June 2002 Archives

Cradle of Filth: MidianCD, Music for Nations 2000

Track list: At the Gates of Midian - Cthulhu Dawn - Saffron's Curse - Death Magick for Adepts - Lord Abortion - Amor e Morte - Creatures that Kissed in Cold Mirrors - Her Ghost in the Fog - Satanic Mantra - Tearing the Veil from Grace - Tortured Soul Asylum

I've always found Cradle of Filth a bit difficult band to deal with. I don't like the band very much, I don't like the somewhat misogynic tone in their lyrics, but I do like the atmosphere they can reach at their best and I do like some of their music. Dusk and Her Embrace was, for example, a fine album indeed. Midian isn't nearly as good, but has it's moments. The beginning of the album is good: "Cthulhu Dawn", "Saffron's Curse" and "Death Magick for Adepts" are all good tracks. Rest of it is less impressive. ****

Nick Drake: Five Leaves LeftCD, Island 2000 (1970)

Track list: Time Has Told Me - River Man - Three Hours - Way to Blue - Day Is Done - 'Cello Song - The Thoughts of Mary Jane - Man in a Shed - Fruit Tree - Saturday Sun

Five Leaves Left is an album full of beautiful, melancholic folk songs. The arrangements are elegant and where Nick Drake's acoustic guitar is complemented with other instruments, it's done with great effect. Just listen to the dramatic sadness of the strings in "Way to Blue", for example. While I find Drake's later offering, Bryter Layter, a bit better with it's richer sound, Five Leaves Left is a very strong album too. ****

Vesa-Matti Loiri: Loiri/Leino 1CD, Fazer Musiikki 1994 (1978)

Track list: Höyhensaaret - Elegia - Tulkaa kotiin - Ja vuodet ne käy - Laulajan laulu - Nocturne - Väinämöisen laulu - Hautalaulu - Kun muistelen - Lapin kesä

This album doesn't fall short on lyrics. They are provided by one of the most important Finnish poets of all time, Eino Leino. His most beloved poems have been made into songs, performed by popular Finnish actor Vesa-Matti Loiri. He does a wonderful job on this album, I think. Credit goes also to Tapio Wesslin and Perttu Hietanen for composing the music. When I read the poems, I always hear the music. Wonderful, wonderful album. *****

Merzbow: 1930

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Merzbow: 1930CD, Tzadik 1998

Track list: Intro - 1930 - Munchen - Degradation of Tapes - Iron, Glass, Blocks & White Lights

Merzbow is the very intense music - if you can call it music. Ask any Joe Average, and the answer you get is no. Merzbow crafts sound, creating terrifying atmospheres and emotionally heavy soundscapes. There's more to it than just random noise. The key to enjoying 1930 is to listen to it loud enough - it's probably best to do with headphones, unless you live far enough from other people or don't mind getting evicted. 1930 is not an album you would like to listen to twice in a row, but every now and then, it works wonders. ****

Suruaika: Avointen hautojen päivä

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Suruaika: Avointen hautojen päiväCD, Plastic Passion 2002

Track list: Syvemmälle - Yksin - Haudan syleilyyn - Tuhat valkoista yötä - Syksy saapuu - Suruaika - Spiraali - Käärme kuiskaa - Miksi uhrasit rakkautemme? - Patricida

Suruaika ("Time of sadness") has finally released their debut album. I bought it despite the somewhat poor review it got and I must say I wasn't disappointed. Judged objectively, the songs are perhaps bit silly and definitely old-fashioned, in a bad 80's way. I still can't help enjoying. Some songs can be taken more seriously, for example the opening track, which borrows heavily from Pornography-era The Cure, is a quite fine song. In the other hand, there are tracks like "Syksy saapuu", which fall definitely to the camp department, they are simply too bad to be taken seriously. The album balances between being tongue-in-cheek and serious, you can take it either way. It's your call, I can enjoy it both ways. ***

