Music Reviews



Korperschwache: Evil Walks

 Posted by S.A. Sebastian (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 16 2011
Artist: Korperschwache
Title: Evil Walks
Format: CD
Label: Crucial Blast (@)
Rated: *****
Evil Walks is a lumbering, dirge-like, post-punk/black metal album that suffers from an overall uneven mix that is often muffled and lacking in clarity. On the first track, "There Is A Certain Smell Attractive To Wolves," the female spoken word performance falls victim to the unclear mix and you can't tell that she is talking about being lost on a ship and hearing the howling of wolves and doesn't want to die. This is common to all the spoken word performances; all the frequencies that make a voice intelligible have been sucked out, making it difficult to understand. Each song thereafter mostly lumbers along, unremarkable and dirge-like with unintelligible, super-distorted, guttural vocals. But, there are some interesting moments, and the band does seems to be trying create something interesting. This is especially apparent in the almost 12-minute long epic, 'The City Of Lost Girls.' The instrumental, with droning guitar, bass and strings playing off a piano melody, screams of terror, and soundbites from news stories about the Mexico-Texas border violence, is the most interesting track on the album.

Lyrically Evil Walks incorporates all the typical black metal and doom themes including serpents, darkness, judgement, fires and burning, isolation, suicide, and railing against society. But there are some cool lyrics and imagery that go beyond the that standard fare like, ' I dreamed of you last night with a thousand knives in your back ' you looked so surprised and the points , they were so sharp,' from "There Is A Certain Smell Attractive To Wolves." And 'Me And You And A Can Of Gasoline' and 'Evil Walks' tell some good stories. However, the vocals are so buried and distorted you have to have the booklet handy while listening to get this.

If Evil Walks was remixed and remastered to fix the overall balance and clarity, and the processing on the lead vocals dialing back, this album might have a slightly Skinny Puppy vibe.

The Tunnel: Fathoms Deep

 Posted by S.A. Sebastian (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 11 2011
Artist: The Tunnel (@)
Title: Fathoms Deep
Format: 12"
Label: Glorious Alchemical
Rated: *****
It's difficult to nail down Fathoms Deep. It's definitely dark. It's dramatic. It's Goth, but it's not purely Goth or even dark wave. It's more. It's cool. Fathoms Deep is produced by the band, and they deliver a very good production and mix that is mostly sparse and raw, with slinky guitars and distorted bass, and is big exactly when it needs to be, never over-the-top.

Fathoms Deep opens with 'Wraithes,' a short, airy instrumental which gives way to the cool, slinky, guitar riff-driven, 'Strange Heaven' which is reminiscent of a garage-rock version of the Church with very dramatic, campy vocals. The band stays in garage-rock land with the uptempo 'King of the Impossible.' The track has a cool, late 60s vibe (thanks, mostly, to the farfisa-sounding organ), with vocals delivered with a David Johansen-like attitude. 'King of the Impossible' could also compare with very early tracks by The Damned. 'Fathomless Deep,' another dark, airy instrumental rounds out side one.

On side two the band kicks into story telling-mode delivering Nick Cave & Bad Seeds influenced rock opera drama. With less riffing, and more complex arrangements, 'The Beast-Catcher,' 'Scurvey Dreames' and "The Bitter End" focus more on the vocals and the story. On these tracks Wagner drops the Johansen-esque attitude and brings back the drama and camp we heard earlier on 'Strange Heaven.'

The band describes Fathoms Deep as a collection of 'Ragged, darkly romantic tales of lust and loss,' and the production delivers that. Fathoms Deep was reviewed on CD, but is only available as 12' vinyl and 320 kbps mp3 album.

FATHER MURPHY / HOW MUCH WOOD WOULD A WOODCHUCK CHUCK IF A WOODCHUCK COULD CHUCK WOOD?: Split

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 03 2011
cover
Artist: FATHER MURPHY / HOW MUCH WOOD WOULD A WOODCHUCK CHUCK IF A WOODCHUCK COULD CHUCK WOOD?
Title: Split
Format: 7"
Label: Avant! Records
Rated: *****
Released in collaboration with Aagoo, Boring Machines, Brigadisco, La Delirante and Madcap Collective the newest Avant! 7' is a split between Father Murphy and How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood? Father Murphy presents a track titled 'Jesus', a sort of pagan pray formed by female/male litanies, ritualistic percussions, thunder noises and organ drones. It's a good track that mixes minimal melodies and tense atmospheres. How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck If A Woodchuck Could Chuck Wood? is a trio which, as well as Father Murphy, come from Italy. Their track 'Humpty Dumpty' is their first official release after a couple of self made CDrs and it sounds like an acoustic neo-folk ballad rising from a cloud of reverb. They sound like a dreamy shoegaze version of Death In June.

