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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
- Mørkets Variabler

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Dope Stars Inc. - TeraPunk (2015) - Review

Band: Dope Stars Inc.
Album title: TeraPunk
Release date: 13 February 2015
Label: Self-released

Tracklist:
01. It's Going To Rain For You
02. Many Thanks
03. Don't Wanna Know
04. Take It
05. Do It Yourself
06. Along With You
07. You Have No Chance
08. Dressed Inside Your Fear
09. Spider Claw
10. The Believer

Can you imagine 1 terra of raw punk energy hitting you in your face like a sucker punch? Your nose will bleed and you may have one tooth less, but secretly you'll love it. You'll love the adrenaline rush, the excitement of it and your nerves will itch, but you'll still love it. This is exactly what TeraPunk sounds and feels like. The Italian outfit Dope Stars Inc. have already established their well-known sound with their  2005 debut Neuromance and stayed loyal to it ever since. There is no wonder their flamboyant industrial sound and rock'n'roll attitude gained them a devoted fan base, which they also expanded over the years: you may have seen the band's frontman Victor Love's name signed under a couple of remixes he's done for KMFDM and Deathstars, you may have come across their covers of great names in the music industry, such as HIM, Kiss, Billy Idol or Clan Of Xymox or you may have heard their tracks being featured in three films of the Saw franchise. You see, Dope Stars Inc. don't do things halfway, but go in with full force and that expresses in their music. TeraPunk is no different. If my favourite TV presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, would be reviewing this album, he would definitely use his famous: poweeeeeeer! to describe the essence of it.

When you shatter Dope Stars Inc.'s music into pieces, it all comes down to pretty basic elements: repetitive, yet aggressive guitar riffs, pounding rhythm section loaded with a hard-core use of toxic sounding synthesizers and dense with various electronic effects. But what makes it instantly recognizable is the shifting between acid and raw industrial metal sound, touchy-feely EBM influences, 80s synthpop by-passages and the fuck-you-all puck rock attitude. If you gave the already released songs a shot, then "Take It", which was chosen to see the light of the day first, by all means gave you the impression TeraPunk will be no different. It isn't. But even though it may sound so simplistic and bare-ass naked, Dope Stars Inc. managed to find the perfect intertwinement between all these features, which results in a line of bodacious, catchy, dynamic and splashing soundscapes. The opening section of "It's Going To Rain For You" and "Many Thanks" don't waste your time and accelerate to maximum speed right from the beginning, with smooth EBM-ish passages that slower down the tempo in the last third and then go back to full speed. If you're looking for the punk part of TeraPunk, go straight to "Do It Yourself", a track with a colossally strong punk rock vibe of the early Ramones and overlaying electronic grooves. "Along With You" is one of those radio friendly, poppy tunes, that will nostalgically take us back to the era of 80s bubbly synthpop, while "Dressed Inside Your Fear" explores the ghastly areas of  dark electronic music, portraying a sort of passionately murky atmosphere, with a pinch of self-exploratory, introspective undelaying ambiance. As energy wears down towards the end, the ending chapter under the title "The Believer" is a cherry on the top: a slower, more insightful and romantic tune. You'll heart Victor sing with his voice breaking under the weight of world-weariness and scream his soul out and he will hypnotize you with his expressiveness and evoke a wide array of feelings, varying from passion, inner-sore and desperation in just one mere song.

Dope Stars Inc. have once again proven, they can stay within their comfort zone and operate with the elements they have ever since they entered the scene, and still create something new, fresh, catchy and deeply appealing. The fans of the band will embrace this album with arms wide open, that is for sure, because it again delivers and energizing ride through various soundscapes of the otherwise standard electronics meet metal sound. While this album may not exceed in the display of profound ambiances, it does make up for it with its wild side: the punky attitude combined with cyberpunk driven synth'n'roll. It's astonishingly addictive, twisted and supercharged, so whether you want to dance or headbang to it - both is possible.

Review written by: Ines
Rating: 8/10

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Band: Near Earth Orbit
Album title: Trans Neptunian Objects
Release date: 9 October 2015
Label: Solar Lodge

We are back in the future, exactly in the year 2034. The second chapter of Near Earth Orbit invites us again to experience an imaginary movie created by the force of sound. Now the mother Earth is left behind, it went into ashes; do you remember the last words on End Of All Existence from the communication between the Mission Control Centre and Ashley Dayour? "OMG the apocalypse is fucking beautiful!", Ashley said in the end of the of the album which was released in May this year, and then it was only silence... Now Artaud Seth (Garden Of Delight, Merciful Nuns, Lutherion) and Ashley Dayour (Whispers In The Shadow, The Devil & The Universe, Coma Divine,...) are deep in the space. Trans Neptunian Objects reveals why the E.D.E.N. mission was discharged there and how it got there, the significance of the Einstein-Rosen Bridge and also which part a pre-human device buried deep in the desert sand has got to play in all of this. It's almost impossible to separate the first Near Earth Orbit's chapter, End Of All Existence, and the second one, Trans Neptunian Objects. Musically the new effort by Artaud and Ashley differs a bit from the previous one. While the biggest emphasis on the first chapter was on dreadful apocalyptic atmosphere, now the two based their sound a bit more on powerful, still very cinematic and atmospheric doomy gothic rock. Trans Neptunian Objects is a strong and dark album from every possible point of view, it's a solid and extraordinary release, perfectly capturing the feeling and experience of being in the vastness of space, yet it's very well produced piece of unique sonic darkness that shouldn't be missed out.

Read a full review HERE