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Artist Proof – New Day (song review) |self-released, New Day single, 2015| 4/5

"New Day" is a single by Artist Proof, an indie rock band from Melbourne, Australia. Artist Proof consists of song writers Chris Pattenden and Drew Schapper, supported by Dan East (guitar) and Chris Rourke (bass). They are not your typical sound only-orientated musicians however, because they enjoy collaborating with (and are inspired by) other people who express themselves through art – just like teaming up with, for example, artists who paint murals while the band is performing in the same room.

"New Day" is also kept close to art since it was inspired by the paintings of Melbourne-based artist Dagmar Cyrulla. Her art captures random moments in the lives of ordinary people of all ages, genders and races.
The song begins with a delicate yet not too highly pitched piano, sufficient to let the emotions come out by opening the listener’s heart. It is then followed by a male voice, characteristic enough to remember it after the first listening. Interestingly, the voice sounds as if the singer was much older than his actual age would suggest (obviously it is not always a rule to 'sound' according to one's age).

Once the piano paints the song theme in the beginning, the bass and drums slightly change it in the latter part of the song. Gradually, a vibrating guitar tune and the aforementioned instruments join the singer. They sketch the rhythm, along with adding more sound layers, building it up towards the chorus. Upon reaching it, the initially sentimental song turns into a full-blown rock track, though it's still based on a rather slow tempo, letting a listener focus on the poematic vocals better.

The strong melody line in the song indicates that musicians have been inspired by the 70's & 80's music, with its characteristic traits present in songs by Freddie Mercury's Queen, Pink Floyd, David Bowie - but also Peter Murphy at times - due to their theatrical, ethereal and slightly dramatical expression. The arrangements were carefully chosen and sewn into the composition.

The song is good as is, but will also make for a good background when matched with an equally emotional video, preferably aimed at the younger part of the population. Still, since retro seems all the rage now, it wouldn’t hurt to show older people who catch up with their younger selves, either. Is the song inspiring? That depends on your own blood pressure. If it's high, your body feels better hearing moody, melancholic, almost transparent tunes, and it'll thank you for playing "New Day". If only heavy or very dynamic music can get your body moving, you should rather choose a different song to accompany your morning coffee.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, June 22nd, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Interview with Gilbert Engle:

I would say it has become much easier to create very high quality works since hundreds of years ago. The potential options are unlimited. As mentioned, the problem is that there are way too many people who want to be artists and musicians. There is just no way to fund everybody.

*Gilbert Engle has been composing music for over 30 years and creating art for 25+ years. With over 600 music compositions, 50 albums, 200 visual works and 80 paintings completed so far, he has always had a small, but dedicated fan base. As he has found the time and backing to devote full time to his passions, Gilbert has built the portal to provide free access to most of his completed and upcoming works and to share his passion with a global audience.

#interview #painter #artist #cubism #postimpressionism #music #jazz #grassroot #electronic  

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Heretics in the Lab – Exit |self-released, 2016| 5/5 industrial metal

1. Death, 2. Atrocity, 3. Precious, 4. Forever, 5. Special, 6. Sorry, 7. Rise, 8. Away

When you listen to an album that begins with a mix of looped, agitating sounds of hammering and machines, supported by quick and heavy guitars, then you’ll recognize the genre straight away. Indeed, Exit is a direct trip into the mainstream industrial metal music of the 1990s, just as fans memorized its best characteristics back then, with a distinctive sound that created a whole subculture.

Heretics in the Lab (the original spelling is hERETICS iN tHE lAB) is a one man band from Virginia, US formed in 2004. Thomas Morgan, who uses "h3" as his artistic moniker, is a self-taught passionate who does everything literally from A to Z. Both recorded songs and music video singles that promote various tracks from the band's discography come from him. Obviously, additional live musicians are hired for live shows, but the entire studio work is done entirely by h3.

The newest album brings eight, highly (and equally) energizing songs. If you, the 90's industrial rivethead, had lost hope for the arrival of any flooring albums by once recognizable industrial rock and metal artist such as Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails or Powerman 5000, then Heretics in the Lab will make your dreams come true, in lieu of these bigger names. People new to the genre can find the album entertaining as well, thanks to its dynamical, aggressive vibe.

