Music Reviews

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
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

OUROBOROS: Opus Tartari

 Posted by Andrea Piran (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 20 2011
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Title: Opus Tartari
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Rated: *****
The new album from OUROBOROS, the musical project of Marco Grosso with the aid of guest musicians as Nona Luna and Sorath Isis, is an homage to hermetic and esoteric philosophies. Musically speaking, this is ethereal music where soprano voices sings above quiet drone soundscapes.
"Sigillum solis" opens the album with a quiet, but dark, soundscape and a solemn line of synth until the litanies spoken by Malice give a ritual blend to the whole construction. "Pavor nocturnus" is a small ritual based on vocal loop. "Acqua regia" is a dark ambient tune brightened by the voice of Nona Luna. "Artifex III" is an almost dancey interlude for the second part of this album. The title track is a sonic reconstruction of a ritual. "Pulvis solaris" is entirely centered on the wonderful voice of Nona Luna. "Corpus mundum" close this journey with oriental beats that stops only for the soprano voice over a quiet soundscape after whom the sound of an organ opens the way for the return of the beats.
This is an album that require careful listening to unveil his hidden beauty but it worth the effort. Nice.

DREAM AFFAIR: Endless Days

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jul 14 2011
Title: Endless Days
Format: CD
Label: Avant! Records (@)
Rated: *****
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Dream Affair printed their first release the last year. "All I Want" was a self released limited EP printed in 100 copies containing five tracks influenced by 80s cold wave and post punk. A year has passed and Dream Affair are back with their debut album titled ENDLESS DAYS which is out on the Italian Avant! records. The album, which is available in CD, vinyl and digital format, contains nine new tracks that bring you back to the early 80s when Cure, Modern English, The Sound and post punk bands like Uk Decay wrote the history of those sounds (I know that you have in mind thousands other bands that you think that deserve to be in the place of some of the ones I mentioned here, but I had to do some names and I did the names that fits the most). Dream Affair are taking the cold wave introspective atmosphere and mixed it with drum machine upbeat tempos adding post punk dry guitar riffs, flanger bass guitar plus synth pads / leads here and there. Male / Female vocal alternation help giving to the whole album a great sound and just check "Lucid" and "Drifting" to realize how cool is that. No matter if you preferred 4AD bands, new wave of post punk, because Dream Affair have them all and they deserve your attention... now!

Fosdyk Well: Slumber and Stark Lots

 Posted by eskaton   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (6516)
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.

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