There is a murmur spreading throughout the underground lately about a band that combines elements of Opeth, Katatonia, and Fields of the Nephilim. That band is Agalloch and the first time I heard them, it was over the phone and they still sounded incredible. Without pause, I ordered the CD, Pale Folklore, and although it was only a scant, two days later, I was still coming out of my skin waiting. The wait was worth it.
Pale Folklore is one of the most depressing and best-written CD’s I have heard in a long time. As I read along in the booklet, I began to feel guilty for things I had done in my own torturous past, sad for things I could never change, and anger at the malice contained within the human heart. The music swoons over you, taking you through slow paced instrumentals and interludes, to galloping riffs with black metal vocals that are actually understandable. Each song is an epic, and the instrumental breaks between the vocals allow you time to think and reflect upon your own haunted past. Acoustic and piano breaks melt perfectly within the whole of the song and are occasionally joined by female vocals. The feel of the whole album is cold, and even without the help of the pictures in the booklet; you cannot help but feel the desolation and melancholia that accompanies the winter.
“There lies a beauty behind forbidden wooden doorsThe lyrics run deep as well. The word Sol is usedand almost personified throughout the whole album. Meaning sun, the word is used as a metaphor to show that love itself burns in many different ways. Fans of all types of music should have no problem finding something they like in this CD. The production is so crisp that at times you can actually hear the piano keys being depressed. Most would be amazed after listening to this that Agalloch hails from Portland, Oregon. This is another sure sign that the US is finally catching on to the immense talent and fantastic ideas that are quickly changing the metal scene. I honestly can’t say enough about this recording and it easily captures my pick of the month.
A beauty so rare and pure, it would make human eyes bleed and burn…
…She killed herself in the fall…”
Buy it, play it, and weep.
1-3. She Painted Fire Across The Skyline
4. The Misshapen Steed
5. Hallways Of Enchanted Ebony
6. Dead Winter Days
7. As Embers Dress The Sky
8. The Melancholy Spirit
J. Haughm – Vocals / guitars
S. Breyer – Drums
L. Anderson – Guitars
J. Willian W. – Bass
The Hand That Feeds
~reviewed by the Rev. Alexavier Strangerz 23.3
The cover is classic Attrition, an image of a Naked woman, but not pornographic. She is in a strange metal and wood construct and her eyes are covered both with coins, and black X's. Her hands revealing palms that have an a dot of ash. This is not a odd as the mummified baby dolls on either side, or the wooded symbol of Eris (three moons from wax to full to waning again. )
Attrition, The Hand That Feeds, The Re-mixes. Outlined against the image in a ghostly white. The intro. is an immediate gate. Opening with rich synths meshed over orchestrated strings. It flow quick into Cold Genius, a classic even before the re-mix. I am not sure who Mick Dabrowski is, but he does a good mix. Another obscure re-mixer churns some classic Hip-Hop noises around an abstracted Waste Not, Want.more. By the time it is over, I feel like Mick could be a part of Kraftwerk! The 1996 album "3 arms and a dead cert' lend 4 songs to be re-mixed.
The first is the dark classic Cosmetic Citizen. Ned Kirby, whoever you are, you somehow made this classic darker. At moments even Skinny Puppy or Xorcist sounding. Lip Sync has got to be a staple in early club life. I don't remember when I truly first heard this song. Only when I first attributed it to "Attrition." Again we have a mix that leads you into the frame with various beats and noises. At first only the familiar sample "Lip Sync" spoken over and over is familiar. Yet the song progresses around the main frame in a fashion similar to mechanics winding about in a fine tuned engine. Echo's delays and a multitude of other effects make this an aural masterpiece. I am sure this song will sound different on a full range dance floor, than in my headphones. Even if you never listen to music in phones, I have to recommend this one! The sudden stop is forgiven quickly, as the first recognizable artist "Chris and Cosey" bring you lovingly and slightly forcefully into the amazing work I am (Eternity). Once again the original vocals seem to get lost in the effects processors. They hauntingly find there way into the music. This is one of my favorites. With some prejudice, as I love the work that is done by Chris and Cosey.
Another short one with White Men Talk , us DJ's will no doubt find these short songs of great use to give our audience more of Attrition than they bargained, without burning them out. This short one too, seems to be much longer than the three minutes, and twenty-three seconds it takes up on the disk? Some level of Chronomancy by our re-mixers, or even in the original song? Martin Bowes does a retouch of his own work. The Mercy Machine , follows classic formula. Analogue synthetic noises, classic beats, and haunting female vocals, provided by Julie Chambers for this recording. More guest come on board for Wrex Mock's version of My Friend is Golden. Patrice Synthea, as the female voice, and Wrex adding his own guitar presence. 'Welcome Aboard' the sample beckons. We were already on when the familiar synth line started in. Another familiar name to me. Jonathon Sharp. Presumable from Space/Time continuum brings us this edition of Acid Tongue. Did I mention that "3 arms and a dead cert" is a favorite of the re-mixers. It did have many classics on it. Including The Second Hand. This kick back downbeat version may not be better than the original. Still is that the real point. It is different, yet has all the screaming and violins. Just add the groovebox sounding jazz breaks, and you have this re-mix ready to roll!
The big surpriser on this release has got to be the hauntingly familiar IAE by avant ambient act "In The Nursery." A total surprise and a great treat. This puts "The Eternity EP " as a second favorite with three tracks represented here. Considering that the EP only has four songs and that is %75 of it's material re-mixed already. Song 13, brings us a great X-files sounding piece. Opening with sample "What happens if you don't believe in God." The song slowly lets you ponder the question, as it slowly pours an analogue sound-scape into the composition. This is the first slower track of the whole C.D. It does not give you full closure though. It leaves you wanting to revisit the disk, or go to some of the original source to compare. If this was the intent, it was crafted like the genius I am coming to expect from Martin Bowes, and the collection of collaborators known as "Attrition."
song downloads www.mp3.com/attrition
discussion group http://www.thebelfry.net/attrition/
Return To The Breath (First Pressed Release)
~reviewed by Mike Ventarola
When it comes to goth bands who make me swoon, Autumn is one that clearly comes to mind. From their remarkable premier recording The Hating Tree to this sophomore release, one just cannot give me too much from this band. One would have to be near dead not to be effected by the soaring vocals of Julie Plante, the passionate guitar playing of Neil McKay or the pulsing bass of Jeff Leyda. Autumn is yet another band that I will run out and purchase without having heard one track from their latest recording simply because I trust their talent and ability to provide quality music.
This CD went to a second pressing because quite frankly some of the folks in the goth scene are way too mentally constipated for words. This initial release opened with an American Indian chant, Dakota Odowan, that seemed to put too many noses out of joint simply because the band delved into something new and veered somewhat away from what folks were used to. Since there was a sizable outcry, the CD was repressed with that first track now removed, with folks losing the essence of inspiration behind the work. However, because of the twitchy people, this pressing is now quite valuable as a collector’s item, thank you very much! It worked for Dead Can Dance, so who can blame the band for attempting something different? While discussing collectors items, there is also a rare and limited, elegantly packaged 7" blue vinyl pressing of Even Now and How It Came To Be This Way available from Tess Records (www.tessrecords.com) that is very reasonably priced for the time being.
It can safely be said that if goth should ever become a national rage the way new wave did in the 80’s, Autumn will be heralded for the ability to maintain consistent, sultry, at times sulking, beautiful arrangements. Plante’s vocals seem to have come from the school of Chrissie Hynde with that alto range that pierces through the smoke screen of emotional turmoil which refuses to be ignored and is a guaranteed hit maker.
Stylistically, this CD did veer into different territories without losing their trademark sound. A more new wave flavor is evidenced with All My Lovers, mournful violins with Lullaby For Marguerite, a bit of a mid-tempo dance groove with The Knowing, slightly Spanish flavored rhythm with The End of The Line , cold electro landscape with Still Breathing, foreboding tones with Shadowgirl, pensive and introspective with A Simple Truth, and church like and forbidding with The Trip. This dalliance into new arrangements demonstrated the remarkable talent of this trio to take any style and sound, recreate it for a gothic audience and still manage to keep the listener enraptured. One cannot help but become more impressed with the talent of this band than ever before.
Somehow, the swirling guitars mesmerize and hypnotize us while Plante caresses her notes and pulls out layers of vulnerability that we can identify with and feel safe with exposing. She gives us the impression that she is like a big sister telling us about life, love and loss and that we need to be mindful of lest we get burned in the same way. The only negative thing I can think of is the fact that the cover is a bit light, which made reading the song titles on the back cover rather difficult...damn these elder goth eyes! However, all the song titles and their lyrics are clearly evident on the inside of the cover fold out, so they are once again redeemed.
It should come as no surprise to other Autumn fans why I adore this band so much. However, for those new to the scene or unsure of which CD’s are worthy of your hard earned dollar, this band delivers the goods every time. You can even sample some of their work on MP3 at www.mp3.com/autumn, which by the way contains an exclusive unreleased track only available from Mp3. Delve into the music of this band and forever be enraptured by Autumn’s harvest.
1. Dakota Odowan (Not available on 2nd pressing)
3. All My Lovers
4. Lullaby for Marguerite
5. The Knowing
6. The End of the Line
7. Still Breathing
9. Simple Truth
10. The Trip
Julie Plante: vocals, lyrics, piano
Neil McKay: guitars, programming
Jeff Leyda: bass
'Til Summer Ends
~reviewed by Wolf
of pretense and copy-cat antics, Bela was last year's timeless surprise
for me. While most bands that came to my attention seemed eager to latch
onto the latest trend or push the boundaries of their appropriate genre,
this beautiful disc presented something that reaches deeper, instead of
reaching deep into the public wallet. If comparisons were to be made I'd
have to call Bela a unique hybrid of shoegazer, Nirvana and the contemplative type of music found in the 60's and early 70's, all of it complemented by lush cello parts. The Nirvana bit mostly stems from singer Jeff Hogan's similar vocal style, but his voice is nonetheless distinct and a perfect match for Bela's compositions.
Jeff founded Bela in 1996, shortly joined by Rasputina's cellist Julia Kent who helped define the band's sound. The addition of Rob Schwimmer brought the excentric sounds of the theremin into play and Fred Pisciotta (drums & percussion) and Mauro Felipe (bass guitar) completed the line-up. After the EP Exit Music they presented Til Summer Ends on Mother West records in early 2000.
The music truly is timeless, inducing images of childhood memories, faded photographs, summers skies and outstretched fields of grass. Throughout all of this the disc walks a well-balanced line between slow, dreamy songs and faster compositions. The latter are all quite dancefloor appropriate, especially the swirling "Heaven's Slow", the moody "Dope" and the mid-temp "Summer Bells". But most of all this is a cd to listen to at home or perhaps while driving; relaxing enough not to distract and at the same time fascinating over and over again when paying closer attention.
