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Friday 21 June 2019

Reviews: Deflore & Jaz Coleman, Barbe-Q-Barbies, Hydromedusa, Atlas Infinity (Paul H, Matt & Pascal)

Deflore & Jaz  Coleman: Party In The Chaos (Subsound Records) [Paul H]

This may well be the best EP released all year. Recorded in Faust Studios in Prague in December 2017 and mixed at Enem Studio in June 2018, Party In The Chaos sees a collaboration between Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman and Italian industrial duo Deflore  which followed their support to Killing Joke in Rome. Opening with the title track, the electro industrial vibe paints a soaring soundscape which is brutal in its expression. Coleman’s angst ridden haunting roar sits superbly amidst the maelstrom that rages around him. Explosive and cinematic, this is merely a taster before Sunset in the West which has an epic soundtrack feel to it. Coleman’s piano sits amidst the swirling synths and slowly beating drum machine. Soothing and yet unworldly, it suddenly erupts with a crunching guitar riff beat. Talking of riffs, there is a massive one at the start of track 3, Transhuman World, which echoes Killing Joke at their most destructive. Coleman’s monotone delivery sits amidst a driving drum beat, punching guitar and swirling keyboards as the track pounds relentlessly to its crescendo. Deflore is Christian Ceccarelli (bass, electronics and synths) and Emiliano Di Lodovico (guitars and synths) whilst Coleman adds synths to the opening and closing track as well as vocals and piano to Sunset in the West. With any luck this may be the start of something bigger, but for now enjoy the Party in the Chaos. 9/10

Barbe-Q-Barbies: Borrowed Time (Dissonance Productions) [Matt]

Borrowed Time is the fourth album from Finnish hard rockers Barbe-Q-Barbies an all female hard rock band who, weirdly open the record with the funk-rock number Diz-Funk-tional all Nile Rodgers, is the highly anticipated fourth album by the all female rockers. They have tried to rally against the numerous auto-tuned bands with some proper au-naturel hard rocking that owes as much to AC/Dc as it does bands like Halestorm. There's a maturity to this band that acts such as The Amorette's or Tequila Mockingbyrd lack a little, despite Alive being a ballad that comes so early on. The remainder of the album has a lot of big riffs, swaggering tracks and attitude laden vocals all laced with a pop edge on tracks such as Innocent and the shout-along Radio which name checks a few songs from this bands influences. Borrowed Time doesn't break many barriers, nor will it break any records but it is a competent rock record, played by a band who have some proper chops. 7/10

Hydromedusa: Long Live (Self Release) [Pascal]

Did you know that an Hydromedusa is a turtle from South America but since we are talking music here I would like to introduce you to a psych-rock band from Adelaide Australia of the same name. Power the third track is a travel (and the whole album in fact) in time to where playing rock was a more simple affair. The intro is a killer with his dirty 70’s guitars sound, keyboard line a la Jon Lord and a great traditional rock vocalist. Mama’s Boy is a fast tune with some punk and boogie influences, People Like You sounds like a wild version of a Rolling Stones track, while Lovin’ Man is a possessed incarnation of The Doors. Star Song and Leaving respectively opening and closing the album alternate a mix of contemplative and rock statements that add some nuances to the album. The production is on the low end of quality but it works really well on the 8 tracks. Overall a nice surprise, not that the music is innovative by any stretch of the imagination, Hydromedusa will not compete for the best album of the year, yet it’s albums like this that keep the spirit of music alive. 7/10

Atlas Entity: Beneath The Cosmic Silence (Atlas Entity Records) [Pascal]

Self described as prog death metal , the first few notes of the opening track Adorned In Red is a clear indicator that we have talented musicians and clever composers. But is it enough to attract the masses? Murmurs Of Dissent and Visions Of Gold are decent efforts and if you are a fan of the genre (which I am not) you will probably think they are masterpieces but in absolute terms they just lack that spark that would make you come back to it again and again. Hardcore fans would probably call me an heretic when I say I got bored when listening to the Florida based band. Its very well produced and well delivered but unless you are really into this type of music I cannot see why this band would reach beyond its core audience.  4/10

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