Music Reviews



SEVERE ILLUSION: Shortcut To Civilazation

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3249)
Dec 08 2006
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Artist: SEVERE ILLUSION (@)
Title: Shortcut To Civilazation
Format: CD
Label: DSBP (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
The chaotic Swedish duo SEVERE ILLUSION returns with a new full-length release and continue to terrorize someone’s nerves with another 65 minutes long doze of dissonant noisy assaults integrated in hammering old-school EBM bass lines, extremely distorted vocals and a solid kick and snare rhythm work. I’ve said it several imes and I will continue to do so, but they still offer a kind of aggressive Electro/EBM/Industrial sound, which you won’t find anywhere else. They’re playing with known elements for sure, but in that experimental kind how they set the things together is unique and authentic. There aren’t too much acts out of this genre which deserve such qualification. Although I must say, that they offer with "Shortcut To Civilization" an album, which doesn’t follow the overwhelming chaotic Punk-inspired elements richly presented on their predecessor "Accomblishments of Leopold II". "Shortcut..." more seems to turn someone’s attention on a stronger Minimal Electronic and old-school EBM-like attitude – the bass lines are pumping like never heard before. The unexpected noise is of course still present, but globally this 15 tracks tend to leave the rage out of content – let’s say that "Shortcut..." is somehow the expected album after "Discipline Is Reward Enough", on some pieces maybe a bit slower ("One Foot On The Cross"). Surprised I’m also regarding the fact that they’ve included two tracks, which already got released on some compilations. "Right In Your Hostile Little Face" made it on Plutonium’s "Showcase Vol. 2.0", while "Bad People" is a much older piece already presented on DSBP’s "Futronik Structures 4", out in December 2004. But this doesn’t disturb the flow of this album. Favorites can be named with "Killing Useless Nations" and "Named After You" to satisfy the need of kicking some asses, while "Nuclear Advantage" and "Competitive" turn hard and pounding into the Powernoise genre. "Barbarian" shows the musically abilities this band has to offer, it combines well worked-out catchy synth pads (did I say "catchy" in connection to SEVERE ILLUSION??? Hmmmmpf) with fast-forward drifting Electro beats. Lets finally hope that the generic fans of Electro/Industrial music can recognize the given talent and potential behind this act, and that they are courageous enough to buy this item. This fine DSBP release points out another well done genre album asides the still rolling Hellektro avalanche.