Bela's members are clearly all perfectly tuned in to eachother and the music is presented with a great deal of talent and professionalism. Picking favorites is therefore not an easy task, also because the songs are at their best within the context of the entire cd, even if it isn't a traditional concept album. The title track, for instance, finds its tempo and somewhat tense feel followed by the peaceful instrumental track "Graduation Day", which seems to purposefully introduce "Dope". I might be wrong, but it seems to me that the band took great care of the selection and placement of the songs. Either way, it works beautifully. In the end I'd have to choose "Hart's Island" as my personal favorite, a song that made me wonder what a slow Bela cover of "Don't Fear the Reaper" would sound like. (I have a thing for cover versions of that particular song. Don't ask.)
There's nothing bad that can be said of Bela's music, only words that are insufficient and too far from actually experiencing this cd. This is a band I will follow closely from now on and one I'd love to see live one day. They have my deepest admiration.
02. For Those in Need
03. Turn it Off
04. The Happy Bomb
05. Heaven's Slow
06. 'Til Summer Ends
07. Graduation Day
10. Back at The Strip
11. Love Lane
12. Hart's Island
14. Summer Bells
Jeff Hogan - vocals, guitars
Mauro Felipe - bass, additional guitar
Fred Pisciotta - drums, percussion
Julia Kent - cello
Rob Schwimmer - theremin
Official band site: http://www.motherwest.com/bela/home.html
Official label site: http://www.motherwest.com
~reviewed by Matthew
If you are a fan of darker, emotionally driven music, you have an intimidating and vast scope of music to choose from. Whether it is Classical or Black Metal, emotion is a key ingredient to music. When it comes to 'Gothic' music, it is even more of a challenge as there are so many varying styles within the genre that are more less linked by one trait and that is of course sensitivity to emotion. While Pittsburgh's The Clearing are not a Gothic band per se, they have risen from the ashes of one of the most successful and longest running darker bands to have emerged from Pittsburgh over the past ten years, and that is the near legendary outfit The Garden. The Garden were a whimsical, acoustic driven project that opened for several acts such as And Also The Trees, for example, while they were an active attraction in Pittsburgh. Their sound could easily be likened to the mature sounds of 4AD as well as the more melancholic indie rock bands such as All About Eve, etc. Over the years unfortunately, the band was set back by daytime careers and the expectant necessities of life. But regardless, they were responsible for some of the fondest of memories at the core of Pittsburgh's independent and underground music scene.
all this only since there are obviously many readers outside of the Pittsburgh
area that are not familiar with The Garden. But alas, the musicians responsible
for this seminal band are at work on a new and promising project, and hopefully,
familiarity will not be an issue much longer. The Clearing faithfully
carry on the jangling acoustics, lush bass lines and swinging drums of
The Garden, but introduce distinctive female alto vocals and a slithering
violin lead to modify this already successful
sound. This style of music is the kind of music that can appeal to several different audiences. With one listen to the four songs presented on this short demo EP, one can easily deduce from the subtle pop hooks that The Clearing are faithful to the brooding Romanticism of alternative goth, yet deliver it in a way that is easily identifiable to fans of traditional down tempo rock as well. The music explores the darker cavities of the broken heart, but similar in approach to the independent music or avant-garde alternative of yesterday. Despite being atmospherically rooted in themelancholy of early 'adult' post-rock, this mini-CD still manages tostrike a universal nerve.
extent of The Clearing's success is dependent upon whether they can achieve
a solid live presence and their music can be heard, first in Pittsburgh
and then hopefully in the surrounding areas. There is certainly a
lack of darker themed bands that possess so organic a sound and presence.
It is disappointingly rare to see a full-band perform music like this,
not to mention an incredible classically trained violinist accompanying
such a band. This 'dry spell' is definitely not isolated to Pittsburgh
alone, for as the years have gone by, 'alternative' music has changed
so drastically and there has been a constant rotation of record buyers
and concert attendees. While The Clearing without a doubt are shooting
for local and perhaps more mainstream pastures, I think this music in particular
is relevant to 'elder' Goths and indie-rockers everywhere (otherwise, I
not opt to review this CD for a national zine) since so many have become disinterested in their scenes due to the electronic invasion at local clubs.
However, this sample EP is a direct response to those missing older organic alternative rock and the blissful sound of 4AD. Whether you live in Pittsburgh or not, I would highly suggest contacting these guys at the email address below if you are in want of more mature acoustic rock. It would certainly be a pleasure to see a Pittsburgh band make a credible name for themselves and revive classic alternative rock styles.
2.) The Latest Gossip
4.) Luminous Words
Susan Stringfellow - vocals, lyrics
Christine Sacramento - guitars
Anthony Lacava - bass
Tanya Kavalkovich - violin
James Perry - drums
In order to inquire of the recent EP, please contact:
Chasing the Ghost
~reviewed by Wolf
As a music-hungry teenager I ordered Collide's debut, Beneath the Skin, on the basis of one review, a good 4 years ago. This review was favorable, but the cd was also considered a disc of hit-and-miss. I couldn't disagree more on the hit-and-miss part once I heard it and felt quite grateful for whichever part of that review had convinced me that this was straight up my alley. To date Beneath the Skin remains one of my all-time favorite albums and although band members kaRIN (vocals & lyrics) and Statik (music) have supplied us with singles, a remix cd (Distort), numerous compilation appearances and several excellent remixes over the past few years, I couldn't wait to finally hear their sophomore effort.
in a gorgeous cover courtesty of Digital Apocalypse's Chad Michael Ward,
Chasing the Ghost presents itself with nine new songs and one cover
version ("White Rabbit"). The first thing that occurred to me was that
the often harsh and explosive sound of their debut has partially made way
for a more trip-hop feel. The songs are still powerful, but thanks to dens
layering it creeps up at you, instead of lashing out full-force. And what definitely hasn't changed is the lush, sensual mood and its paradoxal feeling of a beauty submerging the listener so seductively that it could please, yet just as easily kill. All of this is still the result of kaRIN and Statik's symbiotic chemistry; voices become instruments, sounds emerge like whispers, words fall seamlessly into place and the end-result is once again astonishing.
"Transfer" sounds the closest to something off of Beneath the Skin, with uplifting guitars and lovely vocals, while "Wings of Steel" turns towards the trip-hop feel that dominates most of this disc. Statik creates a wonderfully eerie soundscape on this track and its ethnic feel is present on several other songs as well, a very welcome addition to the scope of Collide's sound. The lyrics are poetic and extremely well-placed, with kaRIN's whispers sounding as creepy as they are beautiful during strategic breakdowns. One of the album's best songs, in my opinion.
The percussion and loungy feel of "Razor Sharp" are also very trip-hop, but during the chorus the song gains a lot more substance and transforms into genuine Collide material. While I'm not too fond of the "Cher" vocoder effect, the song is still very good. The same effect, however, is applied much better in the mesmerizing "Frozen" and its use in "Halo" deserves mentioning as well. It's unfortunate that it has become so over-used, because Collide show that when utilized sparsely it can be very effective. (Or use it like Yendri in their lovely "Inside the Machine", where the human nature of the vocals has almost entirely been discarded.)
Faith and the Muse play a significant guest role on this cd, with William Faith's guitar work gracing the delicious mayhem of "Dreamsleep", as well as Collide's cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit". Grace Slick's psychedelic 60's anthem finds itself revamped with style and this cover shows that a gap of over 30 years of music history can definitely be bridged. Monica Richards shares vocals with kaRIN on the high-speed chaos of "Monochrome", my second favorite track on this disc.
"Ocean" sounds like the ultimate cyper-age lovesong, with a charming chorus and more of kaRIN's alluring vocals, which always tend to drift on through your mind long after the cd has ended. The cd comes to a subtle end with "Like you Want to Believe", which makes me want to believe that the next album will follow sooner than this one did. ;)
The production of this cd is simply amazing and as with their debut there are new sounds and whispers to be discovered each time the disc is being played. There will only be one Beneath the Skin, but Collide can only be applauded for avoiding the "debut part 2" syndrome and continuing to push their sonic explorations. Chasing the Ghost is a perfect package of poetic lyrics, enchanting vocals and unique compositions with a refreshing mind of their own. There's no stopping it now, the band that was once the best-kept secret of the goth/industrial genre and its many sub-genres is convincingly working on making sure that mentioning the name Collide will never be met with question marks again.
02. Wings of Steel
03. Razor Sharp
05. White Rabbit
10. Like you Want to Believe
kaRIN - vocals, words
Statik - music
Official band site: http://www.collide.net
Mailing list: email@example.com
Faith and the Muse: http://www.mercyground.com
Digital Apocalypse: http://www.digitalapocalypse.com
Chasing The Ghost
~reviewed by Mike Ventarola
It seemed as if everywhere one looked, there was information about a band named Collide slapped onto something. Everything from packages to all sorts of public billboards and phone booths blatantly screamed the name from its perch only to be followed by a number of magazine ads. This made me start to wonder about this group as well as their street team who are getting the word out. Amazingly enough, all the posted stickers are coming from loyal fans. Upon listening to "Chasing The Ghost," it is impossible not to be fully absorbed into their musical world in a large way, and one can fully understand what all the fuss is about in the first place.
Collide is a cross between Rhea’s Obsession, Switchblade Symphony, My Scarlet Life and a libidinous dark angel. This particular CD also received additional assistance from Monica Richards and William Faith from Faith and The Muse. There is also a dark remake of the Grace Slick song "White Rabbit" created for the new millennium sound, without detracting from the beauty of the original.
The music is a steady amalgamation of trip hop, electronica, goth, ambient and rock, all rolled together in an intriguing hybrid and expertly sequenced for obtaining maximum listener enjoyment and satisfaction. Some vocal high tech tweaking similar to the Cher hit "Believe" is also included on the track "Razor Sharp," which rounds out the sound and is going to cause a number of tongues to wag in musical circles for quite some time.
Beyond the fact that the album is well made and purely brilliant, is the fact that it boldly takes dark music to a sensuous level. It is romantically enigmatic and erotic while still giving homage to the surrealistic depth of darkness in all its guises. Basically you can sit back and listen, dance to it or you can have an all night Tantra session with that special someone with this as background music. The eroticism of the music and vocals leaps off the CD in an almost subliminal fashion, drawing you in deeper and further with each passing song. kaRin’s vocals are at times like sex-kitten whispers woven between anticipatory longing and sieved through a futuristic chasm with understated crooning. This reviewer can’t recall a dark music album being this seductive in quite some time.
