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05 December, 2016

Toby Poynter - The Comeback

Toby Poynter - The Comeback (song review) |self-released, single, 2016| 5/5 alt-rock

Toby Poynter lives for music and expresses his pure soul by making emotionally charged, rhythmic songs. When you screen his past music-related achievements, you'll spot that he feels about writing and performing alt-rock songs the best these days, yet he listenes to all kinds of music - from The Beatles to Bon Iver. Therefore, he didn't shy away from playing grunge and funk with a few other bands back in the 1990s.

'The Comeback' was recorded in Sweden and is an alt-rock track speaking of a love relationship's end. The author gave the song a light, romantic mood despite of the theme - which, when personally experienced, may turn some people to grieving. The vibe gives the idea of a diplomatic farewell, not followed by hating, bullying, and burning bridges.

Technically, there no sneaky intro here, but the verse comes in instantly after a short, buzzy guitar riff. A rhythmic bass line and a drum beat join the guitars - the latter sounds dirty at times for a good reason, considering some old good grunge references. The melody instantly roots itself in your brain thanks to the track's catchy pop-based chorus: "Don't come back anymore", which repeats quite often and is supported with male backing vocals. Toby's voice is characteristic, at times raspy, at times high enough to handle the required pitch. He's a self-taught singer and composer - his voice might be influenced by voices of the original grunge scene - Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) or Chris Cornell (Soundgarden). It's also noticeable that Poynter's singing had improved a lot since the 90s thanks to many years of practice.

The unquestionable strength of his music - the songwriting - allows Toby for expressing the call of his heart. The composition here was thought-out carefully with all possible parts filled by matching arrangements, and never choking on anything. The arrangements sound memorable, however not unique - they were fitted for the vibe loved by alt-rock aficionados, though they do make this song tight and vital overall, thanks to their placement. Even the ending moment doesn't weigh the track down as it sounds just as one could only wish it to be - the rhythm, instruments, and arrangements gradually stop.

'The Comeback' is one of the Poynter's newest productions. It seems to be a candidate for a fuller tracklist of a yet-to-be released album; make sure you follow Toby on Facebook to get fresh updates about his recording process. The song is a potential hit, and is already being played on various radio stations. Obviously, certain demographics and entertainment branches are on a lookout for such a vibe, but it depends on how the author wishes to have his song used. It's a necessary part of a healthy mind to release an emotion out of one’s heart sometimes, yet it won't hurt to reach out to a larger audience and get paid for your creative skills turned into making others feel good. Finally, do watch 'A New Beginning' - his other, professionally recorded music video single available on YouTube.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, December 4th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)


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Reviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia

22 November, 2016

Dumb Hole - Bravest of the Galaxy

Dumb Hole – Bravest of the Galaxy |SCHÄF Records, album, 2016| 5/5 alternative rock

1. Somebody, 2. I'm Ready, 3. Invincibles, 4. Now I See, 5. She's All My Love, 6. Dancing Without Sound, 7. Killing for Love, 8. Proud of You, 9. Deadline, 10. A Free Old Man

These days, human civilization is greatly divided not only due to skin color, location, financial status or music taste. It's now about a pure vibrational friction between the heart-driven truth seekers and the brain-based manipulators, considering that the human brain is more receptive to fears and illusions. When there's an attempt to tame the vibration of truth, people feel it and revolutions are ignited. This can be already observed world-wide: manifestations, and individual re-valuations of every aspect of one's life. It's not an exclusive 'mid-life crisis' anymore, but an Awakening that touches every age group.

With Bravest of the Galaxy we get a new album which addresses the topic of revolutions really well. Leonardo Guzman (vocals, guitars) and Magnus Almqvist (drums) – the Swedish/Argentinian duo working under the name Dumb Hole channeled the rebellion’s vibe into ten dynamic songs. Bravest of the Galaxy includes several songs that will instantly get you hooked thanks to their upbeat tempo and sound.
These musicians don't wish to make you wonder whether they're good with their instruments. 'Somebody', the album opener, already offers amazing drum play aligned with guitars and vocals. Since there's no bass in the band, the drum kit has been set up carefully to compensate that lack. Not only is the song immediately memorable but its production is professional and lets its dynamics bloom. The performers want you to open your eyes and stand up for your own truth, rebelling actively.

Are you ready for a change if the song put you in a proper mood? The band teases - 'I'm Ready', then fires up with another rocking tune. This song speaks of breaking free from capitalism and overcoming related societal fears. It's supported by a slightly anxious tempo, though the overall mood is light. Almqvist again delivers his drumming, on par with the likes of Marco Minnemann, for example. The composition is rather traditional for both rock and pop genres, and consists of well written arrangements. 'I'm Ready' includes also more aggressive moments, which definitely spice up the overall atmosphere.

Guzman's a fan of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Queen among others. You can hear that in 'Invincibles', with the 1970s rock feel in the beginning, though a bit later the added guitar effect gives it a fresher, more modern vibe. In contrast to the previous songs however, the vocals and heavier, groovy guitars are accented much more than drums. The song has many instrumental moments which bring a nice balance to the composition. 'Invincibles' speaks of humans as an invading species – in the eyes of ETs, we're aliens after all. The band brings an awareness to the fact that if humans desire to colonize Mars and other planets, there's a serious threat to any local, original life forms (and ETs' sacred sites). They could be destroyed due to our disrespectful conquest, just as we had proved our arrogance towards indigenous inhabitants of many regions on our own planet.

In many families, there's often a power struggle between father and son. It becomes more evident when the son grows up and begins noticing unfair, outdated rules and regulations imposed not only on him, but the rest of the family too. 'Now I See' speaks of psychological abuse of power by masculine members of a family. The vibe is touching with its mood full of resentment and reproachfulness. The vocals are much higher here, while the drums and guitars are tightly packed at times.

'She's All My Love' is all about playing fast, loud, and intensively. The song has very high dynamics - also in terms of the subject, as it speaks of a man falling in love with a prostitute, and obviously not being happy in that relationship. The track illustrates many shifts and stormy moments, perfectly bringing up the picture of how rough and twisted this couple can be with each other. Therefore, listeners may literally imagine them arguing, throwing items on the floor, the man spying on the woman during her working hours, etc. Since the song doesn't end with a strong accent but the swirling guitar arrangement continues, listeners may suspect the couple decided to purge their karmic connection further.

'Dancing Without Sound' has the 90s rock feel with both dominating, raspy guitars and softer moments within the composition too. The song is a potential hit thanks to its encouraging atmosphere but also a smoothly flowing rhythm. Moreover, prominent vocals let the singer be remembered and recognized.

Tense bass and assaulting guitars along with dynamic drum beats begin the next song - 'Killing for Love'. The chorus eases the built up tension, is memorable, and makes the song a potential hit. The emotion brought by the song, and the must-see official video single is related to manipulative attempts of so called 'Cabal' to control and terrorize people, to weaken and force them into making desirable choices, since non-conformity is unacceptable. It always triggers dramatic events world-wide because there's usually a bigger agenda behind it all, organized by politicians, Catholic and Islamic religions, and also negative aliens, according to conspiracy theorists.

