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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Inside You - That Occurs Around Us review

Year : 2011
Genre : Gothic - Industrial
Label : CD Maximus
Origin : Russia
Rating : 8.2 / 10

Fellow countrymen of mixed martial arts WarGod Fedor Emelianenko bring you some quite properly presented mixture of industrialized goth vibes, that which, fortunately enough, has nothing at all to do with an intent to resonate registers of gloom, sorrow and related sentiments. Instead, Inside You's That Occurs Around Us transmits from the more angst-filled, nevertheless, playful and strangely beautiful pole of the goth palette, cultivating a mixture that is akin to what you would expect if to marry Rammstein with Sisters of Mercy. This Russian approach of freshly presented goth fury comes to you with a true passion behind itself, resulting in 51 minutes of a pleasantly varied experience gravitating around an easily decipherable, energetic goth rage. A goth rage that has the evident agenda to bath you in feelings of hot and playful intensity, utterly refraining from theoretic means of turning you into a hollow stack of flesh and bones, having abused your awareness and raped your soul good and proper.

The output features two songs sung in Russian language, but do not be afraid, or not that much, anyway : these two tracks are at the end of the album, and they do not at all lack the impact characterizing the first nine contributions. As noted, it is quite evident that Inside You has a true passion for this style, and they grasp a solid understanding of how this shape of music is able to deliver its intricacies in the most efficient manner : the guitar is thick and quite sci-fi sounding, hardly, if ever addressing its desire to go on an autonomous stroll on its own, instead it serves as the ever-present and welcomed solution to establish a melodic pulse that is ready to ensue into a wall of sound when need dictates. Synths and various industrial elements are widely used throughout the record to establish a convoluted mass of sonic richness along the intensified portions of the release.

Intensity and sanely positioned musical routes between these intense periods are essential building blocks on the LP : Inside You, fortunately enough, has more diverse of an understanding of their favorite genre than going slow and going furious, so the readiness and playfulness they chase the grooves around with, guarantees, in fact, a surprisingly well-varied and freshly presented experience, coming through as a constant, integral vibe not a tad less mature than what the genre's top of the heat has to offer.

From a vocal point of view, one has a hunch that there are numerous vocalists on their respective hunt here, but it comes off as a fortunate development, as all singers have some audible desire to declare passionately, nevertheless staying away wisely from doing extreme things of ridicule with their vocal cords, like some metal corish "me mummy neva luhuvd meheeee" affair or what not.

The majority of the output comes to you along fast, nevertheless quite cleverly varied registers, with an occasional down tempo delivery being spiced on the top of the whole fabric. These slower deliveries, too, have the same passion and love for the genre as proper fuel behind them, so rest assured that they won't disappoint, and their role will be utterly appreciated when Inside You unleashes the charming form of goth angst in the very next moment.

Rating : 8.2 / 10If you liked this article, check out my music

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obscura - Omnivium review

Year : 2011
Genre : Technical Death Metal
Label : Relapse Records
Origin : Germany
Rating : 9.2 / 10

Buy it now

German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling contributed an immense body of work to bath a curious mind in, while it comes as a rather interesting development if and when his lamentations regarding nature and spirit serve as a primal inspirational source to frame a musical declaration around.

It is nothing less than the rigorous, yet playful establishment of fractal level musical complexity what German death (?) metal formation Obscura has gotten itself into during the preceding years of the release of Omnivium, an output that has all the chance in the cosmic void and beyond to raise the bar for consecutive deliveries that dare to eye towards, or venture into musical fields characterized by radical intricacy happening for the mere sake of celebrating the ensuing audio pattern's capacity to exist and to entertain. This is nothing less than the celebration of life, the celebration of information.

A function, perhaps, one of the most important one of life, paradoxically is to find the ultimate function and related benefits of its mere existence, that which necessarily enriches its surroundings simply by observing it and making inner-directed, and even outward-directed notions of it. Regardless of the intention in the action, the fabric in which the action or thought takes place in, is suddenly enriched by the act or thought, and there is no real knowing on the human actor's part if his action or even thought made any kind of permanent and/or truly relevant impact in the mere space-time he operates in. One thing seems to be sure, though : as he acted or created a thought, information was born, and this constant birth, infinite birth and infinite rapid evolution of information seems to be an inescapable attribute of - well - inescapable information, that which shapes us and that which we constantly shape by our thoughts, actions and emotions.

