Music Reviews



LINGUA FUNGI: Tlapallan Pantonal

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 22 2007
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Artist: LINGUA FUNGI
Title: Tlapallan Pantonal
Format: CD
Label: War Office Propaganda (@)
Rated: *****
Started back in 2001 in Finland as a personal musical project by Jaakko Padatsu, Lingua Fungi is releasing its second album titled TLAPALLAN PANTONAL. Based on a personal interpretation of Central American mythology the album is mainly focused on the myth of Quetzalcoatl (from Wikipedia: "In Aztec religion, Quetzalcoatl was a benefactor god, considered a leader among the deities, that would come back after his departure to take back the empire") and a lot of sound used by Jaakko remind of the instruments of American ancient music tradition but they are used into an ambient industrial context which is, in this way, enriched by the contrast of synth pads and noises with flutes, guitars and percussions. The seven tracks of the album are able to involve the listener and carry him through mysterious lands. Sometimes the ambient drones take a hold on the other sounds but once the music starts being joined by percussions and stuff the magic starts again...

RUKKANOR: Despartica - Face One

 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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Jun 18 2007
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Artist: RUKKANOR
Title: Despartica - Face One
Format: CD
Label: War Office Propaganda (@)
Rated: *****
Few days ago I reviewed Rukkanor's "Ende" MCD and today the listening of DESPARTICA - FACE ONE surprised me. If on Robert's previous release war and martial rhythms/sounds were the main element, DESPARTICA - FACE ONE is a multifaceted project based on poems written on the last two centuries. Robert picked the ones that were fitting best his feelings about nowadays situation. Following the track list we have: "The death bed" by Thomas Hood, "Beauty and beauty" by Rupert Brooke, "I Am" by John Clar, "A poison tree" by William Blake, "Before the world was made" by William Butler Yeats, "Anthem for doomed youth" by Wilfred Owen, "A divine image - song of experience" by William Blake, "Jerusalem" by William Blake, "The Old Woman" by Joseph Campbell and "Echo" by Christina Georgina Rossetti. Musically we have martial rhythms with few industrial sounds (there are a lot of orchestrations along with percussions) and a blend of dark ambient and post punk atmospheres and if you'll be surprised to listen to ten "sung" (it's more a declamation to be true) tracks you'll be surprised as well to hear guitars, bass guitars here and there painting a different sound. Rukkanor on this album was able to turn is sound into something different, something which adapt the sound to the different songs. So, if on "Before the world was made" we have a piano / strings duet with some basic percussion, "Jerusalem" has a guitar performing a mid-oriental melody and a typical oriental set of percussions. Surprisingly "The old woman" recalled me the sound of the Rain Three Crow project (the only record produced by Japan on their reunion). I loved "Ende" and I liked also this new album and I'm suggesting you to check this project!

