Music Reviews



Bella Morte: Beautiful Death

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 03 2009
Artist: Bella Morte
Title: Beautiful Death
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****
The name of the album is called " Beautiful Death ." by Bella Morte. I just saw them live and Andy Deane was sick and still played and amazing set despite his illness. This album is by far a memorable one and amazing to hear live as well as in the headphones. We go to track 2, " Can't Let This Die ." which is quite amazing first to hear live due to the sentiments it expresses to us. Andy sings, " I can feel your eyes from far away and I can't let you go and I can't let this die." Truly words to live by and words we can all relate to. A beautiful song that rocks out altogether in harmony and grace. We move to track 5, " The End of The End." which is a sentimental song that really pulls at your heart strings tight and won't let go. This song really grips you and tells it's dark tale. Witty lyrics, Andy sings, " Lost, I'm lost with no reason, not reason but you." This is a crowd favorite that everyone seems to enjoy and shed a tear for. The most beautiful track on this album is track 6, " Fade like a Song." which is just chilling to the bone, decadent and delightful. Andy sings, " I lay you to rest, lay it all in the ground, let the past be the past and move on." This song is a favorite to many and amazing to hear live. Track 7, " In the Dirt." is a heavy, emotional song that really gets under your skin. Andy sings, " No time for words and tears, discipline holds the room silent, raising the stakes again, I tear it away." Truly beautiful words to cherish as this whole album shines and speaks to us so softly, so deadly and silently shows us a beautiful death.

Voltaire: To the Bottom Of the Sea

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 03 2009
Artist: Voltaire
Title: To the Bottom Of the Sea
Format: CD
Rated: *****
I just recently saw Voltaite live in Chicago with the Helblinki Sextet that is a band from North Carolina. Both bands were amazing. They both have albums that rock. First we start out with the album Oratory by the Hellblinki Sextet that is quite unique as their stage performance was. Fully packed with violin, accordion, guitar, mandolin, percussion, bass , trombone and trumpet backed with the most unique vocals from lead singer Andrew. We open with track one called " The End " which is a dark tale about a land below that is dark, witty and cunning as ever. Everything flows nice and rhymes to the core and their is surprises around every corner. Progressing on we move to track 3- Kerosene which is a Southern sounding track that really stands out alot. A morbid ditty about chaos on a Saturday night at the bar. Guns, mayhem and debauchery is what this album is made of. Hellblinki is not what it seems, it creeps, it makes it's move and grows on you track after track and won't let go.

Voltaire ~ Down at the bottom of the Sea is quite the album to remember. Pirate lore, krakens and the beast from Pirate bay not to be forgotten. Voltaire opens with track one, " The Industrial Revolution " Voltaire sings, " It came into our lives and gave us uniformity by taking choice away from you." Witty, charimning and to the core. We move to the classic track 4 called " Happy Birthday a clever song about the problems of getting old. Voltaire sings, " You're so old you smell like dust and now your bones begin to rust ." This could by far be the future Gothic day anthem for all future generations to come and go. Truely a crowd favorite and to be remembered and not forgotten. The next track 5 called " Coin Operated Goi." which is a parody from the Dresden Dolls song, " Coin Operated Boi ." Truely a club favorite and the best parody of a song I have heard of in a long time. Voltaire sings, operated goi, can't hang with the Moyles, he ain't got the curls. I say we convert him, it ain't gonna hurt him." We'll maybe down below." Voltaire follows this song exact to the original style just made it goi instead of boi. Voltaire is truly a genius when it comes to turning things around and making them better than ever than the original was. Moving to track 7, called " The Beast of Pirate Bay." a clever tale about the beast that lay in the bay and how all should beware. The song has a nice ring to it and really speaks to you, at least it did to me. We skip to track 10 " The Ship's Going Down reminds me of the band that played till their death in the movie Titanic. This song is unique, dark and amazing. Voltaire sings, " Though we'll drown, there's no need to frown, cause we're all going together. " Truely a dark tale and one not to forget. Trak 12, is called " Death, Death" is the song to remember, dark, witty, charming and a song we can all relate to. Voltaire sings, " Death, death, devil, devil , devil, devil, evil, evil songs, hell, you know that's how I get along,. " The rest of the album calls to you as the sea does and draws you down deep and encompasses you, consumes you and forever possesses you to listen.

Life Cried: Banished Psalms

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 29 2009
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Artist: Life Cried (@)
Title: Banished Psalms
Format: CD
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Rated: *****
One of the most difficultly reachable goal of a plenty of ebm-gothic and electro dark bands consists mainly not only in finding a personal style, but keep on developing it without appearing banal and repetitive and carefully avoiding clichés and boring imitations. That's the goal Life Cried, the electro act led by the American musician Chris Reject (what a guessed nickname for such an artistic identity!), seems to have been reached in spite of the apparent stasis of the genre and that's maybe the reason they're not so prolific as other bands crossing the same musical fields: Banished Psalms is just their second full length album issued on the renowned German label Noitekk added to their discography even if the band's active since 1999 as it was necessary some ears to refine their sound which looks quite recognizable nowadays even if some tracks remind repertoires belonging to acknowledged mile stones and new levers of the scene such as Combichrist, Hocico, Dawn Of Ashes or Psyclon Nine.

