Music Reviews



TRONUS ABYSS: Kampf

 Posted by Fabrizio Della Porta   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 03 2008
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Artist: TRONUS ABYSS (@)
Title: Kampf
Format: CD
Label: ATMF (@)
Rated: *****
Reissued in a luxury 16 pages high quality digi-book, with 2 bonus tracks "Tema del destino" and "Mabuse MK.I", "Kampf" is finally back available. Tronus Abyss history has started in the '94 as an active part of the Black Metal scene but lately become something out of any easy classification. Being praised by the underground scene for their two previous releases containing a blend of medieval sounds mixed with Black Metal, the Italian trio developed their music and pushed it towards more electronic- and ambient-oriented territories. They’ve always been considered a serious, cult band in the so-called extreme scene. The members have always been seriously involved in esoteric and cultural background activities, sometimes disturbing to the most due to their flirting with extreme traditional right-wing topics (not political, but mostly related with Traditional esoteric philosophies and philosophers - Evola, Guénon, Codreanu, etc.) in lyrics and aesthetics. Musically, after four years from the release date, is still personal and innovative, not only black metal but also electro-folk, ambient and industrial moods, crossing the border of a genre. Bombastic sounds are being blended together with dark electronic, distorted and acoustic guitar, whispering/spoken word, and gothic sounds. The first two songs 'Kampf' and 'Mabuse' give a good presentation of the atmosphere throughout the album; dark, depressive, and most of the time threatening. The third song, "L’eredità del cinghiale" is again very folk & medieval sounding with epic spoken vocals and some grand keyboards. The fourth song, "Funeral" is where things start to get very odd. This is more of a dark ambient/electronic song with peculiarly spoken robotic like vocals. From here on we keep seeing the band exploring and incorporating these various influences into the rest of the songs. The tracks 'Sth.492', and 'Epilogo' make a welcome distraction from the harshness throughout this album and can be regarded as distorted piano/organ pieces. Later on the track list there’s a fragment which seems to be an excerpt from some sort of propaganda film. In addition to this I can’t forget mentioning the track number 9 which has already earlier appeared on a compilation dedicated to Burzum. This song is called "Moti Ragnarokum" and was originally performed by Varg Vikernes on "Daudi Baldrs" album.
Additional compliments for the artwork of the digi-pack which displays fitting images with the coldness presented on this album.

ABANDONED PLACE: Shadow Of Memory

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 02 2008
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Artist: ABANDONED PLACE (@)
Title: Shadow Of Memory
Format: CD
Label: Thonar Records (@)
Rated: *****
Born in 2006, Abadoned Place is a dark ambient project headed by Romain Lemenorel (the same guy who's behind March Of Heroes) and SHADOW OF MEMORY is his debut album under this moniker. Presenting eight untitled tracks or eight movements of the SHADOW OF MEMORY suite, Romain created one hour long cinematic album where the main theme, by looking at the album's art and pictures, seems to be concerning the abandoned houses and the memories which like haunted souls are chained to those places. Reverbered noises, synths and violins are the main instruments used. The atmosphere created is working well although the sound construction doesn't change too much as it is focused on the effect/ambience created. The album has been mastered by Frederic Arbour of Cyclic Law.

TONAL Y NAGUAL: The Hidden Oasis

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 31 2008
cover
Artist: TONAL Y NAGUAL (@)
Title: The Hidden Oasis
Format: CD
Label: Thonar Records (@)
Rated: *****
Tonal Y Nagual is a Bavarian band and their second album THE HIDDEN OASIS sounds like a middle way from neo-folk and pagan experimentation with acoustic sounds (see the opening "Lafayette, à l'aube" and its ritualistic percussions). Mixing chants, medieval melodies, a bit of electronic synths and acoustic guitars, the German combo created a particular album which recalled me the musical concept of the 70's hippie culture, where music was lived like a cathartic event. The whole album atmosphere is permeated of mystic moods (see "La figlia della morte" which means "The death's daughter" and its blend of chants, strings and percussions) and the band offers also some powerful neo-classical orchestration based tracks like "Midday calling" and "Fiumente". Execution perfectionism isn't the main thing here but Tonal Y Nagual in this way are able to make you feel better their musical vision. You have just to let you loose senses and abandon yourself to the flow...

