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Formed in 1993 by Patrice Synthea and Wrex Mock and hailing from California, they've been creating up-beat music all this time.  Their history is impressive, and it's hard to believe that they were not seen more years earlier as headliners in the music scene because of their incredible talent and large discography.  They have released 6 full-length albums, some remix works and 3 EPs along with also appearing on many various compilations.  The band has been through many record deals and currently release their music through their own label Archetype Multimedia in North America and through Alfa Matrix in Europe.

The music from Regenerator has always been a constant in the electronic music scene.  Their style varies slightly within the dark electro genres of goth, EBM, synthpop, techno and a little bit of industrial.  Both members contribute with vocals, musically and lyrically for a nice balance and variety in their music.  Fans of the harder-edged synthpop bands should enjoy their music, featuring deep male vocals often overlaid with Patrice's siren song.

With the evolution of electronic music, Regenerator are staying true to themselves and their sound with each release.  This has helped them in the past to gain the respect they have now and should help them progress into the future.  I look forward to what they can provide us with as their career moves on.

As always, tracks from their latest work can be found on Gothic Paradise club mix, so don't hesitate to check them out.



Disease - Review

It has been a long and anxious wait for another new work from this band since their excellent 2001 release of War and their remix album Regenerated X in 2003.  We have it in our hands now in the US after an earlier and slightly different release in Europe under the Alfa Matrix label. Much like their previous full-length album, this one also follows a specific theme and all songs are based somewhat on that topic.  As the title of the album indicates, the tracks all sound like something out of an infectious disease specialist's research journal and the lyrical content all falls nicely within this realm as well.  Containing thirteen solid tracks, this album is packed with good material and includes a bonus video of an exclusive track "Terrible Love".

The lyrical content is clean and an overall message promoting love and peace is clear layered over a pounding beat.  The press release for the album is full of puns related to infectious disease terminology and so that same terminology is used throughout the lyrics on this disc.  "One Organism" kicks off the album in solid and stellar form with pulsing synths and solid, fast pounding club beat that should be a club hit.  More than just a pounding techno beat, this track contains some catchy hooks and a melodic foundation.  This style becomes the basis for my favorite pieces on this album including "Airborne", "Disease" and the awesome cover version of "Don't fear the reaper".  Each of these capitalize on the power and meaning of the lyrics, smooth vocals and melodic synthetic sculptures more than just the hard pounding beat, even though the solid rhythm is a definite plus.  "Airborne" really has a heavy beat and awesome bass line to provide a solid danceable foundation while "Disease" is almost ballad-like in it's mid-tempo somber structure, and the way the track winds down with Wrex's deep vocals is truly remarkable.

These aforementioned tracks are the highlight of the album for me with their melodic synthpop structure.  However, this doesn't mean there still isn't plenty of great material on the album.  "Death" is another solid piece with more experimental elements and has been released as the first single in Europe from this album and has done very well on the DAC charts.  While Patrice's vocals are still present on much of the album as backing or intermixed vocals, as demonstrated on "Death" it seems that Wrex's deep vocals take a more prominent role on this album than on their previous release.  However, they still manage to put together a nice harmonic mix that is very smooth and catchy.  "Nothing" is a good example of this as they both show their strong vocal talents and range in providing a solid medium for portraying the message of the album.

For those fans that are into the harder-edged straight-up techno, there is a good selection of this style on this album, probably more than on their previous release.  After first listening to "Apnea", I had to pause the CD and let my head clear for a minute from the driving onslaught that was presented there.  "Cauterize" and especially "Fatale" really delve into this style that will have your head pounding if you're not careful.  While in many ways these tracks are still fun with lyrical and vocal content, I still find them to be almost a distraction from the melodic approach of the other tracks.

To wrap up the album is their cover version of "Don't Fear The Reaper" which has quickly become a favorite selection from this album and is a perfect finale for this disc.  Their use of a driving beat under solid synths provides a perfect foundation for their fun vocal approach to this track.  Everything comes together so well on this track that it really is almost addictive, definitely catchy and fun to listen to no matter the setting.  With that the album is done... or is it? Nope, they included a bonus video of "Terrible Love" which is the only track that doesn't really go along with the theme of the album, but is still a nice addition for fans.

Rating: 4/5



Regenerated X - Review

Following up their very successful release War, Regenerator have released a new CD full of remixes of some of their best works over the past 10 years.  The domestic U.S. version contains one disc of 16 tracks and the European version contains two discs with even more treasures for fans. With this release this duo turns over their masterpieces to other talented artists to mix and tweak to their own unique styles.  Remixers include Assemblage 23, Razed in Black, Collide, Epsilon Minus, Clan of Xymox, Lights of Euphoria, Purr Machine and many others.