Let's look into the tracks in detail now. 'Death' is the intro to the album, with a plainly industrial theme mentioned before. It is also enriched by sampled speech. The track sounds mighty thanks to a skillful blend of briefly scratched, predatory guitar riffs and drums laid only in places where the composition requires and allows that.

Sonically, the introduction's foretaste shouldn’t mislead you, since 'Atrocity' begins with a closely packed, pulsing sound of some device, of possibly a medical purpose. Medical references – nurses, syringes, hospital, blood, scars, drips, patches, and bandages are often utilized in modern but not less mainstream industrial music, thus you've got a bit of a refresher here. The high beat is then empowered by a deeper drumbeat and the listeners are taken into a twister of all kinds of overlapping sounds. These are still kept under rigid control by the overall composition, which can be witnessed in the song's very end when the wall of sound is slowly cleaned and pulled down, leaving only the buzzing guitar to accompany you on your way to the next track.

The industrial opening of 'Precious' sounds very haunting. The song is accompanied by a promotional music video single (check out the band's YouTube, full of rapidly firing, thought-provoking images - long-time industrial music fans should be familiar with such visuals. Since they are matched with the song's aggressive theme and rhythm very well, I don’t think many viewers can complain. The sound effects and memorable vocal lines combined with raspy guitars will guide careful listeners back to ”the best of NIN” and act as a strong reminder of the vibe known from the now legendary Broken and The Downward Spiral albums.

'Forever' brings a lot of clicking electronica in the beginning, but then lashes out with metal through slow and heavy guitar riffs. Surprisingly, vocals are kept rather high and peaceful here. After hearing the intro, metal fans would obviously expect growling, expressive screams or other emotional explosions found within the verses. This changes a bit when the chorus comes, the vocals however are mixed with a voice effect that makes the song's overall vibe mechanical. When accompanied with spoken rather than sung lyrics (similarly to many other songs on this album), the track becomes a good reminder of Manson's mortuary, somber, tormented music, not deprived of memorable dynamics either.

'Special' is a potential hit with its clearly and rhythmically spoken lyrics, dynamic bass, drums, and noisy guitars - as well as highlighted moments of anger. It’s very memorable and will definitely work well during live performances. After that, 'Sorry' arrives with a bit more of synths, making it sound like an 8-bit game music memorabilia at times. Aside of distorted vocals, edgy vibes and a slightly 'outer-space' atmosphere (through the aforementioned synths), you'll also come across a sweet electro-pop melody appearing in choruses.

'Rise' is a track partially different from the others. Not only is it entirely instrumental, but also driven by a distinctive, graded, simple and recurring bassline. This, blended with a melancholic piano gives the song a flavour of NIN, Primus, and Joy Division smelted together. Listeners would perhaps expect more of that theme to be extended further, since the melody and mood progress in an intriguing direction.

The grand finale of the album titled 'Away' is a lovely tribute to NIN with its typical setting within arrangements made for lyrics and shortly outlined guitars, as well as a groovy, haunting background including synth and drums. Everything in 'Away' is pure synergy spiced up with matching vocal expressions and yet, it's skillfully connected with 'Death', the album's opener. This is an excellent potential hit that deserves either a music video single or serving as a soundtrack to a short movie.

Overall, Exit is a pleasant and engaging listening experience. All tracks are pretty short but it's almost required for catchy and potentially popular songs to stay under the five minute mark nowadays. In addition, many of these tracks could make a good match with s/f and adventure movies (think of the Marvel series or David Lynch's weirdness). Special attention should be paid to the vocal work of h3, who perfectly catches up with any tempo changes present throughout the album. Industrial metal and rock music fans are highly advised to get this album and support h3's endeavours – you won't be disappointed.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 18th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)



#musicreview #newmusic2016 #industrialmetal #newalbum   #newmusicfriday #industrialmusic #newindustrialmusic #nineinchnails #marilynmanson  

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Barefaced Liar - Mind Over Matter (song review) |self-released, Mind Over Matter, 2015| 5/5 pop-rock

The human brain when bombed with negative news and images every day becomes either over-sensitive or indifferent. The topic of 'Mind Over Matter' refers to the fear of unknown. This emotion often freezes the heart but kicks the brain into survival mode. The track encourages to face unidentified issues to discover their true colors and then make one's individual judgment instead of acting pre-maturely based on other people's superstitions. Music has been used as a successful method of therapy since the ancient Greek times and Barefaced Liar's 'Mind Over Matter' is a continuation of this tradition, thanks to its super positive melody and irresistible rhythm, aside of prompting lyrics.

