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February 15, 2013

Ghost & Writer – “Red Flags”: Viva Music Album Review

ghost_writer_red_flags_2013Tracklist: “Gambit” * “[Do I Have] Your Word” * “Hurricane” * “Shine” * “Demons Crawl” * “Never Take Fire” * “Just the Same” * “Beyond Repair” * CD also includes 8 remixes of tracks above by various artists + 8 additional remixes are available in the “Black Album” limited edition, only available to purchasers of physical CD | Release date: Dependent (Europe) – 04-Apr; Metropolis (US) – Mar-12.

Previously on darkwave.roGhost & Writer – “Shipwrecks”: Viva Music Album Review

About Ghost & WriterGHOST & WRITER is a project group devised by JIMMYJOE SNARK III, a man of multiple talents featured as VIVA MUSIC’s Artist of the Month in October 2010, and SEABOUND’s Frank Spinath – a killer combination that comes with a great concept album and good vibes. Prior to the album’s release, JIMMYJOE SNARK III confessed toVIVA MUSIC that “Shipwrecks” comes as a mirrored structure of 8 tracks and their remixes, with a Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde quality to it: “both Frank and I are involved in different bands and projects, so there are some elements we put in here and not there, maybe because that is not the right project for it, and in that sense, there is a Dr. Jeckyll aspect to how we behave”’.

Ghost & Writer: “Red Flags” – Viva Music Review:

When the news of a new Ghost & Writer album got to us, we took it as a good sign for 2013. Not only had their previous “Shipwrecks” left a strong impression with us, but it also stayed. We somehow knew that the creative efforts put into a side project are sometimes larger, paradoxically, than in a main project, because you usually want to pour into it a larger scale of emotions and a more minute musical effect, so somehow, the news of a new Ghost & Writer album took us aback. Had time passed so fast? Have they found something new to show and proudly present it? To both questions, we were to find, the answer was yes.

The thing with “Red Flags” is that it hits you from the moment you see the disc. The strong colors and imagery of the cover play with disclosure and secrecy in the exact recipe that makes you curious to go further, with the next sense, that of hearing. Listening to the album, you realize, it’s a great distance from what you loved in “Shipwrecks“, but not at all least lovable. “Red Flags” uses this imagery – of ‘red flags’ signaling peril, getting attention, asking for caution. These are the red flags of a personal experience, in which things do not go as partners wish or expect, they are red flags for no-fairytale and put-your-feet-back-on-the-ground.

The songs in the album come in a narrative sequence: beginning with the melodious “Gambit“, in which we see the signs of a strong bond (“when one of us is cut/we both bleed“), which simply sweeps the listener off their feet, to “[Do I Have] Your Word”, in which the notion that the fairytale ended (“the fairy dust is gone“), we see a transition, both musical and lyrical. “[Do I Have] Your Word” strikes as a very vibrant and emotional piece, you can actually see how many boundaries of emotions are trespassed in front of your eyes, and it brings along a very elegiac, yet unhurt streak of feeling. “Hurricane” shows if not the storm, its aftermath, and lights up in bright and dark undertones which complete each others like tresses of hair. But then with “Shine“, when we also gain more intuition into what probably went wrong, we also see the facts as they are: the contrasting mild English and stark German lyrics add to the composition greatly and the result is a great musical piece. And if emotions are to be laid bare, the unleashed “Demons Crawl” shows more. Gradually we see how music during the conception phase of the album was thought to escalate and capture like a musical photo camera the emotions in their best melodic line. “Never Take Fire” shows in terms of the romantic affair described by the album some love fatigue – but luckily for the listener, this comes packed in a great tune. “Just the Same“, covers oceans of emotions and shows how intricate the question of ‘going on’, ‘with or without’ is when you talk about the sublime and mundane emotions which entangle two people. And then, “Beyond Repair” gives the verdict, although we don’t know whether they are going on, finding happiness together or elsewhere, or even trying to keep up appearances and content themselves with what they have, which, emotionally, is already a lot. But we do know “Beyond Repair” is a great track, even without a denouement – and has a wonderful effect of letting you wanting more of what Ghost & Writer have produced, which is a great quality for any album. Enjoy!

Ghost & Writer: Official Website  | on Facebook

August 28, 2012

Nova-Spes “Leben ist Krieg”: Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Fire” * “Leben ist Krieg” * “I Want…” * “Nach vorn” * “Burnout” * “Always Death” * “Perfect Days” * “Machines in Front” * “Hide Our Malice” * “F.. Shit” * “On the Way to…” * ‘… Genocide” * “Wir stehlen euch die Zeit

Other Nova-Spes news on darkwave.ro: Nova-Spes “Pripyat: Home of Lilith” – Viva Music Album Review | Nova-Spes @NCN 2011 in Deutzen bei Leipzig – Viva Music Review and Photos

About Nova-Spes: “Leben ist Krieg:

By now we are living in a world seems fairly inhospitable to us. We aren´t just guests in it, today we all are warriors. We are fighting every day. Not for surviving like it was at the beginning of human history, perhaps. No, today we are fighting for the method of living.” (Matthias Huebner, 2012)

Out on Sep-07 with Danse Macabre, the new album from Nova-Spes is not, according to the label statement, a concept album, although the texts of the song go along the lines of a largely similar topic – the side effects of gauche survival attempts in face of stress, burnout, and attempts to cope with life as it is, even if this means perverted effects and ways, among which, quotes the statement, we could mention the use of psychotropic drugs by students who wish to achieve higher marks and 5 year old girls who enter beauty pageants to make their parents proud. In a world that is constantly changing the pace and the rules, we have to fight to have it our way, and this is how the notion of survival while living comes in – and that makes life a constant war, or, as the German title of the album goes, “Leben ist Krieg”. (more…)

April 17, 2012

Skyla Vertex – “Urwerk”: Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Somnia” * “Strom und Drang” * “Befreiungsschlag” * “Sinnkrieg” * “Face It” * “Urwek (Funke)” * “Urwerk (Feuer)” * “Urwerk (Asche)” * “Deconstructors” * “Schall und Rauch” * “City Demon” * “The Buying Dead” * “ZeitgEist” * “Schall und Rauch (Kriegsmonster Remix by Peter Spilles)” * “Strom und Drang (Orange Sector Version)” * “Befreiungsschlag (Nachtmahr Remix)

Band bio: Skyla Vertex is the brainchild of Greg, who may be best known for his involvements with scene legends Modulate and Reaper, and Alex, a lyricist, singer and illustrator from a rock background. Their self-proclaimed task is to combine an intellectual claim with hard electronic dance music – to assimilate the dancefloors of the world. “Urwerk” may be their first album, but they are sought-after remixers who already worked with Santa Hates You, Reaper, Orange Sector, Shiv-r, and Diorama.

What is Skyla Vertex? Even though it was a rather random creation, the name mirrors the message they wanted to deliver: “Skyla” can be found in the Swedish language and can be translated as “to hide” or “to bury”; The word “Vertex” is Latin and is used to describe a turning point in geometric terminology, it can also be translated as “mesh” or “nodal point”. Thus, Skyla Vertex takes its creative power from all the unknown corners of mind, unusual perspectives and the last shelter of soul: insanity. (source: band Facebook page)

Skyla Vertex – “Urwerk”: Viva Music Album Review:

Skyla Vertex’s album “Urwerk” is released this month; on Infacted Recordings in Europe on Apr-20, and on Metropolis Records on Apr-24. They describe their own music as “harsh beats meet deep lyrics” and they are not going amiss one bit; their music is well fashioned and inspiring, and their lyrics are fundamental in their choice of words, cadence, and general imagery.

Their lengthy album is tell-tale of a world in which protagonists are at odds with their choices, and wish a return to the groundwork, or foundation of whatever holds their act together. Let’s take “Somnia” for instance: it’s a great soundstorm, but beneath the riot there are emotional tinges floating freely in the thick air of conflicted sleep. “Strom und Drang” (also available as “Strom und Drang (Orange Sector Version)”) is a calmer, yet more introspective piece, with diligently crafted ecstatic inserts with a very heightened electronic sense. “Befreiungsschlag” (also available as: “Befreiungsschlag (Nachtmahr Remix)”) is just as the title says, liberating, and with a good interplay between spontaneity and calculated movement; it is a dance friendly track with assumed, relentless effervescence. “Sinnkrieg” causes the war of senses that is at stake in the band’s manifesto and with a defiant tone, it escalates and creates an overall enthusiasm via its intricate harmonies. After a momentous “Face It”, it’s time for the trilogy of “Urwerk” to sweep you off your feet: “Funke” – “Feuer” – “Asche” (in English: “Spark” – “Fire” – “Ashes”) is a creationist story, with a very resistant genetics and with substantial musical elegance and persusasiveness. “Deconstructors” and “Schall und Rauch” (also available as: “Schall und Rauch (Kriegsmonster Remix by Peter Spilles)”) are two great additions to the album,  and definitely pieces that we bookmark for further listening – they could easily serve as a Skyla Vertex 101 for friends who have not yet discovered their universe. A lighthearted, yet sufficiently zesty “City Demon”, a Viva Music favorite, is next, and after it, “The Buying Dead” and “ZeitgEist” are up to the challenge of closing the album before the remix section kicks in. “The Buying Dead” is sappy and confident, while “ZeitgEist”, drawing on the same source that never seems to dry up, is more of an attention-getter, but no less filled with incredibly sound philosophy and pleasure in making music.

Urwerk” is a very interesting debut album, and though it may take more than one listen to get it into your system, it’s a heartthrob and definitely a great business card for a band we are looking forward to listening to in the future. Enjoy!

Skyla Vertex – on Infacted Records | on Facebook | Discography on Discogs

December 21, 2011

Suicidal Romance “Memories Behind Closed Curtains”: Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Love Will Have Her Revenge” * “Whisper Goodbye” * “Slave/Slave  – feat. Pete Crane (of Shiv-R)” * “Hold Me” * “Don’t Go” * “Ecstatic – feat. Felix Marc (of Felix Marc)” * “One Love” * “Forever as One” * “Amour Amour – feat. VVA” * “Behind Closed Curtains

Other Suicidal Romance news and articles on darkwave.ro: Suicidal Romance “Whisper Goodbye” Out Sep-16! Viva Music Review

Suicidal Romance “Memories Behind Closed Curtains”: Viva Music Album Review:

Released on Dec-16, Infacted Records’ (http://www.infacted-recordings.de/category/news/), new Suicidal Romance album, “Memories Behind Closed Curtains” is a feast for the eye and ear and definitely one of the latest additions to your Christmas shopping list. It has zest, it has a story, it is rotating high on danceability and refined emotion. The album debuts with a high energy tempo and a great anthem with a title made to measure: “Love Will Have Her Revenge”. Comforting and alluring, the track is astutely followed suit by “Whisper Goodbye”, the preview track we had the chance and honor to listen to in September, prior to the album release, under the guise of a very elegant single, featuring remixes from Psy’Aviah and Reaxion Guerrilla. And however motivating it is to listen to this track in the makeup of the album, it would be unjust to single it out as pre-eminently the best track from the album without prying into the tease of the remaining tracks, so be averted, if you managed to listen to the single release, make sure you keep your mind and ears open for “Memories Behind Closed Curtains”. “Slave/Slave – feat. Pete Crane (of Shiv-R)” is also an older acquaintance, the remix versions provided by Die Sektor and Incubite) being featured on the same aforementioned single release.

Hold Me” qualifies as superb club scene gemstone, with a quite balanced harsh electronic sound and warm melody, all mellowed down by the vocals provided by Viktoria Seimar. The same holds true of “Don’t Go”, in which the credible harshness of vocals is doused liberally with quite suave undertones. In “Ecstatic – feat. Felix Marc (of Felix Marc)” the focus shifts a little, and the vying voices of both Seimar and Felix Marc are set in an unmistakable, strike of genius musical space. You will love “Ecstatic”, that is for sure! A true Viva Music favorite, “One Love”, the charisma of which brims over in elegant and dance friendly gushes, is followed by “Forever as One”, before surrendering the floor to another great track (and not coincidentally, we suppose, from the same semantics of love): “Amour Amour – feat VVA”, showing the darker and sharper edge of Suicidal Romance, in brief, an ancient and modern chant, performing fine both as a club piece or an item for solitary listening. The last track of the album, “Behind Closed Curtains”, which gives the theme of the album, memories that are kept behind a wrapping that makes memories incapable to pierce through, hurt us or others, and were they not given voice through music, they would remain forever dead to the world, is a complex instrumental piece, that leaves room for a musing space and enthuses profoundly.

Memories Behind Closed Curtains” is a beautiful addition to this year’s already superb album output. Enjoy!

Suicidal RomanceOfficial Website | on Facebook | Discography on Discogs

December 7, 2011

Amduscia “Death, Thou Shalt Die”: Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Damn Punks” * “Desequilibrio Mental” * “I’ll Hate You” * “Seduccion es mi placer” * “F*** the F***ing F***ers” * “Solo Maquina (Antihuman Remix)” * “R.I.P.” * “Creepy Life” * “Adicto al dolor” * “How I Hate You” * “Wild Girls” * “Battle in Paradise” * “Creepy Life (Cid Project Remix)” * “Creepy Life (Eelectrovot Remix)

About Amduscia – “Death, Thou Shalt Die”:

After the tragic untimely death of sound wizard Edgar Acevedo in March 2010, it was not clear whether the fourth studio album of Amduscia was ever to see the light of day. His brother Polo, the band’s shouter decided that there could not be a better legacy for the Mexican band, completed the album by himself and had it produced in a German studio. “Death, Thou Shalt Die” has become an album that is hard to top in terms of intensity. Amduscia have not sounded this compact, aggressive, striking and club-compatible since their debut. Now, the band rises like a phoenix from the flame, with a record that sounds like a challenge – a challenge to the grim reaper himself!

Amduscia “Death, Thou Shalt Die” – Viva Music Album Review:

Out on Dec-02 with Out of Line Records, the new album from Amduscia takes its title from the remarkable and memorable last line of metaphysical poet John Donne’s “Holy Sonnet X”, one of the most commonly referred to verses about the individual’s revolt against implacable death. The title reference is even more evocative if we take into account its history of bereavement and the fact that it is added to a band name so full of meaning such as Amduscia, after the demon whose voice of thunder is heard during storms, accompanied by the sound of trumpets of medieval lore. (more…)

October 25, 2011

Mona Mur & En Esch “Do with Me What You Want”: Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Touch” * “Silly Romance” * “Eiskalt (in der Liebe und im Krieg)” * “Flesh & Blood” * “Easy Living” * “My Life” * “Do with Me What You Want” * “Guilty” * “Justice” * “Le Weltanschauung (Les Jeux Sont Faits)” * “New Order” * “Part again” * “Do Widzenia

Read Viva Music’s review of Mona Mur & En Esch’s “120 Tage: The Fine Art of Beauty and Violence” here | Read about Mona Mur & En Esch (Tanz Ohne Musik opening) in Bucharest (promoter: Lux Noctis) here.

