Music Reviews



VVAA: Songs From The H-Bar

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 14 2007
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Artist: VVAA
Title: Songs From The H-Bar
Format: CD
Label: Momt (@)
Rated: *****
Formed at the end of the '80s and active for almost the whole '90s Chemlab toured with NIN and recorded for Metalblade, Invisible and Underground Inc. The original band disbanded in 1997 and in 2004 the band re-born with the release of "Oxidizer" with Jared Louche helped by different guests. This tribute compilation sees sixteen bands of the alternative electronic industrial scene giving their version of Chemlab songs. FleshField, Cyanotic, UCNX, 16 Volt, Hindu Pez, Infocollapse, Fetish Project, K-Nitrate, Insight 23, Typozorg, Cross Contamination, Upon Eventual Collapse, Amorphite, Idiot State and D.Grey give their best creating a mixture of electro industrialism always in balance between pure electronic (see 16 Volt with their dreamy version of "Neurozone", Fetish Project with "Derailer", K-Nitrate with their "White line fever mix" of "Codeine, glue & you", The Vinegar Works with their acid industrial version of "Pink" and D.Gray with a minimal experimental "Suture"), industrial electro guitarism (Fetish Field with "Chemical Halo - Brusied Regeneration Suture", Cyanotic with "Suicidal jag", Ucnx with 21st Century - Head Like A Whore Mix or Hindu Pez with "Exile on mainline" to name a few) and goth electronics with Amorphite (their version of "Pyromance" isn't perfect and sometimes it seems out of sync but it is a particular one). The various tracks work and also Jared Louche wrote to Momt to express his satisfaction...

EVEN VAST: Teach Me How To Bleed

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 13 2007
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Artist: EVEN VAST (@)
Title: Teach Me How To Bleed
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
EVEN VAST is a Italian band which formed in 1998 after the split of the CHAOS AND TECHNOCRACY, and this is their third album after "Hear Me Out" (1999) and "Outsleeping" (2001). Their music is sometimes described as Gothic Metal, even though I think they don’t deserve a so repressive definition: maybe they’re more rock-oriented and open minded than the other bands stitched to slow-and-sad riff with ethereal voice cliché. You can understand their ability to mix different approaches looking how they can combine an aggressive rock with some American influences (Breakaway) together with guitar riffs sometimes wisely influenced by the best New Wave-Dark (Limelight above all), and a voice that know how to be melodic, sweet and involving at the same time. JOY DIVISION’s cover Love Will Tear Us Apart completely enforces this opinion of a fusion between rock and new wave, and it’s a well made version with a more aggressive feeling, where the band emphasised the pop potential the original song already had.
Good is the rhythm section, without moments of real outstanding but doing very well their work, while the electronic samplers contribute to give the album that modern and fresh sound today seems to be a need, at times adding a bit to the groove and forcing you to shake the head while listening (see the intro of Misbecoming). This record I think will be more appreciated by melodic metal or THE GATHERING fans than by Dark-Gothic ones now obsessed with batcave imagery, but EVEN VAST made a good album, that’s for sure, and they deserve to be listened. Sweet melodies, a powerful and melodic music perfect for being the soundtrack of your most intense moments (I’m thinking of a movie scene with a long drive in the night obsessed by thoughts or going to face the future). The more you listen to it the more you will do it again.

MIRIAM: When Beauty Is Invisible

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 13 2007
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Artist: MIRIAM (@)
Title: When Beauty Is Invisible
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Miriam is an Italian band formed back in 1998. They took their name from the Italian title of the 1983 movie "The hunger" (it was "Miriam si sveglia a mezzanotte"). After a demo CD and a member line up change (Massimo Bandiera joined them) the band released their first official album for Decadance Records in 2002. After five years of work they are releasing this month their second album titled WHEN BEAUTY IS INVISIBLE. Since the first songs of the album you can realize how much care they put into production. Their style, which I'll call "shoegaze electronics" due to their electronic instrumentation and to their lushious atmospheres which recalled me Breathless and Cranes, is able to create an good ambience made of fluctuating eletronic layers and reverbered guitars. For sure you have to be in the right mood to listen to this CD because most of the the tracks are mellow melancholic mid tempo songs with whispered female vocals. After five tracks I must admit that even if the band is able to create a good encharmed atmosphere I had to take a break. Sometimes some upbeat rhythms surfaces like on "Endless", a track which remembered me the old Clan Of Xymox atmosphere with updated sounds. A cover of "Nightporter" closes the album: the band did a difficult choice because Daniela vocals can't recreate the emotions I felt with David Sylvian but I must admit that the instrumental part is good. If electronic wave is your style check this out...

PARANOIA INDUCTA: Gloria Laus (Lux mundi act I)

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 12 2007
cover
Artist: PARANOIA INDUCTA (@)
Title: Gloria Laus (Lux mundi act I)
Format: CD
Label: Beast Of Prey (@)
Rated: *****
Headed by Anthony Armageddon Destroyer, Paranoia Inducta releases for Beast Of Prey his latest work titled GLORIA LAUS. Being the first part of the Lux Mundi trilogy, the album sees Robert Marciniak of Rukkanor and War Office Propaganda fame and eLL (Sui Generis Umbra), helping on some tracks at keyboards and voice respectively. Like stated the trilogy is "a tribute to all those people who died, were killed, deceived, humiliated or stalked by the Catholic Church. It's an homage for all those victims, to whom, instead of love, hope and brotherhood, blood, tortures and death was brought". The release is limited to 444 copies and has a special package as usual for Beast Of Prey. The eight tracks sound like dark ambient tracks with some industrial sounds and Gregorian chants here and there but generally Anthony focused his efforts into creating sonic wounds where magmatic layers of synth pads are ripped by metallic feedbacks, clanging sounds and various noises, like the music would reproduce the sound of inquisition's torture chambers and I must admit that he succeeded.

ISOTHESIS: Cocoon Of Red Light

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 10 2007
cover
Artist: ISOTHESIS (@)
Title: Cocoon Of Red Light
Format: CD
Label: Beast Of Prey (@)
Rated: *****
Heading from France, Isothesis has released his third album in a limited edition of 200 copies for the Polish label Beast Of Prey. Divided into five industrial dark ambient suites COCOON OF RED LIGHT has been "built" using live recorded drones and sounds. The different movements create slightly different ambience which differ because of the kind of drones and by the use of industrial distortions. The first track begins with gentle bells sound and slowly it turns into a nightmarish soundtrack with humming reverbered vocals and pads joined by grinding digital noises. The second track is focused on distant marching rhythms overwhelmed by layers made out of synth pads. I appreciated the vocal distorted part on the end which gave to the track a personal touch. The third movement is a classic dark ambient track with medieval style chants on its ending. The fourth track expand the atmosphere of the third one focusing on the vocal parts creating a good effect. The final track is the most musical one and starts with a relaxing ambient synth sound which soon meets the sound of hellish hordes with noises which seem of the devil's cavalry. The chaos and the creepy effect grows as the track reach its final minutes. A good album which needs to be listened with attention and at a high volume to be fully appreciated.


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