'Proud of You' speaks of the problem of giving up one's passions due to becoming a parent. Like the previous songs, it brings tension and changing moods. Many tempo switches can be found here along with tightly packed drum beats and vocals. It's a great track for movies thanks to its storytelling qualities. The following 'Deadline' brings more noise within arrangements depicting lives of drug addicts while they navigate between fixes. In spite of this dark topic, the song is melodious and instantly memorable. Progressive rock fans may find some interesting instrumental references to the sound of Rush here.

The last track, 'A Free Old Man' is a mix of a few sibling genres including rock, industrial, and alternative. It is melodic and memorable but by no means simplistic. It’s the longest on the album and consists of several wisely intersected parts. The track begins with a melancholic, 'farewell' tune, but a dense combo of arrangements and speed comes into play with time, making for a nice contrast between the varied sections.

Bravest of the Galaxy is an emotionally charged album set within an uplifting, dynamic atmosphere, usually aimed at listeners in their 20s and 30s. No composition on here will make listeners feel like saying 'damn, we're doomed!' despite the song topics. The tracks were composed to trigger listeners to stand up for what their hearts resonate the best with. The writing on the album is clearly Dumb Hole's forte; the compositions vary acoustically, avoiding ear fatigue, yet all arrangements are professionally distributed within tracks to make the listening experience enjoyable. On top of that, since every song tells a different story, the arrangements mirror the emotions contained within the song motives; if it’s about difficult love, there's confusion; personal problems cause sonic tension; an addiction is linked with a 'noisy' mind, and so on. This mastery should help the band draw interest from those interested in TV music licensing, ads, radio airplay, audiobooks and many other creative media. Do support the band's efforts and buy their album ASAP!

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Enclyclopedia, November 21st, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia

20 October, 2016

Moon Pigeon - So Far

Moon Pigeon - So Far (song review) |self-released, 2016| 4/5 alt rock

Moon Pigeon is the result of collaborative venture between current and former members of various South Florida and Atlanta based bands. Having gathered the required experience, they've drawn interest of many modern and alternative rock fans all over the world through active on-line promotion as well as touring.

The opening song of Moon Pigeon's self-titled debut album brings a moody yet rocking vibe. 'So Far' begins with subtle and distinctive, new wave guitar tones, gradually joined by bass, drums and vocals developing into short verses and the chorus. Both the instrumental arrangements and the performance sound solid and give the track a solid foundation. As a contrast, Mike Hernandez on vocals brings a delicate, melancholic layer on the top the music - his voice may remind you of Richard Patrick from Filter.
The song is not deprived of a harsher tone, expressed though raspy, vibrating tones by Gaston de la Vega striking his loose bass strings. The arrangements are written to expose the players either separately or together, through in terms of modern rock, obviously the guitar played by Oscar Rodriguez is placed in the foreground. The drums could have sounded a bit heavier and deeper at some point, but Brandon Leidel played his parts very well, nevertheless. The band collaborates nicely, with no single sound coming on too strong.

Technically, 'So Far' is a short track and would certainly fit in a lot of media, from ads to movies. It should also do well on the radio. The song's mood feels melancholic - it brings feelings of loss, passing of time, letting go, self-realization. Thus, even if the theme is not necessarily related to love or passion, it'd still match a variety of emotionally touching, creative ideas. Does 'So Far' sound original? Not really, but Moon Pigeon certainly know what's attractive for contemporary audiences or certain demographics. In fact, many listeners enjoy what they've heard before, and that makes it easier for new bands to be taken under consideration too. There is a truly modern rock vibe present in the track - so if you are a fan of the genre, you will get hooked since the song is a solid piece from start to finish.

Moon Pigeon belongs to those bands that enjoy touring, so if you liked the sound of 'So Far', make sure you watch them perform live.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, October 15th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)


Reviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia

13 September, 2016

Interview with Darice M. Kannon

Interview with Darice M. Kannon (2016)

NINa: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Is it always a matter of 'believing in yourself' or self-discipline and hard work to have the book completed and published? Or maybe it's other people's encouragement that makes writers succeed? Finally, where will you publish your book, and in what formats?

Darice: Find your authentic voice no matter what anyone thinks and build the empire behind you. Also, outline your story. Without a spine to follow, it's possible to quit because you lose your voice and begin to question yourself.

Full interview:

*Darice, a writer and musician, had an interesting concept of merging both of her interests. She wrote a book titled Condemned and illustrated the emotions of the book's characters through songs, gathered on an album with the same title.

Interviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia

29 August, 2016

Interview with David Arkenstone 2016

Interview with David Arkenstone* (2016):

NINa: Do you consider yourself a composer-messenger who can wake up people's forgotten memory through containing certain topics, moods, and vibrations within your compositions? What areas or worlds will listeners be invited to with your next album to be released this year?

: I believe I have a gift that I work on cultivating every day. I am a vessel that music pours out of. At times I can direct it, other times it feels like I have no control over it. I have received many communications from people who claim to have had spiritual awakenings through my music, so I can say that to some degree, I believe I am a messenger. As far as next projects, I plan a deeper, darker collection of songs, as well as an album of music inspired by changes this planet goes through each year.

Read the entire interview here:

*American composer & multi-instrumentalist David Arkenstone is a soundscape explorer who aims to trigger your imagination by delivering both space and atmosphere locked within a musical composition. He paints atmospheric landscapes and thus, he's frequently present in movie and video game projects. Games such as World of Warcraft, Lands of Lore 2 and 3, Earth and Beyond, and Emperor: Battle for Dune (to name a few) already include David's scores. Having released over 45 albums and several soundtracks for film and TV, he also received three Grammy nominations for In the Wake of the Wind (1992), Citizen of the World (2000), and Atlantis (2004)

Interview by Fabryka Music Magazine

David Arkenstone - Beneath A Darkening Sky

David Arkenstone – Beneath A Darkening Sky |QDV Recordings, 2016| 5/5, dark ambient, fantasy
01. The Fog, 02. The Deep Desolation, 03. The Storm, 04. The Moonless Midnight, 05. The Ice Forest, 06. They Are Coming, 07. The Wind From The North
American composer & multi-instrumentalist David Arkenstone is a soundscape explorer who aims to trigger your imagination by delivering both space and atmosphere locked within a musical composition. He paints atmospheric landscapes and thus, he's frequently present in movie and video game projects. Games such as World of Warcraft, Lands of Lore 2 and 3, Earth and Beyond, and Emperor: Battle for Dune (to name a few) already include David's scores. Having released over 45 albums and several soundtracks for film and TV, he also received three Grammy nominations for In the Wake of the Wind (1992), Citizen of the World (2000), and Atlantis (2004). His expertise in sculpting entire fantastic realities with sounds recently led to the creation of yet another capturing set of compositions.

