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12 August, 2015

New Breed Invasion - Eternity

New Breed Invasion - Eternity (song review) |self-released, New Breed Invasion, 2015| 4/5 industrial metal

New Breed Invasion is the new musical project of Daniel, the founder of Sekten7 and Tribeleader. Akin to Sekten7's music, the new track brings a rough, rhythmic, and industrialized vibe filled with chunky, vibrating guitar riffs and predatory vocals.
The atmosphere is dense and heavy but listeners will find the track quite easy to get hooked on thanks to well put together repetitions. Drums and guitars are put to the forefront, while the hellish voice remains a bit subdued throughout the entire track. Lyrics are rather spoken in a possessive way than sung. A simple looped yet melodic arrangement makes the guitar riffs sound mighty. Since the song is so down-tuned, any graded arrangements or sounds coming above the low scale make a big difference and engage the listeners better. This happens with the chorus, where the riff is higher and spread broader - also joined by vocals reminiscent of both 1980s Goth/Cold Wave and 90s Industrial Metal times. Fortunately, the track is not kept in any "trendy" style and therefore should age gracefully. Moreover, the guitars resonate with a slightly djent-esque distortion giving them a modern vibe.

Parts of the track are very memorable, but listeners will probably find this out only after a few additional plays. That's a good thing, since the song may not become boring after being looped on repeat.
The arrangements aren't complex, so they won't engage the logical part of your brain, but the dynamics will definitely make your heart beat stronger. The rhythm is so concrete and visual that sometimes you can easily imagine an audio graph with the dotted waves joyfully jumping along the scale.

Daniel as a sole member of the band wrote the track, played all the instruments, and then mixed and mastered it. Personally speaking, the drums could still have been cleaned a bit more, since the guitars and vocals have some depth or 'echo' effect but the drums sound too dry - specifically the cymbals sink into the composition without much of a footprint.

"Eternity" could be illustrated with a thought-provoking music video with rapidly moving, distorted images in low quality, where nothing is polished - similar to the visuals behind 90's Schnitt Acht. There could also be an additional background story like those found in The Fields of The Nephilim videos.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, August 11th, 2015. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)



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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

02 August, 2015

Beer Killer - What Else

Beer Killer - What Else (song review) |Dogozilla S.R.L.S, Start Living Or Die Today, 2015| 4/5 hardcore/punk

Beer Killer is an Italian hardcore-punk quintet. The musicians’ influences and sonic experiences vary from metal, hardcore and punk through funky and electronic-dance to classical and jazz genres. The line up includes Fulvio (guitar), Miki (bass), Manuel (drums), Panga (guitar), and Viktor (vocals). Their musical careers began at the end of the 80s, except for Panga who started playing guitar in 1997. They performed several live shows and their tracks were played on various local radio stations. In addition, Miki - a former DJ - collaborated briefly with the once famous indie electronic act Apollo 440.

"What Else" begins with a short electronic arrangement which could illustrate such lofty themes as the Universe and its galaxies, space travel, spirituality, and more in that vein, thanks to its vibration. It then turns into an in-your-face hardcore song, clocking in at less than 3 minutes. The arrangements are fueled with edgy guitars, rebellious vocals and a fast-paced rhythm that emanates rough masculine energy all over.
The two guitars collaborate nicely with the bass in both verses and choruses. The riffs are simple, yet graded to increase the sonic tension when necessary. The intensity and dynamics run high through the entire track and hit listeners like a tornado mixed with a twister. It should be noted that Beer Killer has a very skilled and convincing drummer - Manuel plays like a well-oiled machine on this track! In addition, the drum beat is very exposed, perhaps even stealing the show from other instruments. The vocals are aggressive and coarse, and would definitely sound homely in any hardcore song.

"What Else" is a potential hit to the point that you can definitely see yourself rooting for the band to perform it live. The production sounds a bit dirty however - maybe this is what real hardcore fans like - allowing for a virtual trip to a venue rather than enjoying the track on a home stereo alone. Moreover, the song's arrangements bring back the original feel of old-school American and UK hardcore-crossover sound represented by the likes of Agnostic Front, Disorder or Broken Bones - the bands that inspired Beer Killer to form their own group. If you're in love with Ministry on the other hand, the speedy riffs here will keep you pleased as well.

