Kyria 13 - Review
After another long break since their previous album of all new work, we're finally presented with this interesting concept album.
With ten tracks on this album, the band manages to weave a story of a people struggling for survival and gonig through various choices ultimately resulting in
war and tragedy. You can get the full short-story at the band's website complete w/ concept art drawings. In the meantime the music on this album is a great
collection of electronic music, some dance-friendly, others more trance-laiden and experimental, but all coming together for a great listen from start to finish.
As a concept album I think it's best to listen to the album in it's entirety. However, I also think there are some excellent pieces that stand well on their
own as those we've included on our radio shows and that you might hear at a dance club and so on. These start from the very beginning of the album as we're
introduced to the "Croxxers". This dreamy piece has a definite sci-fi flair to it with subtle electronic loops slowly build behind the vocals as it becomes the
introduction to the world we enter on this album. "The Great Mistake" appears a bit later and features some great electronic music with a moving beat
and more of the sci-fi influenced synth loops and lyrics and vocals. With these elements this piece slowly builds and manages to stand on it's own as a great track.
The album moves through a number of various down-tempo and experimental pieces as the story is told through the various styles of music and lyrics. As it starts
to wind down another piece that stands out well is "Astral". The pulsating bass and moving beats behind the futuristic, ethereal and captivating electronics
keep the listener hooked.
With those as stand-out pieces, I still wouldn't discount many of the other tracks. As I've listened to the album in it's entirety several times from start to
finish, I'm really convinced that's the best way to listen to this album is from start to finish. This way you not only hear the individual tracks such as those
noted above, but the story progresses better, the moods blend well and it all flows smoothly. This definitely isn't your typical EBM / Industrial album, there's
some great diversity here with the trance and sci-fi influences that open-minded fans should enjoy.
Mothfly - Review
Formed in the 90's and hailing from Germany, this group is another classical electro-industrial act that has been around for some time.
Having passed 10 years since their last studio album, we're finally presented with their latest work of dark, heavy ebm music in the form of Mothfly
With 11 solid tracks ranging from dance-friendly industrial to dark, down-tempo experimental electronica, they cover the range of edgy, powerful electronic music
on this disc.
The album kicks off with deep, heavy, distorted electronics pulsating and wrything along until the pounding beat finally kicks in a minute or so into "www" and
then it's powerful, electronic mayhem. This is another band that breaks the mold from the harsh, distorted vocals of 90% of the industrial bands today, yet they
still manage to put together solid industrial tracks like this one and many others with vocals similar to what you might hear on classic Skinny Puppy
tracks and the like. Several tracks start as down-tempo, or heavy mid-tempo pieces, but then the beats and layered synths and vocals kick in and the intensity is
turned up several notches for incredibly moving pieces. Along with these powerful tracks they throw in some moving, dance-friendly instrumentals like "Surrender"
following right after the down-tempo, heavy and angst-ridden track "The Ugly Game" that seems to come right out of the "handbook for creating excellent, dark and
moody, down-tempo industrial music".
The inclusion of various instrumental pieces with spoken word samples is something that is done very well by this band on this disc. The previously mentioned
"Surrender" is moving and catchy, and then it's followed up with a heavily distorted industrial instrumental piece "Panic" that is really excellent. The funny
thing is that I'm not usually a fan of instrumental pieces, as they usually end up too trancy or repetative without vocals to keep it interesting, but these as
well as others form a selection of catchy instrumental pieces that are really well done.
At this point the album picks back up with the vocal pieces with "In Memorial" and "Reflexion" kicking it up a notch. "In Memorial" keeps it dreamy, yet
experimental in many ways, but it's amazing how all of the layers, loops and samples come together for such a stellar piece. "Reflexion" moves along with some
break-beats and a powerful blend of dreamy trance and industrial influences with layered synths, heavy bass, and the slightly distorted vocals for a nice touch.
The title track "Mothfly" stands out as another powerful piece and as possibly the most standard ebm/industrial track on the album, while still maintaining that
dreamy trance feeling through the use of many layered synths, it all moves well along a powerful and driving beat. This piece has quickly become a favorite of
mine with all of these elements along with the moody vocals that inject true life into it all.
The album winds down first with a down-tempo piece "Totalausfall" and then with a driving finale in the form of "Breakdown". This brings it all to a close and
the listener is left with a taste of how mixing different genres and styles can create something really cool and intelligent. I think fans won't be disappointed
with this one.
Label: Art Of Fact