Music Reviews



BALLISTIC: Ballistic Vs. Reality

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Nov 06 2006
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Artist: BALLISTIC
Title: Ballistic Vs. Reality
Format: CD
Label: Kold Finger (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
BALLISTIC Vs. REALITY is the debut full length album by Ballistic, an Italian band coming from Emilia region. Formed by experienced musicians (Robotomy, who played guitar and keyboard for Hardcore-Noise bands founded Ballistic after meeting techno-progressive pro-DJ Vyger and The Question, masked wrestler, poet and already vocalist into harsh-industrial bands) Ballistic successfully merge techno solutions and rhythms with e.b.m. and industrial music. The eleven tracks of BALLISTIC Vs. REALITY convince immediately with their catchy approach because they are upbeat songs with dance floor attitude and powerful e.b.m. sounds. Being focused on melody and rhythm the band is ready to make you dance until you faint on the floor. Also The Question voice convince as it is able to give energy to the tracks without being too much filtered: it is aggressive but without being obsessive with that certain hysteria characteristic of some industrial e.b.m. acts. Try them and go to see them if they are in your town...

AMBASSADOR 21 Vs FRAGMENT KING: Good Morning W.

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Nov 03 2006
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Artist: AMBASSADOR 21 Vs FRAGMENT KING (@)
Title: Good Morning W.
Format: CD
Label: Invasion Wreck Chords (@)
Distributor: Ant Zen
Rated: *****
Divided into three parts "Midnight", "Afternoon" and "Morning", GOOD MORNING W. is an Ambassador 21 / Fragment King collaboration. The album is the proud son of its parents, because it gathers the musical styles of the two bands: the industrial raging guitars of Fragment King and the anarchic industrial break core of Ambassador 21. Recorded during an improvised session, GOOD MORNING W. is an album that sounds thick, if you know what I mean: tense, distorted and experimental. The perfect example is the final 16 minutes track which gives the title to the album is a sort of bomb that is about to explode. On this one Natasha free all her rage crying her lungs out while on the background the tension builds a wall of noise that seems to fall down on the last minute where only a feedback lasts. Intense...

VV.AA.: Soundwave Assassins Vol. 3

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
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Oct 30 2006
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Soundwave Assassins Vol. 3
Format: CD
Label: Dungeon-Recordings/Backscatter (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Already the third compilation of this series which predecessors were mostly created for DJ’s, press people and promoters to introduce or to give a deeper insight into the musically activities of the Salt Lake City area. Dungeon-Recordings and Backscatter again collaborated for this release, which will - thanks to the musically content – make a special mark into the history books of Electro/Industrial music. Lets have a look to the featured names – SYMBIONT, LITTLE SAP DUNGEON, LEXINCRYPT, ROSES & EXILE and 23EXSTACY – all this bands have lately quit their business or are in hiatus. The best is yet to come – all of them presenting unreleased stuff, outtakes or their very last recordings. Besides the above mentioned some more well-sounding names are featured here like DIVERJE, PCP, ASSEPTIC ROOM and BOUNDLESS. Of course also these acts present never heard before mixes, tracks and fit therefore well with the intention of this compilation. I can’t find enough praising words of thanks to the both conductors, Kevin J. Cazier and XoN, to open the archives for the greedy ears of the fans hunting for unreleased stuff. After an instrumental intro tune the things start here with the Spanish act ASSEPTIC ROOM, which is signed to the DSBP label. You’ll got a Dark Electro and danceable tune "Faith Without You" in a remix provided by the Argentinian act SUICIDE SOLUTIONS, also an up and coming new act to follow immediately. Follows then Justin Cameron aka LEXINCRYPT who provides with "Purjuress (Face Two)" and "Aftermath (Gutter Slut Mix by L.S.D.)" two unreleased versions of tracks placed on his debut album era "My Sepulture" back in 2003. Tasteful Dark Electro with that special thrilling effect – as usual from this act and I hope that Justin will decide one fine day to continue with his project. Dungeon Recordings’ very own LITTLE SAP DUNGEON have to my surprise still a track in stock taken from their "Silent Entities" recording session. "Nightfall’s Prey" is a typical piece of this act, maybe a bit lesser scary produced than the other tracks placed on "Silent Entities" – this might be an explanation, why this track got removed lastly. DIVERJE are also present and provide us their track "I Walk Alone" originally available on the last studio album "The Distortion Chamber", a collaboration effort between Tommy T. Rapisardi together with the already mentioned Justin Cameron. This track got remixed by the BLC Productions-recording artist THE PAIN MACHINERY from Sweden, turning this piece into a pulsating Powernoise assault. It is lesser danceable, but filled instead with crunchy rhythm patterns of the hardest kind – as usually provided by this act. PERCEPTION CLEANSE PERCEPTION is musically maybe one of the most diverse acts around and Kevin J. Cazier shows us his dedication to the works of GODFLESH by providing a cover on the track "Blind", originally designed for a tribute compilation, which never came to realization. We then have here two new tracks by 23 EXTACY aka Chris Alvarado providing that typical and chaotic Punk-inspired Crossover-Industrial with harsh and destroying guitar performances. Kevin J. Cazier has lately left this project, so also this act is in hiatus. And also ROSES AND EXILE’s – Chris Alvarado’s solo effort - existence is questionable and we have to see what the future brings. Comes the last ever recorded and sorely missed SYMBIONT track "Five Of Cups", which is a rather slow Dark Electro piece with the strong and remarkable melodic input this act is known for. So finally XoN’s solo effort BOUNDLESS sets the last two pieces on this comp both designed for the BOUNDLESS debut release "Perpetual" back in 2003 – to me still one of the most underrated DSBP releases at all. You shouldn’t expect another track of the quality of "Sordid Trouper" or "Unconscious", but both pieces "Infinitus Assuage" and "Repression" nevertheless do well and fit with that album stuff. A lot of valuable stuff to discover as usual on this comp series – let’s hope and keep the fingers crossed that this collection of unreleased stuff doesn’t mark the very last chapter of these quality and promising acts. Check our website here to discover several reviews and interviews with these acts – LITTLE SAP DUNGEON, DIVERJE, SYMBIONT, ASSEPTIC ROOM, PCP, THE PAIN MACHINERY, LEXINCRYPT – they are all here. Keep the machines warm and start your comeback – we need you back on track!

ATTRITION: Something Stirs - The Beginning 1981-1983

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 30 2006
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: Something Stirs - The Beginning 1981-1983
Format: CD
Label: 2 Gods (@)
Distributor: Voice Print
Rated: *****

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There was a time, soon after the punk period, when bands wanted to dare and to make their music different. Something that no one already did or thought to do. Maybe only hippies on drugs experimented something similar but the result wasn’t filtered by the will to do something different, it was the result of altered states. Nothing against it but on late 70s and early 80s bands like Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Coil and many others created something different. Something that mixed with the "Do It Yourself" culture created a totally new thing: tape labels. If you lived that period for sure you read about the early Third Mind releases or the early Bain Total tape compilations (it was the time when Philippe Fichot was releasing interesting tape compilations along with the first works of his own project, Die Form). Compilations that gathered many bands that released only few things in limited editions (they were limited because it was difficult to release something and it was hard to distribute them. Fanzines, ads and word by mouth was really important back then, when there was no internet) as well the early works of bands that later become well known. Bands like Attrition, Coil, Portion Control, Test Dept, etc. SOMETHING STIRS – THE BEGINNING 1981-1983 is a collection of recordings that Attrition released for compilations. Martin Bowes, member of the band since day one, saved from dust the old 4 tracks tapes and borrowed a Portastudio (I think it was made by Tascam) by a friend and then transferred the recordings on a PC just to clean the sound. The CD contains seven tracks coming from vinyl or tape compilations, one from the Alu/Attrition split tape as well as four previously unreleased tracks: "Tones in black", recorded in 1982 and three other tracks ("Domus", "Hologram" and "Alter ego") recorded live in Coventry in March 1981. On those three you can also hear the one and only drummer the bad ever had. If you know "Shrinkwrap", the most famous track of the Attrition early period, well, try to forget about it, because songs like "Something stirs", "Pain", "Birthrite" or "Onslaught" don’t sound anything like that. They are mostly sound experiments with tape noises, bass guitar and a drum machine with the vocals of Julia Waller that spread her impetuosity with a style that remembered me early Siouxsie. Melody was an option and the bands main aim I think it was the construction of a new way of channelling their feelings. Attrition succeeded doing so...

VV.AA.: Negative Impact v0.1

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Oct 17 2006
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Negative Impact v0.1
Format: CD
Label: PfF Productions
Rated: *****
The actual impact of this compilation of bush-league Industrial bands, while not exactly "negative," more accurately strikes somewhere between "positive" and "ridiculous." Six of the ten artists on this 18-song sampler come from the Chicago area, all presumably under the Third Wave Collective umbrella, and are or were participants in the Chicago "Dark Gathering" events that this CD commemorates.

There are many plusses: track two, "ROSB" by N.U.T.E. rocks good and hard. Two cuts later, "Retinal Fetish" by Infinity Interrupt has a great, dream-like extended finish that includes creepy whispering and samples that recall Front Line Assembly's "Lethal Compound." A moment of nocturnal pastoral splendor erupts from track 11, CEOXiME's "One:15" -- which is exactly how long it lasts, sadly enough. Soon afterwards there follows a short, sharp, scathing attack on the Bush Administration by Things Outside the Skin ("American Way"), and a passably slick and slippery "World of Morphine" by the Off World Kick Murder Squad. Am22 turn in a sweet and slinky new-wave/old-rave flavored "Secrets," yet their bizarrely comical vocal deliveries on "Greed" and "Virus" only end up as laughable parodies of menace. BioCarbon13's vocals amount to a poor impression of Joy Division's Ian Curtis on "You Shook Me Cold" (no relation or resemblance to Bowie's "She Shook Me Cold"), and remain hilariously limp and unconvincing on the last track, "Shut Up." Jilt and GBX sound suspiciously like they have the same Rob Zombie-sounding singer, but their more rocking songs ("Release" and "Rocket") work well. However, Jilt's programming craftsmanship comes completely unglued in "Night-Blind."

Negative Impact v0.1 is, to say the least, not likely to be the pinnacle of your listening experience, but be advised -- it's got songs worth checking out (about half of these artists are on MySpace). Positive OR negative, the only guarantee is that there's no way to stay neutral upon hearing it.


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