Dead & Gone #2CD, Trikont 1997

Track list: Beasts of Bourbon: Rest in Peace - Lydia Lunch: Gloomy Sunday - Lydia Mendoza: La Boda Negra - Edith and Karl Dworak (Die Pepi Wichart Schrammeln): Stellt's meine Ross in Stall - Miranda Sex Garden: Gush Forth My Tears - Confraternite delle voci castelsardo: Miserere Funebre - Nico: My Only Child - Lou Reed: Goodby Mass - Trio Exvoco: Totenklage - Serbischer Leichenschmaus - Steirische Grabsängerinnen: Traget mich zu meinem Grabe - Bulawayo Church Choir: Funeral Song - Billie Holiday: Strange Fruit - Cassandra Wilson: Death Letter - Geto Boys: I Just Wanna Die - Jasper Smith: Died for Love - Kid Smith & the Virginia Dandies: Whisper Softly, Mother's Dying - Girls of the Golden West: By the Grave of Nobody's Darling - Albanische Totenklage - Diamanda Galas: Cris D'Avengle - Blind Man's Cry - Serbische Totenklage - Gary Floyd: From the Darkness to the Light

Like the first Dead & Gone compilation, this second is also quite a haunting experience. This time it's songs of death, a more diverse topic than the funeral marches. It also means more pop and rock music: there's Lydia Lunch, Miranda Sex Garden, Nico, Lou Reed, Geto Boys, Diamanda Galas and Billie Holiday, for example. Of course, there's probably more Serbian weeping music you will ever need. The result is a very curious bunch of songs, with perhaps a bit more sense of humour included than in the first compilation. ***

CMX: Pohjoista leveyttä

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CMX: Pohjoista leveyttäCDs, EMI 2002

Track list: Pohjoista leveyttä - Kolme kimaltavaa neitoa - Väkivallan moottorit

This new single promises an interesting album on the way. The title track reminds me pleasantly of their earlier Aurinko album, which I like a lot. A return to their roots, perhaps? "Kolme kimaltavaa neitoa" is a slower ballad, and not really that interesting. Nice, but nothing special. "Väkivallan moottorit" is definitely single b-side material: it's a heavy metal track, not really album material but possible live hit. All in all, the single is very promising! ****

Ornette Coleman: The Shape of Jazz to ComeCD, Atlantic ?? (1959)

Track list: Lonely Woman - Eventually - Peace - Focus on Sanity - Congeniality - Chronology

Ornette Coleman presents us his vision of the shape of jazz to come on this album. It's a pleasant vision. Especially the best tracks, which include the somber opening "Lonely Woman" and "Congeniality", are simply brilliant. Coleman's quartet plays well, the songs have a definite jazz groove in them, despite being avant-garde and free of extraneous rules and structures. *****

Davis, Miles: Bitches Brew

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Miles Davis: Bitches Brew2xCD, Columbia 1999 (1970)

Track list: Pharaoh's Dance - Bitches Brew - Spanish Key - John McLaughlin - Miles Runs the Voodoo Down - Sanctuary - Feio

Bitches Brew is, they say, one of the finest masterpieces of jazz music. I don't know about that, but it is definitely a great album. There's not a single poor track on it and plenty of great ones. Miles Davis used a large group of musicians on this album and you can hear it - the sound is very rich and full of action. The music is mostly fast and groovy, while "Sanctuary" for example has slower and softer parts too. It all works out wonderfully. I haven't heard any jazz better than this, simply put. *****

Laibach: Kapital

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Laibach: KapitalCD, Mute 1992

Track list: Decade Null - Everlasting in Union - Illumination - Le Privilege des Morts - Codex Durex - Hymn to the Black Sun - Young Europa Pts 1-10 - The Hunter's Funeral Procession (From the "Wunderhorn" trilogy) - White Law - Wirtschaft ist tot - Torso - Entartete Welt (The Discovery of the North Pole) - Kinderreich - Sponsored by Mars - Regime of the Coincidence, State

Kapital features Laibach gone techno. This very long album is full of Laibachian grandeur and over-the-top dramatics. And that, my friends, is good and well. In the end, the tracks sort of blend into one big mass of similar beats and vocals, with few notable differences - "Hymn to the Black Sun" being the most explicit one. Gods, the song features a guest star rapper as a vocalist! That's something I didn't expect, but it works out well. Other key tracks include "Wirtschaft ist tot", "Le Privilege des Morts" and "Sponsored by Mars". ****

Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick

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Jethro Tull: Thick as a BrickCD, Chrysalis (1972)

Track list: Thick as a Brick

Thick as a Brick is second major album of the Jethro Tull, right after Aqualung. It's a somewhat thematical album for one very simple reason: it's consists of only one song, a bit over 40 minutes in length. It is cut in two, obviously, being from the lp era. However, between the different parts of the song there are more variation than between different songs on some albums. Jethro Tull's music is a mix of progressive rock, hard rock and folk influences. Ian Anderson's flute works wonders and the music is generally quite cheerful and interesting. Ian Anderson is also a quite good vocalist and lyrics are clever. *****

Panasonic: Kulma

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Panasonic: KulmaCD, Blast First! 1996

Track list: Teurastamo - Luotain - Vapina - Puhdistus - Jakso - Murto neste - Kylmä massa - Hahmo - Aines - -25 - Säätö - Kurnutus - Rutina - Moottori

Kulma is a challenging album. The whirr and click of machinery presents a problem to the listener. How to react? I react with enthusiasm. However, I'm not as enthusiastic about Kulma than A or Aaltopiiri - they are definitely better albums than this one. Why? I'm not sure, but I'd say it's because they are even more minimalistic than this, the essential is even more concentrated. Don't know for sure, but that's how I feel. Still, Kulma is a challenging alternative to the boring realm of catchy pop music. ****


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OOOOOps-cokishCD, 267 lattajjaa 2002

Track list: Mother Goose: Life Is Short - Can Can Heads: Tenho's Last Trip - The Blubberheads: When I'm With You - September Sounds: Dreamlike - Aïr: Apartment Building - Ilai: Kaisalle 25.10.2001 - Pillupuhelin: Jeesuskin maksa - Plat Ypus: Organic Machinery - Paraffin Affiliates: Iljusin - Unidentified Sound Objects: MDF-record - Unidentified Sound Objects: Choko AD - Hard-Boiled Truck Drivers: Little Sister - Clay Figure: Cooking Missionaries - Jolie: Kristallista - Lörsson: She - Murha Murha Itsemurha: Liha lisää elinvoimaa - O Samuli A: Viaton luontokappale - Space Rocket: Sperville Falls - Sienikeitto: Ulkosatama (Cargo Vessel Edit) - Grey Park: Very Out - Suction Cup Genitals: Gimme My Daily Perkele! - Murha Murha Itsemurha: Sori, ei tiskiharjaa - APO: Kai - Arkham: Kadath (Excerpt) - Planet Kengraij: Dogs With Delay - Agnosia: Stain - Gelsomina: Horns and Tail - Haare: Wahnsinn (a.k.a. Nebulah Storm in the 3rd House of the Rising Capricorn) (excerpt) - Insight: Glamorama - Toni Kandelin: Reburnia - Mother Goose: Minimal Pop

OOOOO is a Finnish mailing list, mainly focused on eccentric music. Somebody figured out that many of the list subscribers are active musicians and that it would be a great idea to create a compilation album of music made by the list members. Hannu Haahti was mental enough to take on the task and here's the result, a 100-copy limited edition compilation album. Most of the bands are quite unknown and styles vary from noise to soft pop. It is a very surprising experience... ***

Metallica: Metallica

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Metallica: MetallicaCD, Vertigo 1991

Track list: Enter Sandman - Sad But True - Holier Than Thou - The Unforgiven - Wherever I May Roam - Don't Tread on Me - Through the Never - Nothing Else Matters - Of Wolf And Man - The God That Failed - My Friend of Misery - The Struggle Within

The black album is no doubt a classic - or at least some of it's tracks are. While songs like "Enter Sandman", "Sad But True", "Nothing Else Matters" or "The Unforgiven" are among the best heavy metal songs, many other songs from this album have fallen into the oblivion. That's a bit of a shame, perhaps. They're really not that bad. Of course they can't compare with the big hits, but there are some minor hits on the album too. If you're looking for a heavy metal album, check the black album out. ***

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