Music Reviews

Artist: H.E.E.L. (@)
Title: Light in the Hell
Format: CD
Label: Monopolrecords (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
Coming in a beautiful dark digipack, here we have the debut of H.E.E.L., a musically and visually side-project of Patrick Lev, one half of the soon to be giants DEPPRESSIVE DISORDER and Martin Pavlik. Compared to the main project, H.E.E.L. offers us a music far away from the Dark Electro/EBM inspired style, while not forgetting it. The music remains dark and scary and features some angst-driven voice samples. The mood here is based on Ambient/Electronica styled music, vocals are very sparse filled in here and almost distorted or revamped with vocoder effects. The whole musically concept leads me to some comparisons to old GRIDLOCK at their best times and to their label comrades of DISHARMONY from Slovakia. This is mind-blowing dark Industrial stuff reaching at times phrases taken out of the Powernoise/Industrial genre ("Heel"), Dark Electro ("Alien" or "Nerve"), Electronica ("Transmission") up to slow and monotonous Ambient stuff ("Convulsion"). Globally very thick and scary music stuff here which you should check out under a good pair of headphones. The visual part of this release was done and arranged by Tom Galle. It features a nice done data track "Hell for You" which includes several manipulated photos and graphic experiments plus a viewer program with which you are able to check out all of that stuff while listening to music. While I really dig the music content of this release (don’t listen to a track like "Alien" at night times – it can cause nightmares!!!) I am also thankfully to get an insight of the graphically ideas for what this project stands. Both, music and visual art, are marvelous produced. Excellent work, gentlemen!
Artist: DIVERJE (@)
Title: The Distortion Chamber
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Rated: *****
This review of the already 6th release of DIVERJE I would like to start with a quotation taken from the title track "The Distortion Chamber":

"Step inside, the distortion chamber
electro-body-music takes you in
immerse in sound – synthetic pleasure
this is our secret, to keep us sane.
Step Inside, the distortion chamber
razor-sharp-beats, pounding you down
electrofied – you don’t want out
addicted to this energy now."

I couldn’t find any better words to describe finally the feeling not only by listening to this new output by Tommy T. Rapisardi, head behind DIVERJE, as well as in the rising DSBP label and the "Cyberage" radio show ( ). Tommy could again invite several talented musicians to help him up with programming, synths and composition, so you find here contributions by Xon of BOUNDLESS, Justin of LEXINCRYPT, Len Lemeire of IMPLANT, Vince Pujol of E.S.R. and a few others. The lyrics and vocals are still done by Tommy, while the music shows a huge amount of diversity simply caused through the different hard- and software the mentioned musicians use. So like it is mentioned in the booklet, this CD is recorded all over the world from the USA, to France, Belgium and New Zealand with the headquarter in the DSBP studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This album is mastered by the famous Da5id Din (INFORMÄTIK, din_fiv) at his Corossive Audio studio – you expect the best, so you get it. My personal favorites can be found mostly in the tracks in which Vince Pujol of E.S.R. has included his talented input. The Opener "Enough to Destroy" is one example of this and this track get some very good reactions through its appearance on the Alfa-Matrix quadruple compilation "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1".Another fine contribution between Vince and Tommy T. is the track "Your Pleasure" which is featured here in two different version. Well worked out futuristic synth layers meet extravagant vocals and impressive rhythm programmings, while things slowed down with a track "Time is the Enemy" where this two musicians teamed up with a third talented artist, Matt Ossen of TYPE001. The lyrics of Tommy are dealing mainly with happenings or problems around his life as a musician and label manager ("The Decline of the CD Generation"), but I assume also a huge personal influence out of his private life here, for example of a lost affair ("I Walk Alone", music arranged by Justin Cameron of LEXINCRYPT), same thematically with a slight hint in "Test Samples" (music arranged by Len Lemeire of IMPLANT). Not to hide I want also the fact that you also get some grinding guitar riffs here. Not unusual for DIVERJE of course – but the purist should be warned. In all we have a nice new and for the best DIVERJE album so far. One reason to get this CD is the fact of the long playing time of almost 75 minutes. And so you get a full-scale assault of diverse and varied arranged Electro/Industrial album which is not like anything else or easy to compare. A splendid release!

