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[ Run Level Zero - Arctic Noise ]
Dark Water Oasis - Review

The RaZor Skyline is a name that goes way back to the mid-90's and a career that spans four excellent albums in the goth-industrial genres. img This album marks their comeback after a brief absence from the scene with Miska Kazda replacing original vocalist Karen Kardell. The album brings to light a slightly different twist with an Middle Eastern tribal influenced sound mixed with their solid electro-goth style. Spanning ten solid tracks, this latest offereing on COP International is a nice gem to include here on the pages of Gothic Paradise.

"Vittoria" kicks off the album with some heavy synths and introduces us to the new middle eastern tribal percussion. This new twist is a little different, though definitely not unheard of within this scene. It really just builds on the solid foundation of the driving guitars, heavy synths and solid beat as the siren-like vocals soar over the top in a breath-taking fashion. This track as an introductory piece is perfect, really setting the stage for the album and creating the perfect atmosphere. It has quickly become a favorite from this album and fades gracefully into another favorite, driving piece "Sahara". The new direction fits this aptly named piece perfectly with the subtle eastern percussion over layers of grinding guitars and synths with a dance-friendly beat that your body just can't resist.

As the album moves along, it seems the eastern percussion becomes more subtle, often fading more into the background or seeming to disappear entirely. As the more political and socially-slanted pieces come out on "We the People" and "View of Paradise", the driving rhythms continue as the heavily layered guitars and electronics drive the message home to the listener. "Control" wraps up this trio of similar pieces with all of these classic electro-goth elements as we fade into something a little different in the groovy piece "This City Never Sleeps". This piece seems to capture the music neon lights make flashing over the boisterous, yet seemingly oblivious masses of the crowded cities. It has some nice hooks and grooves, from the soaring guitars and hypnotic beat and bass to the captivatingly smooth vocals. The slower tempo continues across the uplifting, upbeat piece "Grey Skies", which should probably be named "Sunny Skies" based on the happy moods that emanate from this piece.

As we move into "Silent and Smiling", the intensity and thick emotional moods really pick up as we slowly build from the heavy, pulsating bass to the added layers of electronics and building guitars coupled with the intense vocals finally reach a climax at the end of the track. At this point we reach what I would call the end of the regular album with "Dark Water" bringing it all full circle, connecting the dots between the title and all of the different moods of each piece, lending a sort of finality to it all with the heavy, mid-tempo beat accented with the weighty, grinding guitars. However, the music isn't over as we reach a sort of bonus to the album in "The Longest Night of the Year". The timing of the release of the album was perfect as it's a great addition to our holiday music, in this case the mix of winter solstice and the accompanying Christmas holidays come to life on this piece with visions of children with their excited, sparkling eyes, snow on the ground, a chill and thrill in the air, and the lyrics reflecting my deepest wish of "peace for everyday, not just this holiday".

With that the album comes to a close and so does our review. If you've previously been a fan of this band, then you'll love this great new album, still maintaining their edge, yet adding a little icing on top. For those new to the band, this is a great addition to anyone's collection, featuring some great, emotionally charged, electro-goth music.

Rating: 4.5/5



Website: www.reverbnation.com/therazorskyline
Label: COP International

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