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Artist: SAMHAIN (@)
Title: Violent Identity
Format: CD
Label: Aliens Production (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Already well-known in the Czech/Slovakian scene thanks to some hard-to-get recordings and thanks to some live performances and compilation appearances, this Slovakian trio brings finally out their official debut. While some of the band members have done through the years some remarkable collaborations with some better known Electro/EBM acts of the scene, like KIFOTH or LAST INFLUENCE OF BRAIN, they now joined together their forces and provide us here a full-length CD with more than 72 minutes playing time. Who already thought, that there can’t be anything darker or more experimental-oriented out of Slovakia than their countrymen of DISHARMONY or the Czech solo artist ANHEDONIA, well – here comes a new fine proof. Walls of sounds, hard-to-realize worked out rhythm patterns, a dark, at times scary cinematic mood – this all fits with SAMHAIN. Who already has thought that MENTALLO & THE FIXER have provided in their early days ("Revelations 23" – era) a hard-to-grip complexity, has stopped to learn – SAMHAIN is here to teach you better! Mix to that M&TF reference some Powernoise/Ambient-infiltrated tunes, like offered from the French act REMAIN SILENT and you have a possible comparison, which almost fits. Although vocals – and when integrated, they’re mostly dark, rough experimental-minded - are sparse filled in here, and besides the fact that several voice samples are included, there’s enough music here which makes this "human factor" forgettable. It’s hard to pick out favorites, the opener "Undefinable" follows pretty much the already mentioned M&TF style, while "Apparition" turns with some rotten layers and heavily distorted rhythms near to the Powernoise genre. It’s one of this extremely valuable albums, which content is impossible to realize and to pick up only after 3 – 4 rotations. Give it more spins and make sure, that you can offer some time and attention, you will be rewarded with an album which never starts to bore. Doubleplusgood!
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Artist: Hansel
Title: Lorentzian Lineshaper
Format: CD
Label: D-Trash records (@)
Rated: *****
As I embark on the difficult task of attempting to review the latest CD by the Boston-based duo Hansel, I embrace my fate: I'll get flamed no matter what! The duo obviously have some serious gripe with the media who attempt to pigeonhole them into one boxed description or the promoters who try to file them under one category. So if I get the description somewhat right or accurate according to the fellow writers and reviewers, which of course could be argued is fairly relative anyway, I'll probably get shit from the band; and if I tell you that Hansel is a rock band (which is how they describe themselves to avoid any confusion) then I'll definitely get shit from the readers (since anybody that heard this record knows that Hansel doesn't share anything more than attitude and occasional distorted guitars with what you usually refer to as rock). Hansel is a little stressed out by the situation that came into being, and you can tell from their press release and some lyrics or samples in their record. So I could comply with their desire to not be labeled, hence doing a disservice to my readers and possibly getting a few very curious readers to go and actually listen to the music online to make up their own mind (but then they'll probably illegally download the album and then the band AND the label will hate me anyway) or I can just fuck all of that political correctness bullshit and mess with my destiny by giving a shot at trying to describe a band that's actually hard to describe or file under just one category or genre in the first place. Ultimately, I don't give a shit about getting shit, so what I'll do is I won't make any comparisons and I'll just try go give you a rough idea of what they sound like.First of all, if you are familiar with D-Trash records, think of Hansel as your non-typical D-Trash band. They implement elements of electronic music, industrial music, rhythm-noise, breakcore, glitch, rock, hop hop and what not (shall we say experimental electro-glitch-core crossover? or just e-ndustrial noise-core rock hop? just messing with you...). No matter what, it is going to be hard to give you an accurate picture of Hansel because they jump back and forth from any of the above to any other one of the above genres. This said, certain things that are actually facts could help you pin point (sort of) where Hansel stands: although they are not committed to them, they do use computers and electronics; most rhythmical/percussive material as well as most vocals are distorted; their sounds are sparse and simple at the source, but highly tweaked and saturated in complex ways; their sonic attack is minimal but aggressive and raw; they are genuine and spontaneous; they are very eclectic and across the board. If that doesn't get you any further you'll really have to go to the label's website and find out for yourself.In the meantime we want to tell the band that Chain D.L.K. loves them no matter what and we don't give a flying fuck about what the other media says about them (I haven't read a single other review of their music to try and find aid or inspiration or to try and align my views with those of others - why would I anyway?), nor do we have any expectations from them or anybody else, for that matter. I agree with Hansel that artists should just make music and let nothing other than their own creativity mold the music they write. That said, sometimes shit sucks, sometimes shit rocks, it's all subjective in the end anyway, and so are reviews (so bands shouldn't really give a damn about what people say anyway).This said I wanna hear that triple Dolly Parton cover album now!PS I don't think I ever filed any review I wrote in as many categories at the same time!
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Artist: BJERGA/IVERSEN
Title: In broken dreams the world still keeps turning
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Dead Sea Liner
Rated: *****
I was not thrilled by Iversen's first efforts, and I haven't kept track of his ever growing discography, but I guess I've missed some pretty good stuff, judging from this new duo recording with Goldsoundz' Sindre Bjerga (their nth one together). Coming in a spartan photocopied cover on silver paper, "In broken dreams..." features a 27'30" track from a concert played last March at the Underkurrent in Amsterdam. It's not easy to tell what the two were using, most probably laptops, synths, pedals and possibly a guitar, but anyway, the set is very intense and coherent in its controlled mess of droning feedback, digital chirps and overdriven frequencies. Quite loud, especially in the final climax, as you would expect from these two noisemakers, but eventually falling more in the atmospheric than in the harsh category. If the performance was improvised, as I guess, the two must have developed a well-oiled alchemy.

GLAUKOM SYNOD: Uczulony

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
 Edit (3203)
Nov 20 2006
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Artist: GLAUKOM SYNOD (@)
Title: Uczulony
Format: CD
Rated: *****
UCZULONY is the third Glaukom Synod demo CD. Behind this moniker you'll find a French guy coming from France/Lambres Lez Douai called Gabriel S. As far as I can listen Gabriel's musical passions are grind metal and industrial music because his tracks are built upon samples of these kind of music. Grown up using Fast Tracker, Gabriel started to develop his personal style made of fast variations of sound/samples and tons of violent distorted "assaults". Luckily for me his tracks are varied and aren't based on the effect violent sound could produce, so along with tracks based on grind samples you'll find also e.b.m. loops and industrial noise to help making the blend more efficient. Even if sometimes tracks don't sound homogeneous because of the sudden sample change, this same thing make Glaukom Synod sound interesting and somewhat unique and when you'll get used to his music you'll start to appreciate his cut ups. Gabriel music isn't sounding professional but with a good production in my opinion we could have good surprises.


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