Music Reviews



GAPING CHASM: Fragments Of War

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 15 2006
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Artist: GAPING CHASM (@)
Title: Fragments Of War
Format: CD
Label: Aliens Production (@)
Distributor: SXDistribution
Rated: *****
The official debut release of the Slovakian EBM/Dark Electro act GAPING CHASM somehow surprises me, because I have not expected to see and hear this project after its demo tape phase back in 1994 to 1996 again. GAPING CHASM is Roman "Ergo" Petro, and maybe some of you elders have this name still in a good memory. He was one of the leading editors of the world’s best Electro/Industrial fanzine Crewzine, which could grab some euphoric attention in the early nineties. As I said, Roman was already active lately 10 years before under the GAPING CHASM moniker, but not very successful and convincing. The acceptance of his first recording was rather limited. Later on he started with a second project called ANIMA MUNDI and with this project Roman was more or less active until to the last two years. So now he returns with GAPING CHASM – and nothing is like it was before. The music has improved and developed a lot into a well balanced and produced Dark Electro inspired EBM music. The let the cover art give you some hints on Roman’s music – here’s no Endzeit pseudo-aggressive act, or a FUNKER VOGT copycat at work. The sequences are filled with rich details and there’s always the try of Roman to integrate well arranged melodic synth layers. If I have to start some comparisons, I would like to fill in some works of MENTALLO & THE FIXER or some pieces of NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT – well, that are for sure not the worst references. "Day D" surprises with a not expected smoothness and calm sounding vocals, while "Only Shadows Will Survive" or "Another Day In Paradise" are classic inspired Dark Electro pieces. Best piece – and this track is here available in two excellent versions – is the track "To Be Free". Especially the remix should give you exciting stuff to storm some dancefloors of the dark clubs. It is not the hardest Electro you’ll get here, but I am impressed how rich and detailed it got produced. Hats off, Mr. "Ergo", for one of the best surprises this year has to offer.

VV.AA.: Primal River Valley

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 14 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Primal River Valley
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Latex records (@)
Rated: *****
Edwin Minzenmayer (a.k.a. TG Mondalf), who used to run the Rhythmus.net website and then joined the Chain D.L.K. umbrella of sites to better and collectively serve the electronic underground scene, has not had much time of his own for music lately (but I hear he is working on it...), yet every once in a while, he re-surfaces for air with some new CD release (probably his way of coping with the apnea).His latest effort is a double CD featuring some of the lesser known names (as well as some staples) of electronic/dark/industrial/pagan scene. As in the case with almost every compilation I love some tracks and hate others, but that's besides the point, as it's hard to round up twenty eight tracks and expect everyone to like them the same. About half of the tracks of this 2CD sampler are exclusive, which should make it interesting to fans of the bands, which are: Mystified w/ Orange County, Asmodeus X, Grigori 3, Jailbird, URN, Somna M. Bulist, Hungry Lucy, Seventh Image, Kali Yuga, Silvercord, Container, Solace, Flint Glass, Cryptomnesia, Shidoshi, The Dreamside, Elektronika, Sangsara, Anquisette, Cruxschadows, Ashes Adryft, LEX DECIMATE, i.e. Gnome, Afterchain, Little Tin Box, Laura Powers, Mystified w/Orange County. This last band, as well as Container, have two tracks each and Container also mixed and produced the CD and has a bonus video included.Hopefully we will see more cool releases like this from Latex in the feature. In the meantime, if you have half empty oxygen tanks you wish to get rid of, donations to help the cause are always appreciated.

