Ellis Vanghoul – Violent Energy (Mushy)

Posted in Reviews 2006 by - November 08, 2006


Weird one, this. And according to the label’s website, this “new style” of music is called ‘Psycore’. On the face of it, it’s some sort of hybrid darkpsy/eurotrance monstrosity recorded by a chap who tries very hard on the inner cover to look scary (the closest I can find online is this pic of him – baggy pants equals not menacing.)

At the same time, the track titles suggest scariness of a level somewhere around scooby doo, and a religious agenda that seems to fit awkwardly with the rest of what’s going on. The first two tracks see nothing at all happen, and the guitar on Blood For My Vampire is the worst I’ve come across since… well, it’s been a while. Days, literally. It’s a nice enough track, in its quaint way: 150bpm, with a sort of mellowed groove over what should by rights be full-powah crank. And then, it goes the shape of a pair of tits exploding: vaguely bluesy, the guitar’s out of tune and sounds like it was played by a man with carrots for fingers. Bad enough, but then there’s the midbreak in Holy Skys Of Eden (sic), which is just a travesty.

It’s as though Ellis has this dark sensibility, this very tangible knack of making a brooding atmosphere in his music, before he pisses, shits, bleeds and spunks all over it with saccharine, ill-conceived melodic disasters. The title track has some discord which I presume is supposed to be clever. It is not, and nor is it listenable. Power Is Love, Love Is A Dancefloor ultimately has this dreadful eurocheddar synth lead across the top, and it’s yet another disaster. The anatomy of the track before we get to this point is, once again, actually not so bad: the tricks are good, with plenty of little stopstarts that you’re not expecting, and even the ones that you are have something different about them.

Let’s make this clear, Ellis is a good producer: but all the technical godliness won’t make your music arresting, embracing, or even interesting – and it’s as though he realises this, hence the over-the-top melodic mouthwash. Circus Psychedelicus almost succeeds in these stakes: it’s messy, it’s dirty, but without being a parvati-like headachemonger. Father Of All is another: it’s got great ideas, some genuinely decent movement, great hooked laughter, and then the highend comes in and spoils the last two minutes. Flutaie is just shit. Finally, then we get Dreaming Japan, allegedly a live recording: twelve minutes at 150bpm that I assume will make “the floor” go “crazy” but which I don’t want in your living room, and you may not either.

I want to like it, he’s trying something different, it’s just not very good.


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