Music Reviews



MYK JUNG: Zenith Is Decline

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 02 2006
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Artist: MYK JUNG
Title: Zenith Is Decline
Format: CD
Label: Endless Records (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Myk Jung is for sure a Goth/Industrial Rock legend alive not only in Europe, thanks to his well known projects like THE FAIR SEX or TESTIFY. I should admit in advance that his music caught never really my attention - and then this new release... First off, forget almost all Rock elements you know from his both main bands. The second title of this CD, "The Nine Lost Ballads" simply describes what this is. No heavy guitar attacks, no acoustic speed drums - no, Myk presents a very personal and emotional side of his music. Already with the chose to release this CD under his very own name shows already his dedication to the tracks. Also that he could include his 10-years-old daughter doing some beautiful vocals on two tracks is just another proving fact. Piano sounds, calm acoustic guitars, several orchestrated string ensembles and a lot of deep dark male vocals at times with some female help - this is the right soundtrack for some gray and rainy November days in front of a fire side. Six special tracks in between the nine ballads called "Flight I to VI" are included as well and here shows Myk his understanding also for the more electronic side of his music. And also that this music can and will never count to my preferences, I have to speak out my deepest respect for this release in all its kind and how it comes out. Check also out the excellent styled CD itself - it looks like a 7 inch vinyl single...

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE: Starless and the Bible Black Sabbath

 Posted by Fabrizio Della Porta   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 16 2006
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Artist: ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE
Title: Starless and the Bible Black Sabbath
Format: CD
Label: Alien 8 (@)
Rated: *****

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"Starless and the Bible Black Sabbath" is Alien8’s third release with the Japanese psychedelic ensemble Acid Mothers Temple. They have recently changed the "Melting Paraiso UFO" in the heavier sounding "Cosmic Inferno". With that title, which refers both to King Crimson and Black Sabbath and the album cover, which sees AMT leader Kawabata Makoto standing in for the mysterious woman on the front of the first Black Sabbath album, they're paying a tribute to two bands they love. While this album is certainly a tribute record it doesn’t consist of covers. The band sound like if they are simultaneously paying respect to other Sabbath influenced projects such as Melvins. Having a lenght of about 40 minutes, this work might technically seem like a short album, but the majestic, mind-bending soundscapes you can find in it, are virtually infinite. It’s a monster jam of epic, amped-up proportions that seems more like a tribute to heavy Hawkwind or maybe Monster Magnet. "Starless and Bible Black Sabbath" consists of two tracks, the first is a mammoth, mostly instrumental 34 and a half minute workout full of plodding, heavy riffage and gibbering gobs which are then offset by the swirling, often beautiful atmospherics of the rest of the ensemble. Also notable is the use of two drummers playing virtually the same thing all along the lenght of the track, but with slightly different timing, once again adding a feeling of massive depth and space to the track. The second cut, "Woman from a Hell", is a mere 6:14, but it sounds like an outtake from the Nuggets box set with its jackhammer guitars, phased vocals and acid-rock accents. This piece has more in common with the gentler sound found on the "Mantra of Love" release or the recent "IAO Chant" release, a tribute to Gong. As usual, The Temple blend heavy-metal madness, krautrock pulses, free jamming and outer space sonics resulting into a thrilling, freaky effect. A must!

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: The Road To God Knows Where / Live at the Paradiso

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 15 2006
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Artist: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Title: The Road To God Knows Where / Live at the Paradiso
Format: DVD
Label: Mute
Rated: *****
After the success of "the Proposition"'s movie (written and scored by Cave and Ellis) Mute tops it off with the release of this double NTSC DVD, featuring Uli M. Schueppel's 1990 movie "The Road To God Knows Where" and the 1992 Amesterdam concert "Live at the Paradiso". The former is a b/w documentary film (113min) with subtitles in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish that documents their 1989 coast-to-coast US tour and features footage shot backstage, on stage, at the hotels, in the tour bus and on the road in general. It's "only" 15 years ago but, probably because of the style and the absence of color, it really feels like (in a good, nostalgic and authentic way) you are watching a documentary from the seventies. This first disc also features a vey interesting short film (by the same director) entitled "The Song", with scenes from one of their recording sessions in Berlin and a "City of Refuge" video clip. For more info about the director check out his site www.shueppel-films.de. The latter DVD features a live concert (in color) edited by John Hillcoat (who was also involved in "the Proposition"). Well shot, a lot of cameras, well edited, "Live at the Paradiso" really showcases the intimate and intense cathartic and raw energy that Cave and his Bad Seeds can release from a stage.
If you are a fan of Cave you can't miss this!

BELTANE: Spell Of Harmony

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 15 2006
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Artist: BELTANE (@)
Title: Spell Of Harmony
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Electron (@)
Rated: *****
Beltane released in the past two albums and an EP. Their newest release SPELL OF HARMONY isn't exactly a new album, because it collects seven reworked versions of their previous songs. This EP isn't a dj remix collection of band's songs, because Paul Handley (the man behind Beltane's lyrics and music) did all the work. The MCD contains "Spell of harmony" (coming from "Dyonisian blood" EP and "The fire of becoming' CD), "On the fly", "A self willed commission" (coming from "The fire of becoming' CD), "Dyonisian blood" " (coming from "Dyonisian blood" EP and "The fire of becoming' CD), "The enchanted ocean" (coming from "The fire of becoming' CD), "Foreign shore" (coming from "World of dreams" CD), and "Impasse" (coming from "The fire of becoming' CD). The new versions present a sound that convinced me more respect the original ones. This time the dancey rhythm and the electronic arrangements are the main elements of the tracks and in my opinion this helped giving to the female vocals a support that wasn't present on the old versions. In this way the old electro goth sound is revived and it finds new energy thanks to the new sound.

LANDAU: s/t

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 13 2006
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Artist: LANDAU (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Landau sails in the modern rock ocean where the Mtv sea and the post-emo sea kiss each other. I think we can say it sound major and it has a lot to do with the production and with the emphasis they give to the vocals in the whole mix. Usually such a records gets quickly filed under "alternative rock" and yes, I think that’s is it somehow, but keep in mind it doesn’t entails that’s a bad thing. If you ask me I'd put Landau's cd in between early Timoria, above all for the metrics of the vocals and Sensefield ("Building", "Killed for less" era) for the music. Good soft rock with a nocturnal feel and a good attitude for soft melodies, differently form the average band playing this kind of music their song writing is quite mature, probably much better than half of the italian alternative-pop rock scene playing at big festivals. The main difference from the major circuit is the production that's good but not yet groundbreaking while at the same time it’s not "thick" enough to have that "indie-rock" sound of bands such as Yuppie Flu or Julie’s Haircut (speaking about pop). Some songs also sounded like it was a sort of italian version of Filter since both of them have that dreamy-poppy feel and a touch of well hidden electronics. We’ll see what future will bring them.


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