Updated 09/09/98

Autovoice

“A Living Death” (13 Tracks. 53:01. Flaming Fish) available from Flaming Fish

With so many hybrid “industrial” groups out today it is refreshing to hear one that plays a more pure form. This isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate those others, or that Autovoice is totally non-commercial. But some of you will remember the early days of Nine Inch Nails and other such groups where the heavy distorted sounds were the vocals and keyboards. There were no guitars. And though I like heavy Metal and am partial to guitars, I think the music on this disc is better without them. Perhaps it would help to describe Autovoice as a subdued X-Propagation.
Autovoice is made up of three guys with pseudonyms. Two of them provide synth and voice and then the other provides effects and manipulations. The vocals are occasionally clean but often distorted. Lyrically their songs seem to be shouting Jeremiads at the ills of society (though this is hard to tell without a lyric sheet). Anyway, it is quite a good listen.

Ben Hardwidge

“Metropolis” (10 Tracks. 43:15. Bloated Rhino) available from RadRockers.

Let me say right off that this release defies a clear description. It is a veritable combination of elements that gives a whole new meaning to the word “eclectic”. First off, there is a great deal of guitar diversity. Though the guitars are not over the top heavy, they are often distorted. At other times they are smooth and dreamy. Occasionally, like on the song “Culture Manufacture” I hear faint traces of early U2’s the Edge, say Boy or October. In contrast to this are the spacey keyboards and the dancey programmed drums. What is this? Is it drum machine metal or heavy guitar techno? I say neither. We’ll have to come up with a new term to describe it, I think. But let me tell you, it is very catchy and upbeat at times, and very ethereal at others.
This album is also interesting vocally. First off, there is much spoken word supplied by Rebekah Armstrong and Paul David Bird and singing by one of my favorites, Ian Arkley of Ashen Mortality. Most of the spoken word is narrative. It tells the story of the album. What the story actually is quite a mystery. I imagine that it is meant to be that way. It does vaguely remind me “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis and the 1927 German movie “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang. One thing is for certain, though, while the music is upbeat and enjoyable, the lyrics are quite surreal. I really enjoy listening to this album.

Contact Ben Hardwidge: spog@globalnet.co.uk


Blackhouse

“Shock the Nation” (14 Tracks. 68:47. Discordia) USA Available from Shock Wave Music

This is not at all what I expected. I expected dark and brooding music. Instead, I found funky, rap-like trance music. Sometimes the music is quirky and fast paced and you could go thumping with it. Other times the music is laid back and more industrial in nature. All in all, this is a fairly commercial album, though it is twice as long as a commercial album. It sounds like it could be a soundtrack to a Starsky and Hutch movie. Lyrically, where there are lyrics, the vocabulary is very much like rap. And the subject matter is pretty much straight-ahead Christian music. I am amazed that these guys are on a foreign label (German) when their music is not threatening and could easily fit in with much of the N-Soul releases. Note: this disc is now available from Shock Wave at $10 instead of $15 as the ad says.

Caul

“Reliquary” (13 Tracks. 66:55. Eibon Records) available from Caul

Whether to call this Darkwave or Ambient is a difficult decision for me to make. However, I can say this. Reliquary is not a commercial sounding disc. It is very solemn and quiet, though intense. It has very slow and urgent moving melodies gently layered atop some dreamy, ethereal landscapes. The music is probably best described by Brett Smith (below) when he describes it as “spiritual”. Like Awaiting The Dawn (below, and also featuring 2 tracks from Caul), this disc makes for excellent music for devotion/prayer time or when you want a peaceful mood.
There are no lyrics on this disc but the song titles are quite suggestive. Particularly noticeable are two titles, which I believe are suggestive of the book of Revelation: “The Mystery of the Seven Stars,” and “The Spirit and the Bride.”

contact Brett Smith:
3745 Washington Street #12
Kansas City, MO. 64111
caul@concentric.net


Cybershadow

“The Birth of Future” (12 Tracks. Flaming Fish) available from Cybershadow

Interestingly, this disc came out after the next disc reviewed. Cybershadow’s The Birth of Future, as I understand it, is the Darkwave/techno brainchild of Jess Macintyre. Some of the music is sinister and brooding Darkwave, the trimester pieces are somewhat ambient, but the bulk of the music has a retro techno feel. An example is the cut, “Civilian Tank Department” and “Don’t Fear Your Future”. These and other tracks like them are somewhat commercial and very dance oriented. Then the song, “Social Conditioning” is more Industrial flavored and has several remixes on the next disc reviewed.
The whole album is set up as an epic set in three “trimesters”. I find this an interesting way to conceptualize. The overall message of this album is a bit like the message of “Metropolis” reviewed above. One interesting exception is the song “Universal Love” which talks of the sacrifice two lovers from different worlds make in order to be together. Call it a cosmic tragedy in the Shakespearean style, but the message of self sacrifice is neat.


Cybershadow

“Social Conditioning” (8 Tracks. 47:22. Flaming Fish) available from Flaming Fish

I mentioned above that there are several remixes of the song “Social Conditioning” on this disc. Of the 8 tracks, 5 are remixes, but they may as well be counted as 5 separate songs. Each remix is done by a different person/persons. The remixes are done by Pivot Clawj, Audio Paradox, and Delayed Shock Reaction. Each remix is a total reinterpretation and frankly, I listened to this disc before looking at the tracks and didn’t realize I was listening to the same song. The other three tracks are interesting as well. The first of them is called “Incubation (Trimesters Revisited)” and the last one is “Their Christmas Angel”. Both are atmospheric Darkwave songs and are very enjoyable, especially “Their Christmas Angel”. The other track is a great industrial flavored song, “Adrenaline Rush”, originally written by Claus Larsen of Leather Strip. Both Cybershadow discs are a great listen.

Contact Cybershadow at:
cybshad@jps.net



Firmament

“Open-Eyed Ascension” (9 Tracks. 65:06. Velvet Empire & Flaming Fish) USA available from Flaming Fish and Velvet Empire

I liked this CD before I even heard it because of two things. The first thing is the neat artwork, an almost parchment like insert with tissue cover. It contains ancient paintings and diagrams of the universe from scholastic thinkers and renaissance thinkers. The second thing is the quotations from such minds as Dante and Pascal. It’s the sort of thing that invites thought that the music further inspires. In other words, this disc was put together by a thinker for thinkers. The music itself is ambient and one of the tracks was featured on the Awaiting The Dawn compilation from the same labels (reviewed in Issue 5). So, here’s another great soundtrack for meditation.

Matt Franz

“The Fluoxetine Effect” (8 Tracks. Tape. Independent Opposition) available from Matt Franz P.O. Box 31248 Cincinnati, OH 45231 Tapes $6, CD’s $13 mattfrantz@mailexcite.com

Earlier in this century Industrial music was born when the sounds from factories were chained together to make “music”. Since that time, a new approach to music was born that didn’t hinge on melody, harmony, rhythm, and counterpoint. And since that time, many new experimental forms of music have emerged.
Here we have a collage of guitar sounds linked together to create a unique form of music. Maybe it cannot be called Industrial, per se. I’d like to coin a phrase (don’t forget to give credit), how about, “Post-modern impressionism”? This disc is nothing but guitar sounds. No keyboards, no drum machines, just guitars and effects. Quite strange, but interesting. It is obvious that Matt Franz is one with a sense of humor, just read the listed “side-effects” of listening to this disc in the liner notes. Fluoxetine hydroxide, we learn from the liner notes, “is used to treat mental depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Though the medication is helpful to many, it can produce alarming side effects . . .” Well, I guess this album is appropriately titled, because it does produce a dizzying effect.

Matt’s websites are: http://ncis.ml.org/~carson/graphicverses.html http://ncis.ml.org/~carson/fluoxetine.html and http://ncis.ml.org/~carson/zerohum.html

Matt Franz

“Graphic Verses” (4 Tracks. Tape. Independent Opposition) available from Matt Franz P.O. Box 31248 Cincinnati, OH 45231 Tapes $6, CD’s $13 mattfrantz@mailexcite.com

This release is even more bizarre than the other. It is also a collage of sounds but expands its use of instrumentation, including a custom made guitar and various other instruments. It also has a great deal of dialogue which fades in and out to create a wild effect. Matt “strongly” recommends listening to Graphic Verses with headphones turned up loud. This album is an epic dealing with “Hate, Lust, Depression”, Confliction”, etc. It is helpful to check out the website to gain more of an understanding. But let me warn you, this album is as unique as it is strange. I welcome new ideas and experiences and find these two releases quite engrossing.

Matt Franz

Red Rum Trance presents: Zero Tone (17 Tracks. 49:12. Independent Opposition) USA available from Matt Franz

Matt Franz continues to pump out his unique brand of music. This latest release of his is undoubtedly his best and most interesting. The tracks on this disc have more song-like structure, not to mean that you would hear them on the top 40 station of your choice. But they seem to roll and flow a little more. The blending and mixing of instruments seems to be a little more precise here than the successive changing of sounds from the previous two releases in my opinion. But the crowning touch is the spooky track at the end of the CD called “Snap”. Don’t listen to it on a dark night because the narration will give you a fright.

Matt is creative in other ways too. The insert for this disc isn’t your usual paper insert. Instead it is a painted piece of sheet metal. This means that each disc has a different cover. How about that for a collector’s item. Maybe one day Matt will get some recognition.

Industry Eleven

“The Days And Nights Surrounding Change” (12 Tracks. 48:56. available from Industry Eleven

Right off the bat I thought I was hearing Circle of Dust or Klank because the opening track, “Why Should We?” has that kind of vibe. However, after an email discussion with Geoffrey Grimstad I came to realize that there is quite a different vibe on this album. There are keyboards and various forms of programming on this album, but this is more of an industrially flavored heavy rock album. The drums are programmed and there are keyboards as well. Many of the vocals have a slight distortion and are similar to what you’d expect from COD or Mortal. In contrast, the song “For The Love of Sorrow” could well be called a shoegazer song, much like something you would hear from Starflyer 59 or Smashing Pumpkins. This, I understand, is the musical direction Industry Eleven will be pursuing on future releases. They’ll also use live drums. If these guys continue on I expect they’ll enjoy some level of success. I’m glad my friend Gary Hamilton at Shockwave turned me on to them.

Contact Industry Eleven at:
grimstad@deltanet.com


The Last Dance

“Fairytales” (14 Tracks. 59:29. Mystine Records) available from The Last Dance

The Last Dance are an interesting blend of impressions to me. As I listen to this disc I am simultaneously reminded of the following: later Undercover (from Branded on up), the Call, the Alarm, Simple Minds. I believe each of the last three of those bands were comprised of members who are Christians, but they were marketed to the secular scene. This is what I understand about The Last Dance. Personally, I think this is a very legitimate step. After all, what good is it to preach to the choir?
The lyrics and vocals on this disc come through with a great deal of clarity and passion. Life situations, emotions, impressions are all communicated with down to earth lyrics, once again, that remind of the Call and the Alarm. They are not cheesy CCM lyrics, they just speak to the heart. The guitars are ever present and either soothe or entrance the listener into a Gothic dream world. This is further enhanced by a solid, often deceptively simple, rhythm section of bass and drums. Did I say Gothic? Yes, let this disc lead you down some dark smoky alleyway into another world. Imagine a dimly lit ballroom--and in the center of the floor, a single dancer spinning to some unknown music, performing the last dance.

