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MusicMyLife (Netherlands)

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Titan
Titan
Price: £15.06

5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Titan, 12 July 2015
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This review is from: Titan (Audio CD)
Surprised to see no five star review here. I do agree with the others that The Great Mass was a tremendous record. Unlike them, I think Titan is even better. Let's face it, is there any band (in metal or in rock) where the orchestrations form such an integral and balanced part of the compositions? Not as a sirupy string section filling up background, but bold melodic outbursts of a full orchestra with motives that get space and time to develop and can even stand on their own. (On the bonus disc of the deluxe edition the group has done exactely that.) The choir arrangements are majestic, befitting the music. Therion comes close, but Septicflesh is much more imaginative, more challenging and avant. And more of a real band than a project. To some Titan might sound pompous. No, subtle it is not, but that is a matter of taste. The riffs and melodies are irresistable, the interplay between orchestra and group unique. I hear no fillers here, just good and even better songs. For me it is all there, including the detailed and beautifully crafted artwork. A full five stars, no less!


Tervaskanto
Tervaskanto
Price: £14.52

1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly childish, 20 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Tervaskanto (Audio CD)
First thing I did after putting this cd in the player, was taking it out again: to check if the right disc was in the case. It was. Then I thought maybe the first song was some sort of a spoof. It was not. If this is folk metal, I honestly wonder where the metal part comes in. All I hear is accordeon and fiddle in a series of überhappy, up tempo sing-alongs that all sound very much alike and soon get terribly irritating. Think Irish drinking songs mixed with Finnish polka. The lyrics (where translated into English) are of an appaling primary school level. Vocals and music have nothing, completely nothing to do with metal. Sounds most like The Dubliners on speed. This is the most disappointing album I have come across in years.


Pianist
Pianist
Price: £11.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Watch out!, 29 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Pianist (Audio CD)
Watch out! All of the music is by Frederic Chopin. There is just ONE short track by Wojciech Kilar. As this CD is presented as a body of work by Kilar, I feel duped.


Köld
Köld
Price: £8.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Some Fen, some Foo, 24 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Köld (Audio CD)
Listening to the latest offering even by your favourite band, takes a few spins before things falls in place. Sometimes it even takes many. Let alone with a band one is new to. Just one in a hundred times you can say from the very start: this is great! Enter: Sólstafir. Already when the second track set in I knew this was something special. Kept playing it over and over till late in the night and did the same the days after. Sólstafir has the loudness and energy of metal and the agressiveness of punkrock. The singer shouts, no, spits out the words. The melodies, or should I just say the rhythms, are bare, raw, but effective. Finally again a band where the lyrics, bleak as they are, make sense. Köld also features two more atmospheric tracks - the aching Necrologue and World Void Of Souls with spoken words - that are more like you'd expect from an Icelandic band, but both with an edge to it. Whether you are into Fen or Foo Fighters, give this a try. I'll dive into their other stuff and if that is only half as good, it will still be a treasuretrove.


Behind The Black Veil
Behind The Black Veil
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 23 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Behind The Black Veil (Audio CD)
Am surprised to see no review here yet, for this is a stunningly good album that also got rave reviews in the metal press. Came across it by virtue of Kristoffer Gildenloew (ex Pain Of Salvation) playing bass, but is actually another Devon Graves' project (Dead Soul Tribe and Psychotic Waltz), who sings and wrote the lyrics. This is prog-metal in its purest form and never I heard it executed so well! These guys know their trade. It is fast, loud and relentless, but at the same time very melodic, full of chord and tempo changes; the mood constantly shifting from acoustic guitar interludes to pounding riffs, from functional keyboards to frenzied drumming, but always brooding. A sound somewhere between Haken and Riitiir by Enslaved. The lyrics are clean, but raw and expessive, and tell the story of a guy waking up in his own nightmares. The last track A Symphony Of Shadows is a nightmarish sympho metal rollercoaster that rivals Queens' Bohemian Rhapsody.
A masterpiece indeed. Devon considers this his best work. As the reunion of Psychotic Waltz overshadowed this release, sales and tours never materialised. This cd is your one and only chance.


Fear Of The Dark
Fear Of The Dark
Price: £12.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh as ever, 11 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Fear Of The Dark (Audio CD)
Still can get as euphoric about Fear Of The Dark as when it first came out in the late seventies. A timeless jewel. All tracks but one instrumental and relentlessly energetic with here and there a near sentimental interlude. Giltrap has his completely unique sound that was never in fashion, so never could go out of. There have never been that many bands that front acoustic guitar, anyway. Not just unique in compositional, but also in technical skills. And he has a very tight band here that are given free reign. Every track a winner. On a scale of 10, there are many 10's and the rest still an 8 or 9, the bonus tracks (all new to me) included. For records like these, that so firmly stand the test of time, there should be a six star category. His recent collaboration with Oliver Wakeman on Ravens and Lullabies, though not really his thing because most tracks are vocal and much more keyboard orientated, is also recommended.


Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £45.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful yet charming electronic minimalism, 11 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Bois de Boulogne (Audio CD)
Was very taken when this first came out on vinyl in 1987 on the adventurous Venture label. Recently bought it on CD and am still impressed.
It consists of three main works, linked by a few not so interesting bridges. Escher is like the others built from layers (but not too many!) of electronic keyboards Essentially it is an everchanging, thumping drone overlapped by nervous, tingling lines going up and down, repeating and changing, coming and going. As like in the famous works by the Dutch graphic artist. Electronic minimalism at a peak. It stands out from the rest because it not so much develops by way of linear, as through cyclic repetition. Myoho has semi acoustic piano more prominent, creating a warmer sound. The main piece is the 18 minute title track, also with piano, but quieter and kept all the more interesting by adding improvisation as well.
Because the album is made on just a Fairlight(?) and with restraint, it retains charm and misses the bombast that makes other stuff from those days sometimes less palatable.
Unbelievable that the artist was only 17 years of age at the time! I always regretted and still do, that he never made any follow up. (He went into film scoring, producing and DJ-ing.)


Early Music of 3rd Millenium
Early Music of 3rd Millenium
Price: £16.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early gem of the 3rd millenium, 11 Jan. 2014
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Hortus Musicus is an Estonian ensemble that specialises in performing early music. But every so often they venture into the contemporary domain, mostly with commissioned work. Which this disc with its tongue in cheek title, is proof of. Composers they have for years been closely associated with, were in 2005 asked to contribute compositions for a concert in memory of Helle Mustonen, soprano and co-founder of the ensemble. As can be expected with composers like these, and in context with the occasion, the music is very quiet, very solemn. But also (or just because of it) deeply touching. It rises from silence and disappears into it. The performers were asked to play as softly as possible, the bow hardly touching the violin's strings for example, making Alexander Knaifel's contribution sounding almost of electronic origin. It is this very subtle playing that also helps create unity between the works of six different composers.
Valentin Silvestrov is represented with four pieces and those together with Peeter Vähi's funeral march and Giya Kancheli's contribution, are my personal favourites.


A Place Between - Tavener, Part, Silvestrov, Knaifel etc.
A Place Between - Tavener, Part, Silvestrov, Knaifel etc.
Price: £15.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel, 11 Jan. 2014
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A Place Between is collection of solemn, spiritual music written for small settings, ranging from piano solo to (string) quartet, by composers that need no introduction. Most are première recordings - in two cases new versions of known material. A disc that will send you off into meditation or contemplation. The inclusion of a ten-minute piano piece by John Cage seems out of place at first glance, but as it is introvert like the rest and eastern influenced in style, it fits wondrously well. All in all, considering the varied backgrounds of the composers, there is a surprising unity here.
Lovingly interpreted and recorded.


Dark Age
Dark Age
Offered by Vinylhead
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Less organic, 5 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Dark Age (Audio CD)
This is quite a different creature from the previous Mothlite, one of the many bands Daniel O'Sullivan is partaking in, but this group being his most personal by far. The Flax of Reverie had a lot of Miasma connections: the predominant use of acoustic instruments like piano, violin and bassoon and (may I say?) its hippy-like flavour; a kind of nostalgic longing. That has given way to much more electronic textures. Dark Age is more synth orientated, the few acoustic instruments that are still there are nearly lost in the mix, and there is a strong emphasis on drums and rhythm. An eighties synthipop album for the new dark age? It does come close sometimes, some of the tracks have definitely Tears For Fears or Talk Talk connotations. Which you can either see as criticism or as a compliment. It is very poppy, the songs are all neatly between the three and the five minute mark. It is not a bad record at all, but only after you recover from the initial shock and readjust your mindset. If you want to sample, the title track is the best.


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