Category: CD/DVD Reviews

Requiem RosaLocation: Milan Italy – Genre: Gothic

Stompcrash‘s Requiem Rosa has a very interesting provenance, originating in the online poetics of an unknown writer, being picked up by the band and turned into a full-on Gothic CD. The music is no-nonsense Gothic rock played with finesse. The sound combined with the feelings emoted by the original author of the words forms a pretty darned good CD.

The official blurb wraps up the origins of the lyrics:

A treasure is always hidden. Time ago they were buried in woods or lying in the deepest oceans. Today they hide in the mysterious ways of the Net. Surfing without direction The Stompcrash found one of them. A site called offers some gloomy vocal lines waiting for somebody to give them new life. That’s what The Stompcrash did: their first first album Requiem Rosa is their interpretation of those awesome melodies written by an unknown and generous songwriter. It could remain a secret forever, but The Stompcrash decided to share it and let everybody know how to reach Requiem Rosa. Just to see if someone could bring new life to these lonely voices. Now it’s up to you.

Released through Nomadism Records Stompcrash’s Requiem Rosa contains 12 tracks.

The CD starts nicely with The London Fog paints a dark Gothic landscape with deep male vocals and works very well giving an image of London during the Ripper’s days there. Like a Noise is more a straight Goth rock track with strong femme vocals emphasizing the ever-present darkness in the listener’s life.

Watching Me Fall is wrapped around very deep male vocals and atmospheric background music. The sadness of the song where the singer has (emotionally) fallen and cannot be rescued by the one he loves or perhaps loved. 99 Cats is a much lighter sounding song with has an early 80′s shoe-gaze style.

Traditional Goth rock with clever vocals adorns Dorian, linked to the classic horror-novel by Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Modern Slaves is another quicker-paced song driven by strong femme vocals about the dilemna of today – have we all become slaves in the modern era?

I Will Kill Myself is a heavy-hearted song with a lot of sad violins and the protagonist declaring her love to her partner, but that she will kill herself. I am not sure if this is literal or metaphorical suicide, but either way it is a very beautifully sad track. Moscow is a rock song dotted with sound bites from World War II-style bulletins of Russians reclaiming territory from the Nazi’s.

Wake up in a Grave is another track driven by femme vocals, depicting the rather scary idea of waking up in a grave. Bloody Rain is a lot bouncier and plays like an 80s Goth/Post Punk track. They do a good job too, mixing deep male and strong female vocals throughout the song.

The Wind That Moves the Flowers is probably my favorite song with the female vocals seeming to slip through the instrumentals like a wind spirit. The CD wraps up with Mountains of Madness a good Goth-rock track. It was a nice finish to the album.

I found this CD to be really enjoyable, especially The London Fog, Like a Noise, Dorian, The Wind That Moves the Flowers and Mountains of Madness. The songs were crisply made and quite clear. The only downside for me was that a few times the vocals were sometimes a little hard to catch, especially as the concept of the record was based on an online anonymous poet. Aside from that one quibble I like this CD a lot and find the sound quite addictive. You can have a listen for yourself at their MySpace location or on their homepage.

Requiem RosaRosa Requiem :: Track List
01. The London Fog
02. Like A Noise
03. Watching Me Fall
04. 99 Cats
05. Dorian
06. Modern Slaves
07. I Will Kill Myself
08. Moscow
09. Wake Up In A Grave
10. Bloody Rain
11. The Wind That Moves The Flowers
12. Mountains Of Madness

For more information check:
The Stompcrash (you can also purchase the CD there).
Email: thegrave [AT] thestompcrash [DOT] com
Stompcrash on MySpace
Requiem Rosa (the anonymous poet).

Sino GalvanismGalvanism represents the fourth mini-CD from Sino Re-Build Projects. Since 2000, Sino Re-Build Projects has been a one-man instrumental band with Sino taking care of programming, noise and guitar work. When performing live Sino is often accompanied by VJ Hal who, donned in a Darth Vader mask with fluorescent dreadlocks, handles the visuals of the performance. However, the music is with one man, Sino and he is able to create an interesting mix of pure electronicka, power noise and metal that is very listenable.

The new CD, Galvanism, features four tracks starting quietly enough at the beginning of Drainage with cathedral-like prayers droning in the background. This lasts about 50 seconds before the harsh glitch noise kicks in with heavy bass igniting your eardrums. It moves smoothly between hard noise with guitar, and a more straight electronic style kicking in between the aggressive parts.

