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Reviews Written by
Ilker Yucel "Kryptych" RSS Feed (Annapolis, MD United States)
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New Rock M.7993-s3 Mens All Leather Cowboy Style Boots (EU 46 ( US13), Black)
New Rock M.7993-s3 Mens All Leather Cowboy Style Boots (EU 46 ( US13), Black)

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, March 27, 2015
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Excellent and worth every cent; plus, the seller was very cordial and professional.
Big thanks to FASHION BASH!


Iron Icon
Iron Icon
26 used & new from $0.25

5.0 out of 5 stars YES!!!, November 16, 2012
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This review is from: Iron Icon (Audio CD)
Raw production that sounds like a rusty machine barely maintaining and on the verge of total breakdown. This EP is heavy as hell, coldwave at its absolute finest!


Fire Tribe
Fire Tribe
17 used & new from $1.36

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goth goes cold!, November 16, 2012
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This review is from: Fire Tribe (Audio CD)
After the electrified goth rock of the Toy Box EP, Clay People go in a heavier, more industrialized direction and make for a killer album that is as gritty and dark as it is melodic and expansive. Great early coldwave!


Blitz
Blitz
Price: $10.64
44 used & new from $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 Years and Still Going STRONG!!!, March 30, 2009
This review is from: Blitz (Audio CD)
Excerpts from the ReView in ReGen Magazine: [...]

From the opening samples of a launch countdown, the mood is set for KMFDM to take listeners into the stratosphere with "Up Uranus." Funky electronic bass lines and drums reminiscent of modern dubstep backed by Jules Hodgson's chugging guitars, and topped off by Konietzko's ever cynical and aggressive vocals and lyrics make for an expansive track that screams classic KMFDM, especially with the refrain of "Last call on planet f***ed!" Other tracks like "Potz Blitz!" and especially "Davai" will undoubtedly please longtime fans, with the former track being the requisite German-sung bout of marching rhythms and grinding guitars with subtle vocoder accompaniments to add depth to Konietzko's menacing tone, while the latter track is one of the more classically industrial KMFDM songs with pounding metallic percussion, sparse bass lines, sliding guitars, and Konietzko actually singing in Russian, expanding on the band's recent experimentation with other languages. Another song that will likely remind some listeners of the KMFDM of old is "Bitches" with its venomously humorous indictment of fans that indulge in illegal file sharing coupled with a healthy dose of self-deprecation as Konietzko proudly proclaims that all they want is your cold hard cash.

One notable aspect to Blitz is Konietzko's vocal abilities, for on songs like "Bitches" and the cover of Human League's "Being Boiled," he displays the full range of his voice, almost bellowing out a subtly operatic tone that is in stark contrast to his usual distorted and raspy approach. He continues to share the spotlight with Lucia Cifarelli, whose command of in-your-face attitude and melodic lyricism sets fire to songs like "Bait & Switch" and "Never Say Never," two tracks that are already infectiously danceable and perfect for any modern DJ's set list. Perhaps the song that will garner the most attention from the fans, both through their speakers and on the dance floor, is "Strut;" sung by longtime collaborator Cheryl Wilson, and the only song featuring the entire live lineup, including former member Tim Skold, "Strut" is pure disco energy and reminds of "Juke Joint Jezebel" almost too clearly.

Blitz is everything one could want from a KMFDM record: it's danceable, it's heavy, and it's industrial, marrying the old school with the new school to create what is perhaps the most quintessentially KMFDM-sounding record Konietzko and crew has released in the last decade.


Legacy
Legacy
12 used & new from $9.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive legacy given its just attention..., April 17, 2008
This review is from: Legacy (Audio CD)
Working their way out of the Canadian electro underground to become of the premiere synthpop acts, Darrin Huss and his band Psyche have survived thanks to their mix of good production, well-orchestrated electronics, and passionate melodies. Legacy marks the band's 20th anniversary, finally making available to the American audience some of their best moments from the '90s, during which their back catalog was only available in Europe. "Beyond" is the perfect opener, a pulse-pounding dance track that could remind many of VNV Nation if not for Darrin's distinctly emotive vocals, indicating the scope of the band's influence over the years. "Sanctuary" is also a notable track with an infectious chorus and a great beat, sounding like it could've been recorded in the '80s just as easily as it could be a modern futurepop track, and they even add some jazzy piano in "Exhale," while "Love is a Winter" could remind some of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." Huss gives a wonderful vocal performance on "Heaven in Pain (Revisited)," which has a slow melancholy reminiscent of Depeche Mode, and Psyche's cover of Q. Lazzarus' "Goodbye Horses" (rememeber Silence of the Lambs... or perhaps more recently, Clerks II) is remarkably faithful and fits in perfectly on the album. With so many great songs from the band's past, and now being signed to Metropolis Records, this isn't just a "hits" collection, but also the perfect introduction to American audiences to Psyche's musical magic. They've always possessed a sound that was deceptively complex, hiding beneath the simplicity of clever pop hooks. Check out Psyche's Legacy... you won't be disappointed!


