Music Reviews



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Artist: Autoclav1.1 (@)
Title: Where Once Were Exit Wounds
Format: CD
Label: Tympanik Audio (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
A complete new studio album from the UK-based IDM/Electronica-based project AUTOCLAV 1.1 only a year after his last release "Love No Longer Lives Here", but this shouldn’t wonder anyone, because there can be easily drawn a fine stylistically connection between both albums. Tony Young seems to reach more and more trust into a straight and linear rhythm programming, also his usage of orchestral-like strings, acoustic guitars and dominant piano sounds rather speaks for a developing musician. I found myself to pick out one of his older albums to recognize clear the differences. The days of his notorious and abstract IDM-related rhythm pattern programming are definitely over – if there’s still available a glimpse of this past, just check the percussion work of both new tracks "When We Woke Up" and "These Walls Have Seen All". Nearly all other tracks convince through its straight-forward and mostly 4/4-on-the-floor-like pattern structures, as well as the above mentioned instruments offer a lot of organic "life" and catchy moments to the music of AUTOCLAV 1.1. Some guest contributors can be heard too, Rachel Haywire for short introduction of "When We Woke Up" or his long-year friend Jamie Blacker of ESA, who provides vocals and some guitar inserts on "Do You Feel Disposable?". That tasteful black/white photo-artwork got done by Salt (Ant-Zen/Hymen Records), mastering provided by Metarc – well, you’ll get the finest art tools asides nearly 50 minutes of purest audio entertainment. Because of its highly acoustic content, this album differs enormously compared to nearly all other label horses out of the rich Tympanik Audio stable, with the exception to AD-VER-SARY maybe. Someone out there to argue against diversity of the label roster?

Rome: L'Assassin

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 22 2010
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Artist: Rome (@)
Title: L'Assassin
Format: CD EP
Label: Trisol (@)
Rated: *****
A lot of neo-folk lovers already joined the sputtering pyre lighted by singer and songwriter Jerome Reuter, whose experience in different local bands in Luxembourg has blossomed in Rome, his solo-project later propelled by his friend Patrick Damiani, a skilled sound engineer, and they’ll surely appreciate the new creative breeze blowed by Nikos Mavridis, whose violin and strings are almost like new embers going to become perfumed ashes in their brazier. His hallmark could be easily heard in this nice 4-track EP, entitled L’Assassin (the fastest in buying it will also gain a special t-shirt designed for this issue): the stylistic formula Jerome named Chanson Noir – maybe referring to the hybridization of the classical American folk song scheme with elements taken from the French Chanson and that lovely dark-tinged lyricism, which induced some reviewers to propose the linkage between Reuter’s stainless and distraught vocal interpretations and some legendary crooners such as Nick Cave or his ability in storytelling to the one by Leonard Cohen – appears to have been slightly improved by Nikos’ windy strings.

Therefore Rome’s sound seems to be less skeletal than before and even more organic and so evocative to sound almost like a soundtrack of an imaginary movie (an hook partially expressed in wonderful tracks of their recent Flowers From Exile, such as We who fell in love with the sea or the powerful narrative wit of To Die Among Strangers) and the intent to readapt and renew it to the present time seems to be intentional even from some wordy bodies of evidence (if you already know their past work you’ll easily notice that a lyrical apex of the moving song Der Erscheinungen Flucht says "This is a warning, we fall, as stock markets fall, in stone gardens" instead of the previous "This is a warning, we fall, as servants fall, in stone gardens", maybe just to be coherent with the concept of the song whose title means "The flux of phenomena"... ). We could even say they’ve tried to highlight their sentimental veins and you’ll agree with this brief analysis especially if you carefully listen to and attempt a comparison between the original tracks and the revisited ones (the above-mentioned Der Erscheinungen Flucht and the shimmering Der Brandtaucher are taken from their album Masse Mensch Material). Even the less stagy track of this exquisite Ep, One Flesh, features that strong grip potentially driving your tears in you sweetest and deepest naps for its flowing poetry. A more orchestrated and less martial sound which enrich expectations for Rome’s forthcoming issues.

SEMION: Sex, Death & Repetition

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 22 2010
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Artist: SEMION
Title: Sex, Death & Repetition
Format: CD EP
Label: MOMT (@)
Rated: *****
Formed by Semi0n , Limp Sidney, Wilhelm Stroker and the mysterious Captain Shitébeard, Semion deliver their first E.P. on MOMT. Available as download and CD-r, the E.P. has four tracks that mix post punk, dub and electronics. The band isn't afraid of experimenting and if the opening "Die with dignity" is a vibrant post punk anthem sounding a bit like early Killing Joke of "Are you receiving" the closing "I think we're dead" is a cool electronic dark electro tune. Eclectic and energetic, Semion are a band to follow!

ATTRITION: Dante's Kitchen

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 16 2010
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: Dante's Kitchen
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods (@)
Rated: *****
Originally released back in 2004, DANTE'S KITCHEN is the last album of the reissue series and this edition has all the songs of original release plus the four bonuses that were issued on the Russian print. DANTE'S KITCHEN is one of the best Attrition's album of the new millennium as its ten tracks are structured like a concept album where the female/male vocal duets are supported by the sound of a tormented violin played by Rafael and by upbeat synth bass lines. Sounding dark and sensual tracks like "Two gods" or "Dante's kitchen" were ready to become instant band's classics. Inspired by Martin's personal life facts (you can read the interview I did on that period on this very magazine under the interviews section) DANTE'S KITCHEN tells of a trip down to hell where the kitchen is everyone's everyday inferno. The first time I listened to the album sometimes it recalled me the latest Clock DVA because of its ambience and because of Martin's whispered vocals. The bonus tracks are three interesting re-visitations/remixes of "The head of Gabriel" (Philip Hickman, Pablo Sonic Terrorist and Empire State Human reworked it giving to it a tribal orchestral ambient arrangement, a gabber sound and dark electro wave mix) and a re-assembled acid dark electro version of "Dante's kitchen" by Sveldt.

ATTRITION: Ephemera

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Feb 13 2010
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Artist: ATTRITION (@)
Title: Ephemera
Format: CD
Label: Two Gods
Rated: *****
Originally released in 1995, after Attrition changed or updated their sound on the albums "A tricky business" and "The hidden agenda", EPHEMERA sees the band producing an instrumental soundtrack album for the second time after 1982's "Death house". The main differences between the two is that on EPHEMERA Matin had new digital keyboards and samplers on his hands to experiment with. If "Death house" was sounding dark and deeply influenced by the use of analogue synths, EPHEMERA, thanks to the new technologies, had a wider sound palette. Percussions, vocal samples, piano, organs, strings and digital sweeps were the core sounds that Martin used to write five long (almost ten minutes each) tracks that were aiming to explore different sides of the themes he usually covers: love, death, religion, sex and despair. "The Long Wait", "A Great Desire", "The Big Lie", "Wetenschap" and "Lang Zal Jij Leven" have a richer "open sound" but I feel that they are also a bit dispersive. Probably the new tools offered too many sounds and options and this didn't help Martin focusing. This new edition offers the same tracklisting without bonuses but, as usual for the new reissues, it has been remastered.


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