Jun 2011 16

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Eraplee Noisewall Orchestra
Category: Industrial / Breakcore / Experimental
Album: The Gloomy Side of Noisewall
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Debut CD from German breakbeat artist results in a decent, but uninspiring release.

 

Eraplee Noisewall Orchestra is a project from Saarbrücken, Germany, formed by experimental musician Christian Mueller. Having released a string of digital-only releases beginning with 2008’s The Statement, ENO has finally released their debut disc, The Gloomy Side of Noisewall.

Perhaps a better title for this album could be The Glitchier Side of Noisewall as gloom, doom, or any atmosphere of despondency is essentially nonexistent on this album. There is, however, a heavy dose of chaotic beats, pulsing noise, and erratic rhythms that defy any typical emotional categorization. In spite of the record’s keen production value and crisp mixing, The Gloomy Side of Noisewall feels only half made. No track is particularly impressive or stands out from among the remainder. All of the tracks are instrumental, and the jittery, shaky tempo of each of the tracks makes it frequently impossible to get into an appropriate groove while listening to the album. The uniform electronic nature of the music and the approach taken to each song produces a bland, unremarkable collection.

While fans of such acts as Plaid and Squarepusher may find this release enjoyable, it certainly isn’t recommended for fans of more structured and faster electronic music.
 
Track list:

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D-Trash Records Website http://www.dtrashrecords.com
D-Trash Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/dtrash
D-Trash Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/dtrashrecords
D-Trash Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/dtrash
 
2010-05-22
 
Brian Backlash (BrianBacklash)

Jun 2011 16

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Not Half
Category: Noise / Experimental / Electronica
Album: C-Division
Stars: 1
Blurb: In the interest of public safety and health, it is suggested that Not Half be excluded from using recording equipment.

 

Not Half is the studio project of Allan Conroy, who formed the band in the ‘80s in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Easily some of the most irritating and unpleasant music around, Not Half’s latest is the ass-clenchingly bad C-Division.

C-Division begins with a minute-and-a-half of banging pots and pans with Conroy idiotically chanting the album’s title over and over and over. It doesn’t get any worse or better from here on out. Filled with samples, sound bites, and a great deal of drum & bass instrumentation, C-Division is an incredibly random mishmash of aimless noise, beats, and slaphappy synth lines. This feels more like a schizophrenic patient’s therapy hour than it does a collection of music.

Smartly enough, D-Trash and Not Half decided to release this album as a free download. One can only surmise that the parties involved were intelligent enough to understand that probably no one would want to pay for this. Also, “Chronoton1.1” features a reiteration of the metal pot banging that comprised such a prominent feature of the album’s title track, just in case you didn’t comprehend the deep and mesmerizing symbolism the first time.
 
Track list:

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D-Trash Records Website http://www.dtrashrecords.com
D-Trash Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/dtrash
D-Trash Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/dtrashrecords
D-Trash Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/dtrash
 
2010-05-22
 
Brian Backlash (BrianBacklash)

Jun 2011 16

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K.I.F.O.T.H.
Category: Industrial
Album: Violence Corporation
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: A classic industrial styled album that consistently misses its mark in the most frustrating of fashion.

 

Absolutely capturing a mid-‘90s feel and style, Slovakian duo K.I.F.O.T.H.’s latest is an intricate and synth heavy throwback album. Showing signs of influence from acts such as Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, and Project Pitchfork, Violence Corporation starts and ends with a great deal of promise, but the meat of the album is just a desolate wasteland of vapid and overly convoluted composition that seems to be trying way too hard to be atypical.

The album opens decently enough with “Microbiotics” and “Ten Fingers,” each taking on an extremely strong Project Pitchfork vibe. “In Depression” is the first song to show signs of a problem as it is the first in a series of tracks completely devoid of rhythm and synth lines play out almost arbitrarily with equally random vocals slapped on over top, seemingly as an afterthought. The problem continues in tracks like “Jihad” and “Egotism” that come out incredibly flat due to their overly repetitive structure and almost complete lack of any driving beat. Then there are tracks like “Vermicular” that offer up an excruciatingly poor mix that leaves everything apart from the vocals feeling like a muffled and jumbled together mash of electronic vomit. Seemingly adding insult to injury, the album wraps with “Moral,” which acts as the antithesis of the seven tracks that precede it with its strong rhythm, vocals, and arrangement meshing together wonderfully and leaving the listener wondering why the rest of the album isn’t remotely as strong as its beginning and ending.

