Monday, August 3, 2020
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Title: Hellektro
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
Mike Johnson is not only the head behind VIRTUAL EMBRACE, he is also responsible for the music projects AGONOIZE, SERO.OVERDOSE and INFEKKTION, plus he has his own mastering studio Mao-Music and his own Tattoo studio as a daily job. His whole life seems to be dedicated of and about music and if you take a look to huge release output of his projects, you’ll get an idea how productive Mike is. Only one year after the release of his debut CD, this new full length CD of his sole effort VIRTUAL EMBRACE picks up the sound and ideas of the current ruling kind of harsh EBM/Terror-EBM – or just Hellektro – the name of this CD which has became a category in that genre. Currently he added also the helping hand of DJ Cyberchrist from London, who has an open eye to the lyrical content of VIRTUAL EMBRACE. You'll get the full dose of hard and rhythmic club-oriented EBM with rough distorted vocals, ripping bass lines, some Techno bleeps and hard destroying rhythm patterns packed in eternal monotony. Here is also the biggest flaw which this production has without any doubt to offer. In case of his huge output Mike’s music lacks of new and refreshing ideas. This Hellektro-CD has indeed a few good moments with "She-Speed" or the track "Virtual Embrace", but overall I would like to advise Mike to take a break and to think how about to come out of this musically death valley. Why still the hunt with repetitive sounds after the big pattern SUICIDE COMMANDO? How does VIRTUAL EMBRACE really differ from names like TACTICAL SEKT, RETRACTOR or just his own band AGONOIZE? It is quite disappointing for me to see and hear that Mike does not really think about to offer only one or two tracks in a different direction, something what could help VIRTUAL EMBRACE to be outstanding. This Hellektro is unfortunately nothing more than another repetitive mass production. On the other side I cannot blame Mike for playing with the formula of success, and this formula works on this whole album very well once again.


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