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Various Artists

Devil's Domain: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Review by Gary Hill

While not everything here lands under progressive rock, there is a lot of prog in this set. There is also a lot of artsy soundtrack music that fits under the prog banner. Then when you add in participation of people like Simon House (who guests on one track) Nektar, Hedersleben, Brainticket and others, I can't see this going anywhere else. While this is distinctly dark and soundtrack oriented, it's also a good listening experience. There are some great songs here amidst the less song oriented stuff. I have previously reviewed some of these tunes as part of other CD reviews. For the sake of consistency I've copied or modified those reviews for use here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1 - Lisa

                
Vowws Feat. Gary Numan - Losing Myself in You

This definitely has a mellower, moodier modern prog element at play. There is industrial here, too. It is a cool rocker with some great shifts.

Iggy & the Stooges - I'm Sick of You

I know people think of Iggy and the Stooges as punk rocking or proto-punk at least. While the first movement of this does have a bit of a punk edge, overall it lands nearer to psychedelia. It even reminds me a bit of the Doors. When they scream out from there, it's into the kind of stuff one expects from the Stooges. It's angry and raw.

Big Jay McNeely - I've Been Mistreated

Now, here we get a full on blues number. This is great stuff. It's quite old school in treatment and delivery. It's also packed full of cool. The theatrical bit at the end is a bit over the top for my tastes, though.

Xynn - Schooldays

In some ways this makes me think of The Buggles a bit. There are hints of reggae in the mix here, too. It has a lot of 80s music built into it, as well. All in all, this is intriguing stuff that works quite well. Screams and the sound of torture are heard at the end of this. The music drops away leaving just that. Then a narrative voice has some creepy things to say.

Taco - Puttin' on the Ritz

I can't hear this song without thinking of "Young Frankenstein." That said, I really like this electronic groove take on the cut. The vocals are true to the style of the song, but the musical textures are pure electronic. There is a bit of rap (the old fashioned type) on this along with some intriguing shifts as the cut continues. I love it when they bring some funk to the proceedings. This has a real dance music element in these extended portions.

Missing Persons - Covert Operation

The arrangement on this is mostly rhythmic and electronic. The instrumental section later brings this into more proggy territory.

DMX - Y'all Niggaz

It's DMX, so you have to have a good idea of what you are going to get. This is incredibly meaty and mean. I love the raps, and the whole tune just rocks. It does earn a definite parental advisory.

The Warlocks - You Destroy

This is very heavy and yet melodic. It's packed with a lot of psychedelia. All that said, it has a real stoner rock vibe to it. This is trippy and dreamy. Yet those dreams are dark and have rough edges. I love this slow moving piece of music.

Geri X - Small Secrets

I am enamored with this one, too. It has a cool retro sound that's tempered with something more fuzz laden and modern. In some ways this has a sound that makes me think of Mazzy Star. Of course, the vocals add to that effect. Whatever you call it, though, this groove is great.

Onyx - Slam (Party Mix)
This hip hop piece has a definite old school vibe to it. It's a party song for sure.
Brainticket - Watchin' You

Psychedelia and space rock merge on this killer tune. It's closely related to stoner rock. I like this band quite a bit, and this is a great example of why. It's just such a tasty groove. A sitar driven section takes it into full psychedelia at the end.

Sons of Hippies - Mirrorball

I love the multiple layers of vocals on this song. There is almost a B-52s meets dreamy psychedelia vibe to this cut.

Blackburner - Burn! Burn! Burn!
Starting with a bit of the Arthur Brown classic, this is suitably scorching hot electronic techno jam. It's part dance music, part industrial. It's all cool.
The Anix - Mask

Keyboards start this in pretty waves of sound. It works out to a techno electronic kind of number from there. There are some great melodies here, along with a killer driving beat.

Magic Wands - Chariot
Energized and electronic, there is a bit of a modern prog element here, particularly on the bridge. Yet, it's also closely related to the dance type music of the previous cut. I dig the female vocals on this song a lot.
Pink Velvet - Allez Prenons Un Autre Verre

With lyrics in French, this is a bouncing rocker that has a lot of retro psychedelic rock and jazz built into it. It's just so cool. In fact, it's one of my favorites here.

