Music Reviews

Written in Ashes: s/t

 Posted by Kristofer Upjohn   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 18 2004
Artist: Written in Ashes
Title: s/t
Format: CD
David Bowie meets Bauhaus with a heavy electronic element is what I wanted to say after sticking this disc in the machine. Essentially electronic goth rock with an obvious and heavy love of the indie artists of the genre's roots, Written in Ashes is a startling breath of fresh air in the electronic scene, which is riddled with boring soundalike acts, to be sure. The electronica aspect of the music is well handled andenhances the music's interest while the rock side of the songs are also executed nicely. The whole product is dark and truly gothic and with no more pretension than the genre typically boasts anyway. The beats are infectious, the melodies are emotional but not cloying and the vocals are so classic and archetypal, it's a bit surprising the band doesn't come off as any more self-conscious. In other words, here is a band that has managed to incorporate all the classic elements ofgoth rock and gothic industrial without sounding hackneyed. NO mean accomplishment.
Jul 18 2004
Artist: LEX DECIMATE (@)
Title: Seas of Endless
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Silencer Records (@)
Rated: *****
The common analogy of man fused with machine, metal and flesh, is best realized metaphorically through the artistic creations we bring. Lex Decimate (The destruction of all law) is a project that aptly pays tribute to this philosophy as it is the history of it's creation and the story through which it lives on. Lee Duis is a man with music in his veins and whose life was once shattered through loss and pain. Resurrected, he became his own salvation under the incarnation of Lex Decimate. Musically this project vears wherever the creative imagination of Lee brings it and does not set limits on genre, style, tempo, structure, or anything else. Lex Decimate sways dreamlike between varying degrees of intensity; ambient, dark, rhythmic. It's difficult to cram into a box of 'name' when someone is this heartfelt with thier art. Will have strong appeal to those into dark synthpop, darkwave, gothic, EBM, and industrial with experimental electronic elements. You will even find this project breaking it's bounds on tracks like "Light the Way" which seems more related to Ant-Zen and Hymen label sounds than anything typical of the Darkwave/EBM. Lex Decimate is definitely a unique fusion of a wide variety of elements. Like thier label Silencer Records they are definitely intending to push boundaries and test limits while bringing something unique to the underground music 'scene'. In their words; "We are ready to caputre your fears and emotions. Let go and find yourself in a place where there is no 'law'. Find your inner peace through resistance."


 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 14 2004
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Title: Split
Format: CD EP
Label: Robotradio Records (@)
Rated: *****
A nice split cdep marking the debut for Robotradio Records, run by Stefano Paternoster, who used to publish one of the best indie 'zines in Italy, Equilibrio Precario. The ambitious goal of the newborn label is associating music (with an Italian band and a foreign one), comic books/graphics and videos in the same release. This promising first release comes in a top-notch six-panel digipack, lavishly illustrated by the tender surrealistic drawings of Alessandro Baronciani, an excellent comic books author and illustrator (besides singing and playing guitar in the awesome post-punk band Altro). His art alone makes the cd worth buying. As for the music... Red Worm's Farm are a trio playing an exciting mix of guitar-driven indie-noise (Unwound, Sonic Youth, Fugazi) and hints of oblique post-punk/wave (The Wire, Fall). "Jelly Bean" could be an instant classic, with its singalong refrain, and the electronic/techno remix by Giulio Favero (former guitarist of One Dimensional Man, and sound technician for Zu) underlines its extreme danceability. "Pop song" is equally good, while "Fav" is a decent instrumental with demented trumpet galore. Thrilling stuff indeed. The Paper Chase, well known for their discography and links with 90 Day Men, are a more tormented beast. "I'm your doctor now" and "Isn't she something?" properly represent their blend of new/no wave, heavy math-noise, free-form electronics and crazed rock'n'roll vigour. Twisted and disturbing. The cheesy re-edition of "Out come the knives", with acoustic guitars, kitsch synths and campfire singalongs, only adds to the general weirdness. Good, but I prefer Red Worm's Farm. The video part, curated by Nicola Fontana (Founthead) is decent, but nothing spectacular: "Pop song" (RWF) is pretty standard, based on live shots and stills of the band, while "I'm your doctor now" (PC) features a more interesting mix-up of buildings, trees and a strange comic-book looking villain.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 14 2004
Title: Winter
Format: 7"
Label: Dead Digital (@)
Rated: *****
It's impossible not to be seduced by the mix of twisted atmospheres, pop melodies and electronic semplicity the band is able to produce. The new Escape Pod single contains three gems. Three songs that would made Blur die of jealousy because the Manchester trio succeeded into creating weird atmospheres but keeping the semplicity and the tension always at the top. "Winter", "Living in books" and "Seeing" last only nine minutes and are like a lightning in the pop world. It's really hard to explain but even if at a first listening the band's sound could seem really minimal and low fi, the songs are rich thanks to the atmosphere created. Slowly but resolute the songs will convince you immediately. I'm listeining to it the fourth time in a row, now... help me! Stop the CD player!

Hungry Lucy: Glō

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 11 2004
Artist: Hungry Lucy
Title: Glō
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Alfa-Matrix (@)
Rated: *****

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On their second full length release, "Glo", Hungry Lucy take their dark trip-hop sound and lighten it up a little. The duo beat the sophomore curse by producing an album that not only rivals 1998's "Apparitions" but surpasses it in songwriting, performance & production. The mellow grooves & beautiful melodies remain and are augmented by more diversity both in songwriting and performance. Not content to only present their own ideas, Hungry Lucy also includes a second CD with Glo that contains remixes from bands such as Chandeen, Claire Voyant, bloodWIRE (ex Battery) & Trigger10d (+others). From dance floor to chillout room these remixes put an alternate spin on the original productions and serve as nice companion to the main disc. Eclectic spiritualists will take special note of "In The Circle", a song about transformation and the pathway to enlightenment and growth as well as the discrimination that many of us face in our 'different' path. A song that is very heart touching to any modern pagan. Also, note such titles as "Rebirth" and "Her Song". I was so impressed with this release and the song "In The Circle" that thanks to communication with Alfa-Matrix, the band, plus additional work by Louisa John-Krol ( fans can expect an exclusive remix of this song to appear on the Latex Records release "Primal River Valley".

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