Music Reviews

VV.AA.: Vier Factor #1 4

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 14 2003
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Vier Factor #1 4
Format: CD
Label: Dancing Ferret (@)
This compilation features four bands, four singles, and sixteen tracks featuring Philadelphia based record label Dancing Ferret own artists: The Cruxshadows, The Dreamside, Thou Shalt Not, and Paralysed Age. A couple of tracks are remixes and one unrelease track by each band. I consider this a rare collective item. Goth fans should get a copy of this, especially Cruxshadows fanatics who knows their single "Return (Coming Home)" from their critical acclaimed cd "Wishfire."


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 14 2003
Title: Zero
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Self Released
Five tracks plus an hidden one for a total of about thirty minutes of dreamy sounds packed with 80's new wave sounds and inspirations. Scenic Overlook (ex Mystery Harbour) succeed into making a nice MCD which gathers personality and influences very well. The thing that amazed me most is that, even if I'm not at all into dreamy sounds (the only stuff I own is some old 4AD records), they catched my attention with their beautiful female voice (finally a girl that don't sing like someone who's complaining!) and their sound that remember me a sort of This Mortal Coil with the addition of some electronic parts. The only song that I didn't find fundamental is the fist introducting "Zero Is The Number", but the other five are convincing me each time more. Curious also as "Freetime" remembered me a sort of sloved down and feedback-less version of My Bloody Valentine... Too bad they used a sleeve graphic that isn't catchy as their music is but if you're thinking I'm suggesting you to get this CD. Well... you're right. P.s. Since their website is still in construction the only way to contact them is through Loris' phone number +39-3286498956

Act Noir (ex-Alma Mater): Cosmo Minimized

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 03 2003
Artist: Act Noir (ex-Alma Mater) (@)
Title: Cosmo Minimized
Format: CD EP
I was very surprised but glad to receive something in the mail by the Alma Mater guys. I remember this name because I reviewed and distributed their entire discography, from their first demo in 1994 to their debut CD in 1997 on Toast records. I thought the band had split up, instead, after six years, even though both me and the founder of the band moved to different countries, our paths cross again. In the meantime they have changed their name into Act Noir and have grown into a full five-piece band with a foreign singer whose deep vocal timber will remind you of so many popular voices that you'll only be glad if you give Act Noir a chance. They learned how to flow with times and dynamically adjusted to the new scenario in which they exist today. They now work out of Bologna and Copenhagen with a double-0 1 system and present an EP that carries emotional dark-wave music mixed with electronics and ambient. They have most definitely grown a lot since the times I remember them and became a mature band with well-produced and well-written compositions. It's just good to see that some bands try really hard for so many years without ever stopping or giving up.

Moonspell: The Antidote

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 20 2003
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Artist: Moonspell
Title: The Antidote
Format: CD
Label: Century Media
Distributor: Century Media
When people think of Portugal, they generally tend to think of the old Portuguese empire and port wine. But when you ask most anyone in the Portuguese, goth, industrial, or metal scenes what they think of when they think Portugal these days and this will most likely be their response. Being one of the first to bridge the bridge between gothic, electronic dance (as displayed on "Sin Pecado") and dark metal, they still play it as one of the very finest. Add to that a distinctive and proud showing of their home country (Portugal, of course), mysticism derived from sources as disparate as Lusitanian mysticism to Paganism, and a very dark and strangely logical view on the world, and you also have one that is extremely unique and inimitable. This CD pushes the bar up several notches on the artistic meter, incorporating a collaboration with famed Portuguese author Jose Luis Peixoto for the novel "Antidote", which is featured in great detail on the CD, as well as a very high grade video for "Everything Invaded", which has some very good nature visuals as well as a good bit of gore and horror. Unto the sound of the CD.................. The slowness of releases such as "Wolfheart" and "Darkness And Hope" is traded in for a more furious combination of blistering goth-metal patterns mixed with softer more subtle acoustic tones, dancey and rhythmic drum patterns (especially on the song "From Lowering Skies") modeled after Portuguese tribal drumming and Mediterranean elements, atmospheric and unsettling keyboards (a little less to the forefront than "Wolfheart", where they played as much as the guitars), lingering and patient bass, and the Carl McCoy meets Andrew Eldrich (with a very thick Portuguese accent) vocals of Fernando Ribeiro. As in other words, it’s a melting pot of multiple diverse elements that I don’t think anyone else has dared to attempt so far. Think of Fields Of The Nephilim with a bit more of a metal edge, a bit of Paradise Lost, a bit of Madredeus gone insane, a bit of Das Ich, and a twisted version of DeSade wit, but that would only be a start to what his group sounds like. My favorite songs on here would have to be "From Lowering Skies", which has one of the danciest natural drum lines this side of anything "Roots" era Sepultura ever put out (if only half of the electronic groups could start making drum patterns like this!), and "In And Above Man", which is pretty much an ode to Nietschian style power and will (or at least to me). Another superb effort from Portugal’s finest, and one of it’s most challenging (I love how metal elitists hate these guys for their experimentation) to date, as if they could get any more eccentric in their formula. They may have broke the way for bands like Type O Negative and Opeth into fame and success, but I think these guys are more than content with hometown glory and the opportunity to say "fuck you" to those who say that goth, metal, and experimentation are exclusive to themselves. Rating: 10.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 19 2003
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Title: Pulse
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Equinoxe Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Distribution
PULSE is Avaritia's new MCD which after the "Wide Awake" E.P. brings us seven new tracks of melodic goth / new wave music. Musically I liked their ideas which take inspiration from the classic bands, like Sisters Of Mercy, Sound ( like on "Summer's Gone"), etc. Melodically the songs are good and the MCD is quite enjoyable but...I'm sorry I can't stand Dorit's vocals for too much time and I think that her way of singing make lose energy to the granitic sound created by the other guys of the band. I think this is a pity because they have got ideas and nice melodies but she's singing like she has got a limited range of notes. I don't want to sound rude but I think that Avaritia have got so much to give and it's a shame for them to lose it...

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