Music Reviews



FORGOTTEN SUNRISE: Willand

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 25 2007
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Artist: FORGOTTEN SUNRISE
Title: Willand
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Distributor: Aural Music
Rated: *****
Three years after "Ru:mipu:dus" Forgotten Sunrise are back with their particular blend of e.b.m., industrial, metal and a little bit of goth. If you are a purist of genres try this release with an open mind, because on "Ropelove" you'll find an e.b.m. track with black metal vocals while the following "Lo-fi ppl into the fade out world" opens with male and female vocals that remember me Morthem Vlade Art (just to give you an idea) mixed with a semi techno rhythm, a cool electro background, just to blast during the riff with distorted guitars and growling vocals. The following "Nextep suicide" seems a dance tune with new wave guitar and vocals, while "Dead le gends a mong the living" is a particular electronic dark metal tune really tense with filtered vocals. Forgotten Sunrise are a kind of crossover band but if with that term we were used to think about rock, with WILLAND you have to forget everything you had in mind and you have to be prepared to receive the flow of distorted guitars, goth intuitions, e.b.m. and ton of energy. I confirm my positive opinion about the band because they are personal, energetic and they are able to create good songs which aren't afraid to dare. Check the ballad "Prophylactic EUthanAsia" and you'll be convinced by the rich arrangement (fretless bass, acoustic guitar, reversed sounds, double vocals, synth pads, etc) and by the atmosphere created. I know that for some of you this music could sound like a mishmash of genres but I told you that you had to be open minded!
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: A Compilation 2
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
A COMPILATION 2 is a budget double compilation where you can find 28 bands of the Black Rain, NoiTekk, Ars Musica Diffundere and Funk Welten rosters. The first CD is basically focused on the first two labels and it gathers the industrial e.b.m.sound of bands like Die Sektor Life Cried, Psyclon Nine, Iwr, Cyborg Attack, Distorted Memory, Tyske Ludder (a track from their come back album), Feindflug, Dawn Of Ashes, Supreme Court, Fgfc820, Vigilante, Tactical Sekt and Violent Entity. Their tracks are all taken from previously released albums and with these you can do yourself an opinion about the sound of those two labels (and if you love classic or industrial e.b.m. I suggest to check them). The second CD has different kind of sounds and gathers the ambient, electronic, goth and medieval bands of Black Rain, Ars Musica Diffundere and Funk Welten. In this case it's more difficult to find a balanced tracklist but it seems that the labels guys find a way to make it work. At the beginning you can find the orchestral goth of Novalis Deux, the goth of Rise And Fall Of A Decade (a track coming from the forthcoming re-release of "You or Sidney"), the ambient medieval atmospheres of Predella Avant, the ambient ethereal sound of Narsilion (with a track from their forthcoming album "Namarie"), Reliquary, Brillig (with a track from their next album "Mirror on the wall" which is also on their single I reviewed a week ago), Dandelion Wine, the theatrical distorted goth music of Killing Ophelia, the industrial metal of Jesus And The Gurus, the folk of Kutna Hora, the good electro medieval e.b.m. of Lamia, the ambient industrialism of Flint Glass, the really good electro ambient of Oil 10, and Amateur God. A good compilation that you can have for 5 euros plus postage directly from the label's shop page. A real bargain!

ANDERS MANGA: BLOOD LUSH

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 24 2007
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Artist: ANDERS MANGA (@)
Title: BLOOD LUSH
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Distributor: CD Baby, Amazon.com
Rated: *****
There’s new blood on the Goth scene- his name is Anders Manga, and that’s good news for anemic music-vamps. I think this is a name you’re going to hear a lot in the future, so you better get used to it. So just who IS this Anders Manga, anyway? Well, if you’re addicted to Gothic music, go to Goth festivals and conventions and read the Goth publications, you just may already know. Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Anders Magna is getting out of the coffin and doing what has to be done to take a bite out of the world of musical darkness. Already garnering a "Best Band Award" nominee by Gothic Beauty magazine, Manga has 3 previous albums under his belt, and he’s only been actively around since 2005! So how does the brand spankin’ new "Blood Lush" stack up? Well, I’ll tell you... .

