Music Reviews



cover
Artist: Front Line Assembly (@)
Title: Improvised Electronic Device
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis Records (@)
Distributor: Metropolis Records
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
So FLA have a new album out which hardcore fans already know, and most probably already have. The member roster for 'Improvised Electronic Device' is similar to that on 'Artificial Solder' sans Rhys Fulber, with Jared Slingerland moving out of the auxiliary role and into membership status, as much a member as anyone can be in FLA besides Bill Leeb, without whom there would be no Front Line Assembly. Chris Peterson and Jeremy Inkel are back for another tour of duty.

The album begins with a typical FLA industrial atmospheric opening on the title track before charging across the battlefield of musical malevolence. Staccato martial industrial guitar drives home the opening salvo of Leeb's dystopian vision in his typical fashion. A few rounds of piano triplets adds a little novelty, but this isn't anything you haven't heard before from FLA. In fact, quite a bit of 'IED' is recycled from the band's bag of tricks employed on previous albums. You'll hear echoes of 'Civilization' on the beginning of 'Angriff'. The track takes a while to pick up steam but when it does, it's as hard as Rammstein. More varied vocal processing and Leeb's 'Deutsche stimme' makes it so, and there is plenty of neat programmed percussion to fill in the gaps. Yet I can't help but feel that I've heard parts of this song elsewhere, definitely modified but all too familiar. 'Hostage' ups the BPM to a pace somewhere between 'Unleashed' and 'Buried Alive,' and in fact, it is so reminiscent of the material on 'Artificial Soldier' you'll find yourself wondering if you haven't heard this song before. Unfortunately, the track depends on a descending progression for its hook, and not much else (although there are plenty of other elements in it, as usual with FLA.)

'Release' slows it down a bit and has a classic early FLA chorus dredging up memories of 'Hardwired' and 'Tactical Neural Implant' yet beefed up with a lot more abrasive power. 'As I watch this life disappear, salvation is my only fear. Underneath where it all has to end, echoing sound of hell never ends.' Uh huh. Well Leeb will never be mistaken for a poet laureate. 'Shifting Through the Lens' has a catchy techno synth sequence as its predominant feature, and vocoder vocals. It's kind of a one-and-a-half trick pony, but ought to be a good dance floor mover. 'Laws of Deception' reminds of 'Dopemine' from 'Artificial Soldier' combined with 'Surface Patterns' from 'Millennium' but sounds too derivative to be as good as either of them. Heavy Neubattenish industrial drums herald 'Pressure Wave' and although the track isn't particularly outstanding, it's adequate with metal power.

'Afterlife' has a Diabolo-esque (the game) guitar intro and is the closest thing here to a ballad, and a power ballad at that. It is also one of the best songs on the album. The theme and introspection is reminiscent of 'Everything Must Perish'. 'Stupidity' features Al Jourgensen on vocals and sounds like'¦Ministry. A no-brainer. What else would you expect? Seems as though FLA are keen of late on having album guests, but in the context of this album it doesn't make a lot of sense. It's all industrial speed metal, not the kind of stuff you ever hear from FLA. Maybe the intent was to pick up a few disenfranchised Ministry fans. Maybe Jourgey had nothing better to do, but Bill, I implore you- please, please don't let him join the band. One track is enough to last me a lifetime.

'Downfall' is the final track on the physical CD version (more on that soon) and as is typical with last tracks on FLA albums, it's quite atmospheric, but also with beats, melody and samples. It's good to hear they're still doing this kind of stuff. Now if you actually bought the CD, you'll be cheated out of the last two tracks ' 'Day of Violence' and 'Attack the Masses' which are only available by download. Personally, I think that sucks. The CD is more expensive than the download. If you have to pay more, you ought to get more. This is the FIRST Front Line Assembly album I've ever acquired through download (I'd much prefer having the physical CD) only because I was not going to be cheated out of the last two tracks, and they're worth having. 'Day of Violence' has great atmosphere, sweeping strings, cool synth sequences, vocoded vocal, a catchy chorus, the works. 'Attack the Masses' is heavy-duty electro-industrial at its finest. To not have these tracks would just be sad.

This may not be FLA's best album, and might disappoint a few fans but overall, is pretty solid. There are elements that might seem clichéd by now (that dark future you keep prophesizing is here already) and the transition from 'Artificial Soldier' to 'IED' isn't as dramatic as from 'Civilization' to 'Artificial Soldier' was, but Front Line fans will just about get their money's worth, considering the dollar ain't worth what it used to be.
cover
Artist: MARHSALL, GUAZZALOCA, MIMMO, ADU
Title: the shoreditch concert
Format: CD
Label: Amirani (@)
Rated: *****
As many of our reader have probably noticed, above all if they/you're in the ranks of those who know what's happening in the world of contemporary music-avant jazz and similar contexts, you've probably heard/noticed Amirani records has been exploring both genres with no damn fear to cross that border where everything is misty and "un-safe". Even thought a live concert in a church where you have a cello, plus a piano, plus a voice and a soprano sax dealing with contemporary music, is not exactly a betrayal of tradition, this quartet "fakes tradition" and plays with it: abstract, jazzy and neoclassic without resembling that much anything in particular, but incorporating elements of different but yet similar musical growths. I think it's important to underline the fact this quartet is a high-technically-skilled-killing-machine, but don't hold your breath, these musicians have gone beyond their incredible technical talent. What drives all of the tracks is still the idea/feeling of the moment, a great stream of consciousness that pushed them to leave the harbor behind their backs to sail uneasy waters. Guazzaloca's soft passages and his pointillistic incursions are maybe one of the strongest presences of this live performance, don't expect a frontal piano playing, but his work has a big weight on the final result. What can be filed as frontal, is the soprano sax of Mimmo and if you ever had the chance to see one of his live shows you know "the man has his say", his frontal approach in this recording is in line with the Baileyan idea that the performer has always to be himself no matter what's the context. Leila Adu and Hannah Marshall have the roles of the tight rope walkers therefore they're constantly on the edge of the ideal musical line that joins Guazzaloca to Mimmo and they did a beautiful job since Adu's voice flights elegantly on a scene where beside the two italians, the english cellist often acts in response or contrast to the different phrases "scattered on the crime scene". The location of this performance is the body of a church and reverb is the fifth element of the recording, but the interesting thing is that they played considering the aural context and what a good work they did!. An intense but yet really digestible contemporary work where the players are more driven by the feeling than by the idea to sound like this or like that, a challenge where many others have failed.
cover
Artist: Imminent (@)
Title: Cask Strength
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
It's a great time for comebacks of veteran artists, isn't it? IMMINENT alias Olivier Moreau may has had its heydays in the earlier years under the flag of the German Industrial label and retailer Ant-Zen. His classic 'Human Dislocation' and 'Nord' albums, which defined an own class in the stable of this famous label, are still true masterpieces. Like with any good whisky ' and that's meant with 'Cask Strength' ' the strength of the whisky taste being matured in a cask ' this album has at least taken 10 years in the making. Too short to get forgotten, if your band-/project name is IMMINENT ' but long enough in our fast pacing days, that you've to start nearly from scratch. Someone may tends to ask, why it has taken that long to come up with an all new studio album ' let's agree, that good and quality rhythmic Powernoise in that authentic kind, how Olivier produces, needs that long time. After his wall of disturbing, at times hectic and fast pacing rhythm structures, hides depth produced through thick and dark sounding synth pads ('Teskede'). And have you ever heard of a musician out of this special music genre, who whistles and use temporary brass instruments ('Lorsc'). Although Olivier's sound environment sounds raw, with complex rhythm programmings, and not-that-catchy-and-linear, with tracks like the nearly 8 minutes pounding track 'Cling' he could be able to provoke a hurricane of mass-movement on the dancefloor of the dark clubs. All of those mentioned tracks are rather the immediately striking tunes, which leave some impression on the listener ' but this album has much more to offer, if you would find the time to give it some more spins. This album acts like the mentioned whisky ' good things need time to mature.
cover
Artist: Ahnst Anders (@)
Title: Many Ways
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Maybe again a review far away from a near-to-the-release-date destination, but again a goody, which deserves some recognition. AHNST ANDERS is a German Ambient-/Electronica musician, who provides with 'Many Ways' his fourth release after two albums released by Pflichtkauf in 2007 and 2008, and an EP under the Play33-Records label. A release now signed to Ant-Zen may suggest a harsh and rhythmically disturbing outfit, but the crafty sound-environment of AHNST is differently formulated. By focusing to combine natural field recordings like rain, wind, and water, found metallic objects and environmental noises (street sounds, trains) with a dark and creepy Electronica sound outfit, he's able to create his very own world of true Dark Ambient music, which quite seldom turns out that rhythmically supported like under the track 'Phonique' ' which is nevertheless my favorite tune on here. Mostly the tracks offer the expected form of Downtempo and true ambience caused through monotonous phrases ('Something There', 'Hybrid'). 'Many Ways' offers many ways to express his musically vision, and the often quoted difference between natural field recordings to a cold, synthetic sound outfit isn't seemingly that different ' on 'Many Ways' you'll find several examples to unite these contrary elements.