The Last Dance

“Staring at the Sky” (8 Tracks. 49:02. Mystine/Apollyon) available from The Last Dance

Sometimes when a band has two songs laying around that get released onto an E.P. with a remix or two of previously released tracks. TLD goes beyond the call of duty by giving us 49 minutes of solid music. Two new tracks appear, “Flesh” and “Mystery”. “Flesh”, while it has a sound of its own, has a passion or intensity that reminds me of U2’s “A Sort of Homecoming.” “Mystery” is another solid tune which is much in line with the Fairytales album. Of the remixed songs TLD includes a dancy version of “Inside” and a very passionate version of “War” which once again reminds me of U2; this time the album of the same name. The highlight of this disc, interestingly, is the four remixes of the song “Do You Believe in Angels?” The reason is that the remixes are all so different that they could be four different songs but for the lyrics. My favorite two are the “EuroDance Mix” which is quite energetic and the “Violet’s Song-piano” which has a smoky lounge sound.
This disc in my opinion is even stronger that the last album. There is a maturity in the musicianship that, although it was there before, seems to be stronger. The production is full and clear. But most importantly, the music is even more engrossing without detracting from Jeff’s hypnotic voice.

Contact the Last Dance:
P.O. Box 9685
Fountain Valley, CA 92728-9685
www.thelastdance.com
jeff@thelastdance.com


Mental Destruction

“Straw” (10 Tracks. Cold Meat Ind.) SWEDEN Available from RadRockers

When I started listening to this disc I realized two very important things: first, I had such a limited understanding of what Industrial Music is. Since I don’t have any of the other Mental Destruction CD’s I wasn’t really prepared for this. Of course I have the Circle Of Dust/Argyle Park stuff, the early Mortal stuff, Deitiphobia and X Propagation. But this makes those releases sound mainstream. The second important thing I learned is why they call it Industrial—you can literally hear the gears turning and the steam whistles whistling. This music should be added to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927 Silent German film). If you’ve read the Death Gate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, just imagine what the great Kicksey-Whinsey sounds like and you’ve got yourself a description of Mental Destruction’s music. Perhaps it is important to realize that mostly what is contained on this disc are percussion tracks, faint keyboards, and lots of sounds. It is all very minimalistic. How else can I describe it? I do not know.

Lyrically, the words on this disc read somewhat like existential poetry, for instance, “Winged, I Fall”, “Into Nothingness” and “Unbleeding”. Of course there is a theological twist to that, i.e., the belief and faith in God, in songs like, “The Streams Of Time” and “Rise”, “Thorn”, etc. All in all, this disc takes some getting used to for me, but I am intrigued by it.
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Contact Mental Destruction:
mental.destruction@digit.se
Http://www.vtek.chalmers.se/~v91durda/music/md/md.html


Nova Sphere

“Solar Energy” (10 Tracks. 54:30. Velvet Empire & Flaming Fish) USA available from Flaming Fish and Velvet Empire

I don’t have the highly praised EnGrave disc but this one is done by the same guy: Nathan Morris. Apparently this one is of a slightly different style. So, I’ll have to critique this one without the benefit of having heard Polaris.
This album is an instrumental disc that further explores the possibilities of electronic music. The keyboard textures are smooth and ambient but fast and are set to danceable beats. The beats, however, are minimal and do not throb and boom through your speakers like say Blackhouse. So, is this Dance Ambient? I guess that term has already been coined but perhaps doesn’t give a clear description after all.
To get a better clue as to the sound one must see the artwork and pay attention to the title and name. This is Nova Sphere doing Solar Energy. The pictures on the front are of astronauts in space; therefore, I think it is most appropriate to call this space music. How does it sound? How about this: minimalistic dance beats bathed in ambient sounds and effects. It would make a better soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey imo.

To contact Flaming Fish or Velvet Empire see the page for music labels
Labels Page

Sanctum

"Lupus In Fabula" (15 Tracks. 64:44. Cold Meat Industry) SWEDEN available from RadRockers.