Obviously, not every album has to be loaded with bass throbbing dance floor hits, but Violence Corporation’s overemphasis on tinny high end synth, overly jumbled arrangements, and extremely muted to nonexistent rhythms make the majority of the album just feel empty and lifeless. It is clear that skilled hands went into the creation of this album, but that, unfortunately, makes it feel like an even bigger failure.
 
Track list:

  1. Microbiotics
  2. Ten Fingers
  3. In Depression
  4. Victim
  5. Jihad
  6. Egotism
  7. Vermicular
  8. Manipulator
  9. Fateway
  10. Moral

 
K.I.F.O.T.H. Website http://www.ttx-net.sk/kifoth
K.I.F.O.T.H. MySpace http://www.myspace.com/kifoth
K.I.F.O.T.H. Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/KIFOTH-2-EBM-executuioners-from-Slovakia/294116876941?ref=sgm
Vendetta Music Website http://vendetta-music.com
Vendetta Music MySpace http://www.myspace.com/vendettamusicthelabel
Vendetta Music Facebook http://www.facebook.com/vendetta.music.label
Vendetta Music Twitter http://twitter.com/vendetta_music
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2010-05-25
 
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

Jun 2011 17

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Shiv-R
Category: Industrial
Album: Hold My Hand
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Hold My Hand is overloaded with formulated electronic industrial dance music that mimics top artists yet remains darkly contagious.

 

Fans of hard-hitting industrial dance music will undoubtedly take to Shiv-R’s debut release Hold My Hand with ease. For a band to emerge with such a polished and complete package of a first album is quite remarkable. Diversity is the key factor here and it’s what makes Hold My Hand an electro/industrial dance album worthy of repeated play. The goal taken on by the duo of Pete Crane and Lee Bulig seems solely driven towards infectious, danceable music with a dark quality that mirrors acts such as Combichrist or the like.

Eerily introducing Hold My Hand is the track “Buried,” a song possessing an oddball fusion of gothic synths and underlying beats surging beneath the surface. Uncertainty as to what the rest of the album has in store takes center stage, but once the heavy bass lines and distorted kick drum begin to pound on “Parasite,” the answer becomes clearer. The electronic backbone on Hold My Hand has been stringently calculated throughout, fulfilling genre expectations to a wide margin. Adrenaline-charged beats consistently command an attentive ear and urge you to move with the rhythm. Shouting and spoken lyrics capitalize on this musical backdrop, creating a rich sound that marries to the music nicely. Though they utilize a great number of tricks-of-the-trade, Shiv-R manage to make the music their own, albeit with a flavor that is clearly familiar in today’s industrial club scene. This being said, there is more than enough uniqueness within each song to keep things interesting and fresh. The elements which Shiv-R have embraced and embellished upon take the music well beyond simple artist imitation. The overall dance element seldom becomes muddled down generically, and the formulated electronic harshness helps make the music accessible to a wider spectrum of listeners.

Distancing themselves from one another physically hasn’t seemed to hinder the connection between the two band members; on the contrary, their sync of one another’s talents through virtual connectivity seems to have introduced a broadened level of musical range and divergence. The sounds and influences that have gotten them to this point shine brightly on Hold My Hand, and based on the club popularity that the genre already holds they have nowhere to go but up.
 
Track list:

  1. Buried
  2. Parasite
  3. The End, Pt. 1
  4. Corruption
  5. Blood Spatter
  6. Happiness
  7. Burning Chrome
  8. Map the Feedback
  9. Taste
  10. Open My Vein
  11. Suffer
  12. The End, Pt. 2

 
Shiv-R Website http://www.shiv-r.com
Shiv-R MySpace http://www.myspace.com/shiverindustrial
Shiv-R Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shiv-r/43037748914
Shiv-R ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/shivr
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2010-05-25
 
Stephen Lussier (ioweyouacoke)

Jun 2011 17

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Kopfer Kat
Category: Industrial / Power Noise
Album: Skrammelpop
Stars: 3
Blurb: Minimalist to a fault, Kopfer Kat offers their take on rhythmic noise music with a modest amount of danceable originality.