The song begins with a neat and high tuned guitar, with a full blown rhythm section adding a groovy vibe to the opening arrangement soon afterwards. The majority of these arrangements is based on uplifting sounds brought by vocals and guitars. The lively sounds of bass, rhythm guitar, and drums bring forth a darker, heavier tune into the song's background, making for a neat contrast with the opening leitmotif. The composition is open yet controlled by arrangements, even though the sound spreads really wide when the chorus comes up. Akshay's voice is soothing and pleasant for the ear, but kept in a rock vibe. Vocals intersect with instrumental parts perfectly – they are fitted within the composition tightly to engage your attention until the very end. In addition, some arrangements are kept out of the stream to prioritize vocals at times, proving professional song-writing.

The Barefaced Liar duo undoubtedly have taken their lessons in pop music structures. Firstly, vocals finish in all the right spots, and there’s a fade-out effect used at the end of the track. Secondly, the opening and closing arrangements are the same which perfectly binds both ends of the track for looped replaying. Thirdly, choruses are full of prolonged 'oh-oh' which is an evergreen method for creating a non-intrusive mood and makes for memorable track as well. It'd be difficult to find anybody who could resist reacting spontaneously to such melody and performance when combined.
All of the above prove that 'Mind Over Matter' has a lot of well-knit hit potential for listeners of all ages, and doesn't sound boring after giving it a few more spins. Moreover, this all-embracing track should be a good match for all kinds of media opportunities ranging from ads to series.

The song was composed and performed by two friends since high school - Akshay Chowdhry and Sumant 'Bala' Balakrishnan - from Delhi, India who decided to try their musical skills in making modern rock music. They have released 3 albums since 2008 and their newest, Mind Over Matter, was mastered by Jens Bogren (Fascination Street, Sweden). He is a notable name in the industry, with credits on albums by Devin Townsend, Opeth, Marty Friedman, and many others.
Barefaced Liar sound like a good duo to Like on Facebook and their song will be the perfect addition to your mobile phone’s playlist, assuming you enjoy intelligent pop-rock tunes.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, January 29th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)



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Unified Past - Peace Remains In This World (song review) |Melodic Revolution Records, Shifting the Equilibrium, 2015| 5/5 progressive rock

Progressive rock turned out to be a fertile ground that has been developing successfully for the last 40 years. While older listeners started their sonic journey from lengthy and serious compositions by ELP, Genesis, King Crimson or Pink Floyd in the 70s, and their successors danced to the 80s music by Yes, Jadis, Rush, Marillion or Asia, fans of the genre nowadays enjoy an amazing spectrum of new bands to choose from, not just traditionally coming from UK or USA, but virtually every corner of the world. Moreover, a significant subgenre of 'prog' - progressive metal - revitalized the metal scene. However, writing such music demands a lot from musicians - they simply must be really pro(g? ;-)) about composing, performing, collaborating (which usually includes a lot of improvising, writing/reading musical notation, studying music theory etc.) because time signature is what progressive rock loves. If the time signature is put in a wrong spot, the joy of listening is pretty much over, unless you prefer to enjoy experimental sounds.

Based in New York, Unified Past has been continuously taking the progressive rock scene by storm since 1999, and accelerating their ascent every year. The 'Peace Remains In This World' single comes from their newest, 7th album titled Shifting the Equilibrium (2015). A chance listener doesn't have to be a die-hard fan of prog to feel the track's vibe resonating within their body, since the song has loads of unquestionable depth, juiciness and spirit.

The songs' intro sounds typical for the genre thanks to the cold virtuosity of Stephen Speelman's keyboard work, but what follows are heavier, modern guitars and a spacious drum sound. When the bass shifts to down-tuned notes, the keyboards continue their lively leitmotif. Dave Mickelson uses the lowest notes on the bass at times, literally dragging the balance 'down', especially when compared to keyboards and vocals (which, in turn, stretch the composition 'upwards').