Occasionally I like a musical diversion. I usually look for something that is non-commercial, dark, epic, and longer than 35 minutes. That's how I came to order this disc from RadRockers (the description in their catalogue was very compelling).
Since I'm not very familiar with this kind of music you'll pardon me if I fail to use the right terminology, right? Okay. I believe Sanctum is labeled an Industrial band. While this is undoubtedly true, it should be noted that this is not an extremely harsh album. To me a lot of Industrial bands sound like electronic punk music. Not so here. This disc leans much more to the Gothic and Ambient side of Industrial. This is mood music, folks. It is eerie, haunting, and achingly beautiful. There are a lot of orchestral kinds of instrumentation, occasional guitars--which blend but do not stick out, and I should note that the drum tracks are more understated than anything. Also, most of the vocals are done by a woman with a beautiful soprano voice. Her vocal style is somewhat Celtic sounding. She reminds me of the singer of "Rain In The Air" on Aleixa's Honey album. The other vocals are done by a guy who sounds like the singer for WWMT (I think).
Artistically this album is very intriguing. First are the lyrics. There is a good bit of reflection on the darkness of mankind and of spirituality. This is accented by elements of Calvanism which really come out, in my opinion, on the opening cut, "Dragonfly". There is a bit of preoccupation with the Devil too in songs like "Little Scamp With Horns", "Envy", and "Decay". Secondly, is the title of the album which is Latin for "Speak Of The Devil". Thirdly is the artwork which very well accents the messages of the songs. All in all I find this disc a really enthralling distraction from Metal.

Saviour Machine

“Legend Part I” (12 Tracks. 77:40. Massacre) available from RadRockers USA

When I first heard that these guys were going to create a three CD epic on the book of Revelation I was astonished. Of course the book of Revalation has been the focus of lots of musical projects from Pop to Heavy Metal, as well as lots of movies. And of course Terry Taylor and the DA boys did an epic of Revelation on side two of Shotgun Angel. This was later remixed with Bible readings and musical segueways and released as The Revelation. (You may remember that Taylor produced the first Savior Machine). But three CDs? That is ambitious.
One cannot do this unless they are pretty studious. And, it is obvious from these CD’s that Eric Clayton has put countless hours of study into this work. Frankly, it will take any listener many listenings to take it all in.
Musically this disc is quite beautiful. It has some pretty melodies like in, “Legend I:I” and “The Woman”. There are several musical themes that repeat themselves throughout which lend credence to the notion that this is an Opera. The only thing these guys are missing, in my opinion, are female vocals to provide an antithesis to the male vocals. Oh, well.
A brief word on interpretation: There are three basic approaches to interpreting the book of Revelation. These are discussed later on in this ‘zine. Suffice it to say that Savior Machine follow a Pre-millennial interpretation, as does Taylor’s The Revelation. Those this is not the interpretation I follow I find that I have no problem to listen to and enjoy this disc. One should never be too insistent on an interpretation of a book like Revelation. Listen and enjoy.

Saviour Machine

“Legend Part II” (16 Tracks. 79:29. Massacre) available from RadRockers USA

If there is one thing that sets this disc apart from Legend Part I it is the intensity of the music. Whereas the first installment of this series started out with spoken word and then a beautiful ballad, “Legend 1:1”, part II goes directly into some intense, heavily layered music. It is so intense that one has trouble taking it in all at once. The intensity is maintained all the way through until you get to the song, “The Martyrs’ Cry”. This song calms the scene for some softer music until one comes to the section that bridges “The Bride of Christ” to “Rapture: The Seventh Seal”. Then, slowly, the musical intensity builds and climaxes in “War In Heaven - The Second Fall”. This CD sounds much more like a Germanic Opera than their other works, in my opinion. No doubt the intensity on this disc is meant to represent the intensity of what is happening in the text.
Legend II picks up where Legend I left off in the text of Revelation. The lyrics on this CD, like the last, are not simply quotations from that book, but interpretations. I say this because, as an example, historical persons such as Saladin are mentioned, though his name is not found in Revelation. This is clearly giving a specific interpretation and the listener should be aware of this. Hopefully I made it clear in the previous review that I follow a different interpretation of this book. However, let me repeat how much I appreciate the beauty and intricacy of these albums. I admire and commend Eric Clayton and Savior Machine on their work. How often does a band with international recognition work so hard and diligently to explain scripture. Certainly the urgency of the book of Revelation is accurately portrayed here. I can’t wait for part III.

