Music Reviews

Fosdyk Well: Slumber and Stark Lots

 Posted by eskaton   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 14 2011
Artist: Fosdyk Well (@)
Title: Slumber and Stark Lots
Format: CD
Label: Blackcity Records (@)
Rated: *****
As usual, I had not heard of this band, but the note that came with this disc said to file under experimental folk. Fair enough, but I don't get a real sense of the experimental part of this filing. The Current 93 influence is certainly present and accounted for as mentioned in their press release, along with This Mortal Coil, which are two of my favorites (although the only influences they claim on their Myspace page is 'dreams, dusk, fragments') but it lacks a lot of the complexity of bands like Current 93, This Mortal Coil, In Gowan Ring, and the like. The feel is there, but not much of the experimental vibe. Granted, not all folk bands have Steven Stapleton in their ranks, but I would like to see Fosdyk Well mix it up a bit and go out on a limb. It's not bad, but it doesn't really push the envelope with its heavy emphasis on acoustic guitar and voice. One can easily see this band playing in a coffee house somewhere. That said, I would definitely go to see them perform because I get the sense that it would be a good show. For a first album it's a good start and I will be interested to see how they evolve. This disc is a bit short, weighing in at around 23 minutes.

Ending The Vicious Cycle: s/t

 Posted by S.A. Sebastian (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 13 2011
Artist: Ending The Vicious Cycle
Title: s/t
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
When I opened the package from Ending The Vicious Cycle I was presented with a press kit boasting comparisons to Psychedelic Furs, Bauhaus and the Cure. What I heard when I put on the band's demo was a very 80s, Goth and darkwave-influenced band, but Psych Furs and Bauhaus this isn't. Ending The Vicious Cycle just doesn't deliver the excellent songwriting and hooks of bands like Psychedelic Furs, Bauhaus and the Cure. It's not to say that the songs on the demo are bad, it's just that this is a band more in vein of the less mainstream, but no less respectable, bands like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Theatre of Hate and The Mission.

The first song, "Touch Dispelled," opens the CD with an uptempo, Sisters of Mercy meets Dreamtime-era Cult kind of vibe, courtesy of a Billy Duffy inspired riff, and an Andrew Eldritch inspired rhythmic vocal and deep synths by guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Toby Rider. The song moves pretty nicely until it hits the obligatory, and, in the case of this track, unnecessary half-time bridge. It's at this point I realized that I haven't heard a chorus, or any lyric to sing along with. But, it's still a pretty cool track, and I can imagine how this would be a fan favorite, and get people dancing.

On track 2, "Glass," Toby Rider's guitar takes us from the Dreamtime-ear Cult to early Theatre of Hate. This time Rider's vocal delivery on "Glass" gives us hints of Hate's Kirk Brandon and the Furs' Paul Butler. Like track 1, this is another cool uptempo track, but this time delivers the hook. It takes quite a while to get there, but you finally have something to sing along with. Sadly the hook is short and goes by very quickly and devolves into a half-time bridge, with the hook only making one more appearance at the very end. This track would be better served with more hook and less bridge. Like "Touch Dispelled," it's easy to imagine this being another fan favorite, and a track that gets people dancing.

What follows are 4 very disappointing, incomplete-sounding, poorly performed and hard to listen to tracks. Mixes are all over the place and out of balance, vocals are often hard to hear, the bass, guitar and drums out of time with each other, and I swear I heard the click track running through one of the songs. The production, or lack thereof, takes away from anything the band might be trying to say with these last 4 songs.

Having said all that, Ending the Vicious Cycle label this CD a demo and the last four tracks of this demo CD sound very much like early, rough tracks, which you would find on a box set that fans that like listening to the development of a song might enjoy listening to. Ending the Vicious Cycle will be releasing an EP near the end of 2011 that I look forward to hearing.

Dust Of Everyday: s/t

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 12 2011
Artist: Dust Of Everyday (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
It's quite clear this German band is made up of willing musicians as well as it's evident they can blend well even if they come from different musical territories, being such a different "descent" the official explanation of their diversified style. Normally the circumstance of causing troubles to people suffering from that kind of obsession which compulsively urges themselves to file records or bands within watertight compartments should be something to be proud of, but Dust Of Everyday looks like just juxtaposing wav, gothic, rock, metal and pop without really experimenting any original mixture, so that they sound too staid. My impression could be considered a nonsense, as most of bands which melt together different genres sound so cool and interesting, but mixing genres doesn't automatically implythat such a mix could sound really fresh. By the way, premises are interesting as tracks such as Tomorrow or Afraid To Breathe, even if they could remind something else, show a valid approach to melodies and a discrete skill in emphasizing sound, but if you keep on listening, some tracks could appear too hesitating and excessively related to traditional American ballads or hard rock, whose prominence absorbs the relevance of some worthy proof of talent by single members of the band, but when they manage to wander off from such musical subjects, they look like quotist or even plagiarist. For instance, Stranded could be a very good song, thanks also to the delicate female voice by Nadine Kriegs, till the moment when the listener will easily identify DOE sometimes ride on Depeche Mode or Pink Floyd's intuitions. Even if they finish their album with a track entitled Requiem (whose very good refrain made the one I liked more on the whole album), I'd prefer to wait future releases to shape my peremptory opinion on them, as the continue changes of line up and the prolonged time during which this band dwelled on recording could have been hampered on a nimbler development of a more "personal" style.

