I discovered this London-based band at the first Flag Promotions ‘Gotham’ festival in 2000, immediately prior to another highly significant band in my collection (Diary Of Dreams). The day had been entertaining but a bit flat in terms of atmosphere thus far, only for Richard Pyne (then known as ‘Filthy Rikky’) to walk on stage and announce the band…..”Good Evening, We Are….Slipknot. And for my next gimmick….’. Never mind, they threw in the biggest riffs of the day and I was a convert.
Truth is, certain people seemed to have a problem with this band. Often people would state reasons for ‘not liking them’ that had nothing to do with the music. One story (possibly apocryphal but certainly believable) involved a Slimelight regular who hassled any DJ who dared to play their music, forcing them off the setlist in their home city. Add a too-long wait for a musically excellent but commerciallly less-successful-than-hoped third album and soon it became clear the heart was no longer in it. The group disbanded in 2007 and have never been heard from again. Richard Pyne now plies his trade in Uberbyte. For now though, time for a look back on the KM Backcatalogue.
One band that’ll be featured here soon is Funker Vogt, once I can work out how I can say something original about a series of similar sounding albums. But why restrict yourselves? There are no less that three Funker Vogt side-projects for those of you who want to hear a variant of the Funkersound. Ravenous and Fusspils 11 will be dealt with another day – for now, take a look at Fictional, the second of Gerrit Thomas’ synthpop projects. Read The Rest… »
Those of you have read my Icon Of Coil section might be wondering what they’ve been doing since 2004, since the original band doesn’t seem to be up to much. As far as singer Andy LaPlegua is concerned, the answer is primarily Combichrist. That section is in the works now, so whilst you’re waiting for that, I’m going to draw your attention to another little project of his, namely Panzer AG. This saw Andy dabble in a rock-styled sound for the first time since his punk rock days, though the influence was mainly a structural and stylistic one – the music is still primarily electronic in origin.
He even took the project to the stage a few times, though the Panzer AG name hasn’t been heard from in a few years, and it now seems that all of Andy’s creative output will now be channelled into Combichrist. For now, take a read of the two reviews below in case you come across these albums and wonder if the LaPlegua connection means they’re worth a listen or not. Read The Rest… »
English may be the language of pop culture, French may be the language of love, but German is most definitely the language of SEX. Especially when you’ve got a sextet of fiery Teutonic manhood on stage delivering their pyrotechnical rock theatre. Rammstein formed in Berlin in the early 1990s, releasing their début album in 1995, but achieving international success with ‘Sehnsucht’ three years later. Once the world had found out about their fiery stage show (breaking the USA on the 1998 Family Values tour), their route to superstardom was secured.
Interestingly, despite their many antic, the six-piece Rammstein line-up that formed the original version of the band is still intact to this day, without a single change, a surprisingly rare occurrence for a six-piece act that have been going for over a decade and a half. Ten years ago I had to buy their CDs at import prices. They are now very much an major-label, arena-scale band, with a number of similar bands following in their wake, but none of them have got close to achieving the international success that Rammstein have. Anyway, let’s take a look at their backcatalogue, as a lot of people miss the first album and their various B-sides. Are they worth checking out? Read The Rest… »
Nightwish were not the first symphonic metal band, but they are certainly the most commercially successful. They formed in Finland in 1996, with two significant changes to the line-up. In 2001, bassist Sami Vänskä left the line-up to be replace by Marco Hietala, who also gave the band the male vocalist they always wanted. More significantly, leading lady Tarja Turunen was ejected from the line up in 2005, the day after concluding their ‘Once’ tour, eventually replaced by Anette Olzon in 2007. At the centre of the line-up, however, is Tuomas Holopainen, one of the few metal scene keyboard players to bag the majority of his bands songwriting credits, but also call the shots more often than not.
This isn’t an obvious choice for one of my ‘Career Audits’, but back in the days of EOL-Audio, I was largely caught up in the whole female-vocal metal thing, and compared with the competition, this band just seemed to have more of everything. I still get requests for Nightwish in my DJ sets also – a pity I don’t actually play much metal any more, but ask me at the right time and I’ll definitely try to squeeze a track in.
Oh, and if you want to see the lighter side of this band, go to YouTube and run a search for ‘Wishmaster Misheard’. It’s practically a cult of it’s own. Read The Rest… »
Some of you are going to be surprised that I’ve featured a metal band on these pages, but Fear Factory play a critical role in my life as an on-line critic. The first metal band I heard live, the band that inspired me (via Rhys Fulbers involvement) to try out Front Line Assembly, and thus open up the whole electronic industrial scene to me. And of course, in ‘Demanufacture’, they’d produce one of the hardest-hitting set of rifftastic metal anthems that I’ve heard to date.
