Wicked Trax - Review
This monster compilation is presented by the Australian-based store Xperiment XIII
They've managed to pull together a very dynamic set of tracks spanning everything from Gothic, Darkwave, Industrial and about everything in between. The artist
selection is broad as well, introducing many new artists to many listeners while including long-time staples in the related music scene. With a set of 38 tracks
there is definitely some great music here for fans of many tastes.
With so much music on this compilation, I won't take time to detail each selection, but rather touch on some highlights such as artists we're familiar with as
well as new favorites we enjoy strictly from being presented on this compilation. The structure of the album is great as we start with the Gothic, Post-punk
and Darkwave genres with Arts of Erebus
kicking it all off with "Spark of Hope" from their recent album we've featured and thoroughly enjoy here. Their
solid gothic rock style with dynamic percussion, various melodic and grinding guitars along with the solid male vocals stand out on this piece and is a great
way to kick off this album. A little bit further in we're presented with the legendary Attrition
with "Narcissist", also from their latest album, showcasing
the unique electronic sound they've been creating for so many years. A new gem on this album comes to us from a new band to us in the form of Sweet Ermengarde
with their track "A Promise To Fulfill". With heavy percussion and bass coupled with dynamic, angst-filled vocals this has quickly become another favorite gothic rock
piece. Following this masterpiece we're treated with another heavier gothic track from New Zero God
with "Damaged". Listeners and readers won't be
strangers to the name Red Sun Revival
, another fairly new favorite band here with their style very similar to Fields of the Nephilim
A bit later we're presented with another piece that completely had me mesmerized the first time I heard it. Yet another new favorite band here on Gothic Paradise
with their spellbinding piece "Dance of the Dead". This track has all the ingredients of a timeless electro-goth track with very dynamic
and heavy mix of percussion that keeps the body moving, creating a very dance-friendly piece. Layered in with a mix of grinding guitars and overarching synths
as a back-drop to the sweet female vocals, the masterpiece is created and listeners are captivated. This track also stands as something of a turning point
as we move gradually into more electronics based music with Inertia
picking up the pace and intensity with their brand of hard-hitting electro-pop with
their popular piece "Repeat & Follow". Normally a staple in the gothic rock scene, I think the compilation would definitely be lacking without the Australian
with their piece "Subversion", maintaining a solid gothic sound while layering in an abundance of dynamic electronics. The Crüxshadows
is another name like Attrition
that someone would have to be living in a proverbial hole for the past 20 years to not have heard of them. Here they
present us with another of their electro-goth anthems "Indivisible". The next few bands kind of wrap up the gothic oriented music as we slide
into the harder hitting electronic styles. Before we get there we are presented with another couple of gems in the form of the dark and heavy piece "Inferno"
which sports something of a dark, driving goth metal sound. Chaos All Stars
present kind of an eclectic gothic flare on
"Who Are You" where the lyrics are as catchy as the music.
As we slip into the electronics, there are definitely some stand-out bands and selections here. Probably the best out of the few selections here is definitely
with their catchy track "Fall 2 Pieces". Listeners and readers here will no doubt be familiar with this and other selections from
this excellent project with their powerful electro-pop and futurepop styles featuring several prominent guest vocalists for their moving, dance-friendly music.
The intensity picks up as we move into selections by the likes of Ruined Conflict
and Angels on Acid
, the latter definitely being a name in
the scene that should be recognizable. Headshock
present some memorable, heavy-hitting EBM style tracks that should fill the dance floor.
The intensity picks up even more as we get into selections from Wynardtage
and Dawn of Ashes
and the like. While there are some moments here and
there, the drawback with some of these bands is how similar they all sound with the heavily distorted, angry vocals over the pounding electronic music. With
this style we bring the compilation to a close as piece after piece we have an onslaught of the powerful, heavy EBM styles.
Overall this is a great compilation. With so many tracks and such a broad range, I was actually surprised by how many I really like to sit and listen to over
and over. As always, you take a bit of the good with the not-so-good, depending on your tastes. I'm sure there will be readers and listeners that would pick this
up and pick out completely different highlights. However, I think those I've mentioned definitely deserve it and overall the compilation has been put together
really well in terms of content, flow and overall structure.