Music Reviews

Taxim: Full of Empty

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Jan 28 2015
Artist: Taxim (@)
Title: Full of Empty
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: XenoBiotic Records (@)
Rated: *****
Taxim is a dark electro and experimental project from Essen, Germany, founded by Alex Ney in 1996 as a one-man project. The current line-up consists of: Alex (music, lyrics, vocals, bass), Kat (keyboard, vocals) and Jigels (keyboard). Including singles and EPs, they've had over a dozen releases since they began, and this is my first experience with the band. 'Full of Empty' begins nicely with a neoclassical piano chordal melody and arpeggios with a female voice humming along, then- WHAM! The door closes and heavy metal chords take over with electro-industrial percussion, synth orchestration on the melody, building all along with the same simple melody. A bit of a bombastic beginning, like symphonic metal, but all instrumental. The second track follows this format (exempting the metal guitar) and uses a different but similar melody. I should let you know that Taxim employed only one synth for the electronic parts, and made copious use of the Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra sample library on this album. Most of the tracks on the album are along the symphonic metal (or industrial, if you prefer) lines, and when not full-on, neoclassical. Prominent female (spoken) vocal samples come to the fore on "Keine Angst" ("Ich habe keine angst", or "I have a little anxiety"), and this track shows more industrial muscle while not sacrificing any of the symphonic. Other tracks such as "Computer Depression" and "Vollkommen leer" incorporate brief vocal samples as well. Taxim also puts industrial ambient synth effects to good use in transitional passages. Most of 'Full of Empty' sound a bit Blade Runner-esque; somewhat cinematic, but perhaps even grander; melodically simple but orchestrally rich. Last track, "Schizoid and Happy" features Kat's wordless vocals, which is very nice, but I found myself craving songs with lyrics. Maybe it just isn't their style to do that, and maybe they haven't found a voice strong enough to pull it off yet, but if they decided to head down that road, Taxim would likely gather a much bigger following. Still, 'Full of Empty' is an album to be reckoned with if you like symphonic industrial with a metallic edge. The album is available from XenoBiotic Records as a digital download (only), and there was supposed to be a physical CD released on MMD Records, but I couldn't find it in MMD's catalogue, so I guess that either fell through, or hasn't happened yet.
Jan 19 2015
Artist: Tumido
Title: Nomads
Format: 12"
Label: Interstellar (@)
Rated: *****
An electronic melted blob, which seems to articulate words in an uncodified language, and fast percussions that give rise to an enterancing Berber drumming session and Tres pinching before the race gets inflamed by a trumpet, which sounds like a furious elephant, ignite this brilliant stylistical crossover on "Gubat", the first incendiary track of Tumido's new album. Over five tracks, mainly named from remote places on our planet, Gigi Gratt (tres, trumpet), Bernard Breuer (drums and sticks of Elektro Guzzi and Metalycee) and the new member Mario Stadler (synth), exhibit their striking sound, whose melting of dub, electronics and rock could stuck listeners up: the rough tribal patterns of "Nuuk" got embossed by tilting synths and swirling clots of drums and distorted guitars; the sneaking narcosis that mesmerizes listeners in the first part of "Isny" by means of a Massive Attack-like trip hop movement got stopped by a sort of tenderly adulterated spinet and abruptly smashed by an overpowering wall of sound, which gets dissolved into an electric suffocated cloud; obliquely delayed hits and crackly strokes got clotted by a piercing high-pitched frequency and a gargling noise on the blood-chilling "Tommot"; the tribalistic dance of the lenghty final track "Xaxim" unexpectedly turns into a distillate of a mangled dub, whose agonizing bad trip-like sound likewise unexpectedly expands in an overwhelming manner and flows into muffling metallic squeals. An excellent boxed cake mix for catching live concerts.

Embers: Kout

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jan 18 2015
image not
Artist: Embers
Title: Kout
Format: 12"
Label: Enfant Terrible
Rated: *****
Described as containing "New Flemish folklore" by the label Enfant Terrible, "Kout" is the second MLP by a Belgian band called Embers. The only information I found on the net is their Facebook page which reported as members Steve Desmadrijl and Pieter Nolf, their city (Oudenbrugge) and a page on the Hospital Food Records website. Their music is described as post industrial and their influences include Coil, Swans, Sigmund Und Sein Freund, Calva Y Nada, Novy Svet, Faith No More, Pixies, Primus and Lhasa De Sela. Their newest MLP is available as a 12"+CD package and has six new tracks which mix acoustic/electric guitar, heavy drumming, a bit of analog synth rawness (check "Kwaad Bloed") and clanging noises. Their songs sound like a chant coming from an old haunted factory where demons are forging their weapons. Combining guitar riffs to noises, treated or shouted vocals and everything their imagination could suggest them to play after they hit the record button, Embers are able to mesmerize you with their music and you can check it here
If you are into Einsturzende Neubauten and aren't afraid to check something that has no rules but it's all instinct and pure energy, Embers are a band you have to try.

Skinny Puppy: Mythmaker (Deluxe) - remastered

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Dec 28 2014
Artist: Skinny Puppy (@)
Title: Mythmaker (Deluxe) - remastered
Format: 12"
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
Almost simultaneously to the remastered version of "Greater Wrong Of The Right", the first album that followed the reunion of cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, the twin pillars of Skinny Puppy, Metropolis decided to re-release the second album astonishing album of that cycle. Fans of the anointed forerunners of industrial rock maybe knows the difficulties that Nivek experienced while working on it and the way they influenced the "simplified" sound of "Mythmaker", an epithet that Ogre himself described in order to highlight some changes of the archetypal Skinny Puppy sound by the integration of elements from modern electronic music and rock. Some critical voices in the press tried to resize the scale of these variations, but it seems that this matter didn't really concern their fierce fanbase as some occasional blinking to more cinematic stuff - some tracks of this album got included in the soundtrack of the fourth chapter of "Saw" - didn't really put dents in their creative energy and I'm pretty sure that some fans will acknowledge that tracks like "Jaher", "Politikil", "Ambiantz", "Lestiduz" or "Ugli" are some of the best songs that Skinny Puppy had ever made. Anyway here it is a window of opportunity to rooll this album up again...and again!

3Teeth: s/t

 Posted by Emanuele Ratti (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Dec 10 2014
with image
Artist: 3Teeth
Title: s/t
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Artoffact Records
Rated: *****
3teeth is a strange band from L.A. At first, they seem to play an interesting mixture of both industrial metal a la Rammstein and some more classic sounds like Skinny Puppy or Front242. But this attitude towards classic industrial acts is mixed and integrated with mystic arrangements, samples, atmospheres and vocals. This mystical part of the album reminds me Aesthetic Meat Front. The result is amazing. The vocals should be mentioned first: the guy is pretty good in providing modulations, reverb and the like, but he is also pretty good in changing the style of singing according to the effect. Spoken worlds, screaming and similar stuff. Paradigmatic of vocalist's skills are 'Master of Decay' and 'Chasm'. 3teeth usually structure their songs around a quite martial drum and a nice line of bass. Next some essential metal-like guitars are added and, within this slow march, vocals play their role. Best example of this type of march is 'Pearls 2 swine'. Toward the end of the album songs become faster, like 'Eradicate' or 'X-day'. The final song ('Too far gone') closes the album with some strange dreamy atmosphere. Overall the album is awesome, also because it is the debut album as far as I understood. Therefore there is ample room for improvement. Highly recommended.

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