Music Reviews



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Artist: WYNARDTAGE meets ACYLUM (@)
Title: Lords Of Darkness EP
Format: CD
Label: X-Cem (@)
Rated: *****
Yes, both favorite acts hailing from the German X-Cem collective return here with new and previously unreleased stuff. Both actors behind these successful Dark Electro/Industrial acts, Kai Arnold (WYNARDTAGE) and Pedro Engel (ACYLUM) also teamed up here to produce as a duo the title track "Lords Of Darkness" as well as the dark instrumental piece "Without Breathe". "Lords Of Darkness" is the main track here, a danceable club smasher and available here in 4 different versions, one remix was done by the new collective partners DAVANTAGE, which I would call the best out of the four mixes. Then both acts present themselves 6 tracks each consisting of a few new pieces, alternative versions and remix works created by different friends out of the scene. WYNARDTAGE offers excellent remix works by FORMALIN ("I’m Not Your God") and LA MAGRA ("Du Hast") and an own created remix of the club hit "Waste Of Time". Three new tracks are on here from which "Suicide" gets my vote for the best piece, while "No Confidence" is a bit too simple structured and turns into some useless Hellektro attitudes. I have the slight impression that WYNARDTAGE turns more and into some harder areas while growing on equipment. A new full length release of this promising act is scheduled to the fall of this year. Comes next ACYLUM with their unbreakable kind of Dark Electro/Powernoise-inspired music to offer 6 pieces, but unfortunately with only two new tunes. But these two tracks, "Rape" and "My Pressure Is Hate" are worth every investment, especially "Rape" will drive the tormented souls of the dark club visitors for some Pogo-action on the dancefloors – effusions of blood guaranteed! WYNARDTAGE and MAY-FLY offer well done remix works more based onto the Electro side, while the Sonic Violence Experience remix of "War" turns this track into that what this cool name offers: a sonic violence experience. So we have still the remix of "Black Virus" created by POLARLICHT 4.1, but – it can’t follow the rough coarse of destruction! Something specially stands behind this release. It will be soon a hard-to-get item because it is strictly limited to only 160 numbered exemplars. Plus it is also only available directly from the X-Cem community, so don’t ask your dealer. Make sure to contact Kai Arnold under the given contacts here and try ASAP to order this great release.

DAVANTAGE: Split And Shatter

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2888)
Jul 15 2006
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Artist: DAVANTAGE (@)
Title: Split And Shatter
Format: CD
Label: Rupal Records / X-Cem (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution
Rated: *****
Lately this known German Electro/Industrial had a lot of trouble through lawsuit regarding the rights on the band name. Kai Härtel, long-time singer and front man of this act, left this after several disagreements regarding the coarse and outcome of the band. So we got here the result, Kai Härtel has left this band and concentrates now on his project SUPREME COURT, both musicians, Mario Fritzsche and Rene Müller, are allowed to keep the name and trademark alive for their further musically journey. DAVANTAGE also left their label Black Rain thanks to this bad happenings and can now take all concentration on their own label Rupal Records (www.rupalheads.de), with which they already released a female leaded side-project called FUTURE TRAIL in 2005. One final episode: Kai Härtel still runs a website at www.davantage.de with the permission to bring it out as a time documentary between the early years up to 2005. DAVANTAGE are now also a member of the X-Cem community, which could lately satisfy with excellent debut releases like WYNARDTAGE, MAY-FLY or ACYLUM. So "Split And Shatter" is somehow a difficult release, because it still features some influences under the old formation. The music is a fine and rich detailed EBM/Electro sound, well produced to be called modern and attractive, but still authentic enough not get called conform. The new vocalist named Beam (Ex-FEINDFLUG) can satisfy with his deep male and typical EBM-like sounding voice. This works great for the faster and danceable pieces here like "Crazy Great Warning" and "Split And Shatter", for the slower tracks like "Flash Of Despair" there’s room to develop. Globally we can recognize the quality efforts of the band, which should be able to hold their old fan base. Please note also the special limited edition, a bonus EP named "Conference" featuring 4 new tracks, two remix works both by WYNARDTAGE and an alternative version to "Crazy Grey Warning". Fans will purchase both items before they got sold-out.