Saviour Machine

“Behold A Pale Horse” (4 Tracks. Massacre) available from RadRockers USA

As if 80 minutes were not enough (I say this jokingly), there was a song recorded for Legend Part II that had to be excluded from the disc because there simply wasn’t enough room on the disc for all the songs. So this track, “New World Order,”is included here with three remixes of the song, “Behold, A Pale Horse”. It is interesting to me that pre-millennialists have latched on to the phrase “new world order”. I’m sure that this phrase had a lot to do with George Bush’s failure to get reelected as President. What gets me is that, if he is no longer a political figure with power, and his plans of a “new world order” are now dismissed, what purpose is there in using it now. Undoubtedly the real reason is that this phrase summarizes what premillennialists expect to happen.
The three remixes of “Behold, A Pale Horse” are awesome. The second remix, the “ego” remix, is a neat, jazzy version which is then followed by the beautiful “classical” remix which really features the piano skills of Nathan Van Hala who is the real musical star of all these discs. Don’t debate over this disc if you are a real fan. It is worth getting.

Thymikon

“Nipsis” (12 Tracks. 51:51. Logistikon) USA available from Shock Wave Music

I live for releases like this one. It is intelligent, entertaining, and engrossing all at once. A lot of electronic albums are just a bunch of noises strung together, or a bunch of silly little ditties laid on top of that monotonous 4/4 drum beat. Not so here, what we are given are twelve well-crafted soundtracks of pleasant, impressionistic songs with recognizable structure. Despite that fact, there is really nothing commercial about this album. The music is basically pulsing, hypnotic keyboard melodies laid over a foundation of a variety of drum tracks. Samples are held to a minimum and none of the music is overbearing. This form of music is called Darkwave. In short, it is very tastefully done. I liken it to the gentler moments on Sanctum’s Lupus In Fabula.
On the intellectual side, Thymikon () Nipsis (invites the listener/ reader into the world of New Testament Greek () as well as the Eastern Orthodox tradition. As best I can decipher--using my Bauer-Arnt-Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon—-Thymikon probably means “book of sacrifice” and Nipsis means “watchfulness” in the sense Jesus used it when he told his disciples to “watch and pray that you may not fall into temptation” on the night of his betrayal. Anyway, this disc causes us to think on many levels and gives us more visually, aurally, and mentally than we can digest in one sitting. This album would be interesting just from the art work alone. But it has a whole lot more.

Undish

“Acta Est Fabula” (8 Tracks. 33:38. Massacre) available from RadRockers

This is an incredibly beautiful disc that is saturated with genuine Gothic atmosphere. From the haunting female vocals to the deep baritone male, this group presents a musical palette of dramatic contrasts. A flood of musical images come to mind from Savior Machine to Undercover’s Branded album musically. The guitars are very present but not ultra-heavy. Added to this is a guitar-synth which acts as a keyboard and gives the music its ethereal quality. Vocally the female has that European sound like Annie Lennox and sings quite comfortably in more than one octave. Her voice provides the variety. The thick male voice is more dark and sinister and perhaps a little more monotone—on purpose, for effect. Overall, Undish is a musical delight, in a minor key sort of way.
Lyrically this album communicates well within the musical genre. The opening track, for instance, “With Blood And Suffering” is obviously about the passion of Christ, and I think the Gothic music highlights this message perfectly. Other greats are, “I’m Sorry” and the two part “Reflection”. I cannot say enough about how much I truly enjoy listening to this disc.

Various Artists

“Awaiting The Dawn” (14 Tracks. 73:45. Flaming Fish & Velvet Empire) available from Flaming Fish

If you are prone to rise before the dawn to pray and meditate you may enjoy listening to this music when you do. Awaiting The Dawn is a Darkwave collection of 14 ambient, soulful pieces by such artists as: Caul, EnGrave, Cradle->Grave, Bonescan, Firmament, Thymikon, Cadence, The Reclusive Cypher (Jess Macintyre of Cybershadow), In A Lonely Place, Steve Scott, True Color of Blood, CultofJester, and Frolic. This CD epitomizes the spiritual value of ambient music. Most of the tracks are just quiet sound manipulations, most of which are minimalistic. One exception is “The Mystic Mother” by Thymikon. It has more instrumentation and has a reading which undoubtedly comes from an Eastern Orthodox mystic source. So, grab your Bible, a hot cup of tea, put on this disc and watch the sun rise.

