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December 19, 2011

2011: A Music Year in Review (Viva Music version)

2011 was a great year for our scene. Just a quick roundup of the acts and artists who released new material this year is sufficient to give you an impression, however fleeting, of the great tumult the scene has caused and the important additions 2011 has brought to our playlists. New releases from VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk, Haujobb, Sopor Aeternus, Covenant, Kirlian Camera and Diary of Dreams kept music lovers on edge and numerous other releases made their days worthwhile throughout the year.

In 2011, Viva Music had the pleasure and honor to listen to and review some 100 albums. In order to read our reviews, you can go to the menu and pick Album Reviews from the Interviews & Reviews section, or navigate using the right-hand visual cover flow. Pluses between brackets in the article lead you to the featured reviews.

Readers’ choice in terms of number of Facebook likes indicate Apoptygma Berzerk’s “Black EP vo.2” (+), Global Citizen’s “Nil by Mouth” (+), Haujobb’s “New World March” (+), The Cruxshadows’ “Valkyrie” (+), Ghost and Writer’s “Shipwrecks” (+), Autodafeh’s “Act of Faith” (+), Tenek’s “EP2” (+), Shiv-r’s “This World Erase” (+) and Covenant’s “Modern Ruin” (+) as top favorites. We have no doubt it was the beauty of the respective albums and not of our reviews that kept them up in the charts!

With numerous releases, the appreciation of the public was unanimous. It was an honor to have around VNV Nation’s “Automatic” (+), Kirlian Camera’s “Nightglory” (+), Diary of Dreams’ “Ego:X” (+),  Sopor Aeternus’ “Children of the Corn” (+), Aesthetic Perfection’s “All Beauty Destroyed” (+), KMFDM’s “WTF?!” (+), And One’s “Tanzomat” (+), Sin D.N.A.’s “Afterlife” (+), Lowe’s “Evolver” (+), IAMX’s “Volatile Times”, Imperative Reaction’s “Imperative Reaction” (+), Necro Facility’s “Wintermute” (+), Amduscia’s “Death Thou Shalt Die” (+), and System Syn’s “All Seasons Pass” (+ ).

No less impeccable and listenable in a loop proved to be a set of albums which, should you have missed them, are up on your shopping list next time you hit a record store. Ad Inferna’s “There Is No Cure” (+), The Pain Machinery’s “Surveillance Culture” (+), God Module’s “Seance” (+), Mona Mur & En Esch’s “Do with Me What You Want” (+), Leaetherstrip’s “Untold Stories” (+), Vic Anselmo’s “In My Fragile” (+), Solar Fake’s “Frontiers” (+), Mina Harker’s “Bittersuess” (+), Lahannya’s “Dystopia” (+), and Lord of the Lost’s “Antagony” (+).

Special mention should be made of Romanian wonders LeVant’s “Beyond the Masque of Eden” (+) and Brazda lui Novac’s “Dizzy” (+).

Let us not forget the beautiful events we were invited to attend, and had the pleasure to experience in 2011. We provided detailed footage both under the guise of reviews and photo galleries at Amphi Festival (+), Nordstern Festival (+), and Nocturnal Culture Night (+). In 2012, we intend to attend to more such events and keep you posted on our beautiful and dynamic scene.

As Viva Music we also organized our own events in Bucharest. You can take a look at the feedback we received for the third edition of our Darkwave.ro Festival (with Tenek, Rabia Sorda and Project Pitchfork, +), for our Combichrist (+) and Kirlian Camera (+) concerts, as well as for our support for the first Nine Inch Nails Tribute in Bucharest (+). We do our best to keep our scene alive and the response we get is always heart-warming and positive.


What was your favorite release in 2011? And what are you looking forward to in 2012?

December 5, 2011

Lahannya – “Dystopia”: Viva Music Album Review

Filed under: Album Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 5:12 pm

Tracklist: “Dystopia” * “Out of Time” * “Save Me” * “Not Innocent” * “Cocoon” * “Never Enough” * “What Kind of World” * “Beautiful Wasteland” * “Scavenger” * “The Stand” * “Only Time Will Tell” * “Army of Freaks

Lahannya – “Dystopia”: Viva Music Album Review:

The third album from Lahannya with Kabuki Records, “Dystopia” (out October 2011) the best of industrial and gothic, as well as tinges of rock and metal converge in order to provide a very neat musical experience. Though not easy to put in a single category, the album strikes as unitary and universal, and shows in the intricacies of its latticework great creative and production effort. From the very fulminating beginning of the track that gives the name of the album, namely “Dystopia”, the anthem value of the song is enhanced and becomes a manifesto for a world that builds up from the remains of the world as we know it, which shifts away, like a drowning continent, from our realm of perceptions.

Unbeknownst to us, the world that puts brick over brick of solid sound in “Dystopia” loses the concept of time in “Out of Time”. Deprived of unneeded artifice and ornament, the track evolves in a free world of untarnished sounds and proliferates in a manner that is at the same time pleasing and appeasing. With equal eloquence, “Save Me” takes the floor before the more personal, and truly hitting a bulls’-eye “Not Innocent” invades all our senses. It’s lucky that “Cocoon” is next – that is a song that serves as a good album appetizer if you aren’t convinced yet you should listen to the album. With extra zest and definiteness the advance of “Never Enough” takes us up with superb sound and a well-wrought complex of feelings, the kind of which lingers ambiguously in “What Kind of World”, another great – instrumental as well as vocal – exercise.

Beautiful Wasteland”, a Viva Music favorite, is a great addition to the playlist of the album. With a myriad of senses and emotions, the song is a very empathetic interface for very contemporary and fathomable feelings. “Scavenger” as well as “The Sound” promote the same feeling, and make it sure the listener knows by now that what s/he has listened to before in the album is not a fortunate coincidence, but instead, a programmed, sustained effort that yields a lot of results. Impactful, it’s time for “Only Time Will Tell” to create a special bond with the listener, and to conclude such a listenable and captivating album, “Army of Freaks” becomes memorable from the first listen, and makes sure it is the kind of palatable musical effort we’d like to see pouring in each and every production.

Dystopia” is a new world. Possible, uncreated and at the same time accomplished, with a mutability of forces and emotions you will certainly relate to. Enjoy!

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