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Unhuman + Petra Flurr – Mala Vida (2023)

Petra Flurr is an interesting artist, but by the time I discovered the wonderful albums “Puffmutter” (2009) and “Download Selbstmord” (2012) they were ‘too old to review’. Obviously I do not follow him close enough, as there have been several releases since.

Flurr usually works with other artists. Modernista, 89st or Unhuman. “Mala Vida” is not the first cooperation with Unhuman. The sound of Petra Flurr holds the middle between old school EBM and electropunk. Discogs describes him as: “Italian/German queer punk electro EBM singer and performer” which I suppose fits the bill. Unhuman is originally a Greek who also moved to Berlin.

Flurr’s voice reminds of old school EBM’ers and also the sound leans towards things such as DAF every now and then. Some tracks have a typical ‘disco speed’ which goes for the whole of “Mala Vida”. On other releases the speed can be a little higher.

“Mala Vida” is (in my opinion) not the best album of Flurr, but it is still good and easy listening and like with a project such as Infecticide or Parzival on the more cheerful end of my musical spectrum.

Links: Unhuman, Petra Flurr, Bite

Angelspit * Carbon Beauty (cd 2011)

I seldom hear, let alone review, new and hip things from the larger gothic scene. Inspite of my very wide musical taste, my interest seldom goes to the ‘next generation’ gothic(-related) bands. A while ago I was listening to where I never listen to my ‘normal’ music (no use, since I have it all on cd) and suddenly there was this very nice industrial rock track in the Ministry vein. The band appeared to be Angelspit. I knew Angelspit. This Australian duo looks way too hip for me (sweet prejudice) and I never consciously listened to their music. I decided to try their last album. “Carbon Beauty” opens in a promising way. An energetic kind of modern EBM/electro. Only lateron there are some guitars. Save one or two tracks the music is not really catchy or convincing and I particularly do not like the vocals which remind too much of the singing/talking of modern “urban” music. Unfortunately another prejudice came true… Sometimes I wonder what the ‘gothic youth’ listens to, perhaps this answers that question too.
Angelspit, Metropolis Records

Parzival * Urheimat (cd 2011)

1999, I just started to get acquinted with the neofolk scene. Then suddenly there was this new band that released its debut on a metal label: Of The Wand And The Moon. That same label released the debut album of Parzival and the rumour was that Kim Larsson also did the Rammstein-like vocals of Parzival. I described the debut as a mix between Gae Bolg and Enigma. Parzival made heroic medieval music with techno rhythms (the famous ‘Amen break’) and very destinctive, extremely low vocals. I like the album, but perhaps because of the 3 year gap between the second album (released on a label that I do not know), I never bought anything of Parzival again, inspite of very nice compilation contributions. Somehow I started downloading the albums that I missed a little while ago and while looking for a real copy of the magnificent “Deus Nobiscum” album (2006, sold out, I now ordered a second hand copy) I noticed that Parzival released a new album on the label on which they once started. Parzival had developed towards more of a Laibach style with pompous orchestral industrial and choirs. “Urheimat”, however, reminds of what nowadays is called “old style EBM” in several tracks, while the others are more in the Laibach vein. Not as good as “Deus Nobiscum”, but still very original and enjoyable.
Links: Parzival, Euphonious

:Wumpscut: * Blutkind (2cd 2000 beton kopf media)

This is the first electro cd to be reviewed in Sententia. This is not because I don’t like electro, in fact, I highly enjoy this music at times. Point is that I don’t like most electro releases and therefor I seldom buy one. The chance is too big that I won’t like the cd at all. :W: (as the band’s name is most often abbreviated) used to be my favourite electro act by far. I have the first five cds (three full-lenghts, two minis), but after that the releases didn’t appeal to me anymore. This “old-new” thing also shows on “Blutkind” (which means bloodchild by the way). “Blutkind” is a double cd for the price of a normal cd and contains tracks from the 91 and 92 demos “Defcon” and “Small Chambermusicians” and is filled up with unreleased material, old and new versions of old tracks, two new tracks and a multimedia track. The latter is a flash-like little program with an awfull lot of pictures, lyrics, music, biography, etc. Looks pretty damn nice too! Definately the tracks from the demos are the best of this 2cd. They are the extremely harsch industrial – electro tracks that I love from the early cds. Distorted sounds, distorted vocals, crazy rhythms and funny samples. The first cd mostly contains these danceble sounds. The second cd contains quite a lot of ambient-like tracks and some softer electro. That last is also to be found on the later cds and that is where I left :W: for what it was. Also with the newer style the darkness and grim humour seems to be decrease.
But, this cd is a good introduction for people who don’t know :W: yet. They can hear the old and the new style, read about the history, view and extensive discography and listen to about 140 minutes of music for a relatively small price.
And not to give you the wrong impression: there is enough good stuff on this cd to enjoy me too!

Von Thronstahl * Mutter Der Schmertzen (mcd+cdr 2006 der angriff)

It is hard to keep up with the guys from Von Thronstahl. They don’t release too many things and when they do, these releases are very limited and/or released on a small label and/or not available from most mailorders. Here we have a mcd limited to 350 copies, but there is also a version with an extra mcdr and this version is limited to 150 copies. The mcd contains new versions of “Europa Calling”, “Adoration to Europa” and “Mutter der Schmertzen”, a cover-version of Death In June’s “Runes and Men” and “The Leader’s Daughter”, the Russion national anthem. The tracks are alright. The extra mcdr opens with a better “Runes and Men”, followed by a track that begins as a typical Von Thronstahl track with voice-samples and keyboard orchestrations, but this track goes over in a cheesy ‘dance’ track. Both versions of “Bellum Sacrum Bellum” do not come near the original version and the electro-track “The Great Brittish Betrayal” is amusing, but not too good. Concluding I might say that Von Thronstahl come with one of their experimental, small releases, while their ‘bigger releases’ are usually better. Of course this limited release is nice for collectors though.

Invisible Empire * Chants Before The Last Battle (cd 1999 oktagön)

This must be the first cd of this Italian act, because I can’t remember I’ve heard of them before. Also it’s the first release of the Oktagön label, but immediately they strike us with an extremely luxery package in 7″-size. “Chants Before The Last Battle” is a bit of an “I don’t really know what music to play exactly” kind of release. There’s cheap electro, a bit industrial, ebm songs, Shadowcaster/Tangerine Dream-like tracks. Most of the songs aren’t really good and since every track is in another style, the don’t relate much to eachother. One thing that is typical for Invisible Empire are the opera-like male vocals (tenor) which comes back in almost all tracks. Actually this is but a mediocre cd.

Fatal Blast Whip * Constellation (cd 2000 blacklight records)

The bandfoto really fooled me here! I really thought that this was going to be a gothic rock band, while nothing is less true. FBW is actually a technoid electro act from the States. As a matter of fact, this is electro that even I enjoy quite a bit! Nicely uptempo, techno sounds and dito energy. Most tracks are instrumental and there funny samples to be heard. When there are vocals, they are highly distorted. Not all tracks are fast, nor all tracks are equally good, but a large part of this 39 minute cd is very enjoyable.

Maruta Kommand * Holocaust Rites (cd 2000 kokampf records)

A Brittish duo made a 70 minute cd (their first if I am right) with nice dark industrial and terrible electro/industrial. There are a few nice tracks here, but this electro/industrial really isn’t my kind of music and this is actually the largest part of this cd.
Sorry guys, maybe I should have gone for the MZ offer… But I liked the festival!