Music Reviews



VVAA: Circolo della Vela vol. 1-2002

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 31 2003
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Artist: VVAA
Title: Circolo della Vela vol. 1-2002
Format: CD
Label: Il Circolo della Vela
Inspired by elitarian and hierarchical sects (Thule Society, Tatenokai, deviated boy scouts, Masonic lodges à la "Un borghese piccolo piccolo"), the Circolo della Vela (Sailing Club) offers here its first sonic output. Strictly limited and definitely esoteric in its circulation, this 1st volume presents musica nova by mostly old known faces in the Italian underground grey area. Genres range from atmospheric electronic/industrial (Folkvang, KZ9, Der Feuerkreiner, Mushroom's Patience) to dark-wave (Bohemien), from pounding industrial noise (Rapid Action Brigade, Foresta di Ferro) to sexy lounge-funk (La Dolce Victima) or deranged techno (DBPIT), from electro-EBM (XP8) to folk noir (Inner Glory, Spiritual Front). The Misty Circles/Runes & Men lodge seems to be particularly influential, also offering an unreleased track which alone is worth the whole cd, i.e. Ain Soph's demo version of "Gli amanti tristi" - by far one of the best tracks of the "Aurora" masterpiece, here in a moving choral version. I think all songs are unreleased, alternative mixes etc., which adds to the rarity and value of this document. Can't comment on eventual 2003 releases because this has NO FUTURE written all over it.

THE SAND: The Memory Of Dead Romances

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 27 2003
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Artist: THE SAND (@)
Title: The Memory Of Dead Romances
Format: CD
Label: Self Produced
Born as a band in 1994 without a specific identity and without a name, the Sand shortly became the personal project of Umberto Marconi who decided to exorcise his own ghosts producing his own music. Even if their city is in Italy the symbol of summer days passed at the beach with children playing all over, Rimini didn't prevent the manifestation of Umberto's dark soul. The CDr titled THE MEMORY OF DEAD ROMANCES contains fifteen songs deeply influenced by 80s' new wave and early goth music. The main references are Sisters Of Mercy, Joy Division (there's also their version of "Transmission") and the early Italian wave of bands like Diaframma or Litfiba. Even if listening to this demo some naivety is evident, the intentions seem to be pure and full of real passion. Unfortunately the recording and the arrangements need additional work to give to the band a personal identity without being an incarnation of their musical heroes. Good intentions and some good ideas are the right beginning and half of the work is done. Check some mp3 at his website...

MANES: Vilosophe

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 26 2003
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Artist: MANES
Title: Vilosophe
Format: CD
Label: Code666
Distributor: Audioglobe
Times change and people change. From 1993 to '99, Manes were a cult duo playing "true Norwegian black metal", and released three demos and an album, "Under ein blodraud maane". Now they have an extended line-up featuring Asgeir Hatlen and Tommy Sebastian (vocals), Eivind Fjoseide (guitars), Rune Hoemsnes (analogue drums), Torstein Parelius (bass, lyrics), and Tor-Helge Skei (guitars, electronics, programming, sequencing); somebody has described their new path as a jam between Katatonia, Radiohead and Aphex Twin. I really don't know about Katatonia, but there's definitely a lot of Radiohead-sounding ("Kid A"/"Amnesiac") spleen-rock, some drum'n'bass here and there and, all in all, a well-crafted mix of melancholic "wave", some psychedelia, electronic arrangements and heavier music (not strictly "metal", though). The sound is rich and multi-layered, and luckily the band tends to avoid the tacky "heavy guitars + electronic beats" formula which has been infesting the underground for years. The soundwriting is almost always pretty remarkable, indeed: listen to the tour-de-force of "Diving with your hands bound [nearly flying]" for example, which never loses ground in its 10'+ length. I just don't like some faster, more energetic tracks like "Death of the genuine" (which had appeared as "Redeemer" on the "Better dead than alive sampler") where the drum'n'bass + metal mix seems to prevail a bit. Manes are now a credible dark rock band which is obviously putting a lot of effort into writing good and someway original tunes. Certainly better than most gothic bands around today. Nice-looking layout too.

DISMAL: Rubino Liquido - three scarlet drops…

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 26 2003
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Artist: DISMAL
Title: Rubino Liquido - three scarlet drops…
Format: CD
Label: DreamCell 11/Code666
Distributor: Audioglobe
Whew... I'm having a hard time reviewing this. Dismal are an Italian symphonic goth-metal trio formed by Bradac (keyboards, synths, piano, programming and rhythm guitar), Afelio (voices of howl, dismallian guitar - sic!) and Ae (female vocals), and highly acclaimed for their previous releases on Naumana, Pagan Moon and Beyond...prod, which got raving reviews all around. So let's immediately say this: if you like this genre, you'll probably want to buy "Rubino Liquido" and will find it a moving masterpiece of dark art. The musicianship and production is obviously hyper-professional and crystal-clear. Songs are complex and crafted, etc. But. I can't avoid writing it: I hate this kind of metal - it sums up any negative aspect I find in heavy metal music, and "professional"/technical HM in particular. I mean, Dismal play very well and all, they're accompanied by an orchestra, etc., but everything sounds totally cold to me. Clean male vocals and high, ethereal female ones become tedious after a while and the "aggressive" parts just don't balance them. The drum machine sound is annoying, totally static and artificial in its slow patterns; one craves for human rhythms after minute 1. As for writing complex suites... the various movements often sound very disjointed to my ear, like patchworks. Using the artwork as a methaphore: Dismal provide fascinating images (taken from Kubrik's "Eyes wide shut"), but ruin them with a banal logo. I don't know... I'm a sucker for extreme metal, doom and orchestral music, but this just doesn't work for me.

Soulscape: Dreamfree

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 20 2003
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Artist: Soulscape (@)
Title: Dreamfree
Format: 3" MiniCD
Label: The Bombshelter
Distributor: The Bombshelter
Dreamfree a 3 inch single cd by a dark electronica band named soulscape the band hails from chicago a 3 piece band consisting of mel-vox sam-bass and dan-guitar.

The first track also the title of the 3 inch single is called Dreamfree a symphony meets switchblades. Mel sings they can't see beyond the myopic futile misery of their lives leaving you mesmerized and bound Sam and Dan provide the darkness accompanying him in this reverlry with haunting bass lines and hard cutting guitar. This track has already became a dancefloor hit and has potential to take all dancefloors by storm.

The next track is called Rise Again this track haunts you like no other with it's singing refrain calling to you I stand my ground I rise again letting the world know that he will conquer all leaving us with a visual of a monster frozen in ice from ages past soon to be warmed and awakened to rise and make it's presence known and heard. Sam's bass cuts right through us hearing that same refrain again and again while Dan just simply tears it up.

The last track is called The Crossing also a possiblity of another dance floor tragedy hit singing to us. Nibiru is calling to you don't be alarmed all your dreams of this moment come alive.
This is an esoteric incantation calling on the old gods to come join us and dance with us the goal here is dance dance dance! and never forget where it all comes from.

Check out Soulscape at the Underground Lounge 952 W. Newport, doors 9.p.m. playing with Infinity Interrupt and Mnd Flux Funeral courtesy of heresyproductions.com


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