Hailing from Sweden, this duo got their start about ten years ago and have been going strong ever since. Formed by Oscar Holter and Henrik Bäckström they started experimenting with industrial music and a few years finally landed a record deal wtih Progress Records where they released their debut album The Black Paintings. This was followed two years later with The Room to critical acclaim as the duo attempted a feat to revive something of the classic 80's industrial musical style and scene. These two albums were successful in various scenes around the world and they've earned a name for themselves within that scene.
After four years since The Room these two are back at it harder than ever. In late 2010 they appeared alongside labelmates Covenant with their excellent single Lightbringer which reached #1 on charts all over including the DAC (german charts). Now we have their third full-length album titled Wintermute which takes the industrial roots of their past into the future with their solid sound. This album has been receiving rave reviews all over and this band has been well favored by listeners on the radio shows here with their track "Ifrit" and witin the first few weeks of having their new material apear on the cyber waves. Celebrating ten years of history, while we enjoy this excellent work, we look forward to at least another ten years of great new music from this band.
Wintermute - Review
Finally, another EBM-style album we can get excited about as the band leaves behind the gas-gargling distorted vocals that saturate this genre for the most part, for a slightly distorted, mostly melodic taste of electro-industrial music. Some people have labeled it almost a "pop" album (I'm sure meaning electro-pop rather than hard-core industrial), but for me a slight lean in this direction is a great move as they expand their audience while still retaining so much of that classic industrial sound. Spanning ten solid track, we really have an excellent album packed with great music for fans of classic industrial to newer electro-pop-infused heavy hitting dance-friendly tracks.
For me the album is packed with great tracks, one after another ranging from the classic industrial as explained above, to the more modern melodic electro-pop styles. Favorites are hard to pick, but there are a few that stand out slightly above the rest with their diversity and solid compositions. The album starts off with one of these in "You Want It", something of a mid-tempo piece with layers of melodic electronics that are infused with matching vocals for the chorus while the classic industrial feeling of the slightly distorted vocals drone on through each verse. As the album progresses along, this becomes something of the norm for the tracks, but as we hit "Do You Feel The Same" we really experience what the hype is all about with this album and especially with this track. It's bursting with emotion as the use of slight distortion is perfected in much the way Skinny Puppy first perfected it while keeping an excellent variety. We see that here on this track as the vocals switch between smooth melodic to harsh screams, seemingly dripping with agony for a stunning effect, memorable, catchy and meaningful to so many listeners. This track remains something of a climax for the album, but it pairs up perfectly with the following piece "Fall Apart" though containing a slightly different mood, during the chorus it all comes together once again for a congruos and catchy sound. "Waiting For The Snow" is a mostly instrumental piece that is surprisingly catchy as well, bridging the first half of the album with the second as we seemingly take something of a downward spiral through "Ingite" and "Skrik", two harsh, old-school pieces before we finally land on "Supposed" with it's solid mix of guitars and electronics grinding away for a harsh, classic sound. "All That You Take" wraps up the album in grand finale fashion, taking a bit of the melody from the previous piece and carrying it on through what you think might be a down-tempo, almost pop piece, but then the intensity slowly builds and before long we're right in the middle of a whirlwind of emotion, electronics and percussion for a stellar ending to a wonderful album.
With that we come to a close and it's with great pleasure that we can highly recommend this album to break away from the monotony of the current EBM scene with this excellent alternative, relying on the classics and looking to the future.
Label: Progress Productions
North America: Art Of Fact