The second track, Flash Back, has an almost Jarre-esque soundscape somewhat akin to style of Metamorphoses. It is a very original piece with heavy emphasis on the keyboards and deep glitch sounds. At a couple of points through the song Sino crashes in with heavy guitar solos, which complement the more sublime sounds of the keyboards.

To Die starts off racing with frantic programmed base beats rapidly dragging the song into a complete metal and power-noise piece. Nothing is held back here and this brutal, relentless sound has enough to get a serious moshpit going.

The final track, Everlasting, creates a more melancholic chilling soundscape with its ambiance crushed from time to time by mammoth percussion and guitar. Overall it is the mellowest song in the album, but is not without the heavy electronic and guitar elements.

As far as the overall feel of the album goes, it is very accessible for power noise, metal and electronicka lovers.

Galvanism - SinoGalvanism :: Track List
01. Drainage (5:28)
02. Flash Back ( 5:14)
03. To Die (4:46)
04. Everlasting (5:25)
Total Playtime: 20:43

International distibutors include Nanimato (France) and Mile 329 (U.S.A.), or you can connect with Sino directly at his Web Site or Sino’s MySpace.

I couldn’t find a sample page, but there are a lot of videos of Sino Re-Build Projects here.

[youtube UC21NkWPccc][

Sins of the FleshLocation: Osaka, Japan & UK – Genre Post punk, New Wave, Gothic

Sins of the Flesh deliver two CDs worth of music, the first containing one CD of original songs, and a second CD with remixes of the songs on CD 1. The additional CD’s reworked electro remixes put a very different spin on the songs making you feel like you are getting two albums for the price of one.

Sins of the Flesh or their style of music would be recognizable to the thirty-somethings as their earlier career went from the late 80′s through to the early 90′s. Stealing the blurb from Gothtronic:

Long before ‘darkwave’, back in the days when ‘industrial’ still referred to Throbbing Gristle rather than Nine Inch Nails, SINS OF THE FLESH delivered their first stroboscopic live shows in London. SINS OF THE FLESH was never conceived as a rock group, but rather as an exercise in media-manipulation, as much concerned with presentation as content – wherein music was merely a singular (albeit core) component in a well-structured whole. Inspired by the effective product-placement of acts like Sigue Sigue Sputnik and The Jesus And Mary Chain, and ZTT’s legendary propagandist Paul Morley, SINS OF THE FLESH chose a deliberately provocative name and opted for selective live appearances coupled with expensive advertising copy which effectively replicated that of far larger, corporate-sponsored acts. By the time of only their fourth such performance, such a strategy was vindicated in the shape of the journalists already in attendance, and SOTF duly received the first of their many mentions in SOUNDS, Melody Maker and the NME.[....]

[After 1993 SOTF] became the default headline act of choice for innumerable goth-industrial one-dayers nationwide. Besides their own shows, they also opened for a variety of acts ranging from fellow homegrown advocates of a cultural cut-and-paste aesthetic like Pop Will Eat Itself and Apollo 440, to Spahn Ranch and Switchblade Symphony from the US. After a handful of appearances road-testing new material under the pseudonym ‘star80′ in 1998, SINS OF THE FLESH suddenly disappeared without trace…..

Until 2004/05 when SOTF resurfaced again in Japan. The band’s current permutation sees it spread across Japan and the UK with lead man Jude (Jamie Nova), rebuilding the base of the band from Osaka and gearing it up for a 21st Century audience. This has included performances, new releases and finally, in early-mid 2007, the double CD was released.

As I say, the differences between the original and remixed versions of the songs make for two very different listening experiences. I think the older pre-NIN Goths, Industrialists, etc. will find the original gory material to be a refreshing return to the good old days of darkness, while the younger crowd might tend to find more value in the second CD’s remixes. I have seen two previous reviews of the CD, one loving the release, the other quite a bit less loving. The truth is, either you will love this material dearly or you won’t. Listen to the samples and see if this music floats your boat at SOTF’s Web site – click MP3s to get to the samples (there are a lot of them!).

