Music Reviews



Whispers In The Shadow: Borrowed Nightmares and Forgotten Dreams

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 23 2009
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Artist: Whispers In The Shadow (@)
Title: Borrowed Nightmares and Forgotten Dreams
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Some flares and flames from the Chaos-devoted Austrian gothic-rock band Whispers In The Shadow reached our headphones. If you still don't know them, you maybe have to update your rusty shrine of records as this band saw its dawn as a solo project of L'Ãme Immortelle guitarist Ashley Dayour in 1996, borrowing the name of the project from the story The Whisperer In Darkness by which H.P.Lovecraft mixed romantic, horror and sci-fi element to introduce the Mi-Go, an extraterrestrial fictitious race of creatures whose aspect was similar to mushrooms -!- and hairstyle and some recognizable influences from Robert Smith and his legendary band, The Cure, moving from traditional Gothic rock to a more heterogeneous style able to roll splinters of Fields of the Nephilim, dark, rock and progressive tracings and some psychedelic Pink Floyd-like strains to such a pitch that some one speaks about "Goth-Floyd" when referring to WITS' style, a magniloquent way to describe the transition from old-fashioned a sort of dark epic wave to a more original and synchretic musical language. Lyrics are mainly inspired by the so-called Chaos Magic as well from some writings of some notorious occultists such as Austin Omar Spare and Kenneth Grant of the so-called Typhonian Order and science-fiction writers such as the above-mentioned Lovecraft.

Well... after 5 album and 2 live recordings, the esteemed Echozone issues Borrowed Nightmares and Forgotten Dreams '“ a collection of "the remixed, the reworked and the abandoned, as the sub-title declares.. '“ by inviting a multitude of voices and remixers to join to the set Whispers In The Shadow are ideally playing in a undefinite place in the Nightside of Eden (just to mention a Miltonian-conscious tune from their last Into The Arms of Chaos, which should not to be confused with the hit by Him with the same name... ) to re-build and re-perform some of their rushing compositions by adding some great unpublished songs (..the forgotten dreams..) dated 2005. Either remixes and lost tapes are really vibrant and well-crafted. We mostly appreciated the second ones as well as they show the multi-faceted skills of this band; from the powerful sound walls and the psychedelic goth of tracks such as Everyday and Waste to the astonishing textures between a good drumming and guitar rhythms of Karma Revolution, showing all the qualities of Ashley Dayour as a vocal performer, the last track Optimistic Day is maybe the best song of this collection: it starts with strange electro vocals and keeps on tickling listener's ears and brains through a syncopated march and psychedelic soundscapes strengthening the mark some press impressed to their musical style (Goth Floyd).

The opening track of the first part of this release, the Shemhamforash mix of The Arrival (... and just as an example of how they're strongly influenced by occultist knowledge is given by the way they call this mix... Shemhamforash was an ancient Hebrew expression meaning "the explicit name" referred both to the impossibility to pronounce the name of God and to refer to one of the way (a 72-letter word) Hebrew used to name God and later adopted by Anton La Vey as a way of greeting Satan..), is maybe the most close to WITS style as it's a great assemblage of strong rockfish energy and intriguing sonorities, while the climax slightly changes with the Sieben remix of The Nightside of Eden: drums set is more syncopated and slow and some violins add a more touchy shadow if compared to the original version... for a strange reason it reminds to us a bizarre agglomeration of Royksopp's more melancholic songs, Faun and the most folk side of dark! Please don't ask me why! Among the following reworks we'd like to mention the strange ghostly version of Babylon Rising '“ considerably thinner than the original one '“ by Ice Ages, the Cure-like new wave (veeeery nostalgic!) 2009- The Eminence Version of Train (... describing the gradual death of mind inducted by a pendular life... ), the clubby version of Damned Nation (the one beginning with an exorcism trying to send back to hell devilish spirits hardly looking for justice in this troublesome society... !) by Thomas Rainer which enrich a "danceable" rhythmical pattern with an elegant background sound set and the lovely melancholy-thickened version with an unexpected rhythm variation of the great "remix" of Pandora's Calling by Persephone. This release could be a good starting point in order to digging inside the discography of this band, if never heard something about it. We're almost sure that even if some tracks could be heavily influenced by the personal musical visions (and hallucinations as well... ) of the remixers, it's good enough to rouse your curiosity about Whispers In The Shadows' short but really interesting musical path...

RE-DRUM: S

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 11 2009
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Artist: RE-DRUM
Title: S
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
Active since 2002 with five releases out, Pavel Aleshin's Re-Drum is releasing its sixth for the Polish label Zoharum Records. S is the title of the new CD which contains four untitled drone industrial suites. During 55 minutes the album creates since its first minutes an hypnotic almost psychedelic atmosphere with long humming sounds, distant noises, loops, vocal samples, etc. On the second and fourth track things change slightly because of the use of Tibetan samples (as far as it seems to me Tibetan blows and Tibetan litanies' have been used) enriching a lot the sound created as they are really absorbing per se. The first and third movements have good moments but Pavel opted for a minimal approach using pads and drones creating tracks that need an extra concentration from the listener.

