OCTOBER 2010

 

 

Born from the ashes of Cysto, Soundgazer is the new project of Voytek Iwasiuk. The album SCREEN FEEL is his last production as a solo act because Soundgazer are now three people. Comparing Soundgazer to Cystois evident that Voytek improved his skills into sound production and songwriting as the new project brings to the audience nine new e.b.m. tracks (tracks from 10 to 13 where included into Cysto's old CD) which are able to blend melody and rhythm in a convincing way ("Find" is a good example with that kind of stop and go moments where the song slows down a little just to start again its run). The only weak element left is his voice. If at first his angry but not distorted vocals can be seen as a distinctive element, after a couple of tracks it starts to be seen as the only thing that doesn't change into Soundgazer's sound. This vanishes a little the efforts he did into the creation of a nice musical background. If he would try to vary the vocals or recruit a new singer, the songs would gain a lot...

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- Maurizio Pustianaz Chain D.L.K 

 

Borrowing liberally from both hard alternative rock and modern dance influences, Toronto-based Soundgazer's particular brand of industrial is definitely on the more accessible end of the spectrum. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Voytek Iwasiuk, the project's creator, often aims for big, bombastic anthems, as on "Silent Scream," which layers hard-driving electric guitar over futuristic techno synths, but his vocal approach leaves something to be desired. Affected and overwrought, it mars the otherwise solid arrangements on moody ballad "Temporary State," though this album's title track, "Screen Feel," manages to sidestep the issue by utilizing more spoken vocals than singing. Also decent is "Find," an upbeat but more relaxed song not unlike Apoptygma Berzerk's more recent material. "Adds to You" takes a more experimental approach with progressive rock guitar solos and pulsing drum machines, like Pink Floyd by way of New Order, while the last third of the album, originally recorded in 2005, highlight Soundgazer's earlier, more trance-inspired sound. Of this material, "Shallow Air" is lovely progressive trance, "What Is" hints at more of a synthpop vibe, and "Place Only I Know" is intense and anthemic, though again, Iwasiuk's angst-filled vocal affectations can be somewhat distracting from the energized synthesizer harmonies. This is a decent album, but not a great one; Iwasiuk still hasn't quite discovered a vocal style to perfectly fit his music. The songwriting and the arrangements are there, though, so it should only be a matter of time before the elements start to coalesce.

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- Matthew J. Grave Concerns Ezine

SCREENFEEL