Music Reviews



AENIMA: Never Fragile

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 01 2002
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Artist: AENIMA (@)
Title: Never Fragile
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Equilibrium Music (@)


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I never listened to Aenima's debut album, "Revolutions", so I've got to write my impressions basing them only on the six tracks of this release. In the past the band have been compared to bands such as Cocteau Twins, The Gathering, The Third and the Mortal, Faith and the Muse or Dead Can Dance and somehow you can find traces of these sounds in these tracks. I read that their debut album was based on etherial atmospheres. NEVER FRAGILE instead is more rock based with some technological inserts (treated drums and synths) on the opening and the last tracks "Intro To End All Intros" and "Rapture". The tracks I prefer are the first two along with "Light" because along with the interesting sounds of the intro, on "Forlon" the femal voice is more intimistic (it reminds me Frazer's voice) and I prefer it that way because when it goes etherial I think female voices seems pretty all the same. Musically the tracks are a little similar and maybe it's due to the musical changement the band had. I don't love too much these kind of sounds and I'd wish Aenima will explore more their dark side instead of basing their sound on "baroque rock" compositions and on Carmen's voice. As always I remind you that if you love these kind of sounds read between the lines and you'll make up your own verdict. ;)

Seven 13 / Coven 13: Unleashed

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 01 2002
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Artist: Seven 13 / Coven 13 (@)
Title: Unleashed
Format: CD
Label: What Matters Records


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Seven 13, previously known as Coven 13, were initially known for their gothic-pagan structure. In broadening their spectrum and becoming more open to alternative spiritual perspectives they have changed their name to Seven 13 to represent the balance and unity evident in their music. While always about the love and magic of life their music has a rock-ballad tone to it. Passionate and dark they open this release with the song "Drink" which is purposely vague about it's focus. The complimentary video which the band is sending with purchases for this CD leaves me with one main thought and two words, 'Acid Flashback'. The video is very cleanly produced and is filmed with that same liquid look and evidence of tracers that LSD can give you. Combined with the red and blue stage lighting the effect is only hightened while Kenneth Michael sings, "take a look and you'll see nothing is quite as it seems, reality, reality." All I know is this combined with the strong vampiric overtones and personal passion make this a powerful live video. Drugs, Vampires, Spirituality? The band leaves you to guess on this one. Fans of the band will recognize "Haunted" from their previous album Book of Shadows however the performance here is a bit stronger and harder than the original. Seven 13 is obviously after a theatrical response here. This was one of my favorites from the previous album and it is not repetitive here in the least but redone with more impact. This is a song which brings to mind the imagery of one driven mad by the light of the moon. With this and the newer track "Outcasts" as well as others the band deftly portrays how smoothly they combine piano melodies with rock rhythms and guitar while other tracks combine acoustics with electronic guitar such as "Whenever You Close Your Eyes". This seems to be a song about not letting go of hatred and jealousy and the lonliness that it brings. Such is the case with many songs by Seven 13, a bittersweet lesson in life. "Venus" seems to be the prime love song on the album. "If You Want Me" is a 70's rock grind with a small twist. Seven 13 as you'll note combines many elements of 70's rock ballads as most every track is fuzed with rock heavy guitar, tinkling piano keys, and melodramatic vocals whose lyrics could only be compared to a theatrical Steve Perry with pagan and gothic overtones. However Kenneth's vocals are a bit more gutteral and strained at times as he belts out the band's unusually etheric rock anthems. "Diane" is a love/hate relationship. Something I really found enjoyable was the inclusion of Cello on "You Could Be Mine" by Jacob Shaprio. "Falling" ends the album with it's lustfull desire that leads to loss of self. Seven 13 / Coven 13 is the type of band you either really like what they are doing and you understand it or you simply aren't interested and find it as nothing more than nearly childish theatrics. The band has acquired a bit of polish since the last release and I think they are on to something unique and personally I'm one of those who likes them. Musically it's not my favorite style of music but there is some obvious talent here which is continually growing with time. For those who don't like them, well keep watching them, they are sure to do some interesting and amazing things in the future. The band is full of great ideas which are not always easy to pull off, the most difficult is will the audience get it, some do and some don't. The only disappointment I may have with them is they seem to have lost some of their spiritual focus and are more focused on the elements of sexuality. Also, while understanding why they changed the name I don't see it necessary and only further confusing for fans and will make them look a bit 'watered down' to many older pagans. However, with all that in mind the main single "Drink" and accompanying video are a sure sign that the band has much to express and we can expect them to continue expansively in the future. Lastly, love that Jack shirt Justin! ;-)

The ID: Dreams of the Dreadnought

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 30 2002
Artist: The ID (@)
Title: Dreams of the Dreadnought
Format: CD
Label: Morphic (@)
Despite the very poor recording quality of their self-produced CD and a hard to describe eclectic mixture of influences, The Id play shows, conferences and festivals all around the world, staging and spreading their political beliefs and showing their support to associations such as Greenpeace. The UK duo hardly conforms to set standards or musical labels and instead absorb ideas from the past and the present, mixing dark, wave, electronics, rock, noise in what they like to refer to as «experimental eclecticism» or «new wave of the new wave of alternativism». Their style is characterized by heavily processed guitars and vocals, draining and stomping drum patterns and sounds, lots of wanted (and sometimes unwanted) distortion/saturation, sequenced and improvised electronics and male and female vocalists talking, shouting and singing. To be honest I am not crazy about this, but on the other hand music is a matter of taste and reviews are a subjective point of view so I suggest you check it out for yourself (which you should have anyway). I am truly sorry I am not impressed with this band's music as much as I am with their attitude. They have my deepest respect for their attitude and for being so politically active. We need more bands that understand the importance of having a political agenda alongside their music! Well done!

Ding An Sich: Old as Forever... New as Tomorrow

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 30 2002
Artist: Ding An Sich
Title: Old as Forever... New as Tomorrow
Format: CD
Label: Capp-Glaufx (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Allegedly one of Greece's most important gothic-dark-rock bands, the Ding An Sich have now released a CD that includes never before released songs or songs that have never been on a CD anyway. The time span is 1988-1992. This band has been making music since the late 80es but only one person from the original line up is now still producing tracks. Like pretty much every rock band involved with dark or gothic music between the 80es and the 90es somehow they all manage to sound like Mission, Bauhaus, the Cure, Sisters of Mercy or the Nephilim. Garden of Delight, Killing Joke, Nosferatu and This Mortal Coil are mentioned on their background info as influences too. Personally I am not that fond of this stuff anymore, but I am not saying there shouldn't be a time for remembering, therefore I would say I definitely only recommend this for nostalgic listeners.

Viridian Grin: Night

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 30 2002
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Artist: Viridian Grin
Title: Night
Format: CD
Label: Capp-Glaufx (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
If you like dark avantgarde and dark age music and you like the Legendary Pink Dots, Pink Floyd, Current 93 and Cold Meat Industry sounds (at this point I may have confused you already) this might be your best bet the next time you are going through the shelves of your favourite record store. Pretty much everything but the track list is written in Hellenic language and characters inside the booklet, so I don't know much, but I have an info sheet that tells me that "Night", allegedly the Goddess wife of God Ervus (both descending from Chaos), is a CD made of analogue recordings, in part digitally remastered and mostly previously unreleased material from a time period between 1978 and 1992.The Greek mythology and its tendency to goodness plays a relevant role in this record, which supposedly delivers the real Hellenic music, a mystical encounter of ancient atmospheres, chants of myths, sombre dark age music, murky sounds, experimental concrete vanguard and more. Epic organ parts, deep ritual vocal dronings in huge reverb chamers that make it sound almost like Tibetan monks in a temple, abstract piano, minimal drumming, mysterious sounds, distant voices, long pads and more. Everything blends together in a long wash of reverb and a melancholic vibe of solitude, innermost relaxation and peaceful approach, in accordance with the history of this tranquil and grand country.


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