It can safely be said that based on the strength of this CD, I fell in love with this dazzling work and am looking forward to obtaining some of their earlier music as well.
2. Wings of Steel
3. Razor Sharp
5. White Rabbit
10. Like You Want To Believe
kaRin: Vocals, lyrics
William Faith: guitar- White Rabbit, Dreamsleep
Tim Pierce: guitar- Transfer, Razor Sharp, Dreamsleep
Chris Candelaria: guitar- Dream Sleep
Kevin Kipnis: guitar- Like You Want To Believe
Fritz Heede: Sitar- Halo
Monica Richards: Monochrome
P.O. Box 565
North Hollywood, CA 91603
Artwork by Chad Michael Ward
Chasing The Ghost
~reviewed By Psionic Imperator
Sex. That's what this cd is all about. Put it on before you hop in the hay, or flannel, or whatever it is you use to do the deed in, and you'll see what I mean. Collide have been around for awhile, but I'm a newbie to them really...so I can't really say if this is a departure of sound for them or not. I think it is, if the press-sheet is to be believed. Although the 'sex' part was probably always there, thanks to kaRIN's vocal delivery. She just sounds so...sultry. This time around it seems as though the music caught up. Listening to 'Chasing The Ghost' brings visions of kaRIN encased in a drool-tastic latex/leather ensemble, draped over a piano in a smokey lounge sometime in the 40's. Great atmosphere to this release. Statik is no slouch either, the music on this album is top-notch, covering alot of ground. Hints of middle-eastern material here and there, subtlety abounds... I have a soft-spot in my heart for Darkwave. It appeals to both my inner Goth and my inner Rivethead. Collide have crafted an exceptional work with 'Chasing The Ghost', further establishing themselves as part of the upper elite in the Darkwave genre. Lookin' for music to drink wine to late at night, but tired of the same old Goth classics? Go out and grab yourself a copy of this release. Bask in it's voluptuous, seductive charms... Anguish never sounded so kinky.
2: Wings Of Steel
3: Razor Sharp
5: White Rabbit
10: Like You Want To Believe
~reviewed by Mike Ventarola
It has been said that some are made into stars while others are born to be stars. The ladies of Diva Destruction burst forth from the dark Goddess Kali herself and are most clearly born and destined for stardom in what will be a worldwide phenomenon if they stick it out long enough. As word of the band reaches more listeners, the world is catching up with what these artists instinctively knew all along. If this is just the beginning of their career, I can’t WAIT to see what they come up with next!
Diva Destruction clearly fills that void that many have felt since Switchblade Symphony went on hiatus. Debra Fogarty and Severina Sol have happily picked up the crown, the scepter and all the accouterments that presides with underground royalty and we are the fans and loyal subjects to their dark domain, maintaining our allegiance to these underworld queens.
The band is based in Hollywood, California, however in my little corner of NYC, I saw more T-shirts this past summer bearing this band name than any other band, including the more popular bands that have garnered broadcast radio exposure. In NYC THAT is an accomplishment in itself!
What provides these ladies with mythic qualities is their talent, their "image" and their determination which can be felt from the music and CD photo’s. They are destined to get to the top. You can see it, you can hear it, and instinctively you know it too after just one listen to their work! Just get out of their way and don’t try to stop them!
Passion’s Price has 13 songs detailing the darkest side of love, loss and betrayal. The songs have a slight bittersweet edge, but more importantly they are not the songs from a victims standpoint as much as songs of the scorned who have come back from hell to teach you what they learned there. The fact that the CD is "dedicated in loving memory to Traci Birmingham, who died of a broken heart" should indicate that they have seen up close and first hand the travesties of love gone wrong, and they are no fools in the romance department.
The upbeat songs are wrapped in danceable fare that is not traditionally gothic nor traditionally industrial. The ballads lilt along like a siren’s warning. Like Switchblade Symphony, Diva Destruction have their own sound and focus and know clearly how to make it dark enough for the audience without having to borrow from anyone’s technique. If you try to pinpoint who they sound like, you will be banging your head on the wall because this is their own unique sound; they own it and there will no doubt be many imitators along the way. To say that the lyrics are intense would be an understatement. This simply is not your average dance and ballad music. A lot of tortured passion was released in the writing of these tracks and anyone who has ever suffered a broken heart will champion these songs with full comprehension of the angst at having had to suffer romantic fools. After much gothic fare being rather mournful and self recriminating, it is refreshing to have a band turn the tables and spit back raw emotions that promote a strong willed, self confident and learned composure.
Some of their songs can be heard on Mp3.com, however the best songs have been reserved for the CD. If they impress your ears on MP3, then "you ain’t heard nothing yet!"
to all these great tracks, one can’t help but envision great video’s to
go along with them. Hopefully that medium won’t be too far behind this
To sum up in a nutshell in 3 words, GET THIS CD!
1. The Broken One’s
2. In Dreaming
6. Hate You To Love You
7. Cruelty Games
9. You’re The Psycho
10. My Turn
11. Bed Of Lies
12. Lover’s Chamber
13. Knight’s Disguise
Debra Fogarty: vocals, lyrics, keyboards, programming
Severina Sol: Back up vocals
Jeremy Meza: guitar (tracks 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11)
Adnru Craver: guitar (tracks 1, 2, 5, 12 and bass 1)
Matt Bayne: guitar (track 8)
Eric Hermon: drums (track 2, 13)
Christian Hudson: guitar, drums, add’l keyboards (track 4)
~reviewed by Michael
At first glance I thought I had received just another rung in the rap/metal ladder of evolution. Very quickly, however, these fears were laid to rest and Disturbed took its place with Static X and Ultraspank as a favorite of mine for groove-orientated metal. Disturbed hails from the rough streets of Chicago and it took only one highly traded demo to send them on their way mainly due to the riff heavy songs and the unique vocals of David Draiman. His voice is harsh and lightning fast but yet understandable and very easy to listen to.
The Sickness is an album loaded with excellence and uniqueness rarely found in today’s more popular bands. The lyrics are highly aggressive and deal with psychos, politics, murder, and mayhem. “The Game” is a song that oozes music from Tool and is one of my favorites as are “Stupify”, “Fear”, and “Voices”.
We’ve come to a time in a lot of places where it is all too easy to grab onto the tail of a shooting star and ride it upwards. To take your stand and let the cards fall where they will takes guts, because failure is always an option. Disturbed have taken their stand, beat failure, and released an album that will stand alone for years to come.
David Draiman – Vocals
Dan Donegan – Guitar, electronics
Fuzz – Bass
Mike Wengren – Drums, programming
Website – www.disturbed1.com
Website – www.giantrecords.com
~reviewed by Blu
It often amazes me the amount of music that slips by me only to be discovered by happenstance at a later date. Kasmodiah is one such CD released in 1999. In Atlanta, Deine Lankaien was made popular in clubs thanks in part to DJ's like OMAC who played "Mind Machine" enough for an addiction to form by many club goers. Deine Lankaien was a prized secret here in US while they sold out concert after concert in Europe (they formed in 1985). I remember asking him once who was playing as masses of people danced and I scribbled down a very bad spelling of Deine Lankaien on a scarp piece of paper. I went to Criminal Records in Little Five Points to ask for it and it was sold out at the time. Time passed and I got busy and forgot about getting a Deine Lankaien CD... that is until I listened to a recent episode of Dead Air and included in the set was the song "The Game." Stopping what I was doing at my desk I looked up the playlist and saw that it was Deine Lakaien. It was sadly beautiful and hurt just to listen to. That was it - I had to have a CD by them. I pointed my web browser to Middle Pillar, was pleased to find they had several CDs available - but now I had to chose. I desperately wanted a CD that had "Mind Machine" on it, but I was even more enamored with "The Game" so after all was said and done, I settled on Kasmodiah. And what a treat it is.
This 13 track CD is packed with songs that volley between melodic synthpop and the harder industrial that I first heard them as. In addition to the exceptional musical quality, these songs are made especially appealing by Alexander Veljanov's seductive vocals. In my opinion, this voice is pure ecstasy - I could wallow in it for an eternity. It is the ultimate male voice - European accent, sad, powerful, smooth, confident, forceful, soft, deep, comforting, sometimes domineering and stoic.
Stand out tracks include "Kiss the Future" which is propelled by a danceable industrial beat and a violin line that reminds me of The Cruxshadows, "My Shadows" for its angry lyrics, "Into My Arms" for its bittersweet melody, "Venus Man" for its trancey beat and syncopated rhythms, "The Game" for its sadness and contemplative piano line, "Kasmmodiah" for its profound beauty and Medieval flair and "Fight" because its so unusual mixing club beats, ethereal and exotic ethnic elements, melody and noise (the tempo changes are genius). But don't be fooled by the softer over tones of this CD, the rivetheads will no doubt *love* "Lass Mich" which is an angry, evil, aggressive whirlwind of a song (yowch! That velvet voice just went animal) proving that they're still very much into the industrial game.
Every track on this CD is definitely high quality. Its become one of my favorite CDs in my personal rotation. Its cross-genre accessibility make it a candidate for many different types of DJs, clubs and listeners. Recommended for rivets, sythnpop fanatics, day-dreaming depressants and anyone who likes to dance.
3. Kiss the Future
4. My Shadows
5. Into My Arms
7. Venus Man
8. The Game
10. Lass Mich
Alexander Veljanov - vocals
Ernst Horn - Keyboards and production
Michael Popp - Guitars and Medieval Instruments
Christian Komorowski - violin
Sony Entertainment (Germany) / Columbia
Noise 2000: A Compilation of Gothic and Industrial Club Tracks
~reviewed by Blu
The value of comps are always a point of debate throughout the goth/industrial scene. Many argue that its overkill and some of the same songs are re-hashed over and over again from comp to comp, and to a certain extent I agree but then you must temper that with the knowledge that I (and most DJs) see a lot more CDs than the average listener. On the positive side, I think comps like this one are invaluable really and serve not only to promote the artists within the label, but also serves as a very nice, well-rounded introduction to new listeners [hint: good gifts for newbie goths]. They’re also valuable tools for DJs. When I first got into the scene (years and years ago – where does time go?), I had no clue what was good and what bands I’d like. I bought enormous amounts of comps and then bought CDs based off of which artists appealed to me. I still do occasionally. DJs can save lots of money by buying comps that compile all the best tracks from a label rather than buying a whole CD where they might only use one song off of in their club mix. [See our Top Ten lists for an example – Mike V and DJ Kaos list almost exclusively comps for their favorites from last year]. So that’s my rant on comps – onto the music at hand…
Cleopatra’s Dark Noise 2000 is a collection of club-friendly dance tracks, from bands old and new, some I’m sure you have on other CDs, some you might not. It’s a nice collection of tracks that blend well together and would certainly be a welcomed addition to any DJs rotation. What I like best about this is its got a old-school goth feel about it (Mission UK, Alien Sex Fiend, Rosseta Stone) mixed with the more contemporary sounds of bands like Razed In Black.