EMPTY: Open Aeon

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2885)
Jul 11 2006
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Artist: EMPTY (@)
Title: Open Aeon
Format: CD EP
Label: Aphotic Audio (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
This is the follow-up act of the Australian EBM/Electro band TRON, some of you maybe have heard active at the Hellwire community (www.hellwire.com). EMPTY consist of both members, Aaron Potter and Daniel Brunet, and they are playing a kind of Dark Electro following some traditional ideas of the older DISMANTLED combined with some HEAVY WATER FACTORY ideas – if there’s really a need to compare them somehow. Recording for their own small label Aphotic Audio, this is a self-funded but very professional release regarding all important parts from a cool artwork up to the music. It is definitively a subtle but also attractive arranged electronic music which doesn’t follow any overrated hypes. Charles Fenech of ANGEL THEORY, whose talent is for sure well known (please check out the new interview with him here on our site...), has laid his helping hands on the mixing console and did some production on this release and result is a fine and very satisfying official debut EP featuring 6 tracks and two valuable remix contributions by ANGEL THEORY and iammynewt. The opener "Ghost Beside You" and "Blue" can be named as the favorites here, both feature a well done and remarkable dark melodic content – no wonder also that these both tracks received the remix contributions of the both mentioned act. Also a video for "Ghost Beside You" should be now available, just check back the website of the band. Check also out the intense and gloomy final piece "Alone". This release can impress totally through its decent dark, but melodic input, the mood and complexity generally. Here are no "get-hard-be-strong" artists at work, moreover a grown and experienced unit now finally providing outstanding results. Get it, check back the DSBP website to purchase this item.
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Artist: GODKOMPLEX (@)
Title: Audial Apostasy
Format: CD
Label: Artificial Noise Records (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Some of you may have discovered this Californian act on some magazine CD compilations of the well known Industrial Nation, maybe also from the well done "Wetworks Compilation III" which was online available from this now defunct webzine. Here they are back with a new 12 track album and all of you who have expected a music style like the compilation appearances mostly based on classic US-Industrial anthems will be surprised. Some far away possible comparisons to the old KEVORKIAN DEATH CYCLE maybe come to mind ("World Below"), but GODKOMPLEX have much more to offer. Some tracks turn into an Ambient-like style ("Not Human", "The Final Act"), while they mix perfectly in some cool Dark Electro tunes ("Kill-4-God", "Diminutive"). Conspicuous is the fact that this act has fine abilities to integrate complex rhythm patterns featuring several D n’ B and or IDM flavors – not everything here has that 4/4-marching-forward feel. I’m wondering a bit that there are only three tracks which feature the pregnant vocals of Daron A. Case ("All Or Nothing", "World Below" and the already discovered but still amazing "Intentional Disarray"). All other tracks are instrumental, but therefor voice sample-driven. It would be easy to advise them to write more tracks featuring some male or female vocals for sure, but on the other side I have to admit that this missed part doesn’t make the other nine tracks boring. GODKOMPLEX set the music in the center of their work – and their work is marvelous here! Distributed by the cool DSBP label/mail order should make it possible to get this fine item easily and to a fair price. A band to follow immediately!
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Artist: PERCEPTION CLEANSE PERCEPTION (@)
Title: Cross-Cutting in Cold Frames
Format: CD
Label: Backscatter / Dungeon Recordings (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
It is to say that Kevin J. Cazier's solo effort PERCEPTION CLEANSE PERCEPTION – or short PCP – tends to discover very strange fields of the Industrial music genre, and this can be seen as a total contrary to his other well recognized Electro/Industrial project LITTLE SAP DUNGEON (read reviews and interview somewhere placed here...). Musically diversity is rich given here, styles are present from a dark Ambient-inspired instrumental piece ("Medusa’s Chamber") to Dark Electro ("Descent"), from hammering Industrial with Rap-like vocals ("This Town Can Kiss My Ass") to a furious guitar-driven Industrial tune ("Newsbreak", check out the excellent voice sampling work!!!) – yeah, you’ll also get a cover version of the DEAD KENNEDYS "Kinky Sex Makes The World Go Round" – Industrial-Punk as its best! Not that Kevin’s magical hands aren’t talented enough to produce this diversity, no – he has also experienced a lot of help by very talented musicians and friends around him like his partners in crime, Chris Alvarado (23 EXTACY), Xon (BOUNDLESS, SYMBIONT) and to my surprise also from Alan E. Wilson, the other half of the now in hiatus LITTLE SAP DUNGEON. Also worth to mention are the hefty messages behind the lyrics of Kevin, I have seldom heard (and seen, check the great artwork..) a release depending that tough on the current politically situation around the Bush regime. Of course not all pieces here do have my undisturbed attention, which surely belongs to my more limited musically horizon more based onto classic Electro/Industrial effort, but I can recognize Kevin’s authentic style in all "frames" here. This is a hard and diverse release which you all should spend some attention.


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