Review Everything : Part 1 : The Reckoning
Phobos Reactor feat. TFG (TONTTU) : DELIRiuMX : 6.5 out of 10
I know the whacky and zany nature of TONTTU by this point; the gnome hating maniacal mind of an anonymous producer based out of Finland, but Phobos Reactor is one that I’m only familiar with on a name basis. So, going into this one blind was a bit fun. The two singles found on this release are remixes of ‘Kangasluksia’ by Oldschool Union and General Kangaroo (AKA TONTTU). The first remix is a well produced, fun, old school EBM dance mix that slaps hard. TONTTU’s vocals are in check for the style and maintain a bit of humor and angst throughout. The second remix is from TONTTU himself. I’m not too partial to this one, as it sounds like a mix between EBM and Eurodance bathed in a filter of lo-fi mess. It’s confusing as to what it wants to be, and I would have preferred the vocals not so filtered.
Saltee and They Invade : Writhing In Stone : 6.5 out of 10
I suppose I’m struggling not necessarily what is wrong with Saltee’s third single from his forthcoming album “Parasomnia”, but what makes it stand out from the crowd of a ton of other drum’n’bass artists. You could argue that the added collaboration with They Invade brings some deviation to the formula, but it’s generally a by-the-numbers drum’n’bass single with some additional trap-metal inspired sections in between – that of which I’ve heard done better elsewhere. I can compliment them for some of the ambient breaks that occur throughout the single. And there’s a section around the three-minute mark that adds in some decent electronic strokes, but nothing that really makes me want to return. Again, it’s good, but not great.
utable : ?MD2 : 5.5 out of 10
This is a very interesting experimental project from utable (not sure if that’s how it’s supposed to be spelled, but when I copied this into Word using Word’s formatting, it gave me Mtable and I think that utable is more similar to the original writing.) I say interesting and not great as this is an EP composed of Doctor Who samples from the show. Each song goes to a different Doctor and their respective runs, and each song only uses samples from that run. What sounds like an eight-bit hit detection sound from an old school Gameboy game primarily serves as the punch of ‘FIVE’, for example, and while it’s a good sound on its own, using it in excess didn’t work for me. It got annoying after twenty seconds. The rest of the songs somewhat follow suit; they’re interesting to listen to at first, but lose appeal after the first minute or two.
LossLess : Demo EP : 7 out of 10.
Honestly, for something that was live recorded and barely had any edits, this isn’t terrible. A cacophony of drums, guitars, and moody drone / doom soundscapes. ‘God Emperor’, the track chosen for immediate streaming either by Bandcamp or the band in question, is quite good in my opinion. Just giving it a quick listen gave me a feeling of a tense, moody atmosphere. Something that I could easily be seen used in the video game Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines, or in a neo-noir Western (as funny as that sounds). But this is what I look for in pieces like this; cinematic bits that can easily rile up imagery and fiction alike. I wanna see what they can do when they actually put a solid structure into their music.
Caldon Glover : Ùir : 7.5 out of 10.
While I rarely get the chance to fully dive into a release on Cryo Chamber, it’s partially my fault. My fault because I want to get into the nitty gritty of the album and take a big fat deep dive right into the pits of whatever space horror the label is throwing at me now. This time, it’s Caldon Glover’s “Ùir”, which I immediately fell in love with on ‘Luibhean’. Dramatic bass drops that pause everything, heavy drone lines that sound like an unknown spacecraft flying above, and dreaded, ominous ambiance that the label has become known for. As per usual, there are some tropes on the album that I would have rather avoided; any stale, windy passages, long form statics that practically make up nothing, so on and so forth. But these tropes are so few and far in between that they hardly scratch the surface. Solid and unsettling.
newphasemusic : The Precedents of the United States of America : 5 out of 10.
You know, there was a time a year or two ago where every other promotion that I received was another anti-Donald Trump song, EP, or album. Which I get; the guy was unpopular and for good reason. And I always believe that everyone should have the right to express their political opinion. But when that’s all you receive for a solid year or two, you get sick of hearing about it, listening to it, and eventually you want a break from it all. So, you go and listen to some synthwave about cyborgs fighting ninjas or something to escape reality for a bit. This is kind of how I feel about this release. The music can be decent here and there, evoking early industrial attitude with raw, punk power embedded into its veins, the vocals are awful throughout. Never in tune, never really flowing with the music, coming off unproduced in comparison to the music, and often monotone. Now I’m gonna go listen to some synthwave.
North Innsbruck : MindBender : 6 out of 10
Alright, to say that the intro of this album is anything but stellar would be lying. The opening trickle of retro synths is reminiscent of the master of horror John Carpenter himself. But that lasts all of thirty seconds before we’re thrust into a generally average synthwave / darksynth bout. From start to finish, it doesn’t feel quite as produced as it should be. The bass doesn’t punch as much as it should and the synths aren’t quite as sweeping as they should be. In comparison to some of the greats within the synthwave / darksynth scene, this doesn’t come close to the top. The concept is there and so is the passion, but perhaps further refinement is necessary.
Microwaved : The Dead Shall Walk : 5.5 out of 10
I’m always a bit stumped of what to think of Microwaved whenever I come across his music. While it’s obvious that the gentlemen is extremely talented, I just don’t think there’s a conscious effort to focus on one style or another. Jack of all trades, master of none sort of thing. Taking a look at the first three songs on “The Dead Shall Walk”, for example, gives me a drum’n’bass track, some rock’a’billy, and a complete dive into heavy metal. It’s not a bad idea to stretch your legs, but of those three sample songs, I only really liked ‘Burn It Down (Featuring Geoff Saavedra of Titanosaur)’. It’s powerful, thrilling, and pulse-pounding. The rest of the EP follows suit; a mish mash of songs that I both enjoy and don’t enjoy. Shame, too, as there’s a lot of talented artists found on the album. And if Microwaved took the time to nail down a musical concept for each release rather than treating everything like a batch of randomized singles, I think he could have something solid going for himself.
Winkie : Cassie : 5 out of 10
What’s the point of having lyrics if you can hardly hear them? First question I asked upon playing this EP. The fifty-seven second starting track is a noisy-rock single but the vocalist sounds as if they’re singing through a telephone being recorded. It’s bad. I went into the rest of the album with an abstract mindset considering this is an unreleased original soundtrack to the short film “Cassie”. But when I listen to a soundtrack I expect the music to evoke a certain emotion in me. I didn’t get much from this soundtrack other than layered electronic beats and disappointment.
Excodex : Excodex : 5.5 out of 10
This is a metalcore band. Honestly, there’s not much more that I can say about them other than that; the music is very generic for the genre that it’s hard to identify what’s so unique about it. Expect thumping percussion, bouts of screaming, and lighter ambient parts that break up the storm before your ears. It’s not poorly produced, but it’s not the best either. And there’s room for improvement throughout the album to make it much crisper and clearer. Mediocre is the best word to describe it.
May 02 2023
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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