Music Reviews



ALEC EMPIRE: Intelligence And Sacrifice

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 12 2002
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Artist: ALEC EMPIRE
Title: Intelligence And Sacrifice
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Santeria (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Alec Empire is or was (since I don't know if his main band disbanded) Atari Teenage Riot's singer. He for sure gathered a lot of experience with his main band as performer as well as sonic/noise manipulator. This new CD is a double one and contains two different CDs: the first one similar to the ideas he carried on with ATR and the second one as he says is "electronic music without any vocals, a cycle that never ends". To give you an idea about how he conceived his music, read the band's members that played with him at their first big shows at Japan?s Fuji Rock Festival: Charlie Clouser from Nine Inch Nails on synths, famous Japanese noise legend MERZBOW on drums, Gabe Serbian from The Locust on a second kit, and ATR?s NIC ENDO on synths/keyboards. Nic is also a permanent member in the band and is responsible for all the special effects, sounds, noises, and the "Third World War" 14 minute apocalyptic finale of the last song "New World Order". All the tracks of the first CD are like a sonic assault and tracks like "The Ride" or "Addicted To You" are really immediate. A CYCLE THAT NEVER ENDS is the subtitle of the second CD and musically it recalls me the first Cabaret Voltaire experiments but played with digital instruments and hip hop breaks. This CD has been a sort of surprise as well as "2641998", the twentynine minutes long track which opens the CD, is really particular and based on a sequenced loop (do you remember DAF's tracks?). With this one you can taste the most experimental side of the man and I assure you that it's really enjoyable.

Icon of Coil: The Soul Is The Software

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 11 2002
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Artist: Icon of Coil (@)
Title: The Soul Is The Software
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)


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From the start it is easy to see why Icon of Coil is becoming more well known in the EBM scene. Their music combines elements of earlier versions of the genre like the heavy Technophile F242 sound of "Thrill Capsule" to the more VNV-like "In Absence" or the very Synthpop "Access and Amplify" or "Other Half of Me" which are restructured from the typical synthpop sound into a very IOC brand.

Strangely enough you'll even find some more urban influence on "Everything Is Real" which utilizes a heavy hip-hop beat distorted and industrialized and also incorporates piano into the mix.

If I had to pick any favorites for this album though it would have to be the last two tracks. "Disconnect" could readily be an anthem for anyone living in our modern high stress society while "Simulated" sounds like something that should be in The Matrix II. With lyrics like the following I really hope this one does NOT get missed!

We're alive and we're among you. We breed and we conceive you. You live because we allow you to live and you breath because we allow you to breath. You're incapable to think or breath for yourself. We pull the strings, cut of the wings. We're in charge of all the peace and of all the noise. You think there is a God, you are only toys.

Overall this album contains track after track of heavy EBM club beats. Excellent!

davaNtage: No Candle Light

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 07 2002
Artist: davaNtage
Title: No Candle Light
Format: CD EP
Label: Black Rain (@)
A cd-ep (5 tracks, 22') featuring exclusive songs and remixes as an advance of the forthcoming new album "Global badlands". I recall listening to davaNtage's previous work, but I can't trace the review right now, so I hope my memory doesn't betray me... I think davaNtage's electro/EBM has become a bit lighter – while "The Warming" has that slow, darker groove, "No candle light" (remixed by Future Trail) and "Defense" (normal version and remix by Future Trail) opt for a relatively fast-paced rhythm and ear-catching refrains, while maintaining a kind of sullen mood. Ok, then there's "Switch Off", a track featuring Cyborg Attack's Sandro F. on vocals – I haven't liked C.A.'s cd and I don't like this one, I think the gruffy death-metal vocals are really dull and over-the-top.

IN STRICT CONFIDENCE: Herzattacke

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 02 2002
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Artist: IN STRICT CONFIDENCE
Title: Herzattacke
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Sony
Anticipating the fifth In Strict Confidence's CD (which will be released on June the tenth) titled "Mistrust The Angels", HERZATTACKE bring us a band which in the years gathered increasing interest and which with this mini CD sees a major company taking them under its wing and a deal with Sony for sure can help the band getting much more exposure (let's say so, even if I've got some example that demonstrate the contrary. Anyway...). The fifty minutes of the CD show a different band respect old CDs like "Face The Fear" or "Angels Anger Overkill" but this isn't shockig, as for the band it has been a continuing evolution. The tracks are well produced, dancey and all but I feel a lack of energy. I don't know, but it could be that five remixes of the same track plus three new ones (but "Kaleidoskop" is an instrumental track) could be attractive for a fan of the band but honestly I prefer the old sound, really. Let's wait for the album...

BIO-TEK: The Ceremony Of Innocence

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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May 24 2002
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Artist: BIO-TEK (@)
Title: The Ceremony Of Innocence
Format: CD
Label: Doppler Effect (@)
The work of Jonathan Sharp is divided into different projects and since early 90's he's spreading his vision of electronic body music through his various personal emanations: New Mind, Bio-Tek, Hyperdex-1-Sect, Hexedene and Takshaka are all different aspects of his personal music view. This THE CEREMONY OF INNOCENCE is the fourth Bio-Tek's album, the second released for Doppler Effect (the first two albums "A God Ignored Is A Demon Born" and "Darkness By Name Is" were released for the now defunct Zoth Ommog) and contains ten tracks of classic e.b.m. music. As for every kind of record which fit a specific genre there's the danger to follow a cliche but since Jonathan isn't a new comer he succeeds in keeping an high standard performing fiftythree minutes of good electronic distorted music inspired by twisted personalities such as Baudelaire (the "Sorrows Of The Moon"'s lirycs come from the poem "Tristesses De La Lune") and Aleister Crowley ("Prayer"'s lyrics are adapted from his "Gnostic Anthem").


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