Music Reviews



Vlad In Tears: Welcome To Vladyland

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 23 2012
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Artist: Vlad In Tears (@)
Title: Welcome To Vladyland
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
My personal aversion for any musical product smelling of teen spirit, that kind of aversion able to draw wry faces after biting an unripe fruit, could be toned down by releases like this one by Italian band Vlad In Tears, whereas some youngster drives as well as pins and needles sound like having been mitigated by meaningful lyrics and interesting stylistical alkalinizations, so that I could pull a long face while listening tracks where Kris Vlad, his brothers Lex and D and his honorary (these family of vampires proclaimed him so!) brother Alex look like a gothic-tinged version of Muse such as "At The End Of World" or when Kris shouts easy chorusing such as he does in "Here Comes The Rain" or "To Be Mine" (even if they show a deep knowledge and a remarkable skillfulness of the genre...I've no doubts they learnt the ropes!) or alternatively when he looks so maudlin with that kind mawkishness that could be fitted for first clitoral stimulations by virginal teens such as in "A Song To Say Goodnight" or "Red Emption", on the other side these bloodsuckers makes me nod in approval when they couple up listener's attention with funfair-like inserts and nice sonic tricks where they mix modern musical language with an underlying tnality of early 20th century carnival music which gradually brings the listener's mind towards that vampirical world they supposedly come from till the final A Vlad's Tale, the most atmospheric one, together with the bonus closing track, a nice divertssment, where that nostalgic swish manages to cinematically evoke collective imagination connected to vampirism. Such a stylistical crossbred makes me argue they're ready to pierce or, to say it better, bite mainstream's neck!

MANI DEUM: Music for your local church... or your local brothel

 Posted by Borys Catelani   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 23 2012
cover
Artist: MANI DEUM
Title: Music for your local church... or your local brothel
Format: CD
Label: Dead Scarlet (@)
Rated: *****
After a demo, an Ep, and the "Folk'n'roll" series, the hellenic band is back on the track, 7 years after their formation. A nice digipack Cd with booklet limited to 500 handnumbered copies, collectors will be pleased. As for the content, I've seen them labeled as neo-folk and I've read about an alleged Current 93 influence. I find "folk-noir" a very suitable description though, and the C93 influence not that sharp anyway, simply because C93 are not the Ramones or Motorhead, it's something always "moving", while Mani Deum seem a bit stuck in some of the stereotypes you would expect. I mean, I don't expect a band like that using hip-hop loops and singing about the life in the Smurfs village, but if "folk-noir" gives you a clue and you might think about the usual love/blood/death bohemia themes, well, I guess you're right. I'm not that picky, a wise use of stereotypes can be entertaining at least, if not even meaningful, but Mani Deum it's like a pale reflex of some C93 (yeah, why not?), some Nick Cave, even some Paul Roland with very worn lyrical themes and plain form. I've appreciated some songs, like "Nemesis", after 3 listenings it got stuck in my mind, but nothing I'd kill for, also because of the support of some vocals that are nothing more than honest while they would be supposed to be the "selling point". Yes, definitely a "honest" band, but if you need to go further, well, they need too...

HAUTVILLE: Numen Lumen

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 15 2012
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Artist: HAUTVILLE
Title: Numen Lumen
Format: CD
Label: HR!SPQR (@)
Rated: *****
Hautville are an Italian band formed in 2006 in Ferrandina. Their name comes from the Hautville Normans' family. Some members of that family conquered and politically unified South Italy in the years 1100s. They picked up this particular name to underline their interest into the preservation of their land's history. NUMEN LUMEN contains three unreleased songs ("Apparizione", "In Lode all'Asino" and "Memoria di Felicità ") and a selection of songs coming from the album "No milk for the babies" released on a small Italian label called Invisible Eye records. Musically their music is deeply influenced by Italian progressive rock of the 70s (see the organ parts plus the way they use dissonances or the choruses) but the main instruments they use are acoustic guitars: they sound like a neo folk band deeply rooted into the 70s. On the ten tracks of NUMEN LUMEN, you won't find loud drums or guitar solos but nice melodies and cured arrangements. Most of the tracks tend to create medidative atmospheres that fit really well their lyrics. About the lyrics, they are written in Italian language and talk about tradition and about the eternal voyage the human being started thousand years ago just to understand himself. The album is dedicated to Giordano Bruno, Giuliano Kremmerz ("Otranto" has excerpts from his "I dialoghi sull'ermetismo") and the poet Domenico Bellocchio and it's out now on HR!SPQR.

Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg : The Chronicle of the Black Monks

 Posted by Ivan Racheck (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 15 2012
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Artist: Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg
Title: The Chronicle of the Black Monks
Format: CD
Label: Waerloga Records (@)
Distributor: www.waerloga.com
Rated: *****
Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg has outdone themselves really with this fine release from Waerloga Records. It's the 19th release for the label and this one might not be a bestseller but it's a rellay good album that deserves some credit.

Chronicle of the Black Monks is a soundtrack for a Swedish historical movie but could be listened to on it's own for sure. If you follow the link to the artist page above you can here a great medley with the songs of the album.

The sound of this album is great and I am not surprised to learn that the brilliant Simon Kölle (film composer, Za Frûmi, Musterion, Abnocto, etc.) has done the master. The album is the best so far from the Tjernberg brothers. You should relley check this one out.

FIRST HUMAN FERRO FEAT. ALBIREON: Prosa Profana

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 03 2012
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Artist: FIRST HUMAN FERRO FEAT. ALBIREON
Title: Prosa Profana
Format: CD
Label: Nitkie
Oneiric. This is the first adjective that comes to my mind thinking about PROSA PROFANA, the latest First Human Ferro CD which features on all the tracks the Italian project Albireon. Davide Borghi already collaborated with on his second Oda Relicta album and on this one took care of the vocals and the lyrics. Olegh made the music parts using old records (ex-Soviet recordings by Ariel, Tsvety, Sinyaya Ptitsa, V.Obodsinskiy) and improvising on Cl.Debaussy and M.Dietrich songs and ex-Soviet 'Autumnal Marathon' and 'The Star Boy' motion pictures. He prepared some sketches and Davide wrote the lyrics. Dedicated to Olegh's father who passed by three years ago, PROSA PROFANA deals with melancholy and nostalgia born also from difficult relationships. The human behavior is under the magnifying lens and what's evident is the feeling of loss and defeat. All the tracks sound like a reversed collage of old tunes where Davide sings giving the impression to be in trance. If you're looking for melody or songs with a classic structure with a refrain, you won't find much of that as they focused their efforts on the album's atmosphere. Try to imagine yourselves floating on the sea at night after something bad happened to you and think about the feelings you could have.


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