Music Reviews



I: SCINTILLA: OPTICS

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 22 2008
Artist: I: SCINTILLA
Title: OPTICS
Format: CD
Distributor: alfra matrix
Rated: *****
I: SCINTILLA is the name of this band and the album is " Optics. I: SCINTILLA is making headlines all over and on tour now as supporting band for the Cruxshadows, that alone is a majoy accomplishment in itself. We open with track one " Cursive Eye " which is a real dancy track to start. With open with Brittney singing, " Kneel here you're not scared to die, beg those dogs will lick and drink you dry, kneel at the pretty cursive lie, beg so you will not be scared to die." This is a real kick in the eye, sharp and to the point and in your face. If you don't already start dancing you get a electric jolt to start you up. A sure fire hit this track is becoming and a great way to open the show which I saw last night which was profound, this band is on their way to bigger and better things. Next is track two, " Toy Solider" which is a favourite of mind already as well as countless others. So much power, energy and awareness this track bring to us. Brittany sings to us, " Boy of the surge, compliance won't make you a man, now you have deciphered the secret written in the sand." This song hails pure electronic greatness along with a siren singing and calling out the old gods to rise and serenade her. I have put this track on repeat now and can't stop refraining it. Track after track has the the element of surprise behind each door you open. Every track lends a trick and leaves a treat. Track seven " Machine Vision " stuck out from the rest. Brittney sings to us, " a nuance detected, burnt hallow overthrown, myth of light projected can't erase your own shadow" Very creative powerful words that have rhyme, are sublime and have perrfect time and eseence. I paused to dance to this track and can see it popping up on the dansefloors all around. All and all I entered the world of optics cloudy and came out with clearer vision. 4 stars ~ Michelle Russo

THE CRUXSHADOWS: Immortal

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 21 2008
Artist: THE CRUXSHADOWS
Title: Immortal
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Distributor: Dancing Ferret
Rated: *****
The new single is called " Immortal" a new single by The Cruxshadows. The band that has over 15 albums out and 3 one one singles in a row. Quite a remarkable accomplishments and certainly not the easiest of tasks but if anyone can show major success it is this band. The also are climbiing the billboard charts in second placej ust right behind Madonna. The Cruxshadows are on tour now and are taking the world by storm as they always do. They are premiering their new single " Immortal ", which is a five track cd that is dramatic, dark and dancy. " Track one is " Immortal which is already a danse floor hit all across the charts and the world. It is a beautiful power driven track with the best of lyrics. Rogue gets the floor rolling with opening words, " Are hearts immortal?, what you give to love will never die." This track is a complete symphony and ode to our strength and endurance of our existance. It even has a chant of hails and boasts, it calls to us and gets deep into our brain and forever rests there. A true masterpiece and a well deserved no one hit. We move onto track three " Ariadne" which is sad track that is very moving and leaves chills down your spine. Beautiful symphonic tones that compliment the mood of Rogue's sweet dark voice. Rogue sings, " Now you define what you believe, what your life has fail to grant you, live to claim and claim to live." Very witty words that have become instant anthem words across the waves and all over the states. This band strives for perfection and words to live by and live up to it. This band is all about messages and getting them through like a beam of light shining right at you to be seen, heard and chosen. The last track five is " Exile " which is a very slow dirge thats creeps in and out on ya and it encompasses you and engulfs you with its confessions and laments. It glides across the room like a ghost trying to tell it's tale, getting your attention with it's invocations and drawing you in and not letting go. Background vocals sing in ethereal reprrise and Rogue sings to us, " God are you sleeping, God are you dreaming are you crying for my life, falling angels in exile ." The highlight of the ending is the piercing violin that ends this calling to the higher one in a tragic flash. All and all this single was riveting and lives up to it's credibility. 4 stars You might become Immortal and forever be locked into life after listening to this!

