Music Reviews



CIRCUS JOY: Laetitia

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 25 2010
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Artist: CIRCUS JOY
Title: Laetitia
Format: CD
Label: Old Europa Cafe
Still rocking after twenty six years Circus Joy are releasing their latest album on Old Europa Cafe. Dedicated to their friend Letizia, who died recently,LAETITIA contains nine tracks in balance from Jesus & Mary Chain/Sonic Youth feedbacks, Velvet Underground ballads and spoken word in Italian language. Behind a certain noise/psychedelic approach that seem born from improvisations, Circus Joy aren't interested into giving a polished sound to audience and on tracks like "Nudo e crudo" or "Il tuo frutto" they sound like a recording of an art-pop event more than a rock band. With upfront vocals that sometimes sound also saturated, Circus Joy wrote poems where human perversion and decay is mixed with a certain "couldn't-care-less" punk attitude.

BALLO DELLE CASTAGNE: 108

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 06 2010
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Artist: BALLO DELLE CASTAGNE
Title: 108
Format: 10"
Label: HR! SPQR (@)
Rated: *****
108 is an appetizer from the forthcoming first full length album "Kalachakra" and it contains two covers of songs coming from Italian 70s music: "Ansia/confessione" has been originally performed by Biglietto Per L'inferno (one of the most obscure progressive Italian rock bands) and "Paranoia", a song originally released by Franco Battiato in 1971 as B side of "La convenzione" 7". Both tracks are representing well the experimental period of Italian rock music as Battiato released on the same year his first album "Fetus" showing to Italian audience that music was changing (he has been one of the first musician to experiment with synthetic sounds and he created the prototype of Italian experimental/industrial music). Ballo Delle Castagne picked up these tracks as symbolism of change because also the label is changing. HauRuck! SPQR changes name and now is releasing records under the HR! SPQR moniker. There's no hard feeling toward HauRuck! sister label run by Albin Julius, they only needed to follow their own path. 108 has a deeper meaning because it has references in many cultures. 108 are the diabolical passions that a man has to front to became a Buddha. The diameter of the sun is almost 108 times the one of earth. The distance from earth and moon is almost 108 times the diameter of the latter one. Karate has 108 techniques. Buddhist rosary is divided into 108 parts... and so on. Musically the two tracks follow the musical style of the ones of debut MCD: psychedelic rock were the musicians let their experimental vein run loose.
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Artist: ACHENAR
Title: all will change
Format: CD
Label: Earthen
Rated: *****
"All will change"... and all has changed! Above all from the age in which black metal sounded like Dark Throne or Burzum. Achenar is one of those musicians who's pushed beyond the boundaries of the genre and reminded me a lot of the first time I happened to listen to Ulver, well at the time they surprised me with their post-black metal atmosphere mixed with electronic, nordic music, Pan Sonic, freak atmospheres and who knows what else. Achenar work is located somewhere at a different (and symphonic) latitude, but you can bet he's as weird as them. There's a great abundance of electronic sounds and keyboards-alike melodies but what surprised me most is how Duncan Hemingway has structured some electronic beat really close to Aphex that revived the "Come to daddy" era. The average atmosphere is quite scary but sometimes it changes from obscure to weird, it's quite difficult to categorize a release like that since it would be a bit reductive even if there's no doubt this cd will be more appealing for some open minded black metal, experimental listener since I doubt an electronic-idm ambient aficionado would dig it. The cd is really well produced and technically Achenar is far from being a new-jack: everything sounds damn equilibrated and meticulously produced/pondered after many and many listenings. I can't say every track or every solution intrigued me in the same way, but sometimes I happened to think this guy has some interesting ideas: give it a try.

IZAH : Finite Horizon/Crevice

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 27 2009
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Artist: IZAH (@)
Title: Finite Horizon/Crevice
Format: CD EP
Rated: *****
This two songs mcd offers a morsel of an interesting band evolving "doom-sludge" metal and bastardizing it with different influences, coming both from metal, modern hardcore, stoner, doom, post-rock and from other musical areas. Both the sound and the production are top notch and if you add they definitely know how to play you can easily imagine it just needs ideas or at least good taste to catch your attention and sure, they have it. Slow tempos that make me think to an emotional version of Esoteric writing songs with Steve Von Til and Wolfpack and adopting that soft melodic rifforama a la My Dying Bride and Anathema. Vocals are ok and they know how to sing without resulting cheesy or too epic, but take for granted when they have the soft parts and the melodic explosions they are dead epic and they make you feel they're composing their music on the top of a fiord (... even if they're from Holland). While the first of the two track has a quite common structure, the second has some more interesting solutions that makes you think these dutch guys without changing the face of the genre never lacked ideas to assemble a song. Every track has an average length of eleven minutes, don't worry, they never get borings since they have a smart use of arrangements and never indulge with breaks. Nice work and despite the sadness of their music future looks bright for this band, let's see what happen.

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Artist: Attrition (@)
Title: Wrapped in the guise of my friend
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Rated: *****
After the appreciated project consisting of the re-releasing of some of their most important (and less considered) past work-outs, Martin Bowes adds this candied cherry onto the Attrition cake he cooked throughout the reassuring mark of his label Two Gods by releasing an high-quality collection of cover versions, made by a plenty of talented band and musicians of its own entourage, which is going to enjoy Attrition's fans pavilions and Martin's musical nodding in approval (by his own admission!) stands as the best good quality proof for them! And for us as well... Seventeen new levers and renowned musicians of the gothic , neo-folk , dark wave and electro-goth scene have been called to arms, they've been asked to choose a track (and justify their choice... you'll find an exhaustive explanation of it in the leaflet of this release) and their enthusiastic reply has resulted in an astonishing collection of 17 cover versions, the best body of evidence about the fact they've come to surface again after a lot of music collectors and critics complained about the hidden identity of this revolutionary band, able to create a sort of chamber-techno-pop by departing from an unedited crossover of EBM and synth-pop danceable tunes, the industrial experiments by Throbbing Gristle and a powerful narrative poetry between decadence, social creepy realism and dark atmospheres.


There're a lot of musical pearls in the long tracklist '“ my favorite ones are the two reinterpretations of A Girl Called harmony, the foggy electronic reprise of Favourite Things by the Lovercraft-inspired project Nyarlathotep, the evocative one of A great Design by Fluxu§yndrom, the breathtaking reinterpretation of Fate Is Smiling by Patricia Wake '“ I've almost developed an addiction to it!!! -, as well as the gentle sinister touch Remora added to Fusillade!!! '“ and you'lll easily enjoy taking notes about your fav ones. We imagine Martin Bowes'll keep on nodding in approval while listening and you'll be surely induced to imitate its body code, folks (and saddened gravy stone angels!)... naturally wrapped in the guise of his golden friends (a quote-into-the-quote!!!)... Highly recommended!


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