SUICIDE COMMANDO: Bind, Torture, Kill

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 14 2006
cover
Artist: SUICIDE COMMANDO (@)
Title: Bind, Torture, Kill
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / NTP (@)
Distributor: Alive!
The fairytale of the minimal Electro-/Industrial musician hailing from a village of Belgium, who starts to create own experimental tracks with a Roland synthesizer and a damaged drum machine, gaining a never-expected success and recognition through his concentration and persistence goes in a new round. The "trademark" is back, Johan Van Roy offers a new full length CD out of his SUICIDE COMMANDO flagship – and luckily without having changed too much in his kind, art and music. Besides that huge amount of good luck, which is needed through the 20 years this act is now producing music, there is of course a lot of work, time and belief behind this band, and it is impossible to resume this in numbers. SUICIDE COMMANDO has become an institution through the years. Was it Johan through the first years who definitively mentioned THE KLINIK as his patterns, now uncountable young Electro/Industrial acts name SUICIDE COMMANDO as the reference of inspiration. Johan’s new release "Bind, Torture, Kill" continues somehow the way and style he has entered with his predecessor "Axis Of Evil" without to forget the fact, that his new tracks can be seen as being more aggressive. This was the tendency we could recognize on his pre-released EP "Godsend/Menschenfresser" as well as on the track "Bleed For Us All" released on the "Advanced Electronics Vol. 4" compilation. These tracks are also here available, in that case you have missed to purchase the very limited EP which is completely sold out. Of course, this new CD will take the dancefloors again by a storm and the highest chart positions at the DAC are to expect. There are several more tracks than the mentioned ones like the fast pieces "Conspiracy With The Devil", "Torment Me", which sounds pretty much like taken directly from "Axis Of Evil", or "F*** You Bitch" which should leave the dark audience breathless and destroyed back on the floors. Check also out the cover version of TOMMI STUMPFF’s classic "Massaker" – Johan’s next club hit and floor filler for sure – although I do not see the sense why an Industrial band covers an Industrial band. Definitively a favorite as well as a good remembrance to the good old past days is the track "We Are The Sinners" which features excellent noisy distortions and an overwhelming aggressive mood. "Bind, Torture, Kill" is surely not the return of Johan’s classic works like "Construct – Destruct" but it is the better alternative to the softy produced "Axis Of Evil". Musically somewhere in between "Axis Of Evil" and "Mindstrip" – maybe with an improved mixing. No doubt, the "trademark" of Electro/EBM/Hellektro or "WhatTheFuckNameYou’llLikeToFillInHere" returns triumphant...

STARK: Brave New Desire

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Apr 14 2006
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Artist: STARK (@)
Title: Brave New Desire
Format: CD
Label: Endless Records / GUP (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
News from the rotten and distorted world of the Surgical suite, Lee Bulig is back on track! This Australian act could already receive a lot of attention with its both debut releases, the "Wield" Si-CD as well as with the full length "The Surgical Suite". Often compared to known "big players" of the hard Electro/Industrial scene like :WUMPSCUT: or SUICIDE COMMANDO, I must say – and so I did on Lee’s both debut releases – that STARK have more and better elements to offer, than simply being a victim of useless comparisons. STARK show much more efforts here and can include refreshing ideas to bring life into this music genre. Sure, "Recreational Flesh Abuse" or the already on an Interbreeding compilation discovered track "Blossom" will lead some dark troops to the dancefloors. But mostly Lee’s tracks show a wider progression and complexity in its arrangements. A simple reason for this can be seen in the fact that Lee has also a Powernoise-inspired side-project called NEON WOMB on board. So a few tracks here taken from "Brave New Desire" can simply play also in that genre ("Kong", "Desire"). Another favorite can be easily named with the track "Nursery Rhyme", seldom before I have heard that steady aggression combined with melodic synth lines. Lee Bulig has worked out a full-scale Dark Electro album with some noisy undertones which gets a totally recommendation. While it is still hard for acts hailing from Australia to earn globally success, the leading bands from this country joined the forces and built up a mutual community called Crash Frequency (www.crashfrequency.com), and so also STARK is an active member of it. The idea is to help each other – more acceptence through united forces – and I hope the best that this community will reach its targets. Please make also sure to check out this cool digi-pack design for this release and the amazing artwork done by Scott Craig (www.cancerbox.com) – it is one of his finest works and fits with the music.
Apr 11 2006
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Artist: Preussak
Title: Werkschau 1989-2005
Format: CD
Label: Vaws (@)
Rated: *****
Presented as electro-industrial/EBM (old school) Preussak respect the premises from the very first second in which you'll be holding the booklet in your hands. Vaws' profile as a label was quite clear with the sampler I happened to review a while ago, but brick after brick their target is always clearer. Dark electronic with a straight beat not so far from that scene that originated bands like Front 242, Dive, Insekt or 808 State...somebody said "keep it authoritorial and martial"!?!. And what could someone expect if not a cover of Joy Division immortal hit "We walk the line"? If your answer is a cover of Killing Joke you’ve won the supergenius award of the day: "Aufruhr" aka "Follow the leader". Music to mach on, yes, but only if you’re wearing a pair of black leather trousers and you're completely into the style. The beat is pulsing, straight and quite often fast, but on such a long record probably it gets to linear that's why is easy to be left thinking there are a bit too many tracks at the end of the cd. Strong vocals and a layout that leaves no hesitation on the fact Preussak comes from the hard core of the scene, therefore be prepared for a demonstration of strength thru the kick ass rhythm of the songs. The lesson is: if you're into the style that's addressed to you... if you're not you'd better relax to the sound of Bob Marley.


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