Music Reviews



KLONAVENUS: Metropolights

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 28 2007
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Artist: KLONAVENUS (@)
Title: Metropolights
Format: CD EP
Rated: *****
This duo (Saffio – keyboards and programming, Chem:nitz – vocals) comes from Rome, Italy, and formed in 2005. They’ve already released two demos (S/T 2005, "The Shining Process" 2006), have appeared on the German Darklife Magazine Compilation and on "Italian Body Music Vol.3". The band is really in love with Electro-Goth/EBM and Dark-Wave, and in this new Ep alternates moments of sad reflection, dominated by deep and visionary pads, with aggressive loops, distorted voices and noises. They are quite good in this alternation between good and evil, CLAN OF XYMOX influences and painful atmospheres, horrorific melodies (see "Your Wintertime") and danceable songs for smoky clubs. Personally I’ve quite appreciates "I Run For... ", "Your Wintertime", "A Prison For Me" and above all "The Blind Creation" (great track) with that obsessive rhythm that forces me to shake my head even when writing this review. "Sermons" has a rough and fat music (shows more links with the EBM scene), and the vocal melody reminds me something of AND ONE. "Blessed Into Nothing", from "The Shining Process" demo, is here in a new version remixed by NYDHOG (a one-man project from Rome playing Electro/EBM with really good results), where the aggressive side of the song is emphasized, as more emphasis has been given to the female coir. The CD includes also two videos, "I Run For... " directed by Saffio and "Tonight" directed by Saffio and Jon Alcaide, a nice add on to a very pleasant Ep. The only thing I could add is that the band is really improving from demo to demo, and in their first album (hope they’ll release soon with a good label) I would expect an even better production (already good now), more pumping and powerful in the aggressive parts and deeper in the more introspective ones, and above all that the singer takes care of the English pronunciation that has some problems, as shown in the live acts more than on recordings. Labels, offer them a good contract because "Metropolights" it’s a very good work, absolutely recommended for all old-school/new-school electro-goth fans.

THE LAST DAYS OF JESUS: Dead Machines' Revolution!

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 28 2007
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Artist: THE LAST DAYS OF JESUS (@)
Title: Dead Machines' Revolution!
Format: CD
Label: Strobelight Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****
I knew The Last Days Of Jesus because of their MCD "Narrentanz" released back in 1999. Since then I appreciated their attitude of taking the batcave/post punk sound and making it evolve into something personal and energetic. Since then I haven't the opportunity to check their releases until now. DEAD MACHINES' REVOLUTION! confirms my positive feeling I had back then as on this album we find Mary0 and friends performing 13 tracks of personal gothic rock where the theatrical vocal performance of Mary0 are well supported by the music of the band. Post punk, goth and new wave are revived by the quartet which along with their label mates Miguel & The Living Dead (I saw they live in Italy about a year ago) are doing a great job by breaking old cliches of goth by including also some r'n'r/rockabilly influences.

BLACK HORIZON: Speculum Animae

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 27 2007
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Artist: BLACK HORIZON (@)
Title: Speculum Animae
Format: DVD
Label: Sume Productions
Rated: *****
Started by Dr. No in 1995 Black Horizon had to wait until 2002 to have their debut album released. "Infinity of chaos" was released by Transmission Records where the Dr. No worked for that label but wasn't allowed to released that work by himself . He was satisfied by the selling but he decided to expand the project toward a new way of communicating. For this reason he created the DVD SPECULUM ANIMAE and he decided to share part of it for free through his website. The DVD contains two new albums "Vitrum" and "Aqua" along with visual for each track of both of them. The first presents the band's sound as a blend of goth industrial metal where you can find influences that easily go to Sister Of Mercy to Pitch Shifter passing through N.I.N. and Ministry. You have the option to have the vocals in Dutch or in English and the can also have both the languages subtitles. The digital animation and all the live shootings have been made by Dr. No and they are able to create the right mood for the listening of the album. "Aqua", as the title can make think, has a different sound/visual and presents reflexive tracks with ambient/space rock parts as well as a little of new wave/industrial. The DVD is based on a story written by Mr. No titled "The mirror of soul". It talks about two persons of different planets who have their lives linked and they influence each other existence without knowing it. Marlahana and Nomade will discover little by little that they were made for each other. Nomade will be helped by Marlahana into his search of the ultimate congruence. There's also an extra 7 minutes film which comment this part of the story. Visit Black Horizon website and experience a little part of this gigantic piece of work.