The chorus brings an excitedly-sounding keyboard arrangement, making your ear focus on that instrument, though it does take a second row seat in favour of vocals and bass at perfectly chosen moments. Victor Tassone provides masterful drumming, produced to stay in the middle of other instruments, providing the composition with a solid backbone. All arrangements repeat and yet remain spirited until the very end of the track.

Phil Naro's voice is quite high (but not as high as that of Jon Anderson's of Yes fame) and sounds very upbeat, both attributes making it characteristic. Interestingly, the top vocal part makes for a separate melodic line at times, and is perfectly supported by the instrumental melody in the background.

Overall, the composition (spanning seven minutes) is open and includes many matching variations - imagine spirals spinning inside spirals. It sounds as if all instruments were biting the composition from every possible direction - at times simultaneously, then letting only one of them feed. This means that every musician got enough of space to showcase his skills. Therefore, peace and balance kept far from boredom remain present throughout the entire track and engage your attention along with dynamical, intersecting instrumentation. The arrangements oscillate between cold and warm vibes, and the tempo and time signature change pretty often. Such contrasts along with memorable melodies are always a turn-on for any sensitive ear and stimulate brain waves a lot, too.

Finally, the song's subject is a peaceful reminder about keeping serenity in the world through refreshing the values that once used to matter, such as authentic spirituality ("Time to go inside") and kindness. Making peace and not war or money is humanity's goal - our lives are very short when perceived through a broader, time-related perspective. Therefore, it's pointless to waste all that precious time on provoking one another, leading to easily predictable results.

Thanks to such a mindful theme and non-aggressive (yet lively) music, many listeners will certainly get hooked on 'Peace Remains In This World'. Undoubtedly, the song sounds huge when performed live on the stage, so make sure you buy a ticket (and the album too) when you learn that Unified Past goes on tour.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, January 15th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Merrin – Mr. Dominant (song review) |self-released, 2016| 5/5 rock, pop, funk

Merrin are a band from Wellington, New Zealand. Judging by their newest single's vibe, the quartet is aiming to gain attention worldwide, presenting a potential hit - something the music industry is always on the lookout for.
The song's low, energizing groove and excellent vocals should agitate listeners already from the very beginning. The arrangements placed swiftly within a solid body holding the entire composition, clearly shared between verses and choruses, make for a really catchy and powerful song. Any chart topper needs to have some repetitions to remain memorable, but in this case there’s not a single second of boredom here.

'Mr. Dominant' begins with vocals that are followed by drums (Richard Maxwell Jr), guitar (Karl Wootton) and bass (Lisa Tagaloa). The rhythm is bouncy making the track instantly memorable, yet it ends on a perfect, popular note with all instruments bringing the rhythm to a gentle stop. Melodically, 'Mr. Dominant' fuses rock, pop, funk and metal vibes thanks to edgy guitar riffs, the overall structure, and the catchy groove. Riffs and drums are less dense, unlike when utilized in purely metal tracks, so the song may find its way to various listeners, not bound to any specific genre. Every instrument, including the voice, has accurate placement, and everything is timed flawlessly. Even if the song may sound spontaneous at first, there's quite a lot of math hiding underneath.

The timbre of the vocals is very interesting, since they sound quite 'androgynous' - the voice could belong to either a woman or a young man, and it’s hard to say before you have a look at the band’s line-up. It's rebellious, confident, and distinctive - it can tap into higher notes easily but it mostly keeps a lower, almost masculine tone somewhere in the middle. Its range intrigues as well. To satisfy your curiosity, the person behind the voice - Charlie Phillips - is female. Being gifted with a voice like this, she should expect many opportunities in the music industry (and beyond, e.g. voice acting in movies or games) sooner or later. It seems that singing comes effortlessly to her - on top of that, her voice is easily recognizable.

Lyrically, 'Mr. Dominant' refers to the act of seduction of an alpha-male man, so called 'the old electric masculine' driven by own ego and thus, always wanting to be in control. How could a female be in control of such a guy, then? Using her sexiest attributes, according to the song writer.