You always take a little bit of a chance when you pick up a remix CD.  Sometimes remixes can really take something average or even quite good and make it even more outstanding.  Other times the remixes take on such a different twist that the vocals don't mesh well with the mixed music.  It's always a tricky call and up to each individual's judgement.  I would just like to comment that for an entire remix album, overall the comination of remixes come off fairly well.  The variety is certainly something that can be appreciated as the reader can imagine with the list of remixers presented.  On top of that, as I listen to the album, the flow of tracks blends really well too.  I don't know if this was done on purpose or if it was just a coincidence, but it seems to drift a bit from the more Synth and Techno sounding remixes to the diverse gothic and experimental mixes.

I'll just touch on some highlights here, beginning with the "Rave in Black mix" of "blink" by Razed in Black.  Those familiar with this group will recognize their Techno/Rave style the band has jumped on turning their music into a sort of Dark Rave with tons of guitars and driving synths.  This mix leaves out the guitars but definitely capitalizes on the other driving techno elements.  This flows well into one of my favorites on this album, the "aether mix" of "take me" by Assemblage 23.  This remix takes this track and adds a beautiful ethereal feeling mixed with a driving Synth sound for a wonderful dynamic.  Another favorite includes the Koito remix of one of my favorite tracks from this group "one chance".  The solemn intro of Wrex's growling vocals bring the mood down and give way to a very nicely done mix similar in many ways to the original, captivating the feeling that has made this such a favorite of mine.

I think just about every remix is very notable, yet I'll touch on some of the more experimental remixes presented here.  Clan of Xymox brings out a very dark remix of "lightbringer" typical for their wonderful way of producing such a brooding style.  Collide bring their unique styles and talents out with their remix of "One Chance" with many distorted rhythms and other various experimental synth loops and basslines.  Purr Machine is another that really takes the more experimental approach "Drug" adding a lot of guitars, echo and more breakbeat style.

While there are some disappointments that I won't really mention here, I think overall for a remix album this one is well put together.  The selection of remixers and their mixes presented here add a new dynamic to this talented duo.  This is a great collector's item for fans of this group.

Rating: 3.5/5



War - Review

It was with a lot of anticipation that I awaited the release of this latest album.  I have been a fan of this excellent Dark Electro group with their past works and so was extremely pleased when I first heard this album.  Since then, it has fast become one of my favorites with the excellent combination of catchy rhythms, dance-floor beats, superb music and wonderful blend of deep, heavy male and beautiful female vocals.

This album is a sort of concept, or thematic album dwelling on the atrocities of war and the strength of spiritualism in our lives.  The lyrics delve deep into the realms of spirituality and the good vs. evil theme.  Involved are themes of hope, love, hypocrisy and overall, WAR.  The album begins with the title track and the spoken word, excellently rendered and mixed with slow, heavy beat that makes up this overall instrumental track.  A great intro that builds up to the theme and power in this album.

While the entire album is extremely noteworthy and I could comment on each track, space and time just doesn't permit such a detailed review.  However, I do want to comment on what I think makes up the backbone of this album.  Of course, the title track is an excellent intro which gives way to the faster-paced track "Battleground" which seems to be set more in the scene of a heavenly war of good and evil angels that have then decended on us and wage war here on earth, the battleground.  "Shores of Forever" is my favorite track on this album, and is also the next track.  This picks up more of the theme of Love and the changes that can be wrought by such selfless love in our hearts.  And of course, the music is absolutely beautiful, and almost simplistic in nature with Patrice's soaring vocals.  Other favorites that fall into this realm are "Take Me", "Faith" and the very slow, heavy driven sounds involved in "Colours".

I can't leave this review without commenting on the excellent cover of the Psychadelic Furs', "Love My Way".  I've heard different covers of this song, and none that I've heard compares to this version, not even the original seems to touch the amount of power and emotion put into this track!

Finally, the album closes with a fast-paced, Club Mix of "War", with soaring vocals with no lyrics, almost like the sound of angels singing.  And to close the album, these thoughtful artists include a silent track just over a minute long in remembrance of those touched by the devastating acts of Sept. 11, 2001.

I very highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys the Darker Synthpop and EBM music.  You'll love every minute of it!

Rating: 4.5/5



Website:
www.regenerator.net
Labels:
US: Archetype Multimedia
Europe: Alfa-Matrix - www.alfa-matrix.com

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