Music Reviews



Deuterror: Le Gueuele De Guerre

 Posted by Barton Graham   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 29 2010
cover
Artist: Deuterror (@)
Title: Le Gueuele De Guerre
Format: CD
Label: Steelwork Maschine (@)
Distributor: Steelwork Maschine
Rated: *****
'Le Gueuele De Guerre' is Deuterror's third release and the very first available on cd. On this disc Nicolas Crombez, Deuterror's sole member, stays true to form to his previous offerings; mixing dark, ambient imagery with more beautiful, contrasting moments. 'Le Gueuele De Guerre' however, is most certainly the darkest, most epic and high quality release to date. It contains nine tracks, each untitled and the disc itself is enhanced with a very classy flash player from which you can choose to view all of the images contained within the physical digipack and its booklet, as well as several others, all with HD resolution versions available on the disc. Also available on the player is an info page and a short computer animated movie of a medieval hillside which expels a massive ball of fire into the heavens, an image which hints to the music therein.

The album is an incredible marriage of darkness with a hint of light, of madness with just a breath of sanity. It starts off with the buzzing of flies, over the sounds of nature just before the harsh drone of distorted synth overtakes all. It is a mass of ambience and dark, hopeless noise throughout the track, until just as the last few seconds drain from the counter, a hint of melody is introduced before it vanishes into thin air. Probably about the first half of the disc follows a very similar basic structure of ambience and sparse synths followed by the bulk of the song (usually harsh noise or synth with moments of serenity interspersed), ending with the introduction of melody just at the very ends of the songs. The latter half tends to break free of this and become a bit more experimental and unpredictable and amazing. The blend of ambience and soundscapes with distortion and synths, desperate percussion, samples and moments of baroque, neo-classical resolve work just perfectly together. Throughout the cd Nicolas finds ways to meld harsh walls of noise with pseudo-musical ideas to create something very unique and terrifying which builds up against the ambience and actual musical pieces contained in a majority of the tracks in a way that defies description. This is one you should certainly give a try, in the dark, late at night, when you're all alone, waiting for the end of the world.

Westwind: Ravage

 Posted by Barton Graham   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 29 2010
cover
Artist: Westwind (@)
Title: Ravage
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Steelwork Maschine (@)
Distributor: Steelwork Maschine
Rated: *****
Westwind's 7th effort, the double disc set of 'Ravage' released earlier this year on Steelwork Maschine, is a monumentally epic narrative of the apocalypse that will leave you wanting more of its devastation when it's over. At which point you may want to look into its limited edition companion EP entitled 'Eliminate! Exterminate! Eradicate!' (and this reviewer plans on doing exactly that).

'Ravage' is immersed in meanings much too deep to justly delve into here; but as the title of disc 1 suggests, 'Doomsday Songs' provides the soundtrack for a not only decaying, but dying earth. Evolving from sinister, pulsating synth drones layered in samples to viral carnivallian dirges to pseudo-theremin laden marches to droning feedback and noise to almost channeling 'Fragile' era NIN laced with Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, this disc doesn't flow perfectly smooth, but then again, when Yawm Al-Qiyamah comes, I doubt that it will come smoothly, or with such a great soundtrack.

Disc 2, 'Requiems for Collapsing Cities' is rich with funeral marches, dirges and the aforementioned requiems. Pounding, martial law inspired percussion, drones and the ever throbbing basslines lay the groundwork for scattered guitars, synths, religious sampling and a variety of ethnic instrumentation which come together to pay homage to the remains of a once thriving earth. The overall tone of this disc is much more dark, brooding and hopeless than the first, and comes together with a bit more of a seamless flow. The tension gradually and continuously builds throughout the disc, making the listener almost feel the impending doom slowly overcome.

'Ravage' seems to very loosely follow a storyline, but more so pulls together many obscure references to apocalypse from a plethora of different religions and viewpoints as inspiration for this epic. These two discs, the first being a bit more experimental, the second being a bit more structured and dark, combine so many bits and pieces of different genres and styles that it nearly defies categorization, but I think it a safe bet to say that all of its elements congregate under the umbrella of martial industrial, with its tales of death, destruction, plague, etc and the musical groundwork to make you feel that the end of days may truly be upon us.

PHILIPPE PETIT & FRIENDS: A Scent Of Garmambrosia

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 27 2010
Artist: PHILIPPE PETIT & FRIENDS
Title: A Scent Of Garmambrosia
Format: CD
Label: Aagoo
Distributor: Cargo
A SCENT OF GARMAMBROSIA is a conceptual work of avant-garde music where layers of strings, processed sounds and field recordings form a constant flux of changing sounds where dissonant trumpets meet piano notes and strings. Petit took the David Lynch's Twin Peaks definition of the word Garmonbozia (which is "pain and suffering that is consumed") and mixed it with the Greek mythology Gods' food "Ambrosia" just to coin the new term "Garmambrosia". The seven tracks of the album have been written as it was a musical score for a soundtrack and if we take Lynch as reference I don't think we could make an error as "When a seagorse meets a seafish...", "Pellicula", "The neptunial flights of fireflies", "A scent of garmambrosia", "Night elves jukebox", "The moon woman" and "The nightcrawler" transpose in music the chaos and pain expressed by Lynch into his most experimental works (and we aren't forced to think about "Eraserhead" as also "Twin peaks" had such panicking moments). Intense...

Everything But The Gargoyle: Four Flies on Grey Velvet

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 24 2010
cover
Artist: Everything But The Gargoyle (@)
Title: Four Flies on Grey Velvet
Format: CD EP
Label: Pimalia Records (@)
Distributor: Aquarius Records
Rated: *****
Everything But The Gargoyle is a collaborative project between Ferrara Brain Pan (Forms Of Things Unknown) from San Francisco and Pixyblink (aka Kyra Pixy) from Fallbrook, in southern California. Turns out Ferrara stumbled upon Pixyblink's MySpace profile while exploring G. James Wyrick's 'The Method Learned' page. I have no idea who Gregory James Wyrick is, but the relevance to this CD is that the subtitle is 'Four Musical Settings of the Poetry of Gregory James Wyrick'. Anyway, Ferrara connected with Pixyblink and found his muse. The spark was ignited, and 'Four Flies on Grey Velvet' is the result of the first long-distance musical project by Everything But The Gargoyle. (The CD title comes from the title of a 1972 Dario Argento film, a kind of a thriller-slasher flick.) Instead of doing the project under the Forms Of Things Unknown moniker, they decided on Everything But The Gargoyle as the project name. Confusing perhaps, but useful to keep future projects by the duo separate from their other endeavors.

I'm familiar with Ferrara's FOTU project; not too long ago I reviewed his 'Black Trenchcoats, Swatstikas 'N Shit' CD for Chain D.L.K. Minimalist, moody dark ambient stuff it was with a lot of diversity; a little uneven, but still pretty good as I recall. The Nazi toilet paper roll cover of the CD even added to the CD's weird collectiblity factor. Not being familiar with Pixyblink, I decided to visit her MySpace site and check out her tracks. I found the music to be minimalist ambient, kind of moody and dark, with occasional spoken word and wordless singing. Briefly checking her other collaborations (anotherAntidote, winter umbrellas, cave dwellers) which come from such far-flung-places as Australia and Russia, I found ambient music that ranged from shoegazer to industrial with a lot of variety between tracks and often with lyrical vocals or spoken word by Pixyblink. Vocally, there is a similarity to Jarboe in her quieter, more reflective moments, although Pixyblink is no Jarboe.

Over the four tracks on this EP CD, Everything But The Gargoyle sets a mood that would be right at home on the Cold Meat label. On the first track, 'Sleeping With Ghosts,' Ferrara's bowed psaltery is the main instrument that accompanies Pixyblink's poetical recitation (of G. James Wyrick's Poetry, I presume). It's a nice minimal piece, and a good mood-setter. I played this song for my girlfriend in Spain, and her cat (who also heard it) freaked out and started biting her arm! 'Susto' benefits from a little minimal guitar courtesy of James Severance, along with buzzes and drones, again with Pixyblink's Ophelia-like poetical recitation. The music, which includes Ferrara on moaning but jazzy woodwinds, glockenspiel in a repetitive eight-note pattern, and other moaning samples or vocals give the impression of acute melancholia with possible hints of dementia. More drones on third track 'Pretty Blue Forever,' which again features Pixyblink's poetical spoken word vocals, drenched in sadness and sorrow. (Moping Goths are sure to love this.) In the final track, 'The Hum of Blood,' Pixyblink recites over tympani with a martial cadence and a mournful woodwind giving an impression of a funeral march.

Everything throughout the entire CD is low-key and understated, with a consistent mood and extremely well done. Overall, it's kind of Neofolk with a touch of Martial on the last track. There isn't one weak track, and I found myself wanting more. In fact, that's the biggest beef I had with Four Flies, there just wasn't enough of it! I hope these two will collaborate again soon. There seems to be a synergy in their partnership which is a little lacking in their individual efforts. Some kind of tempering or fusion, but it just works. I'd surely have rated it higher if there was more, but as a first effort, it's marvelous. You can go to the EBTG website and check out all the tracks, but I'd recommend picking up the CD for its collectible value. Nice glossy digipack with a cover photo by G. James Wyrick, not of Pixyblink, but a model named Tracey Metro. I think these two deserve some of your hard earned cash for their effort.

SEHNSUCHT: Wuste

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 20 2010
cover
Artist: SEHNSUCHT
Title: Wuste
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Sehnsucht is the new project by Mayhem front man Maniac who, aside from his power noise metal outfit Skitliv, asked to Andrew Liles (Nurse With Wound), Ingvar Magnusson (Skitlivs' guitarist), and his girlfriend Vivian Slaughter (who's also vocalist/bass player into the Japanese all girl band Gallhammer) to join him for a new adventure. The new band sounds really different from all his others and this time we have a ten tracks album that spans from free jazz spoken word with a noise doom background (check the title track for this) to rock neo-folk (like "South of Cincinnati"), passing through experimental electronic noise with metal guitar riffs (see the opening "Sult") or industrial blues (try to imagine a blues song filtered through Nurse With Wound, Einsturzende Neubauten and a bit of Whitehouse and you'll have "Good morning great Moloch"). For something totally different that sounds like Godzilla playing with a Nintendo game, check "Tokio daymare", which mix Japanese day-life city recordings to electronic rhythms/improvisations. Another example of good industrial spoken word influenced by rock guitarism is "Hanging in English garden" which mix noise, clean guitar with reverb and spoken word just to meet a filtered Current 93 song toward the end. The album closes with "Ten", a five minutes mayhem of throbbing sounds, electronic noises and spoken word. WUSTE to me sounds definitively more inspired than the Skitlif release on Cold Spring and for this reason I suggest you to check it.


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