Music Reviews



DEPRESSIVE DISORDER: Ultima Ratio

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 14 2005
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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
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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
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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.

MASTERMIND: Power

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jul 12 2005
cover
Artist: MASTERMIND (@)
Title: Power
Format: CD
Label: Monopolrecords (@)
Distributor: SX Distribution
Rated: *****
Entitled to play modern Electro/Futurepop this side-project of Czech Republic’s finest artist DEPRESSIVE DISORDER offers here its official debut CD. But I am really not sure if too much Futurepop supporters will dig this piece, because mostly the used sounds are a bit away from that style. Not that this is a flaw but I fear that a lot of the tracks are too rough structured or they are sounding too experimental. On the other side some of the tracks like "No Place" are musically really pearls, but could do better with some progression on the vocals. On some tracks MASTERMIND do not hit the target in this point, more over when tracks like "Playboys and Girls" leave some doubts about the lyrical content. I personally prefer the more darker and Electro-minded tracks, to name here with "Technical Process" or "Phobia", second features some excellent played break beats to the straight rhythm. Also the vocals on both tracks show more diversity and are not the main lead "instrument". So nothing is really bad here and MASTERMIND offer a good quality debut. Finally I am not sure if their style will earn too much attention. Give it a few rotations, this stuff needs to grow on you.

PAIL: Towards Nowhere

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jul 08 2005
cover
Artist: PAIL (@)
Title: Towards Nowhere
Format: CD
Label: Negative Gain Productions (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
It took almost 6 years after the release of his marvelous debut "Epidemic" that Manix Salazar hailing from Spain celebrates his return on top of the Electro-/Industrial scene with this new full length CD "Towards Nowhere". Although there was a vinyl only release with 4 tracks in the meantime, this is for sure a long time for a band coming out of this music scene, long enough to get forgotten. The music of PAIL has also experienced some changes, globally said it turns from the wide diversity of the debut more into the Dark Techno/EBM genre with some possible comparisons to DECODED FEEDBACK mixed with a strong ABSCESS influence. Especially the dark pieces like the slow "Where We Are" or "Today the Wind blows from the North" show Manix’ development as a musician and can fascinate with a remarkable melodic content. The most straight piece here is "Que hable el silencio", a real floorburner which has also made its way to be available on the Alfa Matrix quadruple compilation "Endzeit Bunkertracks Act 1". So very positive my opinion on this release from track 1 to 7 is, after this the whole CD dwells into more different directions like some Futurepop influences, richly presented on "Senseless Words" sung by Salva Maine of CULTURE KULTÜR. Three instrumental tracks are here also present and finally you could get the feeling that the last pieces of the CD are created to increase the running time. So I concentrate myself more on all really excellent produced pieces from track 1 to 7 and they prove once again, that there is no need to disqualify music under the moniker "Dark Electro" to a redundant hammering. PAIL’s music is rich in detail and thrilling arranged and can easily nail down. Good news also for all interested listeners in North America: Negative Gain Productions (www.negativegain.com) has committed a license deal with Caustic Records so that this nice release will be soon available officially. Check it out!


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