Music Reviews

MANES: [View]

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 13 2006
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Artist: MANES (@)
Title: [View]
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Aural Music (@)
Rated: *****
After various line-up change during the years and after releasing two albums and several demos, the Manes see the release of their new EP titled [VIEW] that will be their last release for the Italian label Code 666/Aural Music. This new EP contains two new songs ("The neoflagellata revision" and "Knife & kleenex"), two covers ("Cinder alley" originally by 16 Horespower and "Title" which is somewhat inspired by Duran Duran) and three remixes de-constructed by Cordell Klier and DJ Don Tomaso. The two original songs are good mixture of melodic goth metal with powerful electronic e.b.m. arrangements (a sort of Metallica plays Nine Inch Nails). The two covers are two melancholic metal ballads (I don't appreciate the genre, so I can't tell you it they are good or not. Certainly they are well recorded and all, but I'm not a lover of this stuff). The two Cordell Klier remix ("Terminus deconstructus" and "Terminus dei profundis") balance well the industrial and the electronic sources. The latter is a little extreme (hisses and digital noise are the main elements) but it's the only noisy track of the lot, so it's ok. DJ Don Tomaso's remix of "Terminus" make of it a dub track without deleting its goth vein. A good track but it doesn't evolve during it six minutes lenght.
At the moment the band is without label but Kyrck Productions just reissued their three demos on one CD, so you can check their music anyway.

CAPRICE: Eleven Music 3 - Tales of The Uninvited

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 08 2006
Artist: CAPRICE (@)
Title: Eleven Music 3 - Tales of The Uninvited
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Rated: *****
TALES OF THE UNINVITED is the third chapter of their 'Elvenmusic', which is inspired by J.R.R Tolkien poetries. This time eleven out of twelve tracks have the lyrics written in Laoris, the language of the faeries. This language has got its own grammar and visually it's like a drawing of tree branches with leaves. This language has been invented by Caprice and it represent the band's will to "getting deeper and deeper into the world of faerie", as they declared into an interview with French magazines Longueurs d’Ondes. The tracks are capable to create a magic atmosphere that enchant. Musically the band astonish for their skill into the writing of a complex score. Also the beautiful voice of Inna help into the characterization of Caprice music and into the creation of this fable world. The violins, the flutes, the clarinets, the harp and all the intruments that are gently played create an atmosphere that also make me think of the historical period of the Renaissance. Caprice with TALES OF THE UNINVITED confirm their mastery into the creation of faeries music!

Breather: Stitched With A Kiss

 Posted by Adhab Al-Farhan   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 06 2006
Artist: Breather
Title: Stitched With A Kiss
Format: CD
Label: Failure To Communicate
Rated: *****
Breather is a trio gothic-rock group out of Chicago. The songs are top quality making this band full of potential for commercial success. The songwriting is superior. Fans of The Cure would love to hear this for sure. The atmosphere of the entire album has that feel of most artists on the Projekt Records label; very reverby and very crisp or light atmospheric, just perfect for this type of music. The songs has a dark feel to them as with most gothic bands. Jessica Cook's singing skills is very much like that of Sarah McLachlan and even Sinead O'Connor. When the vocals are sung lightly, Jessica sounds a lot like the singer from The Cranberries. I'm very excited about this band and I wouldn't be surprised if they make it big time in this tough music industry. "Stitched With A Kiss" is highly recommended.

JARBOE: The Men Album

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 03 2006
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Artist: JARBOE (@)
Title: The Men Album
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Atavistic
Rated: *****

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Even if you are a rookie and you don't know that much about
the alternative scene of the last twenty years, I think that you heard the name of the Swans. If you missed they early works and beautiful tracks like "Hanging" or "Greed" maybe you had the chance to check their latest releases where the acustic guitar took the place of the hammering guitars. Anyway... Jarboe was a Swans member and even if she wasn't with them since day one, she soon became an important part of the crew. It's years that Swans split but Jarboe never ceased to create her own vision of music, made of spiritualism, mysticism, everyday life and thousand of influences. Her life is an interesting one and since her early youth she's been in contact with inusual stuff (both her parents were F.B.I. agents). Her new double album is titled THE MEN ALBUM and it took six years to be finished. The two CDs are divided into "guitars" and "rhythms" and the twenty tracks see an incredible amount of collaborators. Do you want some names? Here they are: Blixa Bargeld (Einsterzende Neubauten, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), Alan Sparhawk (Low), Iva Davies (Icehouse, Master & Commander soundtrack), Jim Thirlwell (Foetus), Edward Kaspel (Legendary Pink Dots), Paz Lenchantin (Zwan, RTX), David Torn (David Bowie, David Sylvian), Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Ministry, Pigface), David J (Bauhaus, Love & Rockets, The Jazz Butcher), Percy Howard (Bill Laswell, Meridiem), Steve Von Till (Neurosis), Joseph Budenholzer (Current 93, Lydia Lunch), Mika Vainio (PanSonic, Bjork) and many others. Wow, at this point it isn't a surprise if it took her six years to record this album, is it? Listening to the twenty tracks I was surprised to check how the guests haven't been invasive about the song writing. You know, the track where you find Jim Thirwell doesn't sound like a Foetus song or "Feral Blixa" doesn't sound exactly like Einsturzende Neubauten (even if all the track is based on Blixa's guitar and on hisses produced by the duo). So, we have two different CDs where the first one is mostly based on guitar sounds: the opening "This is life" and the final part of "Feral" are distorted and rhythmic while the others are acustic ballads. The second CD is different as it is based on different musical styles but all linked by a rhythmic urge that moves its steps through the oriental dub of "Angel David", the bass distortion of "Bass force / Angel Jim" which seems a sort of "Angel David"'s reprise which turns into a spanish vertigo helped by Foetus, Paz Lenchantin and William Faith. The following "Torn kiss" is a sensual electronic short track that anticipate the jazzy eight minutes of "Penance". Not all the tracks have a training rhythm but if you think about the rhythm of a pulsing heart, well, at this point you can say that they are based on rhythm. Eclectic and personal, Jarboe succeeded into the difficult art of seducing her audience.

MUSTERION: The Black Lodge

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 02 2006
Artist: MUSTERION (@)
Title: The Black Lodge
Format: CD
Label: HORUS CyclicDaemon (@)
Rated: *****
It has always been a problem for me to find a dark ambient release that was able to fullfill my needs of darkness. You know, the problem is that with the years I became used to listen drones and mysterious voices coming from dusty closets. Musterion's first release THE BLACK LODGE fortunately isn't a darkambient release that contains tracks made with two sounds with titles that evoke unknown demons. Simon AA Kölle had the idea to ideally describe the voyage of agent Cooper (do you remember Twin Peaks?) through strange lands and situations. Try to imagine the agent Cooper in the red room that was placed in a sort of nowhere land (in this case it is called "The black lodge") and then make him visit mystic places where yogi create a Tulpa (a place created by collective immagination) and then place him in a Lovercraft novel. The fifteen tracks are like soundtracks but they doesn't sound like soundscapes. Fortunately each track, along with the usual drones, have got elements that make them sound different from the usual tracks of the genre. Tracks like "Unknown Kadath", "Tannerhauser gate" or the following "III - Lost", for example, contain also a piano that duet with violins, vocals and other elements that bring some melodic line that create a sound similar to Autopsia that play darkambient. Also the tracks that are mostly based on sound samples are really convincing because they always have a sound or a sample that help into the creation of the atmosphere. In my opinion you should try it...

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