The Electric Hellfire Club burns up the dance floor with its ominously delicious vocals on ‘Incubus” and The Wake and The Mission Uk brings us their classics “Christine” and “Severina” respectively. Switchblade Symphony makes an appearance with “Therapy” which I feel is a little disappointing in the song line up as its not one of their more popular songs and in my opinion, not a dance floor filler – its just too slow and poppy. That’s forgivable though, because the next two songs, “Inside of Me” by Culture Kulture and “Test My Reaction” by Spahn Ranch are guaranteed dance hits with their fast paced electronic/industrial beats and hook line choruses. Carrying on the industrial vibe is Front Line Assembly with “Mutate” and Leatherstrip with “Nosecandy.” The remix of “Sin City [KFMDM mix]” by The Genitorturers is a favorite of mine (having first heard it the Cleopatra Millenium comp), and they seal my adoration of this CD with old school favorites by Alien Sex Fiend (“She’s a Killer”), Nosferatu (“the Haunting”), Rossetta Stone (“Six Before Dawn”), and Christian Death (“The Angels”). The last track, “Lover” by Gitane DeMone, although a great song in and of itself, I think was a poor pick for this comp as its so infused with slower jazz lines – its simply not dance club material, sorry guys.
All in all, this is highly recommended for any goth club DJs, newbies that aren’t sure what they like yet, baby bats that want a good feel for what some of the good old club tracks were, or folks that may be interested in some of these bands but aren’t ready to invest in a whole CD. I don’t care what others might say, I find the comps from Cleopatra more good than not, more helpful than hurtful, more entertaining that overdone. Thanks for a wonderful year guys!
1. The Electric Hellfire Club – Incubus
2. The Wake – Christine
3. Switchblade Symphony – Therapy
4. Culture Kulture – Inside of Me
5. Spahn Ranch – Test My Reaction
6. Razed in Black – Oh My Goth
7. Genitorturers – Sin City (KFMDM mix)
8. The Mission UK – Severina
9. Alien Sex Fiend – She’s a Killer
10. Nosferatu – The Haunting
11. Rosetta Stone – Six Before Dawn
12. Frontline Assembly – Mutate
13. Leather Strip – Nosecandy
14. Christian Death – The Angels
15. Gitane DeMone – Lover
for Cleopatra by Athan Maroulis
Good Luck Athan in whatever you persue!
~reviewed by Xian
Those of you who have had the pleasure to check out the Resistor Compilation put out by Nilaihah Records earlier this year most definitely would recall the contribution by Fiction 8 of "Let Go". The first track to be heard, it kicks off the compilation with a high energy that demands the attention of any dance floor. So to continue their string of excellent releases, Nilaihah has done it again.
I am very pleased to announce that Fiction 8 has made their debut on the Nilaihah label with their third release Chaotica. Self defined as Dark Pop, you will find styles ranging from Synthpop to EBM to crossover Darkwave that make for a very driving and talented sound that is appealing to a plethora of musical preferences. A combination of the talents of Michael Smith (vocals, guitar, programming), Steven Hart (keyboards, programming, additional vocals) and Paisli (bass, additional vocals, occasional violence), this is an album that one can listen to in its entirety and find a delightful variation in styles applied. Fiction 8 is no where near touching the sin of musical redundancy.
The title track "Chaotica" starts off as a jagged and disconcerting mind trip that shakes your senses before leading back onto familiar grounds with their known track, "Let Go". I personally found myself very impressed with "Set You Free", which is a Darkwave/Synth/Elekto mixture of sound, and also the EBM based danceability of "Break the Line". "Stasis" in turn offered a wonderful darkwave twist with string instrument emulations. In turn "I Scare Myself" brought a very reminiscent feel to "Let Go" through a slower, more melodic approach. The three bonus tracks consist of two remixes from previously done materials and a curious mix of "Stasis". Overall, this album is the perfect place to begin for those of you looking to try something new along the lines of the VNV Nation and Wolfshiem sound.
2. Let Go
3. Sister Illusion
4. Set You Free
6. It's Over Now
7. Break The line
10. I Scare Myself
11. Nothing Undone (remix)
12. Isolation (remix)
13. Statis (minimal mix)
Ghosts I Have Been
~reviewed by Blu
The label A Different Drum has been getting a lot of notice lately (Mac at IPM is spinning any and everything they've released) and one reason for that is their superb synthpop releases like Ghosts I Have Been by Faith Assembly. I first heard Faith Assembly shopping at Musicwerks in Seattle. It was an unusually sunny afternoon and as I got out of my car I heard this crystal-like music flying out of the speaker that was being used to prop open the door to the store. The street was filled with this glorious music (and thinking back I'm pretty sure it was "Off the Highwire" that was coming through the speakers as I walked into the store). As I shopped I kept being distracted by what I was hearing - clear, precise vocals that were reminiscent of Depeche Mode and melodic synth lines, good dance beats and just a hint of underlying industrial flavor. I made sure to check the "now playing" shelf at the register and saw the name "Faith Assembly" and committed it to memory. This was something I'd have to investigate.
And sometimes the fates are kind.
I got an email a few days later from no other than Faith Assembly who had been directed my way by Seattle Promoter OBrien ("KONTROL+ALT+DELETE") about doing a review for them and helping spread the word on their upcoming Seattle show (Thurdsday, December 21st at the Vogue). Not only did I get a CD but now I get to see them in person (check back in January for our concert review!). I'm rapt with enthusiasm at the prospect. Apparently the CDs have been selling well at Musicwerks and a good handful of advanced tickets have been purchased indicating that there will be a good turnout at the show.
The CD itself is almost seamless from the smart packaging to the smooth tracks. The images on the CD sleeve seem to revolve around cards and so, this theme is carried into the songs themselves. "Ghosts I Have Been" opens up with the sound of shuffling cards that loops and becomes a rhythm of its own. This song serves as an introduction or a pathway into the world they're creating. Like the stately and seemingly haunted house they seem to occupy on the CD sleeve, this song is full of whispers and partial phrasings like reminiscent memories floating down long, dark hallways. There is the suggestion of magic or fantasy here and a little trickery with the cards - all adding up to a very spellbinding atmosphere -- a synthpop version of Alice in Wonderland.
"Off the Highwire" is my favorite track off this CD although all are worthy of praise. It opens with chiming synths and then ushers in a bit of 80's electronica and finally adds a dash industrial back beats similar to Wolfshiem. The vocals are smooth and sexy and it's a perfect dance floor song that DJ's will get a lot of mileage out of. "Crash and Burn" reminds me of a slightly softer Soil & Eclipse with the same good traveling beat and catchy melody line. "Failure" and "When Anna Speaks" are reminiscent of 80's electronica for those of you who miss the old days (the keyboard lines remind me of the Breakfast Club). "Cascade" is another favorite for its uplifting beat and light keyboards.
In the end, Faith Assembly might not be hard enough to please the hardcore rivets, but their danceable music and smooth vocals should have wide appeal to fans of synthpop groups like The Cruxshadows and older fans of Depeche Mode. Interestingly, this is the direction that Synthpop seems to be taking on the whole - Faith Assembly being one of the brighter shining stars in the pond.
1. Ghosts I Have Been
3. Off the Highwire
4. Crash and Burn
6. When Anna Speaks
9. Falling From Grace
10. The Midnight Procession
2219 West Olive Avenue PMB #241
Burbank, CA 91506
~reviewed by Blu
With all the controversy and opinions flying on and on about mp3's, I came across a collection of mix tapes I have from a tape swap that was done last year on a newsgroup I'm on. We all decided to put either tapes or CDR's together for the other listees since music was a hot topic of conversation and we wanted to satisfy our curiosity about what other people were listening to. [The first time I ever heard Glampire was on a mix taped]. I dug these out and have been listening to them again on my way back and forth to work. It kind of put things in perspective and re-affirmed my stance on mp3s (that is, if used by bands themselves as tools for promotion with their permission and blessing, are spectacular!). The old tradition of making mix-tapes for friends never killed the music industry, if anything, it promoted it and exposed new music to many ears that would have never been exposed - especially in the underground genres. Now we have this new technology and instead of dubbing tapes, we fill CDR's with mp3's or songs off of CD's themselves, we share files or send mp3 sites to one another. Again, this concept is not NEW and is nothing for the music industry to fear and I'd wager its caused many people to actually go buy a CD they might not ever have before. I bring this up because this CD is a direct result of my having taken an interest in this band because of a mix tape I got. This one tape, made by my friend Kathryn, is loaded with bands, old and new, and many that I had never heard before. I'd have to guess I've bought at least four CD's recently because I liked what I heard on this tape and was curious for more. There's others I've yet to get but will soon.
A band from Poland, Fading Colours only had two CDs - Lie and Black Horse. Comparisons were made between them and the Mission and even 10,000 Maniacs. In Hex Files: The Goth Bible, Mick Mercer said, "its ravishing stuff, textured and haunting."
It opens with "Black Horse." A Sister's of Mercy-ish driving bass line is the hook, but the confident female vocals are what sells the deal for me on this. Sometimes murmuring, talking and then soaring operatically on counter melody, its a great dance tune and something I've very much like to hear at a local goth night. "Lie" is my favorite on this CD with its ethnic, synth-contructed melody and powerful vocals similar to a more rockin' version of Dead Can Dance. And finally, "Love" brings up the end - a previously unreleased demo track that is mellow and dreamy reminiscent of older Siouxsie tunes like "Dear Prudence." Just wonderful - I cannot believe I didn't know about this band back in the early 90's when they first came out. But thanks to a mix tape from a friend, I've found them and am happily musing down memories of the good old days...
Highly recommended to geri-goths who are often heard mumbling, "music just isn't that same as it was back in the day..."
1. Black Horse
4. Black Horse*
*previous unreleased demo tracks
De Coy - vocals
Tytus de Ville - Guitars/Keyboards
Leszek Raakowski - bass
Pawel Novak - drums
Hospeltstr. 66 - 5082 Koln - fax: (0)221 - 54 26 20
~reviewed by the Rev. Alexavier Strangerz 23.3
Circa, Now, then, and maybe even again later!
"I hate to see the horses run, they can run faster than me...."