Igor’s take…
My initial reaction to the first CD (album versions) was mixed – enjoying the old school works, but finding the lyrics quite disturbing, especially tracks like Cutter which makes Linda Blair’s crucifix scene in The Exorcist pale in comparison! The more I have listened to the songs the more I have grown to like them. While the subject matter is fiery, delivered with vitriol, I find it a refreshing sound. The best tracks for me were Judas Kiss, the more synth-popped DeathWish, the biting ballads Image is Everything and Following (in the Company of my Shadow), the mellow but strong guitar-riffed (Song for) the Lonely Ones, Wormwood, The Damned-esque sound of About Time, and the broken industrial sound of Shikan.

The second CD reworks and remixes the songs on the first CD making a much more readily accessible sound with the electro versions of the songs on the first CD. I find myself enjoying all the remixed versions of the songs as much as the originals. For me, the best songs of the second CD would be Be My Enemy, Make Believe, Still Following and Fade Away.

Taken as a double-disk album Death of the Flesh offer quite an interesting journey from the original versions to the extensively remixed material. Considering the price (2,000 yen in Japan, 11.99 pounds in the UK, etc.) it is definitely worth the money to check out Sins of the Flesh. You should get a full feel of the band’s music through the ample samples available at SOTF’s Web site – click MP3s to get to the samples.

Sins of the FleshDeath of the Flesh :: Track Listing (Disc one)
01. Judas Kiss (4:51) – Sample
02. Cutter (4:40)
03. Go To Hell (4:33)
04. F**k #1 (4:52)
05. Death Wish (5:57) – Sample
06. Image Is Everything (4:27)
07. Following (In The Company Of Shadows) (4:02)
08. The Death Of The Flesh (5:22)
09. (Song For) The Lonely Ones (5:09)
10. The Sweetest Poison (4:09)
11. Wormwood (3:24)
12. About Time (4:35) – Sample
13. Shikan (5:01)
14. Woman’s Heart (5:26)
15. The Only Thing Certain In Life Is Death (6:38)
Total Time: 71.19
Beyond of the Limits of the Flesh :: Track Listing (Disc two)
01. Be My Enemy (4:16) – Sample
02. The Unkindest Cut (5:48)
03. Make Believe (5:33) – Sample
04. F**k #2 (3:48)
05. 1000 Times (4:54)
06. Image Is Nothing (6:40)
07. Still Following (5:15)
08. The Death Of The Flesh Pt.II (5:33)
09. The Patron Saint Of Suicides (5:22)
10. Fade Away (3:40) – Sample
11. Food For Worms (5:12)
12. 1 More Time (2:38)
13. The Death Of The Flesh Pt.III (6:54)
Total Time: 68:35

Grand Total Time: 2:19:54

The site includes a list of links to shops in Japan, Europe and Oceania here or you can use the stores that Igor is affiliated with below:

Music Non Stop:

Amazon Japan:

gateofdeaths.gifThis devastatingly heavy EBM release from Demonoid 13 (MySpace) comes to you professionally repackaged by the small, but quickly expanding, Deathwatch Asia label in Japan. The music comes across as hard, powerful dance tracks, which reflects the nature of lead man Fixer-D, a.k.a. DJ DoomSpider of Nagoya’s Stigmatic events. Aside from Fixer-D on vocals and programming the band includes Sister Levi (DJ VenoMoth) on synths and sonic waves and DxUxSx on metal and electro percussion.

The band’s mix of dark metal, and heavy grindcore is built around Fixer D’s own powerful demonic voice. Whether “whispering” or screaming, his voice powers through the soundscape with little difficulty. Despite the harshness of the sound, the last three tracks of the CD play really well for club events – Sinister Circle, Master of D and Satanic Panzer Unit – and can often be heard in the DJ’d sets at Goth events in Japan. The other two tracks, Reflected Lights and Hypocritical Souls and are more straight heavy EBM-industrial that you can enjoy blasting away anywhere you are!

Overall, the CD plays really well and is a fine example of the Japanese dark EBM, delivering a powerful mix of metal and electronicka with powerful vocals. The price for this CD is quite reasonable at 1,500 yen for 25 minutes of some great music.

Gate of DeathGate of Death :: Track List
1. Reflected Lights (4:58)
2. Hypocritical Souls (5:08)
3. Sinister Circle (4:55)
4. Master of-D (5:21)
5. Satanic Panzer Unit (4:47)
Total Time: 25:07

You can find a list of domestic and international distributors on DWA’s order information page.

