Music Reviews

GOR: Phlegraei

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 18 2003
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Artist: GOR (@)
Title: Phlegraei
Format: CD
Label: Prikosnovenie (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Third CD for this Italian artist which with PHLEGRAEI reaches his highlight talking about medieval and ethnic music. Francesco Banchini which plays also with Ataraxia here plays percussions, guitar, clarinet and many other instruments to give to his music a wide range of flavors and atmospheres. Obviously we are always talking about a man who is paying his tribute to medioeval culture and who studied deeply the music he's playing. See for example the different kind of performances that he's able to offer: a medieval performance with traditionals from 1000 to the 1300 (the show as includes the games and fire eaters). One with ethnic music and original songs, sailing across East Europe and Middle East and last but not least, one focused on ecstatic music close to Sufi and Arabs sounds. For this album Francesco met the Roms in the fields of Naples and made yiddish dancing songs with bewitching croatian choirs. The Gitanos of Pozzuoli aided him playing different kind of traditional instruments and all the twelve tracks of the CD are permeated of a sensual feeling characteristic of the Mediterranean culture. If you are into medioeval traditional music and ethnic music you'll find in this work something different to discover, less dark respect his previous album but certainly original.

Project Pitchfork: Inferno

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 16 2003
Artist: Project Pitchfork
Title: Inferno
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Project Pitchfork for some time has been one of my all time favorite bands, with their powerful mixture of gothic, industrial, electro and classical rhythms intertwined, and their powerful Nietzchian lyrics ala Thus Spoke Zarathustra". Add to that Peter Spille’s dynamic voice and complete control over the muse, and you have a band that is destined for greatness. And has achieved in the process excellence. Every release around my house from PP is a holy event, as friends of mine found out. And this is the one group who gave me strength in their lyrics when I first moved out on my own and had some incredible struggles, inner and external.
This is a part of a trilogy, covering the whole cache of their complex philosophy. I am yet to sit and read the text on the meaning (and it’s all in German), so I’ll let you figure that one yourself later if I don’t put it up in the upcoming translation forum. Whereas CDs like "Chakra Red" tend to divert from philosophy to go into other areas like sex, this whole trilogy delves in it. And whereas "Eon Eon" tended to lack cohesion (though none the less a perfect CD to me), this CD flows, often without pause. And the classical playing shines through, both in the synth and electronic piano lines, along with Spille’s flowing stream of conscious Nietzchian lyrics coming along like a leaf in a crystal river. And even a bit of the occasional guitar on some tracks, which is most apparent on "I Am (A Thought In Slow Motion)" where the crunching guitar riff ascends into a short, Testament style power chord fest. My favorites on here are "(Mehr Als) Der Absprung" with it’s dreamy, plinking synth and piano lines back to back, with Spille’s enticing Hamburg German (the softest spoken of all the dialects), "Lead And Feather", "Souls In Ice" and "I Am". And no filler here as usual, nor is there any on any PP Cds I’ve seen thus far.
An absolute crowning achievement, to me their best since "Chakra Red" and their deepest one to date. With age they only get better, as their formula is based on experience and knowledge from eyes that constantly see and think. This is the band that shows us why we were given the gift of music in the first place, and are magical beyond words. And I can tell you this from experience, this group can easily help you in finding your purpose in life and show you a world with new eyes.

Rating: Project Pitchfork. That is all the rating it needs!

Also recommended are REC (hard as hell to find Spille’s project), Sun God, and Aurora/Aurora Sutra,esp. "Dimension Gate". All are PP side projects.

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.

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