Music Reviews

Popoi Sdioh: s/t

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 29 2003
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Artist: Popoi Sdioh
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Nerves (@)
Ex-The Nomads Land and ex-Land of Passion, now Popoi Sdioh changed their name in 2001 after seven demo tapes and one CD as LOP. The now four piece draws inspiration from post-punk, dark and post-rock. The cut-throat vocals, all the distortions, the frenetic drumming and what they call audiocrashtests (dirty samples or other weird noises that help build suspense) remind of many of the bands from the eighties, including Bauhaus, but there's more to them to just a nostalgic four-piece band playing in a garage. The way they blend in sporadic electronics, experiments with noises and other stuff makes them stand out of the crowd and still suitable, even today. If you are looking for somebody that represents a good balance between the '80es and the new millennium try these guys first!


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 26 2003
Title: Humana
Format: CD
Label: Equilibrium Music (@)
Based on ethereal and neo classical atmospheres, Dwelling's music has been able to catch my attention immediately thanks to their sofisticated and intricate melodies. If you know me just a little, you should know that I'm not keen to ethereal music but the complex structure of HUMANA's songs is able to hypnotise the listener and to carry him towards ancient lands made of acoustic instruments such as classical guitars (you know, the ones with nylon strings that usually are played by picking them), bass guitar and a violin. In the nine songs of the album there's no trace of any percussion, the rhythm is given by the melody itself and by the bass guitar. You could be amazed but the only thing that is spoiling this music, in my opinion, is the female voice. This isn't because I'm a misogynist, but the sighing female vocals tend to make me loose my attention and in this case is really a pity.

The Best Of Modern English: Life In The Gladhouse (1980-1984)

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 23 2003
Artist: The Best Of Modern English
Title: Life In The Gladhouse (1980-1984)
Format: CD
Label: 4 AD
Colchester, England's five lads MODERN ENGLISH made an impact by becoming one of the British acts to enjoy heavy video rotation on MTV back in the 80's with their successful number one hit "Melt With You." It's been 16 years since they recorded for the label 4 AD, but at last the best of their 4 AD legacy is captured on one album and it reveals their unwillingness to settle for tried and tested methods; their flair for oblige strangely uplifting atmospheres; a sense of adventure in the filmic sounds of their records and a dry black sense of humour. Before Cocteau Twins, Clan Of Xymox, Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus and many others who were doing 'dark music' and were signed on the label, Modern English became the very first band to be signed on the label. They were placed in the late 70's and early 80's as a band who forged a relationship with all the emerging British styles-post punk, New Wave, synthesizer pop, New Romantic, Goth, neo-psychedelic and the so called Second Wave of UK Pop which invaded America in 1982 and '83. In 1977, the band's former name was called The Lepers, which consists of Robbie Grey (vocals), Gary McDowel (guitar), and Richard Brown (drums). A year later (1978), The Lepers evolved into Modern English, after when keyboard player Steve Walker and bassist Mick Conroy, joined the band. They released three albums and a couple of singles in four years period. From 1980-1984. This compilation features their very best songs from "Mesh and Lace," "After The Snow," and "Ricochet Days." "16 Days", "Gathering Dust", and "Swans On Glass" have a punk and gothic feel with anguish and emotions spilling out of Robbie's gut. "Black Houses" have a Bauhaus dark music similarity. The way Robbie sings reminds me of Peter Murphy. "Dawn Chorus" shows a warmer more romantic approach, which talks about where they recorded their second album "After The Snow." Their smash hit "Melt With You" peaked outside the American Top 40. They made a video which was shot in a London basement. In October 2001, the band received a BMI award for over one million radio plays, their finest pop song. The next single became "Life In The Gladhouse." "After The Snow" album went pure gold. Tracks "Heart" and "Blue Waves" have a psychedelic style with string sections, oboe, and textured keyboards. "Hands Across The Sea" became their first single off "Ricochet Days" album, which stalled outside the charts. It didn't do well like their second release.

ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN producer, Hugh Jones gets credit from Modern English who showed them his emphasis on songwriting structures as opposed to weird, improvised textures, for the change in style-that's showcase in "After The Snow." The band have released a couple more albums in the 1990's on two independent labels, but neither wasn't successful like their previous releases in the 80's. If you don't have any Modern English albums, this compilation of their songs mark their best finest work they ever done in history. Whether you're into punk, goth, new wave, new romantic, or synth-pop, I suggest you pick this up at your nearby record store. Modern English music comes across inbetween ALL genders.

The Cruxshadows: Frozen Embers

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 22 2003
Artist: The Cruxshadows
Title: Frozen Embers
Format: CD
Label: Dancing Ferret (@)
This is an ep with a new single called "Winter Born (This Sacrifice) and acoustic version from their new release "Ethernaut" and feature remixes of some tracks from their 2002 prior release "Wishfire." It includes a couple of different versions of "Return (Coming Home)" by other artists who did their own re-making of the track such as Assemblage 23, Tenebrous an Dreamside. While Future Bible Heroes did a remix for "Go Away" which have a beautiful melancholic synthetic feel that goes along with Rachel's violin melody. The original version of "Deception" from The Succubus Club, A Soundtrack to: Vampire the Masquerade appears on disc. Two extra tracks that's b-side can be hear; "Dance Floor Metaphor" and "Sinking." There are 13 songs and 69 minutes of gothic tunes with some ebm beats. The Cruxshadows is a band that's one of a kind and a innovator that have gained alot of success and fans from around the world throughout the USA to Europe. They will make history in the underground gothic and music scene.

GOR: Qumran

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 21 2003
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Artist: GOR (@)
Title: Qumran
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Lately Francesco Banchini has been more active as Gor than as Ataraxia's percussionist. QUMRAN is his latest effort and it seems that it's his most particular one. Not only for the music but mainly because it's the first one that needed a direct explanation from the musician as QUMRAN is the result of his personal path into spiritual research. Here're a couple of excerpts of what he wrote into the CD: "Qumran is the name of a region in Transjordan and precisely in a site where the essens lived (from 138 b.c. to 68 a.d.) the Hebrew community which lived to research knowledge and God. The journey I went through tends towards the research of God touching the various aspects of the monotheistic religions. In this context you will listen to different ritualistic music forms linked together by the Hebrew and Christian biblical texts" and "The objective is to give a message of reciprocal respect so that differences can go on together, understanding and accepting each other, doing something concrete for this world, no letting it die in the hands of egoistic people who make religion their shield". As you can imagine the music has got a deep middle-eastern taste with a lot of chants, percussions and characteristics instruments. While his old works had different moments / atmospheres performed with different instruments, QUMRAN is the most homogenic and only the last track "Miryam" remember me a little some tracks of "Ialdabaoth", his most dark release. Approach yourselves to this CD being aware that this isn't only music.

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