Music Reviews



JESUS AND THE GURUS: King ov SalÚ

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 28 2007
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Artist: JESUS AND THE GURUS (@)
Title: King ov SalÚ
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Nova Media Distribution
Rated: *****

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The Swiss band is a really particular mixture of Gothic Rock, Apocalyptic Folk, Metal and Electronic. Provocative and extreme in their "fight against stupidity, god, religion, humanity and totalitarianism" they were in the past accused of being only a Fetish-Satanist band and forced to play only in small circuits. Today the JESUS AND THE GURUS are recognized as Artist (with capital letter) so they receive more attention by official press and their offensive and challenging shows include both small clubs/squats and great exhibitions in international festivals. As said, their music is difficult to catalogue, a sort of Neofolk where martial drums and electric guitar, storming keyboard pads and organ support a deep and evocative voice chanting hymns. Simply exciting is the chorus of the second track "The End is Near", with martial attitude and a wonderful epic choir, apocalyptic and powerful, and great are also "The Song is the Weapon" and "We just Fight" alternating an acoustic guitar with symphonic explosions. "March to Hell" is another charming martial hymn while the use of Islamic adhan (the call to prayer) at the beginning of "Storm of Steel" sounds like a call to the final battle of mankind. "Holy Town" and "Hail Satan" remind me the morbid vocal approach of Marilyn Manson, while in "Dust to Dust" this influence mixes with a bit of Death in June. They use Satanist imagery, Christian teachings (Praise the Lord, Dust to Dust), Islamic references, giving the impression of a band belonging to no religious background, equidistant from all traditions and criticising them using only the power of their mind. It took me some time to understand the musical approach of the band (at first I only noticed the other bands’ influences) but once you realise what is unique in their sound you love them: their songs are great, good compositions with intense and touching melodies and a powerful approach that will please a large audience.

PUISSANCE: Grace of God

 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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Feb 26 2007
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Artist: PUISSANCE (@)
Title: Grace of God
Format: CD
Label: Equilibrium Music (@)
Rated: *****
After three years from "State Collapse", Puissance are back and they have a lot to say and a good amount of new sounds to propose. If you already read the interview I did with them you are aware that the Puissance's trumpet is calling for a people's awakening but I don't want it to sound like a preacher thing because on GRACE OF GOD Puissance don't talk about abstract thing. They talk about world domination: a thing that is happening right now, starting from your tv screen. Anyway, if their themes didn't change too much, their way of playing became more incisive and kinda melodic as on most of the tracks the duo included choirs and electronic pads just to give a support to the sound that in this way sounds powerful than ever. The catchy melodies along with the marching rhythms are a winning solution and if the drums, the piano, the trumpets and the ambience given by the electronic gears help creating a thick sound, the duo on some tracks like "Warzone" or "In Death" change their way of singing by introducing some melody. The effect is amazing and you'll be convinced that this was worth the waiting. Be also sure to check their website for a close examination of Puissance's themes.

Emox: Demo

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 24 2007
Artist: Emox (@)
Title: Demo
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Emox is the long lost brother and sister duo of Lance and Anne, held out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The cd represents a ten song untitled demo they recorded together. An impressive crafted demo you can take and listen to during a nice long drive on the countryside in the season of cold winter and the drifting of the snow. The songs are composed with a guitar and a drum machine that have a slow and mid-tempo rhythm. Some of the songs have a melancholic feel, but indeed catchy. The lyrics are written in a beautiful poetry form in a Robert Frost setting style. And the vocals of Lance contemplates in a dark manner, as Anne's vocals falls in a softly ethereal, which have that ghostly haunting feel. The cd demo is flourished with musical heart and charm. Not bad for a band who just getting started with their music career. Hearing the band playing live acoustic will be a perfect great fit and acceptable because of the guitar dynamic arrangements of how all the songs composed. Outstanding tracks are "Hopeless", about a shy boy who's in love with a girl, but doesn't give his heart to her; "Patience", "Bridges", "Night Snow", "Autumn Voices" and "Never Too Late". Emox has potential and maybe the long lost brother and sister who found each other will maybe get a chance of being signed to a label.

Asylum: Rattus In Sanguine

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 24 2007
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Artist: Asylum (@)
Title: Rattus In Sanguine
Format: CD
Label: Dead Love Records
Rated: *****
This cd is the official reissue of the demo already reviewed on this site. The album is released by the Australian label Dead Love Records and, compared to the demo, the sound quality has improved. Yet, I could confirm some of the observations years ago Maurizio Pustianaz wrote: seems that the one man band hasn’t decided yet which is its personal style, and it’s a pity because many ideas are quite interesting and could lead Cryos (the artist behind this work) to a bright future in the industrial area. All tracks are instrumental and show a large use of psychotic loops and distorted drums, usually in a crescendo that involves the listener in Cryos’ morbid Weltanschauung.
I prefer tracks like "Everybody’s Dead", with obsessive strings loops and harsh drums, or "Ancient Poets (Scream of Butterfly Remix)", obscure and sad but with a light remembrance of Enigma, the painful and distressing "Ploratus" or even "Lesbo Sado Dance" with its obsessive hardcore drums, a good track for smoky and crowded techno/industrial clubs. I can’t understand how can be in the same album tracks like the above mentioned and completely different ones, like "Crying People" (with some Vangelis’ atmosphere) or "Human Model", where the commercial influence is excessive for my taste.
Sincerely, ASYLUM has to decide with is its main path, giving an internal coherence to its production (at least on the official releases): the same confusion can be seen in the name of the band that changed continuously so that every time I look at the website I notice a different monicker (Asylum, Porno Machine, Angel Machine). This, together with a much better production (more clearness on string pads and noisy background and emphasis on the powerful drumbeats), could give to Cryos’ project the opportunity to emerge and place himself among the other good Italian industrial acts.

MULPHIA: Dark Sides

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 24 2007
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Artist: MULPHIA (@)
Title: Dark Sides
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya-Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
With MULPHIA the Hungarian-based Advoxya-Records label likes to introduce us another newcomer one-man act hailing out of the Czech Republic. I had to have a watch after the website of this act to recognize that this release is rather a kind of collection of older material of the band instead of being a new produced release. Anyway, this "Dark Sides" give a fine introduction to the internationally Electro/Industrial audience. Musically MULPHIA are based in the wide Dark Electro field featuring a constant Goth influence in all pieces. I would tend to compare them with some early works of SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS and CEPHALGY with a lesser megaseller attitude. It’s definitively not the freshest water of chosen sounds and – so I think – equipment with which the band has to cook here their musically work and I’m not sure if their use of almost forgotten sounds of about 10 to 15 years is intentional or not. The vocals are on most pieces rather natural and almost unaffected performed, while some tracks offer some well-done vocoder effects ("Dark Side", "Into The Core"). It isn’t too much EBM-driven and thanks to the Goth influence rather the tracks tend to concentrate on compositional efforts (nice example: "Broken Down"). Not bad at all and a decent debut, but I’m sure that this act can reach a wider experience to add a bit more complexity in the programmings – also a bit more refreshing of sounds and production should help.


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