This release is a split promo, originally given away to people who pre-ordered a ticket to one of the two shows with these four bands in Estonia. Due to the release not being available for public I won't analyze it as a whole; I'll review it as four separate singles put together instead. The grade is there just to serve as an average grade of the singles' quality.
First we have Apples of Idun, the only non-Estonian band on the split. The band was formed in 2004 as a solo-project, but turned into a whole band sometime between it's first and second albums - and the same group is now working on the band's third album. These two songs were taken from the band's newest single promoting their previous album "Disaster Art" (reviewed here). They begin with a wholly new track, the single's B-side Underdog. It has a similar overall nature to the "Disaster Art"-album; electronic synths create the soft background along with some short melodies, the plain male vocals add to the atmosphere, the guitars and drums add some slight rocking values and heaviness, and the bass guitar gives the song a strong pulse that pushes it forward. The track has a very intriquing twisted mid-pace rhythm provided by the strings, and when teamed up with the deceiving calmness it all turns into something great, and even addicting. Only the vocals fall short in delivering the emotion in the track's mid-part. Polyfonia was originally featured on the band's album, but this version of it features slightly edited synths and additional female vocals that deepen the track's atmosphere, and make it more interesting and better functioning as a single track. This single describes the "Disaster Art"-album well, sounds good on it's own and features something new for the old fans. A pretty much flawless demonstration.
The gothic- and classical-influenced industrial group Evestus got it's start as a solo project in 2003, and to this date it has reformed into a whole band with a three-album catalogue. Their songs on this CD are taken from the band's newest album "This is Dramacore," which has gained some pretty good feedback from the media. The song "Enemy" starts with some aggressive distorted vocals and is soon backed by some simple bass drum programming with a noteworthily strong sound. The track has a very minimal nature overall aside of the powerful drums and raw, almost spoken vocals, as it's otherwise mostly made of some sparse electronic synth notes, a simple drum loop, and some classical piano and cellos that give the track it's personal sound. It's diverse and a bit too shallow in the end, but a pleasing and interesting listen. "Pikachu Warriors" has almost similarly minimal nature, but with the main weight put on the powerful drum programmings, whereas the synths are in a supporting role with their almost cheerful sounds. The band's balance between raw and clean, as well as powerful and thin sounds is quite interesting, and even though the songs are not exactly hits due to their experimental and very dark nature, and thus won't likely be a regular listen for a lot of people, they got me interested to hear the band's album due to their highly personal soundscape.
Epoché's was founded in 2005 and has made three promo-singles to date, their material on this split being taken from the newest two from '09. "Load Your Guns" varies between it's calm synth- and vocal-driven verse and the very guitar & bass-based chorus with it's heavy rhythmic side and catchy drumming. The even dramatic low female vocals add a new and deeper level of atmosphere to the track's calmness with a lot of hostility under it's surface. The other song by the band features a different and a lot calmer approach, being reliant on some tribal-esque beats that also end up being the track's driving force. There's some delayed synths to add a layer of mysticism to the track, but as it's pretty even and stable throughout it's end it ends up falling short from it's capabilities. Maybe the acoustic guitars and the strong bass guitar rhythms could've been taken further to give the track more edge and appeal? Even if this track is not as great as it could be, and the songs have a just slightly demo-like sounds, they still give a very promising image of the band, and it seems that they're quite enthusiastic to take their dramatic industrial rock forward. I hope that's exactly what they'll do.
Mimicry, formerly known as Kosmosepoiss, has been active since 2004 in some form but haven't made a physical release yet. The band's style could be described as energetic, catchy and arrogant party music that borderlines somewhere between electro, trance, industrial and techno. Their first song "Heat" relies on bare and simplistic rhythms in it's verse, and on a more massive, aggressive and trance-like soundscape in it's chorus with even some slight electric guitars to give the track more character and diversity. The arrogant female vocals are also one of they key elements, as they are so full of self-esteem and emotion that you just can't disregard them. Their follow-up song is a cheery one despite it's even more arrogant feel, and it's simplistic and repetitive techno-synth pattern turns the track into a pretty appealing one. The songs are damaged by their very clearly repetition-based nature, as there's just not enough of additional and small synth-sounds and patterns in the tracks to give them more depth. The second song shows great effort in fighting this problem, but brings out the fact that the band has pretty weak and thin sounds. If the songs were made professionally and with just a little extra spicing, they would be great. Keep an eye on this one if you're into clubbing, as Mimicry just might become something very noteworthy in the future.