3Teeth - Degrade

This is a full on techno rocker that's quite cool. It makes me think of Nine Inch Nails and Powerman 5000 at the same time. It's catchy and meaty. It's mean and just works really well.

Nektar - It's All Over
This is trademark Nektar. It starts mellower and works out to a more rocking sound as it continues. Still, it's more of a power ballad than anything else. It does get into some great prog rock territory on the instrumental section.
Disc 2 - Destiny
                  

Le Seul Élément - Mersey Mad Beat (Edit)

While the version here is an edited one, here's an idea of what I said about this song in the past: Rather strange and dark, this has some energy. It's electronic and rather symphonic with all kinds of layers of sound stacked around it. It somehow feels both organic and artificial. There are some shifts and changes, but overall nothing changes quickly on this.

Philippe Besombes - Géant

This is very much an electronic keyboard based piece of music. It's along the lines of things like Kraftwerk and Synergy. There are some sections that sound like theremin.

Luna 13 - Snitches Get Stitches

A hard rocking industrial styled cut, this works well.

Enter the Chambers

This piece really has a classical air to it. It creates a lot of tension. I can see how this would work particularly well in this type of film. It gets bombastic and rather frightening as it continues. There are some things that sound like sampled choral voices. There are also bits of creaking and crashing sounds in the mix. There is something that sounds like a train horn, too.

Pascal Languirand - Oiseau de Cristal

Extremely techno in nature, some of this is almost symphonic. Other parts are noisy and quite trippy. It's not far removed from something like Synergy or even Kitaro in some ways.

Carved Souls - Interlude

Very pretty and rather classical in nature, this is an exceptionally cool piece of music.

Burman Feat. Jessica Jean - Take Me Away

This is more of a dance styled techno piece. I love the vocals on it. The whole song is really powerful. There is a bit of a prog edge to it in a lot of ways.

The Devil's Domain I

Parts of this feel backwards tracked. It's electronic and quite odd. This gets quite trippy at times.

Chrome - The Clairaudient Syndrome (Excerpt)
Sedate synthesizer stuff brings this into being. It evolves very slowly with dramatic and powerful sounds that just rises up enough to provide contrast to the atmospherics in the backdrop. This is spacey, trippy stuff. It's dark and very atmospheric.
Inhalt - Noise (Instrumental)

There is a bit more of a driving, pounding kind of vibe to this number. It is still electronic and rather trippy.

Sweet Delight

Dark and ominous, this is also quite symphonic. It gets into some pounding, dramatic territory as it moves forward. There are noisier elements further down this road. It's easy to see how it would fit into a movie soundtrack.

The Devil's Domain II Feat. Simon House

Atmospherics start things off here in a rather trippy, understated way. It's rather freeform with waves of sound coming and going. Simon House's violin really adds to the weirdness. This is over nine-minutes long. Despite the fact that it never really rises  up beyond textural territory, it doesn't feel overly long to me.

Fantome - Je Suis a Toi (Steven Severin Remix)

The vocals on this are in French. The cut has a cool trippy vibe during the vocal section. It works out to a techno rhythmic movement beyond that, though. The vocals rejoin over the top of that format.

Hedersleben - Upgoer, Pt. 2 (Edit)
While this piece remains trippy, it works from atmospheric to rather bombastic stuff. It's psychedelia, space rock and soundtrack music all rolled into one instrumental.
Devil's Lair
Powerful symphonic music opens this and pounds it forward. The piece drops back a couple times for some mellower moments, but the more forceful classical music returns to regain control.
Bestial Mouths - Gulls
Weird, noisy and driving, this is part punk rock and part psychedelic proggy music. There is a lot of feedback and forceful percussion with some vocals that lean toward screamed.
Radclyffe Hall - Omg

This is more of a dance, techno number. It's good, but not one of my favorites here.

 

 
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