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05 December, 2014

Concept 7 The Machinery Of Control

Concept 7 - (random songs review) |self-released, The Machinery Of Control, 2014| 4/5 techno/metal

1. Innerstate, 2. Mindfield, 3. Beserker, 4. Seven Declared, 6. Catastrophe

This UK based band (secretively and purposely hiding their musicians' names) are not new on the music scene. They've been releasing albums since 2001. Their discography includes such titles as The End Of Time Project, Time Project: Remixes, Extract E.P, and The Undeniable Constant. They also contributed a soundtrack for an sci-fi anime Full Metal Panic. According to the musicians, they have decided to put out a set of songs - defined as 'projects' - online, since CDs have a decreasing value. One of these is a very fresh release of The Machinery Of Control.

Concept 7 make a hybrid built upon music genres such as metal, techno and industrial which are driven by the beat and speed. Speaking of techno, it is the very recognizable UK-techno style with all of its vital high pitched synths on the top along with dense, curved and looped dynamics in the background. And such is the opening track 'Innerstate'. Its compositional spine is based on a groovy bass line mixed with chunky guitar riffs but purely instrumental arrangements divide the song into catchy verses and choruses.

The love for industrial - trains, engines and machines is expressed in 'Mindfield'. A big part of the arrangement however - metal riffs and techno synths - is based on a mix already known from the previous track. The difference is that they sound heavier and more aggressively thanks to guitars. The song is supported by a music video single you can watch on the Concept 7's YouTube channel.

Once you see the title 'Beserker', you’ll probably imagine a song represented by hard-hitting dynamics. It is true for this track, although it begins quite innocently with only a vibrating riff which suggests what is to come next. It is then joined by a 'rain' of tiny synthetic sounds and a sampled male voice in vein of Skinny Puppy's or Ministry's best known tracks. The guitar versus synth ride continues to the very end of the track.

The band seems to like number 7, which has been universally used throughout centuries, to mention 7 luminaries, 7 heavens, 7 wonders, 7 seas, 7 deadly sins, lucky 7, etc., but also utilized in video game or movie titles. 'Seven Declared' makes for such an interesting title as well. The song begins with a motorcycle engine, then is extended into a rocket-like launch whizz. Beats and sampled vocals come out next reporting a bomb detonation (in a reference to the nuclear test at the Mururoa atoll conducted in 1971). The song's mood is lighter than 'Berserker', but still uneasy.

'Catastrophe' is my favorite of the five songs described. It begins with a mix of repetitive noise and a very intriguing sound that beams like a laser ray into the composition. The sets of dense hard techno/EBM beats sound haunting. Your head will bang to the rhythm. The composition and arrangements are simple, but it's that simplicity of the sound which attracts the human ear, especially if it involves beats. They put the mind in a state of trance, just like ancient drums. The track ends with a sound effect resembling an altered purr, just to make a difference perhaps.

All these songs on The Machinery Of Control are good for listening on their own, but one can get the most of them if utilized in video games or as background illustration in a motion picture. Played alone, they may sound too restricted and rigid. Concept 7 have defined their sound on this release. Therefore, if you're looking for a non-intrusive yet catchy, guitar driven arrangements, you should get these tracks.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, December 5th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)




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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

26 November, 2014

Celestial Flesh - Suspended Motion

Celestial Flesh - Suspended Motion |self-released, 2014| 5/5 djent progmetal

1. Dictating (Voices In The Ocean), 2. Open Heart, Open Mind, 3. Breathing With Swollen Lungs, 4. Exposure, 5. Bent To Your Will, 6. Light On The Surface, 7. Speak To Me, 8. Suspended Motion

There are listeners, like me, who are looking for passion, intensity, might, emotions and soul cleansing locked all together inside sound, yet expressed with heavy guitar driven arrangements. Suspended Motion by Celestial Flesh is a perfect choice to fulfill such a desire.

The band's founder, Eric Machel (guitar, bass, drum programming, synth, production) has been playing guitar since he turned 15. In love with intense music by metal acts such as Meshuggah, Gojira, Tool, as well as a varied array of music genres, he has his own vision of music he wants to write and perform. Due to various circumstances however, this American musician has decided to launch a solo project instead of joining or creating a band. Either way, it’s great that he chose to invest his time and talents in music, otherwise we could have never heard of Celestial Flesh.
His newest album, Suspended Motion brings eight instrumental compositions which give a new meaning to the word 'intense'.

'Dictating (Voices In The Ocean)' opens the album with versatile arrangements and a skillful mix of genres. The core of the composition is based on down-tuned, syncopated bass and guitars. Synths and a higher guitar riff contrast the groove, so the mood becomes brighter at times. The drums (played by guest musician Ettore Fritz, also present in the next song) appear in all the right spots throughout the composition. Since the bass & guitars combo drives the rhythm, the drums step in only when a heavier beat is required. If you listen closely, you'll also hear traditional Eastern music arrangements on guitars.

'Open Heart, Open Mind' brings the best of progressive rock and metal together. Drums & bass arrangements represent metal while old-school synths are very typical of the former. Fans of Rush & Steven Wilson's music will feel excited. There are choruses and verses, composed very swiftly yet with pleasingly repeating themes. A diversity of perfectly matched riffs, beats and cold synth passages make the track sparkling and memorable.

Eric's a musical architect. He structures arrangements (bass) then paints them with moods (synth). Since he does listen to a variety of genres, he was able to incorporate their characteristics into his tracks, yet leave listeners without confusion. The less intense, but more atmospheric 'Breathing With Swollen Lungs' is a good proof of the above. There are moments of true progrock & progmetal passion with their knotty schemes drowning the world out easily. The beat present here in the more tender parts of the composition is just enough for an ambient track when supported by dreamy guitar riffs and looped synths. Again, fans of Rush-style bass will instantly recognize familiar sounds.
'Exposure' comes out quite innocently at first, with just a simple stick against stick beat and a gentle guitar riff, but then the arrangements grow big and thorny. The beat is taken over by down-tuned djent guitars but aside of their exponentially unfolding complexity, there are also delicate riffs, fast bass play and guitar soloing interlaced within. The track production and mastering are very well done, as various instruments are properly exposed when necessary, while the overall sound is kept clear.

One might think that there's no chance for progressive metal or djent to sound catchy due to their seriousness and intensity but Celestial Flesh tracks have hooks with decent amounts of hit potential. My personal favourite, 'Bent To Your Will', makes time and space become less important. Listening to it actually feels as if the track drags the listeners away from the ‘here and now’ and throws them into a new, undiscovered dimension instead. It begins with an in-your-face stitching guitar cannonade wrapped with a lovely riff. No sound is left unheard and all are equivocally important. The arrangements live their own mighty life as if they were flooding, erupting, crying, dancing, racing - so they will obviously seize your attention completely. Drums fit in between competing guitars very well, but get full exposure at time as well. Eric showcases his genius guitar & song writing skills here. A natural reaction to this experience may be spreading your arms wide, letting the sounds open and lift you up, then purify to the point of the transformation of your self. A truly addictive song that will rip your emotions from the depth of your spirit after the very first listening.

Now, as a counterweight to this behemoth of a song, the next track called 'Light On The Surface' let’s you rest, as it is characterized by a slower tempo and more rock (even hard-rock) oriented guitar and bass arrangements. This 7 minutes’ long track includes also fierce, repeating moments in the latter half of the composition, but its overall mood is more subtle compared to previous songs.

This undoubtedly therapeutic music is a perfect fit for someone with a good visual imagination. Play the album loud and draw what you feel while listening to it. 'Speak To Me' may be a good example, and it's the only composition on the album to include a person’s voice. To give you an idea, it's sampled the way Ministry used to play with G.W. Bush's speeches on their albums. Drums and guitars are bringing all elements of the composition either closer together while engaging in a friendly battle or driving them apart, giving each other enough space to flourish separately. A lot of high-pitched riffs are crushed into pieces with more down-tuned ones.

There's a good balance hidden in the tracklist - passionate songs are followed by calmer ones. The final track, 'Suspended Motion', features a guest appearance by Alex Basart on guitars and synth and is mostly a soothing, almost romantic affair, yet hides a few potent moments. It allows for taking a deep breath before... playing the album again, and again.

Suspended Motion is a masterpiece of which Eric Machel should be absolutely proud. It brings a powerful catharsis - the soul purification, for both the creator and the listener. Those who understand how music influences brainwaves and heartbeats, will love it. It's a truly colorful, superb release which should never be forgotten. Make sure it won't sink amongst all other indie productions - buy it, promote it, review it and interview this musician. You're gonna love it.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, November 26th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)



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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

09 November, 2014

While U Were Out - It's Always You

While U Were Out - It's Always You (song review) |self-released, 2014| 4/5

While U Were Out (also known as TWPHMusic) is a composing and recording British duo founded in 2013 and consisting of Trevor Wiles (keyboards) and Paul Hadler (vocals & guitar). Both musicians however, have already been writing music collectively for over 10 years.

While U Were Out’s debut single titled 'It's Always You' was released in mid-2014. It’s a pop-rock song with hit potential. It begins with a grungy-dirty rhythm guitar riff that is soon joined by another riff, tuned up higher to build a contrast. Drums and bass come next. The vocals are rather high, clear, initially quite gentle, getting emotional in choruses.

Most listeners prefer music they've already heard before in terms of melodies or arrangements. Thus, they are more eager to learn about and buy songs recorded in a style similar to the ones they already know. The composition and arrangements here were written with a classical approach. This kind of songwriting has resulted in an easy listening song. 'It's Always You' turned out reasonably short - it makes for an excellent radio, movie trailer or TV ad track. The rhythm however, is the same for verses and choruses. With a bit of additional diversity, slightly more intriguing arrangements could have been created. The atmosphere is light and friendly, possibly directed towards the teenage listeners, though it’s not definitely a teen-chart-product type of song.
The production is very good and underlines the importance of vocals and guitars at first, while drums and bass are placed in the background. This way, the song sounds more emotional rather than heavy, yet it keeps being rhythmic.

While U Were Out write music for other bands as well, not limiting themselves to pop or rock alone. It is worth mentioning that Pink Floyd's Nick Mason played drums on their track called 'Loves Forever'.
If you're looking for non-intrusive music that talks about relationships between people, this single is certainly for you.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, November 9th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)


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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

30 July, 2014

Interview with Ogenix

Interview with Ogenix (Canada, industrial/metal) (2014)

I also believe that with the advent of social medias and the hyper-solicitation of people's attention, this has built a generation which is suffering of a nearly pathological attention deficit disorder, which means that they will probably not have the cognitive capacity to take the time to research and dig for the best bands or music deep within the the ocean of s**t which represents the majority of what's available today. (Gabriel Duceppe).

Read this interview at http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=543

Interview by Fabryka Music Magazine

24 June, 2014

Cybertoyz - Undo.Exit

Cybertoyz - Undo.Exit |self-released, 2014| 5/5 metal/electronic

01. Enter: A Fistful Of Dust, 02. Absolutely Identifiable, 03. Battery Operated pt 1, 04. i:Romance, 05. Bleed Your God, 06. Battery Operated pt 2, 07. Survival Type, 08. The Dead Drive Fast, 09. Heavenly, 10. Exit: A Handful Of Stars

Cybertoyz is the solo project of Zyggie (Alexander Korpusov; guitars, programming, sampling) - a guitar player armed with his favourite Framus Diablo 7-string and Ibanez JS1000 guitars. Undo.Exit is the sophomore release of the Moscow-based project founded in 2004, coming 8 years after the debut Chaos Theory album.

The newest album brings a mix of two main sound themes - guitar driven and electronica, matched together successfully so far. As Zyggie admits, he managed to incorporate catchy riffs on odd chord progressions and Satriani-like legato shredding into industrial and electro tunes. He was inspired by highly influential rock artists such as Led Zeppelin, Rush, Steve Vai, Buckethead and Jeff Beck as well as electronic acts: Aphex Twin, The Young Gods, Nine Inch Nails, Gravity Kills, Switchkicker/MM9, Pitchshifter and Die Krupps.

The technique called 'shredding' is quite important for the majority of metal guitarists - either for their own finger training, best guitarist contests or just showing off. It is always entertaining to watch or listen to, but when included in several songs on an album, it must be well arranged and mixed to avoid sticking out. Undo.Exit is an example of production done right.
You'll have a taste of shredding in the very first track, "Enter: A Fistful Of Dust", which would suit an action video game perfectly. In fact, it reminds me of a theme from Quake III. However, aside of the guitar soloing, there are electro synths and a symphonic female voice in the background. The composition is pretty short but rhythmic with somewhat an epic motif.

The following track, "Absolutely Identifiable" begins with a high-pitched looped guitar riff, later altered by a small spattering of electronica. The mix grows potent when dense drums and bass join in next. The guitar returns with a memorable, spiritual solo further along the track. The arrangements change quite often in this purely instrumental track, and probably only the rhythm remains solid throughout.

If you're craving modern electronic music, listen to "Battery Operated pt 1". It is not deprived of guitars, reminiscent of how Robert Fripp (King Crimson) uses his instrument quite often. Think of spirals drawn with high-pitched sounds and expressed with the entire scale. There are also a contrasting groovy bass and fundamental drums in the background so in all, there's some good fodder for your ears.

The moods on this album do come in different shades, but they don’t change too often. You can already sense differences in the song titles, e.g. "Battery Operated pt 1" sounds technical and sophisticated when compared to "i:Romance" which brings the style of the 80s rock songs through a warm and melodic vibe. There are upbeat dynamics and classical guitar solos that go well with tiny electronic add-ons. Balance in the track has a strong focus, certainly helping listeners keep a healthy, steady heartbeat. If this track is about a romance, it's about a spirit-opening experience.

After that you get exotic, nostalgic, stretched and singular tone guitar passages wrapped around a rather cold and 'windy' composition. "Bleed Your God" sounds like typical Middle East music but performed on an electronic guitar instead of traditional Eastern instruments. It is a very short instrumental track, that might as well have been used as the intro to the album. Here, it gives you a breather before you dive into the complex arrangements written for "Battery Operated pt 2".
This composition, built upon improvisation and performed on guitars, drums and bass is even shorter than the previous track, so you won't get too deep into musical confusion. Think that you've just jumped into a malfunctioning electronic device, where some lines of code are still working well, but others loop like a damaged vinyl record.

"Survival Type" begins with a KMFDM-like electronic passage, but then turns into a prog-rock or even a prog-metal composition, thanks to dualistic guitars vs synths arrangements. There are symphonic metal elements smuggled in as well, with an additional dose of beat-driven electronica, which fits in very well. The guitars seem to have an argument with the bass regarding leadership. Both however, stitch interesting arrangements individually as well as together, so they do complement each other like lovers in a passionate relationship.

"The Dead Drive Fast" brings a bit of an iconic Depeche Mode-esque motif but then falls into rock'n'blues & rock'n'roll. Not entirely though, if you recall the main goal of the album - to reconcile guitar driven arrangements with modern electronic music. There are far more variegated influences coming from different genres (metal as well!), thus only you can decide if Ziggy succeeded.

Linking tracks within an album to make changes in the tracklist smooth is a good move - check out how "The Dead Drive Fast" slides into "Heavenly". The latter is a rock ballad, but you should forget about nostalgic boredom you may find in trendy songs by Chris Isaak, for example. You'll find a bit more of Clapton's guitar mastery instead, but still altered with clean, chillout electronica in some spots.

All this leads us unto the final track, "Exit: A Handful Of Stars". A sad (but not melancholic) mood permeates this song. Female background vocals appear rarely, just enough to give the track a slightly heroic feel. This instrumental ending of the album should leave listeners in contemplation.

All compositions on Undo.Exit flow smoothly, instead of possibly interrupting each other when groovy electronica extends what guitars only kick off. This speaks perfectly for Zyggie's expert songwriting - after all he studied jazz theory in a college, but also spent around 15 years on self-mastering his guitar techniques.

The guest musicians on this album are: Anna Lyapina (vocals), Sergey Timofeyev (bass), Alexander Karpukhin (drums), Dmitry Oslyakov (drums) and Ruslan Dzhigkaity (drums).

It's also worth adding that mastering and production are very well done (by Nickolay Vengrzhanovich at Light Temple Records, Moscow, Russia). Both styles of music that meet on this album need a different mastering approach, and it turned out successful on Cybertoyz' Undo.Exit. Neither guitars nor electronica take up all the bandwidth.

The excellent, cyber-punkesque blue cover artwork was designed by Eugene "Jonny" Postebaylo and looking at it while listening to the music feels just right.

Watch out for Cybertoyz in your area - they do play live gigs. Zyggie also had an endorsement contract with Framus/Warwick and AMT Electronics between 2009-2010. You should not miss this release if you're looking for innovative guitar driven compositions.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, June 23rd, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
This review on Fabryka Magazine: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=542

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

03 June, 2014

Interview with Spookshow inc. electronic rock

I think what is important for all of us, is to try to rise the level of consciousness and awareness - to talk to our inner self rather than catch up with and follow the tempo of "progress" and madness of the modern world in general. It is a big market place out there: the system really got accelerated. I mean we get offers to put on and try out new stuff - be it glasses (what about these Google glasses – do we really need it?), political and media campaigns, whatever. During one single day that is sick.

Full interview: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=540

Interview by Fabryka Music Magazine

27 May, 2014

Spookshow inc. - random songs review


Spookshow inc. - random songs review |self-released, Visions of The Blinded World (pt. 1), 2013| 5/5 electronic industrial rock

Scary Dream, Falling Down pt. 2, Cyberage


Born and raised in Lithuania but making music in UK and Norway, Lucky Spook (guitar, programming, songwriting and production) released the Visions of The Blinded World (pt. 1) album in late 2013, even though the majority of the material on the album was written 10 years ago. His inspirations come from a diverse host of bands such as Pink Floyd, Paradise Lost, Rob Zombie, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails mixed with modern beats made famous by Prodigy or Chemical Brothers. He can still recall that Pink Floyd and KISS were on the list of dangerous and unwanted Western culture products, as he found out at school in his Soviet homeland back then. Motivated to rebel and equipped with a guitar, he began playing with fire soon after.
The album is available as a digital download and a limited edition CD with the same 10 songs available through both channels. This review covers only three of them.

"Scary Dream" is one of the opening tracks and refers to a phenomena of dreaming, its symbolism and hidden meanings. In the lyrics, the author speaks of an oniric encounter with animals such as snakes, unicorns, and dogs. These stand for either the author's or the society's primitive instincts related to magic, which he needs to face himself.
As for the music, it is a rhythmic track. Because the lyrics are relatively short, the leitmotif is rooted rather in the repetitive instrumental parts than vocals. The leading guitar riff is altered, looped and mixed with tunes typical of Prodigy or Sonic Mayhem songs. Arrangements are wisely thought out and include a fair share of dynamics but also silent spots. "Scary Dream" sounds suitable for an action video game.

"Falling Down pt. 2" is a slightly darker track, where guitar riffs are mixed with electronica and sampling. The screamed vocals have a touch of added processing, as much as you would spot in an average coldwave track. In addition, they are mixed with a variety of well-matched sounds, which place them in a lively surrounding. It's a highly memorable track thanks to the rhythm, repetitions, female whispers, and the high-pitched guitar leitmotif. If you like White Zombie or Rob Zombie's solo work, this may be your favorite song of the three.
The track is short just like its dark lyrics are. They seem to relate to OBE (out of body experiences) that take place when a dreamer or someone meditating feel their spirit leave their physical body and traverse through space. In this case, the dreamer seems to be a fan of an access-all-areas with evil intent.

Finally, "Cyberage" speaks of a person born in an age of no peace, only fear and hatred leading to war and isolation. But there's the Internet, a cybernetic child that almost everybody adopted and got addicted to through video games, dating, trolling, gathering information or stealing copyrighted materials. Moreover, the fear of privacy abuse keeps haunting about, even though a lot of people leave open traces of their own on-line activities.
Sonically, the song resembles Prodigy with its single high-pitched guitar riff, but also KMFDM or Sister Machine Gun thanks to the minimally exposed, whispered or processed vocals. There's a nice groovy line based on beats placed between the lower and higher end of the spectrum. Both the beginning and the end of the track sound very intriguing and pleasantly attractive. The track could be a great way of getting the listeners interested in hearing more from Spookshow inc.

These are songs of high quality in terms of mastering and production - an additional advantage aside of their dynamic musical themes. It's also worth mentioning that Lucky Spook along with his friend Soltex and additionally hired musicians supported The Legendary Pink Dots live in 2005.
Hopefully, you'll check out the remaining 7 songs on Visions of The Blinded World (pt. 1) and will look forward to the release date news for the 2nd part of this album.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, May 26th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)




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Buy on: CDBaby | Bandcamp | Amazon


Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

24 May, 2014

Crash-Scan - interview (2014)

Crash-Scan - interview (2014)

NINa: You seem to like reaching out into the very core of things, then mixing and shaking them up. Does the use of technology alter the organic sound of guitars, voice and drums to the point of a better understanding through dissonances?

Bryan: I think that is quite true for us, yes. In the end it’s all about the feeling you’re trying to express and communicate to the listener. With Crash-Scan we’re obviously using semi-traditional ‘song’ forms, but to do that and create unsettling or oppressive feelings involve manipulation and subversion of known elements. Modern technology allows us to do that a lot more drastically than older tape and sampler manipulation methods, but we’re still trying to keep within relatable forms for this band. We love recontextualizing sounds and field recordings, putting things together that don’t fit and trying to make something we like out of it.
Read full interview: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=536

Interview by Fabryka Music Magazine

Crash-Scan - Repeat Until False

Crash-Scan - Repeat Until False |self-released, 2014| 5/5 metal experimental industrial

1. Choke, 2. Pure, 3. Ohm, 4. Desolation, 5. Senescence, 6. Chrome Lies, 7. Chronic Atrophy, 8. Plans For Winter, 9. Tentacle Vortex, 10. An Eye For A Tooth, 11. Subduction, 12. Out Of Reach, 13. Under The Dirt


Crash-Scan is a heavy yet innovative band from New Zealand that formed in 2008. Repeat Until False album was released 5 years after the band's debut album Catalyst and is written, performed and recorded by Ron Nobbs (vocals, programming), Bryan Tabuteau (programming, synths), Vivian Stewart (guitar, bass) along with Brad Gallen (additional percussion).

The music presented on the latest release is inspired by a variety of industrial and metal bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Fear Factory, Meshuggah, and Gojira. Crash-Scan however, have taken the industrial metal genre to the next level. There are no melodies, rather pure torment expressed through machines and guitars. They took the core of what heavy steel industry is all about and transferred it into music - repetitions, noise, weight and all the impact you can imagine. The music on the album is about 'processing', 'making', 'transforming' and other associated activities. The atmosphere in all songs is comparable to that on Godflesh albums, though the sound is more modern.

Let's look into the following 13 songs, with average track length varying between 3 to 6 minutes. The tracklist begins with "Choke", which will give you a taste of things to come. It sounds like a slower and distorted sound of the late 90s Ministry and Fear Factory, but flavored with Crash-Scan's own ingredients. It gets even noisier with experimental add-ons but the repetitions and heavy guitar riffs (cut with lighter motifs in a few spots) make the track as memorable as a mantra.

"Pure" involves a bigger share of electronics, reminiscent of Frontline Assembly, but mixed with guitars and beats. The contrast between verses and choruses is accented better than in the previous song, but still almost lacks any melody. Distorted whispers add a sense of thrill.

"Ohm" begins with a set of structured rhythms that are then followed by chunky guitar riffs. A variety of additional effects creates an experimental feel, with the vocal style similar to that of digitized black metal compositions. Heavy guitars create an interesting wall of sound near the end. Since they are digitally processed, there's a strong sense of higher mathematics flowing throughout this track.

"Desolation" involves tuned down guitars and a very contrasty world music motif, as if it was derived from Turkish or Middle Eastern music. The sound may be irritating at first, but at the same time it sticks to your ears and underlines the verses. It is as if a painter splashed a natural color image with neon paint with equidistant spots. Angry, digitally processed vocals, looped effects (used so often by Fear Factory) and the overall sequence of sounds make it a memorable composition. In fact, it could gain even more attention with a matching music video.

Now it’s time for the best track on this album. At first, there’s a creepy, piano-based intro enriched with a digital, gloomy follow-up. Then, it's transformed into amazing arrangements accompanied by a heavy load of guitars and distorted, hellish vocals that you'll love. The composition is complex, but this speaks for the band’s song-writing skills - and Crash-Scan are definitely proving theirs here. Less deformed guitars appear a bit later, and the overall feel of "Senescence" is that of shifting dynamics.

The songs seems to be carefully put in order on the tracklist, and so those heavier are intersected with slower but equally dark moods. This applies for instance to "Chrome Lies". It sounds like it could have been developed better, however. The drums sound a tad too simple and repetitive, with the vocals falling into the background and almost gothic melodies coming out in some parts as well. Fortunately, the end of the track brings an intriguing heavy guitar arrangement.

"Chronic Atrophy" brings atonal, broken rhythms and has quite an experimental feel, still being supported by healthy metal riffs and factory-like industrial tunes. The beat and the drums are perfectly set up for this composition, which is alive & kicking (or even stinging) inside of its dark meaning. You'll probably sense a bit of Ministry's Filth Pig and The Darkside of the Spoon albums in this song.

Likewise, the next track "Plans For Winter" sounds like a mix of "Chronic Atrophy" and "Senescence" in terms of the composition complexity as well as general heaviness. The load of low tuned guitars and altered vocals are what Godflesh fans will enjoy here. If you like sounds accompanied by matching visuals, you may imagine a mining drill or any heavy gear making its way slowly through rather inaccessible terrain.

"Tentacle Vortex" sounds like a heavy take on impressionism mixed with a complicated device manual - open to interpretation despite initial definition. Arrangements here are based on very heavy, tuned down guitars, noises, repetitions and distorted screams. They appear only in the background, so that they are not overwhelming. Besides, "Tentacle Vortex" is a very cool title; not only does it suit this track but also a book, movie or painting.

Then there's "An Eye For A Tooth", another slow'n'heavy composition in case you thought it couldn't get any heavier. The song is not as 'easy' to remember as "Desolation" however, even though a similar high-pitched sound appears in a few spots. Again, classical industrial attributes are treated with a modern approach and, of course, guitars.

You'll relax when "Subduction" appears in your speakers. It's a purely instrumental composition and a short one at that - a dark interlude, one of those you may associate with science fiction movies like Aliens or Event Horizon. It fits here thanks to the silently droning, reverberated sounds which create an atmosphere of both mystery and anxiety.
To trouble your balanced mind, "Subduction" is followed by another heavy song entitled "Out Of Reach", bringing a heap of distorted sounds, feedback and dissonances. There are random low tuned chunky guitars, sampled monologues and angry deformed vocals; things which can be found in Ministry music but ground a bit better.

The 13th song, "Under The Dirt" is the most traumatizing, even brainwashing experience. Not literary, but your brain may feel overwhelmed when reaching just the middle of the track, regardless if you try to fish out separated instrument tracks or understand the entire composition. It presents a combination of everything heard so far on the album but kept even dirtier, noisier, tuned lower, chaotic yet technical at the same time. I'm not talking about diving into a symbolic 'hell', but something way more disturbing.

Repeat Until False sounds haunting and grabs your attention as much as a trip down into an endless spiral, thanks to repetitions and guitar riffs, but also omnipresent atonal rhythms. The beat is not too intense or overused, otherwise the songs would sound too danceable and marching and thus, shallow. The tracks on the album express depth, darkness and gravity, instead. You may find them occasionally chaotic because of the extended use of noise & distortions but the range of chaos is narrowed down by mathematically precise arrangements.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the album is available as a simple digital download as well as a highly customized, sophisticated and limited version on a 4GB USB drive.
Crash-Scan are planning a few more live shows around New Zealand and the release of a new EP with 4 new songs and remixes from Repeat Until False. I urge you to support this band, since they still care for what others have abandoned - creative ideas.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, May 23rd, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)





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See also: 'Choke' music video | 'Game Over' music video (from Catalyst album)


Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

24 April, 2014

Victoria Love - Yours For The Taking

Victoria Love - Yours For The Taking (song review) |Elle Indie Records, Ataraxis, 2014| 5/5 rock electronic

Victoria Love is undoubtedly 100% certified Texan, not only thanks to the singer/song writer Monique Jamail's rebellious looks, but most importantly her half raspy, half sad voice.

"Yours For The Taking" is characterized by a mix of both organic-symphonic and industrial sounds. The former represented by the cello, viola or oud, while the latter introduces programming and samplers. The song begins with a cello but then an industrial set creates a surprising, yet matching contrast to the opening arrangement. The two continue crossing each other throughout the entire song with a viola, bass and guitars joining them next. The bass is quite dominating - not only giving the song a rhythm but also a dark tone. The composition is well thought out and written, leaving a balanced space for both instrumental and lyrical parts.

As mentioned, Monique's raspy voice is very memorable thanks to its interesting timbre. The vocals sound sweet yet aggressive at times. It's seems like she could sing you a whole story a capella, and you'd still be affected by the impact of underlying emotion.
The open, easily understandable lyrics complete the music extremely well: "I spent most of my life afraid of myself / My thoughts, my actions, my temper, my hell / Behind my door hides every emotion I’ve ever felt / I never really talk yet have so many stories to tell".

Apart from Monique Jamail (acoustic guitar, vocals), "Yours For The Taking" features guest musicians such as Ivan de Prume (drums; ex-White Zombie), Marc 'Frap' Frappier (bass; ex-Circus of Power, ex-Skrew), Roberto Paolo Riggio (Atash; violins, oud), James 'Roz' Rosnack (drums, programming, electric guitar, synths) and Jen Mulhern on cello.

In addition, the song is supported by a high quality video single. It tells the story of a sensual relationship between two adult women and the revenge taken after the discovery of a third party joining a seemingly committed union. All the transforming feelings and behaviors relating betrayal are portrayed in vivid imagery - tears, questioning, depression, sorrow, anger, blame and despair. Apparently, there's some karma to be worked out and lessons to be learnt for one's spiritual development. The bitter find leads Victoria deeper into inner self analysis, and consequently the discovery of issues such as holding things back and unbalancing the proportions of giving and receiving. Nevertheless, the video reveals a quick fix for the unexpected problem, which results in a murder driven by wounded feelings, just like in a psychological thriller or drama. Monique, who plays the role of the betrayed woman seems to be a good actress, with very expressive eyes.

Finally, it should be noted that a different version of "Yours For The Taking" was released on Monique’s Just Breathe EP in 2011. The new master version reviewed here and present on Ataraxis, features Ivan de Prume on drums. Also, according to Victoria Love, the drums are produced better this time. The third, acoustic version was published by Victoria Love's own Elle Indie Records label. This track is also featured in the movie White Rabbit and a few compilations. The pre-sale of Ataraxis will begin in the Fall of 2014 and the album will be out this winter.

Victoria Love actively discovers and supports women in music by releasing compilations and organising a music festival. Make sure you'll visit her official website and support this artist by buying her music as well.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 24th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)




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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

20 April, 2014

Below The Sun - Katharsiss

Below The Sun - Katharsiss (song review) |self-released, single, 2014| 4/5

Below The Sun is a Norwegian stoner rock/hard rock band which is quite fresh on the scene, since it was founded only in 2011. Not many groups feature six musicians in the line-up however it proves to be a boon for Below The Sun, especially thanks to the members' skills.

First of all, their newest single "Katharsiss" is supposed to be released on the band's future EP but it's already available on major music on-line stores. When it comes to genre classification, it's stoner rock with elements of hard rock (string instruments) and psychedelia (keyboards). Make sure you listen to the entire track since it begins with an innocent nostalgic piano and that doesn't truly express the core sound of the composition once it reaches its peak point.

The track is bouncy and rhythmic thanks to solid heavy guitar-driven arrangements performed by René Gunnerud Vandli (vocals, guitar), Herman Tveitan Djupvik (bass) and Martin Miguel Busvold (lead guitar). However, the major sonic impact lies in the singer's voice. It's raspy, disdainful, memorable - he also screams like a pro. Jostein Vikan offers everything what a rock or metal band needs! The additional vocals in choruses are provided by René.

The catchiness of the track relies on various repetitions. Drum patterns are written very well and played skillfully by Vladimir Diaz Nelidov. Keyboard passages performed by Jonas Folvik Aune bring contrast through lighter, but not softer motifs - they cut through guitar-bass-drums dialogue in really well chosen spots. The final result is a vibrant composition that easily may make the listener hit the 'play' button again upon reaching the end.

What else does this song need? A matching music video single could do well, since many listeners discover music not only thanks to streaming audio content but also through visuals. Other than that, minor improvements in terms of production could add additional depth to the track.
Below The Sun's strengths are undoubtedly rooted in writing arrangements, composing, performance and of course Jostein's recognizable voice. Their music is inspired by bands such as Fu Manchu, High on Fire, Deep Purple, Queens of the Stone Age or Mastodon amongst all. Keep an ear out for those guys, peculiarly if you enjoy hard rock tunes.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 19th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
This review on Fabryka Magazine: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=533




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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

16 April, 2014

VIA - Closets

VIA - Closets (song review) |self-released, Acid EP, 2013| 4/5 hard rock grunge punk

Fresh and highly motivated, here comes VIA - a band from Minnesota founded in 2013, who released their debut EP Acid soon after. The founder, Jason Tuthill (lead vocal, rhythm guitar) met his present band members through social networks and various other online locations. The final line-up includes Jason with Erik 'Evo' Vobejda (lead guitar), Ben Leff (drums) and Justin Von Rueden (bass). All of them had gained musical experience in other bands before VIA.

The EP features "Closets", kept in a grunge vibe since the band is inspired by music of Alice in Chains, Nirvana and QOTSA, amongst others. However, if you listen more attentively to the individual instrumental track, you may hear the song mixes three genres with a hard rock bass, grunge guitars and punk drums.

"Closets" has loads of dynamics and energy, so it must sound entertaining during live shows. The song doesn't carry any aggression, depth or any specific heaviness. The entire composition sounds solid and very guitar-driven with leading 'dirty' motifs. The drum parts are as fundamental as you'd expect from a punk or alternative rock track - pure dynamics rather than showing off. Arrangements aren't complicated or experimental either, thus rock music purists should enjoy them best. Jason's vocals match genres and the arrangements mentioned above really well. What's most important, choruses are very catchy thanks to the melody. Since the track is short and lively enough, it should be accepted by most of rock and college radio stations.

Regardless the song's garage-like flavour, it still may need better production, as the instruments sound a bit flat. Individual short guitar passages (aside from rhythm guitars) could have been underlined better as they splash fresh accents onto the background.

The musicians are currently working on a full album to be out by the summer of 2014 and planning a national tour. Whether VIA plays to enjoy the moment or evolves into an established group - you will know only if you follow the newest updates on their official website and social outlets.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 16th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
This review on Fabryka Music Magazine: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=532





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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

Stiletto Ghetto - Don't Call Me

Stiletto Ghetto - Don't Call Me (song review) |self-released, Celebrity Society, 2014| funk rock 5/5

Stiletto Ghetto was founded by Louis Raphael (drummer, producer and co-writer) in San Francisco in 2010. Louis is accompanied by a variety of skilled musicians who perform music written by him in studio and on stage. The collective definitely spices songs up through their own expression and character.

Groovy, repetitious bass lines dominate here and interact with the drums very well. Since the rhythm and dynamics are the most important traits of funk music, that’s spot on. There's a soloing rock guitar mixed with excellent arrangements written for saxophone, jazz piano and trombone. Technically speaking though, the guitar riffs are on a layer below bass and drums, giving priority to the main funky theme. Most importantly however, the bass is accompanied by a powerful female voice.

As mentioned before, Louis collaborates with other musicians. "Don't Call Me" features guest vocalist Racquel Roberts. Her highly memorable voice perfectly matches both jazz and funk. It sticks to your ears instantly, together with a performance of the rhythm section, sometimes resembling Anastacia's or Aretha Franklin's voices in tone and range.

The lyrics were written by Louis Raphael and Safiya Bird-Whitten. The song tells a story of a lack of mutual respect and loyalty; friends or rather so called 'friends' who are not available when one needs their help the most, but who always call on you to expect support, advice or help with their own problems when they get in trouble.

"Don't Call Me" is a selection from the 8 songs recorded for the Celebrity Society album released this year. It follows Tendernob Hillbillies EP (2011), put out by guitar icon Steve Vai's own Digital Nations label. This helped Louis license and place two of the tracks in two independent movies.

Does the song have hit potential? Definitely yes. Moreover, it perfectly fits into all sorts of jazz & funk radio playlists. Make sure you'll check out the entire album, too.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, March 31st, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
This review on Fabryka Music Magazine: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=531


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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

31 March, 2014

Ferni - Blame

Ferni - Blame (song review) |Gradation Music, Afterburn EP, 2013| 5/5

"Blame" is a rock ballad written, performed, and recorded by Ferni Lopez - a singer and multi-instrumentalist from Houston, Texas. He’s a veteran of writing and playing music inspired by alternative, folk rock, and blues genres, as well as the founder of Brother Sol and Of Love And Justice bands. The song comes from his solo EP Afterburn, released in December 2013.

Rock ballads usually stick to the theme of "it could have been better" and lyrically refer to topics such as unsuccessful relationships, loss, loneliness, misunderstandings, unresolved problems, unrealistic desires etc., supported by melodious, nostalgic tunes. "Blame" firmly fits into that framework.

The track opening will immediately pull your attention into the mood thanks to deep, pensive bass tones with additional cymbals. A slow beat of a hand-held drum and a melancholic guitar come into play shortly afterwards. Highly expressive vocals are specifically what a song with a lullaby-like tempo definitely needs to make the contrasting sounds harmonious and well-matched. Indeed, Ferni’s slightly raspy voice fits in perfectly here. He can definitely sing and adjust his voice to across several ranges very well. The chorus sounds memorable and is exactly what a highly listenable radio or movie song requires.
The final part includes a careful and gentle, high-pitched guitar solo that melts into the whole track without stealing the focus, thanks to the harmoniously layered bass and drums tracks.

The arrangements and the composition have been put together skillfully. Needless to say, it’s quite surprising that one man can perform a song fit for an entire four-piece band, but Ferni's the living proof for this. His music bears inspiration from artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., The Who, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers or Led Zeppelin. Therefore, if you like a nostalgic, guitar-driven vibe, you should enjoy "Blame".

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, March 31st, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
This review on Fabryka Magazine: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=530

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

28 March, 2014

BROBST - Life Of Gypsies

BROBST - Life Of Gypsies (song review) |self-released, 2014| 4/5

This highly melodic track carries a lot of hit potential, since it’s instantly memorable. This is possible thanks to a balanced apportionment between inspiration drawn from both Depeche Mode as well as dark wave and electronic rock styles.

Probably, most of the people will first hear and then react to the rhythm. The dynamics in "Life Of Gypsies" are just accurate. The rhythm doesn't resemble a raging cannon, which would certainly kill the melody. Instead, subtle arrangements repeat and rock rhythm guitars along with a solo guitar spice them up with an edgy flavor. Guitars are played softly, without showing off and they embed well within the overall vibe. The string instruments also help the listener’s mind to drift a bit into a different direction than that created by the beat.

All electronic additions are of high quality and were placed in well chosen spots. Previously mentioned similarities to Depeche Mode's yearning tunes ring especially true. In addition, the melodies of verses and choruses support each other perfectly. As a result, the overall composition sounds harmonious.

BROBST may consider working a bit on his voice, however. The song seems to be written for confident, emotional vocals and it'd be really great to hear a slightly more vigorous performance. Some of the chorus parts require a prolonged, highly pitched voice, and here BROBST unquestionably delivers. In other moments, like during the opening verse where he sings with a lower voice, its melodic line comes across as a bit too wary and unstable. Other than that, the whispering does fit in these arrangements and the overall mood very well.

Finally, it should me mentioned that BROBST was the winner of the People's Choice Award (Atlantis Music Conference, Atlanta, Georgia) in 2007. Thanks to his success, he performed on stage the same night as Queens of the Stone Age.

"Life Of Gypsies" will be included on the tracklist of BROBST's full album, which is set to appear in July 2014. The release follows the Angel Dust EP (2013) which can be purchased in various on-line music stores.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, March 26th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński



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04 March, 2014

The 88's - The 88's EP

The 88's - The 88's EP |self-released, 2013| 5/5

1. Get Me Through, 2. Addiction, 3. Time Was Right, 4. You Gotta Give A Damn, 5. For You, I'll Sing My Song, 6. Pride

The 88s trio which has been playing together since 2009 has an international line-up. The members make music in China, Portugal, France and the US. Joe Mahone brings the hard rock/metal drive through excellent drumming, Pheel Duarte feeds the songs with dynamic vocals, while Luis Coelho enriches The 88's music with Latin guitar influences.

The eponymous EP is their second release (the first one was out in 2011). The tracklist opens with a wavy guitar solo and gives you a foretaste of what to expect. "Get Me Through" has a melodic yet heavy mix, ensuring that you're listening to the work of experienced musicians who know how to skillfully borrow from a few different genres. They utilize Latin music, blues, hard rock and modern metal structures as well. They undoubtedly worked this one out and avoided predictable arrangements.

"Addiction" begins with a heavy and rhythmic mix written for the drums, guitar and vocals. However, this passionate track has also a surprising acoustic side, based on soft melodic arrangements. A professionally played guitar solo influenced by classic rock, as well as guitar parts draw inspiration from Latin music. As an interesting aside you should note that the song is bilingual (English & French).

The 88's seem to be inspired by music of Metallica, Foo Fighters, and System of A Down. "Time Was Right" is a goof proof of this. It’s a heavy track built upon balanced arrangements, neither leaving empty spaces, nor invading your ears with arrogant intensity. The structure is diversified enough to keep your mind engaged, but also repetitive enough to stick to your memory.

A swinging mix of guitars, drums and bass begins "You Gotta Give A Damn", an example of a popular alt-rock theme, which easily fits into prime time airplay. The song is short, melodic, dynamic and instantly memorable. It has spots filled with guitar solos and intensified drumming, with very suitable vocals.

If you like Soundgarden or Nirvana, or just enjoy the grungier vibes, "For You, I'll Sing My Song" is, precisely, for you. The track includes also an interesting part performed by Pier, a guest musician utilizing a Chinese instrument called Erhu. She appears midway through the song and brings more of a world music feel. When it comes to vocals for the track, Pheel Duarte proves clearly that he can adjust his voice to different styles of music.

Now, it's time for a decorative jewel. "Pride" is a huge finish, definitely enriching the whole EP with a big, nostalgic theme. You can clearly imagine the lone guitarist performing on a stage. When he's focused on the instrument, locked in an invisible bubble of the sound, the entire world seems to disappear. There are only three things that matter here: him, the guitar and the music these two make in the limelight. You've heard that same, never changing tune from Santana, Clapton, Led Zeppelin or Queen and you'll hear it again, this time performed by Luis Coelho and The 88's. It's also a great movie track.

All the songs on the tracklists have a definite flow connecting them - whether it’s their rhythm or mood, or the technical skill behind them. Thus, the end of "Pride" interlocks with "Get Me Through" very well and you can listen to the entire EP on repeat.

The album is worth having and the band deserves your support. Their official website and social profiles should give you more insight into The 88's next move.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, March 4th, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

This review on Fabryka Magazine: http://industrialrock.net/php-files_en/articles.php?article_id=526
 


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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine