Music Reviews

Runes Order: Disco Nero

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 06 2010
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Artist: Runes Order
Title: Disco Nero
Format: CD
Label: HR! SPQR (@)
Rated: *****
In 2007 when I reviewed " X: Final Solution" I thought that it was their very last Runes Order release, so I was surprised to receive DISCO NERO. Listening to the twelve tracks of the album I can say that the project hit a new phase (their fourth, maybe? Their first was the one with the improvised synth suites of the tapes on Allegorical Tapes, the second, the one of their first albums on CD and then the third, the one with Dondo and Trevor). Teaming up with members of Egida Aurea (Diego Banchero, Carolina Cecchinato, Davide Bruzzi, etc), Claudio Dondo is giving to Runes Order a new sound which doesn't reflect the one of Egida Aurea but the one of another Diego Banchero's bands: Il Segno Del Comando. Inspired by the sound of Italian progressive rock and of Goblin in particular, now, Runes Order expand their synthesizers based sound thanks to guitar solos, deep bass lines, a drum section and Carolina's vocals. Also songwriting has been affected by this collaboration as Diego wrote "Voci dal Profondo", "Terra dell'Amore e della Morte" and "Lucida Follia". Talking with him he told me that he wanted to analyze these days with the eyes of different people's psychology, so, if "Voci dal Profondo" talks about an antisocial narcissistic profile, "Terra dell'Amore e della Morte" is about the experience of two old people who are about to leave because death is approaching and "Lucida Follia" is about a psychopath who's between a state of madness and illumination. Claudio Dondo wrote most of the music (but I think that the arrangements have been a team work) and the lyrics of "Chiave Quadra", a track about Donato Bilancia, serial killer who murdered 17 people (nine women and eight men) on the Italian Riviera in the seven months from October, 1997 to May, 1998. Musically, the album sounds epic and mysterious with obscure atmospheres that explode here and there with psychedelic rock phrases. A really nice one!

Aidons La Norvege: Ostaggi

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 05 2010
Artist: Aidons La Norvege (@)
Title: Ostaggi
Format: CD
Label: Oltre La Nebbia Il Mare (@)
Rated: *****
Born in 1982 in Perugia, Aidons La Norvege were a post punk band that on their early days were deeply influenced by bands like Play Dead just to personalize their style soon after. The result of this process is available on their only release, "La fida", a MLP issued by Label Service (a Spittle Records sub label) in 1984 and available here along with four demos and two live songs. The four tracks of that EP were still influenced by post punk thanks to razor blade like guitar sound and slapping bass lines but there was much more on Aidons La Norvege's music: they sung in Italian language and despite that, they also played outside Italy and also they were able to compose choral songs where epic melodies, acoustic guitar riffs were the right counterparts of tribal drumming, synth pads and nervous vocals. When you listen to "Per un soldato" or the piano intro of "Il massacro di Parigi" (on OSTAGGI you can find also its instrumental demo version) is evident that those guys knew how to create dramatic atmospheres and powerful songs. To check the steps that brought the guys from Umbia to that result, here you can check "Ostaggi", "Brown boveri", "Dopo la tristezza" (there are tense tribal songs with dark atmosphere and syncopated rhythms and the latter two shows really well the energy the band had on live gigs) and "La morte viene dall'alto" (this one plays a little more with mid tempos and guitar riffs/arpeggios). Don't miss the opportunity to check Aidons La Norvege and even if you had the reissue double CD of "Goot from the boot" (that extended version had "La sfida") you have to get this one and not only because of the six extra tracks but also because the other edition had a fault into the master (you can hear the recording that skips).
P.s. Aidons La Norvege reunited and they are playing gigs, so watch out if they'll visit your town!

VV.AA.: Thee Musick Ov Magick

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 03 2010
Artist: VV.AA.
Title: Thee Musick Ov Magick
Format: CD
Label: Inner-X-Musick
Rated: *****
Thee Musick Ov Magick is thee second sampler release by Boston-based musician John Zewizz's label Inner-X-Musick (formerly known as XXX Records or Triple X Records and headquarters for the spreading of Sleepchamber at the moment, the renowned project founded and wisely run by John, its only permanent member), one of the most proactive and prolific one born from the ashes of Innersleeve Records, a small record store managed by John in Allston, Massachusetts, spreading many gemstones and "musickal" essays ascribable in the most "esoteric" and subterranean branch of underground electro-industrial scene including Psychic TV, Die Form, Current 93, Nocturnal Emissions, XTC and many more artists and sound manipulator which sometimes begun their massive productions from primordial experiments on tape looping , reversed recording and stuff like that, perfectly fits some standing arguments about magic by John himself. If we'd try to give a conceptual framework, we could quote his words about the so-called Magick (whose subsense has really nothing to do with superstition or fabulous creatures or sorcerers as well, normally the most immediate ideal association made with everything related to magic, but more intended to the awakening of spiritual or arguably mental powers and faculties), stating that it uses "metaphysical structures only to aid the conscious mind-(which iz a metaphysical structure in itself) in erecting an arbitrary form from the mind to the base itself around. Magick recognizes the conscious mind only az a tool with which to organize your creative potential, of True Will.".

