Music Reviews



THE DAWN VISITORS: Hybridize

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 17 2004
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Artist: THE DAWN VISITORS (@)
Title: Hybridize
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Coming from Belgium The Dawn Visitors arrived with HYBRIDIZE to their fifth release. The four tracks of this MCD are incredibly convincing and listening to The Dawn Visitors is like having a link between the past (Roxane's voice sometimes remembered me Siouxsie Sioux) and the future (the band's music contains elements of '80s goth rock but being well integrated in nowadays electronic sound). "Don't say we don't mind", "Space Shift", "U-415" and "Be Perfect" (which is a sort of hit single for my tastes) are catchy without being too danceable or fashion. Even if they use electronic gear their music has nothing to do with modern electronic bands you can find into the alternative charts and this is a good thing because they aren't chained to a genre which could affect their creativity.

Bella Morte: As The Reasons Die

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 15 2004
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Artist: Bella Morte (@)
Title: As The Reasons Die
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Formed in 1996 and picked up by Metropolis Records in 2002, Bella Morte hails from Charlottesville, VA and have gained the attention of many fans worldwide. Upon first listen most are initially impressed with their overall style and approach to what some call darkwave or gothic. However, Bella Morte's approach is unique enough that they do not truly fit into that catagory though most of their fans would likely currently be found in the 'goth scene'. Their music combines guitar driven rock with ballad-like structures, heavy synth overtones, and melancholy lyrics. They have been called "gothic", "punk", "synthpop", "metal", and "darkwave". Oddly, they are not really any of these specifically but aptly combine elements of each into a fluid medium. with the vocal improvements shown on this album they have definitely taken a huge leap forward from where they were with the previous release. The last album had me musically but vocally was lacking a bit to 'tone' and 'experience'. This release is much more professional sounding and vocally reminds me slightly of the band Seven 13 (aka Coven 13) and would be an excellent addition to the individual's collection which contain their works who are looking for a more updated musical sound and structure. Bella Morte combines metal guitars, piano, darkwave synth structures and anthem/ballad-like vocals into a nice mesh. If they didn't live up to your standards last time give them a listen this time. There is much improvement!

Strange Boutique: The Collection: 1988-1994

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 08 2004
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Artist: Strange Boutique
Title: The Collection: 1988-1994
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Fronted by Monica Richards (Faith & The Muse) back in the 1980's-1990's in D.C., this "punk" band is heralded as the "best kept secret" of the 'scene' in it's day. During Strange Boutique's celebrated stretch, they released one EP, three full length albums, two singles and one live album. They amassed a loyal underground following, perfected their onstage presence, and honed their distinctive sound. They also toured Europe with Killing Joke. I first heard of Strange Boutique with my exposure to Faith & The Muse, which most of you know is Monica and William Faith (Christian Death and other projects), and often wondered what Monica's vocals would sound like fronting a punk band. As it turns out I don't find this as much punk as I do post-punk goth-rock for the 80's American scene. To me the most obvious comparison with the overall sound of Strange Boutique would have to be Souixsie & The Banshees as there are many similar qualities to the musical construction and if you've heard Monica's vocals you will comprehend both the similarities and differences. I'm very happy that Metropolis Records decided to release this compilation composed of songs from every Strange Boutique album and also some hard to find material, which as the CD cover states, displays a full spectrum of their work to new listeners as well as some gems fro the long-ordained. An excellent collection for those of us who somehow missed this excellent project back in the time when it was previously available. Monica Richards is an amazing vocal talent well worth the ears of artistic minds.

Karjalan Sissit: Karjalasta Kajahtaa

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 05 2004
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Artist: Karjalan Sissit (@)
Title: Karjalasta Kajahtaa
Format: CD
Label: Cyclic Law (@)
Rated: *****
Montreal-based Cyclic Law (label for dark/ritual/industrial music) put out the third full lenght album of Swedish death-industrial artist Markus Pesonen, a.k.a. Karjalan Sissit, presented in a gorgeous A5-sized textured 4 pages book with pictures of families and events from the first half of the last century. "Karjalasta Kajahtaa" brings us a wave of cold, isolationist, melancholic, blackish blend of industrial, ambient, neo classical and dark music. This album (produced by Peter Bjärgö at Erebus Odora) introduces the heavy presence of vocals, in the form of screams, inciting propaganda shouts, voices, chants and choirs (more about that in a minute), and has a quality and a dynamism that is rare to find, and above all lives two parallel lives: at first you'll encounter abhorrent and annihilating soundscapes that would perfecly match many of the old Cold Meat Industry roster's artists, but on the other side you'll be faced with these pompous, frighteningly real-sounding, teutonic-war-anthem-like compositions of choirs, percussions and orchestral arrangements that might remind of a grandiose combination of Laibach and Les Tamoures Du Bronx (and what union that would be!), stomping on industrial cans and generating other sorts of rhythmical fanfare, which scans the pace at which the quire belt out resounding hymns and the exalted brass section harmonizes and calls for action and advancement. To add to the general eastern-european vibe, the CD opens and closes with old traditional folk music in a language that seems croat or polish or something (I'm not sure). Indeed a great record of its kind, authentic, original, rare, powerful, mind-altering and disheartening.

IRFAN: Irfan

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 04 2004
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Artist: IRFAN (@)
Title: Irfan
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****

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Deeply influenced by their Bulgarian culture, Irfan insert into their music elements deriving from Le mystères des voix bulgares along with classic phrasings a la Dead Can Dance. I know that at this point it could be difficult for a band to stand such comparison but Denitza's voice is so strong and particular that there's no reason to name any reference. Irfan music has enough elements to be judged as a personal emanation of their personality. Their concept of music is referring to the original concept of it, when music was the emanation of higher elements and when music was created by humans that were in a state of grace. Normally I'm not fond of these sounds but Irfan's album captivated me. Its rhythms and atmospheres will excite your senses while the choruses sing about mystic tales. Are you ready for fifty minutes of acoustic music coming from a land of no time?


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