To cite the classic :

shit lives forever,
shit lives forever
you can't kill it,
you can't kill it

- Faith No More

Before you would assume that this will be a philosophical stare into a random sonic abyss, let's conclude this introductory section to Obscura's Omnivium by abusing the quite safely abusable, noting that life indeed seems to be persistently mysterious and a phenomena worth investigating, - not that you have much of a choice right now, anyway - especially so when this investigation takes place through audible transmissions intentionally arranged into carefully engineered musical complexity that indeed flirts with any casual fractal chaoses that comes along its infinite ways.

Omnivium is a constant assault on your mere awareness of processing audible data, as the traditional elements of the genre bring with itself a muscular musical build formed out of riffs that have seen and got obsessed by and with a musical language that exhibits no particular desire to offer you a hook or two to safely grasp unto. Omnivium slides you around on its convolutely fragmented wall of sound fabric as it seems fit, and you find yourself to be the enjoyer of the experience, simply by attempting to decipher the massive amount of audible stimuli waging their valiant war on your receptors. Odd time signatures and free spirited melodic lines complimenting each other in the background are among the most frequent occurrences you will behold herein, and even the more easily approachable grooves have the tendency to playfully throw themselves and dissolve into the fractal chaos for a ride or two, thus their returning into a triumphant reassemblement will serve both as guide and a compass during the vortexes of sound storms you will be subjected to during the spin of the release.

Obscura speaks a carefully selected variety of musical moods on Omnivium, the pivotal elements being a fluent and free spirited neo-classical approach, primarily utilized to give you short breaks from the aforementioned fractal craze, that which serves as ever-present threat-constant during the experience, as you won't ever be sure when it is about to take you again for a stroll in itself. The moments it does take you by, are the moments that do draw the archetypical face of Omnivium.

A cunningly presented haunting feel also is incorporated into the mood palette, which wisely stays away from seeking cheap instant terror on you, and flirts instead with the mere mysterious, placing you into a tale full of secrets and unknown nearby potentialities, luckily showing zero interest in scares and negativistic tendencies. The end portion of the track "A Transcendental Serenade" is a great example for this feeling : it seems to be evident that the ensuing melody - that actually has a hook, it IS one big hook, in fact - tells about something that has a crushing relevance, but this relevance also seems to be one that reigns way beyond the intention of good old fashioned destruction for the mere sake of good old fashioned destruction. Of life. Of you. As long as you keep an open mind, the experience, the entity the music is about, will do no harm in you.

Omnivium's lyrics are preoccupied with intimate inner lamentations regarding consciousness and its surroundings, oftentimes arriving at interesting notions that seem to seek to exhibit poetic qualities. Obscura's delivery is one that manages to keep you fully interested and engaged during the 59 minutes ride it takes you on, and also one that flirts with musical vistas that are essential to investigate for the supreme purpose of entertainment, which seems to be a rather legit function of life on its own.

Rating : 9.2 / 10

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Short Sharp Shock - Problems to the Answer review

Year : 2011
Genre : Thrash Metal / Punk Crossover
Label : Earache
Origin : UK
Rating : 9.0 / 10

Buy it now

UK based silence massacrists of Short Sharp Shock shoot 25 sonic shrapnels towards your direction, divided along 40 minutes of freshly presented thrash metal / punk mixture that is quite unlikely to miss you surely and totally, granted you did not forget to put a pair of ears on this morning.

The high track count may seem to be quite surprising for the playing time of the release, and the reason behind this is nothing else than a dormant, elegantly served justification of the band's name : the tracks indeed are short and sharp, and pack eloquently presented, well articulated musical furiosity without exception. Read on to find out more about this LP, that which has a perfect understanding of what it wants to accomplish and how it wants to come through as, managing to pull off its own timeless aspirations without you even noticing it, due to the constant lack of opportunity to process what just happened before you already find yourself in the emotional register the LP wants to command you into.

Short Sharp Shock's musical furiosity is much more different than that you would experience listening to recent death metal affairs, for example, as SSS fronter Foxy addresses his numerous frustrations in a manner that is very easy to relate to : he does not scream per se, he instead declares his disillusioned notions and thoughts in an extremely natural way, pretty much speaking on the top of his lungs as opposed to screaming. This style, while effectively negates the need, hell, even the dormant desire to deliver melodic lines throughout the vocal palette of the output, firmly establishes a mood that hits you in the face as utterly appropriate and well suited for this form of music. Short Sharp Shock wisely recognizes that there is no need for musical pitches in the vocal contribution when the emotion behind them already smashed them to shreds, anyway.