Finally, you may want to check out the video sample:

[youtube lBfj8vbc1y8]

forkyss.gifAttica, Greece – Genre: Electro, Gothic, Industrial

My Spirit Free At Last is the first full official album release for Forkys (MySpace). Forkys is a Greek duo, featuring Dominique on vocals & keyboards and Vril in charge of programming, FX vocals and visuals, and has been around since 2001. The band’s strong Gothic, dark electronicka sound was influenced by European and North American Gothic and industrial music as well as ancient European literature. The end result is a high-quality, enjoyable CD weighing in at 58 minutes with 12-tracks.

Before getting into the album itself it might be worth noting that Forkys was (is) an ancient Greek God of Water – sea and wave – so it is associated with human emotions to some extent.
The album mixes simple, addictive technoid tracks such as the opening 6th with much more complex arrangements such as the second track The Harpies Are Waiting. Dominique’s voice is quite unique, quavering between speaking and singing through the tracks, gives the songs an extra-dimension and adds a sexy touch to the tracks. Attack of Insanity starts showing a darker side of this duo. This continues with The Way of the Soul as male vocals become more prevalent.

The following song, Les Dibles Ils Reviennent is probably the sexiest of the album with an infectious beat and vocals in French, which suit Dominique’s style of singing.

The next three songs continue the albums slide into darker beats and formats with Under the Sun, the sad male vocals of Womb and Dithering with key outtakes from George Bush Jr.’s speeches. The trend continues with Cold in the Earth with a sense sadness extending below the surface of the world and Colors.

The final two songs give the feeling of overcoming the darkness that had previously built up in the mid-section of the album. My Spirit Freed at Last exhibits continued sadness, but the haunting vocals penetrating the beat give a sense of elevation. The final song, Incantation is the least danceable track due to its melancholic rhythm, but emphasizes a final release.

Overall, I found this recording quite satisfying to listen to and, while it may not be revolutionary, it certainly is a fine example of Greek Gothic electro. My favorite track would have to be Les Dibles, Ils Reviennent, because of the vocals were just amazing, but I enjoyed all the tracks.

ForkysMy Spirit Freed at Last :: Track List
1. 6th (5:24)
2. The Harpies are Waiting (5:08)
3. Attack of Insanity (4:50)
4. The Way of the Soul (4:20)
5. Les Diables, Ils Reviennent (3:45)
6. Under the Sun (5:14)
7. Womb (5:04)
8. Dithering (Feat. G. Bush Jr.) (4:45)
9. Cold in the Earth (3:39)
10. Colors: (4:57)
11. My Spirit Freed at Last (7:09)
12. Incantation (4:11)
Total: 58:26

For more information contact Dead Scarlet Records or visit Forkys on MySpace. Japan distribution is made possible by Cure Distribution.

Baal Japan Location: Tokyo, Japan – Genre: Industrial, Metal, Electro

Baal has an infectious, indeed virulent industrial sound. This review covers the first EP (CD-R alas) from the band, Territory of B.A.A.L. that has been built up by reworking earlier singles and new material. Their blend of industrial programming and guitar from Mikito, percussion from Chihiro and voice from U-Tarou has resulted in a kind of cybernetic industrial rock that plays hard, fast and is very, very addictive to see on stage. This CD manages to capture the live sound very closely, giving you a glimpse into the heady world of Japanese underground rock.

The CD contains six songs, all running at a frenetic pace. The first song, Bloody Logic Communication (re-mastered), speedballs along with the heavily warped digital sounds and powerful percussion giving a sense of urgency. U-tarou’s powerful voice plays over the instruments.

Wreckage (re-mastered) plays like an industrial anthem for the underclass with U-tarou exploding through the chorus and carries it through the verses.

Vermin (new track) is hard and powerful from the start with vocals exploding seconds into the track and driving through the violent beat of the track.

Myrrha (new track) is more a smashed-up rhythm created by real industrial sounds with samples steam hammers and chains. It is a slower track by this album’s standards.

On the Surface (2006 neo brutal version) starts slow, but builds up to very heavy (and yes it is brutal) sound, with a fast tempo and stacks of power.

The final track, Collapse of Rusty Kingdom (New) would be a moonlit ballad by Baal’s standards, with a slower tempo with steam hammers and the like forming the sound. It is a slow(er) instrumental track which makes a perfect finish to this adrenalin-pumping EP.

The only downside to this is the price – 2,000 yen – 12 Euros – $16 – which seems a bit expensive for an EP. Of course, for a fan, or appreciator of good hard industrial sounds, the price would not be an issue.

