April 1997

Hi...

See, it's april now and this "Cyber Wounded" venture is still going...much to my surprise as well. Never thought I could keep it up but you live and learn, ain't ya? So, as usually there's a bunch of new album reviews and also I'm glad to present you an interview with Candlelight Records. Everyone sending in their stuffs for reviews, please don't forget to mention your e-mail address if you have such, this way we'll make a straight link to you. Also all this stuff is allowed to re-print in your publication, I even urge you to do that! But, please, mention our address, OK? Until then I hail all surfers who managed to find us, check it out each month for even more infos from industrial/metal/gothic/noise and whatever else fields!

MindaPlix


Top Zix of The Month !
1. DEMONIAC "Stormblade" CD 2. WITHIN TEMPTATION "Enter" CD 3. TRIBE AFTER TRIBE "Pearls Before Swine" CD 4. MONUMENTUM "In Absentia Christi" CD 5. AGARTHI "At The Burning Horizon" miniCD 6. V/A "Headbangers Against Disco" 7"EP

AGARTHI "At The Burning Horizon" miniCD (Red Stream) Italy's own AGARTHI has a huge potential and shouldn't been overlooked in this overcrowded with crap underground metal scene. Well, it's not fair to say that AGARTHI plays black metal because they blend a far wider spectrum of styles on this debut miniCD "At The Burning Horizon". It's like a middle link between fast and skilled Swedish extreme death metal and moody, atmospheric, sorta dreamy Greek style with strong symphonic influences. I just haven't heard such a powerful and dark combination before, so these lads sure impressed me a lot. PR calls it an extreme symphonic black thrash metal, yeah, AGARTHI definitely builds their tracks around classic death/thrash riffs and their music is like a stroke of sword - strong, precise and deadly! Considering this is only their debut, the future looks very promising to this act. Definitely ace! (Red Stream, P.O.Box 342, Camp Hill, PA 17001-0342, USA)

ALLEGIANCE "Skinman" CD (Self Released) For uninformed, ALLEGIANCE is one of the most known Australian metal acts of the 90's who forge their style without ever jumping on the prevailing trends. For that I can pat them on their backs. Now, whether you like this well-produced and powerful sounding thrash metal affair is a matter of question. At first it strikes and makes an impression which tends to vanish rather quick. I really think the vocals could be much more angrier for this style, the guy must torment himself while singing! They have many ball-busting rhythms and thrashing riffs, still it's a bit outdated sounding and hasn't that special charm like old thrash metal bands used to have. The lyrics deal with social themes and life experiences, I always prefered dark and Satan praising or tongue in cheek lyrics, but ALLEGIANCE seem to think different. Anyway, I urge metalheads to support this hardworking band, they sure generate a lot of power in their songs! (ALLEGIANCE, 355 Guilford Rd, Bayswater 6053, Western AUSTRALIA)

ALLERSEELEN "Sturmlieder" CD (Aorta) There's a strong philosophical backround behind each ALLERSEELEN release. "Sturmlieder" being a third full-length album again showcases ALLERSEELEN merging modern industrial avantgardism with obscure archaic sounds. This time, though, Kadmon (the mastermind behind ALLERSEELEN) opted for a little bit obvious parting of these two component parts. The first half of the album sets the rhythmically driven pace with minimalistic noise injections and actual singing coming closer to conventional songwriting yet in their own specific way. While another half of "Sturmlieder" mines darker and mystic realms based on psychoacoustic soundscapes, whispering voices and a huge hollow atmospheres which definitely suits me better. There's no excuse to miss this album if you take your interest into highly developed and thought-out darl music. No tired cliches here but loads of new and stirring experiences. Uneasy listening too. (Aorta, c/o Petak, Postfach 778, A-1011 Wien, AUSTRIA)

BLINK TWICE "Other Locations" CD (Broken Seal) It's nice finally to see BLINK TWICE appearing on CD after releasing a bunch of amazing tapes. There are 8 unique tracks conveying a subtle blend between dark landscapes, ambient tribalism and neoclassical arrangements that channel you into dimensions unknown and definitely pleasureable to explore. Unlike many bands specializing in those realms, BLINK TWICE can't be be approached as minimalistic because every sound vividly reflects mysterious moods and as a whole builds up very characteristic and deep atmospheres. The music flows smoothly and is easily enjoyable as background music yet it has a lot of subtle layers enveloping the listener with enchancing aura. I'd say it has the same strong effects on me as HYBRYDS, RAISON D'ETRE or MORTHOUND, very well thought-out and rich landscapes. Excellent! (Broken Seal U.S., c/o Brandon F., P.O.Box 34048, San Diego, CA 92164, USA)

BOO-YAA T.R.I.B.E. "Angry Samoans" CD (BulletProof/Music For Nations) Those overweight Samoan brothers got all round positive and instead of adoring gang lifestyle they now get high on their family, life and music. Now, speaking about the music it got injected with metal riffs and is a cross between LIVING COLOUR, BODYCOUNT and some funk/rap bands I don't know and don't give a shit either. Some hot heavy riffs are copied from RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE book, but generally BOO-YAA T.R.I.B.E. comes from funk/rap end of it rather than HC and it feels. This ain't bad, though, but done million times before and with better success, I mean just listen to DUB WAR who make angry samoans sound like impotent sissies. After all 300 pounds of meat multiplied six times could produce some heavier shit. (Music For Nations, 333 Latimer Rd, London W10 6RA, UK)

DEMONIAC "Stormblade" CD (Evil Omen) Hail DEMONIAC!!!!! These New Zealand perverts create music that makes me wanna go berserk and kill, full of devilish feelings but also a subtly underlined sense of irony. "Pure Hate The World Evil Dark Hellmetal"!!! Actually, I was expecting a sort of chaotic and bestial black metal in the veins of BESTIAL WARSLUST or SARCOFAGO but DEMONIAC suprised me with more advanced, technically skilled and developed form of dark hellmetal. Almost all tracks possess the feeling that in a second hell will break loose and unleash all filth upon ya. DEMONIAC took old heavy and black metal influences and merged them with todays satanic music sounds and came up with totally devastating results. The best tracks like "Burn The Witch", deadly catchy fuckers "Hatred Is Purity" or "Fight The War", or "Red Headed Maniac" spurting incredibly uncanny cool solo generate maxximum energy and make me do insane headbanging. Possessing superb songwriting they're about to conquer all dark souls. Fucking devilish stuffs!! (Evil Omen, 40 Res Les Becots, Hardelot 62152, FRANCE)

ENDURA "Black Eden" CD (Red Stream) From the well-known English duo ENDURA comes "Black Eden" - an exercise into sinister, dark ambient realms. This is music for the ghoulish souls, freezingly calm and obscure. I really wouldn't say I was impressed, coz it definitely takes a lot of patience to get in, you must completely lose yourself and get into the ritualistic atmosphere. Anyway, for some reason it sounds like rather simplistic synth/ambient with a few tribal rhythms supporting the supposedly scary sequences and mysterious whispers thrown in for a good measure. Musically, ti's close to null and I had my share of this "mystery-comes-first-fuck-you-who-like-composed- music" stuffs. Anyway, if you feel obsessed by dark ancient philosophies, you may find "Black Eden" a nice soundtrack for your studies, it flows smoothly but revoliutionary it is not. Nor it was meant to be, I suppose. (Red Stream, P.O.Box 342, Camp Hill, PA 17001-0342, USA)

EN NIHIL "Death Keeps" CD (Red Stream) "Death Keeps" offers ultra silent, continuous and brooding soundscapes. One may find it dark, while another may find it boring to death, I guess it all depends on your mood. I'd say it's a lighter version of LUSTMORD. On this very moment it sure as hell bores me to pieces, no motion here, only calm sounds stretched to eternity. For isolationist freaks. (Red Stream, P.O.Box 342, Camp Hill, PA 17001-0342, USA. E-mail: redstream@aol.com)

GRYN "16 Stitches" CD-EP (Heavy Eleven Rec) Coming from the States GRYN kicks ass with some heavy hardcore metal bearing some alternative influences mainly in the vocal department. This 5 song EP barely could be called original piece of work, I guess there're thousands bands doing this style, but once you decide to pick up "16 Stitches" you p'bly won't regret your choice; tracks like "Veto" or "Cold" are damn heavy with crushing guitars riffs tightly tied together, yet I think only "Self-Hate" which resembles me TOOL is truly worth some praising here. I guess with bands like DEFTONES, KORN or DOWNSET getting popular it wouldn't be surprising if GRYN could hit it big way too. Neverheless, nothing much for me here, I better stick to MERAUDER and THE SPUDMONSTERS styles of metalcore. This CD costs $5 US + $2 US for postage. (Heavy Eleven, Box 574, Hays, KS 67601, USA)