The spellbound play of these banished psalms begin with a catching seraphic chorus and a tonal fragmentation on pianos introducing on the desperate self-tribulation of Another Sacrifice, which seems to narrate the psychological drama of an evil person divided between consciousness of guilt and the impossibility to avoid evil. Some chunky metallic screams and a bulldozing snare and bass-drum sequenced march of Bloodstained looks more accessible than similar electro-dark movements by other bands, while you'll easily appreciate the controversial between the harsh "rotulation" of kicks as well as the dirty percussive sets and the lull traced by piano and atmospheric sounds on the lush Dressed In Filth as well as the well-crafted hybrid of traditional Industrial style and brutal metal splinters exhibited in Bound In Hate, a track featuring the appearance of Nero Bellum (Psyclon Nine) on the keyboards (you'll get aware about the fact you should learn the art of refusing from Mr Reject when you're going to listen the scratchy guttural way he uses to sing "Hey, is this what you want from me? Oh that isn't enough, now bleed nut I said no, but I said No, this isn't what I want.."... really freezing and persuasive!!!). The evocative piano pieces Alone with realistic and dramatic samples of a weeping woman looks like a sort of prelude for the smashing fury of Preacher, whose infernal aura spitting fire and violence from a metallic 4/4 techno groove perfectly fits the ferocious and conscious '“stricken tormented words of the song reaching the peak when the shouting screams of the singer sing "we are crawling in ruins/ripped up inside/I've seen me insane/I felt my head fall/it took me to bleed"... words which look copied from a page of an imaginary notebook describing a fatal but temporary irritation. It seems the singer abandons its ferocious mood in the more melodic More To Tarnish, even if the lyrics oozes with desires of revenge and destructive purposes ("I used to hate myself for what I have done/Now I save myself from what went wrong/I destroy everything that comes my way"). Procession, Rigor Mortis stands as another prelude of the hard-hitting 5-minutes long Solemn, while Forbidden walks on the same path of the mentioned moods standing like an execration of the damages caused by despair and blind fury deriving from a blinded reason ("you fight the disease but you're causing the war/you fight the disease but you're causing more" are praiseful and prophetic words!). The enchanting and more experimental moody Derelict ends an interesting album which is going to disclose something deeply embedded in your memory!

One For Jude: Bonheur Dynamique

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 22 2009
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Artist: One For Jude (@)
Title: Bonheur Dynamique
Format: CD
Some colleagues of the music press experienced some troubles in attempts of labelling the Parisian band One for Jude's style, maybe �cause it's not so important the percentage of dream- folk, cold wave, French pop, indie rock, electronic or psychedelic scraped together in their musical formula: it's a matter that record owners are going to successfully afford indeed! What counts is the fact that the band made up of Billy Amzal (voice, guitar and producer), Yonathan Ebguy (voice and guitar) and Benoit Sellam (bass and keyboards) manages to interpret in a sufficiently convincing way the lyrics they use to play. After 5 release, 2 LPs, some concerts (they also shared live stages with renowned musicians such as Clan Of Xymox, Yann Tiersen and In My Rosary) as well as some spotted presences in different compilations (the most remarkable among them is maybe the one tribute to Sol Invictus by the neo-folk label connected to the nu folk fan-zine Cynnfeird), One for Jude celebrates their 10th birthday with a new album, Bonheur Dynamique, showing a more mature approach to the composition and melody building as well as some slices of interesting psychotic narrations on the presumable dynamics of happiness. Piano fillings, chiming electronics, lightly distorted guitars and moaning atmospheres cross over the nine tracks of this album.

They alternate French and (French-stressed) English in their wordy hood trying to sneak in listener's good graces with fanciful melodies and smokeproof rocky postludes and we have to remark that even the foolishly ill-treated voice of the singer (sometimes rushing, sometimes growling, sometimes snatching looks like a Gardenale-treatment's young boy, moaning for having dramatically awaken by a work-team of noisy bricklayers invading his quiet space!!!) could have a sense if you analyze the sometimes hermetic lyrics (the reverie of the nice character depicted by the song The Rational Dreamer?!?!?), often diverting towards bizarre intimate cameos (what an astonishing assertion standing behind phrases and quotes such as the one you could hear at the end of the title-track: "En peintre du destin il dessine à l'exil des courbes de les reves"!!!) and pert attitude (exhibited in some songs such as Une fois '“ "Allow me to insist/I could have killed or loved/Or forgotten all the world/For a penny of that love" '“ or John Is Dead '“ "Hey you, won't you be my lil cocoon/And my dreams and my dearest moon?"). And well, they show great compositional skills '“ nicely refined tracks such as Bonheur Des Hommes, the lovely A Toi Qui Passes (you'll easily produce reveries while listening to the "ritournelle" featuring a crystalline guitar arpeggio... ) or the crafty Reine Du Passe '“ here and there and that's enough to justify their decennial existence. Snappishly snaky and exquisitely doomy!

H.E.R.R.: XII Caesars

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 22 2009
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Artist: H.E.R.R.
Title: XII Caesars
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Based on "Suetonius' De Vita Caesarum", one of the greatest historical sources about the first Twelve Caesars of Rome from the fall of the Republic which has been written in 121 AD, XII CAESARS is the newest H.E.R.R. album that comes two years after ""Fire And Glass: A Norwood Tragedy. Each song is a chapter dedicated to one of the Caesars and the lyrics are focused on the rise and fall of people such as the cruel Tiberius, fat Vitellius and the insane Caligula. The band, as usual, offer in depth lyrics that make you paint a vivid picture of the theme they chose. So Nero's thoughts are the main theme on "Neroica" as well as Vespasian's story is the one on "The eagle standard". Musically this album differs from the previous ones as the tracks are less bombastic and Troy's vocals now are sounding more melodic and less spoken word like. Also musically, even if they have still their characteristic orchestral based sound, now they also used on songs like "Saturnalia Caligula" baroque-like influences. The whole album sounds less epic but H.E.R.R.'s sound didn't lose its charm confirming them as one of the best neo-classical bands. The release comes with a deluxe 16 pages booklet with all the lyrics. Check some songs at H.E.R.R.'s myspace page www.myspace.com/herrenliga.


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