Label : Alfa Matrix
Review by Luisa Mercier
The Greek duo Siva Six is back on the scene after five years of absence. Their latest release was the their second album “Black Will” and now “The Twin Moons” comes to fill the void they had left. What is peculiar about this record is that a real orchestra has been hired, the one directed by Chris Antoniou, who may be already known to our readers because of his work with Septic Flesh and Chaostar. The basic concept revolves around ancient human tribes, destruction of the earth, alien race. Quite apocalyptic, indeed. The music highlights this aspect since it is quite harsh, the beats are restless as Z ’svocals are. There is not much space for moody songs or melody pieces in this record. Continue reading »
Photo by Roberta Ilaria Rossi
Gig Review by Marcy Bell
It’s clear: Epica and Italy are entwined. The concert at the Alcatraz in Milan on the 27th October was a huge success for Simone Simons and her fellows. Stage B was almost full, there were more fans and friends than in the previous tour. As in 2008 Epica were supported by the Finnish Amberian Dawn and in this new tour also by the brand-new German band: Sons of Seasons lead by Oliver Palotai. The Dutch band presented live some songs of the new album “Design Your Universe” but most of the show was made with hits from the past such as “Black Infinity”, “Cry for the Moon”, “The Phantom Agony” and “Consign to Oblivion”. The gig started with the new “Resign To Surrender” and then it went into the old mood with “Sensorium”, hands up with Simone and the whole band with the beginning of “Quietus” and then the Oriental style of “Fools of Damnation”. It was time for “Design Your Universe” and the first single “Unleashed”, the beat of Ariën on drums started very loud running through “Martyrs of the Free World”. Epica’s classic “Obsessive Devotion” led the central part of the show, as it’s always a pleasure listen live this song with Mark on growl and Simone running back and forth the stage in a seven minutes Epica-old-style-vibes. “Tides of Time” showed all the deep and sweet part of Epica with Simone solo in all her vocal talent and Coen on piano: a moment that gave you shivers on your spine. The band went again on stage with the last three songs: “Black Infinity”, “Mother of Light” and the techno-version of “Phantom Agony”. The latter was an enjoyable surprise for the crowd that started dancing with color lights as in a dance floor. Good point for Epica indeed. The encore was with “Cry for the Moon”, “Sancta Terra” and the final “Consign to Oblivion”. The show was good, the crowd really enjoyed it and finally we can say that Epica are improving themselves live in every tour.
Label : Alfa Matrix
Review by Luisa Mercier
The Belarussian combo Diffuzion is about to release their third album, delivering once again their sexy mix of techno/industrial and pop. The opener “Wintercities” is quite slow, and the vocals by Xev create a sensual soundscape you cannot miss. Definetely darkwave. The following “Dbd” is just pure harder industrial music, maybe a bit repetitive while “Lace of Veins” once again embraces the listener in an erotic, soft dark mood. “C.S.” and the following “Pure Venom” lead us again in the real of industrial, the first a bit more catchy than the second, which quite mesmerizing. “Vogue” and “Dust2Dust” go on in the same steps of the previous ones; to say the truth I feel a certain lack of hooks and variety even though the quality of “Wintercities” is quite high. Overall it a record which is balanced between darkwave and industrial and there are songs like “What Will You Do for Love?” that are a nice mix between the two genres. The songs are mostly mid-tempo ones with some slower and others a little bit faster (“Playing God” and “AC-27″ which are maybe the catchiest ones on the album). The album is closed by two remixes of “C.S.”, the one by the label mates Acylum is quite interesting and highlights the creepy industrial nature of the original track.
Rating – 70/100
- Winter Cities
- Dbd (while you can)
- Lace Of Veins
- Pure Venom
- For the Prey
- What Will You Do For Love
- She’s Machine
- Playing God
- The One
- C.S. (AUTODAFEH mix)
- C.S. (ACYLUM mix)
- Xev – Music,vocals & lyrics
- Fof – Arrangements, synthesizers & production
- Taelih – Synthesizers & live keyboards
Interview by Si Smith
Rooted in 60s DC comic culture, the idead of the bizarro world has long fascinated those with the time to wonder; a place where everything has its “perfect imperfect duplicate”, a world of topsy-turvy superheroes and supervillians. Since then there have been numerous references to the concept, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the American sitcom Seinfeld. But now the metal world has its own take on the Bizarro theme: German melodic death metal/metalcore band Deadlock bring it straight into the 21st century with a new album tinged with the very antithesis that gives Bizarro its identity. Rough and smooth, demonic and divine, silence and noise, fast and slow, this album has it all. I spoke to superheroine Sabine Scherer for a healthy dose of alternative reality.
First, thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us, and a warm hello from all at Femme Metal.
In 2011 Deadlock can truly be said to be established as a metal force to be reckoned with, now that you have five full-length studio albums behind you.
How has the journey been across this time for you personally?
It’s been a pretty cool experience so far! We’ve been on the road with so many cool bands and played great shows, visited places I would never have dreamed of, like Japan, Ukraine or Russia.
It’s now been almost three years since the release of the remarkable “Manifesto”: what have Deadlock been up to in the three years since the last album?