The band themselves were formed in Los Angeles in 1989, trying out several bass players until finally settling on the Bell-Cazares-Herrara-Wolbers line-up that would see the band through their 1990s ‘golden era’, mostly notably recording ‘Demanufacture’ and ‘Obsolete’. The band initially split in 2002, before reforming without Dino Cazares. They recorded two albums before going on hiatus once more, and then reappeared in 2009 with Dino back in the line-up but with a new rhythm section. The result of all this is a backcatalogue of varying line-up and varying quality. Time to give it the once-over. Read The Rest… »
Diary Of Dreams was formed by former Garden Of Delight bassist Adrian Hates, who also happened to be a classically trained pianist and guitarist. It was one of Adrian’s classical guitar compositions that gave this project it’s name, releasing it’s first album ‘Cholymelan’ on Dion Fortune in 1994. Adrian would then form his own label ‘Accession’, on which every subsequent release by this band has appeared.
This band have traditionally been associated with the German gothic and darkwave genres. They are usually seen as a predominantly electronic band, though in recent years they have utilised increasing proportions of live guitar and drumming, and indeed are generally seen as being way too ‘goth’ for the bleepyheads to show the remotest interest. Yet goth purists will baulk at the quantity of throbbing electronics that underpin their songs. And any band that straddles the genres like that is a natural favourite of mine. But their backcatalogue is sizeable and the Pound Sterling isn’t recovering much against the Euro. Let’s find you a starting place (it’s called ‘One Of 18 Angels’, BTW!). Read The Rest… »
Belgium. Not quite France, not quite Holland, not quite Germany. A country most people regard as a boring place only of interest to overpaid EUrocratic politicians. Well, you’re wrong. There can’t be much wrong with a country that gives us the Spa-Francochamps racing circuit, some of the best beer in Europe, delicious chocolates, indulgent waffles, frites and mayo and most importantly of all, electronic body music. This, my friends, is where is really started.
As you’ll see as this site grows, there’s been more than a few Belgian bands of significance – we also have to thank the country for new beat and power noise, amongst other things. But you can’t talk about Belgian electronic music without reference to Front 242. Formed in 1981 by Daniel Bressanutti and Dirk Bergen, soon to be joined by Patrick Codeyns and Jean-Luc De Meyer. In 1983, Dirk was replaced by Richard Jonckheere (aka Richard 23) and the definitive line-up was formed.
Note that this audit will only look at the core Front 242 output. The members of the group have spawned zillions of side-projects, and one day I’ll hopefully get to write a summary of them all. Or at least the ones worth listening to. Read The Rest… »
Futurepop. Whatever happened to it, eh? Back in 2002, so-called goth clubs were busy spinning this ad infinitum and calling it EBM, to the extent that a number of goth elders found the overly sugary diet of trancey synths and bouncy rhythms so sickening that they had to exhume deathrock to get away from it all.
Everyone remembers three bands from the genre – VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk and Covenant, all of whom survive today only by not associating themselves with the style. Heading up the second division was a Norwegian outfit by the name ‘Icon Of Coil’, who proved to incredibly popular for about 4 years, and then promptly disappeared when the side-projects proved to be a more lucrative venture (thank you Combichrist).
Anyway, I’ve decided to dig up what I wrote about them at the time, update it with the bits of collection I’ve updated since then and dish it out to you as a relic of the ‘Golden Age Of Glowsticks’. The band still crop up at festivals every now and again, but we can probably forget about them ever recording together again. Read The Rest… »
This trio from Helsingborg, Sweden, were one of the first bands to realise that the techniques used to create electro-industrial music could be adapted to produce something altogether more melodic. There was never the slightest hit of gravel in Eskil’s voice – an occasional touch of retro-vocodering was as far as they ever went down this direction.
It was around the turn of the millennium that a whole succession of melodic synth bands appeared, rooted in industrial, influenced by trance and techno but ultimately delivering pop (it’s called futurepop). And during this whole period, Covenant held their own, their achingly-well produced songs and love of water-related metaphor giving them a sound distinct from the many of the Access Virus toting bleep practitioners which usually appeared as Covenant’s support act. But now you know who got there first. Read The Rest… »