IN SCISSORS: Orbis Terrarum Requiem

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 10 2009
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Artist: IN SCISSORS
Title: Orbis Terrarum Requiem
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
In Scissors second full length album is a good dark ambient/industrial record indeed. The nine tracks are always able to build a wall of tension where the dark ambient sounds are enriched by strings arrangements. Throbbing sounds and melody create a particular effect: industrial arrangements, orchestral neo-classical moments with percussions, strings and loops are alternated creating an interesting blend of genres that are able to fit very well the album concept (in this case the destruction of earth and nature caused by human beings). Like a virtual soundtrack to human decline ORBIS TERRARUM REQUIEM shake the audience to the bone offering an original an honest vision of a classic industrial theme.

Attrition: A Tricky Business

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 08 2009
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Artist: Attrition (@)
Title: A Tricky Business
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Rated: *****
Younger generations could just imagine the explosive ferment swirling in the crowded classrooms of 80s English arts' schools and what it happened in the Coventry's ones was something that would have some consequences on the way of music making. Coventry is not only one of the milestones of 2-Tone ska, but also of verified intersections between various musical genres with DIY punkish attitude and one of the founder of the most "evergreen" electronic music band coming from those music fields, Martin Bowes '“ originally giving a precious contribute to give a voice to the Coventry scene through his Xeroxed fanzine entitled Alternative Sounds '“ is conscious about that and we could easily say that he worked as a sort of magnetic stone grabbing different sources for inspiration of moods and musical ideas orbiting around Coventry's school backyards! We widely illustrated and gave support to this big work of reissues of some of their best albums as a consequence of the renewed interest in their rich repertoire. That's why we're proud of announcing the reissue of one of their most interesting release '“ a respectable enterprise by Two Gods recordings -, A Tricky Business, an album which was partially performed in the mentioned arts school, but release only in the beginning of the 90s by the Italian music label Contempo. You could wonder why the fashion hierarchy press didn't give any visibility to them, but nowadays time has changed and the overstanding interest in the roots of electronic music has given the possibility (better later than never!) to know the most unpredictable voices coming from the music produced in a past not so really remote... A potentially tricky business as well!!! By the way, you could easily notice that this album is not only an excellent mixture of dark-wave, industrial rock and steaming slices of Euro-pop, but also a melting pot of black humour, romantic lyrics (I particularly appreciate the general mood expressed in The Rising Tide... really tear-jerker!!!...as well as the erudite lyrics '“ and music as well... - of First Love... Mr.Bowes, if you're reading to this review, well... I have to admit we shared your second love... I hope you're not jealous!), gothic '“erotic fades (... the forerunners of philosophy standin' behind a potential suicide girl could be find by cruelest commentators in the lovely "Can I be you right hand man?" lovely sung by Julia Niblock, the second Attrition leg!!!), ghostly tinged eyes peering into the gloom (or better into some glooms!!!), the entrancing lyrical grip and the breathy voice of A Girl Called Harmony... We invite to discover by yourself other parenthesis of this interesting document from this great English band... I'm just noticing I repeated the word "Coventry" too many times... There's no 6 without 7... Our respect to Coventry's juiciest music fruits! ... and to Attrition's music of course!

DENSE VISION SHRINE: Time Lost In Oblivion

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 28 2009
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Artist: DENSE VISION SHRINE
Title: Time Lost In Oblivion
Format: CD + DVD
Label: First Fallen Star (@)
Rated: *****
Dense Vision Shrine is back and after two years from the previous album "Unwinding The Inside" is releasing for the new label First Fallen Star (label run by the www.darkmusicdomain.com people) a new CD titled TIME LOST IN OBLIVION. On this new one Karsten Hamre is leading his music toward darkest places where melody is present but not properly defined. Where synth pads tremble while daring a new tone. Where subtle rhythm patterns play, slowed down to death. This time we don't have neo-classical influences, everything sounds just a procession like following a litany. Sometimes the bleak atmosphere is shacked by some obsessive percussive part but soon after the old flux takes a hold just to repeat itself. The titles give an idea of consequentiality like if they are tracking down a sort of story. We have:
1. From Oblivion
2. A Voyage from the North
3. Through Fjords and Burning Skies
4. The Kingdom of Bucovnia
5. Time Lost in Oblivion
6. Through Eternity
7. The Guardians of Staglieno
8. The Black Forest
9. A Womans Cave
10. The Girl Next Door
The first 500 copies comes with a free dvd with the same track list coupled to the image sideshow used by Karsten during his gigs. Those images (natural sights, monuments, etc) help a lot the creation of the atmosphere giving to the listener the right mood for losing themselves in oblivion.


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