Music Reviews

Artica: Ombras E Luce

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 16 2003
Artist: Artica
Title: Ombras E Luce
Format: CD
Label: Decadance Records
Distributor: Decadance Records
Artica-"Ombra E Luce"Debut CD from this legendary Italian goth rock group, though I understand not one word they are saying since it’s all Italian. But the sound is tight though. The atmosphere of slowed chainsaw guitars and lower C chord riffing, with rolling Italian lyrics and a vocalist who sings every bit as sepulchral as Carl McCoy (though he sounds dead in a good way), this CD is both creepy and melancholy at the same time. And I read a little bit of the translated lyrics the band sent me, and they are quite poetic. They build up a atmosphere of WHY they adore that person so much in poetic detail and then both condemn and beg to them on the first song. That versus many bands who just whine with no particular target or reason, like they are just filling in song space. The CD as a whole has that classic goth rock type roll we all know and love so much, yet these guys seem to have a healthy deathrock influence as well, giving back to Joy Division as much as they do Christian Death. Easily one of the best goth rock CD’s I’ve seen in quite a while, bringing back the old school style of it minus any electronic baggage. These guys don’t need keyboards to make their atmospheres, believe me. Rating:10

Poisonblack: Escapexstacy

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 16 2003
Artist: Poisonblack
Title: Escapexstacy
Format: CD
Label: Century Media
Distributor: Century Media
Poisonblack-"Escapexstacy"Goth metal/rock project from the vocalist of Sentenced (who in turn has a good bit of heavy goth sound to them), running a line between early Paradise Lost ala Icon’ and early Type O Negative a bit ala "Origins Of The Feces" (and women go gaga for Peter Steel after a title like that. Go fig!). The vocalist sounds very classically trained and quite bassy, singing along with dark organ lines and goth rock guitars alongside. My favorite track would be "The Exciter" with it’s smooth combo of groovy goth metal and cleverly placed synth lines contrasting it. The CD could stand to be a bit longer but it does stand pretty solid, especially in a field of cookie cutter Norwegian goth metal bands. Rating: 9.

CANAAN: A calling to weakness

 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 09 2003
Artist: CANAAN
Title: A calling to weakness
Format: CD
Label: Eibon Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
New work by the Italian masters of spleen, one of the really few dark acts I can really appreciate... "A calling to weakness" has been defined by Eibon itself as their heaviest work, but I actually think it's a bit (just a bit) "lighter" than "Brand New Babylon", and quite close to Weltschmerz's "Capitale de la Douleur" (which is not that strange since they share Mauro's guitar abilities). "Prayer for nothing", "Everything you say", "Un ultimo patetico addio" are an excellent documentation of the band's sound, a bastard son of romantic dark-wave ("Disintegration"-era Cure, Diaframma, Le Masque) and a harder driving power adding a solid backbone to their sad melodies - but miles away from gaudy goth-metal or such horrors. 17 tracks and more than 70' of music which I heartily recommend you if you're into 1st class dark music. Excellent layout based on abstract figures in blood-red on cold metallic grey - which is a perfect representation of Canaan's sound, indeed.

LILAC AMBUSH: Four Stories

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 05 2003
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Artist: LILAC AMBUSH (@)
Title: Four Stories
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Twisted Spinach
Fourth E.P. for the Boston's finest darkwave band. Lilac Ambush each release bring us fine original tunes which are never disappointing. This time the songs are "Unreal", "Need Versus Want" (my favourite), "Endless Dawn" (which recall a lot some Joy Division moments because of the vocals and the Depeche Mode on the refrain because of the synth lines...particular) and the last songs which is "Summer's Problem". To be honest this song is less immediate because of its lenght (seven minutes) and sounds pretty flat. Probably the most important thing about the track are the lyrics but unfortunately they aren't included on the CD. Anyway, this is another convincing recording of the band and let's hope someone will sign them.

Old Man's Child: In Defiance Of Existence

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 04 2003
Artist: Old Man's Child
Title: In Defiance Of Existence
Format: CD
Label: Century Media
Distributor: Century Media
OLD MAN"S CHILDMost black metal bores the living shit out of me, hindered by the same things that bring death metal down: poor production, horrible grunts, players playing faster than they can keep up with and overall a Manowar sense of cheesiness. But every now and then comes ones that do get it right and pack some real musicianship with them. Tossing on the table cards like folk, industrial-gothic and some nicely laced classical, this is one of the few that does it right. They are one equal part metal and equal part all of those, much like their Portuguese pals to the west, Moonspell (though no body beats Moonspell’s daring in the metal scene in my book!). Even at the most brutal the elements of a very Das Ich type sound carry along side it, bringing to mind Das Ich’s run with Atrocity. And the presence of robotic vocals helps too as well. Brutality and divine classical dance together once again, bringing a sense of variety most black and death metal bands just talk about for ads. A band that will both stomp your ass while conducting symphonies at the same time! Rating:10Also recommended of course is anything from Emperor, Samael and Nile, who all three brought black metal from it’s grave so to speak and added something beyond the corny ass Mayhem formula. Not to mention the super genius of Arcturus, who takes the classical, ambient and gothic orchestral element to the extreme.

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