Overall, the song is great for any kind of media placement, and will surely stir the physical energy of listeners, whether it is aired on worldwide radio or included on a personal playlist. The song's recognizable fragments may be a good match for a TV advertisement as well. Guano Apes, Nico, Living Colour, Deftones, and Rage Against the Machine - you could probably name these if you really need a sonic reference, but make sure to check out other songs by Merrin, streamed on their social profiles.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, May 12th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński )

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Gianluca John Attanasio - Silent Roads |House of Clouds Records, 2016| 4/5 blues, rock

1. King Money, 2. Black Forest, 3. In The Club, 4. I Lost My Angel, 5. God Save Every Soldier, 6. Baby Up Baby Down, 7. Sacred Flight, 8. The Life Will Continue, 9. Living In My Blues, 10. Miss Dog, 11. In The Morning, 12. Silent Roads, 13. Time Is Over

The new album of Gianluca John Attanasio took 3 years to compose during his travels between Rome, London, New York, and Los Angeles. Not only did he write music for independent cinema, theatre, and the dance scene, but also composed, arranged, and produced music during the last 15 years. This is clearly audible to careful listeners experiencing any of the tracks present on Silent Roads.

Thirteen brand new tracks offer a blend of many genres - blues, psychedelic rock, rock ballad, or even hip hop. All are united by the lead singer's confident and somewhat raspy voice.
'King Money' brings a typical blues feel and expressive, well trained vocals. Both arrangements and composition keep the classic tone here and, therefore, will be loved by the sound purists. The rocking vibe provided by the bass and drums is additionally contrasted with the higher-reaching harmonica. 'In The Club' is also a track that fans of The Blues Brothers may dig from the very beginning - the odd (but fitting) addition being psychedelic organs. The chorus is extremely memorable thanks to various repetitions and the overall melody. 'Black Forest' is kept in the same vein - swinging sounds just as easy to remember. Vocals, synths, and bass are accented mostly at the beginning, while the guitar and drums take over a bit later, collaborating nicely when the chorus appears. Skillfully written arrangements allow for vocals to be either highlighted by instruments or shine on their own.

Attanasio's admiration for The Doors is obvious in two of the thirteen tracks. 'Baby Up Baby Down' shows it through the use of a synth (perhaps even the famous Moog) and improvisation-like arrangements, perfectly placed within the song. Even if the singer's voice is rougher than Jim Morrison's, it matches the guitar driven musical explorations, from blues to metal. 'Silent Roads' carries the subtle, magical vibe of the iconic 'Riders on the Storm', bringing along a hefty dose of synths. There's a lot of motion in the background and the vocals are matched with these arrangements very well.

As for the ballads on the album, 'I Lost My Angel' is a track suitable for a slow, romantic dance for two, thanks to its melancholic vibe carried by guitar, bass and drums. The other half of the song includes a slightly vibrating guitar solo and a subdued synth. 'Living In My Blues' is kept in a homogenous mood, though its tone is more swinging than that of 'I Lost My Angel', with the guitars accented more strongly at times. Vocals appear frequently and are on par with all the other instruments. It's highly recommended you listen to this one with your eyes closed.
'God Save Every Soldier', as the title suggests, is a tribute to those who have been sent to fight for peace. The song includes a really surprising melody change - with the unexpected arrangement sounding more electronic, including a minimal dose of deep techno bass and a slightly faster beat. It makes the track sound less epic, though the overall mood is peaceful.

Move over, synthesizers - it's time for the piano. 'Sacred Flight' brings piano arrangements with the accompanying lyrics delivered by Attanasio's down-tuned voice, sounding more intimately than in other songs. When it comes to the atmosphere here, hope and drama keep interlacing. The piano arrangements continue in 'Time Is Over', but the style is that of a pop/rock ballad - similar to something you would hear on a Foreigner or Elton John record. The romantic atmosphere is expressed with additional samples of rainfall and subdued thunder, mostly in spots where the vocals take a break. Furthermore, it's easy to imagine 'Time Is Over' being performed by an all-stars crowd at a fundraising concert, bringing back the spirit of the 80's and Bob Geldof's & Midge Ure's Live Aid.

While the piano took over for 'Sacred Flight', guitars get to rule across 'In The Morning'. Instrumentally, it's still kept in an acoustic mood, but it's more rock-oriented, akin to Eric Clapton's music, with the vocals recalling those of Billy Joel. 'The Life Will Continue' has a warm vibe, but the accenting bass and drums take it into rock territory, with a high-pitched guitar soloing in the background, letting the synths and Attanasio's voice be more expressive. The song's production is a bit different, perhaps due to some additional ambiance surrounding vocals and guitar, as if they were recorded live on stage, and later mixed and mastered.