His latest opus, entitled Beneath A Darkening Sky, was released mid- 2016 and is an escapist venture into dark fantasy lands, reportedly composed by candlelight. There are seven brand new tracks and each clocks over eight minutes. The album opener ('The Fog') brings a promising foretaste – a mystical atmosphere, supported by angelic female voices. A slow, rhythmic pulse appears later, skillfully mixed with incoming waves and layers of higher tones. Oriental drums and ambient atmospheres are key elements here and obviously, such a trance-like melody will allow listeners to detach from the outside world, and eventually drag them into a world full of magic.

'The Deep Desolation' brings a different mood - foggier and darker than found in the opener. There's no specific rhythm here but instead, focus is put on orchestration, violins, and an atmosphere of sorrow. A voice full of longing adds even more nostalgia to this already slowly passing soundscape. Unquestionably, it's the perfect composition to be performed live in a philharmonic with an orchestra. Finger's crossed for David to land such an opportunity soon!

The expression found within 'The Storm' may surprise those purists who would expect to hear a cannonade of thunders, a shock of lightnings and a torrential flood of rain. Instead, David paints the storm with pastels (including the obligatory thunder strike). Thus, it's not presented as fearful but as a refreshing, life-giving atmospheric phenomenon. Imagine a village that had been suffering due to weeks of drought. When a storm finally arrives, the rain waters plants and refills the river, bringing everything back into balance and safety - all is well. However, this delicate approach applies to the first half of the composition only, because the other intensifies gradually. The extremely melodic ending part attracts attention through it 'multicultural' feel - as if imaginary Celtic, Indian, and Arabic musicians united to accompany the storm by transmuting its vibration into positive energy. One could wish this became true for the political situation in our world – the oldest, polarized nations teaming up to quell the fray and make Earth a peaceful planet again...

'The Moonless Midnight' could illustrate a night spent in a monastery or at an underground occult gathering. Your mind’s eye may spot initiates chanting around a white pentagram drawn on the floor (certainly dotted with burning candles and smudged with incense smoke) and the master of ceremony conjuring inside the symbol. But even if initially only men are involved here (judging by the voices), the ceremony could be dedicated to the invocation of a Divine Feminine whose nostalgic voice is heard in the latter part of the composition. David used waves of ethereal sounds, splashed with heavier tones, in perfectly matched places. Discerning listeners should be satisfied, as it seems there's some hard to beat stereotype of what a mystical site should sound - including bells, ethereal voices, otherworldly choirs and, for contrast, a few uncanny drones. 'The Moonless Midnight' is a great example of how music can (and always should) influence imagination, just like books do - giving listeners goosebumps!

'The Ice Forest' is a truly awesome soundscape thanks to its cold, slowly developing set of sounds which keep changing, yet remain perfectly balanced. In the beginning, the theme has a sci-fi feel thanks to clearly 'galactic' sound references, despite the song title suggesting something completely different. There's more dynamics here compared to previous tracks and also a bit of uncertainty, as if we were led into a new territory. Arkenstone skillfully operates the harmonic contrast again, balancing depth and weight. When the arrangement progresses enough, the listener - so far following mysterious footprints or a route on an ancient map serendipitously found in a snow-covered tree trunk - will be led out of the frozen, monochromatic land into a peaceful, colorful village full of fires in hearths. The atmosphere brightens up on all levels, thanks to a mirthful rhythm (produces by a flute, a violin and drums). Our explorer is then peeping from behind the corner of a hut at locals who dance, sing, and drink wine, celebrating the end of a long day.

Judging solely by the song's title again, 'They Are Coming' could probably refer to extraterrestrials. Yet it remains unclear what kind of entities - ETs, ghosts, Lightbeings or zombies to mention a few popular ones - the listener may expect to come. This, and other songs don't provide lyrical content to learn more details from, so we can only guess that those who are coming are friendly, since the song doesn't carry any negative, frightening sounds. Instead, a deep nostalgia is all-present here, with the sounds that build the mood appearing, disappearing or being replaced by other tunes when their 'mood-making job' is done. There's also a drum-based background which puts listeners back into the safety of a trance-like state of being. The track's end proves David's compositional skills in building finales and switching between arrangements. Finally, if you've ever heard of the scientific idea of a multiverse, then here we have the audible example of it – worlds put into worlds, none fixed too tightly within another.

Even if it initially starts with a drift of a cold chill, 'The Wind From The North' isn't only freezing - it also brings a warming feel at times. This is thanks to a deep, bulging, hypnotic pulse, methodically put in the forefront of the composition with other 'windy' sounds heard in the background. The human brain is certainly receptive to such a setting, as the pulse makes it 'attached', with other slowly floating arrangements opening the soul and leading it into quite an out-of-body experience. When such a dream-like state is achieved and when the pulsation stops (it'll come back later, don't worry), the bells and voices come in, together with a sensation of looking at a vast snowy land.
This composition carries a very imaginative theme - the lonely voyage of a Chosen One to survive and fulfill a mission (and obviously, it could be the perfect match for a movie or a video game with such a plot). When a cathedral-like atmosphere arises (thanks to suddenly appearing organ sounds), the listeners may imagine that the traveler has been side-tracked during the quest and unexpectedly discovered a lost spiritual site. This place may offer our explorer an experience of astral travel during which he or she learns more about the ancestors, him/herself and finally, hears a prophecy related to the mission. 'The Wind From The North' was released with a music video single, available on Arkenstone's YouTube channel.

To sum it all up, the songs smoothly connect with each other on the whole album, so it's not really important which song you choose to start with – you will always tap into the album's atmospheric leitmotif with any composition. David's tracks are produced, mixed, and mastered extremely well. Thus, many aspiring sound designers could learn a lot from him. He has also mastered techniques of manipulating the volume (for the illusion of distance, spaces, and dimensions he can pave new passages through), and operating both weight and harmonic contrasts through darker and brighter tones. Most of the tracks, quite characteristically for this album, have a breakthrough moment, usually placed near the middle of the composition.

Could there be any additional use for this album, besides just listening? In my opinion, [please credit the reviewer for bringing up this idea ;)], Beneath A Darkening Sky should be sent to art and literature schools, along with soundscapes of other well known 'mood-designers' (Mark Morgan and John Powell, to name a few) to develop and deepen the students’ artistic sensitivity through a series of 'Listen, Imagine, Illustrate' classes.
My only suggestion is that it may be helpful if David uses an extended sound library of angelic female voices so they could bring a welcome diversity. A careful listener would rather imagine not the same, but various 'beings’, occupying different areas of his mythical world(s).

Undoubtedly, this is a must-have album for lovers of video games, movie soundtracks, soundscapes, dark ambient, fantasy art and more, before David's upcoming, chill-orientated album comes out at the end of August 2016.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, August 16th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

Read also: Interview with David Arkenstone (2016)


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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

09 July, 2016

Artist Proof – New Day

Artist Proof – New Day (song review) |self-released, single, 2015| 4/5 rock

"New Day" is a single by Artist Proof, an indie rock band from Melbourne, Australia. Artist Proof consists of song writers Chris Pattenden and Drew Schapper, supported by Dan East (guitar) and Chris Rourke (bass). They are not your typical sound only-orientated musicians however, because they enjoy collaborating with (and are inspired by) other people who express themselves through art – just like teaming up with, for example, artists who paint murals while the band is performing in the same room.

"New Day" is also kept close to art since it was inspired by the paintings of Melbourne-based artist Dagmar Cyrulla. Her art captures random moments in the lives of ordinary people of all ages, genders and races.
The song begins with a delicate yet not too highly pitched piano, sufficient to let the emotions come out by opening the listener’s heart. It is then followed by a male voice, characteristic enough to remember it after the first listening. Interestingly, the voice sounds as if the singer was much older than his actual age would suggest (obviously it is not always a rule to 'sound' according to one's age).

Once the piano paints the song theme in the beginning, the bass and drums slightly change it in the latter part of the song. Gradually, a vibrating guitar tune and the aforementioned instruments join the singer. They sketch the rhythm, along with adding more sound layers, building it up towards the chorus. Upon reaching it, the initially sentimental song turns into a full-blown rock track, though it's still based on a rather slow tempo, letting a listener focus on the poematic vocals better.

The strong melody line in the song indicates that musicians have been inspired by the 70's & 80's music, with its characteristic traits present in songs by Freddie Mercury's Queen, Pink Floyd, David Bowie - but also Peter Murphy at times - due to their theatrical, ethereal and slightly dramatical expression. The arrangements were carefully chosen and sewn into the composition.

The song is good as is, but will also make for a good background when matched with an equally emotional video, preferably aimed at the younger part of the population. Still, since retro seems all the rage now, it wouldn't hurt to show older people who catch up with their younger selves, either. Is the song inspiring? That depends on your own blood pressure. If it's high, your body feels better hearing moody, melancholic, almost transparent tunes, and it'll thank you for playing "New Day". If only heavy or very dynamic music can get your body moving, you should rather choose a different song to accompany your morning coffee.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, June 22nd, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

16 May, 2016

Merrin - Mr. Dominant

Merrin – Mr. Dominant (song review) |self-released, 2016| 5/5 rock, pop, funk

Merrin are a band from Wellington, New Zealand. Judging by their newest single's vibe, the quartet is aiming to gain attention worldwide, presenting a potential hit - something the music industry is always on the lookout for.
The song's low, energizing groove and excellent vocals should agitate listeners already from the very beginning. The arrangements placed swiftly within a solid body holding the entire composition, clearly shared between verses and choruses, make for a really catchy and powerful song. Any chart topper needs to have some repetitions to remain memorable, but in this case there’s not a single second of boredom here.

'Mr. Dominant' begins with vocals that are followed by drums (Richard Maxwell Jr), guitar (Karl Wootton) and bass (Lisa Tagaloa). The rhythm is bouncy making the track instantly memorable, yet it ends on a perfect, popular note with all instruments bringing the rhythm to a gentle stop. Melodically, 'Mr. Dominant' fuses rock, pop, funk and metal vibes thanks to edgy guitar riffs, the overall structure, and the catchy groove. Riffs and drums are less dense, unlike when utilized in purely metal tracks, so the song may find its way to various listeners, not bound to any specific genre. Every instrument, including the voice, has accurate placement, and everything is timed flawlessly. Even if the song may sound spontaneous at first, there's quite a lot of math hiding underneath.

The timbre of the vocals is very interesting, since they sound quite 'androgynous' - the voice could belong to either a woman or a young man, and it’s hard to say before you have a look at the band’s line-up. It's rebellious, confident, and distinctive - it can tap into higher notes easily but it mostly keeps a lower, almost masculine tone somewhere in the middle. Its range intrigues as well. To satisfy your curiosity, the person behind the voice - Charlie Phillips - is female. Being gifted with a voice like this, she should expect many opportunities in the music industry (and beyond, e.g. voice acting in movies or games) sooner or later. It seems that singing comes effortlessly to her - on top of that, her voice is easily recognizable.

Lyrically, 'Mr. Dominant' refers to the act of seduction of an alpha-male man, so called 'the old electric masculine' driven by own ego and thus, always wanting to be in control. How could a female be in control of such a guy, then? Using her sexiest attributes, according to the song writer.

Overall, the song is great for any kind of media placement, and will surely stir the physical energy of listeners, whether it is aired on worldwide radio or included on a personal playlist. The song's recognizable fragments may be a good match for a TV advertisement as well. Guano Apes, Nico, Living Colour, Deftones, and Rage Against the Machine - you could probably name these if you really need a sonic reference, but make sure to check out other songs by Merrin, streamed on their social profiles.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, May 12th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

04 May, 2016

Interview with Gilbert Engle - painter and musician

Interview with Gilbert Engle*

I would say it has become much easier to create very high quality works since hundreds of years ago. The potential options are unlimited. As mentioned, the problem is that there are way too many people who want to be artists and musicians. There is just no way to fund everybody.

*Gilbert Engle has been composing music for over 30 years and creating art for 25+ years. With over 600 music compositions, 50 albums, 200 visual works and 80 paintings completed so far, he has always had a small, but dedicated fan base. As he has found the time and backing to devote full time to his passions, Gilbert has built the portal to provide free access to most of his completed and upcoming works and to share his passion with a global audience.

Interview by Fabryka Music Magazine

Gianluca John Attanasio - Beyond2Doors

Gianluca John Attanasio - Beyond2Doors |House Of Clouds, 2020| 4.5/5

1. King Money, 2. Black Forest, 3. In The Club, 4. I Lost My Angel, 5. God Save Every Soldier, 6. Baby Up Baby Down, 7. Sacred Flight, 8. The Life Will Continue, 9. Living In My Blues, 10. Miss Dog, 11. In The Morning, 12. Silent Roads, 13. Time Is Over

The new album of Gianluca John Attanasio took 3 years to compose during his travels between Rome, London, New York, and Los Angeles. Not only did he write music for independent cinema, theatre, and the dance scene, but also composed, arranged, and produced music during the last 15 years. This is clearly audible to careful listeners experiencing any of the tracks present on Beyond2Doors.

Thirteen brand new tracks offer a blend of many genres - blues, psychedelic rock, rock ballad, or even hip hop. All are united by the lead singer's confident and somewhat raspy voice.
'King Money' brings a typical blues feel and expressive, well trained vocals. Both arrangements and composition keep the classic tone here and, therefore, will be loved by the sound purists. The rocking vibe provided by the bass and drums is additionally contrasted with the higher-reaching harmonica. 'In The Club' is also a track that fans of The Blues Brothers may dig from the very beginning - the odd (but fitting) addition being psychedelic organs. The chorus is extremely memorable thanks to various repetitions and the overall melody. 'Black Forest' is kept in the same vein - swinging sounds just as easy to remember. Vocals, synths, and bass are accented mostly at the beginning, while the guitar and drums take over a bit later, collaborating nicely when the chorus appears. Skillfully written arrangements allow for vocals to be either highlighted by instruments or shine on their own.

Attanasio's admiration for The Doors is obvious in two of the thirteen tracks. 'Baby Up Baby Down' shows it through the use of a synth (perhaps even the famous Moog) and improvisation-like arrangements, perfectly placed within the song. Even if the singer's voice is rougher than Jim Morrison's, it matches the guitar driven musical explorations, from blues to metal. 'Silent Roads' carries the subtle, magical vibe of the iconic 'Riders on the Storm', bringing along a hefty dose of synths. There's a lot of motion in the background and the vocals are matched with these arrangements very well.

As for the ballads on the album, 'I Lost My Angel' is a track suitable for a slow, romantic dance for two, thanks to its melancholic vibe carried by guitar, bass and drums. The other half of the song includes a slightly vibrating guitar solo and a subdued synth. 'Living In My Blues' is kept in a homogenous mood, though its tone is more swinging than that of 'I Lost My Angel', with the guitars accented more strongly at times. Vocals appear frequently and are on par with all the other instruments. It's highly recommended you listen to this one with your eyes closed.
'God Save Every Soldier', as the title suggests, is a tribute to those who have been sent to fight for peace. The song includes a really surprising melody change - with the unexpected arrangement sounding more electronic, including a minimal dose of deep techno bass and a slightly faster beat. It makes the track sound less epic, though the overall mood is peaceful.

Move over, synthesizers - it's time for the piano. 'Sacred Flight' brings piano arrangements with the accompanying lyrics delivered by Attanasio's down-tuned voice, sounding more intimately than in other songs. When it comes to the atmosphere here, hope and drama keep interlacing. The piano arrangements continue in 'Time Is Over', but the style is that of a pop/rock ballad - similar to something you would hear on a Foreigner or Elton John record. The romantic atmosphere is expressed with additional samples of rainfall and subdued thunder, mostly in spots where the vocals take a break. Furthermore, it's easy to imagine 'Time Is Over' being performed by an all-stars crowd at a fundraising concert, bringing back the spirit of the 80's and Bob Geldof's & Midge Ure's Live Aid.

While the piano took over for 'Sacred Flight', guitars get to rule across 'In The Morning'. Instrumentally, it's still kept in an acoustic mood, but it's more rock-oriented, akin to Eric Clapton's music, with the vocals recalling those of Billy Joel. 'The Life Will Continue' has a warm vibe, but the accenting bass and drums take it into rock territory, with a high-pitched guitar soloing in the background, letting the synths and Attanasio's voice be more expressive. The song's production is a bit different, perhaps due to some additional ambiance surrounding vocals and guitar, as if they were recorded live on stage, and later mixed and mastered.

At the opposite end of the musical spectrum presented on the album we have 'Miss Dog', offering a complete change of instrumentation, mood, and style. It contains a lot of skillful borrowings from hip hop and modern pop music, utilizing a faster, danceable tempo and somewhat graded vocals. The lyrics are quite ironic though, referring to the idea of how the hip hop scene uses sex and women as their major song-writing inspirations. 'Miss Dog' may become a steady hit on air if offered to the right broadcasters.

Clearly, Gianluca John Attanasio recorded the album with a lot of moodiness in mind, rather than expressive dynamics. There are clearly emotions at play here, but performed rather retrospectively, with reflection trumping reaction.

Lyrically, Beyond2Doors touches many topics - from an inner journey into the self, discovering emotions, learning from karmic (romantic or erotic) relationships, a dash of loneliness, but also expressing support for soldiers. Since the album is a trip into the blues rock of the 1960's, it's highly recommendable for listeners of all ages who prefer well developed, unhurried tracks coming from the heart.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, June 21st, 2020. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

20 April, 2016

Heretics in the Lab – Exit

Heretics in the Lab – Exit |self-released, 2016| 5/5 industrial metal

1. Death, 2. Atrocity, 3. Precious, 4. Forever, 5. Special, 6. Sorry, 7. Rise, 8. Away

When you listen to an album that begins with a mix of looped, agitating sounds of hammering and machines, supported by quick and heavy guitars, then you’ll recognize the genre straight away. Indeed, Exit is a direct trip into the mainstream industrial metal music of the 1990s, just as fans memorized its best characteristics back then, with a distinctive sound that created a whole subculture.

Heretics in the Lab (the original spelling is hERETICS iN tHE lAB) is a one man band from Virginia, US formed in 2004. Thomas Morgan, who uses "h3" as his artistic moniker, is a self-taught passionate who does everything literally from A to Z. Both recorded songs and music video singles that promote various tracks from the band's discography come from him. Obviously, additional live musicians are hired for live shows, but the entire studio work is done entirely by h3.

The newest album brings eight, highly (and equally) energizing songs. If you, the 90's industrial rivethead, had lost hope for the arrival of any flooring albums by once recognizable industrial rock and metal artist such as Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails or Powerman 5000, then Heretics in the Lab will make your dreams come true, in lieu of these bigger names. People new to the genre can find the album entertaining as well, thanks to its dynamical, aggressive vibe.

Let's look into the tracks in detail now. 'Death' is the intro to the album, with a plainly industrial theme mentioned before. It is also enriched by sampled speech. The track sounds mighty thanks to a skillful blend of briefly scratched, predatory guitar riffs and drums laid only in places where the composition requires and allows that.

Sonically, the introduction's foretaste shouldn’t mislead you, since 'Atrocity' begins with a closely packed, pulsing sound of some device, of possibly a medical purpose. Medical references – nurses, syringes, hospital, blood, scars, drips, patches, and bandages are often utilized in modern but not less mainstream industrial music, thus you've got a bit of a refresher here. The high beat is then empowered by a deeper drumbeat and the listeners are taken into a twister of all kinds of overlapping sounds. These are still kept under rigid control by the overall composition, which can be witnessed in the song's very end when the wall of sound is slowly cleaned and pulled down, leaving only the buzzing guitar to accompany you on your way to the next track.

The industrial opening of 'Precious' sounds very haunting. The song is accompanied by a promotional music video single (check out the band's YouTube), full of rapidly firing, thought-provoking images - long-time industrial music fans should be familiar with such visuals. Since they are matched with the song's aggressive theme and rhythm very well, I don’t think many viewers can complain. The sound effects and memorable vocal lines combined with raspy guitars will guide careful listeners back to ”the best of NIN” and act as a strong reminder of the vibe known from the now legendary Broken and The Downward Spiral albums.

'Forever' brings a lot of clicking electronica in the beginning, but then lashes out with metal through slow and heavy guitar riffs. Surprisingly, vocals are kept rather high and peaceful here. After hearing the intro, metal fans would obviously expect growling, expressive screams or other emotional explosions found within the verses. This changes a bit when the chorus comes, the vocals however are mixed with a voice effect that makes the song's overall vibe mechanical. When accompanied with spoken rather than sung lyrics (similarly to many other songs on this album), the track becomes a good reminder of Manson's mortuary, somber, tormented music, not deprived of memorable dynamics either.

'Special' is a potential hit with its clearly and rhythmically spoken lyrics, dynamic bass, drums, and noisy guitars - as well as highlighted moments of anger. It’s very memorable and will definitely work well during live performances. After that, 'Sorry' arrives with a bit more of synths, making it sound like an 8-bit game music memorabilia at times. Aside of distorted vocals, edgy vibes and a slightly 'outer-space' atmosphere (through the aforementioned synths), you'll also come across a sweet electro-pop melody appearing in choruses.

'Rise' is a track partially different from the others. Not only is it entirely instrumental, but also driven by a distinctive, graded, simple and recurring bassline. This, blended with a melancholic piano gives the song a flavour of NIN, Primus, and Joy Division smelted together. Listeners would perhaps expect more of that theme to be extended further, since the melody and mood progress in an intriguing direction.

The grand finale of the album titled 'Away' is a lovely tribute to NIN with its typical setting within arrangements made for lyrics and shortly outlined guitars, as well as a groovy, haunting background including synth and drums. Everything in 'Away' is pure synergy spiced up with matching vocal expressions and yet, it's skillfully connected with 'Death', the album's opener. This is an excellent potential hit that deserves either a music video single or serving as a soundtrack to a short movie.

Overall, Exit is a pleasant and engaging listening experience. All tracks are pretty short but it's almost required for catchy and potentially popular songs to stay under the five minute mark nowadays. In addition, many of these tracks could make a good match with s/f and adventure movies (think of the Marvel series or David Lynch's weirdness). Special attention should be paid to the vocal work of h3, who perfectly catches up with any tempo changes present throughout the album. Industrial metal and rock music fans are highly advised to get this album and support h3's endeavours – you won't be disappointed.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 18th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

06 April, 2016

Ethan Pell - The End Is Now

Ethan Pell - The End Is Now (song review) |self-released, single, 2015| 4/5 soundtrack

Nuclear weapons and their use resulting in mass destruction have been a source of inspiring fear for many authors since its proven, long lasting effects have been historically witnessed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As if the weapon's impact hadn't been already tested enough, rocket makers permitted by governments have kept trying out their products through 'nuclear tests' which affected the Earth's natural structure, its people, oceans and stratosphere most negatively. A post-nuclear tremor does also leverage the planet's natural energy/vibration - therefore, sensitive people who are not even close to the test site can still feel its friction, which is just as disturbing - we all are vibrational beings after all.

A number of sci-fi writers, video game developers, movie directors, graphic designers, musicians, and other creative individuals have been trying to illustrate life's development and its limitations if such bombs were simultaneously unleashed in many locations around our planet. The idea of post-apocalyptic survival behaviors and all life aspects being turned upside down (or often reverted) feels both fascinating and terrifying. It also resonates with Ethan Pell - a Canadian musician from Montreal, who tried to depict such an event through his 'The End Is Now' song. His direct contact with musical instruments started when he was a child, but he still keeps trying to learn more each year. Currently, he's studying at a music school, specializing in jazz, and focusing on playing the guitar, hoping to utilize some of the gained knowledge through writing progressive and space rock compositions.

The song starts with a moment of silence followed by a sad piano leitmotif, supported by electronic, vibrating sounds. Both are then joined by a raspy, weeping guitar solo with a slow, well matched drum and bass rhythm in the background. The guitar solo receives a hard rock ballad-esque tone later on.
The song may seem purely instrumental in the beginning, but vocals appear after the track's fourth minute. The voice is distorted, as if the vocalist was only a shadow or suffered from radiation illness in the post-apocalyptic world. The vocals are skillfully transmuted into noise (or wind) at the end. This allows listeners to imagine the 'before & after' landscapes – the same area, once alive and covered with fresh grass and flowers, now a dead and barren wasteland with specks of ash lifted by the wind.

The song and its dramatic mood obviously refer to a post-event reality and bring themes such as loss, sorrow, hopelessness, ending, surrendering, and a monochrome scenery to mind. These motifs touch the heart and soul, turning very memorable when the song eventually stops. Thus, 'The End Is Now' can be a great song for a short movie with a matching theme or setting. The composition and arrangements are very accessible - they don't bring any unnecesary, knotted complexity within. On the production side, the whole track was put together on an iPad with Garageband.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 2nd, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

15 February, 2016

Interview with MSHAA

February 13th, 2016:

Interview with MSHAA (industrial metal, electro metal, Poland)

NINa: Which acronym of the band name's meaning resonates with you best?

CS (Cien Soulwhore): They are two equally important acronyms... The first meaning - Mary Should've Had An Abortion - is to criticize religion and encourage people to do their own research about the real history of Christianity...
The Catholic Church started persecuting and killing non-believers as early as the 4th century. The slaughter of heretics, Jews, atheists, agnostics and pagans was supported by Vatican for over a thousand years. The cult of Jesus has been used to create the false empire, built on slavery, torturers, murders and pedophilia scandals. Prevailing religions were implemented by way of violence, which makes the Christians at least as adept at mass murders as the Jihadists. Holy Inquisition murdered nine million women, worshipers of the Great Mother, accusing them of satanic witchcraft. The native population of what is now South America was literally massacred going from 80.000 to 10,000 people. They've destroyed the pagan cultures, dissipating the real legacy of first holidays. So if people cannot draw any conclusion from the life and death of their "messiah", then perhaps the "holy birth" propaganda was just a waste of time.

Read full interview here 

Dystopia album review: here

Interview by Fabryka Music Magazine

MSHAA - Dystopia

MSHAA - Dystopia |self-released, 2015| 4/5 industrial metal, electro metal

1. Dystopia (intro), 2. No Way Back, 3. Nuclear Fallout, 4. Beyond The Lambs, 5. The Earth Is Bleeding, 6. Suck My Gun, 7. Dealer, 8. We're Used To The Rules Of The World We Made Up, 9. Walking In My Shoes, 10. The Imperfect Gods, 11. Delusion, 12. Dehumanized Society

MSHAA was founded by Cien Soulwhore (vocals/synths/programming) in Poland in 2011, who was afterwards joined by cEndyman on drums and Darth on guitar. According to the musicians, the acronym can be translated to Mary Should’ve Had An Abortion but 'msza' also means 'holy mass' in Polish. MSHAA's sound can be described as a blend of dark electro, industrial, cyber metal and horror, traditionally inspired by music of Ministry, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Skinny Puppy, or early Nine Inch Nails. When it comes to the subjects covered on the album, the songs describe degradation of the human kind, media manipulation, as well as enforced theocracy.

At the very beginning, listeners - citizens of Earth - are greeted with a message from aliens or ancient spiritual guides. The spoken words are floating in a cloud of airy, noisy, modulated sounds and accompanying SFX. Initially the first full track on the album - 'No Way Back' - continues this motif from 'Dystopia (intro)', but then a high electro synth comes in at full force and takes the lead. Since the song's subject and mood sound uneasy, the synth is joined by drums, guitars and vocals simultaneously, adding more heaviness and torment.

'Nuclear Fallout' seems like an evergreen theme amongst industrial music fans because it conveys both fear and fascination with the possibility of global annihilation and the curiosity of what would happen next. The song makes for a neat reminder of 90's simplistic aggro-industrial as it's based on a marching rhythm, guitar riffs and hateful vocals. Another classic theme - organized religion with its close-mindedness and superstitious fears - appears in the form of 'Beyond The Lambs'. It begins with agitation, thanks to the fast tempo and modern vibe provided by the mix of heavy guitars, jumpy drum beats and synths. Verses and choruses sound much more distinctive and separate when compared to the previous track.

'The Earth Is Bleeding' sounds hooky from the very beginning thanks to its dynamic 'phat' beat and aggressive vibe - a solid reference to 90's industrial music in the vein of Skinny Puppy. The song warns against a foreign nation draining natural resources such as oil in other countries under the cover of bringing peace and protection. The choruses are memorable, and the general production is very sharp, both making this track a true hit. The bouncy rhythm continues into 'Suck My Gun' as well, which is an 'electro' reply to Marilyn Manson's music, with equally explicit lyrics about a psychopathic murderer looking for revenge due to a failed relationship. The atmosphere feels dense and sluggish with the song's heavy instrumentation, though the choruses are catchy. 'Dealer' has a lot of hit potential too and will be instantly noticed by fans of industrial metal. This composition is one of the best on the album because all arrangements are equally distributed throughout the track, instead of being simply collected and repeated. Plus, the guitar riffs use in the track infuse the body with a nice vibration.

The multi-layered melodic lines and sounds along with declaimed lyrics engage both ears nicely in 'We're Used To The Rules Of The World We Made Up' which mirrors the naive yet twisted atmosphere known better from Skinny Puppy's music. The subject matter here refers again to false spirituality that provides no care to its supporters, but is focused on own financial gain first and foremost.

If you're looking for an earworm, 'Walking In My Shoes' is a very strong candidate. Not only does it have a memorable melody line together with wicked vocals aligned to an average tempo, but also a clearly dystopian atmosphere and grim lyrics. Next, 'The Imperfect Gods' speaks about gods of technology whom the narrator blames for arrogant and spoiled humans, triggering wars based on fearful survival instincts. A high-pitched, disturbing synth starts it all off and continues throughout the track. This motif is layered with down-tuned guitars, a damped beat and distorted vocals, although the synth occasionally comes back to the surface.
Obviously, love as a topic couldn't have been skipped on the album, since that emotion is an inseparable part of the human life. 'Delusion' speaks of a romantic disappointment, accompanying the album's joyless atmosphere. It sounds more electronic than guitar-driven and the song lyrics match the instrumentation very well - they leave space for both parts to balance and then combine together.

Finally, gadget lovers should pay attention to 'Dehumanized Society', which also provides more beats, industrial noises and vocals rather than guitars, ending the release on a lullaby-like note. The vocal style suggests that we can sleep safely now since there's nothing to worry about - we have been reduced to files in a human database, notoriously tracked and controlled by various electronic devices, deprived of privacy, comfortable alternatives, and the liberty of opting-out.

Dystopia, just as the title suggests, is not an uplifting release and it clearly wasn't meant to be one. The depth of drums usually sounds alike in most songs, perhaps to reflect a lifeless society's tedious rhythm. The endings of most songs could have been re-worked to intrigue listeners a bit more, as they sound a bit too plain. Also, some tracks include too many vocal parts and may feel over-saturated. Cien Soulwhore uses a distorted, ugly, and vile voice on the entire album. It sounds as if he turned into one of the human monsters-to-be to send a warning to the modern civilization, pointing out the issues threatening Earth and people. Explicit lyrics are not a rarity on this album. However, despite of such wake-up calls, the lyrics do not offer any solution, except for questioning authority or simply making a noose for yourself. In fact, Poland seems to be a fertile ground for establishing such a project - an artistic protest against organized religion with its bigotry and clearly financial directives, the misuse of which has also been supported by the current right-wing government.
Songs like 'The Earth Is Bleeding', 'Suck My Gun', and 'Dealer' show the band's expressive potential the best. Buy this album if you wish to get a taste of hopelessness, although a few songs on the tracklist may give a solid boost to industrial and electro dance-floors too.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, February 13th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

Read also: Interview with MSHAA (2016) here

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

01 February, 2016

Barefaced Liar - Mind Over Matter

Barefaced Liar - Mind Over Matter (song review) |self-released, Mind Over Matter, 2015| 5/5 pop/rock

The human brain when bombed with negative news and images every day becomes either over-sensitive or indifferent. The topic of 'Mind Over Matter' refers to the fear of unknown. This emotion often freezes the heart but kicks the brain into survival mode. The track encourages to face unidentified issues to discover their true colors and then make one's individual judgment instead of acting pre-maturely based on other people's superstitions. Music has been used as a successful method of therapy since the ancient Greek times and Barefaced Liar's 'Mind Over Matter' is a continuation of this tradition, thanks to its super positive melody and irresistible rhythm, aside of prompting lyrics.

The song begins with a neat and high tuned guitar, with a full blown rhythm section adding a groovy vibe to the opening arrangement soon afterwards. The majority of these arrangements is based on uplifting sounds brought by vocals and guitars. The lively sounds of bass, rhythm guitar, and drums bring forth a darker, heavier tune into the song's background, making for a neat contrast with the opening leitmotif. The composition is open yet controlled by arrangements, even though the sound spreads really wide when the chorus comes up. Akshay's voice is soothing and pleasant for the ear, but kept in a rock vibe. Vocals intersect with instrumental parts perfectly – they are fitted within the composition tightly to engage your attention until the very end. In addition, some arrangements are kept out of the stream to prioritize vocals at times, proving professional song-writing.

The Barefaced Liar duo undoubtedly have taken their lessons in pop music structures. Firstly, vocals finish in all the right spots, and there’s a fade-out effect used at the end of the track. Secondly, the opening and closing arrangements are the same which perfectly binds both ends of the track for looped replaying. Thirdly, choruses are full of prolonged 'oh-oh' which is an evergreen method for creating a non-intrusive mood and makes for memorable track as well. It'd be difficult to find anybody who could resist reacting spontaneously to such melody and performance when combined.
All of the above prove that 'Mind Over Matter' has a lot of well-knit hit potential for listeners of all ages, and doesn't sound boring after giving it a few more spins. Moreover, this all-embracing track should be a good match for all kinds of media opportunities ranging from ads to series.

The song was composed and performed by two friends since high school - Akshay Chowdhry and Sumant 'Bala' Balakrishnan - from Delhi, India who decided to try their musical skills in making modern rock music. They have released 3 albums since 2008 and their newest, Mind Over Matter, was mastered by Jens Bogren (Fascination Street, Sweden). He is a notable name in the industry, with credits on albums by Devin Townsend, Opeth, Marty Friedman, and many others.
Barefaced Liar sound like a good duo to Like on Facebook and their song will be the perfect addition to your mobile phone’s playlist, assuming you enjoy intelligent pop-rock tunes.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, January 29th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

28 January, 2016

Sekten7 - Skyfall

Sekten7 - Skyfall (song review) |self-released, 2015| 4/5 industrial metal

Industrial metal band Sekten7 - as well as New Breed Invasion - are projects established by Brazilian musician Daniel who wishes to remain partially anonymous. He releases these and other, more ambient-orientated songs through his own Tribeleader Music label. His new song entitled 'Skyfall' conjures forth a dark, distorted guitar-driven atmosphere with lots of gravity.

'Skyfall' does not have a specific intro since said chunky guitar riffs along with a less deeper drum beat open the track without delay. Vocals are altered through the use of effects and the resulting slightly demonic tuning perfectly matches the overall hellish atmosphere. You'll also hear a quick roar of a Jericho-like trumpet that could illustrate the sky opening and the angel's fall. A captivating, angelic voice appears in the background soon after – akin to that of a mermaid from Greek myths, tempting a lost soul to approach closer and stay forever. Such a soothing add-on instantly dissipates the heaviness with light and beauty, while guitars and drums continue dictating a moderately fast tempo until the end of the song.

Interestingly, there's a love theme within this serious, down-tuned song. A demonic narrator speaks of finding the perfect soul mate ("She is just like an angel / That fell from the sky") who makes him feel one with the girl and the entire Universe ("You look in her eyes you see the light / You follow the light into the stars / Into the sky / Into eternity"). He then marries her to live together, forever. Ancient history knows such love stories - Plato wrote about the perfect soul split in two, remained entangled and longed to become one again. Though as romantic as it sounds, persisting on the path towards a reunion becomes a challenge here. The reality proves that even if meeting such a perfect mate is very likely, the ego often sabotages the needs of both heart and soul. The brain makes people run from fear of inexplicable things and the overall spiritual transformation such a love companion triggers.

The key instrumental parts of 'Skyfall' repeat very often, but since they are enriched with various effects (ie. stretched to depict a flight into the stars), they do not become boring. However, since the lyrics speak of a life-changing event, a careful listener could be forgiven for expecting a more pronounced development in the composition as well. If such a phenomenon becomes a breakthrough in the narrator's life, arrangements could have been equally altered to illustrate a distinct division between the 'before' and the 'after'. The difference here sounds very subtle though. Nevertheless, it's still a solid, dynamic track, letting the listener dive into a sea of guitar-driven noisiness without having to pay much attention to less important details.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, January 20th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

17 January, 2016

Unified Past - Peace Remains In This World

Unified Past - Peace Remains In This World (song review) |Melodic Revolution Records, Shifting the Equilibrium, 2015| 5/5 progressive rock

Progressive rock turned out to be a fertile ground that has been developing successfully for the last 40 years. While older listeners started their sonic journey from lengthy and serious compositions by ELP, Genesis, King Crimson or Pink Floyd in the 70s, and their successors danced to the 80s music by Yes, Jadis, Rush, Marillion or Asia, fans of the genre nowadays enjoy an amazing spectrum of new bands to choose from, not just traditionally coming from UK or USA, but virtually every corner of the world. Moreover, a significant subgenre of 'prog' - progressive metal - revitalized the metal scene. However, writing such music demands a lot from musicians - they simply must be really pro(g? ;-)) about composing, performing, collaborating (which usually includes a lot of improvising, writing/reading musical notation, studying music theory etc.) because time signature is what progressive rock loves. If the time signature is put in a wrong spot, the joy of listening is pretty much over, unless you prefer to enjoy experimental sounds.

Based in New York, Unified Past has been continuously taking the progressive rock scene by storm since 1999, and accelerating their ascent every year. The 'Peace Remains In This World' single comes from their newest, 7th album titled Shifting the Equilibrium (2015). A chance listener doesn't have to be a die-hard fan of prog to feel the track's vibe resonating within their body, since the song has loads of unquestionable depth, juiciness and spirit.

The songs' intro sounds typical for the genre thanks to the cold virtuosity of Stephen Speelman's keyboard work, but what follows are heavier, modern guitars and a spacious drum sound. When the bass shifts to down-tuned notes, the keyboards continue their lively leitmotif. Dave Mickelson uses the lowest notes on the bass at times, literally dragging the balance 'down', especially when compared to keyboards and vocals (which, in turn, stretch the composition 'upwards').

The chorus brings an excitedly-sounding keyboard arrangement, making your ear focus on that instrument, though it does take a second row seat in favour of vocals and bass at perfectly chosen moments. Victor Tassone provides masterful drumming, produced to stay in the middle of other instruments, providing the composition with a solid backbone. All arrangements repeat and yet remain spirited until the very end of the track.

Phil Naro's voice is quite high (but not as high as that of Jon Anderson's of Yes fame) and sounds very upbeat, both attributes making it characteristic. Interestingly, the top vocal part makes for a separate melodic line at times, and is perfectly supported by the instrumental melody in the background.

Overall, the composition (spanning seven minutes) is open and includes many matching variations - imagine spirals spinning inside spirals. It sounds as if all instruments were biting the composition from every possible direction - at times simultaneously, then letting only one of them feed. This means that every musician got enough of space to showcase his skills. Therefore, peace and balance kept far from boredom remain present throughout the entire track and engage your attention along with dynamical, intersecting instrumentation. The arrangements oscillate between cold and warm vibes, and the tempo and time signature change pretty often. Such contrasts along with memorable melodies are always a turn-on for any sensitive ear and stimulate brain waves a lot, too.

Finally, the song's subject is a peaceful reminder about keeping serenity in the world through refreshing the values that once used to matter, such as authentic spirituality ("Time to go inside") and kindness. Making peace and not war or money is humanity's goal - our lives are very short when perceived through a broader, time-related perspective. Therefore, it's pointless to waste all that precious time on provoking one another, leading to easily predictable results.

Thanks to such a mindful theme and non-aggressive (yet lively) music, many listeners will certainly get hooked on 'Peace Remains In This World'. Undoubtedly, the song sounds huge when performed live on the stage, so make sure you buy a ticket (and the album too) when you learn that Unified Past goes on tour.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, January 15th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine