Friday, June 5, 2020
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Virtual Space Industrial: Gehenna

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Artist: Virtual Space Industrial
Title: Gehenna
Format: CD
Label: Pandailectric (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
Gehenna, the first full-length release by Poland’s Virtual Space Industrial [VSI], paints a dire picture of the future with its simmering mix of apocalyptic themes, highly charged electronic body music and thought-provoking samples. The album is named for a Latin word, meaning "a place of torment or suffering," and sure enough there are plenty of references to hell, including a number of thinly veiled suggestions that our world is headed quickly in that direction. The first track, "Holy Children," is mildly reminiscent of X Marks the Pedwalk in sound and feel, with its mildly processed vocals and smooth, catchy electro refrains. "Liar" slows down the musical pace and cranks up the vocal distortion. "Strange Films" grows from humble beginnings into a lengthy, deeply introspective examination of personal pain and anguish. "Traitor" lashes out angrily against the irresponsibility of those who would be guardians of the human race. "Return to Beginning" is a short, sweet musical interlude that connects nicely to the subtly evangelical "Rest of my Life." "Angel of Death" is fairly brimming with homily, Father and Son coming to kick our heathen asses for our dirty perversions. At least we’re given the courtesy of a decent dance beat during this righteous reaming! "Right Hand of God" puts war under the microscope, mocking man’s folly in the face of a higher power. "Love for a Moment" is lyrically cryptic, but pleasant nonetheless with its repetitive refrain. "Hope" injects a bit of their native Polish tongue into the mix with an incantation during the early part of the track, and chugs along on the rails of an arp refrain that is very similar to Evils Toy, circa Human Refuse. A much more languid pace drives the instrumental track, "Shadow of Death." The slow progression at the beginning of "Bad Dream" is something I’ve heard before, but I can’t remember the source for the life of me. It is quickly shed in favor of a fast-paced beat, evolving into the most solid dance track on the entire disc. The disc ends on a somewhat hopeful note, as VSI sing of a "New World Order."This album appears on Pandailectric, a German label, and follows an earlier EP entitled Angel of Death, which was released in 2002. Nice looking artwork and liner notes! The message isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, and there are some entertaining liberties taken with the English language, but the music is solid and the feeling sincere. Overall, it’s pretty damned good.