music review : Star Industry – Black Angel, White Devil

reviewed by : Aaron Andrews

released by : Alfa Matrix on 14 November 2008
data : 4th album . 10 tracks . 47:58 run time .
genre : goth rock, darkwave

packaging : A classy look with a blue toned, black and a white letterbox band picture from a live performance on a black background. A simple classic serif font is used to announce artist and album title.  Overall, it is a simple and pretty cover.

This is a live album to follow up Last Crusades, from which a number of songs are taken.  It was recorded in Madrid, Spain and offers a good snapshot of the bands catalog of songs.  The music is technically sound and the band is good at what they do.  The problem for me is that it often seems to be a rehash of The Sisters of Mercy.  The similarity between the two bands is especially evident in the vocals of Peter Beckers, who only seems to forget sounding like Andy Eldritch when covering Depeche Mode. The fact that this live album is little more than tracks played with the crowd’s applause at the end is really disappointing.  More often than not, the times and arrangements of these live versions are dead ringers to their studio versions.  Live albums offer the home listener an insight to the experience of a crowd’s excitement and the improvisation and creativity of a bands live perform-ance. Some good examples of this are the Cure’s Paris, Front 242’s Re:Boot, and Underworld’s Everything Everything.  I want a live album to offer some new insight on the tracks I’ve already bought and heard, something this album lacks.  The listener doesn’t even get a chance to hear the crowd’s enthusiasm or the singer’s banter in between songs. The production of the promo copy I received was mediocre.  It can be assumed that the recording came from the soundboard at the performance since it is crisp but it received little or no mixing, resulting in a flat sound. I would be a lot more apt to include the bands studio albums in my personal collection and skip this one.  This really is an album only for completists and die-hard fans.

recommended tracks : Out of My Head, Enjoy the Silence, Coming Down
if you like you may like : The Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, The Mission UK
grade : overall 6 – music 7 – lyrics 6 – recording quality 5

from the February Issue of Auxiliary Magazine

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