Various

”Collapsing Structure: The Cataclysm Singles Part II” (16 Tracks. 72:24). Available from Blacklight Records

Blacklight continues to release compilations of experimental music from bands that could be classified in a hundred different ways. To put it short: the bands found on these CD’s are not the typical synth-pop you find at your local music store. These groups produce various forms of music which are not geared for the general populace but for those who are looking—or listening—for something different. Needless to say there is a wide variety of experiences to be had while listening to this second of the three-part Cataclysm singles called “Collapsing Structure”.
First off you have Dendrography with a really bizarre semi-ambient, spoken word, noise track called “Shiva’s Tourniquet”. The title alone is enough to prick your curiosity. Next is a great track called “Shame” by Torn Skin. It has an industrial feel not unlike X-Propagation or Autovoice. The keyboards on this track are absolutely killer and hypnotic. It is truly one of the best tracks on the disc. It demonstrates why Blacklight has signed Torn Skin to the label. The next track is also very cool. The group is called Evonica and the song is “Contrast Equality”. It is a haunting track that could fit a dance club scene in a vampire movie (just my impression). It is also similar to some of the stuff on the Argyle Park CD. Later on track eight we meet another act signed to Blacklight called Fatal Blast Whip. Their track is another scary, gothic tune called “Forbidden”. It has a very Industrial feel in the vein of older Nine Inch Nails. Following FBW is a track by Liar’s Paradise which is the latest and best project by Matt Franz (see above). It includes lyrics by Andrew Niemann. Next comes Twitch with what I would call an Impressionistic or Surealistic track called “In The Darkness Clawing”. Truly mood music. My favorite track is “Out Of The Darkness” by Temple of the Times who sound somewhat like early Deitiphobia/X-Propagation with samples, dancy syncopated beats, etc. I think it is the best track. Also included on the disc are Blackhouse (also Blacklight artists) and Graphic Verses who are reviewed above, M-Edge, Jagged Doctrine who might be a cross between Mental Destruction and Industry 11, Anaphylaxis, the dancy New Society, Paragon Null with a part minimalist/part shoegazer track called “@trophy” and Colossal Spin.
To sum up this is one of the best non-commercial compilations I’ve heard. It is made up of experimental music which invites one to leave the realm of the familiar and to walk uncharted paths. It also invites us to look upon society, evaluate it and find it lacking—that is if you listen to the lyrics. All in all, I highly recommend it.

Veer Chasm

“Blade Halo” (14 Tracks. 65:39. Red Metaphor) available from Veer Chasm

Similar in style to Industry Eleven, yet different, is Veer Chasm. Both groups made it clear to me that they did not consider themselves to be Industrial bands, though each could be said to have industrial elements. This is more true of Industry 11 than VC. In the case of Veer Chasm it should be noted that they are a totally live band, even the drums. Though keyboards and synths are present, one should not expect to hear anything like Deitiphobia or Joy Electric. Musically, VC maintain a unity in diversity. Impressions that come to mind are such as Fold Zandura, only better in my opinion, an occasional Nine Inch Nails, and some Euro-pop sounds. Occasionally, like the song “Wounded”, the sound is more noise oriented like shoegazer bands Morella’s Forest or Starflyer 59. One reason I believe VC doesn’t appear on a mainstream Christian label is that perhaps they seek to compete musically in the larger arena of secular music and, quite frankly, are one of the more adept groups for trying it.
Finally, the lyrics on this disc make no bones about the human condition. Everything is laid bare, dirty underwear and all. Nowhere is this more noticeable than on the song “As Sad As You Were”. This is a really good disc and makes a good companion to Industry Eleven’s The Days And Nights Surrounding Change.

Contact Veer Chasm at
VeerChasm@aol.com
http://members.aol.com/veerchasm


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