Music Reviews



VV.AA.: Awake The Machines Vol. 5

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 31 2005
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Awake The Machines Vol. 5
Format: CD
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
Chapter 5 of the well known Out Of Line label collection comes this time in two different forms: first as a normal 17 track CD, second as a limited edition DCD with almost all bands signed to that label. The prices for both items justify without doubt the investment, 4,99 Euro for the single CD, only 8,99 Euro for the limited edition. Like on previous releases out of this compilation series, you’ll get a full playing time with lots of goodies, remixes or simply representative tracks by several acts from this label. Opener on the single CD are SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS and they surprise with clear vocals, a good mixing of melodies and beats – maybe a bit influenced by a big name like A23. HOCICO have already seen better days in their long years of existence, also the track "Spirits of Crime" is away from being groundbreaking. But this remix by the Swedish label comrades of SPETSNAZ is fair done and could give new entries a hint how the music of both bands can sound. Further valuable pieces I have found here with the mentioned SPETSNAZ (a real alternative version to the classic NITZER EBB back from the "That Total Age" days...), COMBICHRIST (get a remix by the Polish act CONTROLLED COLLAPSE – a band which just seems to be signed to the new Dependent side label NPT, leaded by Johan van Roy aka SUICIDE COMMANDO...), AMDUSCIA (Mexican Dark Electro which develops better and better...) or the to me never heard before NECESSARY RESPONSE (playing a perfect symbiosis between hard and melodic Electro...) from the USA. I also dig the overlaying stuff from SNOW in CHINA and the aggression of that new AGONOIZE track. Some "must-have" acts from the big roster Out Of Line has released in the past years like TERMINAL CHOICE, GOD MODULE, DECODED FEEDBACK or the up and coming AESTHETIC PERFECTION are for sure missed here on the single CD, but also this will justify the purchase of the DCD. This Out Of Line label compilation is well designed to have a good introduction to the label’s work for newbies, but it features also some stuff worth to collect for the experienced users.

AGONOIZE: 999

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 26 2005
cover
Artist: AGONOIZE (@)
Title: 999
Format: CD
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
Like already mentioned in a review for VIRTUAL EMBRACE, here comes another project of the hyper-active musician Mike Johnson, this time the well known trio AGONOIZE, presenting here on the German label Out Of Line their new full length album after the release of an EP called "Evil Gets An Upgrade". Previously this band was signed to the US label BLC Productions where they released two highly acclaimed EP’s and their debut "Assimilation: Chapter One". While the reasons for this surprising label change are still a well-hidden secret, I have to admit that my expectations for this "999" CD where almost at zero. "Assimilation: Chapter One" was a quite boring and repetitive debut and could in no way fulfil any expectations after the surprising success of their both EP’s. This "999" in contrary is by far better constructed and more detailed worked out than ever before, while the formula of success still remains the same. Globally said I can recognize a way-back better production, it also seems that the band has taken some more time to work compositions better out. The music is of course still the teutonic Hellektro in vein of SUICIDE COMMANDO, GRENDEL or RETRACTOR, this time luckily with tons of more ideas and better sounds generally. Religion seems the main deal of the lyrical content, you get this already with a look on the track list with title like "The True Church of God", "Under the Cross" or "God For Sale". It would interesting to know if this is only a stylistic attitude or in what connection the band really stands to this theme. It is a bit hard to pick out a few outstanding tracks because almost all tracks are somehow in the same level of quality and aggression. Also for the first time we can find with "Zölibat" a track with German vocals. Of course this album sets not new standards, but it is nevertheless a worth investment if this style of music is yours.

GOD MODULE: Viscera

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Oct 25 2005
cover
Artist: GOD MODULE (@)
Title: Viscera
Format: CD
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
Having started somewhere in 1999 on the small Inception Records label, this US duo has made its famous way now up to the top players of the globally Electro/Industrial scene. In North America now signed to Metropolis-Records, they have released with this "Viscera" album in Europe now their already 2nd full-length after the predecessor "Empath". Musically they are standing on the highest mountain of modern and danceable Electro/Industrial music, while not falling too deep into irrelevant Futurepop or harsh Hellektro themes. This is one of the very few releases which is designed for an extended club-use, as well as possible to listen to at your home entertainment. Just pick up the starter "The Source" with some fine included metallic noises in between. The vocals of front man Jasyn Bangert had never been that intense, roughly distorted, but not disturbing. So you get into this energetic Electro album and inhale the speed! Some lighter tracks are included as well with "Still so Strange" and "Sections", both featuring some female vocals. But this both tracks deliver only very short some relaxation, the speed is back with the other two outstanding tracks here, "Lucid" and "Winter Torture". My deepest respect, Mr. Bangert, this new God Module album is of course the best up to date, there is no real filler.
The skill is high and there is a lot of dancefloor potential on this whole CD. I should admit that this album will also available in Europe as a limited DCD featuring some remix works and extra stuff. A must for dancefloor addicts and worth enough to use for your home entertainment.

REGENERATOR: Disease

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 24 2005
cover
Artist: REGENERATOR (@)
Title: Disease
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
The already seventh full length release of the US duo REGENERATOR deals thematically with animal consumption and its effect on human health. Not new indeed – especially for this band – but still a favorite theme by several acts. REGENERATOR although try not to shock the interested audience nor they behave like preachers which try to push people on their point of view – they only try to make facts known so that everybody can decide on its own. If they will ever reach their target is doubtful. I miss something more shocking to grab attention, something what smacks people literally in their face. Nothing against the message transported with the nice female vocals, while the male and mostly in the background active vocals could need some progression. It is the music which lacks on interesting moments. Still the same poor bass line sequences, still the same sounds with no real variation and the overall Futurepop-like attitude – it bores after four heard tracks. It was meant to take some dancefloors at the dark clubs but I doubt more and more that the club visitors will dig this. Too much average here – only the track "End of File" makes a step towards with some differences on the drums and bass lines. This release only made me to have a listen back to their self-titled debut back in 1993, out on Hyperium. What do you think, was the main reason that I haven’t enjoyed it? Right on, I felt the music was too unspectacular...

AKEUM SON: Akeum Son

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Oct 21 2005
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Artist: AKEUM SON (@)
Title: Akeum Son
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Mika and JiN are two guys that decided, despise the distance between them (JiN is from France and Kika from Sweden) to form a band: Akeum Son. Producing music since 2002 the duo always tried to find new ways of producing new sounds full of melodies and atmosphere. The five tracks of CDr try and succeed into the creation of horrorific atmospheres using e.b.m / industrial sounds. The vocals remember me the whisphered Clock DVA songs (like on "Poema de muerte"), while musically the tracks don't make me remember no band in particular but globally they could be used with success in horror movies full of tension. Sometimes the tracks lose the melodic lines to advantage the soundtrack effect but this isn't a weak point, because the general effect produced by the five tracks is always interesting and functional.


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