Overall, while I have enjoyed Baal’s previous work, I see this as a much more mature piece of work. The re-mastered tracks and the new additions have helped deliver a balanced EP from a band that has risen quickly in the ranks of the Japanese Goth scene.

Baal JapanTerritory of “B.A.A.L.” :: Track List
1. Blood_Logic_Communication (re-mastered) – 4:40
2. Wreckage (re-mastered) – 5:40
3. Vermin (new) – 4:06 – Sample
4. Myrrha (new) – 2:15
5. On the Surface (2006 neo brutal version) – 6:24 – Sample
6. Collapse of Rusty Kingdom (New) – 3:22
Total: 27:21

Note, there are more samples throughout their regular site and via their MySpace site.

You can buy the CD through PayPal. To get there, just click the link marked “Sound” on the left-hand side of the page and you should see the EP in the resulting page.

Garden in BlackBased in Athens, Greece, Garden in Black released its debut CD on the Dead Scarlet Records label on 13 February 2007. Garden in Black is an interesting mix of digitized music mixed within strong danceable beats with the whispered vocals of fear, loss and pain. While the topics tend towards the darker side of the human psyche, the keyboards, guitar and percussion along with the vocals make for quite an enjoyable listening experience (see links to samples below).

The album starts on the darker side with Help Me!! and Your Hell, which offer dark dance themes for the listener. Help Me!! was, for me, particularly interesting with the female voice that said “Help me, I want you to help me” with the same emotionless delivery of the voice on Depeche Mode’s Photographic song – “I take pictures, photographic pictures.” The rasping vocals of Your Hell makes you truly believe the lead singer is the inflicter of pain and tragedy in your life.

The faster underlying beat in War Dialing is in line with a cyber attack. Hypnotic Touch and Fallen Star offer more mellow soundscapes. Retro 80’s sounds and beats infuse 25th of September and The Haunted Song. Dark Current Noise delivers a harder contemporary noise and electronica sound. In Silence is probably the most melancholic piece of this dark, yet danceable CD.

There are also remixes of Help Me!! and Your Hell on the CD. Help Me!! delivers an extra layer of darkness to the original with screams in the background. Both remixes deliver more power with harder, edgier sounds. There is a final track (not mentioned on the CD) that finishes with an acoustic guitar and a woman’s groaning in ecstasy – a most interesting finish.

Overall I found this CD to be quite a good mix of darkness and light. The raspy vocals blended well with the guitar, keyboards & percussion. If you are looking for something dark, but not too dark, then this would be a good choice. I will certainly continue to listen to this album from time to time.

Garden in BlackGarden in Black :: Track Listing
1. Help Me!! (5:08)
2. Your Hell (3:44)
3. War Dialing (3:56) Sample
4. Hypnotic Touch (4:07) Sample
5. Fallen Star (4:20)
6. 25th of September (6:26)
7. Dark Current Noise (4:25)
8. In Silence (3:31)
9. The Haunted Song (6:07)
10. Help Me!! (fear mix) (3:42)
11. Your Hell (I hunt you remix) (3:38)
12. Untitled (4:48)
Total: (53:12)

Final note: Help Me!! now has a video clip here, and there are four full tracks available for download on Garden in Black’s site.

Available from:
Garden in Black (Paypal)
Dead Scarlet Records

Dark WatersWith the growing interest of Japanese Gothic music over the watered-down Visual Kei (which is still often mistaken as Japanese Goth), so too has the number and quality of Gothic music releases increased. Perhaps the best way to get into this exciting avenue of the Japanese underground scene is through omnibuses of leading artists in the scene.

Dark Waters, released in late 2006, does an admiral job of introducing the world to JGoth by featuring a compilation featuring 12 artists in Japan. The tracks run the gamut from harsh electro-industrial and EBM to death rock and hardcore industrial. This is the first time for all the songs to be on CD, with a number of purely new tracks and those that were only available in CD-R format at events.

The label, Deathwatch Asia, is based in Osaka and through connections in Tokyo and Nagoya has resulted in a nation-wide mix of artists. This ensures a healthy cross-section of Goth-industrial music from throughout Japan. This album is perfect for anybody seeking a broad view of the true Gothic scene in Japan.