TRANSMISSION: Sublimity

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 21 2008
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Artist: TRANSMISSION
Title: Sublimity
Format: CD
Label: Malicious Damage Records (@)
Rated: *****
It has been a surprise to me to receive a packet from Malicious Damage. I knew the label to be the personal Killing Joke label they founded for their debut 10" "Nervous system" and I wasn't aware they were active with non Killing Joke releases as well. The first CD of the packet is Transmission's second full length album SUBLIMITY and it will be available for purchase on October 27th. Anyway... Transmission is a quartet formed by past and now members of Killing Joke (Youth and Paul Ferguson), Simon Tong (already active with Verve and Gorillaz and with The Good, the Bad & the Queen always with Damon Albarn) and Tim Bran (who plays with Subsonar and The Orb). With such experience of all the band members it could be difficult to think about what they created for Transmission and since the first track titled "Albion" the band is able to make you forgive all their previous experiences because this is sounding like any of them. The nine tracks of the album are in balance from post punk and psychedelia and the sound produced fluctuates back and forth bringing to your ears echoes of vocal lines as well as powerful guitar riffs. Youth plays bass guitar but he's also on production so you know that you can expect a powerful sound with pumping bass frequencies. Most of the tracks gave me the impression to be structured like post rock suites where improvisation played a good part on the composition process. Vocals are mostly used as choirs to strengthen the sound and to add a catchy melody but there are also song structured ones like "Opium head" (the whispered vocals blast into the main refrain creating a good effect) or "Confusion". If distortion and fluctuating sounds are your cup of tea and you aren't afraid of a little of rock approach into your post punk meal, then you can check out the latest Transmission's album. While you wait for its release you can listen to some old songs at their myspace page.

THE TENTH STAGE: Grand Guignol

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 16 2008
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Artist: THE TENTH STAGE (@)
Title: Grand Guignol
Format: CD
Label: Crash Frequency
Rated: *****
A year after their debut album The Tenth Stage present to their audience and to the lovers of electro/theatrical goth music a new work titled GRAND GUIGNOL. As on the previous album, the duo formed by John Von Ahlen and Roberto Missaglia, is delivering a perfectly produced album with a top notch graphic work. This time we have a sort of concept album focused on the last decades of the 19th century: the graphic work, the themes and some songs' atmosphere (mostly on the ballads) recall that age. Mixing genres like on the other album, The Tenth Stage for each track use different sets of instruments. They span from ballads with accordions and bass guitar ("Eldorado") to joyful tunes with tambourines and strings ("Cinderella's revenge"), electro pop songs ("Travelogue" and "Early morning prayer"), dark piano ballads with catchy vocals a la Tears For Fears ("The ballad of the decomposing man"), stripped down to clean electric guitars/drums/synth NIN like songs ("Sex is bad Eddie", song that is inspired by Ed Gein. One of the few exceptions to their 19th century theme), dub tunes ("Sends my regards to hell"), etc. Eclecticism is a quality and also a weakness for a first listening, so you need a little of time to fully appreciate GRAND GUIGNOL. The catchy tunes aren't missing, so you can start from those ones first.
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Artist: FOR GREATER GOOD (@)
Title: For Greater Good
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Mixing elements of neo-classical, post industrial, dark ambient and neo-folk music For Greater Good are presenting their first full length album which contains ten tracks. Created as a sort of soundtrack for nowadays life the album succeeds into spanning through different kind of feelings using for each track a different approach. If "Distress" has an electro industrial rhythmic section combined with neo-classical strings, "Rush hour" is a melancholic piano ballad with vocals, orchestral inserts and traffic noises. "Le judgement de roi en jaune" has dark melodies and neo-classical elements while the following "De to fabula narratur"is based on ambient synth sounds, light choirs and electro-industrial rhythms. The closing "The mechanist", instead, changes everything by presenting a piano/orchestral suite that recalled me the Wim Mertens tracks. If you want to try a different approach to the aforementioned musical genres try For Greater Good.


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