Beginning with the title track, "Blood Lush" is a platform boot goth club stomper that has all the elements in place to make it a classic. Simple, effective, yet interesting enough to hold your attention. Great opening track that screams for a remix. Not only a memorable chorus, but a nice little bridge too. The music has been labeled "Gothtronica"- synths and drum machines are the primary musical backdrop for Anders’ baritone vocals. (Think Sister’s – Andy Eldritch crossed with The Mission’s- Wayne Hussey - minus the pretension, a dash of Peter Murphy and a drop of American Southern-Gothic.) Manga’s production seems to have improved a good deal over the early material delivering a lot more punch. The synths are raw and hot when they need to be ("Taste of Euphoria", "At Dawn They Sleep") and the arrangements, simple though they are, push Anders’ vocals out to the forefront. I checked out a couple of his videos on his website, and if that’s any indication, this guy has a truckload of presence, and that’s important in this genre. There’s a lot of Numanesque analogue sounds on "Blood Lush", which is great, but the one area that lacks is in the percussion. Sometimes it just sounds too much standard workstation drum-machine programming, and that’s a bit of a liability. On one slow song – "Sleeping (In the Fire)", I felt that Manga’s voice was reaching on the verses, but a strong chorus made up for it. A far cry from the strongest track here, but I appreciate the effort. A better slow track is "Science Fiction" with a cool 80’s style arrangement.

Lyrically, Anders Manga ought to please the dressed in black crowd- nothing too deep, but suitable for a night at The Castle, The Church, Slimelight, Dark Area, Salvation, Purgatory, Decadence, The Haunt, Sanctuary, Requiem, or whatever your local goth club happens to be called. Not every song on this CD is a winner (there’s a bit of filler here and there), but there’s enough strong material to make it worth a purchase. I think with a bit more time and attention to the percussive aspects and more songs like some of the stronger ones that have killer hit potential, Manga’s next release could be unstoppable. In the meantime, I’d recommend a purchase because when it comes to Gothtronica, good new CDs are few and far between.

VARUNNA: Cantos

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 23 2007
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Artist: VARUNNA (@)
Title: Cantos
Format: CD
Label: Hau Ruck! (@)
Distributor: Tesco
Rated: *****
Varunna is a particular Italian project. Referable to the neo-folk movement and headed by Alessio B., Varunna already released a 7" and a 10" (split with Foresta Di Ferro) for Hau Ruck!. CANTOS is his first full length album which sees Albin Julius and Joerg B. helping out on keyboards, harp, launeddas and electric guitars. The peculiarity of the album is the reference to the Sardinian culture: CANTOS is meaning "songs" and "Ichnusa" (this is the title of the third track) is the ancient name of the Italian isle but I'm sure there are other ones I haven't found. You can find this influence also on the music thanks to the use of some traditional Sardinian or Italian instruments (Jew’s harp or launeddas). Based on guitar, bass and basic percussions, Varunna presents ten ballads which take inspiration from the Italian tradition of singer-songwriters, just check tracks like "Piombo 70" (with its guitar solos) or "Polvere" (almost a r'n'r track) and you'll notice that a certain dark elements characteristic of other bands of the genre (A Challenge Of Honor to name a band you know for sure) is missing. For sure Varunna's music is peculiar and someway it could destabilize people as well it did Ain Soph's "Aurora" with those songs that were seemingly coming out from a tavern. The lyrics paint basic concepts of Italian/European pride (see the text of "Europa!" where Alessio sing of a soldier who's dying for his land) thing that made this CD lose an half point.

DERNIERE VOLONTE: Devant Le Miroir

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 21 2007
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Artist: DERNIERE VOLONTE (@)
Title: Devant Le Miroir
Format: CD
Label: Hau Ruck! (@)
Distributor: Tesco
Rated: *****
Three years after the release of his full length release "Les blessures de l'ombre" and after the reissue of his early tapes and of his compilation tracks (the double CDs packages and "Obeir et mourir" "Commemoration") Geoffroy D. a.k.a. Derniere Volonte is back with his new album titled DEVANT LE MIROIR. Available on CD and limited edition vinyl + 7" (the two editions differs as the CD contains "Maitre de ma peau..." which isn't available on the vinyl but the latter has "Je le prouve" plus an untitled track on the 7") the album shows a new path for the French project. If the reissues I mentioned before showed the industrial side of the band, DEVANT LE MIROIR represent a step forward by introducing some electronic arrangements (like on "La nuit revient" which introduce a drum machine and a synth sound for bassline) and a little more melody. The atmosphere created isn't that far from the previous album but Geoffroy calibrated the different influences blending the militaristic side with some French traditional melodies (see the melodies of "Au travers des lauriers" which is a traditional nursery rhyme of the 18th century or "Douce hirondelle") and some pop approach (remember that we are talking about Derniere Volonte so try to imagine in what way I could mention pop music). If you missed the experimental side you can find it, thanks to the help of Wertham, on the closing "Maitre de ma peau", a track composed like a spoken word with a tense music background made with dark ambient sounds. I really appreciated how Geoffroy balanced the elements by blending militaristic drumming, a little more melody and intimistic lyrics ("Cran d'arret" is based on a text by Apollinaire). Well done!


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