Mechanical Reflections - Review
Once again this Italian trio has pulled together their talents for another driving, harsh electro-industrial sound.
This sophomore album is presented with eleven all new tracks and another two bonus remixes for thirteen total. The music continues in the same vein as their previous work with the harsh, grinding guitars, piercing synths, pulsating electronics and pounding beats as a backdrop to Sanja's powerful vocals.
As with their previous works they have their ups and downs on this album. The dance-friendly beat mixed with the grinding guitars is something fans in this genre are used to and hear a lot. The mixture of some of the intense synths coupled with the equally intense vocals can bring some tracks a little over-the-top that you have to be in a situation or mood to enjoy. With that said, there is plenty of great material here that fans can enjoy. A few stand-out tracks appear early on in the album as it really kicks in with power and intensity. The first of these also starts off the album with "Parallel World". After a slowly building intro, this track starts off with much the heavy intensity of their other tracks but then the chorus is powerful and melodic for an emotionally charged anthem. This gives way to "Inner Duality" which delves a little more into the electro-pop style with the pulsating synths taking more of the primary style instead of the grinding guitars which gives it more of a melodic and accessible feel. Several more pieces like this exist with more of melodic approach to them which stand out and are fun to listen to and keep the body moving.
The way the music is mixed really begs for it to be played on a large system with plenty of dynamics. Listening to it on smaller speakers makes the staccato synths stand out and make it sound very robotic and broken up, but with the full intensity of all frequencies in play, it really sounds great. A great example of this is with "Artificial Humanity". This piece is created with a lot of staccato electronics that when listened to with the heavy bass, grinding guitars and bass drum pounding away, these electronics slip into the background as simple punctuation rather than being the principle instrument of the song. As the album moves along, just having the sound system in mind that you're listening on makes a huge difference as I've listened on different systems and when the staccato synths take the forefront, and the high-pitched vocals are belting away the lyrics, it gets quite overwhelming.
Overall this is a great album with some great material that fans can really enjoy. There are plenty of club-friendly pieces that our listeners have been enjoying and that I think will keep the bodies moving at the discoteques. Well worth picking up and adding to your collection.
The Oniric Geometry - Review
This Italian trio brings together great elements of EBM, techno and harsh, grinding industrial metal guitars. They got their start near the end of 2010 when Francesco started experimenting with his guitar and teamed up with Leo and vocalist Sanja Aveic.
This album is their debut album which was picked up by Nilaihah Records
and was released in April, 2013.
This album contains a whopping 12 original selections, and in addition to a cover track and 3 bonus remixes for plenty of great material for listeners to enjoy.
I've been listening to this album for a while now, trying to pick it apart and piece it all back together. At first I was really intrigued by the driving guitar mixed with the heavily pounding beats, it's definitely a powerful album with a lot of in-your-face energy and intensity. I love female vocals, especially layered over powerful electronics or guitars, so you would think from the start I would have been all over this album. Maybe the vocal structure kind of bothered me at first, creating an affect I can only relate to what a wailing banshee might sound like, it definitely adds to the overall intensity and aggressive industrial style. As I've continued to listen to the album, various tracks have really started to become favorites and there are some tracks where the vocals are actually quite beautiful for a nice accent to the album overall. In the end, I've found that the key factor to really enjoying this album is to be in a place or mood where the pounding beats, aggro guitars and intense vocals are more of a stimulus rather than a detractor. I've really enjoyed listening to them while working out, driving, running or biking when the more aggressive mood is more appropriate. I think fans who enjoy the harder hitting tracks from In Strict Confidence
can understand and relate to and enjoy this album and style of music.
I would just like to touch on a few favorite pieces from the album that have grown on me over the last several weeks. The album kicks off with "Voice of Devotion" which has definitely become a favorite, it has a huanting, dark wave style mixed in with the powerful electron industrial styles. "Illusion" is one of the tracks chosen for the split single / EP and I think could easily be a club hit,nearly all tracks could be for their beat and intensity, but this one has a nice solid structure with the powerful mix of electronics and guitars providing an excellent back-drop for the intense banshee vocals. "Wish" is the other half to the split single / EP and again, very similar to the previous track, the intensity is there with even more powerful guitars driving the music and moving it along. A nice break and soft touch in the album appears near the end of "Proud Spirit" when Sanja's vocals are crisp and clear and beautiful. This track fades into the appropriately named piece "Emotion" which is a nice break for a couple of minutes from the harsh intensity of the other tracks though it does slowly build in intensity and about halfway through the beat kicks in and we're back at full throttle. The album moves along with just enough variety to keep the listener interested, though overall the album is quite homogenous with the grinding guitar, pounding beats and banshee vocals coming at the listener in full force. As the album starts to wind down, we hit "Scream" which is also appropriately named, the band unleashes everything on this piece with full intensity for an overpowering affect and pure adrenaline rush if your in the right situation and mood, otherwise it can be a bit much.
I should probably just close noting the last couple of tracks (before the three remixes). "Solitude" is an excellent down-tempo piece again providing a nice interlude and break from the overall intensity of the album. This fades away and leaves us to close with "Warlies", another piece that plays more like an anthem and has a nice melodic structure rather than relying on brute force. I also like the inclusion of children's vocals to close out the track. The three remixes are a nice bonus to the album, especially for DJ's and other die-hard fans. Overall, it's a great album for those looking for some really intense music for the club or other time when an adrenaline rush is needed. Go pick it up!
Wishful Illusion - Review
This split EP was released a couple of months before their debut album as a special treat and advance taste of what was to come.
On this EP we have a total of 9 tracks, featuring the original versions of "Wish" and "Illusion", a couple of excellent pieces from their debut album. Along with the album versions we're presented with four remixes of "Wish" and three remixes of "Illusion" for a diverse look at these two pieces.
I'm not personally a huge fan of remix maxi singles and EPs, though as a DJ I've been able to use and enjoy several alternate remixes depending on the venue and situation, but I like to sit and listen to albums from start to finish. As you can imagine with nine tracks of two songs over and over, it can get a little old. So I had to step out of the box for a bit for this single and just try and listen to each piece individually at different times. A few remixes stood out from the others, though all fairly well done based on a standard. One that really stands out is the "FatStack feat. Hant! Remix" of "Illusion" which really took a twist that I've seen becoming more and more popular. This remix starts off all dreamy and ethereal, then all of a sudden we're presented with some intense dub-step electronics for an interesting take that I think the kids can enjoy since it's all the rage now. Other remixes vary slightly in one way or another for a pretty good variety. Overall I enjoyed the "Sonik Foundry" mix with the melodic electro-pop approach to the track.
Label: Nilaihah Records