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J
[ Jack Or Jive - Kakugo ]
[ James D. Stark - Music of the Night ]
[ James D. Stark - Dying Beauty ]
[ James D. Stark - Fortress of Solitude ]
[ Jill Tracy - Silver Smoke, Star of Night ]
[ John Alexander Ericson - Black Clockworks ]
[ Junk Circuit - Universal Republic ]
K
[ KatzKab - Objet No. 1 ]
[ Kobe - Economy Of Movement ]
[ Kokila - Enchanted Dreams ]
[ Kooper Kain - Turning Cities To Salt ]
[ Kutna Hora - Obsession, Faith, Perseverance ]
L
[ La Floa Maldita - Salut Jacques ]
[ Lacrimosa - Sehnsucht ]
[ Lamia - Dark Angel ]
[ Last Dance, The - Now and Forever After ]
[ Last Dance, The - Once Beautiful ]
[ Last Dance, The - Reflections of Rage ]
[ Last Dance, The - Whispers in Rage ]
[ Last Hour, The - The Last Hour ]
[ Legend - Fearless ]
[ Leiahdorus - Parallel Universe ]
[ Les Anges de la Nuit - Ruins of Victory ]
[ Libitina - Parhelion ]
[ Libitina - Reflections & Refractions ]
[ Libitina - The Shadowline ]
[ Liquid Divine - Interface ]
[ Lights of Euphoria - Quershnitt ]
[ Lights of Euphoria - Krieg Gegen Die Maschinen ]
[ Lights of Euphoria - Fading Moments EP ]
[ Lisa Hammer - Dakini ]
[ Lost Patrol, The - Driven ]
[ Lost Patrol, The - Rocket Surgery ]
[ Love In Prague - Ghost Note ]
[ Love Is Colder Than Death - Tempest ]
[ Love Is Colder Than Death - Time ]
[ Love Is Colder Than Death - Eclipse ]
[ Longing for Orpheus - Somnia ]
[ Lovespirals - Future Past ]
[ Lovespirals - Windblown Kiss ]
[ Lucaifem - Lucaifem ]
[ Luigi Rubino - A Theme For The Moon ]
[ Lunascape - Innerside ]
[ Lunascape - Reminiscence ]
[ Lunascape - Mindstalking ]
[ Lupercalia - Florilegium ]
[ Lux Interna - a lantern carried in blood and skin ]
Hailing from what some would call the home of great Gothic Rock music, Libitina brings us their own artistic works from the UK.  They originally formed in 1994 and have since released four full-length albums and a remix work.  Their first album was A Closer Communion which was released in 1997 and included the hit "Gothic People" which was a spin-off of Pulp's "Common People".  We would later see the release of Weltanschauung which delved heavily in the early gothic and death rock genres.  And then we saw the band take on a different twist in their style with their 2003 release titled The Shadowline which sported something of a more mature sound.  While the lineup has changed slightly over the years, the current members include Phill (vocals, programming, guitar, bass guitar), Darren (guitar, programming) and Jamie (bass guitar, programming, vocals).  The band continues to explore and mature their sound adding some more electronic elements for a deeper, richer sound, yet remaining true to the gothic rock style in many ways and in 2006 released their album Parhelion which has been receiving positive reviews and feedback.

This trio has latched onto the classic Gothic sound and has added its own unique elements to it.  They combine various elements of romantic, social and mythological references, as their name would suggest which was taken from Roman mythology.  While they continue with this classic gothic sound, they have gradually added more driving beats and moving rhythms to their music, probably focusing on getting more attention on the dance floor.  While this is fine and works well, I think that people need to recognize music for what it is as a whole, more than the beat it has.  This group manages to do that in all of their albums, especially their previous works which feature a wide array of musical styles and influences.

Fans of good Gothic Rock music should really enjoy this band, including all of their works.  You can catch a glimpse on the radio shows here.



Parhelion - Review

It doesn't seem that long ago that I was reviewing the remix album from this band and here we are again with another full work of all new material from them.  They continue to take their gothic rock background and build on that with more electronics and driving beats to fuse the backdrop for the emotional and angst-ridden vocals. With a total of twelve selections, there is plenty of great new material for fans to enjoy.  They continue the DIY effort of releasing their own music on Libation Records and present their own unique sound while remaining well within the various gothic and related electronic genres.

The album starts in the form of "Duty Unbound" with a melacholy piano loop that slowly builds with added elements until the piece is driving with guitars, electronics and the full-blown story all laid out in lyrics, belted out through Phill's vocals.  The backing vocals on this and some of the other tracks are pretty cool, they almost sound vocoded in way, but overall they just add some nice harmony and added depth to the climactic elements of the chorus where they're present.  This driving rhythm continues throughout much of the album, but overall the electronics are the noted addition and common thread throughout.  However, the guitars and solid rhythm still anchor each piece, though you may hear the synth track as the intro and underlying throughout on "The Darkest Hour", it's really the driving guitars and percussion forming layered backdrops to the emotional vocals, with added backing vocals for more body and depth.

Breaking out of the mold is "Alea Iacta Est" with a brooding, slow beat and hypnotic synth tracks mixed in.  The melodic piece "Landfill" is also something of a beatuiful piece taking a break from the driving rock pieces.  German speakers will enjoy the addition of "Geist" which the band sings in german which is a nice treat and something they probably don't do often.  This combination of mixed rhythms, stylistic and mood changes is a great way to make this disc so much more attractive as a whole.

The rest of the album is all noteworthy without anything really astounding or negative standing out to comment on.  As the music continues to move along, each piece forms it's own critical part of the disc until we finally wind down with the finale "Duty Bound".  Presented as a sort of "Reprise" version of the introductory track, much of the lyrics are the same, but the overall feeling remains somber as the music is slow with that same beautiful piano loop we started the album with finalizing the disc.  This wraps up the album and with that we have another album worth picking up.

Rating: 4/5



Reflections & Refractions - Review

After three full-length albums that have received positive press reviews all over the world, it seems fitting this remix album is released. The band has turned over several of their tracks to other artists and remixers to make their own unique mixes.  What we have here now is fourteen tracks with a wide variety of approaches and twists on the originals.  Selections are included from all three previously released works and so it seems well balanced in a "best of" sense.

Like many remix albums, we're presented overall with themes ranging more along the electronic and EBM genres.  While the basis for all of the tracks are in the Gothic-related genres, most mixes have a nice touch with the electronic edge added to them.  These range in styles from the harsh and distorted remix of "Valediction" by Terrorfakt to the more laid-back elements combined to create the "The Eyes Have It Mix" of "Fragility of Self".

The better remixes seem to be the solid EBM/Industrial oriented tracks such as the "Swarf Remix" of "A Higher Unity" and my personal favorite from Shadowline "Mea Culpa (Libitina vs. Inertia Penitent Remix)".  These two remixes feature pounding dance beats, heavily layered synths and the vocals seem to blend well with this style.  While I love the music and pounding anthemic style of the "Terrorfakt Remix" of "Valediction" which starts off the album, all of the vocals are taken out except for the title repeated throughout.  This same thing happens with my favorite track from Weltanschauung, "Farewell My Love".  The original is a bouncy and fun track, changing tempos a couple of times and delving into the fun post-punk, deathrock sound with shifting styles and vocals.  The remix is definitely fun too, but the vocals are limited to "Please let me go..." and "...I love you so..." repeated over and over in a vocoded manner.  The robotic vocals and the fast beat when it kicks in is bouncy and will move you like the original, and I guess that's why it's called a "remix", because this one is definitely "mixed" in a very unique way.

With a total of fourteen tracks, it's nice to not hear too many repeated like has been the case with some other remix albums I've heard in the past.  There is really only one track that's repeated, "Dirt I Cannot Wash" including the "Calm in a Piranha Remix by Pretentious, Moi?" and the "Maculosus Mix".  Both versions are up-beat with the latter really sticking to the original style and instrumentation with just a little bit of an edge added in the electronics.

The bottom line is that if you enjoy this group, I really think you'll still like this album.  You may have to be open to the electronic-oriented music more than usual, because it's definnitely a shift from their normal styles.  However, there are some good remixes here, so it should also broaden the fanbase and those that enjoy the electronics a little more can enjoy something new here.

Rating: 3.5/5



The Shadowline - Review

Having enjoyed the previous works by this band, I was looking forward to this, their third release.  I figured that I could count on a trace of Death Rock and a smattering of Gothic Rock, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear much more of the latter with a driving beat and solid sound.  The vocals are deeper as Phill has taken over the work of the vocalist since the parting of their previous vocalist.  Jamie also does vocals and backing vocals on several tracks adding some nice variety and fullness to many tracks.

"Matins" provides a short, dark intro to what is a moving collage of emotionally driven songs.  "Dirt I Cannot Wash" kicks it all off with the pleading vocals set to a background of driving morphing and driving bass guitar with other layered guitars, synths and a moving beat.  This sets the tone for most of the album and my personal favorite; "Mea Culpa" follows close behind with a somewhat similar style.  The pleading and angst-ridden vocals with a nice Electro-Goth flavor blends nicely for a meaningful piece.  This all winds down for a nice ending and gives way to "Shibboleth" which ends up following suit in many ways but in a more mid-tempo and less-driving approach.  This sets the pattern for much of the album.

Based on the classic Gothic rock styles, many of the tracks are great in bringing much of that back in such a way that's not a copy of many of the older greats, but they manage to capture their own unique style.  The electronic edge that has been added to a few tracks adds a nice full sound to it without being overpowering.  Other tracks delve into the slower ballad styles like "All That I have Ever Lost" which is a great down-tempo song and still full of power and emotion.

Overall this is a great album as a whole with few complaints.  The quality is really good and the way the tracks flow together make it more enjoyable to listen to in its entirety rather than picking one or two tracks out of context.  There is enough variety to keep it interesting while sticking with a solid Gothic rock style.

Rating: 4/5



Website:
www.libitina.co.uk
Label: Libation Records

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