CD Review

V/A - "The Body, Spirit, And Mind"

By Marcus Pan

The Body, The Spirit, and the MindThis is a long CD. It has nearly 75 minutes of gothic/industrial and experimental music throughout. Seventeen songs in all! "The Body, Spirit, And Mind" is a cross between a compilation and an album. It's like a compilation because herein are more than one band out of Dallas, Texas. It's like an album because there are only three bands and each has 5-6 of their songs on it. The CD is separated into three portions. A band called "Push" hold "The Body" section. "Hexenhaus" holds "The Spirit" and, you guessed it, next comes "The Mind" in which lies the band "Furnace."

The Body: Push
Push's work is a dark and moody droning. The bass is very deep and chunky with distinct notes. The percussion tracks are scratchy and not as defined given their work a sliding sensation. The distinct bass notes hold it together. Vocals are slightly modified to give it a darker impression. The music has little in the way of sampling and I can hear possible influences by Jesus & Mary Chain and their ilk deep inside with their experimental guitar work and already-mentioned bass lines.

Their first track, Writhe, is probably one of the best songs on the compilation. The bass bounces into you and the beat track is coupled with a highly modified guitar progression. The vocals are breathed into your ear - industrial orgasm style. The song is, after all, about sex. What good goth/industrial compilation wouldn't have a great track about knocking the proverbial boots, eh? "Love your flesh, love your breath, feast on your neck now." Desert is served. Unfortunately, The Body Spirit saves the best for…first.

Lil' White Love, also by Push, is the third track on the compilation and is also quite a good one. The chunky base here and feedback-laden guitar riffs lend themselves to a good bout of stomp-style dancing. Then there's the old-skool-Ministry style cut, Halloween In a Suburb. It's both the name and the sound that begs me to draw this comparison - it's the only track by Push where the synthesizers can be heard as individual notes. I can only come up with snippets of lyrics at a time - not because they're too distorted or not understandable, but because they're much faster than the rest of their tracks. I wish I had a lyric sheet for this one, because the snips I could make out before Push moves on to the next stanza are ingenious. The rest of Push's tracks are well crafted with the same themes - feedback guitars (more of a background instrument for these guys than most bands), darker-modified vocals, sliding beat tracks and chunky bass lines.

The Spirit: Hexenhaus
Hexenhaus, "The Spirit" portion of the compilation, are a more eclectic bunch. They're sound is more experimental with chants, background grumbling and a more whining vocalization style. It's reminiscent of dark rituals with strong synthesizer melodies. The tracks are slower and lend themselves to eyes-closed trance rather than stomping around on a dance floor. It's candle music - but the kind where the candles are black and placed at strategic directional points. Their third track (ninth on the CD), Crimson Dream, is a piece filled with a crescendo of evil energy. Their bassline is stronger here than in other tracks they've supplied to the compilers and the vocals are less chanted and more pronounced. I detect a female vocal hidden behind the heavy piano portions of the song, but that could be a synthesizer. It's my favorite of the Spirit selections.

The Mind: Furnace
ow we get to the industrial genre with the work of Furnace. Tackling religion in their first track (thirteenth on the CD), Receiving The Spirit, Furnace provides a thumping, vox-ridden barrage of sound. It's anger music. "I'm in a really bad mood so I'm going to blast Furnace!" Barely noticeable Gregorian chants reside just beyond the chorus convalescing into the other sounds. Wish I had a lyric sheet. You concentrate on listening to the lyrics, but then the slamming beats bang it out of your head before you can process what they've just said. Following Receiving The Spirit, the slow droning of Chemical Exposure begins. This one gets monotonous after a while - as does other tracks they've supplied for The Body Spirit.

The Body, Spirit, And Mind does not deliver on its promise as stated on the cover. It claims to be "The Epitome of Darkwave - Goth - Industrial." While it's not that bad, it is far from being an epitome of anything. Some of the tracks are painful to sit through as they drone ever onward claiming, as many others do, that they're "experimental!" Experimental means you fuck around with sounds - not make the same one for a few minutes. Push, by far, is the best project here. I don't know if these are bands made up of the same members - messing with different musical genres under different outfit names. There are some fine tracks here though, albeit few and far between. Like a rough diamond culled from the earth that now needs to be polished and cut - most of it cut - so that it can shine brighter.

Contact Information:
E-Mail: furnace@gte.net
Post: R.C.W., P.O. Box 110936, Carrollton, TX, 75011-0936