At the opposite end of the musical spectrum presented on the album we have 'Miss Dog', offering a complete change of instrumentation, mood, and style. It contains a lot of skillful borrowings from hip hop and modern pop music, utilizing a faster, danceable tempo and somewhat graded vocals. The lyrics are quite ironic though, referring to the idea of how the hip hop scene uses sex and women as their major song-writing inspirations. 'Miss Dog' may become a steady hit on air if offered to the right broadcasters.

Clearly, Gianluca John Attanasio recorded the album with a lot of moodiness in mind, rather than expressive dynamics. There are clearly emotions at play here, but performed rather retrospectively, with reflection trumping reaction. The native Italian has a very good American English accent additionally increasing the music's warm vibration.

Lyrically, Silent Roads touches many topics - from an inner journey into the self, discovering emotions, learning from karmic (romantic or erotic) relationships, a dash of loneliness, but also expressing support for soldiers. Since the album is a trip into the blues rock of the 1960's, it's highly recommendable for listeners of all ages who prefer well developed, unhurried tracks coming from the heart.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 22nd, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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+Jessy Rush 

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Ethan Pell - The End Is Now (song review) |self-released, single, 2015| 4/5 soundtrack

Nuclear weapons and their use resulting in mass destruction have been a source of inspiring fear for many authors since its proven, long lasting effects have been historically witnessed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As if the weapon's impact hadn't been already tested enough, rocket makers permitted by governments have kept trying out their products through 'nuclear tests' which affected the Earth's natural structure, its people, oceans and stratosphere most negatively. A post-nuclear tremor does also leverage the planet's natural energy/vibration - therefore, sensitive people who are not even close to the test site can still feel its friction, which is just as disturbing - we all are vibrational beings after all.

A number of sci-fi writers, video game developers, movie directors, graphic designers, musicians, and other creative individuals have been trying to illustrate life's development and its limitations if such bombs were simultaneously unleashed in many locations around our planet. The idea of post-apocalyptic survival behaviors and all life aspects being turned upside down (or often reverted) feels both fascinating and terrifying. It also resonates with Ethan Pell - a Canadian musician from Montreal, who tried to depict such an event through his 'The End Is Now' song. His direct contact with musical instruments started when he was a child, but he still keeps trying to learn more each year. Currently, he's studying at a music school, specializing in jazz, and focusing on playing the guitar, hoping to utilize some of the gained knowledge through writing progressive and space rock compositions.

The song starts with a moment of silence followed by a sad piano leitmotif, supported by electronic, vibrating sounds. Both are then joined by a raspy, weeping guitar solo with a slow, well matched drum and bass rhythm in the background. The guitar solo receives a hard rock ballad-esque tone later on.
The song may seem purely instrumental in the beginning, but vocals appear after the track's fourth minute. The voice is distorted, as if the vocalist was only a shadow or suffered from radiation illness in the post-apocalyptic world. The vocals are skillfully transmuted into noise (or wind) at the end. This allows listeners to imagine the 'before & after' landscapes – the same area, once alive and covered with fresh grass and flowers, now a dead and barren wasteland with specks of ash lifted by the wind.

The song and its dramatic mood obviously refer to a post-event reality and bring themes such as loss, sorrow, hopelessness, ending, surrendering, and a monochrome scenery to mind. These motifs touch the heart and soul, turning very memorable when the song eventually stops. Thus, 'The End Is Now' can be a great song for a short movie with a matching theme or setting. The composition and arrangements are very accessible - they don't bring any unnecesary, knotted complexity within. On the production side, the whole track was put together on an iPad with Garageband.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 2nd, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)


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MSHAA - Dystopia |self-released, 2015| 4/5 industrial metal/electro metal

1. Dystopia (intro), 2. No Way Back, 3. Nuclear Fallout, 4. Beyond The Lambs, 5. The Earth Is Bleeding, 6. Suck My Gun, 7. Dealer, 8. We're Used To The Rules Of The World We Made Up, 9. Walking In My Shoes, 10. The Imperfect Gods, 11. Delusion, 12. Dehumanized Society

MSHAA was founded by Cien Soulwhore (vocals/synths/programming) in Poland in 2011, who was afterwards joined by cEndyman on drums and Darth on guitar. According to the musicians, the acronym can be translated to Mary Should’ve Had An Abortion but 'msza' also means 'holy mass' in Polish. MSHAA's sound can be described as a blend of dark electro, industrial, cyber metal and horror, traditionally inspired by music of Ministry, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Skinny Puppy, or early Nine Inch Nails. When it comes to the subjects covered on the album, the songs describe degradation of the human kind, media manipulation, as well as enforced theocracy.