Mona Mur & En Esch “Do with Me What You Want”: Viva Music Album Review:

Released on Sep-13 with Artoffact Records, Mona Mur & En Esch’s second album titled “Do With Me What You Want” comes two years after their previous collaboration “120 Tage: The Fine Art of Beauty and Violence” as a confirmation of the strong bond between the two artists and the springing creativity of their respective musical lives; the album is vibrant, powerful, and with the same refined conceptual framework that the two artists accustomed us with in their 2009 collaboration. (more…)

September 14, 2011

Digital Factor – “Trialog” – Viva Music Album Review

Tracklist: “Prelude” * “Links Rechts Links” * “I Have to Hit You” * “Interlude no. 57” * “You’re Going Down” * “This Is the Deal” * “The Neighbor” * “Interlude no. 58” * “Steam” * “Depression” * “A Force of Unknown People” * “Interlude no. 60” * “Come Push Me Down” * “The Knife” * “The Way You Lie

Also on darkwave.ro: Digital Factor Release “I Have to Hit You” – Single Preview Before September Album and Tour (+Download) here | Order “Trialog” from here

About Digital Factor:

Digital Factor are: Leo von Leibnitz (voice, programming, synth); Mike Langer (voice, programming, synth); Guido Litke (guitar, percussion).

Founded in 1993, Digital Factor were quickly signed to Danish label Hard Records at the recommendation of Claus Larsen (of Leaetherstrip fame) and toured with Placebo Effect. Numerous productions in their early years gained them support, audience and a local renown. By 1996, this renown was taken further as tours in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium propelled the band in front of a varied and acclaiming audience. This positive trend was maintained up to 2002, when they joined charity events supporting the victims of the German floods. After a seven years hiatus, the band returned with new material a new lineup, and a new record deal with Black Rain Records. “Trialog”, their latest release, on Sep-09 with the latter label, is their 17th release to date.

Digital Factor – “Trialog” – Viva Music Review:

After an alarming “Prelude”, the album motioned in by Digital Factor could not get better! “Links Rechts Links” (“Left Right Left”), one of the rare songs with German lyrics from the album “Trialog” is as expected from the title, a musically plausible and pleasant military drill, with a lot of cadence and spirit. As high-spirited, and not at all austere is “I Have to Hit You”, which we had listened to outside the album release as a single video preview for the album in late July this year. “I Have to Hit You” is a domineering and relentless dance machine song, which makes it set the expectations really high for the danceability of the entire album. With ebullient sound, “Interlude no. 57”, the first of three such interludes that together with the “Prelude” creates the frame of the album, interposes itself between the first two tracks and the ensuing one as a well-deserved breathing space for the listener – or should we say the dancer? of this album. The tongue-in-cheek “You’re Going Down” is clashing EBM sound and a true-to-nature display of vocal resonance. In cahoots with “This Is the Deal”, a song that electrifies and commits to the dance ambient friendly scope of the album just as powerfully as the preceding tracks. (more…)

July 26, 2011

The Pain Machinery “Surveillance Culture” – Viva Music Album Review


 “Shine” * “Critical State” * “Never” * “Hard Cash” * “Acid Breakdown” * “The Grudge” * “The End Game” * “Grinder” * “Hell” * “Armed!” * “Surrender” * “Hate Me Now” * “Playground” * “Moving Walls

Read about “Auto Surveillance” EP on darkwave.ro here | Order the full length album “Surveillance Culture” from Complete Control Productions from here

About The Pain Machinery:

Having experimented with electronic sounds since the late 1980’s, Anders Karlsson released his first work as The Pain Machinery in 1992. The initial idea was to mix the raw energy of UK street punk and the sound exploring possibilities of electro/industrial music. Later joined by vocalist Jonas Hedberg, The Pain Machinery has continued to expand on their original formula through the years. The band, frequently described as the missing link between punk, house and EBM, has gained a lasting reputation for their intense and physical live shows around Europe. (source).