Pulse
Pulse
Price: $14.98
18 used & new from $4.60

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel the pulse..., April 19, 2005
This review is from: Pulse (Audio CD)
It has been ten years since Front 242 graced our ears with their infectious array of beat-driven electronic experimentation. As one of the purveyors of what is now known as EBM, 242 were at the forefront of the synthesizer revolution of the '80s. By the early '90s, the band started to run into some turmoils; the two vocalists didn't agree with the new direction the instrumentalists were taking. Instead, 242 started to incorporate a more layered approach, building ambience upon their old formula coupled with abrasive guitar textures, ultimately creating a more grating sound that put the band on par with their industrial counterparts. Over the next ten years, the members of 242 would pursue other projects, as well as revamping their older material for the Re:Boot tour that ran from '97 to '02. Some didn't agree with their more techno-fied reworkings of their classics, but in this day and age of Nine Inch Nails, Prodigy, Crystal Method, and other such electronic and industrial bands who have taken the technology to new lengths, 242's old sound is now obsolete. Many fans don't seem to understand this, but the band can not exist in this day and age sounding like they did in the '80s. Not only would it sound hacknyed and rehashed, but it would be unoriginal and not in line with the band's adventurous spirit. They've always been about taking things further and pushing the limits of what is possible musically and technically. The old sound is over...it's time to move on.

So after ten years, Front 242 returns with an album of pure experimental synthesis. "Pulse" is an apt title, with the music still relying on a strong beat as the backbone. The difference now...the beats are more subdued, which may lead to some people feeling the music is too mellow for 242. I won't argue, the music does feel less harsh than much of the band's previous output, but harshness does not necessarily equal intensity. The level of sonic textures at work on this album are nothing short of impressive. Sure, to gearheads all over the world, some of it may sound derivative, like they took the presets and just recorded themselves tweaking with them to the point of being unrecognizable. Consider this...that's what much of their earlier material was in the first place as well, thus the band is returning to their roots in a sense. With so many palettes of sound going on, it's a good thing that the beats were toned down to allow the listener to hear the music as a work of music and sound, not just as something to dance to. Much of this material could easily be remixed to be danceable, or even transformed for live performances (as the band is known for altering their music to suit the live environment, I wouldn't be surprised of a song like "Triple X Girlfriend" could be made danceable in live shows). The intro track(s) "Seq666 (P.U.L.S.E.)" are 12 minutes of pure electronic bliss, perfect for the modern rave or the electronic connessieur. Songs like "Matrix (MegaHertz)," "No More No More," "One," and "Together" harken back to 242's good old mix of aggressive energy and melodic lyricism. Jean-Luc de Meyer's vocals may seem lighter than they've been in the past, but so what? The man can still deliver those dark and passionate vocals we've come to know and love. Other tracks like "Beyond the Scale of Comprehension" and "Never Lost" may sound like self-indulgent works of synthesizer tweaking, but I'll bet if they had a dance beat to them, people wouldn't be complaining.

All in all, I have to say that "Pulse" did take some getting used to. I wasn't at all prepared for Front 242 to sound like this, but over time I've come to appreciate the album for what it is, a work of pioneering electronic mastery. So there may be traces of Daniel B's and Patrick Codenys' Male or Female project in the music, but that's only natural, there's no getting around it. Any musician will tell you, no matter how many projects they have, elements of all of them will blend into each other...the people are the common thread, so it's going to happen. However, there is a distinct sense that this album is undoubtedly Front 242. Change is a good thing if you allow it to be. The Front 242 of the '80s is over...it's time for a new Front 242. The band members are older, wiser, and more experienced. How do you start from scratch? The answer is you make an album like "Pulse," to start with no preconceptions of what Front 242 are "supposed" to sound like and return to the original intention...experimentation. Front 242 was about pushing the envelope. That envelope has been pushed. It's time to find a new one, and "Pulse" pushes for that. It doesn't always succeed, but what first effort does? There are hits and misses, but that's what hindsight and improvement are for. Who knows? Maybe their next album will contain more vocal tracks, maybe not. Maybe their next album will be heavier on the beat, maybe not. Time will tell, but it is not the choice of the fans what direction 242 move in...it's the band's choice. All we can do as fans and listeners is give it the chance. It will not please everybody, but whatever does? "Pulse" is both the return and the rebirth of Front 242. Put your preconceptions aside and do as the band did...start from scratch. Don't deny the past, just remember that it is the past. It's over...it's time for the future. This is Front 242 in the now. Just give this album a chance...it is indeed worth it.


Matter + Form
Matter + Form
Price: $14.98
25 used & new from $2.90

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evolution of Electro..., April 12, 2005
This review is from: Matter + Form (Audio CD)
VNV Nation, the duo of Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson, have with every album honed and refined their distinct sound and style. As the fathers of futurepop, they have weathered the highs and lows of becoming one of the most influential bands in the electronic music scene. With this, their fifth album, "Matter + Form," VNV Nation reinvents itself yet again. Several familiar elements remain, but there is a new sound at work here. The synthesizers have a more organic sound to them (a result of abandoning the PC/softsynth-only approach of their previous album "Futureperfect," and returning to the vintage equipment that signified the sound of their earlier albums), the drums have more variety of tone (some tracks sound more like real drums instead of electronic), the vocals have a wider breadth of melody (Ronan actually sings on key and harmonizes with himself on several tracks), and even stretching outside of the EBM/electro confines of the genre to write songs that actually could have commercial appeal. Songs like "Perpetual" and "Arena" have definite potential to be heard on modern radio, with their catchy melodies and the organic drumming. Other tracks like "Chrome" and "Entropy" recall the old sound of VNV, but with an updated sound and a mature mentality. These songs show the band stepping outside of the formulas they previously set for themselves. "Endless Skies" is a sweet ballad that succeeds where "Holding On" from the previous album failed. Ronan has a greater command of his voice and sings with melancholic passion. "Strata" and "Interceptor" are the obligatory trance-ish instrumentals as only VNV can do...these tracks will be surefire hits on the dancefloor, as will "Homeward" which would also make for a great single. "Colours of Rain" is the real surprise here, musically speaking. With its gothic piano and sweeping symphonics, it has a surprisingly warm sound to it, belying the cold electronic nature of the genre. Indeed, "Matter + Form" shows VNV Nation is not afraid to step outside the norm and take steps to make changes and evolve. This is a revolutionary album that will anger several fans who prefer the old sound, but will astound those with an open mind. Evolution is essential for survival, and VNV Nation are one of the few bands out there who are striving to evolve. When all is said and done, "Matter + Form" is quite an achievement, not just for VNV Nation, but for the electronic music genre as a whole. Listen and enjoy!!!

Note: Check out a more in-depth review at [...] written by yours truly.


Avalanche
Avalanche
Price: $15.03
15 used & new from $0.55

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEW new wave!, July 30, 2004
This review is from: Avalanche (Audio CD)
Some may call it a trend, some may call it nostalgia, and some may call it a musical renaissance, but the recent wave of new wave and synth pop revivalists seems to be going strong. Joining the ranks is I, Synthesist, the brainchild of New York composer/producer Chris Ianuzzi. The man has been brewing his special blend of electronic-generated bliss for sometime, having contributed his skills to the likes of HBO, The History Channel, and collaborating with Vangelis and Peter Baumann of Tangerine Dream. With such an impressive resume, expectations for a debut solo release may run high; suffice to say, Ianuzzi knows electronic music well and rises to the challenge wonderfully. I, Synthesist is pure avant-garde new wave synth pop the likes of which have not been seen or heard since Kraftwerk or Gary Numan. Running the gamut from creating pure mood and atmosphere to beautifully infectious dance sequences, the music on Avalanche is sure to get listeners moving their feet and aspiring musicians running for their keyboards.

Kicking things off is the song "Red Clouds," exemplifying what the disk has to offer. Ianuzzi's vocals are, for the most part, raw and unfiltered (with exception of the vocoder effects on "Paralyzed"); he comes across sounding like an American Stephan Groth. The lyrics are very futurist, recalling the attitudes of the `80's new wavers who looked forward to a shining new technological age in the 21st century. The electronics blend pulsating bass lines and dance beats with the familiar but oh so tried and true pop melodies; enough to give the futurepop EBM heavyweights a run for their money. Another standout is "Images," sounding like a mutant hybrid of older Depeche Mode mixed with Covenant. The music is of special note here, revolving around some unorthodox chord progressions, which belie the simplicity of the synth pop genre. "Captain, My Captain" sounds like the best song Gary Numan never wrote, with a synth melody that sounds eerily like those used on "Cars." Songs like "Aerial Dreams" and "Hiding" begin with a slow buildup of dreamlike soundscapes and sequences that gradually lead into more fodder for the dance floor.

I, Synthesist's Avalanche is an album the new wave crowd can be proud of. It manages to recall the sound of old while still having the ability to compete with the modern sound. It both complements and challenges today's futurepop and EBM scene with music and lyrics that may sound like old-hat, but are really just as relevant today as it was then. With Avalanche, Chris Ianuzzi makes a statement that I, Synthesist is here to revel in a new future. Listen and enjoy.


The Greater Wrong of the Right
The Greater Wrong of the Right
Price: $9.33
57 used & new from $0.97

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This puppy's digging up a new bone..., July 8, 2004
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Skinny Puppy have always been about change and innovation, although I think people have this misconception that being innovative was always deliberate on the band's part. When you take into consideration the lack of high quality production, the lack of expensive equipment, and the lack of money to obtain either, being innovative becomes more a necessity than an intention. This I believe applies to much of Skinny Puppy's material from the '80's and early '90's. Not to downplay the band's inventiveness or their geniuis (I think it's genius, albeit deprave genius), but when it comes to Skinny Puppy, it seems like people think that if they are not wowed with something that has never been done before, it must suck. I would be willing to bet money that had they been given money and resources in the early days, the songs they have become known for would sound vastly different. There's also the consideration that in order to be innovative, you must try new things; not necessarily new in general, but new for you as an artist. In the case of this "comeback" album, the band has done that. cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre are accustomed to working with unorthodox methods and technology, and while this hasn't changed, the approach has. They had to change the approach...it's a different time now, it's no longer the '80's or early '90's. Different times call for different music. Not to mention the fact that Dwayne Goettel is dead. Yes he was an instrumental force in shaping what became the Skinny Puppy sound, but the band existed before him, and so it shall exist after him. Dave "Rave" Ogilvie also didn't put his hands on the production...sure, he was practically the band's unseen member, but all things must change. Different times, different music, different people. The point is that it doesn't matter if Skinny Puppy don't sound the same...if they did, it would be boring. I don't want a repeat of history, I want new history. It's the same thing with black metal...in the beginning, crappy production was all they had, so they used it to their advantage. The moment bands like Emperor take advantage of better production, the atmosphere changes, and people get angry. Get over it...they're making music the way they want, not the way you want. Appreciate it for what it is, not what you want it to be.
All that being said, I think "The Greater Wrong of the Right" is actually a very good album. It manages to retain the stark atmospheres the band has become known for, even if they are created differently. Now with newer and more accessible technology in their hands, they can try new methods to achieve similar effects (not the same effect, but similar). Gone are the abundance of horror movie samples (which, while effective in the beginning, did begin to get annoying due to excessive use), but in its place are pulsating electronics and sound manipulations the likes of which were not possible in the band's past. Gone are Ogre's wretching glass-garggling vocals, substituted for a clearer more coherent voice that still rants from a stream of consciousness, but now with a clearer sense of focus. Ogre's had a few years to adjust his singing style in OhGr, and I think he's all the better for it. Why should he revert and go old-hat (even if it's good) when it's more interesting to do something different? Change is essential, it allows people to grow and evolve, and it keeps things interesting. I'd be bored if I heard him singing the way he used to. I can always listen to old Skinny Puppy for that. Also, cEvin's electronics are clearer, but no less dissonant. There's still the sense of controlled chaos, but the time he's spent on Plateau, Download, The Tear Garden, etc...has not been wasted. He's honed and refined his craft to create even more interesting electronic textures and structures. The songs still go in strange directions...but it's not predictable so much as it is logical; there is a logical progression in the way the music plays out, which is also new and different for Skinny Puppy. Again with differences. And Mark Walk's production, while less noisy and eerie as "Rave"'s, suits the music very well. Having worked with OhGr, he knows how to get the proper balance between the strength of the music and especially the strength of Ogre's voice. We also have a plethora of friends and guests helping out: Pat Sprawl lends some guitar as he did on "The Process," Statik (from Collide) helps out with the electronics, Danny Carey performs some memorable live drums on "UseLess," as well as Wayne Static offering some backup vocals.
Is it a great comeback? I think so...there is a difference between spectacular and great. As an album, it's really good. It does what it set out to do, to introduce a new sound and style to a new generation, to break down preconceptions and bring Skinny Puppy back into the fold. Is it spectacular? No, there are still some songs that are not quite up to par, either musically or lyrically. That doesn't make it bad, just not amazing. But there is a lot of great material on this album. Songs like "I'mmortal" and "Pro-test" do well to start things off with a bang, while the rhythmic and eerie "Ghostman" is my favorite track on the album. All in all, it's a good album, and I think people should really just get off their high horse and learn to accept and appreciate that change is important and necessary. Even if they don't like it, they can always go listen to the old Skinny Puppy albums for that sound they know and love. Me, I can do that, but I'd also like to hear something new and something different. Skinny Puppy are doing that, and that's what they've always been about. For that, I think "The Greater Wrong of the Right" is an excellent return for one of the most original bands to ever come out of the '80's industrial scene.


