Music Reviews



BACIO DI TOSCA: Der Tod Und Das Madchen

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 25 2008
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Artist: BACIO DI TOSCA (@)
Title: Der Tod Und Das Madchen
Format: CD
Label: Curzweyhl
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
Taking the name from a Puccini's opera (Tosca was the title and a character of one of his operas), Bacio Di Tosca, bring to the lovers of fascinating female vocals the first chapter of their work. Based mainly on Dörthe Flemming's (on ex Charitona) chant, DER TOD UND DAS MADCHEN (Death and the girl) contains ten tracks which lyrically take inspiration (and also uses excerpts) from the works of Heinrich Heine, Mathias Claudius and Karoline von Günderrode. Musically she finds her influence into Schubert's works. We have piano and orchestral songs that can be enjoyed by Dead Can Dance/Sopor Aeternus lovers with some exceptions (see "Sheidung", an electro goth mid tempo where Dörthe sings like a deadly femme fatale or "Helena" where electro sounds meet orchestrations). Some tracks may have a lack of homogeneity because of the mix of opera chants and electronic sounds but after a couple of times you'll listen to them probably you'll find them more interesting compared to the classic sounding ones (which are good on their genre).

HISTORY OF GUNS: Acedia

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 24 2008
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Artist: HISTORY OF GUNS (@)
Title: Acedia
Format: CD
Label: Line Out Records (@)
Rated: *****
Third album for History Of Guns, ACEDIA (it means "total absence of spiritual light") is a granitic example of how a crossover punk (English 77 punk in this case)/industrial band should sound to me. The first time I listened to tracks like "Born, brutalised, bought then buried", "Exhaust fumes" and "What have they done to us" I thought to a mix of Killing Joke and Bauhaus and I liked it. For sure Del Alien and Max Rael aren't afraid of bastardize their sound by blending sounds and influences (in fact their previous stuff was less guitar driven and more electronic): if the sound is powerful and personal no matter if now it sounds punk (like on "Never forgive you", just to name one and by the way I wasn't expecting to find in the mix a sound similar to the Hammond organ!). "Empty eyes", instead, sounded to me like an updated version of old Batcave sound. Do you remember early Alien Sex Fiend? Well this one is more punk but the overall atmosphere remembered me those melodies. If you are free from sound/genre boundaries History Of Guns is a good band to check.

Ezekiel: Songs Of Love And Hate

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 24 2008
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Artist: Ezekiel
Title: Songs Of Love And Hate
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Trained pianist, multi-instrumentalist and philosopher inspired by Crowley, Ezekiel sent us his debut album titled "Songs of love and hate". The CD opens with the beautiful "The sea" (the most convincing song of the lot), a track where you can fully appreciate his skill as pianist performing a suite full of phatos and cinematic atmospheres. The various tracks paint different kind of atmospheres passing from the epic tones of "The sea" or "Lass" to the romantic dreaming ones of "You" or "My heart". The characteristic of Ezekiel instrumental suites is the piano (where he gives his best) which on most of the times is accompanied by strings orchestrations. Unfortunately sometimes some midi sounds (the piano seems to me a real one) ruin a little the atmosphere because Ezekiel's music would deserve a whole orchestra because to me SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE sounds like a dramatic movie soundtrack. On Ezekiel's website you can check high rate samples of his album and then you could decided if his music is the soundtrack of your movie called life...

SKITLIV: Amfetamin

 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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May 23 2008
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Artist: SKITLIV
Title: Amfetamin
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
Skitliv is a project created by ex Mayhem's member Maniac. Helped by different people on drums and bass plus Attila (member of Sunn O))) and Mayhem) and Kvarforth (from Shining), he recorded ANFETAMIN, the first official Skitliv album. ANFETAMIN isn't properly their debut studio album because it contains two tracks recorded in studio (the main title plus a different version of "Slow pain coming", a track you could previously find on their demos) plus six others recorded live at Camden Underworld the 13th December 2007. At a first listening you could questioning yourself: "why Justin isn't releasing this one on his black metal sub label Satanax Rex?". Well, after a couple of spins the answer I gave to myself is: "this CD has been pressed on Cold Spring because of the its attitude". You know, Skitliv's music for sure is derivative from metal and doom and Mayhem years for sure left a trace on Maniac's musical attitude. The difference on tracks like "Amfetamin" and on "Slow pain coming" is made by how the guitars are treated. Vocals, rhythms and the general atmosphere find its root on doom metal but noise doesn't. "Amfetamin" has no drums and into its eight minutes length we have guitar arpeggios duetting with desperate vocals while treated noisy guitars build a tense background. Also for "Slow pain coming" it's the same: it has doom rhythms and crying vocal parts but on the background we always have a web of noise that change the overall atmosphere. It's also interesting to notice David Tibet's participation (with Andrew Liles) on the live intro "Who will deliver us from gold & planets?" where he perform one of his vocal multi layered laments just like on the early Current 93 days.

Abandoned Toys: The Witch's Garden

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 21 2008
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Artist: Abandoned Toys
Title: The Witch's Garden
Format: CD
Label: Mythical Records
Rated: *****

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With the best of intentions, self-proclaimed "new age music composer" Brett Branning of Abandoned Toys lays out what is meant to be a 9-course feast of melodious shadows in this instrumental, piano-driven Dark Classical disc. Immediately, however, it's clear that the piano in the opening track, "Within A Lilac Clutch," is either un-practiced or un-quantized, and it does not bode well for the rest of the CD. Luckily, the piano-predominant songs alternate with some nicely treacherous, wicked, haunted landscapes of more-than-Tolkienesque splendor, so all is not lost. In a vein belonging to Current 93, creepy female chorale-voices crescendo very well at the end of track two, the "Prelude" to the title cut. The brief track seven, "Spiraling Into the Sun," too, works best at redeeming the shakiness of this oeuvre.

As a composer, Branning is capable of many good turns of phrase, yet since he also claims film soundtrack experience on his website, it's all the more surprising that he'd put down so many pieces in need of tighter rhythm. Although he is ably assisted by a guest violinist on track five, "Flickering Embrace," the accompanist still can't find where to sync up with the choppy piano. Even with all the other scary, cool sounds to his credit on this release, it looks like Branning could stand to make better use of his toys for the next go-round.


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