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S
[ Saltillo - Monocyte ]
[ Schattenkinder - Vision of Nightfall ]
[ Screams For Tina - 2003 A.D. ]
[ SD6 - Between Noise and Transmission ]
[ Seabound - Double-Crosser ]
[ Seabound - No Sleep Demon V2.0 ]
[ Seabound - Poisonous Friend ]
[ Seabound - Beyond Flatline ]
[ Second Skin - Black Eyed Angel ]
[ The Secret Meeting - Ultrashiver ]
[ Seventh Harmonic - The Garden of Dilmun ]
[ ShadowPlay - ShadowPlay ]
[ Sibelian - Gothic Opera 1999-2011 ]
[ Silent Auction - H On Earth ]
[ Silica Gel - Genesis ]
[ Silica Gel - Nada Es Eterno ]
[ Silica Gel - La Mitad ]
[ Silvery - Black Box ]
[ [:SITD:] - Ikon:Koru ]
[ [:SITD:] - Rot ]
[ [:SITD:] - bestie:mensch ]
[ [:SITD:] - Coded Message:12 ]
[ [:SITD:] - Stronghold ]
[ Skeleton Trees - Season of Mists ]
[ Skinny Puppy - The Greater Wrong of the Right ]
[ Sleep Slid In - The Open Diary ]
[ Sleeptheif - Eurydice (CDS) ]
[ Sleeptheif - The Dawnseeker ]
[ Soil and Eclipse - Mirror ]
[ Soil and Eclipse - Purity ]
[ Sol Invictus - Sol Veritus Lux (2006) ]
[ Solemn Novena - Kiss The Girls ]
[ Soman - Mask ]
[ The Soil Bleeds Black - Mirror of the Middle Ages ]
[ Soriah (with Ashkelon Sain) - Eztica ]
[ Soriah (with Ashkelon Sain) - Atlan ]
[ Soul Flight - Soul Flight ]
[ Soulscape - Grave New World ]
[ SPC ECO - Push EP ]
[ SPC ECO - 3-D ]
[ State of the Union - Inpendum ]
[ State of the Union - Timerunner ]
[ Stereoskop - Electrika ]
[ Stereoskop - In A While EP ]
[ sToa - Silmand ]
[ sToa - ZAL ]
[ Streeturchin - Native ['neitiv] ]
[ Stromkern - Light It Up ]
[ Stromkern - Stand Up ]
[ Subway To Sally - Bastard ]
[ Suicide Commando - X.20 (Best Of) ]
[ Suicide Commando - Bind, Torture, Kill ]
[ Suicide Commando - Axis of Evil ]
[ Sumerland - Imaginary Ways ]
[ Supreme Court - Yell It Out ]
[ Syrian - Alien Nation ]
[ Syrian - Kosmonauta ]
[ Syrian - Cosmic Gate ]
[ System Syn - All Seasons Pass ]
[ System Syn - End ]
[ System Syn - The Mourning Ritual ]
[ System Syn - Postscript ]
T
[ Tannhauser - a.new.biostate ]
[ Tearwave - Different Shade Of Beauty ]
[ Tearwave - Tearwave ]
[ Terminal Gods - Electric Eyes ]
[ Third Realm - New World Order ]
[ Third Realm - Romantic Death ]
[ ThouShaltNot - Land Dispute ]
[ ThouShaltNot - The White Beyond ]
[ Thy Veils - The Diaphonous Depressions ]
[ Tolchock - Wipe Out, Burn Down, Annihilate ]
[ Tor Lundvall - Yule ]
[ T.O.Y. - Fairytale MCD ]
[ T.O.Y. - White Lights ]
[ Trance to the Sun - Spiders, Aether & Rain ]
[ Trinity Project, The - The Subtle Movements... ]
[ Tristraum - Gray ]
[ Trobar De Morte - Legends of Blood and Light ]
[ Trobar De Morte - Reverie ]
[ Trobar De Morte - Fairydust ]
[ The Twilight Garden - A World We Pretend ]
U
[ Unavox - Angels Dance Upwards ]
[ Underwater Pilots - Tranquil Places ]
[ Unheilig - Zelluloid ]
[ Unto Ashes - Burials Foretold ]
[ Unto Ashes - The Blood of my Lady ]
[ Unto Ashes - Songs for a Widow ]
[ Unto Ashes - Grave Blessings ]
[ Unto Ashes - I Cover You With Blood ]
[ Unto Ashes - Empty Into White ]
[ Unto Ashes - Saturn Return ]
[ Unwoman - Blossoms ]
Founded by J. Ned Kirby in the early 90's, Stromkern has been going strong now for over a decade.  The debut album Flicker Like a Candle was released in 1997 and was soon followed by Dammerung im Traum in 1999.  Ned was joined by Kelly Shaffer in 2001 and they continued to work and release new material.  Around this time they released their first album to their North American audience in the form of the highly acclaimed work Armageddon.  After signing with WTII Records for this release they re-issued their previously recorded works for this fanbase and continued to work on new material.  Light It Up marks the band's fourth studio album which has been received with positive reviews and the single Stand up did well on the German alternative music charts (DAC).

