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About the Author
Andrew Fenner is a musician, electronic composer, and writer of poetry and prose. He currently lives in Cincinnati. He delivers his writings to Mistress McCutchan on the back of a domesticated dragon, which he rides through the night wind following the magnetic field of the Earth. Just kidding, he actually had his cat deliver the stuff.
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In Rotation, December 2005
Andrew Fenner
Anathema Device – The Severing of Tithes
Track Listing: The Greatest Lie, Don’t Look Back, Drama Queen, Breathe, Let’s Remember, The Ledge, Can’t Fit, Reminder, Guilt Is a Word..., Remission, Negate Me, Today’s Masquerade.
Well, in spite of one song which seems to deride the drama queen quite vehemently, this album is all about drama – a crash course in the roller coaster ride of a tempestuous relationship. The music never fails to get hot and heavy (and I do mean heavy), until the last number, which is startlingly tender and bittersweet. This stuff easily destroys a lot of the heavy EMOcore that floods the airwaves these days; lyrically potent and delivered with such earnestness it is impossible not to be reconfirmed as a devotee of guy-drama.
For more information, check out www.anathemadevice.com
Orbit Service – Twilight
Track Listing: Start Dreaming, Dark Orange Sunset, High Orbit, A Song About Birds, The Seven Rays, How I Know You to Lie, When Everything Was Dead, Thought You Should Know, Minutes Dollars Days, Sad Syrup, Down Again.
Lugubrious, mournful, moodiness, even “bluesy”. Very stark and beautiful. I am in love with the song “Dark Orange Sunset”. Mmmmm... rock me sweetly in the grave. So incredibly weary and fine. Uncannily effective instrumentation with male vocals. This melancholia yearns so well.
For more information, check out www.orbitservice.com
Dreamchild – Lullabies For The Dead
Track Listing: La Belle Dame Sans Merci, La Tête d’Orphée, Medusa, Avalon, Salome, Heriodas Piercing, The Double Rose, Custom Fails, The House of the Dead, Lullaby For the Dead, Forever, Darkness Ascending, Una Escultura de Huesos (A Sculpture of Bones), Tango for Frida, The Fountain, Salve (5,000 Monks Praying to a Falling Star).
Ingenious combination of harp, and electric guitar along with bass and sundry effect devices. The songs are fairytale-like or depictions of mythical beings or places. A male/female duo with the lady taking the vocal lead. Way off the beaten track and oddly enjoyable, like being entertained in a dream realm of another dimension by an enchanted king and queen. Often outrageous guitar expositions. This place is fairly bursting with mysterious sprites, faeries, demons and demigods... and certainly not lacking in magic... and the beauty is all warped in the strangest manner.
For more information, check out www.dreamchildmusic.com
Irfan
Track Listing: Monsalvato, Salome, Elena (Based On A Motive Of A Traditional Bulgarian Song), Return To Eden, Otkrovenie, Gospodi Pomilui (Anonymous Bulgarian 13th Century), Peregrinatio, Outremer, Santa Maria (Lyrics Taken From Cantigas De Santa Maria, 13th Century, Spain).
This Bulgarian band has been much compared to Dead Can Dance, but they are really quite different. The female vocals do often resemble the “Tomb of Seraphim” style Lisa Gerrard, and there is an amazing array of ethnic instrumentation, but the overall effect has a much more medieval, East European feel melded with the Middle Eastern leanings. Very effective male vocal/chorus and soulful female lead. Really fine work with excellent musicianship. A remarkable combination of the spiritual and the exotic, it would no doubt make incredible bellydance music. I’m keepin’ it.
For more information, check out www.prikosnovenie.com
Nox Arcana – Winters Knight
Track Listing: Vigil, Ghosts Of Christmas Past, Ebonshire, Solitude, Crystal Forest, First Snow, Evening Star, Reflections Of Long Ago, December Winds, Phantom Toccata, Hallowed Ruins, Gregorian Hymn, Spirit Of The Season, Coventry Carol, Lullaby, Winters Knight, Past Time With Good Company, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Veni Veni Emannuel, Redemption, Carol Of The Bells.
“I’m dreeeeaaaming, of a blaaaaack Christmas”... LOL! On the serious side, this music is wonderful; the work of two highly skilled, masterful composer/arrangers. All the enchantment and beauty of traditional classical Christmas music from the dark side. Very evocative of holiness as well as spine chillingly mysterious. This stuff makes me want to don my evil snob mantle and blow the neighbors out at high volume, which is what I am actually doing at the moment.
For more information, check out www.noxarcana.com
Atomica – Metropolitan
Track Listing: One Day In New York City, Delorian, Larsen, Salt, Recent, Quiver, Bittersweet, Sorrow, Pollen, Gun, Worry.
Trip-hoppy and kind of jazzy, very stylish electronics and female vocal. Addictive hooks and sophisticated delivery, redolent with meaning. If I didn’t loathe the commercial music industry so much I might smell a “hit” here. Alas, I lack sufficent weaselhood to make that proclamation. This is the real shizzle though.
For more information, check out www.theatomicaproject.com