EX-VOTO: DOLOROSO

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 30 2008
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Artist: EX-VOTO
Title: DOLOROSO
Format: CD
Label: POOR ALICE MUSIC
Distributor: POOR ALICE MUSIC
Rated: *****
I got the pleasure of seeing this quartet at the Wale the Dead 2 fest in Los Angeles. This band is one of the most Goth Rock bands I have ever seen, they hail from New Orleans and are not to be missed live! The cd is "Doloroso" and it is pure Goth Rock at it's finest. We open with Track one ~ Seven Sisters . a Gothic masterpiece with Larry singing.in a dark haunting voice, " They run, they run, they run, someone watches over me." This track is sure to tear up a dance floor for sure. We proceed on to Track two ~ " Spiritual Lies " which is one of the hardest sounding tracks on the album. Guitar driven and full of speed. Larry sings, " Why can't you see, why can't you listen to me, spritual Lies, spiritual compromise. " A kind of I told you so lesson to be learned that we can all relate to. This track has some kick to it to get you moving and grooving. The next Track three ~ Clean on the Outside was the most amazing track to me on this cd. Larry screeches , " So clean on the outside, Jesus Christ what a mess on the inside." making us think of all that have hurt us in the past. This song should be an anthem to the ones that wrong us. Super Goth Rock guitars blasting with heavy beats beating hard with the heavy expressions that match this song. With lyrics and uniqueness all around. Larry sings again, " My world is crashing, sound the alarm." Once again, clever as it gets. We then proceed on to Track seven ~ She Got it Big which is another great dance floor hit. This song truely Goth Rock at it's finest. Larry sings, " She got it big, she got it hard, knife in her back, right through the heart." This song tells the tale of animals that can tear you up and take your soul. A no hold barred in your face track that has fury and gets under your skin to warn you of evil that is making itself known. A track we can always keep in the back of our minds to have a tale to tell. Then next is Track eight~ Not a Single Tear which describes myself to a tee. It was a track that I had too much in common with and made me laugh a bit. Larry sings, "A black dress and spider webs, crucifix around her neck." Track after track they are all unique and awesome in their own way but Track nine ~ I Can See Right Thru You is by far my favourite track on the whole album. This track was embedded in my mind from the first time I ever heard it. Too damn cool and making me a believer that Goth Rock still exist I got up from my chair and starting dancy in a frensy when I heard it agaiin for this review. Larry sings so dark and so savage, " Your lies will crucify you" Your lyiing ways, your cheating days, and yourself my friend." A tell all, tale that once again is a thorn in our side, that we all bear of the ones that have betrayed us. Everythng about this song I love and will always cherish. It is a new song that I will put up in the high ranks of my favourites. The rest of the album is pure Goth Rock Elegance at it's best and everyone should buy this cd and give praise to " Doloroso " ~ 4 stars Michelle Russo

:WULGATA:: Echoes Of The Past... Not Far Away

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 30 2008
cover
Artist: :WULGATA: (@)
Title: Echoes Of The Past... Not Far Away
Format: CD
Label: Beast Of Prey (@)
Rated: *****
Containing eight tracks exploring the dark ambient/industrial realm, ECHOES OF THE PAST... NOT FAR AWAY isn't properly a new album by :Wulgata: as it gathers tracks which previously have been released on the MCDr "Echoes of 3rd", one remix of a Multipoint Injector track included into their "Altered states album" plus two compilation tracks (basically this is a CD reissue of the "Nag Hamadi - Unfinished Story..." CDr released by Mizantrophy Label back in 2005). Of the lot I appreciated most the five tracks coming from "Echoes of 3rd", because they are able to span through different dark ambient/industrial ambiences trying to diversify the sound. So, if "Abyssynthia" is based on minimal sounds/noises with bells and water noises that suddenly break in, "Le jour du soleil noir" has a strong mid tempo rhythmic section (a Middle Eastern kind of rhythm) with distant distorted guitar rumbles and a synth joining in after a while, enriching the atmosphere. "R.otten I.ra P.uryfication", instead, has a background of vocal and drum machine loops and creates a total different mood. The compilation tracks are nice industrial ambient tracks with ethnic references (this concerns "Gange flows") but they kinda stick on the same ground.


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