Music Reviews



The Glass Hour: Ever After

 Posted by eskaton   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 28 2014
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Artist: The Glass Hour (@)
Title: Ever After
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this band, but this is a duo from Chicago comprised of Tracy DeMarco (vocals, harp, and keys) and Brian Bradbury (guitars, percussion, bass, keys). I'm going to come right out and say that I was kind of surprised by this CD. When I looked at it and saw that it was harp and guitar and the first track was called 'A Faery's Song,' I figured I was about to take a harsh walk down Renaissance Faire Lane. The handwritten note from Tracy inside the case, which read 'Hope you enjoy some beautiful music' didn't really assuage my first impressions. But there is something for Chain DLK readers here after all, because this wasn't really what I expected. Rather, this falls more into the constellations of Ataraxia, Ordo Equitum Solis, early Miranda Sex Garden, and Love is Colder Than Death. DeMarco is quite skilled with the harp, and puts the compositions together well. The only real low point for me on this album was 'Lament,' which takes us on a prog rock detour. Thankfully, the album finds its way again and for the rest of the disc we are left with lilting harp, lush synth, and DeMarco's soprano vocals. If you are looking for medieval flavored gothic music, this is one to seek out. This album weighs in at around 42 minutes.

Sebastian Melmoth: In Ruins

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 05 2014
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Artist: Sebastian Melmoth
Title: In Ruins
Format: Tape
Label: Belaten (@)
Rated: *****
Taking their name from an Oscar Wilde pseudonym, Sebastian Melmoth are a collective of people coming UK that self released different albums (CDrs and tape) for their own Feline Vomitus. For this release titled "In Ruins", released on tape by belaten, they were Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Jan-Carl Raspe. Their sound can't be described with few words, because they move their sound from post rock to psychedelia passing through experimental rock, cosmic music and folk. They sound like a Britpop version of Velvet Underground filtered through everything rock saw during 70s, 80s and 90s (think that the final part of "Elvis Honey" has also some dub inserts, while it started like a "happy" Velvet Underground tune). The digital edition of the album has three remixes by DTT (Tomoko Matsumoto remixed "Elvis Honey" starting it like being played by a camera orchestra just to turn it into horror theme with dissonant strings and piano), Jonas Golland (he did "Prosopagnosia" turning it from a psychedelic trip into a weird dub/breakbeat track) and Bass Clef (he also did "Prosopagnosia" but he focused his tune on house ambient atmospheres). Check the whole releases here http://belaten.bandcamp.com/album/in-ruins

Life in Sodom: The World I View

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Mar 03 2014
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Artist: Life in Sodom (@)
Title: The World I View
Format: CD
Label: Nutrix Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Port St. Lucie darkwave band Life in Sodom has been around since 1990 and 'The World I View' is their twelfth release (counting 12's, EPs and full CDs) and I give them lots of credit for surviving this long in a music industry that usually chews you up and spits you out much worse for the wear. I also applaud them for releasing actual physical product and not just digital downloads. To be perfectly honest, I never heard, nor head of them until I received this CD. The core band is Gerrie Brand ' (male) vocals; Virginia Fuillerat ' (female) vocals; Daniel Heinze ' bass, guitar. LIS is also augmented on this album by Looch ' keyboards, synth programming, project engineer; Michael Vullo ' drums; Eddie De La Cruz ' drums; H. Brand & O Brand ' children's voices.

The first thing I noticed when I first listened to 'The World I View' is that Gerrie Brand has a very Euro-sounding (often) baritone voice. It makes me think that these guys could be from anywhere (except the U.K.), and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they were more popular in Europe than their native U.S. The band reminds me a bit of And Also the Trees and Human Drama without as much melodramatic vocal angst, and maybe even more like Deine Lakaien. For some frame of reference, I checked out some of LIS's earlier material (YouTube can be a wonderful thing sometimes) and by comparison, 'The World I View' finds the band losing a little bit of their darkness and raw edge, while gaining maturity and better production. Also, with Virginia handling more lead vocals, there is nice varied contrast in the content.

Although the Brand-penned tracks are good, the standout track on the album is George Harrison's 'Don't Bother Me' from 'Meet the Beatles!' (or 'With the Beatles' in the U.K.) and I've always loved this kinda moody first Harrison-penned Beatle track. Virginia gets the lead vocal with lyrics adjusted for the opposite sex. Pretty cool to hear a dark version of the song, not slowed down or morose, just a little spooky with creepy string-scraping and electronic percussion. Other notable tracks include the powerful 'Idle Eyes', the introspective 'Could I Be the Fool', the dual-angsty 'All My Tears Run Dry', the flamenco-esque 'Hold On', and the Spooky Mix of 'The Hollow and Haunted House' from their 2011 three-track CD single by the same name. The rest of the CD is pretty good too, but the aforementioned seemed the best.

Mention should be made of Looch's production and programming, especially in the string and orchestration department. It's effective without being overbearing; very tastefully arranged. This could be the album that really puts Life in Sodom on the map, especially if Virginia becomes a full-time member because it's going to be hard to pull off some of the songs on this CD live without her.

Il Segno Del Comando: Il Volto Verde

 Posted by Fabrizio Della Porta   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 15 2014
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Artist: Il Segno Del Comando
Title: Il Volto Verde
Format: CD
Label: Black Widow Records
Rated: *****
November 2013... the come back. Almost ten years after from the last album, Il Segno Del Comando is releasing on Black Widow, the new one titled 'Il Volto Verde'. It is a frightening voyage, dark and distort which goes in the deepest drifts of occultism, with a great line-up that has many and important guests as Claudio Simonetti (Goblin, Daemonia), Gianni Leone (Il Balletto di Bronzo), Martin Grice (Delirium), Sophya Baccini (Presence), Maethelyiah (The Dance Society), Vinz Aquarian (Ballo delle Castagne), Freddy Delirio (Death SS) and Maurizio Pustianaz (Gerstein). People who are directed by Diego Banchero, one and only leader of the band. The new album is based on a theme that is based, as the previous one 'Der Golem', on a Meyrink novel. This time his second one, which was the writer's esoteric testament that was published back in 1916 and titled 'Il Volto Verde', has been used. The book is to be considered as a sort of manual of occult teachings and initiations to reach, ultimately, a state of higher consciousness to self and thus achieve immortality. Lyrics, which have been composed by Banchero, follow accurately the novel's chapters and they are particularly symbolic, malicious and evocative. Musically, this album recalls their first one and is balanced between dark-prog-experimental atmospheres, blinking an eye to horror movies soundtracks and could be seen as a tributo to bands of the likes of Il Balletto di Bronzo, Goblin, Antonius Rex and Jacula. In fact, tracks like "Chider Il Verde" and "Il Manoscritto" bring to mind sounds dear to the musical spirit of the glorious "YS" by Il Balletto di Bronzo, while " L'Evocazione di Eva" and the closing "Epilogo" pay homage to the great performers of Italian prog sounds of the 70s. The atmospheres of "La congrega dello Zee Dyk" are just beautiful and it has lyrics that are particularly evocative and esoteric. The ending is exciting as well, starting from the beautiful instrumental "L'Apocalisse" and the eerie track "Epilogue". This is a great album which has no flaws and it is to be recommended to all the fans of darker and cinematic progressive music.

Fun Every Friday: Heart Puke

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 06 2014
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Artist: Fun Every Friday (@)
Title: Heart Puke
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Previously known as F.E.F. aka Flesh Eating Foundation, Fun Every Friday are John E Smoke, The Juddaman, Mash, Big Un and Crooknose. The last release I reviewed and which I'm aware of was the EP "So Yeah", released in 2011. Now the guys are back with a free download album titled "Heart Puke". The album contains twelve new tracks which are able to communicate to the listener the urge they felt when they composed them. An album composed, as they wrote, "on guitars, not laptops and synths. Proper riffs first, the synths and laptops are still there but they came after". Musically you can hear influences that go from Ministry, to Alien Sex Fiend passing through Killing Joke and Skinny Puppy. Guitars are well sustained by hammer like drum machine beats and razor sounding synth sounds. Power and melody are the core elements of the album and tracks like "Who's Rules", "Without Light" or the closing "Lazarus" are working really well: direct, powerful and catchy. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the release date.


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