Ok so I was given the ep Circa, by the New York artist-reinvintingemotionsandwantingtheworldtosseehowcleverandemotionaltheyare group "Flare". With the Cd was a compendium of already writen reviews. So, was I to follow suit with the critical acclaim this cd seems to have recieved. Should I too comment on the melodramatic gloom meets ambiant approach to emotional string pulling, that is represented here. No, not exactly. Mainly because this album is as well crafted as the first couple of releases by "This Mortal Coil" and has a unique direction compared to that. Yet the main flaw with "Flare" is they are really trying to push the limit of how hip and cool you can say you are to others, or have others say you are to others for you!
So after landing on another plane ride (my favorite way to review a new CD) I decided to devote exactally 20min worth of rented computer time to the review of the cd. Here it is, straight off the cuff, and I am typing as fast as I can. I am doing both the random test (could be better) and the headphones test (not bad really) at the same time. Since my portable has random....
"Save me from my history..."
there are some good tracks, and if this CD is priced right, and if your
into chick flicks, or emotional days by the shore, then I advise you to
find this. It is very acoustic, and very artsy. Various uses of "special"
instruments do help the motion of this peice. This act may even be
on the way to being "masters" of this type of thing. Medicine Balls,
and Marxaphones, and other creative noises, to go with the very personal
vision of_____. Yet if this is what you really want, hunt down a
copy of "Nutral Milk Hotel"'s
45 minute classic called 'The aeroplane over the sea'. Or even check out electronica expert Dead Voices on Air, with the second CD on "Piss Frond." Maybe even note the way the slide guitar and foddle has entered into the Legendary Pinks Dots repetoire. Leave these artist interpretive versions of "wonderwall" being slowed down, (and maybe even played backwards for a bit) to the fans of "Flare." Don't worry, if we don't praise them, they will still praise themselves enough...
After all even the cover is designed by them, and they make special note of it. I am still trying to figure out if the pixelly back cover is then an artistic statement about using computers to enhance acoustical music. Or just a joke? In the inner cover the words 'save me, save me / from my history,' actually forshadow what could have been a great surprise ending to the whole thing. Oops, let it out of the bag. Oh well. I am being a bit hard, but I know my audience. Buy with care, and look at the cover in depth, later.... Much later. oh times up. gotta run.
Rev, A.Strangerz from Screenz, Chicago...
Second note. I did another listen on the plane ride home. I have to say that this music can really make a surreal experience out of your day. I don't advise it for the car though, and in a 5 disk random it was too slow for my fast stuff ,and too slow for my slower stuff. This is ultimate ambiance. Without the phones treatment, this disk could glide by and steal a sandwich from your fridge, or something else not too damamging, but still smooth!
I still say wait to get it used, or off MP3.com. If your a Rivethed, avoid it. Just don't go there. If anyone caught you listening, you'd get a boot to das head. Gothic, alternative rock, or ambiant fans. I still give it a definate MAYBE!!!
FLARE for this recording; James Jacob, Jon De Rosa, Mark Gunderman & Joel Hirsch with special guest Miss Ida Pearle
Flock of Seagulls
Greatest Hits Remixed
~reviewed by Mike Ventarola
early 80’s was a time when disco was on it’s last breath and a new form
of music was becoming stylish in the underground. It was a glamorized
hybrid of dance music and punk rock which culminated in what became known
as New Wave. MTV eventually sprang up and dominated the newly
formed cable television airwaves, creating musical superstars overnight.
It was a time of glam, glitter, angst and jubilation. We were guaranteed
fun nights and high technology. It was the first time that Levi’s actually
had the lowest sales ever on jeans simply because thrift stores sprang
up and supplied the clothing needs of the multicolored hair generation.
People creatively ripped, shredded or otherwise augmented styles of recycled
clothing from a long dead past in order to recreate a fashionable trashy
chic image on a super tight budget.
Import 45’s from England were a hot commodity for those who could afford them. Those who did held onto them as if they were priceless jewels. It was the time just before the AIDS crisis dominated the fears and sorrowful losses of the nation and around the time of the conflict with the Shah of Iran. This was the birth of the New Wave era, and a new band with an import 45 called "I Ran" with its cartoon-like paper cover, popped up in small circles as a perfect pun for the political upheaval at the time.
A Flock of Seagulls heralded this birth along with other legendary bands such as Squeeze, The Split Enz, The Go-Go’s, and The B-52’s to name a few. Before that, artists such as Kim Carnes, Billy Joel, Blondie, Olivia Newton-John and even Hall and Oates, toyed with this new sound, but no major artist actually came to the forefront as the leader of the new movement. A Flock of Seagulls, a band with the odd name and the gravity defying hairstyles ushered in the marriage of music, technology and space travel ideation while other bands were singing about love and loss yet again, only with a new wave musical cloak. Labels such as Jive, IRS and Virgin began to dominate the market upon this explosion, usurping Casablanca and Prelude’s 10 year reign as top selling labels during their disco years. The market was ripe for change and the media moguls jumped on the next trend like a hot potato, pushing out bands to coincide with the heavy MTV video rotation that was to follow, causing sales to skyrocket like never before.
of Seagulls somehow had a sense of where we were going as a society and
it was reflected in their many songs. Keep in mind that the band arrival
in 1982 was long before cable TV was in every home, microwave ovens were
just becoming popular, cell phones were non existent and the CD was
still 2 years away from being born.
As quickly as the era was born, the media moguls strong armed the next trend, forcing many bands to go bankrupt, disband and some to fade away to obscurity. The times were changing, people were dying, money was getting tighter and living conditions were high tech but with a new found sense of fear for human interaction due to the AIDS crisis that dominated the news. Rather than continue to feed the masses any music for hope, the labels ushered in harsher music to tap into the anger and alienation that was reaching rage like proportions.
A Flock of Seagulls, however, remained a survivor in the changing climate and continues to tour right up to the present day. Band creator and lead vocalist Mike Score has changed the line up a few times over the past 18 years, however new and old fans alike can immediately recognize the trademark guitar licks that became their sound.
The band derived it’s name from the story "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach, an adult inspirational fable about a Seagull that went against the tide to fly higher and achieve new heights. Like their namesake, A.F.O.S. saw the ugly underbelly of the music industry, but undaunted, persevered and kept abreast with the changing format for delivering music to the audiences. In addition to touring, the bands music can be heard on the internet and some of their former albums or compilations thereof have been pressed into CD and DAM CD format.
It is only fitting then that Cleopatra Records released a remix of A Flock of Seagulls greatest hits, combining yet again the visions of tomorrow with the musical visionaries today. On this release, some of the underground’s hottest artists forge club friendly industrial beats to classic songs. The songs are stripped of their original sound and given a more mechanized space age effect that is right up to the minute. It reflects the growing tide towards personal mechanization and the reliance upon machinery in the modern age which often causes mankind to wander the world on a lonely endless flight to some uncharted shore. Some purists who are familiar with the original work may balk at this updating, however, this CD has introduced one of the 80’s greatest bands to a generation who weren’t even born at the height of the Seagull’s career. This landmark work has in essence helped to fuel a new generation desiring the music from our not too distant past, breathing new life into other bands who disappeared before their time, once again placing this band as a trail blazer on the musical frontier.
It is by no accident that the largest percentage of fans are coming from the gothic and industrial underground. This scene has often been at the cutting edge of introspective art in a world that is dark and alienating, not unlike some of the Seagulls lyrics. 80’s nights are becoming more popular around the globe with the club kids intrigued with the correlation between the music of the era and the goth hybrid that developed right afterward.
Whether one is an old fan or new, this remix project is recommended for its timeliness and great dance beats. It remains and additional testament for a band who reflects its namesake, ever striving for a higher ground and flying above the others, undaunted by obstacles and changing climates.
1. I Ran (Die Krupps Remix)
2. Space Age Love Song (KMFDM Remix)
3. The More You Life ( Mission UK Remix)
4. Telecommunication ( JLAB Remix)
5. Wishing ( Intra-Venus Remix)
6. Messages ( Interface Remix)
7. The Traveller (Julian Beeston Remix)
8. Burning Up (Pigface Remix)
9. Wishing (LCD Remix)
10. Nightmares (Interfaith Psi-Fix Remix)
11. Rainfall (Spahn Ranch Remix)
12. I Ran (Pistel Remix)
13. Space Age Love Song (Astralasia Remix)
Mike Score: Keyboards and vocals
Albert Cruz: Drums
Joe Rodreguiez: Guitars
Robbi Hanson: Bass
The Glinting Spade
~review by Aaron Garland
First off, my apologies to the members of In Gowan Ring for not reviewing this release until now which has been available for roughly a year. Anyway, IGR is mainly the brainchild of voice/lyricist B'eirth who also utilizes a wide variety of eclectic instrumentation including cittern, zither, psaltery, and various gongs, bells, flutes and whistles. Six other members make appearances as well and add to the musical tapestry of the songs, with B'eirth's light, carefully-paced verses and guitar melodies as the focal point.
For those who haven't heard In Gowan Ring, it is my guess that The Glinting Spade offers a good representation of their overall sound - soft and deliberately slow-paced ( akin to walking on eggshells) with periodical upbeat forays into folk and somewhat regal-sounding rhythms. Modern medieval music, perhaps?
The lyrics speak for themselves quite succinctly, as witnessed in a few lines from "To Thrum A Glassy Stem" - 'Words to thin cracked leaves/Like the folds of an angels wing/or the crack in a devil's smile/Poetry for kin and fey/or the unsuspecting seeker'. "Cipher's String on the Tree in the Dream of the Queen", the nearly 15 minute epic centerpiece of this release, seems to focus on the tradition of poetry and song as it is passed down through history - always surviving and transcending however dormant, the recurring cycles of night and day, the seasons, and ultimately, life and death. Part of a verse echoes, 'Hear the memories of a thousand songs/Fleeting, they were never written/From the stories of the Sleeping Queen/That scribes have all forgotten'. Additionally, this piece fades with a wonderfully rustic and folky outro that seems to spring out of nowhere yet fits right into place.
It is that latter quality of In Gowan Ring which I find easiest to warm up to. However, like all challenging music, it may take more than one listen for some to fully appreciate what "The Glinting Spade" has to offer.
Hard Pounding Percussion
~review by DJ Xian
second release by Italian artist M.L. (formerly of I Burn), and second
expounding of the HPP acronym for a CD title (former CD entitled, Horse
Penis Pants), this once sexually deviant artistry has taken a dramatic
turn for its sophomore incarnation. Minus the application of any
sequencers, HPP justifies its claim to the new moniker and then at the
same time completely disreguards it.
