Music Reviews

The Frozen Autumn: Emotional Screening Device

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 04 2003
Artist: The Frozen Autumn
Title: Emotional Screening Device
Format: CD
Label: Eibon (@)
Distributor: Middle Pillar
Who ever thought this electro-darkwave band will ressurrect after being put under ice by Diego because of the departure of his other half member, Claudio? In his place is Diego's long time girlfriend, Arianna, who was also part of another project with her boyfriend called STATIC MOVEMENT. The new release by this male and female duo is still the same like all the previous releases. Alot of good songs stands the album out. "Wintertag", "When You Are Sad", "Silence Is Talking", "Sperm Like Honey", "Freon Heart, Fayence Mind", "Second Sight (that feature two versions with each individual singing the song alone), and the self-titled "Emotional Screening Device" are my favorites. Strong ethereal vox, electro-rhythms and synthesizers constructs an electronic dynamic patterns with mid and fast tempos. Glad to hear this extraordinary Italian band making a comeback.

Canaan: A Calling To Weakness

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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May 03 2003
Artist: Canaan
Title: A Calling To Weakness
Format: CD
Label: Eibon (@)
Distributor: Eibon
This album is so SAD and DEPRESSING! Makes you want to crawl to a corner and mourn to yourself in silence. But I like it still. Every track on Canaan's new debut "A Calling To Weakness" have a melancholic feel. As for I know, I heard this is their very best, much more darker, and heaviest to date. Based out of Italy, this five piece darkwave band plays out their tension emotions. Songs like "Prayer For Nothing", "The Forever Passion", "Grey", "The Ghosts Of My Betrayal", "Everything You Say", and "A Last Lullaby" are my favorites. "To Those Who Cried" is sung in Middle-Eastern language and "Essere Nulla" in Italian. Both is quite interesting. Track 12 "Submission", have a sample of Gregorian Chant Choir singing in a compassionate gloomy way that could be sung at a funeral. All 17 tracks can be enjoyed by listening to it in the dark while lying in bed.

TEX LA HOMA: Dazzle Me With Transience

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 29 2003
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Artist: TEX LA HOMA (@)
Title: Dazzle Me With Transience
Format: CD
Label: Superglider (@)
Tex La Homa hails from England bringing us echoes of Jesus & Mary Chain and Velvet Underground with a touch of electronic arrangements for how the vocals and instruments are sometimes treated. Try to imagine a slow version of Lotus Eaters performed by an indie band that uses also electro arrangements along with acoustic instruments. Formed in May 2000 by Matt Shaw, the project soon began to compose tunes. Soon after Tex La Homa released the first four songs EP. That record was released by Kamikaze Records as last release. The label was set up by Matt and Griff with the help of their friend Kerry. After this first record Matt has been joined by Mal, Richard and Griff to form together Superglider Records. The first release has been a Tex La Homa EP and soon after, joined also by Mooro, they released music by True Swamp Neglect, Sancho Panza, Betika, Seemonster, Robot Dog, Factotum and TLH. Talking about DAZZLE ME WITH TRANSIENCE I can say that for sure it's an intimate record but not melancholic. The soft atmospheres aren't self celebrating (you know how that "how miserable I am" attitude of some bands is) and songs like "Feel Tied Down" or "Launch" (oh my... The Jesus & Mary Chain distortions are still making school... hehehe) could make your day. Certainly you have to listen to albums like this being in the right mood because if you are in need of an energy's injection to shake your bones this could be harmful :)

Opeth: Damnation

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 29 2003
Artist: Opeth
Title: Damnation
Format: CD
Label: Music For Nations,Koch Records
Distributor: Music For Nations,Koch Records
OK, imagine if you got a goth, a folk lover, and a metalhead all to write down their dream group that they could agree on, and Opeth would very well be the result. Already hailed in many metal circles as the best metal band out there, not many Goths have yet caught onto their fragile, delicate music yet. Also, being considered the best metal band in the world, there is one catch to them: they are not completely metal either, nor are they all that brutal as they are just dark and moody. They often go from slow, doomy death metal right smack dab into very dark, accoustic folk, not unlike a more technical Death In June.
Yet on this CD, the sound takes a full circle swing, as it is the softer companion to the bombastic and brooding "Deliverance". Gone are any traces of death metal, replaced by acoustics and a melancholy sense of progressive rock. The CD opens with the violin and acoustic laden track "Windowpane", whose slow riffs on top of gently plucked strings give additional warmth to the marvelous voice of Mikael Akerfeldt. All of it is like a musical version of a French cuisine, where all the ingredients work in rhythm with one another, never overpowering in the least. In the back lies trained and true jazz drumming, patient and again never overpowering. Add to that the violin lines in the back and you quickly see how this band has even gotten the hardest metal elitists into it’s spell. This is music that universally speaks past genres, and often probably doesn’t even notice them as much as they just simply put emotion to music.
Then comes the track "In My Time Of Need", following as a seeming flow to "Windowpane", where the two songs never seem to conflict. Much of this whole CD stands as one whole, not as a song to song format. "Closure" flows along in this manner, yet injects more of their signature melancholy riffs as well, and then pumps up the notches on the technicality. Put onto that the energetic but controlled, meticulous drumming in the middle of the song, along with a haunting chorus in the back.

Listening to the music, one cannot help but notice the beautiful artwork on the CD. Every Opeth CD has exceptional artwork, such as the art for "Still Life" and "Blackwater Park". This is a band that seems to have no weak areas at all. The lyrics may not be as complex this time as "Still Life" but the lyrics seem to fit the mold for the music to a tee. It still borders on sheer poetry, reflecting isolation and various morose feelings, not mention it’s sung by some incredibly beautiful vocals. Metal fans looking for some of Opeth’s more heavy material should look elsewhere, but for those into their constantly evolving style, it’s highly advised. I recommend this group in general for those who are willing to take a view into a band that dares to march forward in so many directions at once! Many have said they have changed the way metal can be played, but I argue that. I say they have well changed the way music as a whole can be played! Folk singers are taking note, metal bands are taking note, maybe even goth and death folkers are taking note. I can smell the copycats starting up to try following in their footsteps already.

Rating: 10. Also recommended is anything from Opeth, especially "Orchid" (haha good luck finding this little gem) and "Still Life". Also, if you can find Moonspell’s acoustic performances, that would be a nice addition.

BLACK SUN: Awaken Of The Hidden

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 25 2003
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Artist: BLACK SUN (@)
Title: Awaken Of The Hidden
Format: CD
Label: Self Released
Sixth release and second CD for this band coming from Rome. Black Sun born in 1994 thanks to Luca Basili. Over the years he produced different demos and a CD since Louder joined the band to give his vocals to four out of nine tracks of the last CD (on other three there's the female voice of Tiny Torfs as guest singer). AWAKEN OF THE HIDDEN gathers remixed versions of tracks that have been recorded since 1994 until nowadays. Most of them have been picked up from the demo "Alone In The Wood". Musically they remind me of the first Limbo period, when the band was most influenced by goth than by e.b.m. The dark atmospheres and the Italian language used in most of the tracks make of this CD an interesting one: maybe sometimes the production is a little naive but the result is never boring. Electronic, techno and goth are the main influences of the band and if you love these genres you could give them a listen by checking their mp3 page.

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