Music Reviews



THE PAIN MACHINERY: Hostile

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Dec 13 2005
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Artist: THE PAIN MACHINERY (@)
Title: Hostile
Format: CD
Label: BLC Productions, e-noxe (@)
Distributor: Alive!, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
Swedish Noise terrorist Anders Karlsson returns with a new sonic assault called "Hostile" and art and the title already give you an angry and clear hint of what he has to offer. Taking his musically influences out of harsh Electro, Powernoise, Punk and out of numerous speech samples of the daily madness called mankind, he is able to offer the listener a wall of sound which can be called unique in this music business. Of course – this music is not designed for the fainthearted, it shouldn’t consumed by a pensioner’s coffee meeting, because it would cause multiple heart-attacks. It is moreover an always steady and of very own kind of musically expression by a multi-talented artists of our lifetime. The biggest develop in comparison to his predecessor "The Venom Is Going Global" is his maturity to handle more Electro-inspired themes, like rich presented in tracks like "Voltage" or "Re-programmed Automatic". Also more included, especially on the first 5 – 6 tracks are some real sounding guitar sounds luckily mixed in the background. I am wondering also a bit about the dividing of this album. The first 7 tracks are more calm and mainly Electro-inspired, while the last tracks are much harder, typical Powernoise-like efforts without falling into the typically redundancy of limited composition abilities of this genre. For this "Hostile" album Anders also took some proven help by his friends in crime like Jonas Hedberg for energetic vocal performances, Tolufim for his known recording qualities, and Jonas Berndt for guitar and bass inputs. This album was also mastered by C-drik – also this makes sure to get an album pretty much influenced by Powernoise-like themes. Favorites I have found in the classic Electro-styled piece "Voltage", the remarkable "Terror Against Terror" and of course the most accessible Powernoise effort here, "Dehumanize". Also a fact: the label BLC Productions finally seems to concentrate to release more acts out of their own roster to reach some more continuity. After the demise of AGONOIZE, THE PAIN MACHINERY is the first BLC act which can release a follow-up CD. Great initiative, well done harsh music here full of different facets which provides a wide and memorable technical ability. A must!

LIGHTS OF EUPHORIA: Sleepwalk (The Awakening)

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 13 2005
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Artist: LIGHTS OF EUPHORIA (@)
Title: Sleepwalk (The Awakening)
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Accession-Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
This is a new and special limited edition of 1000 exemplars of this Danish/German friendship project. They are already active since more than 10 years, started as a solo effort by Torben Schmidt, who is also the label chief of the German Infacted-Recordings. With his decision to place Jimmy Machon of the Danish Electro/Metal-Crossover act GODHEADS as a permanent singer, he later on earned that respect and recognition this project earns finally. So this new sign of activity behind this is long awaited and LoE supporters will catch this limited edition ASAP. I personally have some issues with the presented stuff here which I don’t like to hide. This Maxi-CD consists only of the title plus a cover version of a Rock classic of Chris Isaac’s "Wicked Game". The title track itself is a good and remarkable one, here presented in four different versions. I like the decent bass line sequencing richly presented in the original version, but also the SUPREME COURT remix is well arranged. I find it a bit unnecessary to offer here this track in four different versions, the more I must ask the sense and meaning behind this cover version. Well, Jimmy proves here that he is able with his nice voice to start a serious competition to the original, but I rather expect to see LIGHTS OF EUPHORIA to be guests at the next episode of "Deutschland sucht den Superstar" or a different casting show. With this cover they would have winning chances! So if this act counts to your personal favorites, you’ll then have to hurry up to get it (note: it is limited to only 1000 exemplars worldwide...). I personally think that this release is globally a bit thin, especially in times of a economical recession in a scene filled with students and jobless employers – and so with a limited budget. I hope that both, audience and band will think on this term...
Dec 12 2005
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Artist: FEINDFLUG
Title: Volk Und Armee
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain
Rated: *****
Ideally linked to their album "Feindflug [4.V.]" VOLK UND ARMEE ("Nation and Army...") brings, after three years since their last album "Hirnschlacht", the band towards a new chapter of their new industrial danceable instrumental music. The fourteen tracks of the album work like a personal musical comment to the facts of World War II. The tracks titles mainly deal with things that commonly make people think about the craziness and cruelty of a war (see "Ak47" or "Gulag") or recall images that are in everybody's mind (titles like "Neue sieger" - "New winners" or "Sperrfeuer" - "Defensive fire"). Musically the tracks are built around a core of industrial e.b.m./techno where simple melodic lines (played mostly by synth strings) are overwhelmed by distorted and saturated drums. If it wasn't for the cover and the titles I wouldn't think about war but if you use this CD along with a documentary about WWII it could work well.

DUBOK: Shiver

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Dec 12 2005
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Artist: DUBOK (@)
Title: Shiver
Format: CD
Label: Mizukis Box (@)
Rated: *****
The new US label Mizukis Box sets a first strong exclamation mark with the release of the new and long-awaited DUBOK CD "Shiver". DUBOK, previously recording for the now defunct Tinman label, have found a new label home – a bit surprising, because I really thought they could enter a better known and longer active label after their highly recognized past releases on Tinman. But with more releases like this new "Shiver" CD, the label Mizukis Box will get worldwide attention and success. DUBOK go on in their special style, combining modern Synthpop anthems with danceable rhythms, while not forgetting some 80ies influences here and there. Almost all of the presented 10 tracks here can be called ear-catching and offer some nice melodic ideas while not sounding like often heard before. For the lyrics – well, some tracks here offer some heart-broken content about lost relations or never replied enthusiasms ("For the Throat", "Natalie’s Song"). These mentioned pieces I would call as the strongest moments here, as well as the ballad-like "Left Behind". Full of variations and emotions are also the very well placed vocals – another good point in the music of this 4-men act. This full-length CD is an outstanding release for the young label Mizukis box and a perfect continuing release in the discography of DUBOK. Well placed and produced Synthpop music with an intelligent note – this should easily enter some "best of the best 2005" Synthpop compilations. Get it and order this release directly from the labels’ website.

[:SITD:]: Odyssee: 13

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Dec 12 2005
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Artist: [:SITD:] (@)
Title: Odyssee: 13
Format: CD EP
Label: Accession-Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
After the "Coded Message: 12" the rising German act [:SITD:] returns with a new EP, giving some remix works as well as some new tracks. And I must admit, that I am again impressed how clean produced their music is. They don’t spread any nervousness or hectic in their arrangements, moreover they seem to know about their strength. The comparisons with SUCIDE COMMANDO or harder acts out of the genre turns more and more into background. Critically reviewed in several forums is mostly the style of vocals done by singer Carsten Jacek – well, I would say he is now on the right way and I can hear especially on the both new tracks "Suffering in Solitude" and "Venom (Slow Version)" a nice improvement. The vocals are sounding more natural because the band avoids overdone effects here. Both mentioned can be count to my favorites done by this band but also the other new tracks "Firmament" and "Benumbed" can satisfy in the known style of the band. Add to this the Club Version of their smasher "Wegweiser", originally available on their last success album "Coded Message: 12". You will also find a strong remix of GRENDEL for "Crusade" and a completely revamped version of "Plastination City" by PAINBASTARD, who is responsible for the remix and guest vocals. Finally we have an almost average remix by ABSURD MINDS on "Ascension", also taken from the last "Coded Messages: 12". With a running time of about 50 minutes the EP tends to look like a full length album and I must admit that I like several tracks here more than from their last full length. A strong EP which should bring [:SITD:] to the forefront of Electro/Industrial music made in Germany.


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