CORDE OBLIQUE - Respiri - CD - 15 tracks - Ark Records - 2005
Corde Oblique is the new project of Ricardo Principe, the guitarist composer of the Italian ethereal-folk project Lupercalia. Corde Oblique was born out of Ricardo's desire to work with his friends from other musical formations such as Catarina Raposo (Dwelling), Alessandra Santovito (Hexperos), Corrado Videtta (Argine), Alfredo Notarloberti (Argine/Ashram) and Luigi Rubino (Ashram).
'Respiri' presents fifteen ethereal folk songs and instrumental pieces inspired by Ricardo's travels. Each track is a finely crafted gem that take the listener from the deep south of ancient Italy to the bustling streets of Paris.
Technically flawless, 'Respiri' lacks perhaps a bit of soul but it is nonetheless a pleasant album for those quiet afternoons spent reading and dreaming…
Ian C.
Contact: Ark Records

DEADWOOD - 8 19 - CD - 6 tracks - Cold Spring - 2005
Debut album of the Swedish act Deadwood (ancient Deadwood Murder), '8 19' was released last summer on Cold Spring. It features 6 tracks ranging from power electronics to death industrial music. Although it is a solid work as a debut, the atmosphere doesn't vary that much from one track to another and as a consequence this whole opus sounds quite repetitive. The combination of the usual elements such as noise, brutal and/or distorted vocals, claustrophobic drones, dark ambient sonorities… doesn't bring anything new and/or fresh neither. Despite the announced comparisons to the Grey Wolves and MZ412, '8 19' suffers, in addition to its lack of originality, from the absence of a real deranging and aggressive facet. Once again, you can use the same recipe as many other acts in the genre… it's far from being enough to produce a chef d'oeuvre or even an interesting record...
For fanatics of power electronics and death ambient atmospheres only!
Nathalie F.
Contacts: Cold Spring - Deadwood

H.E.R.R. - The Winter of Constantinople - CD - 9 tracks - 2005 - Cold Spring
Initially released on Cynfeirdd as a ultra limited (and instantly sold-out) CDR and a slightly less limited 10", the second album from this Dutch/English martial neoclassic act, "The Winter of Constantinople", is finally available for the masses on CD thanks to Cold Spring.
Doom-laden keyboards, bombastic percussions, heroic classical samples and grave spoken word vocals abound on this album that aims to recreate the atmosphere of the Turkish siege of Constantinople in 1453. Although the music shows nothing new or exceptional, all the tracks are well constructed and a lot of attention has evidently been paid to the quality of the recording. But this minor detail should not deter the amateur of strong epic atmospheres full of heroism and glory as this project is certainly a notch or two above the sub-standard martial pap that usually makes the iron sheep cream their (stainless) steel underware...
Recommended to all amateurs of the genre.
Ian C.
Contacts : H.E.R.R. - Cold Spring - Cynfeirdd

KOSTNICE - Finsterfelden - LP - 10 tracks - Reue um Reue - 2005
This album is the second official recording (after an insanely limited cdr) from the solo-project of Sofia E.R. of Wermut fame. It's released on Reue um Reue, the ambient pendant of Treue um Treue; although that is not really a clear indication of what you can expect to hear here.
The music is a minimalist combination of repetitive ambient loops, lo-fi orchestration, weird sound bytes, strange voice samples that give you the disconcerting impression of listening to several sound tracks at once. Drawing their inspiration as much from Michael Nyman as His Divine Grace, these ten indefinable funeral processions create a desolate and harrowing atmosphere with a pervading out-worldly overtone that turn "Finsterfelden" into a sort of contemporary danse macabre for the electronic zombies.
A deranging album...
Ian C.
Contact: Reue um Reue

KUTNA HORA - Obsession Faith Perseverance - CD - 13 tracks - Ars Musica Diffundere - 2005
Despite the Czech namesake, Kutna Hora are an Argentinean neofolk act who gained some critical acclaim with their pleasant debut album "Will or Nothing". For the follow up 'Obsession Faith Perseverance' the band have obviously decided to explore new musical paths. In this case a mixture of martial beats, hazy pop, German neofolk and new-wavish sounds, with not a single trace to be found of what actually made their first opus interesting. The music is indeed well played and composed, but it sorely lacks originality or even a semblance of passion (something quite remarkable for a latin project) through out the seventy-eight minutes of the album. You would certainly need to be obsessive, faithful or perseverant to listen to it right till the end...
Ian C.
Contact: Blackrain

ORSO NERO - Parte Del Mio Gelo #1 - CDR - Rose Rovine & Amanti Productions
"Parte Del Mio Gelo #1" is the first release of the solo-project of a certain Sandro L., with help of Belborn on one title. The music is a mix of minimalist electronic melodies, repetitive bontempi sounds and, at times, a few quirky new wave rhythms with German vocals. Nothing exceptionally bad, but nothing exceptionally good either; just another melodic-industrial/dark-ambient album that is no different than too many others…
This ultra-limited handmade release comes in two editions: fifty in a green cover and twelve in a white one.
Ian C.
Contact: Rose Rovine e Amanti

LOVESPELL - short white shot - TAPE - 6 tracks - Sonderübertragung! - 2004
'short white shot' is the second Lovespell production on the German label Sonderübertragung! Released (a while ago) as a tape, it features 6 tracks for a total length of about 25 minutes.
The first and eponymous track 'short white shot' is a mixture of a deformed female voice with multiple electronic sounds… it sounds a bit dissonant but quite charming. 'light riot' begins as a kind of minimal electro/easy listening piece punctuated by two male voices then turns towards more experimental-electronic sonorities… a track that creates a very good and pleasant atmosphere… The side closes on a relaxing mood with the instrumental and experimental track 'nightloop pt.I'.
The b-side also contains three tracks. The opening 'a lullaby for freya nation' is quite atmospheric and sounds definitely as the best piece on this tape to my ears; 'take up' is a fine marriage between electronic-ambient melodies and fragile and repetitive female singing; as for the dubby 'nightloop pt.II', it closes in the best way this very interesting and inspired material.
This tape is limited to 100 copies and comes in a simple but appropriate paper cover.
Nathalie F.
Contact: Sondereübertragung!

TERRORITMO - Premonitions - CD - 8 tracks - HauRuck! - 2005
'Premonitions' is the fourth release from the Italian formation Terroritmo but the second on HauRuck! after the 'Serpenta' 10" out a couple of years ago.
As suggested by the title and mentioned in the booklet, the eight tracks featuring on the cd are related to dreams, visions and premonitions…
The music, in the same vein as the previous material, is based upon a strange alchemy of metallic sheets, tribal percussions, drums, female chants, male voices, noise, loops, drones… and creates an overall ritual atmosphere.
'Dolor Y Sangre' stands as the most attractive piece of this cd as a fine mixture of dream-state female chanting and strong percussions, together with the industrial hypnotic 'Ceremony'. On the other hand, the album looses its intensity and attraction from the sixth track… to my ears, the French vocals on 'Le Rêve' are not very efficient in the end, and the second experimental and minimal part of the very long (23 minutes) 'Kiva' makes difficult to listen to (and to enjoy) the album till the end. It's very pitiful since the first half-hour of the cd, although it is not an easy music to apprehend, manages to create a particular flowing atmosphere that reflects well the state between dream and awakeness. Perhaps a shorter format should have fitted better to this material.
'Premonitions' comes as a slipcase cd including a 12-page booklet with information and photos about the concept of the album.
Nathalie F.
Contacts: Terroritmo - HauRuck!
Distribution: Tesco Organisation