Track 3, "Left Hand-Balling" is not for the trance minded. Tenebrous in style and oblivious to any mainstream music theory applications, this ingenius assemblage of samples is just the anxious indecisiveness one needs to sunder one's nerves. It is perhaps the most active track and the most endearing to the current HPP moniker save for the last track. "Ophiuchus V" conveys a disquieting void filled with intervals of electronic blips and hisses that flow into the hollow echos of "Event-Scourging". Issuing into "Apotheosis", there is a sense of deprogramming in the variable application of pattern reward. "The Lord's Supper" is entirely abstruse and swoops on the forgotten undercurrents of subsconsious chasms, forcing one to be on guard in expectation of possible noise assault. Finally, the closing track is an exclusive mix by ZymOsiZ of "Girlfriend-Mass-Murder". A qualmish taste in the mouth and an unnerving palpitation in the body is the result of this climactic track of a name that is appropriate in every sense. An exquisite finale to a dark and visceral album.
The entirety of the album probes different sounds and techniques in noise and soundscape with drone and minimalistic tendancies. The occasional dark audio humor of M.L. rears its head in linearity challenges that forces the listener to question the condition of the CD. Hard Pounding Percussion seems less a means to undertake an sonance journey than it is a transpersonal exploration of the artist himself. You do not flow with the frequencies. Rather you hold on for dear life. One can only wonder at how many more personalities will manifest through HPP.
1. Hard Pounding Percussion
3. Left Hand-Balling
5. Ophiuchus V
9. File type: Unknown
10. The Lord's Supper
11. Girlfriend-Mass Murderer (ZymOsiZ remix)
Website - See artist site at Possessive Blindfold Recordings
Website - http://www.possessive-blindfold.com
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Zip Me Up
-Review by Sonia Leonard
Nothing but praise has been had for JackieOnAssid and his new album Zip Me Up.
The poppy sounds JackieOnAssid have created contain non nonsense lyrics and catchy tunes you can’t seem to get out of your head. Fun and spirited this cd lifts you into a better mood right from the start. Taking you through a strange maze of dire lyrics (like the ones heard in Hollywood Bedsit) and even a glimpse of the old Ant sound of the 80’s! ( Listen to track 2. Mr. Sunday for the flash.) Ending in a side to side melody titled Andy Warhol.
This 7 track cd would be great heard on roadtrips with your best friends. Especially track 4, Zip Me Up. You get this image of your funloving friends laughing and driving along. You can almost see one of those commercials;
Fast Food- $15.00
Good Music- $20.00
Definitely a recommendation to Perky Goths with an Alternative side. This band from U.K. will keep those pinchable cheeks smiling.
1. Company Car
2. Mr. Sunday
4. Zip Me Up
5. Kings X Guru (Palm Pics Vers)
6. Meditation Man
7. Andy Warhol
out the videos and hear it for yourself through these links;
here for the JackieOnAssid website: (the first is easier to navigate than
the middle. The last seems to be Jackie’s preferance.)
into this website for news;
~reviewed by Psionic Imperator
I was introduced to the world of Psychedelic/Goa Trance via Juno Reactor's Beyond The Infinite album, the third release for the project. So I'm a latecomer to their material. But by now I'm quasi-versed in their sound, a virtually trademarked fusion of trance and ambient. Why am I quasi-versed? Because Beyond The Infinite wasn't merely an introduction to hard techno for me, it was practically a religious text of how aggressive electronic music should sound, and Juno Reactor remained my trance-messiahs until I heard the 'Element Over Nature' project and 'X-Dream'. But I digress.. I love Juno Reactor, and I pretty much always have. So imagine my surprise upon finding this little gem of an advance copy in my mailbox yesterday.
Recently signed to the seemingly unstoppable powerhouse label Metropolis, Juno Reactor stand out as one of the most established acts signed to Metropolis. Formed in the early 90's as a soundtrack project, Juno Reactor has released 2 albums on NovaMute records ('Transmissions' and 'Luciana') as well as 2 albums on BlueRoom records ('Beyond The Infinite' and 'Bible Of Dreams'). And now we have the fifth offering, "Shango" (The Nigerian God of Thunder.. Viva le Nigerian Gods, if they all come wrapped in soundtracks this cool...). Continually growing in sound and scope, "Shango" is perhaps the most ambitious offering yet from Juno Reactor, and thankfully that ambition is not beyond the reach of Juno Reactor's creative abilities. This slab of shiny plastic stuff kicks off with an extremely imaginative blend of spanish classic guitar and traditional psy-trance. Sound unlikely? Not at all. 'Pistolero' captures all the energy of spaghetti westerns, bull-whipped into shape with cyberpunk sensibilities. An interesting post-it note to the track is the inclusion of Steve Stevens (Ex-Billy Idol guitarist) handling the fretwork. Following 'Pistolero', the equally creative but more energetic 'Hulelam' pounds at us with a fabulous swing-jungle-breakbeat feel.
For these two tracks alone this album is worth paying full price. Following these tracks is 7 standard Juno Reactor songs. That is to say, very good. But not as ground breaking as the first two tracks. All the hyper-mood established in the first two tracks gives way to ambient washes, music that fits flawlessy as the backdrop to a cyberpunk novel. The addition of Alex Paterson (The Orb)does offer some nice polish, though. Juno Reactor seem to be developing a habit with this sort of thing, as 'Bible Of Dreams' was the same way. Pound for pound, however.. This is the strongest I've heard Juno Reactor since the 'Samurai' single from 'Beyond The Infinite'. No small praise, trust me. Slated for an October 17th release, Shango seems, to my ears, destined to squash dancefloors all over the world. "Shango" is a welcome reminder that there is still glorious creativity lurking out there....
Release Date October 17th, 2000
Released on Metropolis Records
1: Pistolero (Feat. Steve Stevens)
5: Masters Of The Universe
6: Nitrogen part1 (Feat. Alex Paterson)
7: Nitrogen part2
9: Song for Ancestors
(*This is the tracklisting of an advance copy, the actual release may differ from this listing.)
Reactor Web Presence:
Sen Ohraniceneho Zivota
~reviewed by Mike Ventarola
This review is a long time in coming, and I must admit to being a bit challenged by it basically due to the language barrier more than anything else. I clearly have no idea what the band name means nor the English equivalent of the CD title. However in light of the fact that just this past September 2000 they released their 4th album and their concert work continues to progress throughout their homeland of Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland, it was high time I got around to reviewing this, their third release in the series. I do apologize to the band for the length of time it has taken for this review to come to fruition. The band has already amassed quite a bit of videotape which shall be ready for release sometimes during the summer of 2001. The forthcoming video combines the best material from their live shows and 3 videos that they have completed, much to the delight of their ever growing European fan base.
Lahká Múza started out in 1984 and has had many transitions during that time. Not only have some band members come and gone, but the political environment in which they lived also saw dramatic changes since their early days more than 16 years ago.
Gudrun, who is the lead singer, once asked me if the music was too spooky to review in the States. Quite the contrary, that is exactly what I love about it. Despite the fact that the songs are sung in their native language, the lyrics are also reprinted in English for those of us culturally deprived of other languages. Stylistically, the music harkens to the early days of The Azoic, combined with a touch of Oneiroid Psychosis, and Margot Day, then whipped up in a World Serpent style flair. There are operatic inflections between very well crafted dark electronics, which at times sounds militaristic. Other times the vocals take on a clearly pained expression, that one needs no translation to understand the intensity of the pain. In light of the political intrigue and upheaval that they saw in their native country over the years, it makes the music even more chilling since it reflects the mindset of the changing and unsettled political climate.
The sound quality and packaging of the CD is highly professional. The songs are not goth dance tunes that many have become accustomed to. Rather they emanate a stark contrast of the cold and the dark with the overtones harking towards a world barren of any sensibility. The pervasive existentialism is prevalent throughout all the tracks and once one reads their history on their web page, it is evident where their inspiration for many of their songs comes from. This work is bold, daring, and at times chilling. We are led to songs about lost lives and lost dreams for a number of reasons.
With or without any press following this band, they will continue to make their mark on the dark music scene and stir up new audiences at each turn. As it is, they are selling out at the venues they perform in their homeland. It is only a matter of time before this band crosses our shores to delight a new and admiring fan base.
Listing ( English Translation)
1. Ritual Part 1
2. In The Shining Exile
3. The Symbols of Losses
4. In The Ash Of Days
5. The World Dissolved
6. In A Short Moment of An Immortality
7. A Dream of A Defined Life
8. Ritual Part 2
Voda: bass guitar
a pseudo steady state
~reviewed by Adrian
The year 2000 has seen a much needed improvement in the “underground” sounds of electronica, bringing many influences to the table to reestablish its sounds and recreate a format that puts the “intelligent” back into IDM. Lusine is such a project that develops a wonderful experimental atmosphere of lounge, acid jazz, and the funky, alien percussions and rhythms that invoke a mood of beauty, magic, and casual breezy days of relaxing at a café on Venus. Jeff Mcllwain, who is the heart and soul behind this project, creates a interesting combination of dizzy loops and tracks that somewhat whispers of Boards of Canada, Xingu Hill, or Architect at their smoothest.
CD kicks off with a completely wonderful, funky yet trippy track called
‘Feedme’ that really develops into a nice journey into what could be called
‘acidjazz on acid’, smooth yet every once in a while a barb pokes
out to pull you back into reality. The third track ‘Freak’ fragments into
a collage of percussion, lounge-type atmosphere with nice vocal loops that
really meld the piece together. Another favorite of mine is ‘Mod’, which
starts off very loopy and minimal, but soon develops a lush biosphere of
very smooth atmospheric sounds that swirl and sway, taking the listener
into the depths of some hip urban modern jazz scene peaking at the end
of a thunderstorm. The last track, ‘Back Track’ offers the listener a beautiful,
yet surreal treat that morphs and caresses your psyche in a bubbling wash
of sound and drones ….. really sparking the imagination of swimming in
ocean of jellyfish or playing in a long forgotten cave.
this CD is one of my best finds this year, very, very delighted to have
found this and I would highly suggest a listen to anyone who is bored with
the same old sounds and styles that are flooding the public. The CD is
on a limited pressing, like many of the artists on the U-Cover label, of
only 955 so act quickly to get this…….it is defiantly something you will
want to have in your collection. Nothing on hear is really danceable, but
it is one of the best relaxing, intelligent sound
structures that I have come across in a while.
2/ sem 1
4/ threshold of pain
5/ sem 2
7/ sem 3
10/ sem 4
11/ back track
email@example.com - email
http://u-cover.com/ - http://isophlux.com/ - labels
~reviewed by Xian
The first thing you are slammed with is a 162 BPM storm of racing beats and frenzied melodies against the dichotomy of a calm voice. A subtle pause (to catch one's breath?) and then you are crushed once again. Welcome to "Vultures", the initial track of Manifest Destiny: the second release by Mindless Faith. Another pause and you're then introduced to the EBM/Elektro pounding track, "Stars, Stripes and Satellites". This track is nothing short of a dance floor hit waiting to be borne upon industrial scenes everywhere. The sheer emotive force behind this composition is relentless, reckless and beautiful all at the same time. The same can be said for the slower track, "So Much for Salvation" which will strike you from within.
first impression of Mindless Faith was incurred by "All These Years", track
4 of the Darkness & The Machine Vol. II compilation put out by Carpe
Mortem Records. Passionate lyrics and pounding music, reminiscent in style
to early Front 242, Razed in Black and a touch of Front Line Assembly
influence, I was immediately in awe. This awe later morphed into pure pleasure when I listened to Manifest Destiny in its entirety. I have been struck by the mellifluous, pulsating melodies of "Plaything" and the violently daring beats and strings of "Mere Pawn". The haunting quality of "Candythoughts" will stay with you for hours on end as would "Strained". There is no shortage of excellent production quality and sound nor creative style and talent to be found anywhere on this album. I could not possibly begin to sing enough praise to do Mindless Faith the justice they deserve. Formed in 1995, Mindless Faith is Jasin and Chris Sevanick and live member Paul Green.
2. Stars, Stripes & Satellites
3. Decent (Our Way Down)
4. So Much For Salvation
6. All These Years
8. Mere Pawn
11. Rat Race
AlterCulture Records http://alterculture.hpermart.net
~reviewed by Mike Ventarola
I have often joked with the folks who run Middle Pillar that they need to just direct deposit my paycheck into their account considering how often their site tempts me to shop. The same can also be said for the band Mephisto Walz, whom I have come to recognize as an underground band name that always means quality. This CD was no exception as I purchased it without having first heard any tracks from it, which was not a regrettable decision. One learns over time which bands will dedicate tons of quality sound for the buck and Mephisto Walz has consistently delivered.
This reviewer admits to having first been stunned by their work which was included on the Cleopatra 4 CD Goth Box that was popular a couple of years ago. From that point, it became a mission to collect their work as it became affordable to do so.
Some of Mephisto’s earlier works also included German lyrics, which to some novices can be a bit daunting. The tracks on Immersion are sung in English, which may or may not detract from their European legion of fans, however it is and always will be the great mood, tone and sound accompanied by Christianna’s delicious vocals which will draw in fans, old and new alike. Even if one were not aware of Bari-Bari’s connection with the band Christian Death, this work he has created remains a true testament to the wealth and brilliance of the artistry that is frequently lacking in the underground.
On some levels this current recording is a nod towards the darker days of New Wave as it was hybridizing its roots with the post punk scene and evolving to become the "goth" sound. Reverberation of vocals and instruments often gives the feeling of being in a darkened club, so essentially they have managed to capture a goth club feeling without the listener ever needing to leave their living room. It is not every band that is able to take the nightclub feeling and deliver it on a recording, however Mephisto Walz manages to convey this flawlessly with each recording. Needless to say, it is often an oasis of musical water to the ears to listen to this at work when one is surrounded by abysmal light FM radio admirers. At least by listening to this wondrous CD, I can allow my mind to hearken back to the last club experience or look forward to the next one in order to get through the day.
Besides the trademark guitar licks, the lyrics indicate an older but wiser band. We are brought through imaginary gardens where life is viewed from a distant perspective. Introspection culminates in a semblance of self responsibility while the world around us is in disarray and decay, pretty much reflecting the outward human condition and the world around us. Christianna breathes life into the lyrics by delving into the raw passion to render them beyond mere words, yet parlays an appropriate level of apathetic distancing when a particular song demands it.
When in doubt which music one should purchase as an introduction to the gothic underground, Mephisto Walz remains a consistent band with quality sound that needs to be a part of any collection.
The Garden Of Proserpine
Age Of Nothing
The Falcon to the Falconer
Ode To The West Wind
Bari-Bari: Basses, synths, drums
Christianna: vocals, text, adaptations
~reviewed by Kevin
When Blu first told me about Sleepless, an Israeli Goth/Dark Ethereal duo, I was expecting something with a "World Music" flavor -- Ofra Haza fronting Black Tape for a Blue Girl, perhaps. But the Sleepless demo CD took me totally by surprise. Maor Appelbaum and David Bendayam take their cues not from Yemenite folk music but from Pink Floyd circa Meddle and Obscured by Clouds and "Progressive Rock" bands like Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The antecedents are unexpected but not unwelcome, and Sleepless does them proud with one of this year's most promising debuts.
and Bendayam make for an interesting vocal combination. Appelbaum's
gruff, sung-spoken baritone reminds me of Garm, lead vocalist for Arcturus
and Ulver (even down to the charming accent). In contrast, Bendayam
has a melodic, high voice ala John Lennon or Art Garfunkel. The two
combine beautifully. Appelbaum provides an anchor for Bendayam's wispy,
beautiful hooks, and gives the songs an internal sinew and strength which they might otherwise lack. This contrast and conjunction is also found in the instrumental arrangements: high-ranging flights of fancy are always kept firmly rooted by strong bass lines.
Like their forefathers in the Progressive Rock movement, Appelbaum and Bendayam are both skilled musicians. The interplay of bass with the ethereal keyboard chords of "Winds Blow Higher" sets the tone for the whole demo CD. "Do You Remember" features the always-welcome sound of an acoustic grand piano, while woodwinds and even a saxophone make appearances elsewhere on this CD. While the Progressive Rockers could at times bore to tears with long wanking solos, Appelbaum and Bendayam keep things tightly focused here. With a little work the third track, "Solitude," has definite potential as a single. I'd get rid of the jarring metalesque guitar/bass solo and instead put in some interesting percussion. (Sleepless is yet another band which could go in many whole new and interesting directions with a skilled drummer).
The whole CD is marked by a pervasive, heartfelt sense of melancholy. This could easily slide over into the realm of "Gothic Cheese," but doesn't, thanks to the gorgeous melodies and intelligent orchestration. Like Roger Waters and David Gilmour before them, Appelbaum and Bendayam make the anguish feel genuine, not affected.
Although presently unsigned, Sleepless is definitely attracting attention. A Sleepless song appears on the Nightbreed compilation "New Alternatives V," and Appelbaum and Bendayam are in the final stages of producing their debut album. I suspect we'll be hearing a lot more of these two. Pick up their CD as soon as you get a chance: you won't be disappointed!
on Demo CD:
1) Winds Blow Higher
2) Sands of Time
5) Do you Remember?
http://www.sleeplesscd.com (Official Site)
~reviewed by Matthew
A DJ and promoter friend of mine had always spoken very highly of this Seattle group, but until recently, I never had the pleasure to actually hear their music. All the hype, it seems, is very well warranted.
“Terminal” is SMP’s third release and the band has continued along the unique paths they forged on their previous pair of releases “Ultimatum” and “Stalemate.” Taking elements of dark electronics, Industrial, trip hop, and aggressive r & b, SMP stand alone in the type of music they create.
What I like most about the band, besides their unwarranted aggression, is the band’s sense of rhythm and groove, which is best complimented by a ‘rap’ vocal style that volleys with venomous rasping and punkish screams. The band’s reputed vocal style was what originally stalled my discovery of SMP, as I have never taken to well to most rap music (barring some old skool Public Enemy or newer Cypress Hill when I am in an extremely ODD mood) nor have I enjoyed when it is integrated into dark rock or metal music, let alone Industrial. However, before melodrama raped the contemporary rap music scene, rhythm was indeed a focus. And before the current 4/4 thud thud thud craze began to dominate the club scene, rhythm was a focus here too. SMP fuses both of these different forms of rhythm together in a way that does not only seem natural, but as it such styles were destined to be compliment each other.
The musical backdrop is loaded with memorable drum loops, organic percussive attacks, grating noise/feedback, political or tongue in cheek samples, and an overall complex melting pot of contemporary Industrial elements.
SMP’s reputation has also placed them amongst some of the most energetic, intense, and awe-inspiring live acts active in the underground today. Though I have not seen the band myself, I cannot even begin to calculate how many times I have heard buzz about their live shows which feature several drummers bang the living hell out of their instruments and whatever else they can find that would serve as percussion, not to mention a great deal of theatrics on part of the dueling vocals and use of power tools and random and dangerous objects.
This newest release contains 17 tracks and clocks in at well over an hour. It took me a few listens to really grasp the band and get into the CD, but once I got used to the band’s style, I began to appreciate them much more than I ever thought I could. Each song stands alone, and contains its own catchy loop or sample or vocal rant that will stick to your psyche quite a bit. There is even a unique cover of “Pictures Of You” from the mastermind of Danny Elfman/Boingo. “The Grid” and “Mutate” stand out as my two favourite tracks, however the CD is a release that calls for continuous spins as a whole, and by focusing on particular tracks, you inadvertently miss out on the mammoth effect of the complete work presented.
This is truly an excellent release in the Industrial and Electronic genre, if you are inclined and brave enough to try to limit the music of SMP to fit snuggly there alone. The truth is, SMP are not exactly pioneers, but they are certainly riding a wave of their very own and as simple as it can be put, they have done fans of this music a great service with the ingenuity and one of a kind nature of their sound and performances, as it introduces a breath of untainted air into the lungs of rivet heads and dark electronic music fans alike.
1.) Last Start
4.) The Grid
5.) Pictures Of You
6.) File 484
7.) Sheet Metal
17.) Necron 99
Jason Bazinet: programming, vocals, drums
Sean Ivy: programming, vocals, drums, guitars
Matt Sharifi: drums and programming
Jeremy Moss, Lance Hayes
4505 University Ave. NE
Seattle WA 98105 USA
1106 E Republican
Seattle, WA 98102 USA
~reviewed by Matthew
Things have been pretty active in the Theatre Of Tragedy camp over the past few months. With the autumn release of their fourth full-length “Musique” stirring things up in both the Gothic Doom genres and the synth pop underground, things are looking good for this Norwegian band despite their sudden shift in musical direction. A more widely distributed single for “Machine” will be released this month which features remixes by VNV Nation and Element. And if that is not enough for fans, a live compilation is slated for the spring of 2001 and a US tour is rumoured to be in negotiation.
But in the meantime, due to popular demand, an EP has recently been released by the band featuring some previously unreleased and/or limited material. Like their much sought after 1997 EP “A Rose For The Dead,” it looks as if this release as well is going to be a rather limited and difficult to find addition to the Theatre Of Tragedy discography for American fans. It is released through Swan Lake records, which is a division of Germany’s Massacre Records, so it may be somewhat elusive to the average record shop.
I will however stress that if you are a club DJ or you are just an avid consumer of dark club music, this CD is well worth the hunt. If you are a fan of Theatre Of Tragedy as well as synth pop and EBM, you will go through the roof when you hear this as these remixes are simply incredible and are in short, the best of both your musical worlds. The remix of “Lorelei” by Icon Of Coil has seen lots of club play on the east coast and as powerful as that track is, the “Unhum Mix” of “On Whom The Moon Doth Shine” is astounding and absolutely amazing! I cannot believe how well done this remix is. What was originally a sluggish and guitar crunch-heavy doom song has been converted into an energetic and club stomping hit. Yet the original mood of the song is entirely intact, complete with Liv Kristine’s operatic soprano and Raymond’s growls and mopey monotones. After years of mediocre attempts at remixing Goth Metal bands to help them sneak into the club scene, Theatre Of Tragedy have finally come up with some worthwhile contributions (with a few Tiamat and Moonspell remixes trailing relatively close behind.)
Simply stated, this EP was for me worth every penny. You also get the two aforementioned studio tracks (“Samantha” and “Virago”) that appeared on the pricey Japanese import release of “Aegis.” Both of these excellent tracks are vintage Theatre Of Tragedy at their best and for now, they are the last two recordings written in the band’s grandiose metallic style. My only complaint for the CD, and it is really not a complaint but rather a potentially misleading label, is the final track, “Der Tanz Der Schatten.” It is supposedly a club remix but after a few close listens, I cannot really hear much of a difference between this version and the original version, which appeared on the “Velvet Darkness They Fear” album.
But in the long run, you get two essentially new and high quality tracks and three breathtaking remixes that need to rattle the rafters of a club near you as soon as humanly possible! Watch the prices for this EP, but if you come across it and it’s at a reasonable price (under $15 and the equivalent), definitely pick it up. Most Goth and Industrial fans (and even some metal fans) will not be disappointed.
3.) Lorelei (Icon Of Coil Remix)
4.) The Masquerader And Phoenix (Phoenix Remix)
5.) On Whom The Moon Doth Shine (Unhum Mix)
6.) Der Tanz Der Schatten (Club Mix)
Of Tragedy is:
Raymond I. Rohonniy – vocals, synths
Liv Kristine Espenaes – vocals
Frank Claussen – guitar
Lorentz Aspen – keyboards
Hein Frode Hansen – drums
Track 3: Icon Of Coil
Tracks 4,5: Gehard Magin
Track 6: Gehard Magin and Pete Coleman
Theatre Of Tragedy Site:
art by Chad Michael Ward - Digital Apocalypse Studios
~reviewed by Adrian
Like the quiet church mouse waiting gently in the wings of the ever-changing scene, Voice Industrie has patiently waited and observed what was happening within the underground, and has taken good notes. Based out of Canada and fronted by the multi-talented producer/songwriter Alan Levesque, Voice Industrie have long paid their dues over the past decade within the ‘electronica’ arena and have taken on a sound that lays somewhere between Juno Reactor, Underworld, and Wolfsheim. Exploration of style is a good thing. These guys have a grasp on what is going on and what will be the future of our scene as a whole, as long as everyone wakes up and realizes we are all in this together. There is no “us” or “them”, we are all part of the beautiful underground movement and style, all part of the same family, just different languages, and I feel that “Transmission” gives us that glimpse of unity within the styles and does it well.
Transmission is an extravaganza of delights that range from newer material to older, remixed sounds and even live tracks and a multimedia bonus. The first track “Transporter’ remix is a dizzy, trancy journey that kind of shows you the beauty of pure electronic music, the clean, driving, fractalization of layers and loops that unfold into a rhythmic exploration of full on trance. Not quite progressive and light, but not quite hard and “in your face”, just swirling somewhere in between the two with hints of the older sound of electronic music, ala 1992. ‘Sterility’ remix continues this style with a bit more industrial dance/synth-pop sounds creeping out and washing over the listener. This track is a definite dance floor pleaser and I have played it at various gigs with beautiful response. ‘True Believer’ is the other end of the spectrum with heavy synth-pop sounds and vocals springing out and bubbling over, which will surely enrapture the synth lover to no end. Two other highlights on the cd are ‘Tempest’ and ‘Fact’, which both are live cuts and really give the listener a glimpse of the power and energy that these guys put forth in their live show which, from the looks of the multimedia track, is a wonderful, visual experience.
Since 1989, V.I. has really strived to reach out and overcome the trials and hooks that haunt every group in the beginning. Having an open mind, talent, and skill has only helped them along their set course and will soon set them in motion, like a distant nebula, to the wider audience base that they should have. The ‘Great White North’ holds many secrets and gems and V.I. is one such secret that you should check out. Open your mind and heart and let it explore the depths of what ‘unity of sound’ actually means.
1.Transporter (seduction mix)
2.Sterility (adrenaline 14 mix)
3.True Believer (teknik 14 mix)
5.Sterility (teknik 99 mix)
6.Tempest (live tv broadcast mix)
7.Fact (recorded live)
~reviewed by Matthew
Culling their band moniker from the Anathema track of the same name, this exceptionally mentionable Dutch doom outfit deliver five bleak musical gems on one significantly noteworthy debut. Their Anathema influence does indeed ring loud and clear, at least conceptually and in much of the guitar stylings. Anathema’s classic track “We The Gods” was a lamentation on the destruction of Pagan culture by Christianity, and it heroically encouraged the preservation and defense of these ancient beliefs. This pensive outfit expand upon that idea further and in doing so penned some thought provoking lyrics and imagery.
The EP itself is immediately striking due first for its poignant cover art but more so for its provocative and well-orchestrated intro entitled, “Felting Beauty.” Where as most bands have completely diluted the idea of the atmospheric keyboard intro over the years, We The Gods begin their disc with a fluid and moody instrumental, boasting an absence of guitars with the melody carried by a strong lulling bass line and dense, mid-paced drumming. Symphonic keyboards do weave their way into the piece, courtesy of session player Wim (Cryscendo) Leades, who was a touring guitarist for Valor’s Christian Death on the “Pornographic Messiah” tour in 1998. Dialogue samples are included on the premiering track from the 1992 version of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” which at first may sound rather unoriginal, but the majority of the samples are focused on the romantic dialogue between Mina and Dracula, which definitely set a stark tone to the album. But all this is featured only in the intro. The heart of the music is yet to come.
“Leaves” continues along in an elite and epic vein, with beautiful arpeggios that crest to an explosive cascade of intense yet deeply melancholy guitars. At last the vocals begin, and admittedly the clear singing takes a few listens to get used to, but the harsher grunts and distorted vocals are superb and lend the contrast of beauty and abrasive darkness that has come to be expected within this style of music. Another place where We The Gods triumphs is their pairing of Gothic rock and metal, something that is often taken for granted or just plain fouled up by bands who desperately want to be a part of this expansive genre. But the watery gloom of Fields Of The Nephilm and the symphonic quality of the ethereal keyboards can be heard just as frequently as the epic doom metal crunch of Anathema or Decoryah (a defunct Finish act that has a similar sound to WTG). In short, I think We The Gods have perfected a nice balance between the two genres, rather than try to copy the styles of others. While they are easily likened to the ‘Gothic Metal’ scene, they definitely have juggled the established elements to produce their own unique presentation of a sound that is passionately devoured by enthusiasts of this music.
“Effete God” follows the strong openers, kicking off with another well-chosen sample to again illustrate the concept of Pagan suppression. Who could forget the scene when the daemonic bat-winged Dracula rasps, “Look what your god has done to me!” and sinks into the shadows to disintegrate into dozens of scurrying rats? That infamous line is used appropriately to convey a slightly different idea from its original intent and it was a simple yet effect flair of creativity. A nice touch indeed, as it is delivered atop a swinging tribal drum rhythm that explodes into the most upbeat and aggressive moment of the entire mini-album. However, their downcast hearts don’t allow them to get to upbeat, as the morose twin guitar harmonies eventually return about halfway through the song and the sweeping synths swoop from above and a desperate, romantic tone is again restored.
“See-ers” pushes the album along, possessing a shimmering quality and solid structure to it and the EP is then drawn to a fitting and climactic finale with “Forever Is Gone,” another more energetic yet successfully emotive track. If We The Gods can get their name noticed I think they have a lot to offer. If this short EP is any inkling of their talent, I hold them in high regard as candidates to carry the torch of a style of music that I for one cherish very close to my own heart. Drop these guys a line or visit their web site below to learn more about them and perhaps purchase a copy of this release.
1.) Felting Beauty
3.) Effete God
5.) Forever Is Gone
The Gods is:
Richard – lead and backing vocals
Mario – lead guitar and backing vocals
Arjan – rhythm and acoustic guitars
Heidi – bass guitar
Raymond – drums and percussion
Cryscendo – keyboards
P.O. Box 1019
3160 AE Rhoon – Holland
(ex-Xian Death)- Official Page:
~reviewed by DJ Xian
Of mathematical precision to ellicit drool from schools of fractal worship and of tribal intensity that would appease the most removed from society, noise artist James Vietzke (Holocaust Theory) thrusts a second CD release into your neural patheways through his solo project, ZymOsiZ. Noiy; an sound experience that drags you down and back again and leaves no altered state unfamiliar.
This is no smashing of dilluted noise generated by television and radio static, burned onto CD and inappropriately revered as talent. The self negating "Signal In", with enough layered complexities to rightfully demand several passes, will satiate even the most deprived of electronic noise fans. The cold minimalistic drone of "Antict" and "Quest" challenges one's attention to the foremost levels of reality lest it slip through your grasp. And asserting control before manipulating the listener to new audiosomatic levels successively, the title track "Noiy" follows a gradual line of heightened sophistication. An elaborate composition of electronic variations and dark soundscapes,"Noiy" effortlessly paves the way for the disreveried experience of "Dante" and the choice distortions of "Stompers". The cherry on this analogue sundae is "Tears and Laughter". A track that indifferently drags you through a schitzophrenic mindscape before abruptly dumping you back to where you began. You do not simply listen to Noiy, you are infected with it. This is the precision of a true noise artist.
James Vietzke single handedly evokes the ultimate transmission of man through machine and crams out enough assiduous damage to leave you in appentent anticipation for the next step on his journey. This is the Noiy experience.
3. Signal In
10. Bacchus (extended)
11. Tears and Laughter
Website - see artist site at Possessive Blindfold Recordings
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - www.possessive-blindfold.com
Email - email@example.com