Music Reviews

[de:ad:cibel]: Klondike

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Jan 04 2011
Artist: [de:ad:cibel] (@)
Title: Klondike
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
One of the strongest point of the debut album by the German bouldering duo [de:ad:cibel], hiding the musical ids of Daniel Galda and Armin Kuester, could lie in the power of amusing different kind of listeners by preserving a certain stylistical unoiformity: amalgamated by appreciable EBM structures and deafening bass lines for the likes of Front Line Assembly or Funkervogt fan-base and considerably insisting on topics such as depression, religion and faith (I enjoyed some "marxist" remembrance in the lyrics of the song Jerusalem Syndrom whereas any builder of make-believe system on the basis of revealed religion acts like a pusher/seller: "...Verkauf ich euch mein Opium./Ein Konstruct aus Angst und Regeln/Die Warheit wind indoktriniert/Mit Richtig- oder Falsch-Befehlen/Die Herde grundlich selektiert" as well as the invitations on reflection on the real final aim of some religious doctrines in the song Human Product - "These lies are corridors of mundane power/to hold the might they built a watchtower/superstition was the fundament/they used it as an instrument"), ironic critics on consumerism (it's somehow funny the ideal breaking of the sacred trinity of the socio-economical system - buy, consume, die - hinting at the words of the humorous song Too tired to consume, making a long list on an enjoyable danceable psychotic electro movement of "prescribed" quinine for keep someone's finance healthy or for celebrating the scene...allelujah!) and its consequences on human relations (songs such as Architecture or B.I.I.D. arguably insists on the refusal of distorted way of considering feelings, mixed up with low-grade bodily functions) and even some conceptual statements (I enjoyed the neural connections activated by songs such as Heteronomy or One Of 47 - maybe the best song of this album -, forcing thoughts while moving dancin steps...), these lads could be even appreciated by a large range of listeners as they're able to satisfy classical dark-electro fans (One of 47, Architecture), cyber-goth or mindful techno addicts (Monster Train's ferocious march or the less rough grip of Selektionsfunktion and Geteert und gefedert should switch their hungry neurons on...), synth-pop or future-pop lovers (tracks such as the above-mentioned Heteronomy or Between My Headphones and even more "romantic" songs such as Nobody hurts like I do could be injected in their lower abdomen...), but I won't be surprised to see some reviews of Klondike on metal mags as well. Concerning the quality, Klondike ideally traces a reversed Gaussian route as I listened to more well-crafted works in the beginning and in the end of the record, being the highest peaks Jerusalm Syndrome (featuring some icy treatments on the harsch Daniel Galda's voice...) One of 47 and Geteert und gefedert. It's nice the idea of showing the dynamic range of each track! Even if they're not really newcomers of the scene if you just consider for instance that Daniel was keyboardist for Das Ich's live stages (...and it's not casual that sometimes you'll have the impression of listening an electrified version of Das Ich as well...), I could say it's really a brilliant debut!

Hoodooengine: Egowhore

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Jan 03 2011
Artist: Hoodooengine (@)
Title: Egowhore
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: iTunes
Rated: *****
'Egowhore' is Hoodooengine's debut album and Hoodooengine is self-described as being spawned by the twisted masterminds of Marz233, James Curcio and Johan Ess, also featuring the creative work of Scott Landes, (Mankind is Obsolete & Collide), Jeff Hartman and William Clark. What we have here is an industrial metal outfit that reminded me somewhat of early Electric Hellfire Club, and a bout a half-dozen other bands, including one I recently reviewed called Everything Goes Cold. Still, it is competently produced, especially for a D-I-Y project done mostly on a Macbook Pro.

On the musical side, a lot of work has been put into the production to keep it inventive, energetic and engaging. Guitar is very good, drum (programming I assume) is powerful, elaborate and effective, and the electronics are varied and well-used. Dialogue samples are kept to a minimum, which is a big plus in my book. The songwriting is okay (you're typical dystopian themes), although there weren't any obvious standout 'hits,' but that's not a major drawback for this kind of music. On the vocal side, things are a bit bland. The lead vocal sounds monotonous over time, and I found myself looking forward to the odd vocal interjections (that comes from other voices, I presume) that surfaced sporadically. One the plus side, the lyrics are intelligible (and generally intelligent), and although some processing is used on the vocals (including the occasional vocoder), it's not the usual overused distorted mess that so many bands in the electro-industrial metal genre seem to dote on. (If I had my druthers, I'd take intelligible over stark-raving raspy-distoro.)

