Music Reviews



PAINBASTARD: Overkill

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 18 2005
cover
Artist: PAINBASTARD (@)
Title: Overkill
Format: CD
Label: Accession-Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****

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"Overkill" is already the second full length album of PAINBASTARD, a German one man project consisting of Alex P. I see the cover with a black angel (the angel of death...?) in front of rotten industrial areas and it is all colored in black and gray. The used fonts of the track list are old Germany-like based on WWII ideas and I’m sure that Alex has seen and heard very often the stuff of :WUMPSCUT: for example. Almost the same goes out to the music. I am sure that Alex has taken in his career a deep look into all efficient ingredients acts like the already mentioned :W:, plus HOCICO and/or SUICIDE COMMANDO have already produced before and so nothing is really new here. PAINBASTARD play hard along the allowed cliches this music genre has to offer, nevertheless this new album has blown me totally away. It is really hard to look for an almost comparable album which hit me that hard like this "Overkill" has done. It must belong on the pure and naked aggression this project has to offer on almost all tracks of this release. I am impressed by the overall "slab-in your-face" attitude caused through the very aggressive vocals and the straight hitting beats. This is hard and ripping EBM par excellence played with known weapons, but still unique arranged. PAINBASTARD fills also in some guitar sounds ("System Failed" or "Final Day") to support the bass lines and the melodic content is tasteful arranged. So finally I am still searching for the track or the band in where I have already discovered the music from PAINBASTARD without success. Excellent mastering work again was done by Krischan of the talented ROTERSAND, who was also responsible for this on the last [:SITD:] release. Congrats to the label to this release, congrats to the band for giving a fine produced hard Electro/EBM album which can stand all comparisons.

VV.AA.: In this Cold Terrific Room 2

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 15 2005
cover
Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: In this Cold Terrific Room 2
Format: CD
Label: La Chambre Froide (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
French label La Chambre Froide proudly presents a new compilation of French-only Electro-/Industrial acts from which are a few already known through well recognized releases while others are totally new to me. There is a lot of excellent stuff coming or still to come out of this country and this compilation does very well and offers especially unknown acts a big chance to get heard worldwide. Already known acts are here to find with H.I.V.+ (in collaboration with WIRED BRAIN) which present here their track "Havoc 2027 (Drug Addict Remix by TAMTRUM)", a piece I have already discovered on the BLC compilation "Interbreeding V: Terrorland". Then we have here E.S.R., licensed from the US label DSBP, with an unreleased "Tactical Mix" of their track "Fight Power", which shows and presents the fine programming abilities this one-man act has as usually to offer. Marvellous new and still unreleased is also the track by the rising NEON CAGE EXPERIMENT from Cortex-Records, their "Breathing Cities" can easily deal with the best pieces from their strong debut "Oscillations". La Chambre’s very own TAMTRUM, just licensed to the US label DSBP for a special re-release of their fantastic "Some Atomik Songz" debut CD are of course also present with a new track and they push the speed again to a maximum pace. In all very good stuff by the already known acts, but as usual the more unknown acts have to offer the surprising appearances. However the name of the drug is which has made somebody to name a band ARSCH DOLLS, the music is finest Dark Electro with some nice sound ideas. EX_TENSION do make also a nice piece here – unfortunately the mixing quality of their track "Pixel" destroys a lot. ASEPTIE made their first comp appearance here with a strong Terror-EBM stomper a la SUICIDE COMMANDO or AGONOIZE and I am waiting to hear more from them, they are already signed to La Chambre Froide. Another highlight is finally the Dark Electro track "Life is Suffering" from PSY with excellent programmings, good chosen sounds and remarkable vocals. You see here the rich content of this compilation and I can only advise you to make your contact to La Chambre Froide to order this essential and very well compiled French band contest. Promising new acts and soon to be giants acts are well present here, so no time to hesitate if Dark Electro/EBM/Industrial music is the drug you need.


Tracklist:
01 - Shizuka - Les Souterrains
02 - Arsch Dolls - Fetish Process
03 - HIV+ vs Wired Brain - Havoc 2027 (Drug Addict Mix By Tamtrum)
04 - Bran Terror - Traieste
05 - Ex_Tension - Pixel (LCF Edit)
06 - Aseptie - Pray (This Agony)
07 - ESR - Fight Power (Tactical Mix)
08 - Wytlyt - So Many Lies
09 - Neon Cage Experiment - Breathing Cities
10 - Tamtrum - In This Terrific Cold Room
11 - I Am Noth - Mue Urae
12 - Psy - Life Is Suffering
13 - Void Kampf - Death At Corner (Schneller Mix By Skoyz)
14 - SCR - On My Own
15 - Muckrackers vs Lith - Hexe Nacht

DEPRESSIVE DISORDER: Ultima Ratio

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 14 2005
cover
Artist: DEPRESSIVE DISORDER (@)
Title: Ultima Ratio
Format: CD
Label: Monopolrecords (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
DEPRESSIVE DISORDER is a newcomer duo hailing from Brno/Czech Republic. The more I listen to music coming from Eastern Europe in times of a filled EU with many new states and open boundaries I get the feeling that acts hailing out of these states do better and are still full of new and refreshing ideas. These bands are still not influenced by the use of repetitive sounds and monotonous song structures too many bands currently have to offer. So it was already with NO NAME DESIRE who gave us a strong old school EBM influenced debut release, so it is also with DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, although both Czech bands are not to compare musically. DEPRESSIVE DISORDER offer us a wide range of styles almost all based on different EBM/Electro themes but still with an own identity. "Ultima Ratio" is one of the very few albums on which nothing is foreseeable. Food for the dancefloors is strong available here with "Serial Killer", "Genocide" or my favorite track "Victim", which reminds me a bit on the latest tracks from RUN LEVEL ZERO. They do also serve some excellent pieces to satisfy the friends of dark and gloomy Electro with the amazing "Under Watch" or "Fallen City". Outstanding feature of DEPPRESSIVE DISORDER are without any doubt the marvelous performed vocals which can range from tremendous whispers to aggressive screams. The chosen sounds and especially the used drum patterns won’t also leave you unimpressed, they are up to date and no track here sounds comparable to any other. With more bands and releases like this little masterpiece the Czech label Monopolrecords will earn very soon the fruits of their work. DEPRESSIVE DISORDER are surely the best kept secret of the Czech Republic and now is the time for all of you readers to check this band out!

RETRACTOR: No Resistance

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 12 2005
cover
Artist: RETRACTOR (@)
Title: No Resistance
Format: CD
Label: Black Flames Records (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
At the first I had listened to this I was really confused. I took again the cover and stopped the CD to make sure that I did not listening to a wrong release. No – it is the debut of RETRACTOR from Ford Lauderdale, FL, USA – and not the new and long awaited release of TACTICAL SEKT. But this almost perfect copy of the musically efforts of Anthony Mather’s famous solo project can really confuse. And so I have already named the biggest flaw of this production. This originally hailing from Puerto Rico duo produces a hard and cold, dark Electro/Industrial album pretty much influenced by the current hype. Distorted and rough screaming vocals, steady, straight-in-ya-face beatings with nightmarish bass kicks and overdriven harsh synth lines – these are all the typically ingredients for this Terror-/Hellektro EBM sound too many bands currently present. Famous and similar acts next to the already mentioned TACTICAL SEKT can be named with AGONOIZE or SUICIDE COMMANDO and so now the supporters of this dancefloor-orientated music do have a new favorite. Own ideas or influences of this duo are sparse filled in here. I would like to mention the track "Evolution" which shows a development to more complex synth layers. The tracks "Final Defense" or "You don’t Know" can satisfy with extremely stomping bass kicks, the most aggressive beats I have heard for a long time. It is sweat-and-worker music, no track really slows down and give you time to take a breath. Pain is for the weak and the fainthearted better take their fingers away from this. I would wish that this band will increase their sound and think about a more original and self-created music because their efforts here are well copied – but lack of an own identity.

[:SITD:]: Coded Message: 12

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 12 2005
cover
Artist: [:SITD:] (@)
Title: Coded Message: 12
Format: CD
Label: Accession-Records, Metropolis (@)
Distributor: Indigo, Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
This is the new full length of one of the most acclaimed Electro/Industrial bands of the current club scene hailing from Germany. If you take a deeper look to the listing of all participated persons who are involved in and around this band you come clearly to the result that this product is far away from a comparable release of a scene newcomer. Examples? Okay, the booking is done by Kai Lotze of Project Management, there are multiple persons responsible for the Live Sound, Webdesign, Merchandising, and, and, and. Which newcomer act can have such a background? This CD was pre-produced by the band itself but the final production process, mixing and mastering was done by Krischan of the talented act ROTERSAND (look for reviews and interview with this act somewhere here on our site...). Thematically the tracks on this release try to follow more or less the conceptual idea of the use and meaning of the number "12" in political and/or religious aspects. The 12 stands for perfection and unity on one site, has its appearance in the bible, but it stands also for an underworld goddess of the old Babylon. Well, some tracks here are lyrically very close to the daily madness with which we have to live with like terror attacks ("Crusade") or arbitrary judgement ("Richtfest", which has indeed nothing to do with a feast for a new building...). Musically the SHADOWS IN THE DARK (so the full name behind this abbreviation...) offer us nothing surprisingly indeed. Their 12 tracks here offer mostly danceable club-compatible Electro/EBM tracks with a slight Futurepop reference a lot influenced by current hypes with loud bass kicks and tekknoid infiltrated sequencer lines. Like their environment so is the music: professional arranged and flawless recorded, while the vocals are sounding almost clear (very fine filled in on "Relief"...) and avoid the use of destroying FX. Music, production and release seems to me a bit like a calculate-able risk – in all not very risky. This is a product designed to get attention and the have success through good sales. So here I have found the very one and only flaw of this release: There is no place to take a musically venture like producing here and there a track which does not walk with the wanted lines. Everything is professional and calculated, a musically revolution is not what you can expect from this band. [:SITD:] are surely not the inventors of a new sound but they serve perfectly the current taste. This release is licensed and distributed by Metropolis Records for North America.


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