At the very beginning, listeners - citizens of Earth - are greeted with a message from aliens or ancient spiritual guides. The spoken words are floating in a cloud of airy, noisy, modulated sounds and accompanying SFX. Initially the first full track on the album - 'No Way Back' - continues this motif from 'Dystopia (intro)', but then a high electro synth comes in at full force and takes the lead. Since the song's subject and mood sound uneasy, the synth is joined by drums, guitars and vocals simultaneously, adding more heaviness and torment.

'Nuclear Fallout' seems like an evergreen theme amongst industrial music fans because it conveys both fear and fascination with the possibility of global annihilation and the curiosity of what would happen next. The song makes for a neat reminder of 90's simplistic aggro-industrial as it's based on a marching rhythm, guitar riffs and hateful vocals. Another classic theme - organized religion with its close-mindedness and superstitious fears - appears in the form of 'Beyond The Lambs'. It begins with agitation, thanks to the fast tempo and modern vibe provided by the mix of heavy guitars, jumpy drum beats and synths. Verses and choruses sound much more distinctive and separate when compared to the previous track.

'The Earth Is Bleeding' sounds hooky from the very beginning thanks to its dynamic “phat” beat and aggressive vibe - a solid reference to 90's industrial music in the vein of Skinny Puppy. The song warns against a foreign nation draining natural resources such as oil in other countries under the cover of bringing peace and protection. The choruses are memorable, and the general production is very sharp, both making this track a true hit. The bouncy rhythm continues into 'Suck My Gun' as well, which is an 'electro' reply to Marilyn Manson's music, with equally explicit lyrics about a psychopathic murderer looking for revenge due to a failed relationship. The atmosphere feels dense and sluggish with the song's heavy instrumentation, though the choruses are catchy. 'Dealer' has a lot of hit potential too and will be instantly noticed by fans of industrial metal. This composition is one of the best on the album because all arrangements are equally distributed throughout the track, instead of being simply collected and repeated. Plus, the guitar riffs use in the track infuse the body with a nice vibration.

The multi-layered melodic lines and sounds along with declaimed lyrics engage both ears nicely in 'We're Used To The Rules Of The World We Made Up' which mirrors the naive yet twisted atmosphere known better from Skinny Puppy's music. The subject matter here refers again to false spirituality that provides no care to its supporters, but is focused on own financial gain first and foremost.

If you're looking for an earworm, 'Walking In My Shoes' is a very strong candidate. Not only does it have a memorable melody line together with wicked vocals aligned to an average tempo, but also a clearly dystopian atmosphere and grim lyrics. Next, 'The Imperfect Gods' speaks about gods of technology whom the narrator blames for arrogant and spoiled humans, triggering wars based on fearful survival instincts. A high-pitched, disturbing synth starts it all off and continues throughout the track. This motif is layered with down-tuned guitars, a damped beat and distorted vocals, although the synth occasionally comes back to the surface.
Obviously, love as a topic couldn't have been skipped on the album, since that emotion is an inseparable part of the human life. 'Delusion' speaks of a romantic disappointment, accompanying the album's joyless atmosphere. It sounds more electronic than guitar-driven and the song lyrics match the instrumentation very well - they leave space for both parts to balance and then combine together.

Finally, gadget lovers should pay attention to 'Dehumanized Society', which also provides more beats, industrial noises and vocals rather than guitars, ending the release on a lullaby-like note. The vocal style suggests that we can sleep safely now since there's nothing to worry about - we have been reduced to files in a human database, notoriously tracked and controlled by various electronic devices, deprived of privacy, comfortable alternatives, and the liberty of opting-out.