ATARAXIA: Kremasta Nera

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 17 2007
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Artist: ATARAXIA (@)
Title: Kremasta Nera
Format: CD
Label: Ark Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
This is the new album from the Italian band ATARAXIA, whose discography would take ten minutes to be told, considering all the albums, DVDs, solo projects and collaborations they did in nearly twenty years. But surely they are a band than doesn’t need a presentation anymore. What emerges listening to their albums is that, since the beginning, they had a distinguished and recognizable style and every new record, even though always adding something new, gives you what you expect from them and never disappoints. KREMASTA NERA is not an exception and surely every previous fan will appreciate it, but at the same time adds more influences that make their sound even more intense and expands their stylistic horizons. The concept of the album is about Axieros, the White Goddess of the Greek isle of Samothrace, and explores the religious beliefs and rituals that her followers had to practice. "Kremasta Nera" enriches the usual medieval sound of ATARAXIA with a strong influence from ancient music, with Hellenistic and Oriental influences, and transports you in a historical era submerged by the dust of centuries, where you will dance around the fire and listen to hypnotic mantras leading you to trance. The use of ethnic percussions (both acoustic and electric), played by the guest musician Riccardo Spaggiari, adds that right element that makes this album really wonderful, like in "The Nine Rituals", "Ochram" or "Kaviria" just to mention few. Francesca Nicoli’ enhances her vocal skills, alternating chant, recitation, ritual lamentations or other influences I could say from African singing (in "Ochram" I thought there was a Senegalese guest singer). I think the ritualistic and theatrical musical approach find its top in "Therma", so obsessive it evokes visions as in a delirium or in ecstatic trance, while in "Ebur" an unexpected electric guitar adds a lacerating melody to a powerful and cadenced track that’s perfect for a colossal movie. But this isn’t the only dimension you’ll find in "Kremasta Nera", that also gives pearls of sweetness (more similar to the "traditional" music of the band) like "Fengari" or "La Fame e la Danza" where classic guitar and keyboard pads support an Italian singing full of sadness and melancholy. Definitely, an album pervaded by the perfume of exotic incenses and burning torches, deep and intense, to be listened at medium-high volume (or headphones with closed eyes) to be completely submerged by visions. It’s a door to a forgotten age, if you dare to discover it.

RUKKANOR: ENDE

 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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Jun 15 2007
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Artist: RUKKANOR
Title: ENDE
Format: CD EP
Label: War Office Propaganda (@)
Rated: *****
Sixth release for the personal project of Robert Marciniak (one of the two guys who run War Office), ENDE contains six tracks focusing on martial orchestral sounds. Listening to ENDE a couple of times, I realized that even if Rukkanor didn't compose these tracks thinking about a proper release (this EP is a collection of five unreleased tracks and a live one composed during the Scontrum Act IV, the "Triumvire" split CD and the latest album "Despartica face one") has been able to chose tracks which succeeds into creating a solid atmosphere. The tracks aren't simply tunes with marching rhythms, orchestral sounds and vocal samples, because Robert enriched them distinguishing the melodies and the ambience. If the opening "War" is a blasting opus, "Hail, Rome victorious!" has strong moments as well melancholy ones which blend, the live track "Virus dei" is an industrial ambient track with grinding treated noises/choirs and thundering rhythms and the following "Függetlenség, szabadság ! (Freedom, Independence!) Hungary 1956" (from Wikipedia: "Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the Communist government of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from October 23 until November 10, 1956") is a track where the battling sounds are really convincing. Good one!

VV.AA: Scontrum act VI - Bisclaveret, Sect, Ab Intra

 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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Jun 14 2007
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Artist: VV.AA
Title: Scontrum act VI - Bisclaveret, Sect, Ab Intra
Format: CD
Label: War Office Propaganda (@)
Rated: *****
Sixth episode of the Scontrum Act series the CD brings, as usual, to the attention of the listener three bands for a total of nine tracks. This time an artwork based on the Dariusz Branski's oil paintings has been used (check this link to see some of his paintings: www.branski.republika.pl) and the sixth chapter sees the participation of three Polish acts: Bislaveret, Sect and Ab Intra. On their three tracks Bisclaveret explore the same kind of atmosphere I talked about into the review of their latest album "Psyche nomine": ritualistic dark ambient atmospheres with effected recitative vocals, mysterious melodies and some distant industrial rhythmical noise. They are good at what they do, so if you are into this genre their are worth a listening. Sect presents a set of three percussive tracks where industrial and dark ambient atmospheres merge, creating a tense battling scenario. Ab Intra instead with "Demiurgia Part I" are slightly less percussive and the track has got a final part focused more on an experimental ambient approach with a piano which duet with some drones. "Demiurgia Part II" sounds like a hymn performed by a organ sound with some background percussion, the percussions fade out into a distant orchestral sound and some choirs. The third part of "Demiurgia" is a good soundtrack for an "end of the world" scenario, when there are only ruins left. This six chapter is a good one where the guys at War Office did a good work by selecting bands which doesn't sound similar but someway create similar atmospheres.


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