Wolfuneral: Night\'s Symphonies

 Posted by jmercieca   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 30 2011
Artist: Wolfuneral (@)
Title: Night\'s Symphonies
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
At first glance, when I saw the layout my first thoughts were that this album would be something into Doom Black Metal or the related, however the situation differs a lot.

Wolfuneral is a solo project owned by Stefano Gagliarducci from Roma, Italy and so far he presented his 9 track (total time: 58 minutes) debut release entitled 'Night's Symphonies', which was actually release back in 2010. The main genre behind (unlike my first impressions on the layout) is a cross between Orchestral and Symphonic Music with occasional hints of Gothic, Neo-Classical music and on rare instances distorted parts. I am more than sure that those who favor these 'sweet' pleasant styles would find this album mostly enjoyable.

All in all these 9 compositions are engulfed in gloom, melancholy and especially romanticism that gives quite an 'epic' sensation on the whole album especially the agitating strings, pizzicato and violins. Moreover I cannot exclude mentioning the element of coldness and the sense of both solitude and nostalgia emitted from most of the songs. Not the whole album is based solely on symphonic orchestrations. For instance the song entitled 'Out of the Dark' is based mainly on Pianos and distant atmospheres; whereas the track entitled 'Lucifer' is filled with ambiance, screechy distant whispers/voices and disturbing haunting sounds typically found in old fashioned horror movies. This debut effort reminds me of bands/projects like Nox Arcana, Elend, plus a bit of Profanum (pl) and Professor Fate (uk) in which means that listeners of Nox Arcana would probably value Wolfuneral.

From a critical point of view the drawbacks are monotony and arrangement. Some of the songs tend to be predictable and repetitive. Although the arrangement is quite satisfactory, some parts definitely need improvement for instance the occasional drumming which sounds a bit too loud and raw! Finally the worst thing I have to point out is about the first track entitled 'Over the Skies', which is unfortunately the worst in the album. Its introduction is quite beautiful (ambiance, vibrating strings and peaceful orchestrations) but the timpani sound somehow too loud. Moreover the more time passes by the more it become worse since the additional orchestrations aren't ear friendly at all enough to say that harmony is lacking. At least the rest of the album is a stepping milestone compared to the introductory track.

Having said that, one cannot deny that the author have splendid ideas. Overall this is a quality start for Wolfuneral, and considering the fact that 'Night's Symphonies' is a debut release, and judging its caliber I can say that the next work will be a stepping mile-head (of course if to include the adjustments in the arrangements).

Saints of Ruin: Glampyre

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jun 17 2011
Artist: Saints of Ruin (@)
Title: Glampyre
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Even if vampires are not my favorite monsters at all as I think zombies are remarkably nicer and widespread in contemporary society - just try taking underground in the morning time and you'll meet some of them, mostly wearing elegant suites holding briefcase and showing stinking breath off especially when they forgot brushing their teeth after they overate garlic bread the night before! -, I have to admit these fearful creatures are sometimes quite good rockers besides being more thorough in the choice of garment and arguably cosmetic as well. I'm not sure the American gothic band Saints Of Ruin tried to introduce a new entry in the Bestiary (maybe themselves?) even if songs like Love Dies or Slow Poison looks like some possible explanations of what could give birth to such a dreadful species and a song like Fire (the one I like most) could act as a comprehensive glossary of this clan, collecting words and concepts ("Religion/in the midst of the night/Incision/cuts the party on the right/Decisions/made profiting on high/Collision/pushes masses to a fight"...and so on...), but I do appreciate their plain way to rock the gothic scene. Their music sounds suitable, glamour(vampyr)esque - an important role has been played by the great "nordic" voice by Ruby Ruin in the musical cauldron - and austere at the same time without wanderings from the point. It shows a fancy for tidy rock structures and you can say everything except scolding for some technical mistake - maybe just guitar sometimes looks like getting bogged down -. You could consider it a merit, but also a sort of want, if you're seeking more experimental hooks in the scene. Every elements look in the right place to me, but I'm pretty sure they'll dare more in the forthcoming future. It's better not to be too draconian. Be patient and give them the time to suck more delicious blood to make up their sound!

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