Music Reviews

Chaos Engine: Escape Ferocity

 Posted by PJVD   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 06 2002
Artist: Chaos Engine
Title: Escape Ferocity
Format: CD
The first thing you notice when you get the album is that there are 23 tracks on this disc. While listening you discover that a lot of them are little pieces between the songs (14 are the actual songs). The Chaos Engine is and UK based industrial rock band that plays their music in a way Pop Will Eat Itself would do these days. Still, it takes some time to get used to the vocals. The addition of a second guitarist to the bands line-up introduces the first guitar solo on a Chaos Engine album ever. Songs I would like to recommend are Me & My Army, Jesus Christ V2.0 Custom Built For Anger, Go Offline and the opening and title track Escape Ferocity.

Das Ich: Anti'Christ

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 29 2002
Artist: Das Ich
Title: Anti'Christ
Format: CD
Label: Massacre (germany),Metropolis (USA) (@)
Das Ich is and has always been a very strange, yet powerfully magnetic part of the gothic/industrial scene. Led by Stephan Ackerman's rough German vocals and poetic text, followed by Brunno Kramm's one man symphony of classical and industrial, they are a force to be reckoned with, as "Anti'Christ" very well proves.
Remember all the dancy clubiness of "Destilat"? Well, none of it here! The Wagnerian opera is fully at the front, and industrial dancing with it as it's chaotic mate. The text,as with all Das Ich, is very flowing German in a "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" kind of way. Highlights are "Vater (Father)","Tuhr Zum Holle (Gate To Hell)" and "Krieg Im Paradise (War In Paradise). And no filler on this like with "Egodram", where the second half seemed to be rushed.
The religious aspect here comes as "What do I do now that God is no more?" rather than "Grrrr,we're evil!Rah rah Satan!" like alot of bands tackling the issue tend to do.

This is a definite reccomendation for a band who displays the awe-inspiring power of opera, industrial and the German language all in one majestic piece. Also recommended are Staub (Dust) and Relaborat (Re-Animate). Rating:10+


 Posted by Claudio Giammarini   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 26 2002
Title: The Scavenger Bride
Format: CD
Label: Projekt
Distributor: Audioglobe
This beautiful 8th release by Black Tape For A Blue Girl is dense with romantic and sacred atmospheres which recall the best works by Dead Can Dance. Sam Rosenthal is more and more deserving the sceptre of the best composer and player of ethereal music while Elisabeth Grant's singing reaches down to the deepest of the soul; the two are backed by a large number of great strings, flutes, cello, fiddles, dulcimer and drums players and add the right dose of keyboard and electronics. This album is definitely one of the best dark-ambient, romantic and impressionist works to tease our ears, an album such as we have long desired from our European bands with its fluent electronic layers, its traditional piano and drums, which lead the listener to a dreamlike, astral perception with thirteen decadent, in-looking love songs to listen to in a gently moonlit darkness.

Devour Ensemble: The Moon's Bright 3rd

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 20 2002
Artist: Devour Ensemble (@)
Title: The Moon's Bright 3rd
Format: CD EP
Label: Surreal Estate records
Distributor: Chaos Music
Straight from across the Pacific Ocean, in the sunny home of ossies and the hopping kangaroos, this 1998 Australian duo (supported by a number of other musicians) called Devour Ensemble offers a contemporary, fresh and beautiful blend of classical, doom, new wave, baroque, dark and folkish/celtic music. Educated influences such as Nick Cave, Philip Glass, David Sylvan, Artemiy Artemiev, Zoar, Tom Waits, My Dying Bride, Gabor Csupo and many others immediately populated my mind... The band also mentions composers Gustav Holst, Antonin Dvorak and Michael Nyman to help give you a vague an idea. The five polished tracks flow harmoniously, seeking a sophisticated balance somewhere between the 4AD-style musical paganism with violins, string orchestrations and other acoustic instruments and the darker and swampy atmospheres of distorted doom metal guitars, slow and grand rhythmical peace and avantgarde experimentalism, sometimes coupled by a weird, displaced and upsetting but not annoying 80es rock and even sporadic blues influence.
Also important aspect of the Bridges-Cook core is their attachment to modern poetry: adaptations of works by deconstructionist pioneer e.e. cummings, convicted murderer Charles Schmidt Jnr. and Siberian-born Lithuanian Eugenijus Ali-Anka are used as lyrics throughout the pieces (male vocals and some ethereal female falsetto chants).
Devour Ensemble have self-released this well-produced CD EP on their own somewhat fictitious label Surreal Estate and they are now in the process of recording their upcoming EP "Wolverine". In the meantime you can order "The Moon's Bright 3rd" from the Chaos Music link reported above.

Weltschmerz: Capitale de la Douleur

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 02 2002
Artist: Weltschmerz (@)
Title: Capitale de la Douleur
Format: CD
Label: Eibon (@)
Weltschmerz (the world's pain, in German) are an Italian gothic band who started out around '94 on initiative of Monumentum's bass player Anthony Duman (I remember reviewing one of their earlier works on L'Alternative Dramatique once) but apparently they've been going a long way from there and are now signed to Italy's quality dark label Eibon (whose owner Mauro Berchi, mastermind of Canaan, also plays guitars with this band). "Capitale de la Douleur" comes as a beautifully packaged jewel case inside a cardboard box, with a nice smelling booklet containing the lyrics (in English, French and Italian; if you ask me gothic in italian sounds a little cheesy, but I guess it's a language like any other). Their music has evolved into a slow and grand gothic-dark mixture with layers of orchestral strings, slow but driving and huge doom metal sounding drumming (phat reverberated snare and lots of cymbals), melodic distorted guitars, many chorused arpeggios, piano, pushing bass lines, deep vocals (also a female vocalist is to be found on a bunch of tracks). It all evokes a little the Nephilim, Beyond Dawn and sometimes I even thought about the Spanish Heroes del Silencio, but it was probably just the Latin-ish language that brought that up in my mind, 'cause the Weltschmerz are a lot darker than that. In fact, the melancholy expressed by these eight tracks goes way beyond what dark-goth bands usually pull together: Weltschmerz is so grande that it's almost epic, and the powerful negativity that comes across is almost disturbing. This was such an intense and oppressive listening experience that you are gonna be begging for some sun after it.

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