Beer Killer's forthcoming album Start Living Or Die Today will be out in September 2015, available on iTunes, Amazon and other digital distribution channels. Interesting trivia: the band received the permission of the Madrid Pardo Museum to use a famous painting by Hieronymus Bosch as its cover.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, August 1st, 2015. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
Source: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=559


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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

Cerakai - Against It

Cerakai - Against It (song review) |self-released, Cerakai, 2015| 4/5 Punk/British Rock

Cerakai is a UK based producer and musician with over 10 years of experience in the field. He's been measuring his song writing and compositional skills against various music genres to find the best match for further musical development. Now he presents a brand new punk-rock track, making a solid departure from his previous hip-hop and electronic compositions released on the Within Your Realm solo EP.

"Against It" blooms from the very beginning with open dynamics provided by accented drums and high-pitched guitars, followed then by the bass and straightforward, shouted vocals. The mood and performance are as spontaneous as the punk attitude requires. The vocals have a taste of a 'young & rebellious' yet sound 'metallic', probably thanks to a mic filter. The arrangements are melodic but also include a mix of metal and hardcore sounds. The graded, vibrating guitar riffs and filling drum beats found in the third part of the composition make for a neat change from the simplistic punk rock songs which you may have heard before. The rhythm changes help the composition remain interesting by shifting the listeners' attention.

The song writing as well as the rhythmic, smart and well rhymed lyrics sound great. Consider this: "I was born in the ocean and dragged from the sea, I got goldfish lungs and I can't breathe (…) There's a bunch of vultures cycling me, I gotta find my way back to the sea". As you may suspect, the theme of "Against It" calls out for resisting things you are forced to do against your needs or will and the overall world-wide bigotry supported by the lack of human empathy. The song is quite memorable and could easily engage the audience to sing along with the band's leader when performed live. It may happen soon, as Cerakai is planning a national UK tour to promote the album.

On a final note, a few things you should know. Firstly, the reviewed track is a slightly different version to the final one appearing on the upcoming album, which you'll be able to buy from on-line music distributors in the last quarter of 2015. Secondly, Cerakai doesn't have a solid line-up yet as they've just formed mid-2015 - various guest musicians were invited for the album’s recording while Ben, the group's founder, sings and plays the guitar on each of the twelve songs. Finally, the mastering and production sound as if done a bit intuitively in this version, so an overall cleanup may be needed before the final release, since the current mixdown gives the impression of a live event rather than a studio version. Undoubtedly, the song's quality will be improved for the final release.

Overall, if you like bands that perform for the joy of playing and bringing pure British Rock energy at the speed of 145bpm, then Cerakai's sounds may be ideal for you.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, August 1st, 2015. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
Source: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=558


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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

23 June, 2015

Cerakai - Only You Know

Cerakai - Only You Know (song review) |Gracie Productions, Within Your Realm EP, 2015| 4/5 electronic lounge

Cerakai is a UK based producer and musician with over 10 years of musical experience. Despite playing in a UK band before, he traveled to Sydney, Australia, where he launched a solo project. This probably lets him get more control over writing and managing own content for further development.

Fans of mellow lounge music will definitely enjoy this well balanced song at its “just about right” length. "Only You Know" includes arrangements written for several instruments. The graded, organic bass lines sound moody and velvety. The synth is high-pitched, cold and at times resonating. The occasional guitar riff vibrates nicely and pins into the arrangement like a needle. The beats are quick and dry. On top of all this, there are also delicate male vocals reciting the lyrics. The voice is matched well to the subtle yet groovy atmosphere.

The composition is simple and based on sweet repeating arrangements. Nevertheless, it sounds 'multidimensional' thanks to the vibration of each sound - the bass brings a lot of warmth, countered by the coldness of the synth. Both always oscillate, catching your attention in their opposing ways. Therefore, the human brain's hemispheres seem to be equally involved in processing these sounds - their math (through the timing of repetitions) and harmony (overall mood) together.
However, the track undoubtedly needs a matching intro and outro, that would help emphasize the body of the content better and 'zap' it into a shapely form. Without these, the song has no frame and opens with the same synth-bass arrangements which continuously repeat to the very end.

