About Haloes - Review
As noted in the review below for their debut album, this band has really grown on me.
The mix of harsh electro meets melodic electro-pop is such a nice combination, one often used by bands with male and female vocalists, but in this case it works just as great here without the soothing female vocals. This sophomore album is presented with eleven powerful pieces, building on the powerful styles of their debut work to create another masterpiece.
From the very beginning of the album I was captivated with "Equilibrium". This piece slowly builds with pulsating synths and the mix of warm and harsh vocals, building with loop after loop, adding bombastic powerful percussion that slowly builds to a powerful climax that leaves the heart pounding with the same intensity as the music. As the album progresses we drift back into the pounding dance-friendly beats we're more accustomed to from this duo. Spanning tracks with German and English vocals and music that's fast-paced and intense most of the time while drifting off to mid-tempo and dark yet slowly driving intense pieces. All of this provides a nice variety and dynamic range of moods and rhythms to lead the listener on throughout the entire album without ever feeling bored or caught in a monotony of rhythm or even vocals.
Favorites on this album range and depend widely on mood and situation. At first listen I was immediately hooked by "Equilibrium" which is not exactly a cookie-cutter industrial track. But rather the slowly building intensity takes hold of the heart and emotions with the solid hooks and beats. Yet at the same time, listening to "Neustart", "Scars of Time" and "Der Mammon" among others are solid dance-friendly pieces and selections that have also fit well on our radio shows as favorites. And for the darker, moodier nights, the pulsating electronics and bombastic beats of "Der Weg" as a backdrop to the angst-ridden harsh distorted vocals provide an excellent outlet at the end of a long day without the fast-paced dance rhythms. Along these same lines, as the album starts to wrap up we're brought to the solid piece "Salt In Their Wounds". This masterpiece slowly builds across slowly building dark synth loops. These provide a soft and subtle backdrop to the soothing vocals that remain throughout the song even though the intensity of the pulsating synths and powerful beats build and pick up through the remainder of the track. This creates a beautiful climax to wind down the album as we fade into "To Infinity", a beautiful piano piece with smooth, melodic vocals to wrap up the album perfectly.
There you have it, a great electro-industrial masterpiece for rivetheads and synth fans alike. This will definitely be a new classic for our collection for many years to come. Well worth the effort and price to pay to pick this up.
Wake Up Call - Review
This album is the debut album from this dark electro duo hailing from Germany.
The album is presented with a mix of warm and harsh elements from the vocals, beats and layered synths. Thick with emotion, the band calls on personal experiences and social issues for the lyrics to these tracks. They pull these together into a dozen unique selections and one additional remix for thirteen total pieces spanning over an hour of great music.
Admittedly this album got buried in a pile of great releases this year, but I've been listening to it over and over in it's entirety as well as selections we've presented on our radio show and it has really grown on me over the months. I wanted to be sure and get a review pulled together for those that may have missed it when it came out earlier this year. This is definitely an album worth picking up and is a great addition to our collection here. I love powerful electronic music, spanning from the most melodic synthpop hearkening back to the 80's new wave scene and up through the harsh industrial styles over the years. This band packs these together into a single package. While maybe sometimes it's a little bit predictable with the warm and harsh vocals trading off, most of the time it's a nice mix of melodic and sinister vocals to really bring out the emotional moods on this album.
With a dozen excellent tracks, it was hard to choose which pieces to feature on the radio show, but a few do stand out I'll touch on here and leave the rest for the reader and listener to pick up on their own. After the powerful intro, we're driving right into "Seek and Destroy" which when I first listened I wasn't sure how I felt about it. The harsh vocals use the same style throughout the album and I love the warm, melodic vocals throughout the entire album as well. As I've listened though, most tracks add the harsh vocals as more of an accent rather than a sort of 50/50 split. "The Edge" is even better in portraying these moods and splitting the styles, creating more of a powerful, dance-friendly and emotionally spell-binding piece rather than a harsh and unwelcoming atmosphere. However, I think by far my favorite on the album is "God's Architect". This track really pulls it all together so the lyrics match the vocal styles throughout the piece and it really becomes a powerful selection and favorite on the album. "Let Me Be" immediately follows and presents us with a really fast-paced, emotionally charged piece that really captivates the listener throughout and is another example of the great mix of intense melodic vocals mixed with the harsh, angry shouting which creates a song literally dripping with emotion.
As we move along, we're presented with "Der Letzte Tanz" which is one of the few where the harsh vocals are not present at all. The music starts off slow and somber and slowly builds with intensity as the pulsating synths slowly build layer after layer to a powerful climax before slowly fading away. "The Mental Decay" is another excellent piece as we move toward the end of the album. This piece slowly builds from softer percussion and subtle electronics, yet from the start you can feel the intensity building into what becomes an emotionally powerful song. While it never really takes off with fast, pounding rhythms, the intensity remains throughout and this is a great example where the harsh vocals remain an accent or an exclamation point on the music rather than taking over and crowding out the somber, emotionally beauty of this piece. This drifts off and fades into another stellar favorite on the album in the form of "Before I Go". This piece slowly builds into a fast-paced, emotionally driving track with edgy synths and a powerful beat as the back-drop to the mix of melodic and abrasive vocals. "Break Away" serves as the final highlight on the album and is presented as another powerful, dance-friendly piece that club-goers can enjoy with the pounding beat and multi-layered electronic loops pulsating and flowing.
Well, as you can see, having touched on nearly every track on the album as a favorite, we have a great selection of tracks here and a great new band we can look forward to hearing a lot of great music from. Their combination of talents and styles is perfect and something I think our readers and listeners will enjoy.