We’ve played many shows and went on tours with All That Remains and The Haunted, Soilwork, Lacuna Coil, played the X-MAS Tour with Heaven Shall Burn and Caliban, played some festivals like With Full Force and Summer Breeze, as well as these great trips to Japan, Ukraine and Russia. Those were some fast three years
Not only a new album but a new logo and from the paintbrushed lines of the first through the intricate angular etching of the second, now we have the futuristic minimalism of the third. A deliberate attempt to forge a new identity, or just coincedence?
We all think that with the musical progress which we went through, it was time to underline the musical evolution in the look. We’ve had this idea earlier, but never really felt it was the right time. But with the new album, I think it totally fits.
“Bizarro World” is an album firmly rooted in its concept. For those who are not aware of the concept, would you take us briefly through your understanding of the phenomena of Htrae and the Bizarro Code? How important are these to the album?
“Bizarro World” is a place where all good is bad and all ugly is beautiful and vice versa. Sad but true, we often find that this “Bizarro World” often corresponds to the world we actually live in, way too often. It has become quite common not to question the things we’re confronted with and we’re accepting the presented solutions in a non-critical and non-constructive way. For example, we’re trying to heal so-called diseases by poisoning ourselves, states go bankrupt but spend a horrifying amount of money on weapons and the war industry, everybody is talking about saving the environment but who’s actually doing something? This is Bizarro World.
“Virus Jones” is a strong opening song: not only do you start the album with the longest song on it, it also showcases your vocals at the very start; how do you begin to prepare your voice for recording a vocal like this? Could you take us through the recording process as you see it?
I usually don’t really prepare for recording sessions, voice wise. some times I do voice excercises, sometimes I’m drinking a beer before recording one day we’re done in 5 minutes, the other day we need 5 hours, it simply depends on how much we’re going with the flow.
No rapping or guest vocals this time – just the grandiose concept! And the sharp contrast of Johannes‘ death metal growls with your crystal clean melodics. There are a couple of ballads here where you can show off your voice to the full – namely “You Left Me Dead” and ”Paranoia Extravaganza”. Of all the styles that you sing, have you a favourite style? What is your MOST and LEAST favourite thing about singing for Deadlock (if you can tell us…:-))?
There is no bad thing about singing for Deadlock, and no bad style. Of course, there are songs that are more exhausting than the others, but all of them are fun to play, sing and perform.
I notice the techno breakdowns are still there intermittently – eg on “Renegade” – has there been any temptation to leave these out to satisfy some of your critics? Or are they an integral part of the Deadlock sound?
Label : Metal Mind Productions
Review By Tony Cannella
The Polish label Metal Mind have re-issued two of the more interesting albums from Norwegian metallers Theatre of Tragedy. “Musique” and “Assembly” are the last two CDs that the band recorded with current Leaves’ Eyes singer Liv Kristine and they also saw the band abandoning their gothic metal sound for a more industrial/electro pop direction. The second of those releases is “Assembly” – which was originally released in 2002. This re-issue features the full CD along with 3 unreleased tracks. The CD begins with the up-tempo robotic number “Automatic Lover”. The vocals are mostly handled by Liv on this one and she employs a different style than what we are used to. Raymond Rohonyi joins in for the chorus. The guitars are more pronounced and heavier than on “Musique”. As I said this is the second album of their electro pop phase, so the shock should be worn off. A solid opener, for sure and a good way to get things started. “Universal Race” is next and it is a fast, bouncy, up-tempo track and once again the guitars are more noticeable. Track 3, “Episode” begins with one of the heavier guitar riffs that can be heard on either of these two CDs, before settling into a comfortable groove. “Play” and “Superdrive” are two more strong tracks. “Let You Down” is next and it is perhaps the best song on this CD. If I remember correctly, the band made a video out of it and it is a solid choice. Other key songs are: “Starlit”, “Envision” and “Liquid Man”. A cover of the Supremes song “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” is the first of the three bonus tracks, I’m more familiar with the Kim Wilde version that came out in the 80′s, so this was a bit of a surprise to hear this, but it is still quite good. The final two tracks are re-mixes of “Let You Down” and “Motion”. The version of “Let You Down” in particular is quite good and it is interesting to hear a bit of a different take on the song. The guitars are brought out more on this version and it is 3-minutes longer than the original version. In my opinion, “Assembly” is the better of the two releases. The band seem much more confident in finding their way with the new musical direction and the songs are more guitar driven, diversified and melodic. It has been a while since I listened to these CDs, but with the passage of time I have come to realize that these CDs are not bad at all. One of the more interesting things is the vocals of Liv Kristine as she proves that she can do more than the soprano thing and she pulls it off quite well. Whatever you think about the new direction ToT adopted for these two albums, you have to give them credit for trying something a little bit different and doing a pretty good job at it as well. “Musique” and “Assembly” remain two of the more fascinating albums in the catalog of Theatre of Tragedy.
Rating – 75/100
- Automatic Lover
- Universal Race
- Let You Down
- Liquid Man
- You Keep Me Hangin’ On (Bonus Track)
- Let You Down (Remix) (Bonus Track)
- Motion (Funker Vogt Remix) (Bonus Track)
- Raymond István Rohonyi – Vocals
- Liv Kristine Espenæs – Vocals
- Vegard T. Thorsen – Guitar
- Frank Claussen – Guitar
- Lorentz Aspen – Keyboards
- Hein Frode Hansen – Drums
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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