Propergol – Music As A Weapon (cd 2001)

Here we have a real Tesco release. A 71 minute noise cd in an oversized package of a French band. 11 Tracks with a lot of variety in styles of noise and power electronics including everything from high to low-frequency noise, from relatively tranquil to very extreme, lots of rhythm, lots of samples, sometimes with distorted vocals and most of the time pretty dark. Get it before it is gone! <29/9/01> <4>

Chamber (l’orchestre de chambre noir) * Pleasure And Pain (cdemo 2000)

I had never heard of this band until they played at a free festival in Rotterdam (Netherlands) which had a “Cybergothic” stage. I saw a beautiful neo-folk performance with a male singer and an acoustic guitar and four young women on violin (2), cello and bass. It took me a while to find this band, there was nothing available at the festival and in the end the band turned out to not simply be called “Chamber”, but with the double name “Chamber / l’Orchestre de Chambre Noir”. “Pleasure And Pain” is the first cd of Chamber and actually it is a very professionally looking demo. The actual cd will be recorded this autumn and should be available from Trisol records coming spring.
The line-up on this cd is a bit different from when I saw them. On the cd there are two men and three women, two guitars and only one violin. Also the music is a bit different from what I remember. The cd has a more gothic sound while I remember a more neo-folk oriented performance. I think that if you want to compare this band with anything, it is best to say that it sounds something like the “From The Heart” cd of Shadow Project. Chamber is more orchestral though and there is a bit more neo-folk in Chamber as well and some medieval influences. The music is always very moody and very beautiful and if you like classically oriented gothic music or neo-folk, I suggest that you visit the band’s nice webpage and get a copy of this cd.

A Challenge Of Honour * The Right Place (mc 2001 stahlklang audio)

Just released a few days ago and very limited (30 copies) comes a nice tape in a videobox.
“The Right Place” opens with a few tracks that remind of Der Blutharsch and Dernière Volonté and after an acoustic track there are a couple of monotous soundscape-like ambient/industrial tracks that I don’t like as much as the first few tracks. These are a bit harder, slightly militant and with talking-samples, like you may expect with the two comparison projects.
However I think that this German band would fit well on Hau Ruck!, it seems that Cold Spring showed interest. Not the least label indeed, so I’m curious what the future will bring. I’ll patiently wait and see. And for the moment, get in touch with Stahlklang before all copies are gone. <1/4/01><3>

4th Sign Of The Apocalypse * Lost Hour World (cd 1998 the order of the suffering clown)

I knew 4th Sign from several wonderfull contributions to compilation cds. It was not before Black Magazine 21 that I knew that this strange American band actually already released a couple of cds. A two page advertisement of Suffering Clown spoke about a “Frolic Of The Demons” cd, a “Box Full Of Demons” box and this “Lost Hour World” cd. I haven’t been able to find the other titles. The webpages of the Suffering Clown don’t give much of a clue and they don’t answer emails. The distributor of this label is World Serpent and they only have “Lost Hour World” which eventually remained the only title that I could track down. Since it is still available, I decided to review this cd afterall.
If you know the tracks of 4th Sign on a growing number of compilations, you won’t be surprised when I say that this is a pretty weird cd. 9 Long tracks making a cd of over 70 minutes with strange experiments and soundscapes, or in the words of Suffering Clown: “dark and humorous sentiments share equal time in eclectic visions coupled with unconventional electronics. Travelling through the subconscious via illbient loops, bizarre soundbites and an experimental tapestry of sound.” I couldn’t think of a better description!
If you are not afraid of strange stuff, try to get your hands on this cd.

Unto Ashes * Moon Oppose Moon (cd 2000 projekt)

Projekt is in my opinion one of the few ‘real’ gothic labels from the States with quite well-known acts as Black Tape For A Blue Girl and Lycia. All of the Projekt releases that I know are extremely tranquil and quite minimal in approach. This also goes for Unto Ashes.
Unto Ashes has a more folky or even medieval approach with traditional instruments, acoustic guitars and drumming, but seldom the music gets uptempo or cheerfull, but it is definately not all ‘ambient’ here either! Some songs are more orchestral, classical or gothic of sound and the vocals are both male and female.
“Moon Oppose Moon” sounds very nice. Like most Projekt cds, music for long winter nights.

Allerseelen * Neuschwabenland (cd 2000 aorta)

I have never been a big fan of Allerseelen and never really thought about buying Neuschwabenland, but since I now have it on tape, I can just review it anyway.
As expected the music is quite alright, but the tracks remain the same too long and I start to skip through the tracks after having heard the first minute. I also had that with earlier albums and unfortunately this didn’t change with the newest. Still the music is nice, strange industrial, slightly orchestral, a bit mysterious, pulsating rhythms, nice ideas, but unfortunaly not enough to make really interesting tracks. Maybe with the tracks half the length and twice as many, I would like an Allerseelen cd.

Winterkälte * Drum ‘n’ Noise (cd 1999 hands productions)

Here we have one of the leading projects in the danceble industrial style. Winterkälte is a lot harder than most other projects in this vein that I know and I mean A LOT HARDER! The title of this cd is a little fallacious, because you shouldn’t expect to hear a heavy version of drum ‘n’ bass, but the title does fit the content well. From the first second on you’ll be blown away by extremely heavy industrial techno. And while it’s danceble, it’s still some of the most violent music that I’ve heard. As a matter of fact, this is what I always searched for in the so called “rhythmical and danceble industrial” musical style. It’s always said to be so hard, but it never really is. Now here’s a cd that fullfilled it’s promises. This is the kind of music to try out your speakers, make your walls vibrate and your neighbours angry. Agressive dance-music in a way I always wanted it. Not that I’ll listen to this really much, but once in a while this is really funny.

v/a * On The Brink Of Infinity (cd 1999 chthonic streams)

Here we have a very descent compilation cd from the label of Derek Rush. You will find known and unknown bands, but all in an mysterious and/or neo-folkish style. The bands featured are Howden/Wakeford (neo-classical folky music), Empyrium (dark orchestal), Arcane Art (orchestal), Anima In Fiamme (classical), Funerary Call (dark ambient/ industrial), Nothvs Filivs Mortis (dark ambient), Kerovnian (dark ambient), Gruntsplatter (noise), 15 Delights Of Dionysius (“soundsourcing bones”), 4th Sign Of The Apocalypse (dark industrial), Dream Into Dust (dark industrial) and Backworld (neo-folk). Most tracks are really good and there sure is some original stuff on this compilation. It is deffinately a lot better than most compilations that I have!