Music Reviews

TH 26: La Haine

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Jan 17 2003
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Artist: TH 26 (@)
Title: La Haine
Format: CD
Label: Small Voices (@)
After not having heard from him in years, our old buddy and noise contributor Arnaldo Pontis has come back with his project TH26 (together with Corrado Altieri) and appearances by Simon Balestrazzi, who also produced the record (it is not a coincidence that the booklet also thanks Angelo Bergamini, Gianluca Beccuzzi, T.A.C., Elena Fossi and other folks from that circle of artists). These fine noisy Italian islanders have chosen a small new indie label called Small Voices based in Andria (Southern Italy) to release their comeback entitled "La Haine", an eleven track cybernetic industrial-electro record that sounds sort of old-time Germaniac, in a good and quasi Cat Rapes Dog or Klinik kind of way and at the same time injects a bid dose of industrial music the way :W: or Mimetic fans would like it... The eclectic and multi-lingual singing goes from deep spoken dark passages that combined with a piano sounds like, say, My Dying Bride (in the long obscure intimate title track, sometimes orchestral always on the edge of electrolysis, or in the less melancholic but equally noir "Impossible Mantra"), to heavily treated and distorted short-sentenced evilish lyrics ("Protection" and basically most of the more Deutsch-style ebm pieces).In the same way the vocals touch a number of shores, the highly inductive and electrified sample-based music also follows its own visionary path of lines connecting dots of pounding industrial ("Hypnotized Dog"), electro-dark ("Subzone"), industrial-ebm ("The Enemy Inside", "Third Destination") and great sounding noisy artifacts the way only these guys know how to. A handful of good instrumental sombre industrial pieces suitable for audio-to-video applications is available as well. it's more than just another ebm clone. It's basically a complete album that puts a lot on the table and has a lot to offer to a number of different audiences gravitating around whatever noise, electro, power electronics, experimental, industrial, dark, ebm etc have in common. I liked this album very much and I recommend it, especially if you are based in Italy, not so much because of the lyrics (Italian words are the minority anyway) but because you wouln't wanna miss the chance to support a group of team-players like these, all based in the most remote and Southern areas of a nation that knows very few exceptions in a poor market for poor electronic music. They certainly are one of those exceptions.


 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Dec 18 2002
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Artist: OBOMATIC (@)
Format: CD
Obomatic consists of members from ANY QUESTIONS? and is led by Steve O from the band PUNCH DRUNK. Their debut cd "Holy Controllio!!! is full of energetic industrial dance music that will keep you prancing in the dark. Dark synthetic melodies, funky basslines and bouncy kick-ass beats brings out the chilling nightmarish sound made by these four men from Philadelphia. Another Floating Fish roster that's proven electronic music can be manipulated and be played in an unique way.


 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Dec 17 2002
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Artist: ANY QUESTIONS? (@)
Format: CD
Label: Floating Fish (@)
Distributor: Metropolis
This is a 10th anniversary special edition cd of their 1992 release, which is remastered and feature bonus tracks. Pure electronics that go great to a sci-fi thrill/horror soundtrack. Harsh vox blends with dark synthesizers that will carnage and brings the chill inside you. Amazing what these Philly's duo doing who doesn't sound like no other industrial band.

KMFDM: Sturm & Drang Tour 2002

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Dec 13 2002
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Artist: KMFDM
Title: Sturm & Drang Tour 2002
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe

After many years of "spit in your face" music KMFDM finally release their first live album. Recorded during their last tour STURM & DRANG bring us highlights of four different gigs they had during this US tour. The tracks have been selected directly by Sascha K. and they can make you feel the real power of the band's sound. Helped out by Raymond Watts of Pig the live line up is formed by six men and a girl: quite a big crew which is able to create an high impact on the audience. The thirteen tracks obviously cover a range of all their release with the preference of the last album "Attack" ("Attack/Reload", "Boots", "Yohoho" and "Sturm & Drang" are from that album) and for fifty seven minutes you'll be excited by driving guitar sounds, distorted rants and tons of power. Industrial, rock and metal are all blended together to create a tornado. This CD is not only for fans... P.s. Strange to notice that Sacha's voice live reminds me Foetus/Clint Ruin.

Stromkern: Re-Align

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Dec 12 2002
Artist: Stromkern
Title: Re-Align
Format: CD EP
Label: WTII Records

The first stand alone EP and second single from the highly acclaimed Armageddon album. Featuring remixes from Seabound, Haujobb, and, Stromkern once again takes things to a higher level. This North American only EP contains 7 club friendly tracks and their own take on the Gang of Four's track "Anthrax". The mastermind behind this elaborate project is the classically trained Ned Kirby (vocals and programming). Ned's early experimentation with a 4 track and a sampler has laid the foundation for what Stromkern has become today. In its current form Ned has enlisted the help of long time friend and fellow musician Kelly Shafer (programming) to continue the bands progression. Stromkern is a band that has their own style of EBM and Ned's vocal style is quite unique in itself. He has a very distinct voice and singing style which combines smoothness with the strength of industrial. This EP has got some great club mixes by some great and rapidly rising EBM artists. The thump and pump of Stromkern's sound is heavily addictive in itself. When combined with the talents of other great artists you get one awesome EP/single. However, to be honest I do not like what did to the vocals on part of their mix. It seems to detract from Stromkern's addictive pumping sound. The Seabound mix emphasizes the band's sound and brings it even more to life instead. There is a lot to be said for interpretation though. You will find quite a bit of varied musical interpretations in the mixes here like the heavier guitar additives on "Perfect Sunrise" which takes it much further into a rock-n-roll zone instead of the usual EBM/Industrial arena. Reminds me of when even Skinny Puppy went rock for awhile. It also shows that this type of music can rock just as hard if not harder than typical rock-n-roll as well. The remix of "Armegeddon" is quite bizarre and nearly indescribable. Bleeps, blips, pipes and factory sounds mix in atmospheric tonality on this one. The Echo Virus remix is a far cry from the original as well and has quite a bit of a Synthpop feel to it and some twistd piano sound structures. It is not without Stromkern's natural aggression and angst though and the pump of the beats remain with additives. "No Release" is a track I'm not familiar with but you can totally hear Haujobb all over this one and it has a sort of Techno-House overtone with a bleepy body and some almost Trance elements as well as some 'noise' samples - a bizarre mix for sure. Next is "Terrorist". The beats here, while remaining rather Industrial-ish, have a 'beat box' element to their form. I never realized how Ned practically 'raps' much of his lyrics but in his own bizarre style so that it almost doesn't sound like rap but this track makes it a bit more evident. This track, while containing mostly hard beats and noisey samples also has a bit of metal guitar and creates an odd assortment of chaos. Finally is the Gang of Four cover "Anthrax". Combining heavy synths with rock rhythms Stromkern proves again that they are not just a synth band but that they can totally rock too.

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