The album starts with a hard industrial beats from 2 Bullet’s Drain People’s Blood (Cold War Remix). This is followed hard electronic industrial Satanic Panzer Unit (SOTF Remix). The third song is a very danceable remix of Agent Murder’s Ballet of the Unhatched Fools. Psycho Dream’s self-titled track mixes traditional sounds and beats with heavy guitar riffs all backed by the soft vocals of the lead singer. This is followed by the soft rock ballad of Satanyanko’s Little Abandoned Cat in the Dark (sadly this quickly maturing group broke up shortly after this recording), probably the best track on the album.

The next song on the menu was Jet Pepper Tower’s Nocturnal Cabaret, and this straight rock piece jagged against the other tracks on the CD. It would be great on a J-Rock compilation. The CD got back into order with the next track from Baal, a downright scary piece of cybernetic electronicka and industrial noise with a powerful femme voice leading the action. The next track was an ultra-heavy industrial grindcore of Despair’s Junk War (Riot Command Mix). This leads into an inspiring self-titled, heavy rock-industrial piece from Destruct System.

This was followed by the fine electro-Euro-friendly-beat Death Wish from Sins of the Flesh. The next track was a fun tongue-in-cheek electro-slash called Bad Movie Disco King from Aural Vampire. The CD finished with the electro-rock Future by Future from Speecies.

Being in Japan I have had access to a number of the songs on CD-R or seen the live versions, but the CD was still very fresh to listen to. There were a couple of tracks that I did not like, one that really should not have been on a Goth CD, but in general it was a great selection of tracks. On the technical side all the recordings were professional, crisp and clear.

The price is also amazing – just 1,500 yen in Japan, or 10 Euros for over 60 minutes of a very fresh music scene – making this a great item to get for someone into J-music styles or international Goth or if you are just looking for a new sound to love!

Dark WatersDark Waters Track List
1. 2Bullet :: Drain People’s Blood (Cold War Remix) – 5.23
2. Demonoid 13 :: Satanic Panzer Unit (Sins Of The Flesh Remix) – 6.38
3. Agent Murder :: Ballet Of The Unhatched Fools (Re-Hatched) – 4.03
4. Psycho Dream :: Psycho Dream – 3.31
5. Satanyanko :: Little Abandoned Cat In The Dark – 3.48
6. Jet Pepper Tower :: Nocturnal Cabaret – 7.31
7. Baal :: On The Surface 2006 (Start The New Brutal) – 6.08
8. Despair :: Junk War (Riot Command Remix) – 3.07
9. Destruct System :: Destruct System – 3.44
10. Sins of the Flesh Death Wish (Mayan Sacrifice Mix) – 6.15
11. Aural Vampire :: Bad Movie Disco King – 5:18
12. Speecies :: Future By Future – 4.42
Total time: 60:17

Available From:

Despair - Deserted Technology RiotLocation: Tokyo, Japan – Genre: Heavy Industrial, Electro

Nothing compares to Despair live – check my first reaction to Despair at one Tokyo Dark Castle in 2005. All traditional instruments have been thrown on the junk pile with heavy industrial noise tracks and a digital ax-style keyboard being the only thing between you and the stage screamers. Despair has one of the most intense industrial sound in Japan and they ignite the crowd every time with a napalm bomb of noise. Rieu and Ana ride the industrial monster noise and Jude’s keytar in a scream fest that can only be considered industrial opera. Anyone who has seen the band perform live knows what I’m talking about – raw industrial power amped up to the max. Just how the hell they managed to get this experience onto a silver platter is beyond me, but somehow Deserted Technology Riot (DTR) has managed to capture the soul of Despair’s live performance. How the hell they did it, I don’t know – but it has been surgically attached and DTR delivers the full Despair experience to you!

The new CD is a quantum leap ahead of the 2004 CD, Beautiful Japanese Sight. Don’t get me wrong – Beautiful Japanese Sight is a fine example hard-industrial, and I thoroughly recommend getting your hands on a copy – but I found it lacking the violent wall of mashed-up noise that would hit you at a live event. In a way, Beautiful Japanese Sight was too precise and clinical when compared to the madness of the live versions of the songs.

This is where DTR takes Despair to a new level with a sound that grabs your attention like an oncoming tidal wave of noise. The tracks are pure Despair with broken up, smashed industrial, aggressive soundscapes of destruction. DTR takes you screaming down the highway to hell.

