Music Reviews

ATARAXIA: A Calliope... Collection

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 06 2002
Title: A Calliope... Collection
Format: CD
Label: Four Dimensions
Distributor: Audioglobe
Inspired by water A CALLIOPE is a sum of twelve years of activity of this Italian band. Always focused on medieval atmospheres this CD represents the right compendium for whom would like to approach himself to the mellow melodies and the calm atmospheres of the Ataraxia's acoustic realm. Flutes, acoustic guitars, drums, piano and strings duet with Francesca's chants bringing to you ancient melodies and stories. Each release has been covered and fourteen out of sixteen tracks follow step by step the different CDs, starting from "Simphonia Sine Nomine" to "Suenos" passing through "La Malédiction d'Ondine" and "Il Fantasma Dell'Opera", just to name few. The last two tracks "Arcana Eco" and "A Calliope" are new ones and close the CD with a dedication to Calliope, sublime mother of their inspiration. The CD comes with a 32 page booklet and a poster which are the visual counterpart of the music.

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.

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