Music Reviews

Dream Into Dust: The Lathe of Heaven

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 28 2003
Artist: Dream Into Dust
Title: The Lathe of Heaven
Format: CD
Label: Chthonic Streams (@)
Distributor: (US) & (Europe)
I have been following Derek Rush's Dream Into Dust since their early days debut in 1997 and the memory I have of their initial works is that of one of the best dark-ambient bands I had come across. It's been a while since I last heard from them or listened to their music, but I am pretty sure I ain't wrong by saying that this new album definitely represents sort of an opening to new musical spheres and the build up of a closer relationship with the intimate and melodic side of the artist. It is kinda more solar, if I can even use this term with a group that is as dark and somber as they are. But melody is most definitely an important factor here, that has grown its way out of its whispered confinement (not that it wasn't good enough, on the contrary it was great) and turned into a primary player of the new Dream Into Dust sound. Match that with the classical string arrangements, the rhythmical structures ranging from industrialized to trippy, the ambience experimentations and all the other electronic sounds and field recordings for which either Derek or the guitar player are responsible, and you'll get a uniquely peculiar and gorgeously uncanny work that absolutely deserves your attention. The deadly acoustic noir ballads made precious by the vocal performances offset your focus and get you to almost use a different key for interpretation, at least momentarily, while in seek of a new balance between apocalyptic mayhem and tuneful bliss... A new multi-dimensional direction that redefines previously set borders and embraces a wider array of sonorities and a more global and easier approach to the dark industrial sounds that Dream Into Dust have accustomed us to in the past. One might be tempted to get into the whole World Serpent apocalyptic folk definition thing, but it's more than that. Yes the folk element is very present but it is located inside a more complex and fascinating context of industrialism that makes it unique. So before you go the distance and think about Dead Can Dance and the like, you might wanna try The Soil Bleeds Black, Einsturzende Neubauten, Raison D'Etre, the 4AD sound and maybe even (dare I say?) Radiohead and Jeff Buckley at times... Definitely something you outta check out. To further enhance and enrich Derek's visionary sonic outreach we have the guitar of Bryin Dall (Thee Majesty, Loretta's Doll, 4th Sign of the Apocalypse, Murder of Angels, Angels of Light) and the violin and viola by classically-trained session-player Eddy Malave. "The Lathe of Heaven" CD sports absolutely amazing graphics done by Derek himself and portraying scary imagery with a sort of retrospective outlook, like most of their covers' art work, that is scary enough to haunt you. The album's title is partly inspired by Ursula K. Leguin's novel and its original 1980 film adaptation (starring Bruce Davison), which both deal with themes of dreams and reality, as most of the band's work.

Final Selection: AntiHero

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 12 2003
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Final Selection-"AntiHero"

This band offers a very strange yet elegant blend... ... ... ... ... cold atmospheres reminiscent of Diary Of Dreams and Mentallo And The Fixer, mixed in with a moody electro-pop and ambient-pop textures all into one surreal and dreamy creation. The sound patterns are some of the best I’ve heard in a good while (esp. the beginning reverb effect on track 4, "Smile"), linked together perfectly with melancholy synth lines, and a controlled drum line that never pounds and chokes the beautiful atmosphere within. The imagery within the CD is very beautiful as well, combining nature with stark human elements, with great use of color (note the emotive uses of blue and dark orange with much of the artwork) to create that additional feel of melancholy and warmth. The vocals top it all off, with controlled ease (everything on this CD speaks of perfect balance) and a breathy air, somewhere between the vocals of Lassigue Bendthaus and Adrian Hates of Diary Of Dreams. The vocals cut through like a river carving itself through the land, yet still flowing and rather peaceful throughout. The vocals at times, such as on the track "When You Turn Your Back to Me" create almost a trance in the listener. Through it as well are lyrics that are dreamily metaphorical and yet kind of poppy in their at-times simplicity, yet very poetic, much like the aforementioned Diary Of Dreams.
My favorite track along with "Smile" would have to be "Tears". The atmosphere built throughout the song is all I can really describe as dark ambient pop, kind of like Delerium in a way. Minus the female vocals of course. It has almost a classical feel to it, given the feel of the synth lines.
Overall, this is something very different, dreamy and distinct in its course. Everything from the art to the music to the website speaks of a sweeping blow in art that will make many bands scramble to catch up. Something definitively new and a band I feel may get even better as time goes on, growing into something that may truly escape category. Rating: 10

PAST PERFECT: Whispers Of Souls In Silence

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 09 2003
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Title: Whispers Of Souls In Silence
Format: CD
Label: Cyberdelia (@)

Formed three years ago the Greek band Past Perfect started to train playing covers of their loved bands, such as Joy Division, Sister Of Mercy, Dead Can Dance, etc. Soon after they started to write their own songs building their musical style. WHISPERS OF SOULS IN SILENCE is their first album which gathers seven songs that blink the eye to their musical heroes, mixing together goth atmospheres / sounds (it's long time I didn't hear a flanged bass guitar with that characteristic bouncing sound), few psychedelic influences (see how the sitar sound duet with guitar on "Lethe"), electronic arrangements here and there with a closing track ("A Dream Within A Nightmare") which is a good electro one and ton of dark moments. Reading this review it could seems to you that this album is a strange hybrid between goth, electronic and rock. Well, this is partially true as the influences are so many (see for example the ambient moments of "Our Fatal Dream Tale" with all the its changes always in balance between trip hop and a dark soundtrack) that you could be confused, but the good thing is that PAST PERFECT did a good work by balancing all the influences in a good way. The album is divided in four different chapters and this could be an explanation of the variety of sounds you'll find here. Anyway, this is a particular release if you think that this is their first CD and it's worth checking it.

VV.AA.: Fairy World 1

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 04 2003
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Fairy World 1
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe

After ten years of fairy sounds, various sperimentations and sixty nine CDs in their catalog, Prikosnovenie decided to shoot this moment into a color glossy A5 booklet of twenty pages and with a CD containing seventeen bands/tracks of which eleven are unreleased. During the seventy minutes of the CD you could meet all the label's artists and know their musical realm where music has no geographic region (see the medio Oriental influences of Anassane, Phil Von & The Gnawa Musicians Of Fés, Ringe Ringe Raja, Prajna and Christin Wolz) and where the time limit see no limits bringing you on a travel towards medio eval tunes and atmospheres (see Caprice, Irfan, Gor, Louisa John-Krol and Love Sessions). The remaining ones explore the ambient sounds or mix different genres creating fluctuating atmospheres and introspective moments. If you want to have an idea of the label this is the perfect point where you can start.

Apocalypse Theatre: Lost in America

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 02 2003
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Artist: Apocalypse Theatre (@)
Title: Lost in America
Format: CD
Label: Caroline Records (@)
Distributor: Caroline Records
Apocalypse Theatre
Lost in America
Caroline Records
Underground Inc

This cd Lost in America is pure bliss. First of all there must be about 20 people or so in this band playing confederate drums guitars keyboards drum machine you name it they'll play it picture a good time all equipped with theatrics.

Kami is there performance artist girl a beautiful little goth girl playing with a demented teddy bear to all the craziness around her tormente in her world with all these lost souls surrounding her like there taunting her in a dream playing their music for her requeim.

Track one The disease containing back up sings that compliment their lead singer snging they all fall down like a demented version of london bridges gone wrong. This song tells all tells of all the lost souls in the world that fall down from something they can't fight against. This song makes you move as well as think.

Track Two- Lust Love Lies is to me is one of the most dancy songs on the whole cd singing with catchy little lines like I want to be your salvation even if it means my damnation. Hey with words like this you just gotta listen.

Track eight- Dorothy is probably the most Sistery of the Mercy song I have ever heard but that is a compliment singing about the heartland as if this is the last song to be played before the apocalypse the guitars along will haunt you and will pull at you they will taunt you they will make you believe the apocalypse is here the 20 men and women of the apocalypse are here they have arrived but as a band that are going to rock you till you fade out burn out and join them.

Dorothy like the Wzard of Oz you might think is the same ut the devil has her and she isn't coming home!

Apocalypse Theatre is a theatre of madness you have metal throw in some new wave antics add some old school goth element and call on the civil war with those confederate drums and you got Apox almost like a disease that grows on you and won't let go.

One of the most promising bands hailing from Minneapolis.

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