Finally, what makes the most for an electronic song’s potential is its audible charm and power, but also repetitions that get you hooked. In case of "Only You Know", we can't talk of any overwhelming sonic impact, but the pleasing repetitions are definitely here. Despite the song's gentle vibe (definitely not meant for headbanging), it has a chance to catch on with the right crowd, thanks to memorable fragments in which a sampled female voice repeats "you know". So, a short part of this track could potentially be successfully used as an advertisement jingle.

Cerakai provides music for movies and TV shows as well. Within Your Realm EP which was released in May 2015 is also available in US. It has aired on BBC Radio as well.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, June 22nd, 2015. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)


Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

17 June, 2015

Ronan Le Barbare album review

Ronan Le Barbare - Ronan Le Barbare |self-released, 2015| 4/5 instrumental metal

1. Intro, 2. A Furor Normanorum, 3. Ascension Of The Black Insane Heart, 4. Tamdin, 5. In Utero, 6. The Barbarian, 7. Thulsa Doom, 8. Aromael, 9. Amen (Sepultura Cover)

Ronan Le Barbare is a solo project by French guitarist Ronan LeBouc. He has been making music for the last 17 years and the self-tilted album is his debut. Judging by the title, the musician has been touched and inspired by iconic 80's movies about a mighty warrior - Conan The Barbarian - which illustrated such aspects of human nature as brutality, spirituality, honor, vengeance, and sadness.

The album brings a collection of professionally arranged and performed instrumental songs which were mixed and mastered by Ronan's friend Vonig Le Mee. The highly poetic, spiritually moving "Intro" opens the tracklist with light guitar leitmotifs as well as an intriguing synth part. It is then followed by a series of chunky guitar riffs synced very well with drums, which all announce the arrival of "A Furor Normanorum". Technically, this 8+ minutes long track consists of two parts. The first is dynamic and metal-orientated and provides catchy arrangements (loud rhythm guitars vs soloing, background voice samples and slightly intrusive drums). The second is built upon repetitive, heavy guitar parts and sounds less rhythmic, yet captures the essence of human pain and suffering. It's finished with a murky, buzzing, electronic effect.

The introduction to "Ascension Of The Black Insane Heart" is a large quote taken from American Psycho movie where the protagonist, Patrick Bateman was confessing about his inner drama. The song keeps the tension, expressed through altered, extended, and sometime heavier guitar riffs, whereas a woman's lamentation and her insane laughter are the cherry on the pie of the overall atmosphere of this track. The arrangements are quite repetitive and tightly fill in this lengthy suite.

"Tamdin" begins innocently with an almost Victorian or even New Age set of passages. These then become enriched and develop into an epic guitar-driven arrangement. A Tibetan-like invocation comes in surprisingly, lowering the tone of the track and preparing the listener for a heavier ride. The drums, bass, and guitar that follow collaborate nicely, bringing a progressive metal vibe that sounds very vital thanks to a multitude of changes. The heavier part could definitely make a dynamic soundtrack for an action video game. Gloomy voices return to decrease the tempo and lead to an ending where two guitar arrangements (one gradual, the other stretched) collaborate together nicely, building up the mysterious atmosphere.

If you like melodious gothic moods, then the opening of "In Utero" should please you with its 'windy' mood and subtle, positive guitar arrangements. There's a feel of loneliness and isolation here, which slightly warms up until the spirited progressive rock riffs show up. Next, a very well written and performed, and also instantly memorable part of the composition starts. The listeners might vividly imagine a lone guitar virtuoso performing on a high cliff, with a grey sky as background, but also thunder and lightning approaching behind his silhouette. This lengthy composition gives some space for more 'exotic' instruments and ambient sounds such as ocean waves, which it ends with.

Now, in the name of aforementioned Conan, here comes "The Barbarian", with the most memorable Q&A quote from the movie ('Conan! What is best in life?') in the beginning, and the heaviest metal arrangements presented on this album. The rhythm guitars are layered and sound dirty, with shredding bringing us into higher tones. The drum parts are packed tightly and put on the top along with the bass lines. Tuned down, mighty guitar riffs come up next, reminiscent of Ministry's dense industrial metal vibe and enriched with similarly sampled quotes. Ideal for headbanging. Then the chase slows down again and the focus changes to cold melodic guitar riffs, supported by a slightly chaotic background. Both gradually fade away into the end of the song.

"Thulsa Doom" is another sonic trip into the heavy metal lands, with a dramatic performance by James Earl Jones, also sampled from the first Conan movie. Vibrating guitar riffs keep the sound up and spacey, while interestingly altered rhythm guitars attack from the other side like a swarm of angry hornets. The drums are very well matched, and don't steal attention from the initial guitar-driven dynamics. It's the best track of the whole album in my opinion, thanks to lively arrangements and equally interesting sonic backgrounds. It seems as if they make both of your brain’s hemispheres engaged into processing the incoming sound waves. Ronan openly and successfully shows a full spectrum of both playing and songwriting skills here.

You'll need some rest after the exposure to such a heavy cannonade. The eighth track on the album brings acoustic, subtle arrangements written for both guitar and synths. Moreover, it is the song which Ronan wrote for his daughter. Guitar riffs flow in steadily like ocean waves, later shaped into rock arrangements. A modulated sound of bells ends the track giving it a spiritual, ambient vibe.

The album’s closing track is the only one with actual vocals. Ronan chose to cover Sepultura's "Amen" with his very well matched, partly-growled voice that comes very close to the original. When the original song's overall tune is harsher, and more 'underground' thanks to a strongly accented bass, Ronan's version sounds much cleaner & spacey. Yet, his guitar riffs sound heavier and more modern than Sepultura’s. The song features an opera-like singer's voice, though Sepultura's original sounds more exotic, with the classical vibe playing that part here.

Ronan LeBouc seems to enjoy changing arrangements and may not settle down for making a track with just one mood, one arrangement, and all those repetitions that usually appear in popular song structures. The entire debut presents a cross-section of Ronan's best compositions so far, rather than being a concept album, but the music has lots to say to careful listeners. His songwriting and instrumental talents definitely are in their prime for another release, which could cover an original story narrated with several integrated chapters.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, June 15th, 2015. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)





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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

05 June, 2015

Tengger Cavalry - Horseman

Tengger Cavalry - Horseman (song review) |Metal Hell Rec., Blood Sacrifice Shaman, 2015| 4/5 Mongolian folk metal

While browsing through a long list of metal bands, a listener may find out there are very few internationally recognized China-based groups in the genre. Here however comes an innovative and powerful Chinese quartet presenting traditional Mongolian music mixed with heavy metal guitars. The band members call it ‘Mongolian folk metal’, which is definitely an interesting addition to the already wide spectrum of metal music subgenres. Tengger Cavalry was established in 2010 as a solo project of Mongolian music, film & game music composer Nature Ganganbaigal. He formed the full band with Xin Wang, Kai Ding and Wei Wang later in 2012, and has released four albums in both Europe and United States up to date.

"Horseman" is Tengger Cavalry's newest track and was released on their Blood Sacrifice Shaman album (released as a limited demo version in 2010). The song title refers to a Mongolian nomadic man, one of those who are historically known for their excellent horse-riding skills (as well as hunting with falcons and eagles, as you might have watched in many movies). Fast horse-riding means an accelerated tempo and therefore, the band showcased that in this track.

The song begins with a surprising intro that would work well for an electronic composition, but leaves no doubt what is to come when it is followed by a straightforward guitar cannonade soon after. The track is entirely instrumental but it could sound mighty with growling vocals as well. The arrangements include the aforementioned traditional Mongolian tunes, skillfully combined with heavy, dirty metal guitars. The composition allows for giving space to both - at first you'll hear the folk vibe, then fast-paced drums, bass and guitars, then finally a complete mixture of them all.
The sound is heavy and vibrating but also soft and dreamy at times. Thus, it is a straight call to action that a bit later invites you to take a break. Listeners may imagine a furry horseman resting in front of a tent, next to a bonfire, eating fried meat and relishing the view of the place he was born in and belongs to - a vast grassland overlooked by the snowy mountains in the distance. Such a landscape may look boring to some foreigners, but it means freedom, survival, and a direct contact with nature for any native. After the rest, you can see him continue his mounted exploration of the land.

Is this kind of music inspiring? Definitely, as much as Norwegian metal drives listeners to dig into the Norse mythology to study about Valhalla, Fenrir or Yggrasil. In fact, Tengger is the name of the sky god of the Mongolian land. Moreover, if you're a fan of metal music looking to branch out, then this track may encourage you to not only start listening to Mongolian and more Asian ethnic music, but also researching and supporting the growing metal music scene over there.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, June 5th, 2015. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)





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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine