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17 April, 2012

NeverWhas - History

NeverWhas - History |self-released, History single, 2012| 5/5

Usually a rock or metal band line-up consist of three to five musicians who are strangers. They might have known each other for years, gone to the same schools, hung out in the same neighborhood or just got hired through classifieds. In the case of NeverWhas, three brothers and a good friend of theirs complete the band. It's pretty common that a family enterprise can be difficult to run. Sometimes this is due to their specific connections, however these four young musicians seem to get along with one another very well.
Since releasing their album Solid Will Into Sacrifice in 2011, they've been working on new songs.
A yet untitled tracklist for the album will include 11 songs and "History" is one of them.

The composition as well as the arrangements sound solid, simple, understandable and can be played in most locations without stirring bad blood. Along with quite rebellious moods, NeverWhas provides over six minutes of both rock and punk music.

After an atmospheric intro created with canting guitar riffs and matching cymbals the tempo speeds up. Chris on bass along with Rick on drums make a collaborative duo that pushes the song into a well planned direction. Moreover, they both control its borders, yet let the vibe of "History" flow in a dynamic way. Additionally, enjoyable and short drums appear just before the 4th minute of the song which may steal a listener's attention.

This song is built on a few arrangements that make a space for Nik's guitar solos. The guitar sounds quite noisy and garage-esque, so the sound would match an evergreen grunge style too.
Mike's voice is self-confident. He toys with the tones and moods like a serious actor on a theatre stage floor. In fact, the vocals and guitar riffs are predominantly exposed the most in this song.

If you're willing to own this track after reading this review or listening to an on-line preview, there's good news for you. "History" has already been released as a single and it's available on iTunes. More songs will come out this year. Keep an eye on these Chicagoans website and social profiles for any important updates.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, April 13th, 2012)

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12 April, 2012

Fall of Eden - Wargasm

Fall of Eden - Wargasm |Fall of Eden, The Warrior, 2012| 5/5

This Illinois based band was founded in 2003 and have opened live for a variety of well known artists so far such as Opeth, Devin Townsend, Devil Driver and many more. Oriented towards the European black metal scene, Viking-related legends and mysticism, Fall Of Eden recorded their newest album entitled The Warrior in 2012 and it has already been receiving a lot of positive feedback from both listeners and music journalists.

"Wargasm" is the third song on the tracklist. It begins with characteristic black metal atmospheres, these coincide with a wall of brutal speed metal drums that are accompanied by not much slower guitar riffs and a lead guitar melody all falling into singularity. After this intro, the listener is exposed to the growling vocals of Russ Knöbel, who sounds as vile as a lead singer of a metal band could ever be expected to. In the meantime, well controlled guitar riffs intertwine with the drums to keep pounding the listeners ears as though they were a hail storm that destroys everything during hot, steamy days.

After 2 minutes 30 seconds, the vocals leave more space for melodic, yet powerful riffs so that guitarists - Taylor Cooper and Steve Høwe as well as drummer Evan Howe can battle each other. The virtuoso riffs seem to be inspired by 80's hard rock & heavy metal music. A careful listener however may also catch progressive metal influences in both the lead guitar and bass tracks. Since Russ plays bass and performs vocals in the band, the song arrangements were tailor made so he can easily switch between performance duties. It might have otherwise been quite a complex task to play the bass while growling lyrics, especially live.

While the column of guitars grow, a solid conjunction of drums and bass doesn't let them fly too far. The vocals return shortly after approximately 2 minutes, however the moods (and the listener's attention) have already been stolen at this point by all the heavy, interlacing guitar riffs.
The song is very professionally articulated by the artist. A tightly filled and extended outro finishes "Wargasm" with a fade out, although listeners will still hear the remnants of the memorable lead guitar solos in their heads long after the song is over.

Indeed, the Vikings came to North America in the 10th century. Those no-compromise and stright-forward Nordic sailors went there to build settlements in Greenland and explore the ocean as well as near-by lands. Though, they didn't stay permanently in North America, perhaps due to unexpected encounters with Native Americans.
Europe, on the contrary, has been influenced by a Viking presence for many centuries. The traces of their heritage have been smuggled into our culture (gods, heroes, legends, poetry and fantasy literature), calendar (names of the days), science and travel (astronomy, navigation) as well as art (music, architecture, ornaments). There are still a variety of annual Viking (and Slavic) festivals in Europe where you can dress, eat, fight and talk like people did over a 1000 years ago.

It may be a good idea to bring these influences to the attention of American music fans again to entice another metal music subgenre since there's an open market for it. Hollywood has produced several high budget fantasy movies based on various, more or less credible stories that incorporate, for instance Viking fighting tactics, 'fashion' and jewelery (you've probably seen Conan the Barbarian,  13th Warrior or Pathfinder). Still, it seems that European and Russian bands comprise a majority of artist interested in this fashion of metal when it comes to including these themes of music-related patterns in their songs as opposed to many American artist.

"Wargasm" is a composition that dominates in mood. It is strongly animated and filled with heavy, rough, yet smooth virtuoso guitar riffs. Because of this, many fans of metal music will be convinced to reach out for The Warrior album, which is available at most major on-line stores.
(Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, April 11th, 2012)

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02 April, 2012

Sit Kitty Sit - My Beloved

Sit Kitty Sit - My Beloved (song review) |Gun Horse Records, Beautiful / Terrible, 2012| 5/5

Music like this cannot be given a low rating since it's true Music with a capital M. If you understand orchestration techniques more than the average listener you will find there is no need to read an artists' bio to realize when a musician is trained in composition, transposition and music theory.

Kat Downs along with drummer Mike Thompson have an extensive musical background that comes from experience and dedication. Kat is a professionally trained pianist, composer and music teacher which means that symphonies, pit orchestras, choirs and proper counterpoint are nothing strange to her. She is also in a gothic rock band called Saints of Ruin that toured with industrial rockers Slick Idiot. Mike has played drums in several bands of different genres (for example Tokyo Raid or The Big Nasty) for over 20 years. Moreover, drumming is in his family heritage. This aspect combined with listening to many different styles of music let him explore avenues such as blues, jazz, punk, latin, classic rock and progressive rock.

Sit Kitty Sit is a pretty new and recent project that is inspired by a variety of vibes and influences. The band was established in San Francisco, CA in 2010. Since releasing their debut The Push EP (2010), they moved on to create a brand new album entitled Beautiful / Terrible in 2012 where the song "My Beloved" appears at the end of the tracklist.

The songwriting along with the compositional structure is solid yet open, leaving comfortable space for the vocals. Kat's voice is set between mezzo-soprano and alto which allows her to fluctuate between octaves with middle to low notes that are well controlled. The track is strong, direct and confident, yet sounds impatient and almost angry. When Kat sings you may find yourself wanting to stand up straight and wait for orders... or an encounter.
The rhythm section is based on both piano and drums which makes the sound twice as dynamic. There are no guitars or bass used in this song. The drums are punctual in the background, however no specific percussive solos outline the song, so the beats emphasize the piano along with Kat's vocals.

Since both of the artists have been researching many styles of music on daily basis, "My Beloved" is a mixture between pop, avant-garde and classical music. If you're a director looking for a good musical score or even searching a live band to make an appearance in your movie, consider Sit Kitty Sit as a strong candidate. This song would be a perfect fit for an action or crime movie like Sin City if it were set in a 1930's-1940's environment with gangsters in suits, fedoras and black 'n' white shoes listening to piano along with a female vocalist. It may also be a match to historically related screenplays or documentaries from the WWII era as well.

If a majority of people were to understand the beauty of classical music, Sit Kitty Sit could have been nominated for the most promising music discovery of 2012. However, since most music fans seem to enjoy bouncy pop, electronica or hip-hop music as opposed to something dynamic and intelligent, let us believe that serious music connoisseurs and audiophiles will truly support this ambitious project by purchasing their music and enjoying their live performances.

Sit Kitty Sit tours quite frequently and also recently played during the 2012 SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. They plan to take part in the BASK Music and Arts Festival in July of this year as well as go on an East Coast tour planned for this autumn that may also continue into the Midwest until sometime in early 2013.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, April 1st, 2012)

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Heresy23 - The Paradigm EP

Heresy23 - The Paradigm EP |self released, TBA 2012| 4/5

1. Distance;virtue, 2. Criminal Faith, 3. Broken Doll, 4. Weight of Motion

If you're into electronic or industrial music, seeing a name like "Heresy" will most probably appear as something linked to Nine Inch Nails in your mind and yes, you would be thinking in the proper direction. Heresy23 is the musical brainchild of Pete 'Sprog' Baughan who established the band in Portsmouth, UK in 2010. He admits NIN has been one of his major influences aside from Ministry, Filter and Stabbing Westward, however some specific examples from NIN songs can be heard here and there (in comparison to the content of Pretty Hate Machine and The Fragile). Some artists copy NIN directly to quickly receive the attention of their fans, although not everybody has Reznor's shrewd business sense. Artists like Pete utilize and extend the works of their idols in their own ways while learning something new and finding their own personal style for self-expression based upon their influences.

The first song on the tracklist titled "Distance;virtue" begins with an intriguing ambient intro, then turns into a dynamic song composed with samplers and computers. The vocals and bass dictate the rhythm as well as a melody accompanied by Gibson guitar riffs and beats. Then a piano comes in which gives the arrangement a subtle flavor with a fadeout and silence in the ending.

"Criminal Faith" sounds almost like a tribute to Nine Inch Nails, so fans of their music that was released after 2001 may enjoy the song. The bass line is reminiscent of songs by Joy Division. Pete toys with the bass and samplers a lot in this track. His vocals sound more affectionate which is a good thing. There is also an awesome vocal effect which Pete could have utilized in other tracks as well.

"Broken Doll" starts with a leveled piano which is then joined by vocals later into the progression. The entire song expands through great sampling and catchy, yet dark atmospheres. It could have been amplified to the decibel ratio of the sound of a tornado since the song has hit potential.

After such a tasty musical dish you're in for a glass of bubbly champagne next. "Weight of Motion" is as smooth and intriguing as NIN's "Just Like You Imagined". The song is led by piano, samplers and gentle beats that grow bigger and bigger in dynamic moods. This is an intriguing and catchy track that will allow one's imagination to sail freely across the boundaries of the mind. It's the best song on this EP.

Pete's programming skills are noticeable. You could possibly associate his tunes to the music of Gary Numan since the sound can be cold in moods and repetitive in nature. Some atmospheres are also reminiscent of those by Charlie Clouser thanks to rich arrangements that bring forth a variety of sorcerous dimensions. Typically the beginning and the end of songs are the most difficult parts of the composition to create, but Heresy23 has overcome this problem extremely well.

On the other hand, Pete should practice up on his aggressive vocals. All these songs hold clear and dominating vibes, however the vocals sound too affable at times and miss some rock wildness. He should try to express himself openly through shouting out loud, snarling and threatening to release his energy while letting the testosterone flow. Especially, since he admits to be driven by hate and rebellion. He could also mix his voice a bit below the layers of guitars and samples so his tracks would become better adjusted to his songwriting. This may allow him to get the necessary power of expression his music deserves to operate like a claw. Last but not least, he could always just opt to keep the songs instrumental.

The Paradigm album will be out in November 2012 followed by live shows in December. Make sure to check out Heresy23 music on-line, including many darker and heavier songs such as "The Paradigm", "Penitance", "Landslide" and also "This Corrosion" - an industrial cover of the Sisters of Mercy's anthem.
Heresy23 is not found on for some reason, but hopefully this will be fixed upon the release of their new album so fans can scrobble these songs frequently which will give the band appropriate exposure.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, March 30th, 2012)

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