Music Reviews

Behind The Scenes: Homeless

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 04 2002
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Artist: Behind The Scenes
Title: Homeless
Format: CD
Label: Bloodline

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Behind The Scenes' 2000 release Homeless is Gothic Rock like I haven't heard in quite some time. Upon first impression you get solid rock-n-roll riffs and bass line with just enough electronic ambience to give it body but not to overrun the overall rock feel of it. Deep and dark like Sisters of Mercy with 'spidery' lead vocal somewhat reminiscent of Peter Murphy but with a smoother and more melodious style befitting of genre mainstays Clan of Xymox. With that being said - what else is there?


 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 03 2002
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Artist: CROWHEAD (@)
Title: Frozen
Format: CD
Label: My Kingdom Music (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece Dist.
Crowhead's Jo-I Slangvold and Rym after a couple of years of work and after releasing some tracks on the Tatra compilation "Sex Goth & Electronics" and on their "Love Letter" demo CD, are releasing their debut album FROZEN conquering all the dark hearts with their melancholic but powerful tunes.The duo worked together also in Shadow Dancers, a goth metal band active in the '90s and the eleven tracks of this album for sure recall goth and metal atmospheres but the album remain a sort of hybrid which is capable to create something really cool. What I mean is that Crowhead took all the good and energetic aspects of their loved genres just to create a special blend really powerful and catchy. It could be enough to listen to the second album's track titled "Mad Man" to fall in love with this sound. Another thing which makes of this a special album is the use of the vocals, because the voice is melodic, clear and evocative without being pathetic. Another good thing is how they use electronic instruments: even if guitars and drums are the main thing the band's sound is focusing on, synths are used to underline melodic moments. Special guests of this album are: Rico Darum (ex-APOPTYGMA BERZERK), Ted "Superdead" Skogmann (ex-APOPTYGMA BERZERK) which helped producing the album and remixing the opening track along with Sebastian of ICON OF COIL who remixed "The Soul Is In The Dark Side".

Chiasm: Disorder

 Posted by Jesse Griffin   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 02 2002
Artist: Chiasm (@)
Title: Disorder
Format: CD
Label: COP International
There's an intangible quality, a certain sense of coherence,that usually accompanies a true solo album. Chiasm's debut album "Disorder" is a solo work in the strictest sense of the term, and it shows. The ghost haunting a machine vibe of this album make for a unique and darkly enjoyable experience.With vocals alternately floating, crooning or hissing alongside the distinctly mechanical mixture of electronic drums, pulsing synths and occasional dialogue sample this is one of those banshee albums that sucks you in and won't let go until it ends."Cold" adds a touch of piano to the mix and manages to stalk, entrance and sadden all in the same five minutes.The more drum intensive "Fight" takes up the bpm count a bit and the sense of urgency with it."Chiasm 5.0 " and "Isolated" both have menacing enough rhythms to appropriately augment their snarled tales of abandonment.Distance and separation, be it her trying to distance herself (I will remain alone this time/until I know for sure what's mine), or her being distanced from others (have no choice but be isolated/struggling/left alone/apart/pushed aside/made segregated/struggling/left alone/apart), is very much a reoccurring theme here.It does work very well with the disorienting nature of the music though.The album closing "Someone" stands apart from the rest and is a very effective piece in spite of itself seeing as singing over seven minutes of the same glitchy beat doesn't sound too great in theory.The bold nakedness of it all pulls it off in spades though.Ms. Rohn's top flight set of pipes doesn't exactly hurt things either, in fact a lot of this material really couldn't be pulled off by someone with a lesser vocal range.Might as well write to your strengths I suppose.Not much really to nit-pick here,it's actually kind of scary when you consider that this is self-produced and only her first,what may come with experience and more toys to play with.


 Posted by Eugenio Maggi (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 22 2002
Artist: THE BLUE HOUR (@)
Title: Evensong
Format: CD
Label: Perun (@)
This is the debut of the Polish label Perun, issuing a 51' collection of tracks from '96-'99 by US songwriter Brian Hodges, here at vocals, guitards, flutes, loops, keyboards and programming, helped by a couple guest musicians. The Blue Hour alternates acoustic folk ballads with more atmospheric instrumental tracks. The former are brilliant examples of (apocalyptic) folk in the vein of In Gowan Ring or the more intimistic Current 93 (let's say "Earth Covers Earth"/"Thunder Perfect Mind"/"Of ruine..."), i.e. melancholic, oneiric songs often leaning on psychedelia. "A tree stands alone", "I am the wind", "My lady upon silvery pool" and "Temple of ice" stand out as the best ones, while there's a welcome detour with a well-done cover of Sol Invictus' classic "Lex Talionis" (I guess this was included in "Sol Lucet Omnibus" as well). The latter vary from quasi-neoclassical symphonies ("The navigator", "Procession of the sun") to more abstract ambient pieces. When vocals are added, the result can be quite ominous and menacing, like in the closing track "Red Sands". This is a well-assembled, peculiar work showing lots of talent; it should be listened to in the right mood, as in some autumnal late afternoon - it takes time to be absorbed in its sad, dreamlike atmosphere, perfectly portrayed in the landscape photos featured in the artwork, but the result is rewarding.

VV.AA.: Projekt:Gothic

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 20 2002
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Projekt:Gothic
Format: CD
Label: Projekt Records
Distributor: projekt records
Remember the "Projekt:100" compo? Well this is very much in the same vein for those looking into Projekt’s sound or getting introduced into ethereal-darkwave. This also includes Unto Ashe's unreleased "Don't Fear The Reaper". I still say go for Projekt 100, but hell, they’re both inexpensive so try both.Rating: 8. Also recommended is Projekt’s "Across This Grey Land" and their new one "The Arbitrary Width of Shadows".
Sadly it's only available at Hot Topics, that god awful excuse for a store. Get the CD then torch the place!

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