Music Reviews

FAVOLE NERE: Specchio Delle Fantasie

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 09 2011
Artist: FAVOLE NERE (@)
Title: Specchio Delle Fantasie
Format: CD
Label: LM Records
In the 80s I.R.A. records' motto was "Italian music sung in Italian language" and their first roster was including Litfiba, Diaframma, Moda and Underground Life. What has this to do with Favole Nere? Well, I see their music and their attitude deeply linked to the sounds and the atmospheres proposed by that label back then: their music sound like a mix of the afore mentioned bands with the add of tiny electro e.b.m. synth lines on some tracks. Listening to their first abum SPECCHIO DELLE FANTASIE I imagine Dario plugging his bass to the flanger box, while Silvio warm his voice and Cate asks who stole her eyeliner. Soon after they are ready for the sound check to give their best for a gig made of new wave sounds influenced by rock. The nine tracks of the album mix catchy melodies, solid guitar riffs and synth arpeggios. On this blend Silvio give life to his introspective lyrics thank to his deep voice while Cate duet with him with her heavenly vocals. If you are into goth wave rock, check them at their myspace page

The Dark Unspoken: Diode In Your Head?

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 08 2011
Artist: The Dark Unspoken (@)
Title: Diode In Your Head?
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
I cannot say these funny lads are not intellectually fair after I approached to their new album provocatively asking if there's a diod in someone's head as THE Dark Unspoken seem totally conscious of developmental limits of the genre they tried to play as well of the fact that it's not easy to satisfy different stylistical palates without rediscovering some clichÃés. Tying the knot without doing your block is a possible mission just for writers of essays for halfwit dummies as well! Their trustful declaration of honesty could be sensed in the track Ich Mache Die Maschinen (I make the machine), in their own words, a statement against the increasing lack of interest in the meaning of texts, as theirs are intended to act as passphrases to damage that diode, a small electronic component which The Dark Unspoken considered as a fitted metaphor for the so called unilateral thinking, often the cognitive cause of intolerance, due to its function to allow current pass in one direction. If you consider just the stylistical viewpoint, don't expect anything particularly revolutionary, as even if Diode In Your Head? sounds more refined than their previous album Rotten Memories, the listener could experience deja-vu listening experiences here and there. Basically they unearths some mid 90ies electro-pop to relive with magical future-pop powders mixed with grated metal guitars - especially in tracks such as Abandon Thrill or Abnormis, one of my favorite track of the whole record in spite of the oldness of its sounds -, they arguably gormandized with 80ies wave, but their "tidiness" should not be necesserily regarded as a defect. Straightforward "Denglish" lyrics dealing with "real" life shouted by the hoarse ugola of Darkun are maybe the most relevant aspect of this record and covering a wide range of matters such economical critical situation, nearly an existential variable at this point, contaminating those rare certitudes of anyone cultivating the myth of self-made man (Wild Life) withered with the bad fertilizer of the so-called competitive spirit (Growing Paintre, Abnormis, Won't Sell Your Will). But it's funny to notice that sometimes the approach to contemporary disfigured electromechanical version of human being is almost friendly anf if your soul has almost been annihilated by some balance sheets or greedy intentions, you'll almost perceive a friendly slap on your shoulders when listening to tracks such as Diode In Your Head? - one of best crafted song definitively... - or the enlighting revelation of a guru on Painful Heaven, even if Darkun's gruff (but hearty) voice will gently whisper a plenty of oaths in your ears!

NITRO MAHALIA: Nitro Mahalia

 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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Jan 27 2011
Title: Nitro Mahalia
Format: 12"
Label: Interstellar Records (@)
Rated: *****
Formed in 2004 in Vienna, Nitro Mahalia are a particular band. Mixing noise, film music, punk and jazz, the four people of the band used all these years to prepare their first album. Released on vinyl by Interstellar Records the Nitro Mahalia self named album is bringing you eleven blasts where bass distortions, hard beats, noise, catchy brass solos and organ cries are the main core. Take for example "Acid D.C.", it starts with a distorted bass and drum beating like a double heart beat, then brasses arrive. The chaotic/melodic wall of sound finds its nirvana thanks to the Chris Janka (one of the four guests on this album) distorted guitar inserts which now are noisy and then powerful. Another track that catch my attention immediately was "Intro" (which isn't the first of the album, it's the seventh/the second of side B): it starts with drone organ loops and then when the tension is at the top, it changes, turning into a fast melancholic tune. This album is a pleasant surprise and if you are into 90s guitarism with a bit of experimentation or you love Naked City, Slint and a bit of jazz, Nitro Mahalia is a band to check!

