Music Reviews

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.

DVAR: Rakhilim

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 11 2004
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Artist: DVAR
Title: Rakhilim
Format: CD
Label: Monopoly Records (@)
Founded in early 90's, Dvar produced several releases but they haven't been really prolific as RAKHILIM is only their third full lenght album after "Dvar", "Raii", the retrospective "Piirrah" and several mini. I never heard of them but their is a particular style as they mix darwave, classical music orchestrations and something that could remember circus music. The result is really theatrical and the twenty tracks form an ipotetic soundtrack good for a freak show. Vocals are the most strange thing about this album as it seems there aren't proper lyrics or an usual use of vocals, most of the time is like there's a child crying and this underline the most dramatic passages. The titles of the tracks add some mystery to the whole work as I can't imagine what "Rakhilim", "Ieroh", "Naakhiil" or "Tavirim" mean. Doing a search on Google I found that Dvar is related to Torah and hebraism, so this could be a clue: a russian band interested in Kabbala which write their lyrics using yiddish language... If you have a chance and if you are looking for something particular in the Sopor Aeternus' vein, check this out!

ATROX: Orgasm

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 29 2003
Artist: ATROX
Title: Orgasm
Format: CD
Label: Code 666 (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Uhm, given kudos to Code666 for their open-mindedness, I guiltily admit that I’m always skeptical when a metal band goes "progressive", "crossover" or whatnot, especially when they play VERY well technically-wise and have a female singer. Which is Atrox's case. The band, fronted by singer and synth-player Monika Edvardsen (also author of the paintings featured in the cd), mixes post-thrash à la Meshuggah/Cynic, flat metal (including, alas, obtrusive solos), jazzy breaks and, mostly due to the singing, an (un)healthy dose of, say, quasi goth/wave/ethereal. I’m sorry to write this, but with a mix like that I’d almost surely hate the whole thing. And actually, the few parts I manage to appreciate are the Messhuggah-sounding ones. As for the rest, no way. I feel it lacks taste, cohesiveness and direction. I'm sure lots of people will love this to death, especially if they're into metal with very clean and prominent female vocals. To me, it's as painful as listening to fantasy power metal or the likes. Most of all, "complex" doesn't necessarily mean "good" - ok, the musicians may be ironic but some passages just sound goofy, irony sometimes can spoil the atmosphere, can't it. Sorry, I'm a punk.


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 18 2003
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Artist: NEON DREAM (@)
Title: Anodyne
Format: CD
Label: Equinoxe Records (@)
I'm impressed about how much this band (apart from the female vocals) sounds like the last Iggy Pop mixed up with some goth tunes. The singer's voice is real deep and catchy and the tracks have a solid sound which help a lot by keeping up the energy. As usual I don't like the female vocal (too ethereal and boring for my taste) but the granitic sound which mix Iggy Pop, Sister Of Mercy and Type O' Negative is sounding someway fresh and new to my ears. Of the nine tracks I prefer the most direct and distorted moments but also some ballads reveals good moments full of energy and pathos. Talking about tracks: "Red Light Anodyne" has got a certain crawling touch which remember me the Iggy Pop's ballads. The following track "Entrain" is a little too metal and based on solos to fit my needs of energy, even if it has got a catchy refrain. Let's skip track six (too mellow) and pass to "Overscreening", "Viable" and "Lilith". The first one is a good one while the eight minutes long "Viable" is the weakest of the lot: it sounds like a slow Christian Death ballad including Valor's moanings. With "Lilith" we have got again a good goth rock tune which ends the album. All in all a good album if you think that this is their debut!

The Rev. Birminghell's Birmingham Most Hated: Who In The Hell You Thank You Talkin' To???-Heiron Music Vol. 1

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 14 2003
Artist: The Rev. Birminghell's Birmingham Most Hated
Title: Who In The Hell You Thank You Talkin' To???-Heiron Music Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Heiron Muisc
Imagine Recoil (Alan Wilder) collaborate with the late great rapper/poet/actor Tupac Shukar or number one hip-hop producer Dr. Dre (N.W.A., D.O.C, Snoop Dog, Michele, The Wreckin' Crew, Eminem) hooking up with goth rock Marilyn Manson. What do you think it might sound like? It'll be very interesting, I'll say. Birmingham native, Rev. Birminghell (aka Travis) have did something quite interesting and wild that gotten the white punks, goths, rock and alternative crowd attention at the clubs on the southside. He combined hip-hop with gothic elements. Serious hellish lyrics coming out of this black dark rapper who is influence by Marilyn Manson, Slip Knot and Nine Inch Nails. His debut release "Who In The Hell You Thank You Talkin' To???-Heiron Music Vol. 1 has raised some local underground hip-hop acts and fans eyebrows who just didn't get it when performed some tracks off the cd live at an all black club and audience. I like this guy because his style is absolutely different and the messages he's throwing out is a significant killing. Some of the tracks contains dialogues from movies and sampling of other artists music; from new wave, r&b, rock and alternative. The cd is more hip-hop than goth, but there are some tracks that have a dark doomy soundtrack feel. Rev. Birminghell raps on different subjects that'll make you say hmmmmmm. I have some favorites that I like. "A Prayer For A Black Rose", which contains a sample from Britain's one hit wonder The Verve "something Symphony" (forgot the name of the song's title because the band haven't put out an album since 1994), the song is based on a man who had experienced bad situations in life and trying to have faith by maintaining to believe that love still exist; "Xxplorr" is about sex, love, lust and sin. A romantic love song that have a twist at the end. It contains a sample from Prince "Adore". Track 6 "Love Sweet Love" have a dark feel. It's about so-called christians, from preachers to congregation, who called themselves children of God and be quoting Bible verses and be sinning like hell. The last verse is catchy which I do agree what he said: "America is the fungus corrupting your soul/got deacons raping children 12 years old/I know if I were on the cross all blooded with nails/I would have sent all you hoes to hell!" It also contains a dialogue from Todd McFarland animated "Spawn." "Academic Pimpin'" is a good song for urban radio and clubs. This tripped out track talks about players who be perpetrating and be impressing a fine female everytime one walks by showing what they have and taking out their wallets flashing their stash of cash. The track have a dialogue from Prince movie "Purple Rain." This second favorite of mine "The D.A.I.D (Drownin' Alive In Dirt)" have a melancholic feel that contains a sample of one of Duran Duran 80's hits "Save A Prayer". The song is about a man who lives in a shadowy cold and lonely world with hatred and bitterness in his heart and dream of a perfect family with wife and kids, despite what he sees and go through in life that fills with trials and tribulations in this messed up world. This track have a dialogue from the movie "Scarface." "Rosemary's Baby (Baptism In Hate) is my number one fave. This track caught me off guard when I heard U2 "New Year's Day" being used through out the whole segment of the song, which also contains dialogue with Kingpin talking from the gothic hellish movie "Hellraiser." Even the lyrics is tight with a deep emotional feeling that blew me away, especially in the second verse:They came and witness the death of my innocenceThe birth of the anti-christReflected all the painThat's upon me through my lifeFifty percent of me prays to God at nightWhile the other half wakes up to live in a satanic lifeAnd I blame society for the so-called leadersPerverts and hypocrites, backstabbersAnd phony ass preachersNever knew hate until a racist called me a niggerNever knew greed until a brother killed another over figuresBut I won't discriminate when I say fuck you allIf I were Jesus on the cross the whole world would fallCause I can never forgive the worldFor what it did to meCorrupted me with hate and greedFrom my head to my feetThe cd and cover contains explicit lyrics and graphics. The Rev. is on the back cover dressed in a black robe with make-up, a drawing of a rose on his forehead and fingers polished black looking like a satanic priest. He's holding a rose and a cross is in the background glowing. Rev. is a genius for coming up with a unique original idea. It may sound crazy, but he pulled it off extremely well. This is a must listen!

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