Still, there is so much going on in 'Egowhore' you may not be paying a whole lot of attention to the vocals. The sheer power of some of the 9 tracks on this under 38 minute album is apt to blow you away, at least instrumentally. If you like bands like Die Krupps, Orgy, KMFDM, Electric Hellfire Club, etc., you might enjoy this. I do think Hoodooengine needs to step up their vocal game though. A vocalist with more power and presence would prove helpful; maybe even a female vocalist to add some contrast. They've got another release slated for early 2011. I'd be interested in checking out the band's progress on that one.
Artist: Driver & Driver (@)
Title: We Are The World
Format: CD
Label: Staatsakt (@)
Distributor: Rough Trade
Rated: *****
Nitro's been filled in the engines of this German music drivers and they look not so interested in directions...they look more interested in being on their way in top gear running over any possible stylistical path, which they cross without caring about pedestrians and pursuers possibility to eat their dust. They just grind eternal stones under their caterpillar musical wheels leaving behind their shoulders a world sinking like a torpedoed merchant vessel by retracing those uneven road surfaces, partially paved by other memorable German musicians such as T.Raumschmiere, rich of junctions and ramps going towards hip hop, industrial, punk, noise, funpunk, techno, rockabilly and many more musical languages, wisely mashed up in a somewhat brutal way. It has alreaby been emphasized by my collegue Maurizio in his previous review of this issue both the impressive way of playing live drum by Chris Imler (one of these two drivers!) being a recipe able to add a roughly guessed grip to D&D formula and their connection with other past notorious duos like Suicide and DAF (...and tracks like the unruly Back to L.A. or Wohin whose playful melody reminded to me the intrusive jingle scored in a Coke tv adverts, glueing - somewhat ironically - the ideal friendship between German and American, a stylistical alliance highlighted by the use of both English and German even in the witty lyrics). So that it's not my intention to be repetitive or make a track-by-track commentary of it, but I cannot avoid in reccomending this energetic pill to you... don't miss it out!


 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Dec 09 2010
Title: Fine
Format: CD
Label: New Lm
Rated: *****
Brand new album for this band that started as a "nu metal" combo and Eraldo Bernocchi is behind the mixing desk, so you post-industrial fans keep reading!. Kick ass recording and production as you may have guessed and that's exactly what they needed since beside the usual rock line up vocals, guitar, bass and drums they use effects, synths and electronic devices. Many different influences ranging from post hardcore (mostly Hydra Head) to noise, a post-Justin Broadrick rifforama hybridized with the seed planted by Trent Reznor a while ago. Electronic interventions are never too separated from the song structure equals: you perceive them, they're not lost in the scenario, but at the same time are constantly pulsing underneath there in several tracks. According to my personal taste they work quite well when playing relaxed atmospherical songs and they reach the climax when covering "Cupe Vampe" from C.S.I., I imagine many out there never heard the last band, but during the Nineties they've reached a certain degree of popularity in Italy thank to their alternative art-rock mixed with intellectual thoughtful lyrics. Sometimes their style betrays their post-metal background and I think it has a lot do with the production but that's not necessarily a bad at last we all come from somewhere and I think that's good. Some passages will show you how directly or not Voivod during their transition from "Nothing Face" to "Outer Limits" have probably influenced a whole generation of avant-metal freak heads. During the years it looks like they've mellowed down a bit searching from some sort of personal identity and judging from this point of view they're not exactly a band that rests on laurels. That's a personal opinion, but they've followed a path Fear Factory never considered seriously. Give it a try the cover-song itself it's worth of the ticket.

CRUISE [CTRL]: How's Annie?

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Dec 07 2010
Artist: CRUISE [CTRL] (@)
Title: How's Annie?
Format: CD
Label: Divine Comedy
Rated: *****
Largely anticipated by the single "We've Met Before, Haven't We?" which I reviewed back in March 2009, HOW'S ANNIE?, the second album by the Belgian duo Cruise [CTRL], has just been released by Divine Comedy. If you already listened to the three tracks single, you already know what to expect, because those tracks are all into the nine tracks listing of the album. For whom didn't know what I'm talking about, you have to know that Cruise [CTRL] credo resides into the creation of tracks that follow these rules: all tracks at 120bpm, all tracks linked, only analogical sounds and textures, no melodies, no singers, no faces, no explanations, no rules. Being true to most of these "no rules", for HOW'S ANNIE?, they composed nine tracks where the minimal approach to melody (many times melody is only a looping two notes synth bass line) is the counterpart to rich intersecting rhythmic layers. Dry syncopated drum machine patterns beat their rhythm giving the time to clashing clanging synth noises, filtered guitars (which on tracks like "Henry's head" are reduced to a resonating feedback) and drones. The alternation and the quantity of the different elements are the key of the formula and Cruise [CTRL] are good at keeping everything in control. Besides the nine original tracks, on this album we have three bonus remixes: two of "Where's Alice? Alice who?" (Rorscharch Garden gave to the track a retro 80s flavor, turning it into an early e.b.m. tune, while Oil 10, true to their cinematic robotic rich synth sound, remixed it keeping alive also the light original industrial approach) and one of "Pomona road" (which remixed by No More, the famous band that composed "Suicide Commando", now sounds like an ambient e.b.m. tune).

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