Well'¦even if you're not interested in philosophical matters or esoteric issues, just like me as well (!), it's undeniable most tracks included in this selection are really well forged as well as carefully crafted and many episodes of this issue offer involving immersive listening experiences (even the most hermetical ones).

The first link of this enthralling musickal chain has been signed by FRzO, the collaborative project by the Norwegian experi/mental manoeuvrer Gird_09 and the entrancing and obscure singer Batcheeba, who, even if in the somewhat teaching opening it seems her nose was blocked by cold, perfectly sets the mood on Kali, by appreciable voice modulations calling up that goddess on an hypnotic set of tumbling noises and hopscotch-like sinister chiming. A rumbling metallic sound, some asynchronous tapping and an undefined monstrous snoring turn up on the trance-inducing tribal mantra of Psychonaut 75's Mountain Spirits which could remind some pieces by Master Musicians of Joujouka or some works by Raksha Mancham, one of my favorite track definitively by this Luciferian obscure project ' 75 is the cabbalistic number for Lucifer -, even if the other track included in the selection, In The Vein, is quite good as well as a slowed-electro danceable rhythm on a frightening prayer ' we imagine not so Christian as well.. ' induced me to imagine a sort of devilish remix of DAF in some recording studio hidden inside an hellish cave, whereas a similar fictional transposition (I thought about a possible musickal translation of the nightmares uneasing Orwell's or Derrida's sleeps'¦) came onto my mind while listening A Tortuous Congestion Of Topology Platforms. Tower In Flames (what a depictive title!), an impressive track by Sigillum S, where the musical soul by the esteemed Eraldo Bernocchi seems severing. Some reversed tapes on a disquieting but luminous sound set enlivens the anesthetic AQ 23 ZAQ by Grayghost, whose disfigured sculptures reappear later on the snider Lil featuring some interesting manipulation on chiming sounds.

Other effective tracks of the sampler are the disquieting Inch Allah by Phallus Dei (hey wasps, don't's just a piece of art!), (Moss)'s Anneliese ach Anneliese ' looking like an altercation between an exorcist and a demon possessing some poor human body (my compliments to this devilish creature'¦it seems really fluent in German!) on striving delayed beats -, De Lege Motus by Veil Of Thorns ' a cinematic anthem featuring some Beast-y beats'¦ -, Choronzon's Delusion of Security ' the link of the chain closer to some extreme goth-metal grey fields in particular for the vocal treatment'¦ - as well as Sleepchamber's excerpts in particular the nice sound-collage of Calling The Shaman. And yes! I have to ask for Shaman's telephone number to Mr.Zewizz'¦ definitively!

Purest Spiritual Pigs: Body Misses

 Posted by eskaton   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (6070)
Oct 31 2010
Artist: Purest Spiritual Pigs (@)
Title: Body Misses
Format: CD
Label: self-released
I was kind of surprised when I put this in the CD player for a couple of reasons. First of all, with a name like Purest Spiritual Pigs, I expected some kind of harsh industrial or power electronics kind of music. I don't really know how to describe it, but it isn't that. I suppose the best description I can come up with is college indie rock ' at least it would have been at home on the college radio station I worked at. The closest comparison I can come up with is Torcher. It isn't too bad, but it didn't really do much for me, with some notable exceptions. FPNOP PPL (which in the liner notes is deciphered 'For People Not on Phones) is the only one that really seems to move into the experimental realm with some distortion and heavily processed voice. But the standout track is 'Three Thieves Gone' with slow, mournful vocals over a slow, mournful bed of strings and percussion. 'Burnt Through' continues this trajectory with an even more stripped down accompaniment. Helena Thompson, the main vocalist and driving force on this project, has a sultry voice that would be right at home in a blues joint and this is showcased well on these tracks. This is in stark contrast to songs like 'You Inspire Me,' in which the emotion seems forced and the expression cliché. Overall, the disc was kind of hit or miss for me, but I do get the sense that it would be an interesting live show to check out. This disc weighs in at around 48 minutes.
Oct 28 2010
Artist: Strip In Midi Side (@)
Title: Your Stripping Experience
Format: CD
Label: New Model Label (@)
Rated: *****
Eight months after my review of their debut MCD, here are again the Strip In Midi Side with their first album. They got signed to New Model Label and they just released YOUR STRIPPING EXPERIENCE. On this album you'll find the five songs of the MCD (with the same running order) plus five new tracks. Well recorded and mastered (they chose Streaky Mastering, people who worked with Nitzer Ebb and Depeche Mode) the album shows well the multifaceted soul of the band: goth, industrial, new wave and pop are all elements that the four Strip In Midi Side are confortable with. On different tracks (for example "Art is insanity" or "I want") the band pass from rock industrial obsessive riffs/distortions, to British pop melodies creating an effective contrast where energy and irony coexist. "Bring me down", song that we already know, starts like a Apoptygma Berzerk tune just to turn into a melodic Peter Murphy one and follows playing with these influences adding a personal touch here and there. "You don't know" mix Nin Inch Nails to the best melodic moments of Foo Fighters (some melodies recall me "The pretender"). Like a giant sponge they four Italian guys absorbed the best sounds of those genres just to digest and spit them in your face. Upbeat, irreverent, energetic, YOUR STRIPPING EXPERIENCE is only waiting four your judgement...

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