Music Reviews



The Soil Bleeds Black: Quintessence

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 12 2002
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Artist: The Soil Bleeds Black (@)
Title: Quintessence
Format: CD
Label: World Serpent (@)
Distributor: World Serpent
When you get something from the British consortium World Serpent you know what to expect, and expectations were met when I started spinning the fifth The Soil Bleeds Black album. Its name, "Quintessence", refers to the elements of earthe, air, fyre, water and essence, considered to be magical in medieval Europe. The five tracks (named after the five elements) present a band that has evolved from 1992 to these days, going from a synth-based trio trying to emulate antique sounds to a capable set of musicians who use different (male & female) chants and voices alongside with naturally sounding traditional instruments such as flutes, various types of percussions, and obviously acoustic guitars, which still give it that classical World Serpent apocalyptic folk vibe that we're used to. So there you have it, a mixture of medieval folk and pagan goth atmospheres, lush melancholy and decadent harmonies soaked in a noir beauty.

PERSEPHONE: Home

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 11 2002
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Artist: PERSEPHONE
Title: Home
Format: CD
Label: Trisol (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Persephone for the ancient Greek's mythology was the death's goddess but in our case is the Lame Immortelle's Sonja Kraushofer side project. Aided by Martin Höfert (cello; live appearances with Janus and L''me Immortelle), Tobias Hahn (piano; music, arrangements, producing, programming; Janus), Dirk "RIG" Riegert (music, lyrics, arrangements; Janus), Wim Leydes (guitars; ex-Christian Death) to name few, Sonja creates something totally different compared to his main band's music, playing dark and melancholic acoustic ballads (which have, sometimes, some rare rhythmical distorted samples and electric guitar inserts, also). Of the twelve songs I prefer the first one "My Prayer", "Immersion", "Reflection" (which remember me the French "chansonnier" atmospheres), the main track "Home" and the final "Coming Home" which are someway personal and intense. The other seven tracks, in my opinon, tend to lose themselves into the forced research of a sad atmosphere instead of concentrating into the melodic structure and the vocal performance. This album could be paragoned to some Marc Almond ones (like "Jaques") but I'm sorry to say that Sonja fails into creating the atmospheres Marc is able to give to his performance. "Home" is not that bad but it hasn't exploited all its potential.

Rain Fell Within: Refuge

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 09 2002
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Artist: Rain Fell Within (@)
Title: Refuge
Format: CD
Label: Dark Symphonies (@)
Distributor: FAB
Following up to their critically acclaimed 2000 debut "Believe", which sold over 7000 copies worldwide, Rain Feel Within released their second Dark Symphonies album, entitled "Refuge" during February March 2002. "Refuge" features ten dark-wave-metal-new age songs with female vocals and lots of guitars. Atmospheres range from heavy and powerful to soft and ethereal. As you know this is not exactly Chain D.L.K.'s cup of tea, but we enjoy every now and then giving exposure to bands like these, who certainly deserve credit for what they do and how they do it. The music is well-played, well-recorded and well written. Even though I haven't listened to dark-wave-metal x-overs in a while, they kind of reminded me of bands such as Opeth and maybe 3rd and the Mortal. Engineered and co-produced by Ron Vento. The cover design is by Mike Riddick frem the band The Soil Bleeds Black).

GOR: Ialdabaoth

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 08 2002
Artist: GOR (@)
Title: Ialdabaoth
Format: CD
Label: Iris (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
The new album by italian Ataraxia percussionist Francesco Banchini, aka Gor, comes out on Iris recordings (which is french Prikosnovenie's subdivision for medieval music) as the second part of two years ago's "Bellum Gnosticorum". Other magazine are raving about this as a mixture of Rosa Crux, Virgin Prunes and Dead Can Dance, and I think I would like to add that his mono-tone linear and deep singing reminds of Italy-based C.S.I.'s singer Ferretti or italian underground folk singer-songwriter Leonardo Palmisano, aka Vania. Lyrics are mainly italian or latin. Musically dark and sombre, dominated by martial drumming, huge percussions (obviously!), ethnic influences, tribal vibes, gregorian chants and grand medieval music, this devil-goth CD will appeal to the darkest of you out there, those who like the most evil and deep material, those who like medieval music and maybe even those whose cup of tea is Cold Meat Industries' stuff.
Also distributed by Lowlands (Belgium), Target (Germany), YTT and Monitor (Japan).

Illumina: Chameleon

 Posted by Marc Urselli   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 08 2002
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Artist: Illumina (@)
Title: Chameleon
Format: CD
Label: Nightbreed (@)
Distributor: Plastic Head Music Distribution
Nightbreed records continue to appeal to an apparently huge following of electro-goth/darkwave. Illumina's record is not too far from the other releases on this label, in fact "Chameleon" is 11 tracks of melodic singing, electronic structures and darkwave feel. The m/f British duo sings about idols, images and feelings inspired by literature, history, mythology, art and technology. The sound is pretty old and the singing is not always perfectly in tune, but I am sure that me being so picky or maybe too technical and my personal taste for more modern sounding music streams will not represent an obstacle to all those English and European kids out there who love to go back in their minds while looking at the past through an electronic lens.


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