The CD starts with Jarring God, an extremely hard, fast-paced track that is just as good as seeing the band live. MPD Conflict plays hard, but a little slower and is one of the few Despair tracks where the vocals overpower the machine noise to stand out clearly. Filth Pig is a ballad by Despair standards but still wrought with post-apocalyptic overtones as the whispered lyrics play sadly over the quieter parts of the song. Junk War starts like a techno track, but steps into extreme rock-industrial with guitar-work giving the track an extra boost of aggressive energy that gives the band an extra dimension beyond the mashed-up, distorted sampled sounds of other tracks. Mechanical Rabies is a brutal final track where the mechanical sounds are once more in a face-off with Ana & Rieu. This thumping track finishes quickly after two minutes – intense, but too short.

Igor’s final call on DTR is that this is a must-buy album for serious industrial-music lovers. It marks the evolution of Despair from a largely live band (they always drive the crowd nuts!), to a band that can produce high-quality recordings that excite CD listeners in the same way!

The samples below and many more can be found on Despair’s Web site.

Despair - Deserted Technology RiotDeserted Technology Riot :: Track List
1. Jarring God (3:45) Sample
2. MPD Conflict (4:08) Sample
3. Filth Pig (5:19) Sample
4. Junk War (4:48) Sample
5. Mechanical Rabies (2:13) Sample
Total time (20:13)
Released: December 2006

Are you excited yet? Good, because the band has a number of distribution arrangements with a number of music stores in Japan, the U.K., France and Australia. Just check out the bottom of Destore on their site.

I cannot wait to write about the remixed version, Rewired Deserted Technology!

Illusion FadesLocation: Athens, Greece – Genre: Gothic, Metal, Rock.

The Illusion Fades is one of the most popular and famous bands on the Greek Gothic scene has been active since 1990 and after all these years of commitment and the current Gothic rock styles.

Goth traditionalists (or puritans) have certain parameters of what does and does not constitute a Gothic act. These parameters tend to reduce the options for producing revolutionary work, which requires a skilled artisan to carve a masterpiece considering the limitations. If strict tradition was applied in Tokyo there would be very few bands that would be considered purely Goth – but we love hybridization in Japan!

But coming back to my point, its like whiskey – there are those who don’t mind blended whiskey and there are those who would only drink single-malt – and The Illusion Fades’ Psycho Burn, like a fine single-malt whiskey delivers a pure taste.

The sound on this album reflects the time and devotion the band has put into bringing all the core elements of Goth music into an album that delivers a refined product with dark ambient sounds and harder rock riffs all held together by the smoke-damaged, zombie-like vocals that would rival the most guttural grunts of some Germanic bands.

The careful use of analogue keyboards, voice samples at the start sets the stage for an album that burns with strong riffs in Full of Fire and Dead White Snow and softened sadness with Eyes of Sorrow, and the eerie tracks like Blood Ballad and Eyes of Sorrow. All compositions are in English ensuring maximum reach for the global Goth audience and the mature approach delivers a finely crafted album that any Goth enthusiast would enjoy.

My only complaints were:

  1. iTunes couldn’t pick up the album data (song title, artist, etc.);
  2. It took me a while to realize the band’s name was The Illusion Fades (Psycho Burn sounded cool to me);
  3. My browsers had different problems with the band Web site (perhaps it was made for Opera). However, their MySpace and YouTube accounts work fine.

Igor’s final call on The Illusion Fades’ Psycho Burn is… BUY IT! This album is something that purists and hybridized Goths will enjoy listening to again and again (as I have been for the past few weeks along with Amy’s Arms. It is that fine single-malt whiskey you bring out on special occaisions (or every time if you are a purist)!

illusion-fades-large.jpgPsycho Burn :: Track List
1. Close to the Fall (0:46)
2. Full of Fire (4:37) *
3. Run through the Nightmare (4:08)
4. Dead White Snow (4:29) Sample
5. Blood Ballad (6:55)
6. Rebirth (3:49)
7. My Dust Shining (4:10)
8. A Useless Part (5:02)
9. Eyes of Sorrow (6:09)
10. Love to Me has Faded (4:19)
11. Whispers in the Dark (0:39)
12: Close Your Eyes (7:26)
* Listen to on MySpace (plus three tracks from other albums.
+ Dead White Snow Video Clip on the CD and online +
Total playtime minus the video: 51.:8

Check out the video for Dead White Snow

[youtube CqwrZtg3KH0]

As to getting more information on the band you can try their regular page, but it didn’t work at all for me so head across to their MySpace page for more.

Available from:
Contact the band or the label Dead Scarlet Records regarding distribution.