Music Reviews



OSRAM: Inglese subacqueo

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 05 2005
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Artist: OSRAM (@)
Title: Inglese subacqueo
Format: CD
Label: Zahr (@)
Rated: *****
The second release of this sardinian combo is the most psychedelic one to date. I've been well impressed by their previous cd but this one is a lot more focused and balanced, they've started working with more maturity on almost everything. The production is "ad hoc" (Magistrali is a great sound engineer) and it gives the right light to every single song. The psychedelic influence of these band is well matched with their "post-rock/math" structures like some great old heros from Louisville or Chicago. Here and there they've started adding some vocals and the result is good: if Pink Floyd would have been younger, more mathematical and without keyboards they probably would have loved these guitar-driven sarinians. Fans of Slint and Shipping News will love this cd, Osram passed to "songwriting" without losing their emotional attitude, infact the litanies of this recording haven't been choked by its geometry. "Inglese subaqueo" is partially devoted to the noblest episodes of "post-rock" but on the other side looks back at the seventies, and if you give a listen to the way they jam around, it won't take that much to realize it. Some tracks are catchy and that's a basic thing for a cd that's somehow more based on "songs" as they meant before the Mtv-era. Good.

Kooper Kain: Something Collides Inside

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 01 2005
Artist: Kooper Kain
Title: Something Collides Inside
Format: CD
Label: S N Ratio (@)
Rated: *****
Canadian Kooper Kain delivers a new impressive second cd that's tough and challenging. Powerful male ethereal vocals that's soft and harsh inbetween, sensual, sympathetic, smooth, ambient, and dark rock music. Their new debut release "Something Collides Inside" is incredibly laidback with electronics added to synths, guitar melodies and drum patterns. The band create a realm of songs that will lull the listeners into a mystical and enchanting world of different mood swings. A sophistication strong brooding captivating dramatic vocals from Kooper is intense wonderfully brilliant and gothic-ethereal. All 17 tracks are very excellent with an outstanding appeal. There are a couple of instrumentals kinda trance-ambient like. Dark rock and ethereal fans will love this band. "Something Inside Collides" signifies a dark and cold and warm spellbounding soundscape that sustains a powerful impact from start to finish.1. Obsidian Tooth2. You Had It Coming3. Cold Motorway4. Shaved Head5. Deep Dark Water/Possessed by Jeff Buckley6. Ever Wished7. Farther From The Sun8. Grave9. You And I Alone10. They'll Be Back11. Another Time12. Singing Bones13. So Vamp Beneath That Windy Street Lamp 14. Fall Enfold15. The Ghosts Of Desert Twilight16. Outerstellar17. St, Peter Of The Sith (Halloween Hardcore mix by Cryptank the Stylus Thief

CANDIDATE: Vote Don't Vote

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 30 2005
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Artist: CANDIDATE
Title: Vote Don't Vote
Format: CD
Label: Novatune (@)
Rated: *****
It is strange how eighties had so many good bands around the globe that had been unknown outside their country. France in the eighties had Kas Product (their two albums have been reissued the last summer) that were a sort of French version of Pink Industry and they had also Candidate. Candidate were a electronic duo, just like the two bands I mentioned. I know that Pink Industry were three people in their latest days but their core was formed by Jayne Casey (also formerly of Big in Japan) and bassist/keyboardist Ambrose Reynolds. Anyway... Candidate were active in the mid eighties / early nineties with their mixture of electronic seductive music before passing to experimental forms of music and theatrical productions. VOTE DON'T VOTE isn't exactly a reissue of their releases, because the CD contains sixteen unreleased tunes coming from their 1987 ÷ 1990 late studio recordings. Their style made me remember a lot bands and no one precisely. The opening track "Up and down" remember me a little early Eurithmics while the other tracks are more new wave oriented less pop a little bit more experimental giving also a little space to guitar rock riffs. Cécil voice is able to catch immediately the listener's attention with its great personality (no heavenly vocalizations) while Bidou build a solid melodic structure based on TR 707 rhythms, guitar riffs and simple bass lines. A great version of Iggy Pop's "Nightclubbing" with a sharped razor guitar will prove you that with few sounds is possible to create a good ambience. There are no weak moments and on some tracks also Bidou duet with Cécile, creating a good balance. VOTE DON'T VOTE is their fifth release and now I wish I could be able to listen their old stuff. What about you?