The band has toured and performed live extensively over the years.  The live lineup includes many talented artists including Rob Wentz (Monstrum Sepsis) on keyboards, Matt Berger on drums and their 2005 tours include Tyler Newman (Batter Cage) and others for a powerful and dynamic live lineup.

The style of this band is extremely hard to categorize or describe for someone who has never heard them before.  They fuse powerful EBM and electro-industrial music with a style of hip-hop for something powerful and unique.  The rapid-hitting vocals carry the force of the lyrics and music straight to the listener on a bed of powerful instruments and electronic music.

Over the years fans have been able to catch selections from this band on the club radio show, and so it continues with their latest music.  Be sure to listen for their latest music as well as the best from their past.



Light It Up - Review

I have to admit that after the number of singles and remixes that I've heard of this band's tracks lately, my expectations weren't that high.  However, it seems that while some of the remixes of the past leave much to be desired, the core original music from this group is still strong and powerful and good stuff.  So the music continues on in much the same style as their previous highly acclaimed album Armageddon with this latest release.  While there are still plenty of tracks with that techno-influenced hip-hop style that has become easily recognized as this band, there is also a great number of other tracks that are straight-up EBM flavor on this album as well as the addition of guest vocals and even something of a ballad-like piece to really mix it up a bit.

"Televised" kicks off this album with that classic hip-hop flavored music and vocals that people have grown to identify with this band after such tracks as "Night Riders".  But this doesn't necessarily dominate this album so much as it has works in the past, just by the next track "Reminders" we enter into something of standard electro-pop track with no trace of that hard-hitting hip-hop sound that so many people love and hate.  Personally I found this sound refreshing from this group with the added guitar and steady beat without the rapid-fire rapping vocal assault while still maintaining very much a sound that can only be recognized as Stromkern.  These variations can be heard throughout much of the album and provides some great dynamics for this work that has obviously had a lot of thought and effort put into it.

The theme of this album really delves into the political and social aspects of our world today with various samples and lyrical elements that will make people think about the world we live in.  The single from this album pound this home in the form of "Stand Up".  This hard-hitting classic hip-hop sounding track is layered with samples and rallying vocals for people to stand up and be heard.  With a dedication to lost and fallen victims of the world's injustices it's a great track that show exactly why it did so well in the DAC charts.

Besides the excellent tracks already mentioned and others on this album, it's a great treat to have the additional contributions from Frank Spinath of Seabound and Victoria Lloyd of Claire Voyant, HMB contributing their thoughts through lyrics and their vocals on a couple of tracks on this album.  This is the first album that this band has invited and included guest vocalists and so this is another landmark and something that fans can really enjoy.  Much like the powerful Seabound tracks, "Sentinel" included Frank's solid vocals on this EBM-style track which is another powerful anthem for fans to really enjoy including a solid beat and great Stromkern electronics.  "Hindsight" introduces Victoria Lloyd on this excellent ballad-like track featuring pulsating synths and her smooth vocals for a melodic and thoughtful track that is emotional and captivating in so many ways.

While this previous ballad would make a great finale to this album, it probably just wouldn't feel right without one last Stromkern anthem to wrap up the album in classic solid style.  "Delete" is this track with those powerful synths and Ned's assaulting vocals belting out the lyrics like there's no tomorrow.  That wraps up the album and this review without really anything else to say. It's enjoyable, it's Stromkern at their best... enjoy.

Rating: 3.5/5



Stand Up - Review
It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of singles with the multiple remixes sometimes mutilating the original tracks beyond recognition while at times providing a few nice surprises although it seems those are few and far between.  This single with the additional remixes kind of falls more into the latter of these two situations.  The radio edit, which is the closest to the original version is easily the best piece on this disc and understandable why it has done so well on the DAC charts.  However, once you move past this and into the remixes, it's really much of the same song, a great collector's item and fun for DJ's in mixing either for radio or club mixing, but overall much of the same, although it is a great track.  As a huge fan of Iris, I was very surprised with the remix put together for this single as it's layered with break-beats that just really hammer the guts out of this piece.

I think if the average listener were to pick this up, it would have to be for the b-side track "Can't Believe".  Besides the excellent title track, this piece is powerful in a more subdued manner, if that's possible... While the intensity of the lyrics and vocals remains high, the overall mood and pace of the music is somber and thoughtful for a subdued backdrop for what Ned has to deliver.  This is nothing though compared to the somber moods of the introduction of the "Reiter der Nacht Remix Von Boole" of "Night Riders".  My first thought was "why another remix of Night Riders?", but this remix is a totally different take on the track for the first three minutes, but then it picks up the pace extremely and we're back into a strange take on this track.  This remix becomes extremly experimental and to listen to it in any situation where the listener needs any kind of thought process is impossible through the onslaught that comes out of this ten minute remix and proves to be interesting but almost annoying at the same time.  Luckily this is just another extra track on this disc and doesn't detract too much from the title track with it's powerful message and music.

Rating: 3/5



Website:
www.stromkern.com
Label: WTII Records

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