cover
Artist: 100Blumen (@)
Title: Down With The System, Long Live The System!
Format: CD
Label: Ant-Zen (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Already the third album of this powerful German duo, but never before they have presented their obvious available Punk-influence that clear in an album title. Musically of course, you'll get once again that expected doze of harsh pounding, Powernoise-like dissonances, excellently pressed into straight rhythmically outfit. Tracks like 'The Unrest', 'Crash', or 'The Anger' are purest adrenaline and will punish your feet during a wild and merciless Pogo-action. Applause also to offer those rather DIVE-like tunes like 'A Bullet' or 'Silence In Times Of Rage And Suffer', which both draw a balance between rhythmic Noise and deepest Dark Ambient. The most spectacular track is of course 'Klimaveränderung', which is collaboration with Shane Talada (MARCHING DYNAMICS) and the guitarist Chris Tiegelkamp. This nearly 15 minutes long running track receives the license to throw in heavily fx-mutilated guitar riff into a cold and menacing Noise ambience ' and strengthens at least the impression, that this duo and its music draw a near relation to the Punk genre. There's maybe still no law in Floriculture ' but it offers some heavy-weight Noise tunes, which are able to push 100BLUMEN to the forefront of the rhythmically Noise genre. Keep your flowers growing and be gently to them.
[ Next ] [ Previous ]

[1...10] [11...20] [21...30] [31...40] [41...50] [51...60] [61...70] [71...80] [81...90] [91...100] [101...110] [111...120] [121...130] [131...140] [141...150] [151...160] [161...170] [171...180] [181...190] [191...200] [201...210] [211...220] [221...230] [231...240] [241...250] [251...260] [261...270] [271...280] [281...290] [291...300] [301...310] [311...320] [321...330] [331...340] [341...350] [351...360] [361...370] [371...380] [381...390] [391...400] [401...410] [411...420] [421...430] [431...440] [441...450] [451...460] [461...470] [471...480] [481...490] [491...500] [501...510] [511...520] [521...530] [531...540] [541...550] [551...560] [561...570] [571...580] [581...590] [591...600] [601...610] [611...620] [621...630] [631...640] [641...650] [651...660] [661...670] [671...680] [681...690] [691...700] [701...710] [711...720] [721...730] [731...740] [741...750] [751...760] [761...770] [771...780] [781...790] [791...800] [801...810] [811...820] [821] [822] [823] [824] [825] [826] [827] [828] [829] [830] [831...840] [841...850] [851...860] [861...870] [871...880] [881...890] [891...900] [901...910] [911...920] [921...930] [931...940] [941...950] [951...960] [961...970] [971...980] [981...990] [991...1000] [1001...1010] [1011...1020] [1021...1030] [1031...1040] [1041...1050] [1051...1060] [1061...1070] [1071...1080] [1081...1090] [1091...1100] [1101...1110] [1111...1120] [1121...1130] [1131...1140] [1141...1150] [1151...1160] [1161...1170] [1171...1180] [1181...1190] [1191...1200] [1201...1210] [1211...1220] [1221...1230] [1231...1240] [1241...1250] [1251...1260] [1261...1270] [1271...1280] [1281...1290] [1291...1300] [1301...1310] [1311...1320] [1321...1330] [1331...1340] [1341...1350] [1351...1360] [1361...1370] [1371...1380] [1381...1390] [1391...1400] [1401...1410] [1411...1420] [1421...1430] [1431...1440] [1441...1450] [1451...1460] [1461...1470] [1471...1480] [1481...1490] [1491...1500] [1501...1510] [1511...1520] [1521...1530] [1531...1540] [1541...1550] [1551...1560] [1561...1570] [1571...1580] [1581...1590] [1591...1600] [1601...1610] [1611...1620] [1621...1630] [1631...1640] [1641...1650] [1651...1660] [1661...1670] [1671...1680] [1681...1690] [1691...1700] [1701...1710] [1711...1720] [1721...1730] [1731...1740] [1741...1750] [1751...1760] [1761...1770] [1771...1780] [1781...1790] [1791...1800] [1801...1810] [1811...1820] [1821...1830] [1831...1840] [1841...1850] [1851...1860] [1861...1870] [1871...1880] [1881...1890] [1891...1900] [1901...1910]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha