Music Reviews



VV.AA.: Subvert Punx 4-way Split

 Posted by Royce Icon   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Apr 30 2009
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Subvert Punx 4-way Split
Format: CD
Label: D-Trash Records (@)
Rated: *****
In the 6 or so years I've been reviewing underground electronic music, D-Trash Records has been one of the few labels that I've received material from consistently, and it's been rather cool to track the development of the label. My opinion of their records is often varied, but I have a ton of respect for them and their aesthetic, and it's rare that I don't like at least a few parts of each record.


This recent offering from the label comes in the form of a 4 way split album, all more or less breakcore/ digital hardcore themed. To the best of my knowledge this is the first time I've heard from any of these artists, but I definitely want to hear more.


The anarchistic fiesta begins with 4 tracks from Belarussian project Clip, who have a nice and harsh style, by far the harshest sounding of the four projects here. There are some nice guitars and distorted sample usage to accompany the spastic ADD beats, which is nice. The overall focus seems to be raw power via distortion, and that is definitely achieved here. Good stuff for sure.

Up next we have 4 tracks from the brilliantly named US project Midi Fister, which take us in a comparatively more polished, glitchy direction that is definitely enjoyable. The breaks are very much still emphasized here, but there is a ton of stuff going on, with lots of nice textures and cut ups thrown into the mix. At times I can see elements of Contra at play.... By far the best produced effort of the projects here, and possibly the most diverse.

Russian noiseters Distonn are up to bat in the third round, offering yet another set of four tracks is a pretty straight forward breakcore style, with the addition of punk guitars and various sample abuse/ plunderphonics, at times a bit grindcore influenced. At times the material is more raw, at other times, more polished, but the beaks and samples are in from most of the time. I wish there was less emphasis on the samples, because some of them just aren't that strong. I enjoy the usage of the foreign pop songs, but I don't really need to hear a high pitch Papa Roach sample over and over. Overall it's good stuff though.

Disbreakz close the show with their 4 tracks, and this Croatian project continutes in a similar vein as their predecessors, only with even more emphasis on samples, again in the form of foreign pop (which likely isn't so foreign to them, maybe.), and less guitars. The samples are used a bit more effectively by this project, but I do think it's a bit of a crutch. The beats are nice, as are the other sounds used, and it's definitely okay stuff.


All in all, this 4-way split is pretty solid, and it offers up enough variety to please most anybody who digs good breakcore. If you dig you beaks fast and broken, check this sucker out! I definitely recommend it.

MIEL NOIR: Der Honigflügel

 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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Apr 23 2009
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Artist: MIEL NOIR
Title: Der Honigflügel
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Miel Noir's second release on The Eastern Front label is titled DER HONIFLUGEL and if you already checked Dimo Dimov's previous split with B-Machina try to forget it as this one sounds different. The five tracks of the album are piano suites mixed with few industrial sounds and, as the info sheet reports, samples coming from Russian movies inspired by classical Russian novel "Crime and Punishment" written by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Goncharov novels (instead, the second track "Honigglut" contains Italian movie samples as far as I understand by listening to it). The piano lines are recorded like coming from a crackling radio and the effect created is a particular one as it seems recorded from an early 20th century movie. During the whole CD there's an overall feeling of despair: even if the main instrument is the piano, there isn't a definite melodic line and this enhance the sense of desolation I think Dimo wanted to create.

COPH NIA: Qliphothic Phantasmagoria (Exorcising Old Demons)

 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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Apr 22 2009
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Artist: COPH NIA
Title: Qliphothic Phantasmagoria (Exorcising Old Demons)
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Wrotycz Records (@)
Rated: *****
Revisiting old gems isn't an unusual thing for Coph Nia see the versions of "Prime Mover" by Leather Nun and "Stygmata Martir" by Bauhaus recorded for "Shape Shifter" or the ones contained on their latest full length "The Dark Illuminati: A Celestial Tragedy In Two Acts": "Fire" originally performed by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, "Sympathy For The Devil" originally performed by The Rolling Stones and "Religion" originally performed by Front 242. This time for Wrotycz Records they decided to propose four tracks that in the seventies were classic cuts of devilish hard rock music: "Black Sabbath" originally performed by Black Sabbath, "Sick Thing" originally performed by Alice Cooper, "Levitation" originally performed by Hawkwind and an old success of Ozzy Osbourne, "Mr. Crowley" (the best of the lot which contains also samples of Aleister Crowley voice). As usual, the original songs have been ripped to pieces and slowed down just to sound like Coph Nia used to sound: dark, epic and ritualistic. The recitative deep vocals coupled by militaristic kettledrums, orchestrations and dark ambient sounds make of this MCD a convincing one and if you are a fan of the band for sure you'll want to check this out.

Flesh Eating Foundation: Purging

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Apr 18 2009
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Artist: Flesh Eating Foundation
Title: Purging
Format: CD EP
Label: Rebco (@)
Distributor: Plastic Haed
Rated: *****
A lot of music reviewers as well junkpunk lovers and Alec Empire-ian universe's satellites gave this uk aggro-industrial band a warm welcome after the issue of their premiere full LP, entitled Seethe, two years ago, even if their style's partially inspired by the harshest side of digital punk, which someone considers as an agonizing glamorous trend - maybe that's the reason why there are so many references to zombies... -. This is partially true as you could easily recognize some influences of mid 90's industrial bands such as Atari Teenage Riot or Dan Gatto's Babyland, but they show a trespassing musical personality (even if someone could argue that zombies lost their soul!) even when they throw stereotyped massive noise walls joining them to some bangings from recognizable drum machines and emulators. And the proof that this foundation (not intended for vegans and pro-clerical people) shows more than a wide assortment of bangs, clangs, lasers and bleeps is given in this EP. The favourite shooting target of these famished digital punksters seems to be the hypocrisy of religious organizations and organized religions, a smashing invective screamed by The Juddaman - lovely according to an unpredictable response from our ears ,the way he chooses for growling, shouting and tweaking "God"! - in the lyrics of Godless (it's reasonable you'll scream "we don't need your sins, we don't need your god, we don't need your lies,... " as if possessed after repeated listenings... it's just a temporary possession, mummy and daddy!), an ass-shaker virulent danceable track which it's going to be played by a lot of djs selecting this kind of stuff for their followers. Godless has been so appreciated that these butchery's fanatics decided to run a remix contest on their website. In Purging Ep, you could listen three of the remixes they received from their fanbase. The Ladder one is the most danceable (a sort of techno-ebm-march with a rough distortion on an alarm sound...), the Digicore one shows a punkey set on a sort of jungle which is soon covered by the sound of a distorted guitar and by violent kickin' grape-shots, while the Multi-Panel one has a strange weirdy appeal with an astonishing mumbling chord. We really appreciated the lyrics of Victims, reminding the brutal assassination of Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Robert Maltby, a famous murder case in Great Britain, as they were killed just for their attachment to the goth way of wearing. Victims is not the first tribute to these victims - one of the first to write a song ("Illusion") for them was Ronan Harris by VNV Nation -, but we agree with the intent of denouncing one of the most frightening example of social intolerance. Different interpretations could be given to the words of Fucking Sick, demostrating the lyricist knows the tricks of the trade quite well! The most intimate tracks of this ep are Septic and You Made Me Suffer, the latter of which has something morbid reminding to us a mixture of Sonic Youth and Starfish Enterprises covered with a slighlty digital sauce. After listening to this good ep - you'll never hear any tracks from it on Vatican radio...we're almost sure about that! -, you'll have a persuading explanation of the reason why they shared the stage with most famous names of the scene such as Sheep On Drugs, Caffeine Kill, Angelspit, Das Ich, Funker Vogt, Killing Miranda and many others. Hurry up if you're a cd maniac disliking digital downloads as the CD version of Purging is available as a limited edition run of 300 individually numbered copies.

ROUGHHAUSEN: The Agony Of The Beat

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Apr 07 2009
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Artist: ROUGHHAUSEN
Title: The Agony Of The Beat
Format: CD
Label: Tinderbox
Rated: *****
Active during the nineties with Front Line Assembly (check "Caustic grip", "Reclamation" and "Four Fit"), Decree and Will, Jeff Stoddard formed Roughhausen in the new millennium after he moved to Thailand. There, he recruited John Wu (a veteran of the Taiwanese rock scene and highly acclaimed studio musician), and Miss Lin (a veteran of the Asian death metal scene) and started working of his new sound. THE AGONY OF THE BEAT is the third album of the band and it contains songs written during the 2005÷2008 period that have been recorded in Canada and Thailand. The music, which goes to a blend of cyber e.b.m. to industrial metal, is frequently mixed with hyper distorted vocals. The will to keep every melody under a thick layer of distortion doesn't affect all the track list as things change with the newest songs that rather than focusing on keeping everything under control (you know, it is difficult to balance such a wall of sound and even if Jeff is really good at that, the listener sometimes could find hard to follow what's going on), are able to find a balance thanks to a good mix of good drumbeat, many synth layers with good sounds and an interesting ambient/dub influence (see for example "Fornaicus", "Fists of love" and the following "An awakening"). There also examples of good powerful vocal tunes where the distortion grows little by little (see "Sub-nality") and there you have the chance to check the great Jeff's skills as sound builder. You'll appreciate this album with different listening sessions...


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