In Rotation, September 2008
The Legendary Pink Dots Plutonium Blonde
Track Listing: Torchsong, Rainbows Too?, A World With No Mirrors, My First Zonee, Faded Photograph, An Arm And A Leg, Mailman, Oceans Blue, Savannah Red, Cubic Caesar.
When I found out there was a new Legendary Pink Dots release for this months In Rotation, I think I actually did a little dance. If you like creative music that straddles the line between hypnotic and just downright weird, its hard to find fault in anything LPD has done, but this isnt a review of the collected works of the Dots, merely this one album, so Ill try to stick to the facts.
Ill start by saying that if you are a fan, this album doesnt disappoint. Its more accessible than their very early works, but still avant garde enough to appeal to those of us that like that. For those who are not immediately familiar with The Legendary Pink Dots, the matter is not so clear.
LPDs sound features a very synth heavy approach to music that often is devoid of percussion to speak of, giving it a very open airy sound. Singer, Edward Ka-Spels unusual vocals lend a tone of sadness, wonder, and general complexity to the compositions. Rainbows Too? stands out on this album as an exceptional track that shows how powerful LPD can be when their style is executed precisely.
Nox Arcana Grimm Tales
Track Listing: Fable, Twilight, Once Upon A Nightmare, Shadow Forest, Eyes In The Dark, The Hollow, Sylvan Spirits, Wicked Heart, Conjuration, Night Wraiths, Deep in the Woods, The Forgotten Path, Fairy Tale, Crones Caverns, Rise to Destiny, Labrynth of Dreams, Castle of Nightmares, Hall of the Witch Queen, Ava Sinistra, Black Spires, Darkly Everafter.
Nox Arcana give us a richly textured and highly inspired composition of predominantly instrumental works in Grimm Tales. Once Upon a Nightmare stands out as exceptionally good, with many subtle elements building the mood, very dramatic drumming and prominent strings send this song soaring. As a complete album Nox Arcana have done an excellent job. The songs transition logically and evoke many emotions and mental images. This is definitely a good album for cruising the cemetary, or right before that dramatic double-cross youve been planning so fiendishly...
Seven That Spells Black Om Rising
Track Listing: Fluxion, RA, LO I, LO II, LO III, Black Om Rising, Dakatari, Tearjerker.
Seven That Spells are a psychedelic hard rockin band from Croatia. Their instrumental style of what they call freak out music. It is very intense. There are times the instrumentation becomes so overpowering its easy to imagine people freaking out without the hallucinogens. The songs are dizzying. Well executed and recorded, this album is definitely interesting, but not something for the everyday listener or for sane people to listen to every day.
Black Eyes & Neckties Apparition!
Track Listing: New Womb, Ghosts In Our Clothes, Tombs, Tide of Bones, Dark Skies, Salt & Sin, Broken Teeth, Bloodbath, Dirty From the Grave, After Your Body Burns, Ill Grip the Ashes Tight, The Midnight Sun, Night After Night
Black Eyes & Neckties border on Horrorpunk with a twist that goes more for the hardcore and instead of rockabilly, giving them a solid, kick in the teeth wallop. The instrumentation here is interesting and fun, but very stripped down. Never too flashy. The music definitely sets the pace and the tone of each song, but Bradley Horrors vocal delivery is what often steals the show, keeping the songs sinister sounding even when the instrumentation gets more catchy.
Blood The Reaper Behind Me
Track Listing: Disc 1 - From the Dead World..., Crimson, The Reaper Behind Me, Follow, Dead-Hearted, Chain, Blood, Its Over, Wall of Grief, Escape, Sweetest Disease, Fountain of Blood, ...And He Took Her Soul.
Disc 2 - Chain (Blue Birds Refuse to Fly Mix), Danse Macabre (Virgins O.R. Pigeons Mix), Blood (More Sake Mix by The Last Dance), Dead-Hearted (Brontide Mix by Annie-K), Chain (GPK Mix), Wall of Grief (DJ Dora Mix), Dead Hearted (No Mercy Mix by In-Tranzit), Blood (Decimatored Beat Mix by Calmand Quall), Crimson (Hell Burnt Over Necropolis Mix by Siva Six), Chain (Cursed Mix by Spectrum-X).
This quartet brings us something Japan that we wouldnt expect from them. This highly danceable industrial album lays down several solid tracks focusing to varying levels on either electronics or guitars, so it is sure to have a little something for both the traditional industralist and the EBMer. Unlike many other bands, Fu-ki sings in Japanese and not English. While this may hold back many English speakers, Blood still delivers some solid dance music.