Nexus VI: Apocalypse

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 22 2011
Artist: Nexus VI
Title: Apocalypse
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
NEXUS VI are one of those newly discovered, refreshing Electro/Industrial projects out of the Russian underground scene, who decided to agree a contract for their official debut release with the Hungarian-based label Advoxya Records. Previously discovered here and there via MySpace and placed on some compilations, this project seemingly consists of two men / two women, who prefer to hide themselves behind those notorious pseudonyms like Neuromancer, Cyanic, Nike, and Neurobitch. However, this all hasn't anything to do with their music, which is a diverse mixture, which balances a bit between classic Goth-Rock featuring angelic female vocals, and a rather raw sounding Electro/Industrial-related outfit. It doesn't wonder too much, if a Russian colleague-project like PURPLE FOG SIDE can be named for comparable skills ' it fits perfectly that PFS also appear on this album with a remix contribution on the track 'Agony'. Also worth to mention are those tunes, which combine the best all elements out their musically dimension, 'Made Of Fear' and 'Forgotten Hero' are worth to mention. 'Apocalypse' has its moments and can entertain with a few tunes here ' although this Russian quartet isn't (yet) able to offer a high-end quality album, which takes an international-based audience by storm. Still a lot of work and space for development ' but nevertheless a quite fair debut.

Deviant UK: very.bad.things

 Posted by Steve Fearon (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 16 2011
Artist: Deviant UK
Title: very.bad.things
Format: CD
Label: Egomania [UK]/Remote/Sony [GAS]
Rated: *****
Deviant UK - Very Bad Things

Deviant UK is the project of Jay Smith, and "very.bad.things" is the follow up to "Barbed Wire Star" which was released in 2006.

"Barbed Wire Star" established Deviant UK as one of the top UK industrial and alternative electro artists in a short space of time, so 'very.bad.things' has a lot to live up to.

The most striking thing about Deviant UK Initially, is the vocal sound of Jay Smith, which has strong similarities to Gary Numan's, with perhaps some subtle, grittier variations to his arsenal.
However, this is no tribute act, and within a few minutes of listening to the album, you come to realise that Deviant UK definitely have their own sound going on.

The production is an improvement on the already strong standard present in their last album, with majestic pads soaring, rhythm sections pulsing and some carefully sculpted distortion all weaving together to form a solid foil from which the distinctive vocals can launch.
Much like the production, Jay's vocals have improved, with whispers, low grumbles and even a little snarl added in parts, showing that the progression of the project is clearly a key driving factor behind the sound of Deviant UK.

The themes on this album are very direct and aggressive compared with previous offerings, and you get the sense that Deviant UK are expanding into something much more dynamic, capable of a greater breadth of song, musically, lyrically and thematically.
This aggression helps give "very.bad.things" more of an edge than "Barbed Wire Star" with more of a sense of being on a musical journey as opposed to a series of tracks.
When paired with the fact that the tempo on most tracks is fairly brisk, with crisp 4 to the floor beats pushing the album along, it is very easy to get swept away and lose yourself.

This album is literally laden with Pad driven hooks, and catchy melodies, and is definitely closer to VNV than Combichrist in terms of the Industrial Spectrum.

If you enjoy the 80's synth classics like Gary Numan and Depeche Mode, or the more contemporary stylings of VNV Nation and Assemblage 23, you will find something to enjoy on this record.
If however your tastes are for the more aggressive, you may be better suited looking elsewhere, as Deviant UK is definitely a project with an eye for a clever melody,rather than a penchant for Distorted vocals.

All in all, a definite improvement on "Barbed Wire Star", and a progression of Deviant UK in terms of production, songwriting and dynamism, resulting in an album full of hooks and toe tappers.

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