Music Reviews



Ryan Wildstar: A City of Brittle Stars

 Posted by Michelle Russo   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 30 2012
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Artist: Ryan Wildstar (@)
Title: A City of Brittle Stars
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
A City of Brittle Stars is a new up and coming project by the late Rozz Williams' ex roommate of 8 years and lead singer of EXP and co-author of The Whorse's Mouth. This cd is so important as It is Ryan Wildstar's newest piece of work for quite some time now. It is available on amazon and iTunes so go check it out after this review. Ryan's other projects are various art pieces, his self expressions and his book, ' What about the Bells, ' a book containing all unreleased poems and lyrics by the late Rozz Williams all compiled in one book available through French publisher Camion Blanc, www.camionblanc.com , a true find for any collector. One thing I want to let the world know Ryan inherited all of Rozz's works and never bought anything from Rozz it was all given to him from Rozz Williams himself and always shares what we can for the world to own through his eBay site due to the fact some of these mementos are just to painful to own.. Please, any Rozz collectors buy something from Ryan, to painful to own and support this cd when it comes out as cds are become a rare find these days and Rozz's mom is 80 or so years old and is still working to stay alive and hasn't seen no money for her late sons projects. Ryan is trying to include Rozz's world to own some of his treasures, his art, collages, poetry and hasn't seen no money for her late sons projects. Ryan is trying to share some of his world. With that said let us progress to his new up and coming cd that will come out on hard copy pressing soon ' A City of Brittle Stars ' is fresh and new and probably I personally can say is where the late Rozz Williams would have left off. Ryan is so Rozzesque, cryptic and all knowing. This is a spiritual ride that leads to a new rebirth for music. Spoken word across the board, beautiful piano ballads to compliment the beauty of the one chosen to speak about the society as we know today. Little bits of trivial bits that the listener shall grasp in the knowledge of truth. Ryan speaks in
one passage, ' Onset by the passage of this grueling life', so profound and so true about the woes of disappointment this life brings. Another line that stuck in my mind, Ryan says, '
She drank the wine and screwed the cool breeze, she surely will go to hell for that, with poison petals on her palette. Tribal drums to back up this unforgettable in sync poetry reminiscent of early Christian Death antics, whimsical bells and even xylophone dirges fill this album to add to the flavor of feeling and sentiment right straight through the heart, making this cd truly unique and cinematic with the soberness that it unveils. There is an undying beautiful ode to oneself and others, A City of Brittle Stars, Ryan calls it, ' octopus highway which leads to the city of brittle stars ' , which taunts and calls to each and everyone of us and wants you to listen and learn. This is the cd that speaks of life experiences that all can relate to. So nice to see a real album that pulls on
our heart strings and won't let go. In one passage, Ryan sings to us, as an anthem for this album, 'We are All Brittle Stars', so true, clever, witty and truthful. This cd is about to pull you under from he that awaits'¦release the Kraken, release this soon. For all
of you to look under the floorboards from the brilliance of this Wildstar.

Matt Elliott: The Broken Man

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 19 2012
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Artist: Matt Elliott (@)
Title: The Broken Man
Format: CD
Label: Ici D'Ailleurs (@)
Rated: *****
Don't be taken in by appearances of these seemingly drunken ballads as the portrait of such a broken man, whose painful awareness led nearby the steep cliffs of self-annihilation and disenchanted cynicism, proposed by Bristol-based songwriter Matt Elliott, head of The Third Eye Foundation and notable musician of Stephane Gregoire's label Ici D'Ailleurs (as well as member of the big ensemble This Immortal Coil, a cover project of Coil assembled by that wit label owner, together with other known musicians coming from that scene such as Yann Tiersen, Chapelier Fou, Sylvian Chauveau, Christine Ott and many others), sounds lucid, detailed and anything but confused (to be more precise, confusion seems just episodic, a sort of functional brushstroke of the finishing touches of the above-mentioned portrait, not really a permanent coat...), so that it could give the impression that some lyrics could bump against some topoi particularly when inmost spleens look like shadin off into collective imagination and memory. That's a finicking emotional chisel, whose pedigree conceptually could be recognized in his Songs, but it sounds more concise and austere from the musical viewpoint, whose most touching peaks have been climbed when Matt leaves some Andalusian declensions appearing in the first songs "Oh How We Fell" and "Please Please Please" aside and twists the knife in the broken man's wounds with some delicate musical gems such the gloomy demure and seemingly ironic symphony of "If Anyone Ever Tells Me That it is Better to Have Loved and Lost Than to Have Never Loved At All I Will Stab Them in the Face", whereas emotional rifts deriving from the struggle between an agonizing feeling and its inescapable obfuscation sounds emphasized by the contribution by Katia Labeque's piano improvisation, the sense of oppression and frustration coming from the catchy emotional pallor of "Dust, Flesh and Bones" where Matt's voice looks like getting out from some baritone's ashes in order to hover fow a while when repeating "This is how it feels to be alone", just before the final insert which evokes traditional western movies'desolate deserts as well as a gothic-tinged sense of relentless tragedy, the lukewarm psychedelic jack'p-lanterns of sad auguries in gipsy dark-fork song "The Pain That's Yet To Come" and "This Is For". It's going to sound infectious like a whispered voice surfacing from the obscure depths of unconscious to many listeners.

Kreuzweg Ost: Gott Mit Uns

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 16 2012
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Artist: Kreuzweg Ost (@)
Title: Gott Mit Uns
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
I want to believe raving insinuations about relations between so-called martial industrial and nazi propaganda, supported in the past by paranoid groups such as Anti-Defamation League or other ones which had or just have a strange perspective on the concept of freedom in arts which often turns the capacity of understanding a provocative language into a poser, have been filed once and for all. I thought such a preamble could be necessary as references to Utoeya massacre included in the track "Calvaria" by this interesting Austrian project, headed by Michael Gregor aka Silenius, could be purposefully misunderstood as well as other references spread all over Krezweg Ost's third act whereas even a 9-years old pupil could understand its intention, which sounds clear since its title "Gott Mit Uns" (German for "God With Us"), so that listeners will easily catch that it focuses on fanaticism and its ominous offspring and such a goal has been reached by means of a very wise musical operation of syncretism, fed with martial industrial, darkwave, ambient, drones, classical military music, movie samples and soundtracks, whose stylistical peaks have been climbed in tracks like "Geh Mit Gott", "Geistige Emigration", the above-mentioned "Calvaria" - who knows if it could act as a wise hint to Norwegian Court in order to better crack Breivik's mind -, the disquieting electric ventilator-aided march of "Stammen" and the cinematic hooks of "Thy Will Be Done". An authentic piece of uplifting musical literature!

The Hiram Key: Amerikafka

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 11 2012
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Artist: The Hiram Key
Title: Amerikafka
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
If you imagine Goth/Wave music as a bunch of ancient secrets, you could find a possible explanation of the bizarre name these grown lads led by Gary Clarke (former member of Nosferatu and head of Cureheads, official cover band of the legendary band by Robert Smith): The Hiram Key is the title of a book written by Freemasons Christopher Knight and Robert Loma, an attempt of demonstrating the origins of Masonic rituals are older than the ones normally fixed by historicians (1717), whose theories have arguably been opposed for some hasty conclusions (such as the one according to which Jesus was a Mason...), which aren't explained with the support of persuading arguments. Similarly this band looks like discovering (again) the most authentic remains of Goth civilization (!) and misteries for the likes of initiate in a style which expressly revives some old glories so that you'll recognize footprints of The Cure as well, but also many ones by Joy Division, Bauhaus, The Psychedelic Furs, Gary Numan, Sisters Of Mercy and David Bowie. It's quite clear they're very competent in these matters and moreover the decision of giving a narrative involucre to the album, borrowed from the notorious novel by Kafka, America - it seems Gary identified himself in Karl Rossmann, the young protagonist of the plot, whose features (particularly his ability to resist against some fatal oppression in spite of his condition of victim) are quite unusual for a character portrayed by the pen of that genial writer - immediately confutes any possible attempt of taxing The Hiram Key with the label of a tribute band. Even though it could appear a little bit "seasoned"or maannerist, their style immediately sounds catchy and charming and it will be easier to enjoy the above-mentioned literary aspect if you've read that novel (if so, you shouldn't have any problems in recognizing a direct connection with some episodes of it in songs like "Amerikafka", "the Lift Boy", "Karl's Song", "I couldn't help it" or "The Nature Theatre Train"). Such a release is going to be highly regarded not only by nostalgic and incurably romantic people.

THE GREEN MAN: Musick Without Tears

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Apr 11 2012
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Artist: THE GREEN MAN
Title: Musick Without Tears
Format: CD
Label: HauRuck SPQR! (@)
Rated: *****
Anticipated one year ago by the CDr single "Horus Calling" (song which opens this new album), five years after "The Teacher And The Man Of Lie", The Green Man release their new album "Musick Without Tears". The new album, as usual for the Italian duo formed by Marco Garegnani and Eliahu Giudice (here helped out by Chiara Alice Lorenzini on additional vocals plus different guests of which I'll write later), has the lyrics that are as important as the music. Their performances always gave me the idea to be a sort of musical reading. You know, a sort of modern version of what beat poets did back in the 50s/60s: poetry readings with music improvisation. In the case of The Green Man we have a mix of lyrics inspired by the lives of Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grant (he died the last year and headed the magical order previously known as the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis which is now referred to as the Typhonian Order) with music parts that remember me Velvet Underground on some tracks ("Blindness Is Bliss", "In The Desert Chaos Loved Me With A Knife", "(Sweet) Candy) or British folk-rock bands of the 70s on others ("Horus Calling", "Cefalù - Song For Raoul", "At Stockholm", "Freedom Is A Two Edged Sword", "67-69 Chancery Lane") with some exceptions like "Chat Blanc" which mix jazzy atmospheres to krautrock synth noises and "Tetelesthai", a dark tune based on hypnotic melodic piano loops which slowly turns into an infernal soundtrack based on violin, metal noises and echoes, after a couple of minutes of silence. About the guests, we have Patrick Leagas on backing vocals, keyboards and samples on "Blindness Is Bliss". Carlo Gilardi on trumpet and Geneviève Pasquier on vocals on "Chat Blanc". Francesca Crotti on violin on "Freedom Is A Two Edged Sword". Last but not least, Gianluca Beccuzzi's noises and samples have been used on different tracks but there isn't written which they are.


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