Friday, December 4, 2009

Dark Suites Music Reviews

Rammstein: Liebe ist für alle da
Review written by Steven M Duarte

Rammstein has proven to be a well established European act over their 20 year career. While their anti American themes and lyrics can sometimes detract from their music their ability to combine industrial, techno, and heavy metal musical styles into one is one of the best in the business. Plus who the fuck cares what their saying? It’s in German.
Rammstein has always been tongue in cheek and that continues with their newest release “Liebe ist für alle da.” If you haven’t seen their video for their first single “Pussy,” you are in for a shock. The video is basically a porno as they superimposed the bands faces on male porn stars and filmed them having sex. When I say it’s a porno I really mean it as there’s full frontal male and female nudity as well as intercourse. We are even treated to a money shot at the end. The video is a shot at American conservative culture which involves heavy censorship. The song “Pussy,” although very silly, is quite catchy. The songs main hook is a riot. “You have a pussy, I have a dick, so what’s the problem, let’s do it quick.” Believe it or not this is the actual hook for the song. You will easily find yourself singing along with lead singer Till Lindemann regardless of how absurd the song is.
The other songs on the album are more of a return to their older albums including Sehnsucht and Mutter. I was pleased by this as I was not a big fan of their more recent albums. The second track “Ich tu dir weh,” reminds me of their fan favorite song Du Hast. The song starts off with techno sounding synths before the song is ripped to shreds by heavy industrial guitar riffs. “Rammlied,” also reminds me of their previous work as they stay true to their heavy riffs combined with light synths and background female vocals which brought forth memories of the song “Engel,” from their Sehnsucht album.
Other notable songs include Haifisch, Waidmanns Heil, and the techno sounding Mehr. Haifisch does a good job of sounding like a Depeche Mode remix of a Rammstein song. I was never a fan of the slower Rammstein songs so naturally I disliked the slow paced “Roter Sand.”
Overall a good buy for your metal collection. Rammstein isn’t for everyone considering their songs are predominately German. If you were a fan before, this album will cement your confidence in this band. On a final note, here is the link to Rammstein’s uncensored music video “Pussy.” Again this is not safe for work and should be viewed with caution.

Track List
1 “Rammlied"
2. "Ich tu dir weh"
3. "Waidmanns Heil"
4. "Haifisch"
5. "B********"
6. "Frühling in Paris"
7. "Wiener Blut"
8. "Pussy"
9. "Liebe ist für alle da"
10. "Mehr"
11. "Roter Sand"

--Steven M Duarte

Strange Cousins From the West

Review by Nickolas Cook

Much like most of Clutch’s complete discography, their newest release, STRANGE COUSINS FROM THE WEST, is good time, unadorned rock and roll of the first order. It’s refreshing to hear a band that knows its strengths and doesn’t try to follow transient trends. These guys know you can never go wrong with the simple drum, bass, guitar and some damn strong vocals to back it all up.
The band has moved through some very different styles through their nearly 20 year career. They’ve done the punk thing, the straight up heavy metal thing, and now they’ve moved to where they belong: hard rock rock and roll, with a subversive edge.
With this new album, they keep the recipe boiling with such powerhouse songs as their take on the blues classic Motherless Child, and new songs such as 50,000 Unstoppable Watts, Witchdoctor. With its requisite heavy bass lines and grungy guitar riffs, STRANGE COUSINS FROM THE WEST delivers what rock and roll fans need most, honest music, passionate lyrics and experienced craftsmanship that respects its listener. It’s hard to call the standouts on the tracks list, because there aren’t any weak songs on the album. But if I had to call ‘em, the above mentioned would work for me.
If you haven’t already gotten this one, snatch it up. And keep an eye out for Clutch coming to a town near you, because these guys put on a great live show.

Track listing:
1. "Motherless Child" 4:15
2. "Struck Down" 4:23
3. "50,000 Unstoppable Watts" 3:48
4. "Abraham Lincoln" 5:58
5. "Minotaur" 4:52
6. "The Amazing Kreskin" 4:37
7. "Witchdoctor" 4:11
8. "Let a Poor Man Be" 5:31
9. "Freakonomics" 3:21
10. "Algo Ha Cambiado" 4:09
11. "Sleestak Lightning" 3:47

Visit the band and keep up with their tour and latest news at:

--Nickolas Cook

The Fountain soundtrack
Composed by Clint Mansell
(with guest artists The Kronos Quartet and Mogwai)

Review by Nickolas Cook

Some might find it strange to see a review for a soundtrack from a movie made back in 2006—and it wasn’t even a horror film, to boot. But this is one of the most beautifully composed collection of songs I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear, soundtrack or not. This album works even without the melancholic and elegantly shot film by master director Darren Aronofsky (the man responsible for two films that deserve honorary horror status for their darkly disturbing and twisted narratives, π (Pi) and REQUIEM FOR A DREAM).

Clint Mansell was the former lead singer of the legendary Brit alt/pop group Pop Will Eat Itself, until they disbanded and he began working with Aronofsky on his first film TT. His previous works have been heavy on electronica backgrounds, but with The Fountain, we find a more restrained use of such soundscapes, and the overwhelming sadness of the string parts are enough to bring tears to your eyes. Not to say there is no power inherent in these songs, because by the end of Death is the Road to Awe, you should be sitting upright and feeling a sensation of righteous energy and strength. This is an album that deserves some reevaluation by modern classical composers because it does what a lot of modern classical (?) music does not: it emotes and moves you.

Track Listing:
"The Last Man" - 6:09
"Holy Dread!" - 3:51
"Tree of Life" - 3:44
"Stay with Me" - 3:36
"Death Is a Disease" - 2:34
"Xibalba" - 5:22
"First Snow" - 3:08
"Finish It" - 4:25
"Death Is the Road to Awe" - 8:25
"Together We Will Live Forever" - 5:01

Visit Clint Mansell at:

--Nickolas Cook