Music Reviews



Love Sessions : 2

 Posted by Sir Logla   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 10 2006
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Artist: Love Sessions
Title: 2
Format: CD
Label: prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: audioglobe
Rated: *****
After the first Love Session, with the help of Daemonia Nymphe and Lys and their European tour in 2002, Louisa John-Krol and Francesco Banchini (GOR) recorded in France in Prikosnovenie Studio this second volume. This musical meeting has been managed by Prikosnovenie in the medieval city of Clisson.The 2 musicians composed together 16 tracks directed again by Lys(Frederic Chaplain ). The atmosphere is heavenly with a real focus on Louisa's exquisite voices and Francesco Banchini's mystical instrumentations. Another time the music lambs Mediterranean, Provencal and Celtic lands in remote ages. The French harp of Mandragora added to the melancholic clarinet, mandolin, percussion and drums give to the work a touch of middle East. At last another great album from this French label. Like bonus on the cd there are 20 minutes of video includes live concert of the 2002 Love Sessions tour, scenes of the recording of Love Sessions 2, an interview with Louisa and Francesco. The multimedia element of the CD also includes full credits and lyrics.

THIS EMPTY FLOW: The Album

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 08 2006
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Artist: THIS EMPTY FLOW (@)
Title: The Album
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Eibon Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
This Empty Flow were a band coming from Finland and they lasted only two years. Formed in 1994 by Jori Sjöroos (voice, guitar, programming) and Niko Sirkiä (keyboards, lyrics) in Turku, Finland, they already played in the funeral-doom metal band Thergothon. Later in the same year, Aku-Tuomas Mattila (bass) joined the duo (he was the leader of a local goth-electro band called Sad Parade). During 1995 the band recorded few tracks for a demo and sent it to Avantgarde Music. The Italian label decided to sign a contract with them, so the trio recorded in about two weeks their first and only album "Magenta skycode". The eight tracks of the album were for sure influenced by Cure of tracks like "Just like heaven" or "A picture of you" but the trio went even further expanding the concept of dark track by creating long melancholic tracks. Check the nine minutes long tracks "Useless" and "Towards distant" where the band sound seems to turn into a breath while the time goes by. The crawling structure sometimes recall the atmospheres of Cure’s "Faith" but without forgetting their doom past, because if you check the opening "Nowafter" sometimes the sounds blast off with an explosion of guitars. This double re-edition titled THE ALBUM, gathers along with "Magenta skycode" a second CD "Magenta lost". This one contains eleven songs coming from 4 tracks Fostex recordings. The quality of the demos is quite acceptable and along with demo versions of "(but I am) still" and "Distress" you can check new songs like "Serpents", "Highest of the angels" (oh my, this one seems a "Wish" outtake!), "Nevermore", "The 14th" and others. I know that I named the Cure too many times and now you’ll think about This Empty Flow as clones but believe me if I say that this is not the case.

KNIFELADDER: The Spectacle

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 07 2006
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Artist: KNIFELADDER
Title: The Spectacle
Format: CD
Label: Cryonica Music
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
While starting from largely hystoricized genres like industrial and post-punk, Knifeladder are probably one of the most peculiar acts around nowadays, and this might have penalized them a bit in terms of visibility, since it's not that easy to pigeonhole them in one of the trends of today. Their second full-length (after the brilliant "Organic Traces", which I reviewed back then, plus a debut split with Shining Vril and one with Naevus) features, as always, the line-up of Hunter Barr (bass, synths, effects and production), John Murphy (drums and assorted percussion, theramin, voice) and Andrew Trail (zurna, synths, voice), with the appearance of Lloyd James (Naevus) at backing vocals in one track. Their post-punk/wave matrix is much more evident now than in "Organic Traces", thanks to a songwriting which is more based on bass lines, synths and vocal melodies than before (listen to "Just Deserts", "Head of the Serpent" and "The World Tears Its Heart Out"); but on the other hand, don't expect any gaudy new wave revival, but rather a heavy, experimental take on the best features that '80's dark music had to offer. Sometimes it's like listening to a cross between Killing Joke, Swans, 23 Skidoo, Coil ("Scatology"/"Horse Rotorvator"-era) and God's bulldozer orchestra. So now Knifeladder are a bit more approachable, but they haven't renounced to their muscular power: the delirium of wind instruments and percussion of "Suffer In Silence" immediately reminds of the fiercest moments of their previous works. The surprise effect is obviously a bit gone by now, but "The Spectacle" is a much recommendable album to those cruising for dark and physical music.

KOJI ASANO: violin and viola suites No.1-No.7

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 07 2006
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Artist: KOJI ASANO (@)
Title: violin and viola suites No.1-No.7
Format: CD
Label: Asano production (@)
Rated: *****
At last reading Asano's biography it reports about his studies and therefore his belonging to the category of "learned" musicians and even if it wasn't that evident in his previous works it emerges in this new "violin and viola suites". Forget the electronic productions of this japanese 'cause the title is not a joke: this cd features seven brand new suites composed by Asano and performed Kumi Nakajima and by Masashi Sasaki (the principal violist of the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra). Modern Chamber music? Classical music? Sure to an untrained hear (like mine) it may sound somehow really classical (and I'm talking about genres and not about the compositional side of this music). It somehow reminded of some music written by Terry Riley for the mighty Kronos quartet and if you've heard that you know this old "freak head" writes in a really different way if compared to his solo work with Scodanibbio or to his minimalist masterworks, I’m speaking about opus like "Requiem for Adam" and "Salome". Some passages, for what I know, also reminded me of Vivaldi and I'd say it's more than a sensation but I must say I'm forced to doubt being so ignorant for what concerns chamber music. Fast passages and solar music that would fit really well in a old italian Villa. I think this is a good record and the overabundance of conditional terms is due to my poor knowledge of this kind of music, shame on me.

PASSE MONTAGNE: long play

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 04 2006
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Artist: PASSE MONTAGNE
Title: long play
Format: CD
Label: Ruminance (@)
Rated: *****
The new wave of French Rock...more and more rock bands arecoming from the country of Michel Platini, but just look at the past and you'll find there's a good tradition of rock, noise-rock industrial-rock combos coming from there. Honestly when speaking about bands like Chevreuil and Passe Montage it's not proper "french rock" but much more modern one, post-rock, math-rock highly influenced by the wave coming from american epicentres like Chicago or Louisville. I'm sure like Chevreuil, Albini would have a good time recording and mixing a band like this, at last Passe Montage filter a sound with reminiscences of like Shellac, Slint, Minor Forest, Don Caballero just to give some "points of departure". The only potential "french factor" could be that depressed melodic shade cast here and there in some of the tracks, but the main impression remains that of a solid drumming crossed by a heavy pounding (but still melodic) bass and by a guitar the way it’s supposed to be. I think you already know the formula and if you're still missing something like June of 44 or Hoover or Regulator Watt you won't be disappointed. These talented musicians still write songs and not Gaudì-alike configurations, sometimes I'd like to see them leaving their influences back home to see what happens. Inside his body bag "rock and roll" body is still warm.


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