Dystopia, just as the title suggests, is not an uplifting release and it clearly wasn't meant to be one. The depth of drums usually sounds alike in most songs, perhaps to reflect a lifeless society's tedious rhythm. The endings of most songs could have been re-worked to intrigue listeners a bit more, as they sound a bit too plain. Also, some tracks include too many vocal parts and may feel over-saturated. Cien Soulwhore uses a distorted, ugly, and vile voice on the entire album. It sounds as if he turned into one of the human monsters-to-be to send a warning to the modern civilization, pointing out the issues threatening Earth and people. Explicit lyrics are not a rarity on this album. However, despite of such wake-up calls, the lyrics do not offer any solution, except for questioning authority or simply making a noose for yourself. In fact, Poland seems to be a fertile ground for establishing such a project - an artistic protest against organized religion with its bigotry and clearly financial directives, the misuse of which has also been supported by the current right-wing government.
Songs like 'The Earth Is Bleeding', 'Suck My Gun', and 'Dealer' show the band's expressive potential the best. Buy this album if you wish to get a taste of hopelessness, although a few songs on the tracklist may give a solid boost to industrial and electro dance-floors too.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, February 13th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Sekten7 - Skyfall (song review) |self-released, 2015| 4/5 industrial metal

Industrial metal band Sekten7 - as well as New Breed Invasion - are projects established by Brazilian musician Daniel who wishes to remain partially anonymous. He releases these and other, more ambient-orientated songs through his own Tribeleader Music label. His new song entitled 'Skyfall' conjures forth a dark, distorted guitar-driven atmosphere with lots of gravity.

'Skyfall' does not have a specific intro since said chunky guitar riffs along with a less deeper drum beat open the track without delay. Vocals are altered through the use of effects and the resulting slightly demonic tuning perfectly matches the overall hellish atmosphere. You'll also hear a quick roar of a Jericho-like trumpet that could illustrate the sky opening and the angel's fall. A captivating, angelic voice appears in the background soon after – akin to that of a mermaid from Greek myths, tempting a lost soul to approach closer and stay forever. Such a soothing add-on instantly dissipates the heaviness with light and beauty, while guitars and drums continue dictating a moderately fast tempo until the end of the song.

Interestingly, there's a love theme within this serious, down-tuned song. A demonic narrator speaks of finding the perfect soul mate (“She is just like an angel / That fell from the sky”) who makes him feel one with the girl and the entire Universe (“You look in her eyes you see the light / You follow the light into the stars / Into the sky / Into eternity”). He then marries her to live together, forever. Ancient history knows such love stories - Plato wrote about the perfect soul split in two, remained entangled and longed to become one again. Though as romantic as it sounds, persisting on the path towards a reunion becomes a challenge here. The reality proves that even if meeting such a perfect mate is very likely, the ego often sabotages the needs of both heart and soul. The brain makes people run from fear of inexplicable things and the overall spiritual transformation such a love companion triggers.

The key instrumental parts of 'Skyfall' repeat very often, but since they are enriched with various effects (ie. stretched to depict a flight into the stars), they do not become boring. However, since the lyrics speak of a life-changing event, a careful listener could be forgiven for expecting a more pronounced development in the composition as well. If such a phenomenon becomes a breakthrough in the narrator's life, arrangements could have been equally altered to illustrate a distinct division between the 'before' and the 'after'. The difference here sounds very subtle though. Nevertheless, it's still a solid, dynamic track, letting the listener dive into a sea of guitar-driven noisiness without having to pay much attention to less important details.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, January 20th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)



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Interview with Ghost In the Machine (Dec. 2015)

NINa: You've successfully submitted a number of your songs for use in TV and games. What's the toughest part of licensing music? What kind of intellectual property risks should other musicians be aware of if they wish to submit their tracks for such placements?

GITM: The toughest part of licensing music is understanding what the customer really needs. Sure, it is hard to make connections to even have the opportunity to license music. But there are lots of publishing venues now where most bands can get a shot. But even once you have a foot in the door, there are many challenges to accurate communication with the customer. We have learned that how a musician looks at a song is very different from someone who wants to license it. Terminology is different ideas about what the music, mood or feel means is different. Sometimes they won't be able to articulate or express what they really want… you'll get the infamous “they'll know it when they hear it”.

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