The Pain Machinery – “Surveillance Culture” – Viva Music Album Review:

Surveillance Culture” is a heavy, cursive and straightforward album, the latest release from THE PAIN MACHINERY with Complete Control Productions. With a narrative thread that speaks diligently about mind games and the illusion of freedom in civilizations kept under close scrutiny for the sake of self-taught democracy, the sound devised by THE PAIN MACHINERY on their new album is a cavalcade about broken promises, unrequited feelings, and obedience that harms the individual. (more…)

June 14, 2011

Felix Marc – “Parallel Worlds” – Viva Music Album Review

Repair” * “Moscow Paris” * “Collector” * “Opposite Sides” * “Life Is Porn” * “Fields of Grey” * “The Muse” * “Modern Talking” * “The Garden of Light” * “Ghost” * “Mystify” * “Parallel World


The charismatic 35 year old Felix Marc started making music since 1994; evolving musically as both a member of DIORAMA with his friend Torben Wendt, and FROZEN PLASMA with Vasi Vallis, whom he met after a VNV NATION concert. Actively involved in both acts, he also pursues his solo career; with a beautiful first album entitled “Pathwaysout in 2008, he now returns with a very melodic and respectable album, “Parallel Worlds”, out June-10 with Infracted Records.

FELIX MARC – “Parallel Worlds” – VIVA MUSIC Album Review:

Parallel Worlds” is a very musically complex album, and unlike albums that strive to be utterly creative music-wise, “Parallel Worlds” is very amenable, easy to listen and really enticing. With a very superior sound, the album, made up of 12 tracks, is definitely worth your time and attention.

FELIX MARC ranges among his influences diverse cultural personalities such as CAMOUFLAGE and FALCO, CASPER DAVID FRIEDRICH and W.B. YEATS. Add to that that he “collects ideas while traveling or spending time abroad”, and you get the idea of his creative processes. Not only he creates music on a constant basis, but he also finds the creative inspiration to cover masterpieces of the past, such as INXS’s “Mystify”.

Repair”, the first track of the album, is a very practical, hands-on beginning for the album: an atmosphere-ridden track, it is energetic and depicts beautifully the notion of renewal through a love without pain that is meant to overcome disasters. “Moscow Paris”, with a name redolent of an air flight, is a very electro anthem, about a mind going berserk while being haunted by depressions and the song is in itself very illustrative of that feeling. “Collector” follows, with a very rational and suave tempo, and then it is time for “Opposite Sides”, a VIVA MUSIC favorite from the album; a hopeful but melancholic piece about separation.

Pedro Almodovar said via his literary character Patty Diphusa that “life imitates porn”. FELIX MARC goes a step further stating unequivocally that “Life Is Porn”. With a Tourette-heavy beginning, the song softens up musically, and what it does is to play upon self-irony. The time is ripe for “Fields of Grey”, another wonderful and very melodic track, with a duo of voices that join in a common search for answers to questions and prayers.

The Muse” is a very club-friendly track and its depiction of a battle of angels of inspiration that are meant to reduce creative challenges is an overcoming of creative challenges in itself. After a prompt and alert “Modern Talking”, the next track, “The Garden of Light” electrifies with its very inviting and intimate nature. A very rich song, both in texture and imagery, “The Garden of Light” makes room for “Ghost”, a very powerful song about the ghost of memory.

The album would not have been so complete or replenishing without the addition of two new tracks. One of them, the afore-mentioned cover for INXS’s “Mystify” was thought by FELIX MARC after hearing it on car radio and wanting to capture what seemed to him a perfect moment, he created the perfect cover. Last but not least, his “Parallel World” strikes as a very majestic, opportune and contemporary track about thought-up worlds and thought-up dreams, both with questions, suspicions and inaccuracies that make life a dream that we can choose to either live or dream up.

Parallel Worlds” is a superb album, and we hope to hear a lot of positive feedback about it; since it deserves it fully. It is a vibrant, healthy album one needs to listen to in order to grasp the quality of FELIX MARC’s work. If you are a fan of DIORAMA and FROZEN PLASMA, you should not neglect to look into this creative side of FELIX MARC; and all your expectations will be rewarded.

FELIX MARC Official Site | on Facebook

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