Music Reviews

Oophoi: Bardo

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 30 2002
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Funny coincidence, I am in Italy while reviewing this 74 minute long CD by an Italian sound sculptor/manipulator (whose name is Gianluigi Gasparetti), released on the Russian label Electroshock; not only that, but in a shameless display of my ignorance I will admit you that I had never before heard about this man and his project, even though I lived in Italy for over 15 years and I started Chain D.L.K. in Italy, in the mid nineties. Oophoi is the first non-Russian project to see the light (in this case maybe the blue light) on Electroshock records. Anyway, once I got over my shame, I dove into the deep surrounding drones of "Bardo", a concept album about the six states of Bardo, which, from what I understand from the liner notes of the inside cover, is related to the Tibetan meditation and the Buddhist beliefs about transitory states of body and mind. The four tracks illustrate the first four of these intermediate states (Meditation, Course of Death, After-Death and Rebirth within Samsara) and original language was used to name the tracks as well. "Bardo"'s long masterpieces of rapturing spirituality can easily get you really close to meditation with its deep roaring sounds and the sombre yet peaceful soundscapes made of low-end choruses sounding like Tibetan choirs one or two octave down, eternal electronics, infinite synth pads, treated percussions, sporadic calm gongs and more. Tibetan singing bowls and flutes are to be heard, but everything, like Bardo itself, is in a state of passage, like not delineated, airy, far, slightly but never fully perceivable. The essence of the beauty of the things that are by you, around you, in you, but you can never see or touch until you reach that point in time and space where everything receives new meaning under a different light. Oophoi's "Bardo" is a first-rate soundtrack for this, a fully deserving and remarkable plate of truly inspiring and immersive experiences, where the incantation of a sacred temple in the middle of the mountains is right in front of your closed eyes, and where the senses receive new food for the soul. Beautiful and charming may not be the most appropriate terms when describing a record of intimate relaxation, but this distant trance-ambient ritualistic outer-body experience really is. «Bardo ends where illumination begins».

Anatoly Pereslegin: Fastgood: E-Psalms_

 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: Anatoly Pereslegin
Title: Fastgood: E-Psalms_
Format: CD
Label: Electroshock (@)
Distributor: Gamma-Shop, (NL), Cue (D), (US), (US), Marquee (JP)
As if we didn't have enough pseudo-priests trying to evangelize us in this world oppressed by Christianity (and other religions), Anatoly Pereslegin's second release (composed, arranged and performed in Jerusalem, Israel; while edited, recorded and mixed in Moscow, Russia) brings you some more words from the Book, precisely from David's psalms (Anatoly even thanks David, for the inspiration I guess). If I try real hard to put aside my bias against Christianity and the lies of the beautiful tales that the bible tells, I will tell you that we are dealing with an interesting electronic neo-classical album with somewhat medieval influences and an experimental approach to the blend of the ingredients. Looped sequences, churchy synthesized sounds, soft string pads holding long chords, organs playing lines, harpsi-chord-like sounds playing fast sequences repeating forever, heavenly bells punctuating high chords or creating intertwined textures in the background and ghostly synth voices are the main sounds you will hear, but this record is made unique by the addition of a cello (Alexander Zagorinskiy) playing sad but lovely melodies and by the tenor and baritone vocal performances by Ivan Jmaev and Yuriy Valenkov, respectively... The nine tracks (with awfully long titles, taken from the bible itself) will take you into a decadent vortex of claustrophobic and dark atmospheres that, if anything, will make you think about hell rather than paradise, which gives it a weird twist, considering the used lyrics's origin. Very discomforting, sombre and nightmarish, tonal dark paranoia, rather than solar, this is not church music or anything like that, to me it's more like the soundtrack for a trip through eastern Europe's regions forgotten by god or, alternatively, a Roman Polanski or a William Friedkin movie.

Rotting Christ: Genesis

 Posted by KlingKlangBedlam   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 28 2002
Artist: Rotting Christ
Title: Genesis
Format: CD
Label: Century Media
Distributor: Century Media
Gothic metal is kind of a vague term once you see into the metal underground,as alot of bands like to use it in the same way bands like Slipknot use it: to market themselves and nothing more. This band,Rotting Christ, I heard quite a while ago when I had their first CD "Triarchy of The Lost Lovers" and I can safely say this band fits the goth-metal mold. Nice dark imagery devoid of the Dio-esque cliches,and most of all mixing mood with melody and heaviness, not allowing the powerchords and riffing to choke the emotion. Not too far from Paradise Lost, whom I still have a thing for.The opening track "Daemons" starts off with a nice little opera atmospherics before jumping into the sludgy speed section. Track 2,"Lex Talionis" which is sung in Greek I believe,does stumble a little bit on the drumming but clears up easily by the chorus. The speed these guys play at it amazing as well,but again not forsaking the emotion involved. Track 4,"Nightmare" is a good slow one that catches me,and probably strikes me as my favorite for it's slow drawling vocals laced in with the snarling vocal lines. Overall,good slow gothic (black) metal with an intellegence and good use of sampling with the Delerium-like opera vocals. Some good atmoshperics here overall, and should please both black metal fans and goth fans alike. Beats Cradle of Filth,that god awful excuse for music. Rating: 10Also recommended are Septic Flesh,also from the great land of Greece,though at times they are more death metal.

Midnight Syndicate: Vampyre: Symphonies from the Crypt

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 27 2002
Artist: Midnight Syndicate (@)
Title: Vampyre: Symphonies from the Crypt
Format: CD
Label: Entity Productions (@)

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Vampyre is a slight departure from previous releases only in the sense that after producing Gates of Delerium which is heavily FX oriented the band wanted produce a more music oriented CD. That does not mean that Vampyre is completely devoid of effects because it is not. However what you do get is a stronger focus on the electronically produced symphonic sounds produced like only Midnight Syndicate can. These symphonies are haunting and ominous with a sense of impending dread which has become somewhat the trademark sound of the music of Midnight Syndicate. Midnight Syndicate has found a unique nitch in the music consumer market by focusing on the Haunted Attraction Industry. They have become a major staple for professional haunts worldwide and major Halloween productions. Their music is also loved by Halloween aficiandos, horror film/music fans, and gothic music lovers worldwide. Since it's creation the band's goal has been to create music that aids the listener is transporting themselves to worlds of their own creative imaginings. As usual, their most recent release comes with the same promise. Vampyre while having less FX involved in the compositions is not any less creative or thought provoking but instead proves that Midnight Syndicate can accomplish their goals without the heavy use of FX. Their musical compositions are dark, brooding, and imaginative enough on their own. This release, as the title suggests, focuses on the nightmare world of the master of the undead, the Vampyre. While powerful are foreboding these creatures also have tendencies toward depression begin caught in a life without end. Walking for eternity and stalking their prey in the night their unlife can be either ecstasy or damnation. Midnight Syndicate aptly capture the mood of this creature in their compositions, sometimes sounding full like a film score and at other times like a lone creature tinkering with a cathedral organ or harpsichord and still at others capturing the internal longings and defeats that a life such as theirs could bring them. Basically, Midnight Syndicate have once again proved their status in the industry and of their talents. It's simply amazing what these guys can do musically in creating imaginative music. However, after speaking with Ed from the band I can promise you the next album will contain more FX for those who love them.


 Posted by Davide Del Col   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 21 2002
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Format: CD
The Laine Gebel's one-mand band "Ex Nihilo" has a total retrospective conception, completely focused on the electro-goth fisrt school born between the half and end of the 80's from the wedding of the Christian Death's macabre perversion with the DAF and Nitzer Ebb's first synthetic pulsations. So you will find grandiose keyboards cascades, possessed and wicked voices, deacadent melodic bass lines and all other classic ingredients that made the history of this genre.It's a pity that the production has a poor quality, because although the album is not original and fossilized on old ideas however it sounds enjoyable, funny and sufficiently various.I prefere when Ex Nihilo hit on the accelerator, reaching the emphasis of the furious EBM and approaching the Hocico's devilish attitude. Surely i think this cd is more appreciable and honest than several releases of idolized and famous EBM bands that make up a perfect hit single for the charts and then repeat the same versus for ten songs!

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