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Roar E-zine Review
Roar E-zine Review
Press / Radio - Reviews
Sunday, 22 August 2004 00:00

Roar E-zine Review

Asmodeus X Morningstar With A Latex Label

Score:91% Must Have

After being busy for 4 days, writing the M’era Luna and the Summer Darkness review, I am glad to get to write a CD review again. It is, however thanks to M’era Luna that I am reviewing this album. It was there that Hermelien and I got pinned by some kind of promotional team from a, to us unknown label, and were given some material to review.

In the time I have been reviewing, I have seldom had an album this versatile. If someone poses such a statement, he is to be sure to get the critical question whether it is so original and never hard before. Yet surprisingly, it is not all that original. Well, what style is it, then? It is electronic, for sure, but what style? -beats me, sounds to me like soft EBM, maybe Darkwave, a little industrial, though very minimalist, some soft trancelike influences every once and awhile, but when one doesn’t know for sure, one is glad that is were the versatility kicks in, because it differs from song. The only certain description I could give is that it is easy listening.

Well, as I said before, the music of this 3 man formation is electronic. And though it is easy-listening, it is certainly not boring, for me it has a comfortable atmosphere. It doesn’t get annoying in its mellowness, yet doesn’t make one yawn neither. It has a sympathy rising beat, which is inevitably present as soon as one turns on the record. It makes one want to cuddle, or long for a festival-after-party when everyone is whipped out by the performances seen that day.

I usually try to find a comparison in my reviews, to give an impression what you can expect if you buy the album. Well although I think it is impossible, let’s give it a try anyway. If you take The Cruxshadows and take their melancholy and sadness away, what have we got? –Silence, very good, Grimmklot. No wait, if you hear Asmodeus X, you will probably (hopefully) know what I am talking about. It has the same vibe to it, without being so damn pretty in it’s melancholy that I want to weep. It is maybe sad in a way, but much more subtle. It might resemble one of Lights of Euphoria songs like "Waiting for the night", but yet very different.

On the other hand, if another song starts, the sadness is gone again. This album has it’s differences in the vocals, which apart from staying on the background, are sometimes digitally enhanced, not the midget on crack way, nor the harsh noise like way, just in a loungy fashion. The vocals, by the way are all male sung and not really spectacular, but that is just one aspect of what makes this album so great, it is just so unbelievably not spectacular, that it stands out from the rest. Not that the vocalist is bad or anything, not at all, it is perfectly sung, just not in a way one would immediately go hyper. This is probably the ultimate going to sleep CD, nothing outrageous on this disc, just a versatility of background filling songs.

The third record, Asmodeus X released has a great quality in it’s musical (instrumental) variety, it is, for sure smooth in every way, but just with new, exciting and certainly not standardized tunes. If you can make a cover of an electro number, still recognizable, although it is turned into soft acoustic guitar rock, you must have some qualities. Well, these US Americans have the quality to do it. This was confirmed when they won the Critics Choice Vote for Best Industrial/Noise Act of 2000 by the Houston Press Music Awards.

Somehow I just don’t see the Noise part; it is more of an EBM/Darkwave kind of act. These men, who have been active since 1999, generate although their mellowness still pretty good dance vibes in their songs. I think they might take over large part of the European underground, and hopefully lots of the Dutch underground stages in the upcoming party season. If so, I want to be their, standing in front, waiting what they have to offer as a live act, but if they are just approaching their studio qualities, I will have a great night.