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Rock: Darxtar, History of Guns

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DARXTAR: We Came Too Late (CD on Nasoni Records)

This CD from 2005 offers 53 minutes of powerful space rock.

Crashing guitars share the stage with more sedately applied strings, developing a lush stratification of pulsating riffs as rhythm chords and lead pyrotechnics conspire to propel the tuneage to dizzying heights. Nimble-fingered chords establish growling riffs that resound and bluster with ceiling-rattling cadence.

Pounding drums provide impulsively dense beats which know when to step down their intensity to allow dreamy passages to coax the audience into a serene calm--just in time for the music to erupt with revitalized vigor and swamp everyone's ears with stunning pinnacles of sound.

A horde of electronics creep throughout the mix, embellishing things and lending a glittering sheen to the band's rock-out determination. There's even a dose of violin to add a plaintive edge to the surging tuneage.

Lyrical multiple vocals are widely present, describing a melancholy regret over arriving too late to save the world from self-abuse--but gratefully not too late to help pick up the pieces. Greed and self-interest are the deserving targets of the band's derision.

The compositions are solid, steeped in a blend of heavy metal and spacey rock that is actually quite accessible.

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HISTORY OF GUNS: Apophenia (CD on Liquid Len Records)

This CD from 2005 offers 46 minutes of hard-edged songs of social dissatisfaction.

History of Guns is: Del Gun, Max Rael, and Fester Schuster. They are joined on this release by the Goose, Hughes the Reverend, Kyle Reece Gilbert, and DJ Russell Osborne.

Anger is vital here, and highly infectious as the band communicate their discontent through catchy tunes and raging melodies.

Pulsating rhythms crowd together until the intricacy becomes exhausting. Grinding guitars belt out furious riffs that snare the ears with their devilishly enticement. Liquid bass provides murky undercurrents of rumbling that serve to unsteady the ground underfoot. Overt electronics end up adopting a darkwave mood as they seethe deep within the mix. Keyboards are rare here, but when used they inject a funeral air to the gritty music.

Deeply masculine vocals croon and growl and rant against corrupt authority, whether that be self-serving governments or ill-informed parental advise. The messages are not just angry dissent, though, often providing depth and insight into the conspiracies that blind the average citizen to the world around them.

This band is devotedly opposed to the privatization of freedom. This sentiment pervades each song, lamenting oppression and condemning corporate distractionary methods that perpetually trivialize important global concerns while reminding you to keep your breath sparkly fresh and minty.

While most of the songs derive strong influences from punk, these roots are forced into more refined delivery with slick production and modern technology. Imagine if Bauhaus reformed and were more concerned with politics that the undead.

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