Music Reviews



SCHATTENKINDER: Weisser Regen

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 13 2008
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Artist: SCHATTENKINDER
Title: Weisser Regen
Format: CD
Label: Curzweyhl
Distributor: Masterpiece Promotion
Rated: *****
Released after four years from their debut album titled "Vision Of Nightfall", WEISSER REGEN shows Schattenkinder dealing with mature and polished folk music influenced by goth, jazz, electronic and trip-hop music concerning the songs' arrangements. Listening to the first two tracks of the CD you realize immediately that this is a cured product with a great production. The band is able to create soft melancholic songs which can be enjoyed by romantic/goth music lovers. Sometimes sounding a little like Dead Can Dance and sometimes blending electronic arrangements with strings and focused on the good voices of the female singers of the combo, WEISSER REGEN is a nice album which offers dark romantic atmospheres arranged into different musical keys.

PANTHEON LEGIO MUSICA: Per Aspera ad Astra

 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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Mar 12 2008
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Artist: PANTHEON LEGIO MUSICA (@)
Title: Per Aspera ad Astra
Format: CD
Label: Thonar Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
After reviewing almost a year ago "Sic Itur Ad Astra" (here www.chaindlk.com/reviews/index.php?id=3687), which was a sort of advance copy of PER ASPERA AD ASTRA, I was waiting for Hydra to release it. Unfortunately that label seems to have stopped printing new releases but Pantheon Legio Musica were lucky enough to find a new label for their debut album. Thonar Records is releasing it on March the 15th (the day Julius Caesar died) and the definitive edition has all the tracks of the preview plus some others. The sixteen tracks of PER ASPERA AD ASTRA ideally link industrial/neo-folk music to the greatness of Roman Empire by creating atmospheres which make you fantasize about great battles, ancients heroes and pagan Gods. Pantheon Legio Musica are able to give to their music a solemn atmosphere full of pathos, rumbling rhythms and melody. The instrumental tracks are perfect to paint battle scenarios, while the ones sung by K.M. Roho make you think about bacchanalia and everyday life. I can only confirm my old review and finally also you will be able to enjoy this great record.

LONESOME JONESOME: The Peeper and Chin Chin

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 09 2008
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Artist: LONESOME JONESOME (@)
Title: The Peeper and Chin Chin
Format: CD
Label: 2Casual (@)
Rated: *****
Personal "creature" of Chris Jones, a guy coming from Derby/U.K., Lonesome Jonesome on his forth release titled THE PEEPER AND CHIN CHIN is bringing to the attention of folk/alternative music lovers ten tiny tracks/moments which with the simplicity of a classical guitar, a tambourine and the noises of the city are able to freeze emotions by catching your attention. Chris choice to play ten instrumental songs widen the soundtrack effect which give you the idea of a slow day lived into a small city. Even if the tracks sound essential they have different layers where guitars seems to play like little kittens while the tambourine and the town noises give the beat. If the music itself is able to give to the listener enough emotions, the titles are doing the rest by painting surreal pictures like "Lady with a dog's head", "Gimme freak weather", "Oven shots" or "Losing your intellect". Try it...

Humour Malade: Humour Malade

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 05 2008
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Artist: Humour Malade (@)
Title: Humour Malade
Format: 12"
Label: Brouillard Définitif (@)
Rated: *****
Another great release from the Brouillard Définitif label after the new album by Guerre Froide and the Leitmotiv collection (a must for everyone into coldwave or darkwave). Humour Malade are an obscure French act hailing from Aix-en-Provence. They were active between 1988 and disbanded in 1992 - they recorded more than 100 songs and covers but no records, singles or even demos were put out - this lp is a selection of their finest moments plus a cover of Joy Divison's "Exercise One" and let me say it... the result is a monster of an album. Musically they are close to the coldwave bands and the overall sound of the album is soaked in a lo-fi reverb, so it's all a little abstract (Cabs are stated among their influences). The LP is on clear vinyl and comes with an amazing artwork. A major recommendation for this one and I strongly hope to hear something else from their archives.

Birch Book: Fortune & Folly

 Posted by Perry Bathous   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 23 2008
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Artist: Birch Book
Title: Fortune & Folly
Format: CD
Label: Helmet Room Recordings (@)
Distributor: Massive Music
Rated: *****
Melding with the neo-medieval-folk sensibilities that Dead Can Dance re-popularized, Birch Book's Michael B'eirth labors to resuscitate the troubadour tradition in this now out-of-print collection of psychedelia-tinged folk originals. Not since John Renbourne, Bert Jansch and the Dransfield brothers of the sixties have I heard such serious acoustic guitar-driven intent to praise the itinerant minstrel. An American to boot, the man is also an accomplished custom luthier (guitar maker) based somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Though not in as cerebral a mindset as Nick Drake, B'eirth rhymes and chooses his words well enough to make his ultra-lilting, whispery delivery bearable (for those who are not too into having some guy breathing in their ear). In other words, if you loved the movie Once, you may not be able to do without Fortune & Folly. A great moment comes from track six, the instrumental "Diaspora," a frightening take on Leonard Cohen with a beautifully mixed-in jet airplane sound, although some lyrics would have made it brilliant. The only complaints as far as technique is concerned are a few wobbly harmonies and strangely dubbed vocals on track four, "Young Souls."

A significant letdown, however, is that the lyrical themes largely center on the troubadour himself and little else, as in track 7, "Wandering Boy"; track nine, "The Trip Goes On" is a pernicious example of overindulgent repetition. There is little room left for the picaresque narratives and fables that should actually come from the bardic tradition from which B'eirth takes his cue. Where are they? Alas, the beasts with two backs and the jealous cuckolds are nowhere to be seen. Fortune & Folly is an otherwise promising folk outing that smolders with ambition, yet is hobbled by the crippling self-importance that helped scuttle the previous great folk movement. It could be that there is such a thing as too much transcendence.


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