Music Reviews



ARTIFACT: Abandoned

 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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Oct 25 2005
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Artist: ARTIFACT (@)
Title: Abandoned
Format: CD EP
Rated: *****
Artifact is a band coming from Stavanger, Norway. Formed in late 2002, after several line up changes, in 2004 the band was joined by Tor Arne Fassotte (of Unpure and This Negative Karma) which along with Bjørnar Landa (which also plays with Sirenia and Deathfare) and Pål Evensen recorded their first release, the ABANDONED E.P. Musically the five tracks of the MCD show very well the band's influences which goes to Type O Negative (check Tor's deep vocals), Sister Of Mercy (for some vocal melodies, like on "Scapegoated & Demonized") and Rob Zombie. Even if being influenced by rock metal, the band didn't forget to insert also electronic moments or metal eruptions (check Tor's vocal which goes bestial along with the guitar distorted riffs). Energic guitar riffs duet with guitar arpeggios creating calm moments which turns into metal industrial explosions (like on the opening part of "Mask of apathy"). I appreciated the energetic moments and how they were mixed with the calm ones but sometimes the influences sound too evident. This isn't a weak point, because the five tracks already show the band's peculiarities and I'm sure the guys are already working on these...

COLD CLUSTER/GERSTEIN: Bipolar/Wring the wrist

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 25 2005
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Artist: COLD CLUSTER/GERSTEIN (@)
Title: Bipolar/Wring the wrist
Format: CD
Label: Purity records (@)
Rated: *****
This split release is completely devoted "to synthesizers", the particular itself may bring to your mind the "hey days" of synth pop back in the Eighties and probably you wouldn't be that out of place. The goth touch of Cold Cluster didn't prevent me from thinking to Depeche Mode and to the waveish songs of the early Death in June. Old fashioned sound is the "key word" but also "invuluntary" trendy in an age where the mainstream rediscovered that "neo-romantic" trashy "synth pop" sound. Cold Cluster beat is often squared and at times even danceable, some of his tunes could be potential icebreakers in your favorite goth club. The only problem with Cold Cluster is the cheap recording of many vocals, a real pity above all when his voice is not filtered with a vocoder. If you're familiar with Gerstein "power noise I'll blow your brain out!"-early days forget it, the turines is wearing a "back to the eighties" suit for this special occasion. The production is quite good and the vocals are better recorded even if it's still the Achille's heel of the songs. Gerstein style is a bit poppier if compared to his split-mate, let's say if Cold Cluster recalls Depeche Mode, Gerstein will make you think of Human League or Heaven 17 choked into a crepuscular salsa. You can get this cdr straight from the website of the label (www.noisebrigade.co.uk/shop.html) by sending 6.5 Euros + postage. Purity is gonna repress "La pomata delle femmine" (what a title!) a rare k7 with some Gerstein early anthems played live in 1989.

THEATRES DES VAMPIRES: Pleasure and pain

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 23 2005
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Artist: THEATRES DES VAMPIRES
Title: Pleasure and pain
Format: CD
Label: DreamCell 11 (@)
Rated: *****
"Modern gothic metal" and its clichè are well coded into the DNA of "Pleasure and pain", therefore if you're into this style here you got a good morsel for your tiny vampire teeth!. The production is solid even if every once in a while the vocals are a bit "weak" and probably also the mastering could have been a bit more bombastic. This cd in enriched by some good melodies, at last I've used the term "clichè" because Theatre des Vampires know how everything should be done to stick perfectly to the genre and they way they follow this lane is a bit too dogmatic sometimes. The female vocals are sweet while their male singer recalls vocalist such as Aaron from My Dying Bride or the mighty Peter Steel (Type O Negative, Carnivore). Honestly also the music is not so far from the combos I've mentioned even if Theatres des Vampires are not equally powerful, the italians give much more emphasis to romance (sure with such a name!). A touch of dark music flows in their veins, let's say Sister of Mercy is the name even if I can't say if that's a direct influence. After all, the "mainstream" label is not out of place for a release like that, the structures and the production are good hints to justify that. Although it may sound obvious: If you're into their style, I'm sure you can dig Theatres des Vampires, if you're not...you'd better look somewhere else.

ETERNITY RANGE: Solitude

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 19 2005
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Artist: ETERNITY RANGE (@)
Title: Solitude
Format: CD
Label: Kinetik Media (@)
Rated: *****
Eternity Range is a dark synthpop project formed by Morticians' Andreas Rimheden and Marie Hagelqvist (in 2003 Loita Jahnsson joined the duo playing violin). The duo already played together into the second Morticians incarnation (when they turned synthpop from their previous horror e.b.m. form) and after a couple of years they decided to give form to a new project. SOLITUDE is the first album of the band under the Eternity Range moniker and it is a really good one. You know, I'm kinda used to the European way of doing synthpop and the mixture of melancholic energetic goth and synthpop convinced me. The twelve tracks of the album range from ballads like "Music", "Colors" or "September 11th" to almost e.b.m. tunes like the following "Two souls". Generally the rhythms are about 120 BPM but the melodies and the sound used help into the diversification of the tracks, giving to them enough personality to allow the listener to join each of them. If you loved the bands of the October label, just think about one of them but into a goth key and someway you'll have Eternity Range. Thumb's up for me!

FEAR OF DOLLS: Lullabies For Aborted Children

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 19 2005
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Artist: FEAR OF DOLLS (@)
Title: Lullabies For Aborted Children
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
LULLABIES FOR ABORTED CHILDREN is the latest and maybe last Fear Of Dolls' album and I must say that it is a though one. If while listening to the old EPs you had a sense of desperation, with this one desperation turned into nihilism: check the opening "Can you hear the sickness?" and you'll understand what I mean. Try to imagine a choir of pigs (do you remember the Sickness Of Snakes' track recorded that way?) mixed with fallen angels vocals and you'll have that track. "Screaming inside her" opens with an applause and that one starts the "freak show". Originally the track was contained into the "Bless this broken body" EP (as well as the following "She was laughing") but it has been re-recorded. The effect of listening to forty five minutes of Fear Of Dolls music all in a row is positively devastating and it is like listening to a Codeine record played by the Birthday Party. I suggest you to avoid the listening if you are depressed or stressed. I'm not joking: the first time I listened to it I had to stop at track three. For this reason I'm reviewing it with a certain delay. I had to wait for a positive time as this summer I had my moving and the death of my father in law and listening to LULLABIES FOR ABORTED CHILDREN wasn't helping at all. Try it!


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