Ikon: Destroying the World to Save It

 Posted by eskaton   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 28 2005
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Artist: Ikon
Title: Destroying the World to Save It
Format: CD
Label: Static Sky Records
I first heard Ikon on the compilation "Ceremonial" in which they provided an amazing cover of Joy Division’s "Shadowplay." I liked it, so I picked up Flowers of the Gathering, which reminded me of old Clan of Xymox - still kind of a rock feel, but with a lot of synth and atmosphere. I had not really thought of them for a few years until this album arrived in my mailbox. This album downplays the atmosphere in favor of a more gothic rock feel; this is a lot more guitar oriented than the earlier releases that I have heard. For the most part, this album is your standard gothic rock, sort of reminding one of old Rosetta Stone. "Psychic Vampire," the single off this disc, is pretty good for the dance floor, but I’ll be honest - I miss the old atmospheric sound.

But that’s just part of the story here. It’s not all just gothic rock and there are some standout tracks here. For example, "God Has Fallen From the Sky" is a nice track that sounds a lot like Death in June circa "But What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?" Considering the fact that Ikon has covered a few DIJ tracks, it’s pretty obvious that they have been influenced by DIJ and this track shows it. "My Crucible" and "Path of the Unknown" are also quite good, having a nice mix of synth and guitar.

But there are some tracks here that seem a bit out of place with the rest of the album. For example, "Ashes of Blue" is a softer track with female vocals that just doesn’t seem to fit here. "Slaughter" is a bit weird with some tribal chanting and whispers. Doesn’t seem to fit with the goth rock thing. But kicks into synth and keeps chanting and whispering going. I like the track - sort of like Dead Can Dance meets old Ikon – but it seems out of place here.

Over all, if you thought older Ikon was too mellow and wanted them to rock, you’ll be happy with this disc. On the other hand, if you want the atmospheric, dreamy Ikon, you won’t find a lot of that here.
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Artist: FRANKLIN DELANO (@)
Title: Like a smoking gun in front of me
Format: CD
Label: Madcao/ File 13 (@)
Rated: *****
Their debut release was good, this one is way much better and is having a good resonance 'cause of the many u.s. connections it has. The italian readers of Chain dlk probably know this band has become quickly popular as "the band with the drummer of Massimo Volume", but for those who just know the last band, there's no other musical relation with Franklin Delano. The sound of this release brings near to those coming out on Perishable label and not just for the fact Rutili, Massarella and friends (Califone, Red Red Meat, Loftus, etc.) are appearing as guests here and there, but for the fact also Franklin Delano are reinterpreting american folk music to create something new. If on their debut Delano sounded really focussed on songwriting, on "Like smoking gun in front of me" the band has gone far away into an acid trip and started mixing elements from Califone, Jackie O' Motherfucker, desert rock a-la Calexico with fading drones that arise from the back of the scenario. Brian Deck was sitting behind the mixing desk giving it all an "american-sensation" as you can get from the title (the cd is coproduced with File 13 from Chicago). Differently from their previous album the band has put more emphasis on long instrumental passages cast into the framework of "folk ballads" with a good result. Everything is surprisingly good, let's say sometimes it works much better than many releases on Perishable, this cd is just a bit too long since sometimes it feels without a couple of tracks it would have been almost perfect. After their recent u.s. tour they've had some line up changes, I can assume the sound is probably changing again, but this' a good picture of their "lysergic" period: sometimes it sounds like a well done mix of Perishable's "folksters" and Kranky's "droners".


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