AMATEUR GOD: Xenofeelia

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 27 2007
cover
Artist: AMATEUR GOD (@)
Title: Xenofeelia
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Nova MD
Rated: *****
AMATEUR GOD is a duo from Slovenia, formed by Bla Erzetič and Helena Gabrijelčič, and "Xenofeelia, or «Tales of How We Wanted to Fight Our Own Nature in Vain»" is the third album of the band (but until 2004 there was another singer), the second on German label Black Rain. The album is characterised by slow songs, with Helena’s voice laying on a bed of electronic beats and pads, creating a gloomy atmosphere, oppressive and disturbing. Sad emotions pervade your body, as listening to this album is like walking in a dead alley, fearful of the unknown. Voice is sometimes a bit monotone and dissonant, but I think this is just as they wanted it to be, to create this desperate sensation of emptiness; in fact, when she wants, Helena shows she’s able to sing melodically with no problem at all (see "Miss Fortune" for example), even though never aggressively but with a melancholic approach. I do like songs like "Changes", which has also a particular video, or "Garden of Sanity" with its deep and distressing noises, while I didn’t understand why a song with French lyrics has an English title ("Last Winter"). Maybe this album could give its best with few more variations, both in music and vocals, daring to strengthen some noises or beats when needed to emphasize some passages or to better take advantage of vocal extension. Told this, I must admit that if you accept "Xenofeelia" for the reflective atmosphere it creates, it could be a good album for grey evenings when you need to look into your soul. A trip to the sad side of life.

VON SPAR: Von Spar

 Posted by Fabrizio Della Porta   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 25 2007
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Artist: VON SPAR
Title: Von Spar
Format: CD
Label: Tomlab
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****
The project Von Spar born in the 2003 and they were regarded as the German answer to the post-punk/no-wave renaissance, but their debut was quite a parody about the eighties. Now they return with an uncompromising and unexpected album that will surprise you and maybe leave confused at first. Two long songs without scheme, inspired by seventies Krautrock and minimal music. The two 20 minutes songs combines the spirit of music exploration from Can and Kraftwerk with the experimentation of Ligeti and Reich, passing through the post rock of Godspeed you! Black Emperor and the dark and psychedelic techniques of Neurosis. We can also hear something about the post wave of Pere Ubu and Glenn Branca and the sludge doom metal. "Xaxapoya" starts with a vaguely sinister drone that accompany itself at a tribal drums. A wavering synth rises, the drumming always makes itself much maniacal and a voice, an oppressive yelp, insinuates itself. We are at the twelve minute and ew could have had enough of ; but suddenly a sequencer rises: the rhythm takes shape, the drumming becomes square and a motorik kraut-wave starts. The forcing is strict and the voice neurotic, as well as Polyrock were Devo. We finished exhausted, after a breathlessly run on a Can's guiding principle, an accumulation of percussive and overlaid tracks like in the mystic middle-eastern music, electronic prog effects and a great post-rock plant. In "Dead Voices In The Temple Of Horror" the matter is heavier and cruel. The voice passes through a filter and the drums stresses doom echoes. The guitar sounds like Godspeed you! Black Emperor, but also here like before we run off the rails in a no man's land between Black Sabbath e Godflesh. A work out of time, enigmatic and exciting, for intelligent, curious and patient people.


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