Music Reviews



Carol Blaze: s/t

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 22 2004
Artist: Carol Blaze (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Carol Blaze is a fictional character whose name Pittsburg-based A T Vish, drummer of Hedwig and the Angry Inch as well as Projekt records band Lowsunday, has been making music with. The CD is full of charming atmospheres made of Projekt-style lush and ethereal sounds and reverbs but it doesn't hesitate to become dense and big while maintaining that sort of holy and dark approach. Lycia-like chorused guitars, reverberated drums that go from electro-goth drum machine style to Bauhaus-like drumming, arpeggios, layers of pads, The peculiarity of Carol Blaze is undoubtedly represented by the charismatic (male) voice that will certainly remind you of David Bowie and many others, maybe even including some Syd Barret and Bruce Springsteen (the beautiful "The Charging Winters" keeps reminding me of his "Streets of Philadelphia", but besides the comparison with the Boss you really have to check out Carol Blaze tone). The amount of character that you'll find in his performances is definitely something to apprecaite and, within the genre, you'll find it to be very eclectic and dynamic. Finally somebody that has something to say, in a personal way, with originality and not trying to mimic from who's been there and has done that decades ago. Because of its slow pace the record feels long but it definitely offers a great performance and a pleasing listening experience with surprises here and there.

ESCAPE POD: Losing Control

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 18 2004
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Artist: ESCAPE POD
Title: Losing Control
Format: 7"
Label: Dead Digital (@)
Rated: *****
This is the fourth Dead Digital's release. I reviewed them all since day one so I can say that this label is gaining the status of cult label as each release is particular and interesting at the same time. This time they sent me a new 7" of Escape Pod, a Manchester band which previously released a record for Rex Records. The two songs of the vinyl are different one from the other and perfect at the same time. "Losing Control" is a pure pop song with influences that go from Pink Floyd (you know the Barret's ballads like "Bicycle", do you?) to the latest Blur but removing the melancholic parts and adding a personal touch which is so charming. The band mix acoustic guitars, loops, choruses so easily that makes you astonishing when you read that they were three students four years ago! On side B we find "Change Of Pace", relaxing and relaxed folkish dark track. This is how a calm song should be to be boredom free. My cats would say: purrfect!

TRONUS ABYSS: Kampf

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 17 2004
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Artist: TRONUS ABYSS
Title: Kampf
Format: CD
Label: Pagan Moon
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
I was questioning myself if reviewing or not this release as we at CHAIN D.L.K. are firmly against fascism, white supremacy and shit like that but, since we're also for freedom of speech and since there aren't clear statements about fascism or that kind of stuff, the cd is getting its review. A little note for the people that are totally against these kind of influences on music: don't buy or listen to this CD as it has got military fascist songs excerpts (the whole "Epilogo" is based on a fascist song) and lyrics referring to nothern Gods/iconography. Anyway, despite the ideological contents, musically KAMPF has got good intuitions and it mixes in a good way a wide range of musical styles: new wave, dark ambient, black metal, apocalyptic folk, etc. The previous band's releases were pure black metal but since 1998 the band changed members (only Atratus is the original member left) and started to develop this new style. It's a pity that industrial music has got to have such references to get noticed by an audience which is fascinated by that halo of mistery but these are the sign of times and we've got to be aware of it...

SHAM RAIN: Empty World Excursion

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 09 2004
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Artist: SHAM RAIN (@)
Title: Empty World Excursion
Format: CD
Label: Watch Me Fall - Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
I don't know if you ever listened to Codeine's stuff. They were a band active in the mid '90s and they were one of the founders of the slowcore scene. Taking audible inspiration from the third Velvet Underground album they added a more aggressive tone and slowed down the tempos. Well, what all this has got to do with Sham Rain? Well, they took melodic metal, goth, melodies that remeber the Cure of the "Disintegration" or "High" period and added tons of ethereal atmospheres, doing something similar to what Codeine did in a different contest. The nine tracks of EMPTY WORLD EXCURSION are melodic but they can't be filed under easy listening stuff. The rhythmical section of each track is very similar so you've got to catch the whole effect created by Sham Rain's music, if not, you'll find yourself getting bored becasuse of a superficial listening. I'm not too keen to this kind of sounds (in fact "High" and "Disintegration" are my least favorite Cure albums) but listening to the CD a couple of times helped me appreciating the dreamy atmospheres and the melancholic touch of the album.

The Cruxshadows: Ethernaut

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 12 2004
Artist: The Cruxshadows
Title: Ethernaut
Format: CD
Label: Dancing Ferret (@)
Gothic/New Wave band The Cruxshadows is back with a brand new cd titled "Ethernaut." I saw them last year in November, 2003 at the Highnote Lounge and their performance was a superb. They performed a couple of tracks off their current incredible release along with their previous "Wishfire." "Ethernaut" have a futuristic electronic feel. Some of the tracks are very keen and also lean on the ebm side. Alot of good songs that's able to attract attention from the club goers and underground radio listeners; "Into The Ether", "Cassandra", "Love And Hatred", "Winter Born (This Sacrifice)", "Citadel" and "East", which have an Egyptian atmosphere sound. The disc contains bonus hidden tracks. Since I have only the promo copy, the full version comes with a 24 page booklet full of photos and text. The Cruxshadows fans will not be disappointed.


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