VV. AA. : Decibel

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2092)
Jul 31 2005
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Artist: VV. AA. (@)
Title: Decibel
Format: CD
Label: Plutonium (@)
Rated: *****
I've always thought it was surprising how some techno music and some dance music were not that far from "mechanical beats" and how that sound was somehow "industrial", this electronic sampler goes even more close to "industrial environment" I was talking about. Harsh electronics, techno beats, dark ambient, power noise, distorted samples, hypnotic loop: despite the different tracks this' not a senseless "bricolage" since the most of the acts on this cd have that "rave-till-death" flavor that makes the difference, even the rhythmic "tunes" (the 70% of these songs have a solid rhythmic structure) have a strong "industrial rave" heaviness. After having taken for granted the rhythmic astonishment is a constant for most of the songs don't forget there's an incredible abundance of distortion almost everywhere (Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails have based a carrier on effects like that) and sure, the "mental disturbing" sensation created with the repetitive loops by these young swedish musicians is there to "blow your brains out", for sure. No Merzbow worshippers here, neither some techno avant-gardists like Massimo (the italian guy on Mego and Staalplaat) even if we're not that far, probably that's the kind of music you'd love when under the influence of a bad trip. Even if that's another cup of tea never forget Brighter Death Now comes from up there: "the mechanical heaviness of repetitions", if this sentence stirs your curiosity, here probably there's something for you ears and mind.

Conjure One: Extraordinary Ways

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2090)
Jul 29 2005
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Artist: Conjure One
Title: Extraordinary Ways
Format: CD
Label: Nettwerk America
Rated: *****
On August 30th the world will finally be able to welcome the new release by Conjure One, the personal side-project of critically acclaimed Canadian-born producer Rhys Fulber (of Front Line Assembly and Delerium fame). I remember loving his first self-titled album, and this second one, altough different, doesn't disappoint and meets all expectations. As in the debut, he makes use of a number of different (and great sounding!) female vocalists (Jane, and Chemda Kalili -also to be found on the previous record- and new voices Tiff Lacey and Joanna Stevens; as well as collaborations with Ashwin Sood, Sean Ashby from McLachlan's band, Leah Randy of Pink and ex-Abandoned Pools and string arranger Chris Elliot). The focus is still heavily on melody, altough the formula has shifted away from the middle eastern flavors and slightly more towards pop (acoustic guitars etc). Obviously everything is supported by a solid and consistent electronic music structure that carries along creating beautiful bass lines, great layered atmospheres and visionary landscapes. "Extraordinary Ways" is nothing short of what you would expect from a skilled and experienced top producer such as Fulber, so go for it without a question! It's a great sounding, relaxing, enticing, rich, dynamic, full, harmonious, gorgeous record!

HIOCTAN: Concentration Overload

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2087)
Jul 28 2005
Artist: HIOCTAN (@)
Title: Concentration Overload
Format: CD
Label: Noitekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
This is already the second release of this one man project hailing from Rostock, Germany. Like on his first CD, Michael Senft presents here his version of harsh EBM/Electro music with already heard distorted vocals, rough and steady beats and overdriven sequencer bass lines. Comparable to older SUICIDE COMMANDO stuff like the "Critical Stage" era is surely a possible reference, but unfortunately are HIOCTAN not able to play in the same league like his alter ego act. Here is a lot of repetition on almost all tracks, a lift up in song structuring wouldn’t be bad at all. Also the choice of synth sounds cannot really convince me, most bass line and melodic strings are sounding careless and old. It is a pity that here isn’t too much interesting stuff which would help this project to gather a higher level than average. If you look out for some stuff with an edge, with a musically demand, you are wrong with HIOCTAN. This album (excellent cover artwork with nice photos by the way...) is only dedicated to harsh EBM short-cut-hair rivetheads.

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