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Drastique - Pleasureligion

-  CD Review
CD Info
Beyond Productions
7 Tracks
Italy-English lyrics-some foreign

I don't usually write reviews on one man project's, so this will be a new avenue for me. The "one man" I speak of is Chris "One Soul Inferno" Buchman, writer, lyricist and instrumentalist of the Italian based band "Drastique". He used to call it "Drastic", but I guess that title was too passé for his tastes. Although there are two other members for this recording, this is Buchman's band, the others are just in it for the production of this release, I believe. Reason I say this, because on his first release, "Thieves of Kisses" (1998), the players were different. Is a matter of fact, on the first album, Chris played all of the instruments, with the help of two female vocalists’, neither of which appear here. For Chris, that's good. Not to say that the femme vocalists on the first production were bad. Just that the one he has found for "Pleasureligion" is better. Wayyyy better! Her name is Fay, (no last name) and she is listed as "The Temptress in Black", and for good reason, for it is unusual to find females in Black Metal bands. Not anymore! And Fay fits in rather admirably in the Gothic parts.

We've seen it all already though. Ex Siebenbergen, Marcus Ehlin's recent venture into soloist territory with the release of "Grand Death Opening" (see my review). But make no mistake; Chris Buchman's project is not Gothic Rock. Nor is it anything closely related to Ehlin's material. The music is a mixture of Black Metal with big Gothic overtones and Avant-gard-esque meanderings. Their are also allot of electronics induced into the sound-scapes by Buchman. Synthesizers, as he lists it, cover a wide spectrum of this music.

At this point in the review, I would liken this style to that of the Australian band, "Virgin Black". Similar in style, but not as Gothic. Drastique is more on the true metal side, than VB. The male vocals are a mix of allot of styles. I hear Black, Death, Operatic and for allot of you squeamish people out there, clean. Fay, on her own, is simply outstanding. She, like this music, is all over the place with her frantic bellowing. Sometimes operatic, and sometimes rockish, but all together, simply fantastic. There is also a slight accent, which adds a sort of sultry sexiness to her voice. Of course though, she is not the star here, I'm sorry to say. Yes, she has an outstanding delivery, but Mr. Buchman is definately the star in the making.

There is one other member in the band, but it is unclear what he does. His name is simply, Mahavira and he is listed as "Thundering Echoes of Silence". Whether this means he is a drummer, I'm not sure. On the first album, "Thieves of Kisses", it is clear that a drum-machine was used. But on this album, if it is a drum-machine, it sounds much more life like to these ears. Although I really love this album, I hate the mysteriousness of the author. I wish He would just tell us who plays what, and stop leaving us all to figure it out.

The sound and production level are top notch. The artwork is very enticing to those who see naked woman as art, and not something (dirty). I see it for what it is. To sell! And I'm sure this album will sell more for its content than what is on the cover. (Actually, I did buy it for the naked girl, on the cover. I had not known that Buchman changed the name of the band.) To compare them to other bands would do no good. Outside of the brief comparison I made to VB. Yes, they sound like.... all of the above. I even have no track this time that I can call...favorite. The whole album is just one good track. Start to finish. Trust me. If you have a copy of "Thieves of Kisses" and enjoyed it, then you will enjoy "Pleasureligion" even more.