V/A "Headbangers Against Disco" 7"EP (Primitive Art Records) That's on fucking vynil! Four bands fight for metal with their axes choping off discoheads. For starters we have impressive, fast and uncompromising SABBAT from Japan who play speed/thrash with hysteric vocals screaming "Baby, Disco Is Fuck!", wow... GEHENNAH tears flesh with fast and (un)tight "Discodeath" - that's street fucking metal, y'name it! INFERNO proposes a "Metal Attack" going retro into '85 and bowing to DESTRUCTION, nice but could be a bit better. And finally, the most horrible, sick, perverse and shitty sounding band on Earth - BESTIAL WARLUST makes noise called "Beerz and Metal". Killer lyrics, crap music! It's a first part of the trilogy on "H.A.D." series, hats off to PAR for excellent idea. $8 US or 10 DM from: PAR, Box 4049, SE-30004 Halmstad, SWEDEN)

HEXENHAUS "Dejavoodoo" CD (Black Mark Prod) This is a very well produced album, HEXENHAUS strikes many powerful chords, but it could be much more listenable if it wasn't that awkwardly progressive, for example "Nocturnal Rites" is a catchy track and so are a few others. I'd even dare to say that HEXENHAUS is a progressive version of MERCYFUL FATE. Soundwisely both bands are on a similar path, no doubt! It's a very professional and precisely executed prog-metal with synths and high-pitched vocals, check it if you need.

HYPERDEX-1-SECT "Metachrome" CD (MCT Prod/Synthetic Symphony) HYPERDEX-1-SECT might very well be an unknown name, but Sevren Ni-Arb (XMTP) and Jonathan Sharp (NEW MIND) certainly aren't novices when it goes down to writing some highly infectious danceable electro-body music. Their collaboration's results appear on "Metachrome" in form of 4 original trax plus 2 remixes from each bands, 8 spinning tunes in total! Needless to say this is the highest quality electro dance music with little cute sounds placed among well thought out and effective sequences. XMTP remixes especially effective utilize female vocals by Estefania, basically if you like the last XMTP offer "Meshwork" this is it! NEW MIND remixes mark some harder beats but raw side of their is perfectly matched up with melodic sequences. The outcome is astonishing dynamics - perfect for dirty dancing, yeah! Truly excellent album and they say it's only the beginning of this fruitful collaboration. (MCT Prod, The Power Station, Suite 401, 302 Regent Street, London W1R 6HH, ENGLAND) (SPV, P.O.Box 721147, 30531 Hannover, GERMANY)

V/A "Industrial Revolution - 3rd edition. Rare & Unreleased" 2CD (Cleopatra) This double CD comp covers entire industrial music spectrum ranging from classic and well-established masters of the genre to the fresh blood spilling aggro-tech terrorists. 21 out of 28 tracks are never before released, so with bands such as DIE KRUPPS, SWAMP TERRORISTS, SKINNY PUPPY, PSYCHIC TV, SPAHN RANCH, THROBBING GRISTLE, LEAETHERSTRIP, KILLING JOKE, DIE FORM and many more offering exclusive materials you definitely can't go wrong. This comp will satisfy the needs of enthusiastic industrial followers as well as those who still might be curious of who's who in this battlefield. The CD booklet features a short but to the point descriptions of each band. (Cleopatra, 8726 S.Sepulveda Blvd, Ste.D-82, LA, CA 90045, USA)

K2 "Metal Dysplasia" CD (Cheeses International) Doom noise, anyone? Well, this Jap noise offspring K2 offers 3 long lasting, tormenting, high-end noise junk pieces; mainly ear-piercing, metallic, discontinuous workouts. Not as pressed and intense as MASONNA, so the effect isn't as hard-hitting but nevertheless very unpleasant. For true noise afficionados or those really hating their neighbours more than themselves. Nasty stuffs here. (Cheeses Intl., 783 A Christachurch Rd, Bournemouth, Dorset, ENGLAND BH7 6AW)

LAKE OF TEARS "A Crimson Cosmos" CD (Black Mark Productions) It seems like those Swedes has torn themselves from obvious TIAMAT and PARADISE LOST influences and on their 3rd album presents some catchy mix between effective metal grooves, strange psychedelic overtones (one could detect CATHEDRAL input here) and generally a little bit more cheerful attitude. Now, "A Crimson Cosmos" is p'bly the most varied of LAKE OF TEARS albums, as I mentioned you can lift up your mood when listening to striking "Boogie Bubble", "Cosmic Weed" or "Devil's Diner" but on the other hand there're heavy and deep atmospheric tracks such as "When The Sun Comes Down", instrumental "To Die Is To Wake" or aboslutely splendid title tune sparkling with warm heart-soaring melodies. On the more experimental note LAKE OF TEARS offers "Lady Rosenred", no overdrives, female vocals and unconventional structure - nice touch! They haven't lost their main quality to write simple, easy sticking yet melodic and groovy bombastic tracks, it's just what you may need! (Blck Mark Prod, Luxemburger Str. 31, D-13353 Berlin, GERMANY)

MONUMENTUM "In Absentia Christi" CD (Misanthropy) Many praises have been laid upon this album, probably one of the most delayed and awaited albums of this dedcade in underground metal scene. Actually, one can barely use the word 'metal' in its traditional meaning when speaking about "In Absentia Christi" because there's going on so much more underlying currents, all of them blended together in thrilling and mysterious ways; the chemistry of this album is stunning! Majestic and even pompous tracks such as rendition of VISAGE song "Fade To Gray" or torturous "Consuming Jerusalem" can't leave no soul untouched, while subtly arranged "On Perspective of Spiritual Catharsis" displays a vast array of sonorous dark emotions. It's difficult to pigeonhole the music of MONUMENTUM but it could easily appeal to metal fans as well as dark ghotic souls and even people into PINK FLOYD for it is truly monumentous piece of music and as honest as it could be. I was glad they put an updated version of "Nephtali" which is probably the song that started MONUMENTUM cult. A must! (Misanthropy, P.O.Box 9, Hadleigh, Suffolk IP7 5AV, ENGLAND)

ORANGE SECTOR "Love It" CD (SPV/Synthetic Symphony) German duo ORANGE SECTOR comes with goodies for romantic souls who love to do some dancing when getting moody basically. This is a very melodic, poppy EBM oriented to dancefloors bearing remembrances to darker, early DEPECHE MODE, kind of melancholic but sweet electronic music. No doubt, "Love It" should appeal for everyone missing old DEPECHE MODE and NITZER EBB sounds, it's a very pro-executed and has a few potential hits like "Yugoslavia", "Sixteen", "Black Days" or "Arabian Girl". I tried to listen to this one stoned and it's thrown me into deepest depression state. Anyway, you either love it or hate it, there's no middle way for sure. Cute electronic dance.

Steve Roach/Vidna Obmana "Cavern of Sirens" CD (Projekt) Both sound shamans joining forces on this album are well-known and experienced for their earlier high quality works in trancendental music realms. "Cavern of Sirens" doesn't step away from their earlier works taking alluring organic sounds and trancending them beyond the realm of dreams with sparse tribal rhythms there and here. Five tracks lasting from 9 to 24 minutes fill this album and offer a nice trip for those into calm ambient yet very organic and focused soundscapes. The tracks are built in a minimalistic sort of way therefore inducing amorphous and transparent visions but the subtle use of tribal percussion and occasional oriental styled voice snippets make the dynamics in tact. So light up your indian cone, make yourself comfortable into your fave yoga position, put on "Cavern of Sirens" and fly away wherever this beautiful and subtly involved music will take you. (Projekt, P.O.Box 166155, Chicago, IL 60616, USA. e-mail: question@projekt.com)

SURFACE 10 "S/T" (Hypnotic) SURFACE 10 brings the most evocative and thrilling electronic ambient music out there, drawing inspirations from such masters as APHEX TWIN and TANGERINE DREAM, so you know you can't go wrong here. Skillfully executed sequences make me dive head straight into trance-galactic realms, what could be more relaxing than this? Fortunately, it isn't all that dreamy and accelerates some energy as well, like on "Vectoring" where they dinamicaly intermix fast house beats with soothing trance motives, that's a mind-blowin', feet-stompin' fucker! The visual side is excellent as well and showcases stunning 3-D graphics that go hand in hand with spacy atmospheres, this is XXI century music at its best! Stimulating!! (Hypnotic, 8726 S.Sepulveda Blvd, Ste.D-82, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA) (e-mail: cleopatra@tunanet.com)

THEATRE OF TRAGEDY "A Rose For The Dead" mini-CD (Swan Lake) The music os THEATRE OF TRAGEDY is both immensely powerful and subtly beautiful. It's like a lonely star in the night sky, very impressive! This mini CD comprises of 2 completely new pearls, "A Rose For The Dead" and "Der Spiegel" (hopefully, it's not named after Geramn magazine, eh?) which both are done in traditional highly standart style of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY - dynamic interchanges between rawness and beauty, both instrumentally and in vocal dept. "As The Shadows Dance" is the English version of "Der Tanz Der Schatten", another skillfully crafted masterpiece. Then you have two songs, "And When He Falleth" and "Black As The Devil Painteth" remixed by DAS ICH. Romanticism leaves place for militarism here, definitely interesting but not so enjoyable as original versions. And the closing tune is a cover-version of Joy Division called "Decades" - again loaded with immensely dark and melancholic vibes supplied by omnipresent synth lines, this is barely metal music at all. THEATRE OF TRAGEDY developed every aspect of their art to nearly perfect level, undoubtly it makes me to proclaim them as one of the most stylish and integrated gothic metal acts of the 90's, boy this is THAT good! (Swan Lake, Rauheckstr. 10, D-74232 Abstatt, GERMANY)

TRIBE AFTER TRIBE "Pearls Before Swine" CD (BulletProof/Music For Nations) Starting back in 1983 in South Africa TRIBE AFTER TRIBE went a long way till its current status and it certainly tempered them which you can feel when listening to "Pearls Before Swine". It's truly swingeing tribal rock album; very deep and honest! Using help of various musicians, among them Jeff Ament (PEARL JAM), Doug Pinnack (KINGS X) and more, plus having Joey Vera (ex-ARMORED SAINT) on bass and Butch Reynolds on drums, the band's songwriter and vocalist Robbie Robb was able to turn his musical visions into outstanding reality. What is different about TRIBE AFTER TRIBE is their unique blend of traditional tribal elements and highly developed, eponymous and striking hard rock with emotional charge. One just has to listen to such wistful yet pretty honest tribal/rock ballads like "Ballad Of Winnie Mandela", "Pat On The Back" or truly heartsoaring tune "The Heart". They put to use a lot of dynamic interchanges so almost each track has its energetic peaks and calm, moody moments which are skillfully balanced together and make the music flow and overwhelm the listener with strong emotions. A good example could be up-tempo track "Lazarus", very tribal flavoured "Uh-Oh" or genious "Senor" sporting breathtaking arrangements with classical guitars and dreamy solos weaving a magic web around painful voice of Robbie Robb. It's a very refreshing album, not the sub-standart crap flooding the music market. Just keep on rockin'!!! (MFN, 333 Latimer Rd, London W10 6RA, UK)

VICIOUS CIRCLE "Live Long and Suffer" demo-CD (Self Released) VICIOUS CIRCLE specializes into extremely hateful, anger-loaded death metal with slight HC influences, I mean, their singer's vocal style is kinda similar to CROWBAR's dude, you know, screaming out on the top of his lungs, fucking convincing!! This is the same band that had an album out on ill-fated JL America Records which vanished into oblivion just after putting it out. Anyway, VICIOUS dudes kept on going and came to '97 with this self-released 4 song demo-CD meant to please every angry motherfucker out there, for sure - get it and support this band! Send $6 US to: Mel Reach, 147 Tomlin Station Rd, Gibbstown, NJ 08027, USA)

Vidna Obmana "Twilight of Perception" CD (Relic) It's a third Vidna Obmana release of retrospective series on Relic and it offers all before unreleased tracks created in a period between 1990-1995. Those who got used to the cohesive flow of the elegantly crafted Vidna Obmana works will find this compilation quite varied but after all that's a retrospective of 5 years' work. Anyway, fans of this Belgium sound wizard shouldn't be disappointed as the album conveys calm ambient pieces stretching the subconsciousness along the abstract and more evocative pieces such as "Sanctuary Of Reply" or "Primary". I persinally find "Twilight of Perception" mostly appealing to me for it's both very involved and varied release, those 72 minutes don't lull me into sleep like other Vidna Obmana albums tend to do. Really, if you feel curious about this band, this album is the best way to start. (Relic, Box 166155, Chicago, IL 60616, USA. e-mail: question@projekt.com)

WITHIN TEMPTATION "Enter" CD (DSFA) WITHIN TEMPTATION comes from Holland and plays...yes, you most certainly guessed it - melodic doom metal. With beautiful female vocals! It's not a big surprise, though, since THE GATHERING has inspired a lot of bands, but WITHIN TEMPTATION sounds closest to them. OK, they also have tracks with raw male vocals, f.ex. George from ORPHANAGE sings on "Deep Within" but the best are those enchanted with angelic voice of Sharon den Adel like outstanding opener and the first single "Restless", very similar to THE GATHERING "Pearls of Light" or kinda playful "Grace". Nvertheless their clear influences WITHIN TEMPTATION perfectly combined them and came out with stunning results, it's impossible to stay indifferent to the capturing melodies provided by incredible duel between guitars and synths, not to mention graceful voice of Sharon and for more dynamics also rough vocals of Robert Westerholt. It's a first class music, indeed! (DSFA, P.O.Box 497, 4380 AL Vlissingen, HOLLAND)