent. He combines classic Dark Electro tunes somewhere in vein of older EVILS TOY with newer kinds of programming and sounds near to the Futurepop trend and a rough distorted, but pleasant and energetic to listen to vocals. A slight Goth/Romantic-like ingredient is also included. Luckily he avoids to be called the next SC clone, also that still rolling Hellektro avalanche he can leave unimpressed behind. Surely not the newest path Christian likes to walk here, but what he does here, makes sense and comes to a pleasant result. Also the lyrical content can be called satisfying, at times performed in both languages German and English, Christian provides themes like life after death ("Last Journey", "Save Me From Darkness"), or about breakup pain ("Away", "Wake Up") – rather themes from which I guess with a more personal background, instead of providing some sci-fi/aliens/monster-related things. "Away" and the instrumental piece "Fragment" present a brilliant and catchy layer programming, "Save Me From Darkness", although a bit too much cliche-loaded, comes out with a female vocal intonation, "Wake Up" adds some slight distortion to the drum patterns, and, and, and. This debut fulfills all expectations and offers – for a debut - a lot of maturity. Good work!

SAM: Synthetic Adrenaline Music

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Jan 29 2007
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Artist: SAM (@)
Title: Synthetic Adrenaline Music
Format: CD
Label: ProNoize (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
New signing and output for the German ProNoize label, member of the Dark Dimension label group. With SAM they introduce us a German two-men output providing us a straight and harsh forward moving Electro/Powernoise sound. The music maybe somehow can be described if you use their band name, although this shouldn’t start discussions of a new sub-genre. Hard, forward-moving rhythmically Electro tunes, here and there flavored with some noise elements and mostly German voice samples – but not real Powernoise. This stuff seems to be rather designed for the short-hair Hellektro-supporter, thanks to a huge amount of repetition and monotony in their "songs", I somehow got the impression that two Tekkno-music producers got tired of their usual stuff and tried to jump on a darker and merciless train. I miss compositional depth, the 18 tracks here really deserve the description "track" like never-ever before – it’s a rather loop-oriented kind of work. Enjoyable under the influence of some drinks maybe with the need to move your lazy ass, but hard to find acceptance on a home entertainment. Somehow I prefer more the label colleagues of XOTOX and NOISUF-X or CONTROL-SYSTEM, which all provide more noise...

DISTORTED MEMORY: Burning Heaven

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jan 26 2007
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Artist: DISTORTED MEMORY (@)
Title: Burning Heaven
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
I heard it once, I heard it twice, and I could easily recognize why Marco of NoiTekk couldn’t resist to sign this newcomer act again hailing out of the USA. It’s really surprising to see that there’s nowadays a real movement of Harsh EBM/Hellektro newcomers out of America, after LIFE CRIED, DIE SEKTOR, DAWN OF ASHES and FGFC820 this project is already the fifth newcomer in 2K6 brought out through NoiTekk. The NoiTekk armed forces of Hellektro troops like to say welcome to this newbie, which shows some promising musically abilities. Of course, also DISTORTED MEMORY do not invent a new wheel, but their harsh and rude kind of EBM/Dark Electro fulfills all expectations. Also the lyrically content proclaims the ultimate end and works even stronger with the chosen anti-religious voice samples. The vocals are enormous, almost Alien-like distorted, at times a bit too much to my taste, but hey... the monsters are among us! It’s not all based on the Hellektro formula to take some inspiration out of Trance/Techno-like apperggio sounds, tracks like "Disciples Of The Watch" or "Confession" feature rather a constant good and well worked-out Dark Electro feeling. Some well arranged instrumental tunes featuring some more experimental samples, some orchestral-like string sounds and an ominous mood are filled in with "Hellion’s Fall" or "Sons Of Perdition" to interrupt the pounding float of this album. DISTORTED MEMORY can’t throw their colleagues of DIE SEKTOR from their throne, but are for sure face to face with LIFE CRIED or FGFC820. No music for the weak for sure, but a constant good and quality release.

Instans: Common Ground

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3361)
Jan 26 2007
cover
Artist: Instans (@)
Title: Common Ground
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya-Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
I like to quote Fredrik Djurfeldt of SEVERE ILLUSION out of our recent done interview soon up here somewhere else: "Well, if it wasn't for Black Flames being so encouraging in the first place, there would have been no INSTANS. For some reason they spent all their money on another band that no one liked, and now they are no more. During the two years that followed, we still had the Instans web site and a Myspace site up and running. Through this we soon learned that there was a demand for the album, so when Advoxya offered a contract we were happy to sign it." What does this mean? SEVERE ILLUSION on half power? INSTANS a waste of time? Cool down, almost everything’s all right with the debut of this SEVERE ILLUSION side-project. The authentic style which Fredrik Djurfeldt and Ulf Lundblad have successfully created and installed on all of their releases finds here a decent continuation. Described as being a lighter and more danceable edition than the main project, I moreover come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t make too much difference if they would have been decided to release "Common Ground" as a real SEVERE ILLUSION album. Yeah, some tunes are definitively straighter and rather danceable-friendly produced than the works of the last SEVERE ILLUSION studio album "Shortcut To Civilization", especially a track like "Hard Work" with its minimal old-school EBM flavor and some "sweat-muscle-work" vocals can bring a smile in my face. Favorites I like to name with "Cause And Effect" (features some great done Dark Electro-like layer sounds...) and "First Off", both pick up a bit more the traditionally noise-infiltrated SI sound. So in all this is a must-have for every SEVERE ILLUSION supporter as well as for old-school EBM and Minimal fans. Thumbs up!

ENGELMACHER: Birds Of A Feather

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jan 26 2007
cover
Artist: ENGELMACHER (@)
Title: Birds Of A Feather
Format: CD
Label: E-Rhythematosus Records
Distributor: E-Rhythematosus Records
Rated: *****
Behind this German name hides another self-released debut of an US-based Electro/Industrial act hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. This project consists mainly of Michael, who’s doing almost all production and vocals, and Natalie, who does some live synth work. Engelmacher describes metaphorically the term of population control, and this act just could enter a free slot on the international renowned Interbreeding compilation series (Interbreeding IX – Kuru, just out while I’m writing this...) of the BLC Productions label. Now out with this first CD which presents the musically dimension somewhere between dancefloor-compatible Electropop tunes up to pounding EBM/Dark Electro-related tracks. Both opening tracks, "Retribution" and "Circumstance" are harder-edged danceable Dark Electro tunes (NOT Trance-inspired Hellektro...) with distorted, whispering-like vocals and remind strong on some works of INFORMÄTIK or older EVILS TOY – for sure not a bad reference. Things get a bit smoother with some catchy Future-/Electropop-inspired works like "Bypass", "Useless Gestures" or "Thrust". Also the vocals on this tracks are rather clear and naturally placed, without the use of uncountable effects. With "Devotion" this act proves that they can also deal with some slower and rather creepy tunes. It has to mention that the programming abilities of this act and the detailed worked-out synth textures are the winning points for this production, the arrangements and sounds are well-thought and installed. Nice artwork too, so this is one of the most promising and still unsigned newcomer acts around. A strong recommendation to purchase this fine item, also for some labels a quality tip to give it a try...


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