Music Reviews



NEW RISEN THRONE/LOCUST REIGN: Prophets from the abyss

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 14 2004
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Artist: NEW RISEN THRONE/LOCUST REIGN (@)
Title: Prophets from the abyss
Format: CD
Label: Deserted Factory
Rated: *****
Three tracks from Gabriele Panci/New Risen Throne and eight from Florent Siglieri/Locust Reign, on a nice cdr released by Deserted Factory, a Japanese label dealing with industrial, dark ambient and extreme metal. As someone has pointed out, this is a very homogeneous split, almost to the point of not noticing when a project succeeds the other. Which is not necessarily a negative thing, when you're listening to well-done, brooding dark ambient. New Risen Throne has a track which is also on his recent "Chants for the cold and dying sun", and the style is in the same bleak ambient/industrial vein. Locust Reign, present with more tracks, is maybe a bit more varied - Lustmord-ian, introspective, melodic... different nuances of the dark ambient thing. If you're into it you'll surely dig this cd. New Risen Throne is a promising new name (by the way, his next release is due out on Cyclic Law), and I'm surely looking forward to hearing more from his partner.

COLIN POTTER: Drone works # 2

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 12 2004
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Artist: COLIN POTTER
Title: Drone works # 2
Format: CD EP
Label: Twenty Hertz (@)
Rated: *****
Second release in the "Drone works" series, and unsurprisingly it's from renowned dronemaker Colin Potter (Ora, Monos, Nurse With Wound...), who has recently shared two cds with Twenty Hertz owner Paul Bradley ("Confluence" and "Behind your very eyes"). And, equally unsurprisingly, this is a brilliant work, immediately going for the throat with metallic spirals of sound which create a sense of anguish and unrest. Then, the choking vapours gradually rarefy, but the tension never ceases up to the final sinewaves humming. This is one of the few ambient works that you can hardly use as background music, because it will actually STALK you. User un-friendly drones that have quite obviously reminded me of Nurse With Wound's masterpiece "Soliloquy for Lilith" and Organum's works, with which this 24-minute track shares the same unrelenting, obsessive force.

NEW RISEN THRONE: Chants for the cold and dying sun

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 07 2004
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Artist: NEW RISEN THRONE (@)
Title: Chants for the cold and dying sun
Format: CD
Label: God Is Myth (@)
Rated: *****
Very recent cdr from Stielh on God Is Myth, which mainly releases underground black metal. The packaging looks nice, with b/w digipack, pro-replicated cd and printed insert: good job. And after a few listens I guess a black metal-oriented label is quite appropriate for these "Chants". Jeez, this is so bleak and cold - NRT has lost the more emotional aspect he had in "Flowing ashes" (see archive) to embrace total darkness. Desolate dark ambient with a Nordic industrial feel (Nordvargr, Megaptera), based on chilling electronic wails, obsessive percussive loops ("Seeds"), pitch-altered vocal samples (the twin tracks "Prophet II" and "Rex verminorum")... NRT handles all the tools of the trade really well, and this is one more strong release under his belt. I just think it's a bit more repetitive and less memorable than the excellent "Flowing ashes", but on the other hand, its utter obscurity is fascinating.

PSYCHIC SPACE INVASION: Book of dreams

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 01 2004
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Artist: PSYCHIC SPACE INVASION (@)
Title: Book of dreams
Format: CD
Label: Elvis Coffee (@)
Rated: *****
Fourth official cdr release on Elvis Coffee by UK soundmaker Ian Holloway. The name of his project pretty much describes it all - PSI stands for trippy, yet dark electronica, somewhere between old minimalism/computer music and post-industrial. The press sheet mentions Elph-era Coil, which might give you a clue. Though mostly based on synths and effects, the sound is pretty varied, also incorporating desolate piano lines ("Hiraeth"), vocal samples, percussions ("an essence of true sleep", a bit à la Zoviet France) - but PSI's main direction seems to be a grey isolationist ambient ("nothing exists", "yellow duck") with cosmic excursions ("echoes of memory", "the theatre of the warm"). Promising material, but a bit too repetitive in some parts (some delay abuses, for example) and, for me, not that engaging on a gut level.

SOBRIA EBRIETAS: Ouroboros

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Sep 01 2004
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Artist: SOBRIA EBRIETAS (@)
Title: Ouroboros
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Fourth solo work for Bertand Barbier, who's also member of Belgian Third Brass Collective, "Ouroboros" collects several tracks exploring different shades of the (dark) ambient genre. Pretty much everything, from atmospheric piano/keyboards-driven tracks, to industrial distortions, to ethnic/acoustic loops (tracks 7 and 8, a bit in the Zoviet France/Rapoon vein). As a whole, this could be a decent effort but has many defects and weak moments. The former being, for example, the abrupt changes from one section/loop to the other (where you can distinctly hear the gap between the sounds), some clicks, and too drastic fadings at the end. The latter being many tracks with just one looped sound which is not that interesting per se, thus not justifying its minimal use. The industrial tracks, on their side, offer little more than distorted wooshes. This is the typical case of a potentially promising project ruined by an under-produced and redundant release.


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