Music Reviews



ONE FOR JUDE: Hélice

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 01 2004
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Artist: ONE FOR JUDE (@)
Title: Hélice
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
After releasing their first album in 2001 One For Jude focused their activity on live gigs and only in 2003 they started preparing the new album and this MCD titled HELICE is a sort of anticipation of it. HELICE contains three new tracks and a live version of the main title recorded in Prague two years ago. The French band on this release produced three tracks that someway are really different the one from the other but keeping a certain distinctive mark. The main track "Hélice" is a mix of post punk and apocalyptic folk a la Sol Invictus, while "The punishment of the white rose" has got a bass line that remember me a song of the early Death In June but keeping a lighter approach dear to the early new wave (this is the track I prefer). "L'ébloui" is a ballad that fortunately isn't focused on melancholy only but in some way it has got a certain joyful approach. The live version of "Hélice" in my opinion isn't worth my attention as it is the same version of the opening track but only recorded badly.

Nerve Exhibit: The Horror of Amusement

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 01 2004
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Artist: Nerve Exhibit (@)
Title: The Horror of Amusement
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Rated: *****
Nerve Exhibit or N[EX] is a one man band whose debut MCD "The Horror of Amusement" comes with an appropriate title. Earlier works by him include appearances on compilation CDs such as "Strange as Angels: a Tribute to the Cure" (one of the influences you might recognize) and the TheSmokingSection.net series New National Anthem and Revolution vol.1.He claims early Skinny Puppy and New Order as his influences, but his approach is definitely different. Johnny NeRo mixes dark atmospheres of electronic sounds and drum machines with distorted vocals and pretty bad attempts at singing hooks. He seems to be stuck in the eighties with this, even though there are appreciable intentions and ideas leading toward a more modern sound, which isn't fully achieved yet. I never like it when I can't go higher than half the stars we've got available, but today's standards for recording quality and quality of music are so high (of course that is not entirely true and might start a whole different debate) that this just won't cut it and definitely doesn't nearly match any competition. Less is more, that's true, but as minimalistic as you want to go, in 2004 you just can't make a song with a kick+snare pattern, one arpeggiator and distant distorted vocals, sorry, that just doesn't do it for me anymore. But of course there is always a chance that somebody out there is looking for just that, a simple, minimal, '80es synth-ebm product. In my humble opinion, Johnny has to get down to business and keep the music pumping, 'cause that's the only way to improve his skills. Of course this is nothing but a MCD debut, so I'm not trying to be too hard or a jerk; besides whoever, like Johnny, self-releases their CDs always gets my respect anyway. I don't know if I should tell you to save the money for something better or to send him your loot to support his music and his good intentions, so I suggest you just check out his website (that by the way is REALLY a nice website, very very well done and stylish!) and listen to some of the tunes to make up your mind.

PENITENT: Deserted Dreams

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 31 2004
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Artist: PENITENT (@)
Title: Deserted Dreams
Format: CD
Label: Beyond Prod (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
Rated: *****

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If you already read the interview I did with Karsten few weeks ago, you already know that the new album, DESERTED DREAMS, is a sort of bridge that link Penitent's past to his future. Forgot the latest sounds of "Songs of despair" and its black metal attitude and tune yourself with the old Penitent sounds; the ones with martial marches and apocalyptic atmospheres. As Karsten confirmed into the interview, the ten instrumental tracks paint a sort of hypothetical path where each track is a step of the voyage. The slow rhythms of the tracks, the strings and the percussion gives to the whole work a sort of solemn atmosphere and by listening "Beyond the sun" or "Meeting our fate" it seems that we are taking part to an heroic venture. It seems a little fantasy described this way, but if you try to put this CD while you put into your DVD the scenes of the Lord Of The Ring trilogy, the ones where the ogre hordes attack the barricades, you'll notice that this music fit it very well. The only thing I haven't appreciated is that the CD sounds too compressed and I don't know if this is what Karsten reached. Maybe it gives an additional dreamy touch to the result, but it seems also that he used low bitrate samples...

VV.AA.: Sensitive Sampler #1

 Posted by Ferruccio Milanesi   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 24 2004
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Sensitive Sampler #1
Format: CD
Label: Sensitive Records (@)
Rated: *****
SENSITIVE RECORDS is a new label with a real open-minded attitude: from rock to avant-garde, to classical music. This sampler shows 14 tracks taken from four forthcoming albums, whose red line is the high quality of music and the capacity of mixing different styles in a charming way.
About NICK GREY & THE RANDOM ORCHESTRA, the ensemble is an international music collective leaded by the Rumanian artist Nick Grey. In these tracks, taken from "Regal Daylight" album, they continuously combine different influences, using soft drum machine, distorted guitars and classical instruments. I'm totally shocked by the first track "thievesamongthorns": starting with a classical intro, with the collaboration of the famous tenor Vasile Moldoveanu, soon shows a soft, sweet and melancholic atmosphere, with a wonderful clarinet leading to a land of memories. "Intruders" reveals a more strong attitude, alternating a powerful electric guitar with piano and violin, while "Parachutes Drops" is a darker song, gloomy with its strings and glockenspiel-like carillon.
EMPI (L’Eglise du Mouvement Péristaltique Inversé – The Church of Reversed Peristaltic Movement) is another project which involves Nick Grey, a French speaking ensemble now releasing the second album, a totally mad and distorted mix of romantic landscapes and visions of pain. While listening to their "V" I’m submerged by an atmosphere a la Debussy, with a moving and desperate duo piano-violin. "Pression", instead, with a pulsing beat and a repetitive clarinet is like being closed in an asylum, with people whispering everywhere, knocking at the walls and far machinery noise. "Haiku" is a long walk between moist walls and "Pédagogie du tremblement" is your final arrival to Hell, a nightmare on Earth. PINKERTON & GREY is a collaboration between the Nick Grey and the Armenian pianist and soprano Jasmine Pinkerton. The tracks, taken from forthcoming album "Dress Rehearsal" show melodic and really listenable compositions with piano and voice. "Wheelchair lovesong" is a sad song with some Pink Floyd’s "The Wall" echoes, while the wonderful "Song 6" brings you to a sunny and drowsy Spring afternoon, in the last decades of 800, lay down on the grass reading Verlaine’s verses. "Israël" starts softly, bringing me to memory the best songs of Ashram, to increase in a crescendo that involves the listener in a vortex of emotions and passion.
At last, unusual for CHAIN DLK’s readers, are two tracks from VASILE MOLDOVEANU’s "Arias": this is the reissue of an opera arias album by the great Rumanian tenor. Surely I cannot review the music: the two tracks in the sampler are the wonderful Puccini’s "E lucevan le stelle" and Bizet’s "Agnus Dei" and they need no additional words by me. What I can say is that Moldoveanu is a really great interpreter, with a deep and powerful voice, revealing that classical music has not yet lost its charm and that you can find it only in real artists, far from TV-business "Three Tenors" or "Pavarotti and Friends".
It was really a long time I hadn’t listened to a so touching compilation. Every artist is a must and I’ll wait anxiously the release of their albums.

Deadbabes: The Drug EP

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 19 2004
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Artist: Deadbabes (@)
Title: The Drug EP
Format: CD EP
Label: Futurecords (@)
Rated: *****
Deadbabes are a new dark-pop band from Finland formed by a group of five seasoned and experienced young musicians who did pour their knowledge into the creation of "The Drug EP", a CD that showcases a remarkable artistic maturity and an unmistakable The Cure inspiration. The noir approach to beautiful and mellow pop melodies is complemented by a beefy rhythmical structure and an exquisite taste for selection of sounds and balance. It sounds (and seems) like these guys have all the right numbers. Their debut album, due early September, will be produced and mixed by French Kris Kylven (of Killing Joke fame, but also remixer for Manson, Siouxsie etc). If anything else fails, at least they will be remembered for being the first band that gets their very own postal stamp (which of course they used to postmark their promo package).


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