There is maybe one track on the entire LP on which Foxy sings effective pitches : "Foreign Body Plot", but you truly do not even need more. His performance is quite entertaining to listen to while he is producing a consecutive breakdown on each and every track to follow, and this entertainment value is persevered as result of Foxy's ability of keeping the last bit of sanity intact and non-tinkered with. That last bit of sanity always comes in handy for music, after all.

Integrity and well established balance are focal traits of this output. While the sound of this production is equally violent and raw, it also is very decently and carefully engineered, giving you a thrash metal / punk experience that is very easy to grasp unto and appreciate the moods it is taking you to. The instruments are clearly audible and reign in top form, diligently refraining from abusing each other, from placing you in a crowded mess of audible stimuli.

The primal portion of the output explore the good old fashioned neurotic rage and related dissatisfaction you probably want to - at least theoretically - immerse yourself in while cultivating and observing this genre, yet the Short Sharp Shock dudes exhibit a rather good taste in balance, throwing in a decent, playful and quite easily approachable instrumental with the title "Future Primitive" at the relative middle of the album. In Short, Sharp and Shocking form : you will be Shocked, how good it is. Go get it.

Rating : 9 / 10

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Blood Edition - Cutting the Director review

Year : 2011
Genre : Death Metal
Label : Independent
Origin : Italy
Rating : 7.5 / 10

Italian trauma trio Blood Edition attempts an attempt on your me(n)tal and anatomical health via the popcultural appeal of a Manhunt poster, teaming up with radical lamentations of hospital horror antics being taken seriously.

There is music included as well, and this one is not a tad worse than what you would righteously expect from an extreme death metal band eager to show off their concept of proper and manic guitar abuse stacked on top of atomic blast beats, quite suitable to convince your friendly neighborhood to consult their real estate agents or an ideal hitman.

The album spins for a 40 minutes of 40 eternities, as there are no pauses or any notable decreasement in the radical intensity that characterizes the output right from the beginning to the very last audible note of it. The question remains : what can the Italian trauma trio do with 40 minutes of death metallic "and-you-don't-stop" in order to keep your ears and imagination entertained? Read on to find out, while you're making yourself comfy on that stretcher over there.

The 9 tracks - 3 bonuses are included at the latter portion of the LP, making it a 12 shots spin - cultivate a similar blueprint throughout the record. As mentioned, radical intensity is pretty much omnipresent, yet the bold rhythmic variations of the drums, combined with the tendency of a low tuned stringed section to throw around intricately raw and rawly intricate riffs, manage to keep your ears entertained and your curiosity engaged. The only obvious downside that becomes noticeable right when the second track starts off, is the fetish of the band towards the deepest possible musical note they can produce on their stringed instruments. The compositions themselves are acceptable, yet it sounds like the majority, if not all of them are exhibiting a valiant urge to gravitate towards that particular deepest note. While there is not much wrong with this at all, and effectively nothing, in case you plan to listen to one or two tracks during one sitting/rampaging, it remains safe to say that the record delivers its content along one particular prime sonic resonance level, as a good portion of tracks utilize the same musical key. Surely enough, you could regard this as a benefit, as opposed to regard it as a deficit. Can't argue about tastes? Wrong. Only tastes you can argue about.

The production is thick, naked and packs a legit bite, with each pivotal component of the overall mix standing muscular, rabid, and clearly audible. The kick, the snare, the hi-hats, the growl of the guitar, the hum of the bass are all there in their respective full glory to immerse you in this roller coaster nightmare-ride, while the vocal inputs are coming in the classical death metal registers, consisting of two kinds of furious modes of passionate declaration : the low-pitched growl, and a higher pitched scream, each delivered by a separate - no pun intended - dismember. Band member, sorry. Pig squeals are abundantly offered, as well.

If you find 40 minutes a tad less than what you would expect to get from an LP, then rest assured that you will be totally content by the sonic beating you will find yourself legendary suffering in when the spin reaches its middle point. After all, 40 minutes of hospital horror are 40 minutes at the shores of hell, and intensity itself does not like to be over-intensified. As such, the complexity and anger this record communicates itself by, guarantees an exhausting and thorough ride for that 40 minutes, because, remember : brakes are NOT included on that stretcher of yours.

Rating :

7.5 / 10

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