Vanished
Vanished
Price: $12.03
38 used & new from $2.48

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The more things change, the more they stay the same..., July 1, 2004
This review is from: Vanished (Audio CD)
Yet another offering from the Front Line Assembly duo of Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber. I personally enjoyed "Civilization." I thought it one of the most diverse and sonically impressive albums ever released from Front Line Assembly. The trademark basslines were still there in full-swing, but augmented by a good balance of driving beats and ambient synthesizers (more Delirium-esque, but still retaining that acidic FLA bite). The guitars were well-integrated, not overpowering as in "Hard-Wired" and even moreso in "Millennium." And most of all, I felt the songs were catchy, but not boring or superficial. The "Maniacal" single/EP, as great as it was, had people fooled because of its heaviness. Many thought it a sign of what "Civilization" had to offer. So those who thought "Maniacal" was good but were disappointed by "Civilization"'s more mellow approach will be pleased with "Vanished."
This single/EP is heavily beat-driven. The title track's original Massive Attack-esque ambience (a la "Angel") has been substituted for thumping beats on the two mixes. On the "Illusions of Grandeur Mix," the synths are more edgy, allowing for an aggressive dance track to shine through, although that piano melody and Leah Randi's soothing vocals are still retained (used very effectively). Leeb's vocals are also vocoded, creating a new melody and an entirely different feel. The "Re-Entry Mix" is not much different (only the vocoder is not used as much), making it similar to the second mix of "Maniacal" from that single/EP. "Sturm" is a heavy heavy track, reminding me of the days of "Hard-Wired." The beats, the guitars, Leeb's vocals, it's just an angry song. Fans of old-school Front Line Assembly should enjoy this song greatly. "Disseminate" is only a slight bit lighter than the rest of the CD, still keeping the dance beats and aggressive speed, but the synths are not as distorted. It's almost futurepop-ish, though it still keeps true to the FLA flavor and doesn't end up sounding like VNV Nation or Apoptygma Berzerk. And then "Uncivilized," a remix of the parent album's title track. Like "Vanished," this remix begins with the soothing ambience of the original version before segueing into hard industrial dance music. The radio sample vocals are still there, and the "These Islands Collapsing" refrain is kept, but vocoded, once again creating a new effect and melody that completely changes the tone of the song.
"Vanished" is a single/EP that seems hellbent on proving to the disillusioned that Front Line Assembly are not getting more mellow with age. "Civilization" may be a softer album than most FLA albums, but it still had moments of intense brilliance and energy. It was just subtler and not easy for many who were accustomed to constant aggression to pick up. "Vanished" proves that angst is balanced by calm and vice versa. I think the release-order was very deliberate, starting things off with a heavy kick ("Maniacal"), calming down a bit to get people into a groove and catch them off guard even ("Civilation"), and then catch people with their pants down and kick 'em in the arse again ("Vanished"). That's how I perceive the current state of Front Line Assembly's musical output, and I think the music speaks for itself. I've enjoyed everything I've heard from "Maniacal," "Civilization," and "Vanished," so my recommendation is to get this single/EP. If you're a fan of old-school FLA, this will please you to know that they are still as hard as ever. If you liked "Civilization," this CD offers something new in the different interpretations of the songs. Kudos to Leeb and Fulber!


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