KING DUDE: Tonight's Special Death

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Sep 03 2011
cover
Artist: KING DUDE
Title: Tonight's Special Death
Format: 12"
Label: Avant! Records
Rated: *****
Like a Johnny Cash drunk on Pope's blood, King Dude is releasing the vinyl version of his first album TONIGHT'S SPECIAL DEATH on Avant!. Released in 2010 by Disaro on CDr, this new version of TONIGHT'S SPECIAL DEATH has two bonus tracks: 'White Hands' and 'Day Of The Night'. Recorded like King Dude was playing in a crypt, the ten songs of the album presents a black folk singer in love with Satan who sometimes recalled me :Of The Wand & The Moon: (King Dude also released a split 7' with Solanaceae on Heidrunar Myrkrunar the last year). Solo project of Thomas Jefferson Cowgill (owner of Actual Pain clothing and previously in the black/death metal band Book Of Black Earth), King Dude play simple ballads with an acoustic guitar sometimes using few percussions and having a female guest vocalist for duets. Also for his vocals he doesn't care much about the form and it doesn't matter if sometimes he seems to be out of tune, because his passionate lyrics are the main elements into his music. Here are some highlights: 'Lucifer is drinking from his cup, Take a drink, laugh and dance with us', 'There won't be a river of gold. There won't be a safe place to stay. And in my mind's eye I will see you calling out my name', 'You can slit my throat, drain in my blood, it won't make a difference cuz of where I'm from, yeah I was, born in blood', 'In the age of hidden scripts and hidden names pursed on hidden lips. There will be, players spoke, a prophecy of the great horned owl's ghost. Today is the day, the day of the night. Today is the day, day of the night and if you opened your eyes, and see no light, then today is the day, day of the night'.

VV.AA.: Per Aspera Ad Astra

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Aug 02 2011
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Per Aspera Ad Astra
Format: CD
Label: HR! SPQR (@)
Rated: *****
Already ten years have passed by from the moment when some guys with a common vision decided to join their efforts to form a label. Initially linked to HauRuck! Austria, the now called HR! SPQR label issued twenty three releases the last of which is a retrospective compilation that offers thirteen tracks of which seven picked up from their back catalog, three unreleased (Der Feuerkreiner and Mushroom's Patience offered two new tracks and The Green Men a different version of "Horus Calling", opening track of their recent CD single), one from Ignis Vrbis Mithrae album released on Wolf Age and another one from Kannonau's debut album "Initium" released by Misty Circles. Hautville with "Otranto" weren't on HR! but they will soon and they offered a track from their debut album "No Milk For The Babies" released on Invisible Eye Rec. We pass from the neo folk atmospheres of The Green Man and Hautville to the militaristic drummings of Ignis Vrbis Mithrae, Kannonau and Ain Soph passing through the particular Egida Aurea and Recondita Stirpe song writing influenced by Italian 70s music (just to name few). The compilation is available for free with every order at HR! SPQR. Let's celebrate!
Here's the complete track listing:
1 Claudedi E Nemici ' Immobile Sul Freddo Marmo
2 Recondita Stirpe ' Il Sibilo Di Giano
3 Egida Aurea ' Gli Sguardi Nel Sole
4 The Green Man ' Horus Calling
5 Calle Della Morte ' Gli Uomini E LeRovine
6 Ain Soph ' Kshatryia
7 Spectre ' Signore Non Son Degno
8 Ballo Delle Castagne ' Kalachakra
9 Der Feuerkreiner ' Der Abend
10 Hautville ' Otranto
11 Mushroom's Patience ' Another Day
12 Kannonau ' Dragon Of Death
13 Ignis Vrbis Mithrae ' Rvit Hora, O Roma


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