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[Fabryka] Short reviews
SONG SHORT REVIEW: Darragh J O'Hehir - Power & Corruption (song review) |self-released, Time Will Tell, 2017| 4/5

"Maybe it's about the power of illusion / Maybe it's about what you believe / Maybe it's about the money and corruption / How they justify their endless needs". This is the chorus of Darragh J O'Hehir's new song and its main lyrical theme as well. The song talks of the current state of affairs in the politics, people’s addiction to social media, pseudo-journalism (so called "fake news"), and the overall technocracy resulting in a loss of natural empathy and intuition. Obviously, it’s not the entirety of our civilization on Earth falling down that rabbit hole, since there are still rebels, watchers, and note takers (e.g. bloggers) heralding proper awareness. Still, it's high time to stop the rush, have a good look around, then fearlessly detach from supporting institutions and people your heart and spirit don't resonate with anymore.

"Power & Corruption" is a dynamic and melodious rock piece, bringing a broad vibe and uplifting feel. Darragh is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist who writes, performs, and records his tracks mostly alone. In the past however, he had played as a recording/live drummer with bands such as DARA (signed to Sony Records, supported U2, Brian Adams, and Macy Grey on tour), Knucklehead, and Paddy Usher Band. Darragh is a very good singer - his words are easily understandable even for non-English natives, while his voice keeps courageous, dominating tones, so desired in rock music. They match exceedingly well with guitars that sound here as dirty as those of 90's grunge and are performed by a lead guitar player Kevin Row, and a bass player Mark Dempsey who add their styles to the song's overall vibe.
The composition is a rock classic, with equally distributed jumpy arrangements, leaving enough space for both vocals and guitar soloing in the later parts of the track.

The audio quality needs some improvement, however, so that each element could shine individually as deserved, while avoiding domination by a single aspect (be it guitar or vocals). For now, the sound is a bit rough, as if recorded live on stage. It's totally understandable that Darragh, like most unsigned indie artists, produces music in his home studio due to high costs of hiring a professional space and sound engineer. But since the song is definitely a potential hit, it may need more polishing for increased exposure. An additional short intro could make for another improvement, otherwise the beginning may leave some listeners with the sensation that something's missing here.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, August 17th, 2017. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

Soundcloud

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ALBUM SHORT REVIEW: Malicious Wonderland - Wasteland (song review) |self-released, 2017| 4/5

1. One, 2, Two, 3. Three, 4. Four, 5. Five, 6. Six, 7. Seven, 8. Eight, 9. Nine, 10. Ten, 11. Eleven, 12. Twelve

Imagine, just like in a nightmare, that you find yourself alone on top of a highway bridge surrounded by abandoned and destroyed cars. The ordinary city noise is gone forever. There's however a torn road sign hanging above the road, hitting its metal pole when lifted by drifts of wind. You stand up and walk in a random direction, since any direction is good in this derelict city. Yet, this is a trip into the unknown as you're sensing something very bizarre is in the air. On your way, you see buildings, landscapes and devices familiar to the human eyes but also anomalies, distortions of time-space, teleportation wormholes, or even alien artifacts.

This is how the Wasteland album begins, considering we share similar ideas based on its soundscape. In addition, the sixth, seventh, and eighth compositions on the tracklist offer distinctive, tense atmospheres which bring themes of rush and escape, phantoms, ghosts, or illusions, a black hole as a passage into another dimension inhabited by demons, and so on. Specifically, 'Seven' is a true sonic gem thanks to its selection of sounds which make the mood of something inevitable to come. Since nobody enjoys an unhappy ending when things have been constantly tense, the last track sounds a bit different, yet it's not deprived of a murky vibe of feeling lost in a void.

Ross Dabrowski, the founder of Malicious Wonderland (also involved in Reflections From Nowhere), uses a library which includes a lot of cold, metallic, spacey sounds and SFX such as bells, buzzes, wobbles, dominating beats, and heavily distorted demon-like voices among others. Dark ambient music, the genre Ross' album sits snuggly in, focuses on building atmospheres by selecting sounds which instantly trigger listeners' imagination and lead them from scene to scene, through a landscape painted by the musician. The maker has a choice to either focus on perfecting arrangements and compositions, or purely on experimenting with the sound design and SFX. Wasteland consists of such an amalgam of sounds to intrigue your ears. Abstract, often looped yet unquestionably atmospheric arrangements lack highly anticipated peaks which could have been placed in the middle of compositions, considering the album may have an interesting s/f story to tell. Nevertheless, the sound quality, production, mastering, and the scare, are very well done, thus support the listening experience.
The twelve songs on this album are short, ranging between 2 and 5 minutes. The music of Wasteland could be easily utilized as an instrumental soundtrack for an RPG video game, a post-apocalyptic movie or a disaster documentary. Hopefully, they'll be matched with fitting artistic visuals sometime in the near future. In fact, Ross is open to collaboration with other like-minded artists, so if this piques your interest, you should reach out to him with a reliable opportunity and intriguing ideas.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'Draconina' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, July 29th, 2017. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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SONG SHORT REVIEW: 3hree Handed Magic! - Trash Talk (song review) |self-released, 2017| 4/5

Louis Schulte, the founder of Californian solo project 3hree Handed Magic!, seems to enjoy dedicating his music to his family or involving its members into making tunes together.
His newest track entitled 'Trash Talk' is an amalgam of electronic music and guitar riffs, fitting in the electronic rock genre. Louis wrote, arranged, produced, and performed the track, but he was also accompanied by his son Louie IV and his stepson Parker - both debuting on backing vocals.

A synth(etic) intro is followed by Louis' bold and characteristic vocals. This opening arrangement could be a teaser of the entire composition with its balanced rhythm and strong dynamics. Yet there are more instruments joining the initial motif, such as the bass (or a bass-like synth), drums, and a highly soloing guitar, so the vocals in fact do not dominate the entire song. The lyrics have solid rhymes and are in sync with the audio dynamics: "Trash Talk / Verbal abuse does not alarm / Trash Talk / Your hateful words do me no harm!". The arrangements are additionally enriched with various sound effects to avoid monotony, creating at times an atmosphere of mild unrest. The cherry on top is the mix between a swirling guitar solo, random drumming, and contrasting low synths in the third part of this song that should capture many ears and hearts.
'Trash Talk' is one more track from 3hree Handed Magic!'s collection that both avid music fans and visual media creators looking for good background music should check out.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'Draconina' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, May 17th, 2017. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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SONG SHORT REVIEW: 3hree Handed Magic – The Warrior! (song review) |self-released, 2017| 5/5

An entertaining, Caribbean music-like tune opens 'The Warrior!', a song by 3hree Handed Magic. For several years, the project has been operating as the outlet of the Californian solo multi-instrumentalist Louis Schulte who also writes, arranges, performs, plays and produces his music.

'The Warrior!' is a purely instrumental composition. It is based on a medium tempo and consists of a few entwined layers of victoriously sounding guitar arrangements. There are two guitar lines (the rhythm one and the solo one) acting like two elements - earth and air, respectively - where the earth-rhythm first anchors the sound, then the solo brings fresh air into the mix. Since human ears react to contrasts strongly, not only does such a balanced Interaction of low and high sounds create a specific atmosphere together, but it also lets each guitar line shine within its own arrangements. Melodious riffs are mixed with a slow, clapping-like drum beat and additionally enriched with other, faster beats bringing more dynamics.

The movie industry will definitely love 'The Warrior!'. It makes me think of 90's action movies with the protagonists - modern warriors (policemen, detectives, soldiers, doctors, sportsmen, firefighters, martial art practitioners, etc.) caught up in 'lose all, win all' situations. Whenever the heroes need to regroup for their next challenge, the perfect moment for Schulte's track to appear arises.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'Draconina' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, April 28th, 2017. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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SONG SHORT REVIEW: 3hree Handed Magic - Steal The Show! (song review) |self-released, 2017| 4/5

Louis Schulte is a solo multi-instrumentalist from California who has been running 3hree Handed Magic for several years now. He has worked with a circle of selected musicians, and producers in the past, but he speaks of himself as a 'recording artist' – writing, arranging, playing every instrument, and producing his songs on his own. 'Steal The Show!' is his new single, and has been inspired by Louis' granddaughter, Makayla.

A mix of a video game 8-bit-like synth and a groovy bass line begins the song. This is later enriched with matching drums and guitar riffs. 'Steal The Show!' features arrangements borrowing from 70s funk, 80s rock, and modern electronica, all layered below Louis' mature, self-confident, raspy, and characteristic vocals. The track sounds synthetic, but the guitar soloing along with the vocals creates an organic balance. The tempo is moderate and peaceful resonating nicely in the body. Yet because the solid rhythm remains the same until the song's end, some listeners might be expecting more 'highs and lows' to occur, despite the inclusion of an entertaining riff. A careful listener will spot a bit of a violin-like orchestration in the background of the third part, which then morphs into a single, prolonged riff leading to the track's end.
'Steal The Show!' is an instantly memorable song, and its hooks could be definitely utilized in an advertisement or any visually matching media.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'Draconina' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, April 24th, 2017. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

Official | Facebook

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SONG SHORT REVIEW: Sonny Hunter – You Want Attention (song review) |1602Dreamz Publishing, Truth Teller, 2016| 5/5

Aging Internet users will tell you that social networks used to be fun. These days, anonymity seems to be considered a social crime, and popular platforms like Twitter or Facebook serve marketers, advertisers, homeland security & visa officers, insurance agents, employers, and tax collectors best. One thing hasn't changed though – social media sites have been a special hub for individuals who have a skewed self-esteem, ranging from narcissists to those emotionally wounded. This is where stalkers come in, responding to 'signals' of misunderstood needs.

Sonny Hunter, a Houstonian singer and songwriter, addresses the problem of craving instant attention and gratification in “You Want Attention”. He’s accompanied by some other experienced musicians; Ryan Holgerson (guitar), Frank Kriege (drums), Danny Smith (keyboards), and Taz Anthony on bass, all working together to make the track sound entertaining and full - and succeeding. Musically, the song borrows from the melodious naivety of pop and the warmth of jazz. A light leitmotif is based on a swinging guitar riff which gives the impression of letting go. The drums are gently distributed and played, and the bass also adds a line or two only whenever it's needed. The keyboard brings forth the jazz feel better in the second part of the track. Sonny's vocals are very characteristic – here they vary between high and melodious, but also get slightly edgy for the chorus. His vocals are perfectly mixed with instrumental parts to fill in every corner of the song. Moreover, Todd Osterhouse's production and Howie Weinberg's mastering make the song a very balanced and pleasing audio experience.

“You Want Attention” is an extremely memorable and soothing track, which may become a summer radio hit, if properly promoted. Other than that, its vibe is a daily reminder to detach from others' issues and enjoy your own life by going inside, offline.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'Draconina' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, April 11th, 2017. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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SONG SHORT REVIEW: Sonny Hunter - Anxious (song review) |1602Dreamz Publishing, Truth Teller, 2016| 5/5

Dwayne 'Sonny' Hunter (lead singer, songwriter) is a solo artist from Houston, TX who collaborates with a few other musicians. He was accompanied by Chrissy Bliss (additional vocals), Ryan Holgerson (guitar), Frank Kriege (drums), Taz Anthony on bass for the purpose of making "Anxious".

The arrangements here are very catchy and the vocals are characteristic, thus memorable. They perfectly stand on their own as another 'instrument' in this composition, nicely intersecting with bass, drums and guitar arrangements. In addition, they bring a few neat low-high tone contrasts. Many male vocalists don't sing melodiously. Not only does Dwayne produce a lot of melodies, but he also adds a theatrical flavor to the vibe of his vocal parts. The guitar has its soloing moments too, classically located during the bridge in the third part of this rock track.
Lyrically, "Anxious" speaks of a human's need to be loved. Moreover, it's not about one wanting love yet fearing to open his heart, but expressed by a man who is ready to give and receive.

According to the copyright notes, the song was originally written in 1983. Much has changed in the music industry since then yet a good composition always speaks for itself. Therefore, "Anxious" - a rock song with funk & prog elements may boost your body energy thanks to its groovy dynamics.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'Draconina' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, March 27th, 2017. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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SONG SHORT REVIEW: Sonny Hunter - Times In Life (song review) |1602Dreamz Publishing, Truth Teller, 2016| 5/5

"Times in Life" is a rock tribute to those who have been battling cancer. This song is supported by a music video (watch it on YouTube). Despite its rather heavy topic, the mood here is full of positive energy and brings a spark of rebellion, in tune with the motto: 'yes, you're ill but please stop grieving over yourself. Stay firm and positive, keep fighting to get better'.
Sonny Hunter is the brainchild of the Houstonian singer and songwriter Dwayne 'Sonny' Hunter who cooperates with a few other musicians. His memorable voice perfectly aligns with every single instrument within this composition - once in a duet with the drums, the other time with the bass or guitar, then with all of them in unison.
The lively arrangements and vocals seem to be inspired by 80s glam/hair rock, probably the most enthusiastic, positive rock sound ever created. The chorus sounds heartwarming and is extremely memorable, thus "Times In Life" is a strong contender to be a radio hit. Thanks to the theme and very good production, it's definitely a fitting track for many 'music against cancer' compilations. Yet it should also be enjoyed during live performances, especially if the audience is into singing along with the artist.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'Draconina' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, March 27th, 2017. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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SONG SHORT REVIEW: Photona - Daisies (song review) |self-released, Alabaster Inlay Tiger Panels, 2017| 5/5

Photona is a trio from Portland, Oregon, consisting of musicians performing under their artistic monikers: Tone (vocals, lyrics), XavierX (drums, sounds), and Bentley (synth, programming, bass). One of Photona's new songs, 'Daisies' is clearly inspired by 1980s new wave, cold wave, punk, goth, and electronic music, and is offered as a free download for the next 3 years.

A groovy, pleasant bass line and mid-tempo drum beats open the song, in which this arrangement acts as a solid spine until the very end of the composition. It is then followed by spacey synths, reminiscent of 70s electronic music - though of a much cleaner, more modern quality. Tone's voice comes in a bit later, and dominates over the arrangements thanks to its warm, mature timbre. It doesn't matter whether you already are a fan of Nico or Siouxie Sioux (the closest voice references here), you will admire Tone's distinct, well trained, and fully utilised voice.

The song could be a story-telling canto by a tired warrioress who fought but hadn't received enough support, and is now singing from the top of a mountain about what she had acknowledged, and what should be done. She had understood the background of separation amongst people, and it's on your TV too – showing gruesome results of brainwashing methods employed by organized religions, specifically Catholicism and Islam, which turned human beings into heartless zombies. Murder taking place on many layers, not just the physical body, but also its original energy.
Fortunately, there are still heart-driven rebels out there who see through the veil, and who offer to restore the original peaceful vibration within us. Therefore, in this song, Tone wants to (metaphorically speaking) plant daisies - a symbolic representation of the heart (its simplicity and happiness) - as a cure against joy-blocking distortions anchored in human brains. These plants also propagate quickly through spreading more seeds around.

'Daisies' - a potential hit to be aired on many radio stations - offers catchy arrangements, which make the track memorable, yet relaxing. The song should give you a taste of Photona's music before Alabaster Inlay Tiger Panels (their new album) comes out in February 2017.

Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp free track

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, January 11th, 2017. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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SONG SHORT REVIEW: Hendrik Jan Vermeulen - Brüder (song review) |self-released, Krieg, 2016| 5/5

Dutch musician Hendrik Jan Vermeulen established Krieg 1916 project in memory of his great-uncle (Bernhard Kronauer) who fought and died as a soldier of the Imperial German Army during WWI. If you visit Krieg's website, you'll learn a lot more about the background story illustrated with authentic photos. Moreover, there are other European musicians, poets, technicians, and designers involved in this project, listed on the website as well.

Krieg's self-titled album (the vinyl & CD were released 100 years after Vermeulen's great-uncle's death), contains 17 songs, all performed in German. One of them is "Brüder" (German for "Brothers"), a dedication to all brothers-in-arms, with no diversification whether they are allies, or enemies. According to H.J. Vermeulen, this track wasn't written to praise mass-murder, but to remind people about the importance of living in peace, achieved through a self-balance and mutual tolerance.
It's a short, solid composition written for string instruments, drums and vocals. The melancholic mood comes from the guitar, though rhythmic bass and drums lines prevent listeners from extensive mourning. Lyrics (written by the German soldier and poet Heinrich Lersch) are performed by Heiko Schmidt. This male singer and actor from Cologne owns an extremely intriguing voice timbre which resembles a female alto.
Since the song is dedicated to soldiers, its ending part - which is suddenly cut may - suggest that the singer was (symbolically!) silenced through violence while performing. An absence of gun or explosion SFX is a real relief here. Instead, a soloing guitar (partially reminiscent of Brian May’s work for Queen) and drums skilfully mimic these in parts of the song.
"Brüder" is melodious and instantly memorable, but it could definitely benefit from being illustrated by a fitting video.

Official | CD Baby

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, December 7th, 2016. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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