Music Reviews



Butterfly Messiah: Eternal

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 23 2004
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Artist: Butterfly Messiah (@)
Title: Eternal
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: The Fossil Dungeon (@)
Rated: *****

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I continue to be intrigued as I watch the talents of Robert, Shannon, and friends. From the first time I heard Butterfly Messiah I knew they had a latent talent that would grow in time to be a force worth reckoning. While Priestess got them a bit of international acclaim, their new release Eternal positions them right alongside some of the top talents of today. Their new album combines Shannon's 'ethereal' vocals with Robert's new upscaled EBM-styled Darkwave. This is quite a jump from previous works but the likes of which was seen on the DJ Program.01 digipak released September of 2002 on their label The Fossil Dungeon. Fans of the band's more esoteric side will also NOT be let down either. This disc is full of mindful wisdom from the well of consciousness. Neo-pagans will take easy note of "The Circle" but I think one of my favorites has to be "Falling Stars". Butterfly creates an easy fusion of esoteric concepts with various music styles including EBM, Darkwave, Neo-Classical, Ethereal, Synthpop, Trip Hop, Wave, Medieval etc.. and are a band definitely worth a 'continued watchful eye'! Also, one can tell that Butterfly Messiah is a project that appreciates it's fans as the CD package is full of band photos, lyrics, etc., something too many artists skimp on these days. While it's understandable that we all have tight budgets Butterfly Messiah & The Fossil Dungeon always do their best to create merchandise packages well worth buying. This is what all those MP3 traders are missing out on - the true ART of the entire conceptual realization of 'the work' as opposed to just non-visual electronic media files. I've always been one to love holding the CD in my hand and reading the lyrics with the CD and/or viewing the inlay artwork, photos, and/or graphics. This is definitely one of the best releases I've seen this year so far!

PTI: S.O.S. EP

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 21 2004
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Artist: PTI (@)
Title: S.O.S. EP
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Distributor: WTII records
Rated: *****
Starting out like nice-sounding power-noise, the "S.O.S. EP" (which is more like a full lenght album really) quickly turns into an EBM work based around skillfully crafted treated sounds, dancefloor-friendly electro-industrial rhythm structures and filtered vocals that follow the lead of the masters of the genre. Chicago based duo PTI has learned the lesson of the prioneers and, although their sound palette is not bad, they don't seem concerned with freshing things up (which of course seems to be a general trend). There are some good moments in the CD and, aside from some vocal performances I wouldn't be too happy about, it overall is a pretty good CD, that strives for a balance between melody and distortion. To add to the table are remixes by Assemblage 23, cut.rate.box. and Dubok. Full album expected later this year.

Totakeke: Lament

 Posted by Dj Peter Lee (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 21 2004
Artist: Totakeke
Title: Lament
Format: CD EP
Label: Frozen Empire Media
Rated: *****
Totakeke is another great project of Frank Mokros(Synth-etik, Ativ). This one released on Frozen Empire Media. Coming in a slim jewel case this cd has 7 tracks, 2 of which a remixes of the title track by Imminent, and Klangstabil(antzen, MHZ). This cd starts off with a droning ambient soundscape and moves into a rythmic mixture of drum-n-bass, and idm. As each track unfolds the cd continues to have soft over-lying synths and droning backgrounds, which set it apart from the bombastic rythmic noise of synth-etik. Not as to say that the drums aren't present but up until the last track they are more subdued, giving a more relaxed feel to the cd. Moving in and out of generes, this cd is complex and highly enjoyable.

Hearts of Darknesses: Music for Drunk Driving

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 20 2004
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Artist: Hearts of Darknesses (@)
Title: Music for Drunk Driving
Format: CD
Label: Schematic
Distributor: Asphodel
Rated: *****
It's always nice and makes us very extremely happy to see that some unknown new and up coming artist we believed in or tried to help in the past with an interview or by reviewing a demo of, makes it or lands a deal with a record label. This time the lucky party was Frank Musarra, composer, performer, mc and, recently, member of Stars as Eyes. I first saw him perform as Hearts of Darknesses in some club in Brooklyn, just his mic and a cd player and his crazy moves... Imagine somebody who just got bit by a tarantula and dances the poison off as if the floor was covered with nails on fire, or something along those lines... Basically he screams and jumps around, allegedly he even broke his collarbone once falling after getting entangled in his microphone cord... "Music For Drunk Driving" is a pretty good representation of what the audio at that show was like. Epileptic digital core with a punk attitude and an electronic soul, glitch noises, distorted vocals, un-even beats and all of that. Now all he needs is a wirless microphone and he's good to go! Read the interview with Hearts of Darknesses on these pages.

Null Factor: Purity

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 19 2004
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Artist: Null Factor
Title: Purity
Format: CD
Label: Ballistic Test (@)
Rated: *****
Flaming Fish-rooted Canadian label Ballistic Test has just released the brand new album of Null Factor, the project of one Dan Harvell, one of the members of the band MiLLENNiA (you might remember them if you remember some promising new coming industrial acts of the '90es). After two well-received mp3.com CDR releases entitled "Remodulated" and "Calculating the Human Form", "Purity" continues in the search for human forms of modulated industrial/ebm music. Altough the formula is pretty dated (which doesn't mean that you won't appreciate it, especially if you are into the old-school ebm mixed with new breeds of industrial music) I have to admit Dan shows his chops in the ability to produce good sounds and put them to use in a musical structure made of industrial beats and electronic textures with the canonical ebm filtered voice and movie speech samples to complete the futuristic scenario.


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