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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
- Mørkets Variabler

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The Rip - The Rip (2014) - Review

Band: The Rip
Album title: The Rip
Release date: 5 June 2014
Label: Swiss Dark Nights

Tracklist:
01. Deadline Reached   
02. Fall Apart   
03. Autumn   
04. Hidden   
05. Point Of No Return   
06. The Things That Shouldn't   
07. Your Shadow   
08. Of Ice And Stone   
09. In Times Of Need

There's really a fload of "dark" bands coming from Italy these days that plays with many different versions of 80's inspired wave/goth/post-punk sounds. One of those is the act with a strong name - The Rip. Minimalistic, bass and drum machine driven post punk with a brimfull dose of electronics... this is what we get with The Rip's self titled debut album. The Rip were born in 2009 by Tommaso Meneghello (also in And We Were Shadows) and Michelangelo Rossato. Both guys are using as the main instrument bass guitar and are responsible for programing, while Tommaso is also the one giving the melancholic, yet subtle vocals. The album opens with rather danceable "Deadline Reached" and somehow says everything already with this one.

Nine songs on this albums are for my taste a bit too monothone, but I can't say that there are no shining moments. Unfortunately everything is a bit too one lined and there's no special diversity and a lack of dynamics of course does not give any plus points on majority of tracks. To be truthful the strong and melodic bass lines are kind of exceptional and some passages bring shivers. The main atmosphere the two created is in a way claustrophobic, desperate, yet gentle and very much melancholic, there's no secret that their main influence must be Joy Division or even early The Cure. For example, the provocative and psychedelic "Autumn" is one of those hard to digest post-punk/electropop tracks that could be counted as the lost child of the two before mentioned legendary acts. The Rip shows that they can make great tunes with the very next song, "Hidden". It is a little darkwave, gothy and emotional gem that saves the album with its fascinating melody and slow paced rhytmic section where everything comes into the right place. The tender and emotive vocals are perfectly synchronized with the rest of the instrumentation in here. The use of alternative vintage guitar sounds is another very smart decision. But there's more to enjoy,... ambiental, gloomy and seductive "Your Shadow" is another perfect dose of darkness where the band boldly plays with some industrial elements.

If Tommaso did a good job on before mentioned album's highlights I can't say the same for majority of the songs on The Rip, as it happens too many times that you'll hear a bit of mismatch between too linear vocals and the rest of instrumentation. The 80's sounding guitars here and there with strange electronic pulses and beats in a rather upbeat "The Things That Shouldn't", in the "Point Of No Return" or even in the "Fall Apart" with Nephilim smelling beginning, are refreshing, but not enough to take that much of an attention. There's no density, I sense a lack of passion, no catchiness and energy, thus there's no effect that could be reached otherwise. And when we think that this is it there comes as a dessert the sullen slowly waving "In Times Of Need" with a captivating use of shoegaze elements.

So, The Rip it's not an album to throw away, with three exceptional songs the duo showed that they can make outstanding tunes. Also the clear production is amazing, but the music is the thing that counts and if you ask me the two have the ability to surprise in the future, but it depends which path will they choose. Those who like minimalistic, rather psychedelic bass driven easy going post-punk should go for it, the rest of us can wait for the next output from this duo. Believe me that it's hard to rate an album like this, but I think that a good six is an appropriate one.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 6/10

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Band: Hymnambulae
Album title: Orgelhuset
Release date: 15 May 2016
Label: Hypnagoga Press

Hymnambulae is the product of siblings Par and Asa Bostrom. The Swedish duo release Orgelhuset as the first album on their nascent label, Hypnagoga Press. Par's magnificent grasp on sound manipulation, field recordings, and deep emotive drones is quite obvious throughout Orgelhuset. It seems that Asa has brought a very mystical, warm and more personal aspect into the fold, giving a perfect balance to Par's often cold and desolate musical output. These opposing forces naturally feed right into the concept of Orgelhuset. The siblings seem to speak from many places without ever leaving the organ house. The dichotomy of these opposites coming together brings a strong sense of mystery enshrouded in mysticism. Cold winds are felt as they penetrate the organ house while there is at once a warmth radiating from within. Fans of ambient, dark ambient, and neo-classical will all find aspects of this album to embrace and enjoy.

Read a full review HERE