Music Reviews



STEVE MOORE: The henge

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (4045)
Nov 19 2007
image not
available
anymore
Artist: STEVE MOORE
Title: The henge
Format: CD
Label: Relapse Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)
As a half of the duo named Zombi, Steve Moore already had a certain background talking about movie soundtracks (he did the scores to "Simulations", "Home Sick" and "Murder-Set-Pieces" with Zombi and "Horror Business" and "The Redsin Tower" as solo) or tracks written with a certain cinematic atmosphere/approach. THE HEDGE is his first release as a solo project and here you can find five tracks ("Introduction", "Infinite resignation", "The henge/Ascension", "Dead tide" and "Cepheid") where Steve mixes the atmospheres of Italian and American sci-fi and horror B-movies (see movies of directors such like Lucio Fulci, Umberto Lenzi, Larry Cohen, etc) of the 70's and 80's. He took as reference John Carpenter (the director and the score writer of "Halloween"), Goblin (the Italian band who scored "Profondo rosso", "La via della droga", "Suspiria", etc). I enjoyed his style which takes also classic atmospheres a la Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and Popul Vuh and mix them with ambient/drone solutions, dub (see the drums on "Infinite resignation") and a little bit of doom (see the guitars and the drums on the final part of "The henge/Acension"). Steve switches atmospheres passing from ambient moments where keyboards and guitars create a thrilling ambience to soaring ones where synths drones are shaken by guitar thunders. Your movie for the ears is ready!

MARIAE NASCENTI: Raise Your Paw to the Sky and Break the Truce

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (4042)
Nov 18 2007
cover
Artist: MARIAE NASCENTI
Title: Raise Your Paw to the Sky and Break the Truce
Format: CD
Label: Final Muzik
Rated: *****
After some spins of Mariae Nascenti's second full length cd, I must say I'm a bit disappointed. I've always found his live sets truly engaging, and the "Morituri Te Salutant" debut was promising, though probably not fully mature. The same thing could be told about "Raise Your Paw...", but as a whole, the album is much less energic and captivating to my ears. Coming with a lavish booklet and lengthy titles (Constellation/Mt. Zion-style), it is fairly varied in a very short time (10 tracks, less than 33 minutes), which is a double-edged sword, since it sounds too eclectic while many potentially strong ideas are not developed. The original industrial-ambient element is reduced to a minimum, and when the ninth track, "Amavo addormentarmi...", opened with a bass-heavy drone, I was hoping that it could lead to some darker territory - but it was only a fragment. The Coil influence is still strong in some spoken passages, like the opening "Blood Runs through My Veins...", or in the obsessive, beat-driven "These Giddy Memories..." (alas, with some over the top opera vocals), but then you find a piano sonata, a sort of drunken ballad ("Everything is Fine..."), an anaemic pop-rock instrumental ("Remember to Forget..."), and a good final melodic piece with more flat spoken vocals I could do without ("The Story of the Sad Bear..."). My favourite track is the cover of Slowdive's "Dagger" sung by a massive church-like chorus, but the song is so beautiful that you can hardly go wrong with it. I have nothing against even wildly varied works, but here one feels the lack of a strong binding theme, or atmosphere, and half of the tracks are just nothing special.

DIRGE: Wings Of Lead Over Dormant Seas

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (4036)
Nov 13 2007
image not
available
anymore
Artist: DIRGE (@)
Title: Wings Of Lead Over Dormant Seas
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Equilibre Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)   or   BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)
After several line-up changes, sound adjustments and a new signing for Equilibre Music (they reissued the band's third album "And shall the sky descend") Dirge are bringing to the audience their first proper album for the label, a double album titled WINGS OF LEAD OVER DORMANT SEAS. The promo packet I received is missing the second CD which contains the one hour long title track, so I'll focus my review on the first one, which contains five tracks. I'm kinda new to Dirge but on their particular mix of drone guitars, post HC and doom metal I felt like home since I'm an early fan of Godflesh, Scorn and Slint. Dirge are really good at dilating atmospheres/sounds and they have no problem at merging guitar drones with noise intuitions and post hc singing. You know, on tracks like the opening one "Meridians" it could be really easy to understand if a band is faking a genre or they are really into that kind of sound/emotions, because it is really easy to get bored with a 20 minutes track if you have a mishmash of genres and a band with no arguments. Dirge span from instrumental moments with thick ambient sounds to loud noise industrial ones with tribal atmospheres with ease and I enjoyed them.

A Place To Bury Strangers: A Place To Bury Strangers

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (4026)
Nov 07 2007
image not
available
anymore
Artist: A Place To Bury Strangers (@)
Title: A Place To Bury Strangers
Format: CD
Label: Killer Pimp (@)
Rated: *****
New York's Loudest Band says the sticker on the cd - A Place To Bury Strangers are a trio hailing from Brooklyn, born on the ashes of the brilliant Skywave. Musically it is a perfectly blended mix of Jesus & Mary Chain psychedelia with echoes of UK wave and a Big Black-esque view of rock'n'roll. Oliver's vocals sound great and in each track there are many asymmetrical layers of distorted guitars delivering a divine flurry of violence and the result is not so far from Swervedriver's almighty "Raise". As written above, the most pervasive elements are guitars filtered through Oliver's own Death By Audio pedals. That creates an incredible tension between the trippy pop melodies and the powerful rhythms. "To Fix A Gash In My Head" has a high speed straight drum machine and some mind-blowing repetitions. "The Falling Sun" is a slower track and adds layers and layers of thick distortions to the amazing vocal lines. "I Know I'll see you" seems like a twisted version of the early New-Order - outstanding track, my favourite here. Despite the use of so many comparisons to describe their sound, all the ten songs here are awesome and fiercely original. Prepare to bleed with a grin on your face because violence has never sounded so lovely. Essential album.

VV.AA.: John Barleycorn Reborn - Dark Britannica

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (4025)
Nov 07 2007
cover
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: John Barleycorn Reborn - Dark Britannica
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Created from the collaboration of Cold Spring and Wowen Wheat Whispers (a legal download service of folk and related music reachable at www.wovenwheatwhispers.co.uk) JOHN BARLEYCORN REBORN is a comprehensive compilation of modern British folk music. The double compilation contains 33 different bands/tracks but there's also a downloadable third part for whom who bought the double CD or downloaded it, with further 33 songs. It's hard to describe well what you can find into this compilation because each band, even if they could be filed as folk, give their personal interpretation of folk music. You can find echoes of classic folk music (with flutes, female vocals and strings), folk rock (I know a couple of bands active in the 70's because my brother had some of their tapes: The Pentangle and Steeleye Span and some of these remembered those two) but also experimental, psychedelic and post punk influences (check Clive Powell, English Eretic and While Angels Watch). There are bands known to the neo-folk people thanks to two Tony Wakeford's projects (Sol Invictus and The Triple Tree) and Martyn Bates. I appreciated a lot the whole atmosphere and the way the bands approached the sounds and the themes. You must know that beside the music, JOHN BARLEYCORN REBORN is a project really linked to English people's roots because John Barleycorn is the character of a traditional folk song. From Wikipedia: "...is a personification of the important cereal crop barley, and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky. In the song, John Barleycorn is represented as suffering attacks, death, and indignities that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting. Some have interpreted the story of John Barleycorn as representing a pagan practice It has also been suggested that John Barleycorn, or rather an early form of the song, may have been used by the early church in Saxon England to ease the conversion of pagans to Christianity from their native Anglo-Saxon polytheism. The reasoning behind this idea is that John Barleycorn represented the ideology of nature cycles, spirits and the harvest of the pagan religion (and may have represented human sacrifice also) but that the song was Christianized in order to show John Barleycorn as a Christ-like figure. Barleycorn, the personification of the barley, encounters great suffering before succumbing to an unpleasant death. However, as a result of this death bread can be produced; therefore, Barleycorn dies so that others may live. Finally his body will be eaten as the bread. Compare this with the Christian concepts of the Sacrament and of Transubstantiation and it is not difficult to imagine how the song might have been beneficial to Christianity. A popular hymn, "We Plough the Fields and Scatter", is often sung at Harvest Festival to the same tune. As shown above, the point of the tale told by the original versions is twofold: it focuses not only on the death and resurrection of John Barleycorn, but also on Barleycorn's revenge upon the tradesmen who misused him".
Reading this we can understand that the character of John Barleycorn is a multifaceted one with many meanings, from pagan to agricultural. It gathers the life cycle and it help people bonding under his tale.
JOHN BARLEYCORN REBORN is the first project of this kind and other will come. Check the two websites dedicated to the project at www.john-barleycorn-reborn.com and myspace.com/johnbarleycornreborn


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha