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07 April, 2020

Elitefitrea - Lethe

Elitefitrea - Lethe (album review) |self-released, 2020| 5/5 electronic

1. Acheron, 2. Double Down, 3. Lethe, 4. Homage, 5. Dissolution, 6. Cerberus, 7. Too Late, 8. Pitchforks, 9. The Center

Elitefitrea is a solo project by a multi-instrumentalist Bryan Day, a man of many life experiences ranging from Marine Corps military service, through time in prison, to pacifism and creative freedom. As you may guess, Lethe is based on the concept of venturing deep into the psyche, to focus on the shadow and to deal with it though self-therapy in the form of expressive music, and all art-making allows for. It borrows a theme from Greek mythology. To quote Bryan: “Lethe is a tour through the underworld. The Lethe is a river in Hades that, when drank, causes one to forget the memories of their mortal life on Earth. This album explores society through the symbolism of Lethe, observing the abandonment of former ideals by the thinking classes, as if they had drank from the river Lethe themselves.” The musician was inspired by freedom, fairness, prison reform, mental health awareness, philosophy, and history.

Now, let’s talk music. This is an album filled with reflection and atmosphere. Every song calls for listeners’ attunement and puts them in a dreamy state of trance thanks to slightly stretched but fresh arrangements where the singer’s voice could be considered another instrument. Vocals were added after the instrumental lines were written first, so that could be the result of the production process. Sonically, the music on the album consists of electronic tracks with the overall vibe similar to the 2000’s Nine Inch Nails’ music, though Bryan mentions Radiohead, Goldfrapp, and Beck as well as jamming along to albums of Led Zeppelin and Metallica in the past too.

Acheron” begins slowly and arduously. Its arrangements are based on the same tempo throughout the song but heaviness is balanced with higher tunes at times. Guitars, drums, synths, and vocals create a neatly spiraling mix which gradually elevates tension and suggests there’s an inner strength in everyone to overcome the darkness, and see the light at the end of the tunnel of life struggles. Other than that, the song itself is memorable and catchy. Next, we have “Double Down” with repetitions of both instrumental and vocal lines. The lyrics are not sung but rather groaned with a warm, and slightly dirty but also calm voice. The synths are broken with clicking, knocking, irregular drumming, and other sounds entertaining the ears, bringing diversity into a seemingly stalled rhythm.

Lethe” rolls out even more slowly, like a river of tar with bubbles popping out over the dough-like surface being the only motion. Listeners will hear stretched, windy sounds and other non-invasive distractions in the background breaking the monotony. The vocals with some SFX put on top are reminiscent of monk’s chants at times.

Hommage” is the only purely instrumental track here and is an interpretation of Claude Debussy’s piano composition “Hommage à Rameau”. The original piece was written over a hundred years ago and dedicated to Jean-Philippe Rameau, a French composer and music theorist. If you listen to Debussy’s original, you probably will agree that this modern ‘cover’, if you will, turns the composition into a soundtrack which could be utilized in an artistic short-movie.

In contrast, “Dissolution” offers bouncy dynamics and a relaxing yet motivating rhythm, catchy hooks and vocals in both stereo channels. Inspiration drawn from Trent Reznor’s music becomes quite clear here. There’s also an interesting play between the lyrics and beats. With “Cerberus” the music returns to its previous slow-mo vibe with arrhythmic and non-synchronized beats utilized for a reason, as they keep both ears engaged. The arrangements repeat at some point, but are distributed so skillfully that they still offer a lot of sonic entertainment overall. It would be great if the track was supported by a strongly digital music video with lots of glitches, delays, and other visual effects to accompany complex sound textures.

The overall mood of the album brightens and elevates thanks to “Too Late. It’s an excellent hit song to be played on a radio and a very strong representative of Lathe, as well as Bryan’s music writing skills in general. The chorus is as memorable as the verses, resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Pitchforks” returns to the murky tones and more laborious tempo. It has a nightmarish, post-apocalyptic feel and brings some scenic images to the mind’s eye. The reviewer’s fantasy ventured into a wasteland under a red sky. There was a valley with remains attached to poles with chains swinging slowly as they parries one against another with characteristic clanging sounds. Lyrics are almost whispered with a few SFX applied making a good match with such a hellish atmosphere.

The Center” ends Lethe. It is based on a piano and a gently pulsing rhythm for the most part. The vocals feel fragile yet somewhat tired, but the tone gets elevated at times. They are aligned to the soothing mood very well. The dynamics are non-invasive, but listeners may catch themselves nodding the head to the rhythm quite often. The last and the first track are attuned very well together, therefore nothing feels mismatched while listening to the album on rotation.

Finally, it should be said that the songs are supported by interesting lyrics written without haste. Some are rhythmic, others just aligned to the flow of music. They are mostly dark and may resonate especially well with those going through a transition, when inner demons have been dealt with.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, April 1st, 2020. Proofreading: Mike ‘Vesper’ Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia

01 April, 2020

Nine Plan Failed - Father, Father

Nine Plan Failed - Father, Father (song review) |self-released, 2020| 5/5 progressive metal

Nine Plan Failed is a band from Boston, MA with Kon and Jake Frederick. "Father, Father" is their second single.

The song begins with intense, fiery, memorable guitar riffs mixed with dynamic drum beats. All this already tells listeners about the incoming vibe - the genre here could be described as progressive metal. It’s edgy, lively, groovy, very well balanced in both arrangements and the overall composition. It engages both ears and brains, because there’s so much going on yet the performance is under tight control, too. One could probably find musical similarities to the likes of Tool, Devin Townsend, Testament or Disturbed, to mention a few. The atmosphere here may feel intense and heavy but the vocals together with a soloing guitar bring a neat contrast the rhythm section.
In "Father, Father", the instruments support one another along with matched vocal parts. Kon’s a skilled singer, operating extremely well between middle-range and high notes. The chorus is instantly memorable thanks to the rhythm of lyrics aligning perfectly with the music ("Father, father see the look in your eyes / Gathered masses tempted by your design / Father, father I see right through your disguise / promises of righteousness divine").

The song could be easily utilized in a movie, as it has a powerful, expressive, and a somewhat dramatic sound, while it’s very memorable as well. The repetitions don’t sound monotone thanks to a variety of interesting peaks within the instrumental lines. The track’s length is perfect to enjoy the taste of music for long enough, while definitely fitting prime time radio play.
Without a shadow of doubt, Nine Plan Failed will draw the attention of certain music listeners and expectations for more new material. Make sure you get their songs in music stores now to support the duo in doing what they love.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, March 18th, 2020. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
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Reviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia

16 January, 2020

Ghost in the Machine - Supernatural

Ghost in the Machine - Supernatural (song review) |self-released, single, 2019| 5/5

Listeners can recognize GITM as a guitar driven industrial rock band known for their Broken From Binary album (2015). They're a duo based in Florida of Face (bass, programming, vocals) and C4 (vocals, guitar, programming).

There's a proverb which often proves right - 'if you want different results, you have to try different approaches'. This time, GITM comes with a slow-tempo chillout single. It starts with a female vocal (by Caela, she also appears as a background singer in the chorus), soon replaced by C4's masculine voice. As the song progresses, C4 often begins a verse and Caela finishes it with her higher tones, creating an interesting contrast through the combination. This vocal interplay is very entertaining, because the two literally play with each other, by starting and completing verses. When the chorus starts, C4 proves that he can pull off higher notes as well.
'Supernatural' flows peacefully from beginning to end. It's full of clicking, buzzing, drumming, and otherwise percussive sounds leaving no empty spots; despite that, it's not dynamic. The vocals don't interfere with the instruments, but are skillfully laid on a layer above. A focused ear will also catch guitar chords.

Lyrically, there's an openly sensual meaning to the song not only focusing on a woman's goddess-like body - her fingers, dark curly hair, eyes, and lips but also a metaphysical connection a man feels with her soul since she's 'mystical, magical, supernatural (...) the force that science cannot understand'. He's 'bewitched' by her beauty 'so dynamic, so exotic' that he awaits to 'seal the deal and make it for real' during a proposal.

The songs needs a few plays to be remembered entirely, because its arrangements are melodious and repetitive (but not too notoriously). This is great news for the listener's brain, as it gets quickly bored with frequently recurring patterns. The chorus, once memorized, becomes solidly wedged in the mind which shows that 'Supernatural' has the potential to become a radio or heavy rotation playlist hit. It could also illustrate a significant movie scene, not limited to romance as the usefulness of the melody stretches beyond that genre.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, January 16th, 2020. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia

10 January, 2020

Bruno Pittelli – Angels Without Gods

Bruno Pittelli – Angels Without Gods |Bp Guitar Studio, 2019| 4/5 rock

1. Angels Without Gods, 2. Immortals, 3. Marina, 4. My Rebirth, 5. My Soul Vibrations, 6. Thanks for Everything, 7. The Fate in a Parchment, 8. The Sun in a Light Bulb, 9. We Stay Here

Bruno Pittelli is an Italian guitarist. He is self-taught but with help of skilled teachers not only did he expand his techniques and earned a degree in London, but also began giving lessons of his own. He set up the Bp Guitar Studio in Milan, where students are welcome to improve both their recording and playing skills. Aside of the methodical part, Bruno however cares for the spiritual and emotional aspects of expressing oneself as a musician and encourages others to communicate their emotions as they are.
His newest solo album, Angels Without Gods, brings nine instrumental songs. The album title reflects Bruno's thoughts on people's existence without life goals. It emphasises the need for a passion to follow. Angels supposedly receive tasks from gods but humans are either self-motivated, get inspired by ideas of others, or channel messages from higher planes of consciousness.

As it's a guitarist album, there's obviously a lot of soloing in every song here, but it's melodious and never overwhelming. In the title song, the guitar cries; at first supported by delicate violin-like arrangements though the vibe gets hard rock and slightly distorted in the middle of the track. One can easily close their eyes and get into the flow of sounds.

The follow-up is open by soothing, contrasting tunes. The song is memorable from the very first listening thanks to its melody. Initially, the tempo is slow, but then the soloing accelerates, blooms, and expands even more based upon a solid rhythm. Then the opening theme continues until the track's end. 'Immortals' speaks of artists who become almost immortal over time thanks to the works of art they create.

'Marina' brings a female element in the music too, apart of the title. The song feels like a story confessed through the sounds. It starts simplistically, coming from a mood of sweetness and happiness, then a deeper passion settling in, with a tinge of losing something within as well. Later, the sound becomes highly emotional, tumultuous, maybe even distorted. Guitar arrangements argue, blaming one another. Bruno dedicated 'Marina' to his wife at their wedding.

'My Rebirth' sound here fits into how the previous song ended. It's a story of hope and fresh start also in the arts, but involves the nostalgia of looking back or juggling with 'what if' alternatives. When the time for a decision comes, it's expressed by heavier, lively, spiralling guitar riffs. The slow tempo of the first part of the song returns soon after with simple, memorable tunes to continue until the very end.

'My Soul Vibrations' begins with a delicate vibe supported with a tempo to let you relax and fully enjoy the riffs. The first part speaks of beauty. The other resembles needs and desires as the guitar gets a bit heavier and needy too. It's followed by a fiery and broad arrangement supported by slightly faster drumming. The drums never dominate the guitar on this album though, otherwise they would rather call to action than just make it easier to listen carefully to the guitar players' stories.

There's indeed a feel of gratitude in 'Thanks for Everything', spread far away thanks to solos similar to what we've heard from Santana and the like. The song's dynamics accelerate a bit with a graded bassline, faster drumbeat, and distorted guitar tunes in the middle of the song. The violin, which shows up for a moment, adds a high contrast to the rhythm section. When the turbulent emotions end, the classy, peaceful guitar play returns. Bruno shows how much he's tuned into the instrument and lets listeners participate in that. He dedicated the track to his parents for their support.

'The Fate in a Parchment' brings soothing vibes of freedom and completion. There is a feeling of being relieved from a burden, or leaving stress behind. A memorable solo flows until it's interrupted by denser, distorted riffs dotting the song like heavy rain. It's notable how both parts match together really well. The song conveys the idea that our fate is already decided since our birth.

Lovely moods open 'The Sun in a Light Bulb'. In the beginning, slow guitar riffs reflect the peaceful experience of watching a sunset in nature. The riffs multiply for a while, then Bruno uses the guitar like a rifle shooting the sounds around, up and down. Both parts with different arrangements were skillfully placed within the composition. Bruno tried to compare an easily-breakable light bulb to a human being and the Sun to the greatness of art humans create and shine strongly though.

'We Stay Here' is kept in a similar mood to 'Thanks for Everything', but only in the beginning. The victorious motto is soon replaced by fast and arguing riffs. The background bass and drum beats however make the whole arrangement a bit more mellow. The overall feel of this song brings to mind a debate between an impatient youngster and a knowledgeable master. Vibrating riffs end the track with the background music disappearing into the silence. The song refers to over-thinking – that we should rather enjoy the present day reality more than sink deeply inside the worlds in our heads.

This is an album which favors a classic approach to the guitar as an instrument over innovation; thus its most appreciative audience are probably fans of classic rock music. It lets you relax, but also teaches how to express feelings and tell stories through utilizing as many strings as possible. The song dynamics reflect the ebb and flow of life with changing emotions. The technical side of the album — recording, mixing, mastering — are all very well done. The sound is clear and well balanced. The compositions however could benefit from slightly less predictable structures, as now the listeners previewing the first half of the album can already expect a change in the middle of every track on the other half, and that the song's opening part will always return at its end. The human ears delight in surprises created by unexpected silences, contrasts, and frequent tempo changes.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, January 8th, 2020. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)



Reviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia