Music Reviews



EX NIHILO: Pentagone Explosion / Une Société De Tetes Mortes

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 25 2004
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Artist: EX NIHILO (@)
Title: Pentagone Explosion / Une Société De Tetes Mortes
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
The new Ex Nihilo release is a double CD. The first one is titled "Pentagone Explosion" and has got eighteen new tracks while the second one has got fifteen tracks of remixes and covers. At a first listening the thing that pop up immediately is the fact that Ex Nihilo music is changing and unfortunately I still prefer the first two CDs Laine did. On the new tracks you can find simil techno rhythms with some synth pads. "Le leurs Mortes", for example, is a good one with a good atmosphere but suddenly the rhythm starts to increase until you listen only a tremble and vocals become a reverbered rant and I find this ruins everything. Also the following track, "Rien", is based on goth atmospheres and techno rhythms while "Orgasmatron" (the fifth track) has got the old good Ex Nihilo moments only that sometimes sounds doesn't match and the different rhythmical tracks are out of synch and this is too bad as Laine is good at creating sick and powerful atmospheres. Each track has got good moments: "Decharge (Radio Version)", for example, could be a good goth ebm track. It's highly probable that these tracks with a better production would be a blast, but right now they seem nothing but demos. Tracks like "Schizo" or "The Conjurer" are similar to the old Ex Nihilo and I think they work better: pumping rhythms, epical synthetic sounds and dark atmospheres. It seems that half of the tracks has got this "techno fever" and they went out of Laine's hands while the remaining ones have got a better structure. It seems that in this period he's listening to Hocico along with techno and he'd like to melt them together ("Penta" for example remember me the instrumental tracks of the Mexican duo). The second CD of remixes and covers revisit the old tracks under the new band's style and contains also tracks of Rauwolfia remixed by Ex Nihilo. Strangely enough it seems that Laine took more care releasing "Une Société De Tetes Mortes" than the CD containing the new tracks: the tracks sound better and they give to the listener a sense of finality even if they would need sometimes a better production as well and this is odd.

Marspiter: Vigila

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 22 2004
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Artist: Marspiter
Title: Vigila
Format: CD
Label: Somnambulant Corpse recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Marspiter is pretty hard to classify, as it fluctuates in the wide imaginary gray area between ancient ritualistic droning dark-ambient and post-modern apocalyptic outerspace music. The distant reverberated gregorian chants, the timpanis and the roman iconography would make you think of the former, but the name of the project, their fascination with the enclosing planet of Mars, the pace, and the space odyssey evoking brass parts would make you go for the latter. Regardless of the choosen key of interpretation, Marspiter deliver a gloomy and sonic post-mortem scenario, a twilight zone of fear and peace, a path that leads from middle-age post battle atmospheres all the way to the surface of the red planet and visions of destruction. I am usually reviewing the music of a CD, rather than providing descriptive visuals, but this CD is so visionary and beautiful, in its warm and dark entirety and its last cold breath of life parting from the human soul to make space for death and emptiness, that I had to give you a piece of this.

Habeeb: Il Cancello di Morte

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 22 2004
Artist: Habeeb (@)
Title: Il Cancello di Morte
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: Somnambulant Corpse recordings (@)
Rated: *****
"Il Cancello della Morte" (italian for the gate of death) is an ideal record for a nocturnal listening experience, sitting in the dark, staring at the nothingness. Or if you're not into enjoying the comfort of your house, you can go for an outdoor experience instead, and follow the artist's suggestions for a trip to the local cemetary, where you can enter the death gate. Either way what you're gonna be faced with some of the most obscure and nightmarish dark-ambient, cold and black as a cave, or catacombs, enhanced by visions and hints to power-noise. The author, Larry Kerr, also makes music as Steel Hook Prosthesis and runs Cyberblast records, but this time around he went for the services of Redmond, Washington based Somnambulant records who took care of packaging in a very tasteful way. The 3" comes in a A5-sized plastic sleeve with a color print. Nice.

Carol Blaze: s/t

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 22 2004
Artist: Carol Blaze (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Carol Blaze is a fictional character whose name Pittsburg-based A T Vish, drummer of Hedwig and the Angry Inch as well as Projekt records band Lowsunday, has been making music with. The CD is full of charming atmospheres made of Projekt-style lush and ethereal sounds and reverbs but it doesn't hesitate to become dense and big while maintaining that sort of holy and dark approach. Lycia-like chorused guitars, reverberated drums that go from electro-goth drum machine style to Bauhaus-like drumming, arpeggios, layers of pads, The peculiarity of Carol Blaze is undoubtedly represented by the charismatic (male) voice that will certainly remind you of David Bowie and many others, maybe even including some Syd Barret and Bruce Springsteen (the beautiful "The Charging Winters" keeps reminding me of his "Streets of Philadelphia", but besides the comparison with the Boss you really have to check out Carol Blaze tone). The amount of character that you'll find in his performances is definitely something to apprecaite and, within the genre, you'll find it to be very eclectic and dynamic. Finally somebody that has something to say, in a personal way, with originality and not trying to mimic from who's been there and has done that decades ago. Because of its slow pace the record feels long but it definitely offers a great performance and a pleasing listening experience with surprises here and there.

ESCAPE POD: Losing Control

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 18 2004
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Artist: ESCAPE POD
Title: Losing Control
Format: 7"
Label: Dead Digital (@)
Rated: *****
This is the fourth Dead Digital's release. I reviewed them all since day one so I can say that this label is gaining the status of cult label as each release is particular and interesting at the same time. This time they sent me a new 7" of Escape Pod, a Manchester band which previously released a record for Rex Records. The two songs of the vinyl are different one from the other and perfect at the same time. "Losing Control" is a pure pop song with influences that go from Pink Floyd (you know the Barret's ballads like "Bicycle", do you?) to the latest Blur but removing the melancholic parts and adding a personal touch which is so charming. The band mix acoustic guitars, loops, choruses so easily that makes you astonishing when you read that they were three students four years ago! On side B we find "Change Of Pace", relaxing and relaxed folkish dark track. This is how a calm song should be to be boredom free. My cats would say: purrfect!


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