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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
02. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
03. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
04.
Sun Of The Sleepless - To The Elements
05. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
06. Peter Bjärgö
- Animus Retinentia
07. End Of Green
- Void Estate
08.
Anathema - The Optimist
09. Friends Of Alice Ivy
- The Last Days Of Fenwyck
10. Last Leaf Down
- Bright Wide Colder

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Random album

Trouble Fait' - The Black Isles (2016) - Review

Band: Trouble Fait'
Album title: The Black Isles
Release date: 2 July 2016
Label: Self-Released

Tracklist:
01. Beads Of Emerald
02. The Black Isles
03. Christiania
04. Sweet Perfumes
05. La Fille des Baies
06. Post Punk Night In Paris
07. The Silky Messenger
08. Regeneracy
09. Heavy Tears
10. Tacheles

The French post-punk and "xy" wave scene is growing really strong these days, there are many newcomers, but as well it has a strong heritage, not to mention that the term cold wave was invented there in the late 70s by bands like were Stinky Toys, Métal Urbain and The Opposition to name a few. Later followed by the likes such as Asylum Party, Norma Loy, Baroque Bordello and many others. Trouble Fait' are certainly a part of that early movement, the band was born in the midst of the expansion of post-punk/cold wave in mid 80s, strongly influenced by The Cure mania of that time. Their debut album, L'Odeur des Pavés, was released back in 1996, after many features on different compilations. This style is not really my comfort zone, but some bands with their new albums surprised me a lot recently, like for example The Insight or Norma Loy to name a few, so I decided to give it a try.

The French trio Trouble Fait' is deeply rooted in vintage post-punk, even though there are heard some attempts to sound modern, but no, it doesn't really help, the final result is just another typical manifestation of many times played and replayed formula which in my opinion is not allowing any progression or at least most of the bands don't know how to make it. The same is with Trouble Fait' and their new album The Black Isles, which follows in 2010 released Comet Camden, is a proof of that. The band utilizes all typical post-punk, cold wave and new wave elements into one quite dark but subjugate form of sound that owes everything to the before mentioned French heritage and to the likes such are Joy Division, Siouxsie And The Banshees and early The Cure. Thankfully they spice up some compositions with tasty dark and sparkling electronics and some rare trips into goth waters, like in my favorite track up here, the melancholic "Heavy Tears". Also rather grooview, dark and psychedelic "Tacheles" and "La Fille des Baies" with great goth rock refrain are all enjoyable tunes, but I hardly say anything positive about the rest of the tracks. It's often too melow, uninspired, there's a huge lack of dynamics and I miss some passion, almost all of the compositions are based on simple sparkly guitar lines that are often quite melodic but too linear. The poignant, reverberate and sometimes driving bass lines are a backbone here, but those artificial drum beats are simply not refined enough. Thanks to some nicely inserted keys and electronic samples, played by Babeth Letter, the sound becomes here and there vibrant, like in the case of the title track. Jicé Letter has a good voice, quite dynamic, sometimes emotional, although is a typical one for the style, rather vintage, but ok, at least it doesn't additionally ruin the music.

The Black Isles is an album for die-hard fans of post-punk, new wave and cold wave. To say the truth it's not all that bad, there were many much worse albums and EP's released lately inside this specific genre which faces its proper revival. Maybe with a better production and mix this album could sound much more coherent and it could gain some depth. I know that it's difficult for DIY bands to make it done this way, but on the other hand there are many self-produced things out there that have a better one than some professional ones. If I try to extract three or four tracks out of here and imagine that it as an EP than the whole thing becames another story. Songs like it's for example hollow "Sweet Perfumes" or punkish "Post Punk Night In Paris" should never be released after the year 1990. In my opinion The Black Isles is a step backward if compared to their previous album Comet Camden, which offered a little bit more diverse and elaborate compositions.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 5,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Horror Vacui
Album title: Return Of The Empire
Release date: 26 October 2014 (digital)/25 April 2015 (EU vinyl release)
Label: Avant! Records, Legion Of The Dead Records, Black Water Records

Treading on the musical and cultural border that links dark punk with goth, Horror Vacui is one of the most singular additions to the current roster of sinister rock bands. With its debut album, In Darkness You Will Feel Alright (2012), they already managed to recover what moths had eaten over decades of boring replicas. They merge elements from deathrock, post-punk and gothic rock with a strong personality into songs that keep intact the band’s punk belligerence. In that sense, Horror Vacui recalls the days when groups like Vex, Lords Of The New Church, UK Decay or The Dark - just to mention a few - freely moved among those shadowy punk-rooted territories, just before they splitted apart into distinct genres. Horror Vacui regains the bygone grandeur of sinister rock from a honest D.I.Y. instinct.

Read a full review HERE