Music Reviews



Darkoustix: Fatal Underworld Crazy Kink

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 24 2009
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Artist: Darkoustix (@)
Title: Fatal Underworld Crazy Kink
Format: CD
Rated: *****
This is a tiresome business to be a solo artist. It demands a whole bunch of energy and time from the musician, especially if the artist is unsigned and receives no support from any label. Darkoustix is such a one man project by Fabrice, a former frontman of the Swiss act Trom that haven’t shown much sings of life after 1999 when its unreleased album "L’appel de la folie" was recorded. Fabrice seems to be an all around talent since he is responsible not only for music, lyrics and playing the instruments, but also for the design, production and recording of the album.
For his solo enterprise Fabrice chose a sound different from the one his former band had. There is less metal and more melody and personal lyrics. Songs under titles like "Bang bang bang" or "You Look Beautiful When You’re mad" could be featured on an Alice Cooper’s album sleeve thus it was little surprising that Darkoustix’ sound bears a certain mark of glam. The lyrics are in English and French with some pieces in German, which makes the songs sound more mysterious if you don’t understand this unmelodic but sort of erotic language. It is imaginable that Fabrice’s deep voice may appear attractive for those who are into men. There are no fast songs at all on "Fatal Underworld Crazy Kink", which is a pity in my opinion. The compositions are mid-tempo and slower, with a lot of atmosphere, but perhaps more diversity in instruments would be welcomed. The songs tell often stories that involve women, which is more adult and personal than songs about cyborgs and devils which we get to hear from way to many artists in our scene. "Bitch in Bondage... " is a song that criticizes religious prescriptions of behavior and "In the Name" discusses the killing and destruction orchestrated by believers in their gods’ names.
To my taste the songs sound too much alike, however this can be said about any album in a genre you are not really into. This is no driving music or accompaniment for jogging but it should be great for a Bat Cave party in a foggy club.

TONY WAKEFORD: Not All Of Me Will Die

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 09 2009
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Artist: TONY WAKEFORD
Title: Not All Of Me Will Die
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
Active for twenty years now under his main moniker Sol Invictus, Tony Wakeford during this time released also some albums with his name. NOT ALL OF ME WILL DIE is his fourth and it has been released two years after "In the woods" by the Israeli label The Eastern Front. Based on the life and work of the Polish-Ukrainian Jewish poetess Zuzanna Ginczanka, who was executed by the Gestapo in Kraków in 1944, the album contains six tracks which lyrics are based on her writings. Joined by guest musicians and vocalists, including avant-garde composer Susan Matthews and members of Orchestra Noir, Zunroyz and Sol Invictus, Wakeford opens the album with a twenty two minutes opus "Non Omnias Moriar" where acoustic guitars, percussions, oboe, strings and vocals perform a folkish experimental suites full of pathos. When vocals join in after eleven minutes the track already reached its top but Wakeford is able to add some magic to it. The second track has a bit of jazzy influence with that swing bass line but the other instruments play a mix of psychedelic improvisation where noises, effects and strings lead the dance. "Fullness Of August" is the third track and the second to have a proper title (other have only their track list position number) and it sounds like a slow joyful ballad which melodically remembered me Killing Joke of the "Brighter than a thousands suns" period. Here dulcimer, treated guitars and oboe create a sort of wavering sound that cradle the listener. Tracks number four is a dramatic instrumental strings based tune while on fifth guitars, oboe and vocal samples develop the sound of the previous one. The sixth and final track mix tribal percussions, treated guitar sounds (reverbs and reversed sounds are used) closing with a touch of dreaming atmosphere a good album.

War Tapes: The Continental Divide

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 27 2009
Artist: War Tapes
Title: The Continental Divide
Format: CD
Distributor: Sarathan Records
Rated: *****
The name of the band is War Tapes. I just saw them live in Chicago on tour with Vnv Naion. They hail from Los Angeles and kick ass. War Tapes consists of Neil Popkin, Becca Popklin, William Mohier and Matt Bennet. This band is very Joy Divisonesque and very fresh. The name of the album is the Continental Divide. We open with track one, " When the night unfolds", which is a haunting ode to the night that calls to you and grows on you. Goth rock to it's finest with a twist of angst. We move to track 3, " She lied ", which is a track that pulls at your heart strings and won't let go. One thing I can say as I went through this allbum is this band is pure perfection with perfect timing of their instruments and a style that compliments the music to a tee. Track 10 " For Eternity ." could very well be a Goth rock anthem for this new dark future. This band is full of wit, charm and has a great direction to be a big success. Cross the divide, start a war and record it on tape. ~ 4 stars Michelle Russo

GREGORIO BARDINI & THIERRY JOLIF: Kantalon

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 21 2009
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Artist: GREGORIO BARDINI & THIERRY JOLIF
Title: Kantalon
Format: CD
Label: The Eastern Front (@)
Rated: *****
First of all I must admit that this album wasn't an easy one to review because I'm ignorant about the musical and cultural traditions it refers to (KANTALON is an ancient Gaelic word, it refers, in this old Celtic tongue, to the «chant» but also to the lessons that the druids were teaching to their pupils) and also because its minimal structure (chants with the add of flute, organ, noises or bagpipes) makes it hard to make it match with a "modern approach" to music listening. Gregorio and Thierry (electronics, analogue noises, guitars, effects, flutes, Indian oboe, percussion and bodhran) played few traditional songs and did a good job by creating new tunes inspired by those sounds making the album sound homogeneous but after a couple of listenings I was irritated by the fact that I wasn't able to understand the language Jolif used (about this matter, he has recently wrote a book titled "Etudes Celtiques" that means "Celtic studies") but little by little I found the key for enjoining the experience: "follow the music flow". In this way a different world opened up in front of me and the traditional Brittany music started to unveil a bit of its mystery.

NARR: Oxymore Dans La Chrysalide Des RÍves

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 21 2009
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Artist: NARR
Title: Oxymore Dans La Chrysalide Des RÍves
Format: CD
Label: Musea Records (@)
Rated: *****
Clément Werner (bass guitar, synthesizers, lower and solo vocals) is a modern troubadour and helped by Marti Ilmar Uibo (drums, percussions, kannel, upper/backing vocals), Kalevi Uibo (acoustic and electric guitars, choir) and Laurent Lefebvre (flute) created a particular kind of dark progressive rock. Despite the frequent rhythm changes and the complex harmonic scales (things that I appreciate so much), OXYMORE DAN LA CHRYSALIDE DES REVES is an album that is able to enchant also the occasional listener. The eight tracks of the album compose a sort of voyage where the blend of medieval melodies, light jazz influences, rock and also experimental attitude is well balanced. Sometimes this kind of music is too focused on technical virtuosity but fortunately this isn't the case of Narr. For those of you that know French language OXYMORE DAN LA CHRYSALIDE DES REVES will offer something more than good music as the poetic and surrealistic lyrics will offer to you the keys of the engine for taking this trip... Check three tracks on their myspace page.


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