Music Reviews

Portal : Gone But Not Forgiven

 Posted by Andrea Vercesi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 30 2007
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Artist: Portal (@)
Title: Gone But Not Forgiven
Format: CD
Label: Make Mine Music (@)
Distributor: Make Mine Music
Rated: *****
Portal is the musical alter-ego of Scott Sinfield, a project that has crafted a distinctly unique sonic vocabulary ranging from distorted ambient lullabies to trippy rhythmic electronics. "Gone But Not Forgiven" is a collection of rare and alternative versions. "July" (originally released as a double A-sided 7" in 1999) has a hypnotic guitar work over inspired distortions that will leave all the Flying Saucer Attack fanatics drooling with their eyes rolled back. The alternative version of "Sometimes I'm lost" is the typical Portal track with lush electronic tapestries and the contribution of Rachel Huges' mesmerizing vocals. The highlight here is a version of "Bloodline" recorded in 2005 for a Dutch internet radio show called Senzor - there are raw distortions but perfectly arranged structures and it sounds even more touching than the album version (on "Waves & Echoes" - 2005). As you can guess by the album title, this project sadly is no longer active and Scott is now focused working for the superb Make Mine Music label.
Aug 21 2007
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Title: Heat
Format: CD
Label: 1st Decade Records (@)
Distributor: SPV
That’s an arrogant term for a band name, the two guys behind THE WORLD DOMINATION seem to be pretty much convinced about their upcoming internationally success. I guess there can’t be doubts on this, since the promotion machinery seems to work fine so far. This German duo plays a sort of Alternative/Electro-Glam-Rock music and therefore only a very few elements in their music are fitting with our magazine preferences. Definitely too much Mainstream-oriented, their efforts here may work with a mass-compatible video clip for the ringtone-infected youth. Not at all my glass of beer, and I’m unable to find any better entrance to their tunes musically in someway comparable to NOTHERN LITE, but not in the same quality league. Well, no rating out of the reasons that this is a foreign genre for me.

AETHERE: The Long & Dark Tea - Time of the Soul

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 20 2007
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Artist: AETHERE (@)
Title: The Long & Dark Tea - Time of the Soul
Format: CD
Label: Rage In Eden Records (@)
Rated: *****
Here we are, with the second release by War Office Propaganda after their name switch into Rage In Eden (they already used that name for their distribution/shop). The name changed but the catalog number is always under the WOP moniker. Anyway... Aethere is the musical project created by a guy called Emanuele Ratti, who's coming from Milan/Italy. He already released a couple of limited CD-Rs and a promo CD distributed by War Office but this newest one is his first proper distributed and promoted album. Before writing this review I read some of Emanuele's websites content and I became aware of his nihilistic/depressed/suicidal attitude. Lately (also because of Marco Corbelli's suicide) I'm always sorry when I see this kind of attitude into people and even more when it is a young guy. Aethere attitude don't interfere into the creation of a good album and on the six movements of "The Long & Dark Tea - Time of the Soul" the particular blend of '70s electronic mixed with dark ambient with a pinch of doom (see the vocals on track 4 and 5). The atmosphere created is always tense and Emanuele is good at creating a convincing alternation of calm moments which blast into a dark electronic mayhem made of sibilant synth sounds, reverbered percussions and growling vocals. Doom atmospheres are converted into electronic cosmic movements with industrial elements.

Reliquary: Winter World

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 19 2007
Artist: Reliquary
Title: Winter World
Format: CD
Label: Final Joy Records (@)
Rated: *****
Storming out of Scottsdale, Arizona area that's rarely known as a thriving music scene, this goth band made their debut in the music industry by opening up for The Cruxshadows, Belle Morte, The Last Dance, and Faith and the Muse. Reliquary will take you on a cold icy chilling journey that will stir an emotional and powerful enchanted feeling. Their album "Winter World" is truly a benchmark in the history of Goth music and the dark subculture itself altogether. I worship this band because of the lyrics and the music that's strongly so very well written with enlightenment and visual images throughout. The band consists of: Kara-voice; Loki-guitars, programming; and Suriel-bass. All tracks on the cd are very honest, transparent, embellish, and spellbinding with capturing of its melodies and strong hooks. Kara's compassionate vocals so sultry, enticing, divine with beauty sung in soprano and opera. Sweet harmonies swoons in sadness, agony of pain, lost and dreams torn apart, which also faded away.

Reliquary really have the potential to go further with their music career. It's hard to resist from listening to this band. The first time you pop the cd in, you'll ended up having the cd player repeat the cd to play it over and over again and again. Their songs will heal you, make you cry, and make you think. Like in the lines of "Lost In Thought":

"Moments of sorrow falling like rain
Distances past and returned again
Colors of heartache stir beneath
Layers of numbness and spreading disease"

This album is highly recommended for goths who just got out of an relationship, lost, lonely, and sad. A brilliant superb album that's unforgettable.


1. Prelude
2. Destroy
3. Tell Me
4. Trinity
5. Change
6. Beyond Dreams
7. Undone
8. Winter World
9. Dreams Torn Away
10. Distant Land
11. Lost In Thought
12. Lakme

O PARADIS: Cuando El Tiempo Sopla

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 17 2007
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Artist: O PARADIS (@)
Title: Cuando El Tiempo Sopla
Format: CD
Label: Punch Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
CUANDO EL TIEMPO SOPLA ("When the time blows") is the new full length by Demian's O Paradis. After the double CD "Las Nubes que Mueren" here we find fourteen tracks based on the time concept. The songs are inspired by time and by the effect of it on people's lives. Based on mid tempo ballads with electronic arrangements the tracks create a suspended effect where Demian's voice is slow and calm. During the fifty minutes of the album is like the time has stopped. Sometimes I suffered of this effect because the tracks create a similar atmosphere and it takes time to discover the different melodic layers. In fact, at the third listening, it was like I was discovering a new album. An interesting effect which you can avoid by listening few tracks at a time. On "Tiempo" you can find Punch Record's boss, Tairy, giving his help on vocals and I must admit that the first time I listened to it, I was thinking it was a sample of Papa Giovanni XXIII (best known as "Il Papa buono"/"The good Pope") because of his tone of voice.

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