 

Fraught with anti-melodic appeal and an absence of harmonious elegance, Kopfer Kat’s Skrammelpop aims to encapsulate what they believe rhythmic noise to be all about. Miles away from melodious, this debut entry is a noise-infused barrage of beat-pounding electronic music that will certainly appease any foot-stomper. Fans of Terrorfakt and paralleled acts will identify with what Kopfer Kat has created as an assemblage of music designed to get your heart pounding and your blood rushing. Under the Progress Productions label, the duo of Michael Andresen and Jimmy Andersson reveal to the world their wonderfully bold and aggressive sense of electronic musicianship. Arguably the label’s most aggressive lineup addition, Kopfer Kat delicately balances a firm dance element with their wildly abrasive industrial chaos. Where Skrammelpop might somewhat lack in stylistic diversity, it more than makes up for with an authentic EBM-infused/rhythmic noise tonality. Completely instrumental in content, each song reveals a raw and gritty quality that instantly hits you smack in the face. The first half of the album relentlessly takes you on a ride of electronic beats and analog industrial roughness, only to be let up with a more structured and rhythmic flow highlighted towards the middle. Not to say that there isn’t a rhythmic pace set by this industrially driven stream of beats, but a more melodic touch comes into play by the time “Planet Noise” finishes up. There’s homogeneousness to the music that might dissuade those who require more of a front-to-back listen to an album, but this is overpowered by the intensity of the songs individually. Only moderately diverse in style, it’s still easy to see a select few solid tracks fitting quite well in any underground DJ’s catalog. “Dirty Fucking Dogs” demonstrates this point nicely through a musical overhaul that elevates Kopfer Kat’s sound towards a much more danceable vibe. This club-like feel to the music continues on “Sonic Warfare,” a song that is guaranteed to have rivetheads filling any angry dance floor. “Containerfunk” finishes the album with this same danceable aggressiveness, only to be upstaged by the obscure bonus track “BINGO,” a one-minute bit of obscurity that awkwardly closes the album absolutely.

The element that Kopfer Kat explores through a harsh, rhythmic industrial component is what drives Skrammelpop along; not as an entirely listenable album straight through, but as more of a collection of individual tracks that warrant a listen singularly. The anti-melodic quality of angst-riddled noise holds a fair amount of danceable rhythm, and it’s by this that Kopfer Kat will soon be easily identified throughout the underground club circuit.
 
Track list:

  1. Frankenstein Stomp
  2. 2mT
  3. Distroyer
  4. Gruvdrift
  5. Ubervolt
  6. AFK
  7. Planet Noise
  8. Dirty Fuckin Dogs
  9. Sonic Warfare
  10. Arga Upp Sig
  11. Containerfunk
  12. BINGO

 
Kopfer Kat Website http://www.kopferkat.se
Kopfer Kat MySpace http://www.myspace.com/kopferkat
Kopfer Kat Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kopfer-Kat/117361438278397
Progress Productions Website http://www.progress-productions.com
Progress Productions MySpace http://www.myspace.com/progressproduction
Progress Productions Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ProgressPro
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2010-05-26
 
Stephen Lussier (ioweyouacoke)

Jun 2011 17

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Bloody Dead and Sexy
Category: Goth
Album: An Eye on You
Stars: 3
Blurb: German band’s third album is a fair but uninspiring exercise in blending gothic roots with contemporary rock sounds.

 

Bloody Dead and Sexy is a dark rock band from Germany, originally formed in 1997 as a pure death rock outfit. After losing their original guitarist in an unfortunate accident, and another due to creative differences, the lineup today consists of Tim Schande on bass, Rosa Iahn on vocals, Bjørn Henningson on drums, and Matias 13 on guitar. Their third and latest release is the shadowy An Eye on You. Following in the wake of their first tour of the United States in 2004 and the 2005 album Narcotic Room, An Eye on You has become a long overdue follow up for this band’s fans in Europe and elsewhere.

While still widely unknown in the States, Bloody Dead and Sexy perform all of their music in English as opposed to their native tongue. Combined with their lush organic approach to rock music and their bright guitar riffs, their overall sound fits in wonderfully with similar acts such as Franz Ferdinand. Although lyrically and thematically the band certainly has more in common with groups like Nine Inch Nails or Joy Division, the end result is a sound and style that’s hard to place in any definitive pigeonhole. Bloody Dead and Sexy are today a polished, professional act that are audibly too mainstream to be dangerous, and yet too morbid to melt into the same pot with the rest of their musical peers. The band’s imagery and fashion sense are traditionally gothic in nature, in complete contrast to what one would expect – bearded, shaggy Brits in tight blue jeans and T-shirts.

All this peculiar duality aside, An Eye on You is a skillfully recorded album, with crisp drumming and rich, vibrant guitar. Rosa Iahn’s tenor vocal work is also controlled and deliberate, each aspect a hallmark of a maturing band with years of experience. As pleasant as this record often is, this writer doesn’t see its shelf life as being especially durable. Some key ingredient is still missing, and though it’s quickly evident, it becomes more so with each listen. The music is a little too clean, its execution not quite as intense as it seems it should be. Bloody Dead and Sexy seem to be striving for an edgy, artful pop record, but they don’t quite make it all the way. Ultimately, you’re left with a competent but unmemorable record.
 
Track list:

  1. Solemn Times
  2. City Ghosts
  3. Decent Scent of Poison
  4. Reaping Day
  5. Song of Truth
  6. Three Corners of an Eye, Part I: Lower Right Corner
  7. The Fix
  8. A Clockwork Symphony
  9. Candy Box
  10. Saeta
  11. Three Corners of an Eye, Part II: Upper Corner
  12. The Upper Floor
  13. Sunglasses for a Funeral
  14. Der Kuss
  15. Three Corners of an Eye, Part III: Lower Left Corner

 
Bloody Dead and Sexy Website http://www.bloodydeadandsexy.de
Bloody Dead and Sexy MySpace http://www.myspace.com/bloodydeadandsexy
Bloody Dead and Sexy Facebook http://www.facebook.com/bloodydeadandsexy
Bloody Dead and Sexy ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/bloodydeadandsexy
Dark Dimensions Website http://www.darkdimensions.de
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2010-05-28
 
Brian Backlash (BrianBacklash)

Jun 2011 17

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ESC
Category: Terror EBM / Industrial
Album: Eight Thousand Square Feet
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: ESC’s newest release is fun, aggressive, and competent, if not original.

 

The success of bands like Combichrist, Hex Rx, SITD, Aesthetic Perfection, and other similar artists in recent years has spawned a considerable number of copycats, clones, and mediocre rip-offs. There are also bands who’ve been inspired to explore new, albeit related territory in a less imitative way. ESC is an up-and-coming band who perhaps lies somewhere in the middle ground between those two approaches.

ESC – Eden Synthetic Corps – is a quartet from Leiria, Portugal. Consisting of members Hypecrash, Chainheart, Glamour Diesel, and IDK, ESC was formed in 2005 with the express objective and making powerful, energetic, and original industrial dance music. Of the three goals, they’ve succeeded especially with the first two.

Their latest release is the edgy, visceral Eight Thousand Square Feet, which features some of the fastest, most aggressive, and well produced music to recently come out of the hard electro/industrial scene. “Correcting God’s Design” and “White Beast (Retribution)” are tracks that certainly would find themselves welcome in any gothic/industrial dance club, and generally speaking, Eight Thousand Square Feet makes a good substitute for those who were disappointed in the latest Combichrist album, which took a more rock-oriented and experimental approach. The album’s title track, “Eight Thousand Square Feet” is by far the disc’s most notable song and gives us a peek at ESC’s potential inventiveness, perfectly incorporating a dissonant and eerie piano piece in between throbbing percussion and strangled voices.

While Eight Thousand Square Feet is perfect for fans of the bands mentioned above, the album grows more and more anemic after the fourth track and all you really get is filler that is interchangeable with nearly any other contemporary industrial/EBM record. There is precious little here that really makes ESC stand out in the crowd, and as a result they have no real identity of their own. Many of their synth lines, vocal effects, and bass lines are nothing we all haven’t heard before. They do what they do quite well; it’s just too bad countless other bands have already beat them to it.
 
Track list:

  1. Concrete
  2. Eight Thousand Square Feet
  3. Correcting God’s Design
  4. White Beast (Retribution)
  5. Raiva
  6. Proprioception
  7. Le Voyage D’Ivoire Sophisme (feat. X-Fusion)
  8. -48ºC
  9. The Grand Atrium of Light
  10. Dishonour
  11. Leitbild (feat. SITD)
  12. An Horizon Inside Four Walls

 
ESC MySpace http://www.myspace.com/edensyntheticcorps
Scanner Website / Dark Dimensons Website http://www.darkdimensions.de
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2010-05-28
 
Brian Backlash (BrianBacklash)