Elements of Rage - Review
Here we have the latest work from this EBM-anchored band hailing from Sweden. The band has grown a bit with the addition of Michael Forslund and Jenny Runa from the last review here from their 2006 album below.
The band has continued to evolve their sound a bit while maintaining that hard-core EBM style. This album, which the band hints at possibly being their last, contains eight new tracks with the inclusion of four additional remixes for plenty of material for fans to enjoy.
The album kicks off with some hard-hitting pieces layered with driving, dance-friendly beats, pulsating electronic loops and melodic, yet harsh vocals. The inclusion of the female backing vocals is usually a huge plus for most bands that grace the pages of Gothic Paradise. In this case they are a bit shrill, providing an abrasive tone rather than the normal, soft, human touch to the otherwise harsh and cold soundscapes. The album has some great dynamics as the music moves along, with all featuring a heavy, moving beat with more than just a simple techno beat. The occasional grinding guitar provides a nice accent to the music, keeping it anchored in their influences along the lines of KMFDM
and older Front 242
A few tracks stand out as nice club hits or otherwise favorites on the album. The first couple of pieces "Time To Breath" and "Self Extractor" provide a great introduction to the album with the hard, driving beats and layered, pulsating synths and harsh vocals. "Down in the Hole" comes off kind of catchy in it's own light, though also fairly basic and minimalistic. The music is great across most of the tracks, the occasional sample fits appropriately and help keep the blood pumping. "Day of Rage" features more guitar than many of the other tracks which coupled with the heavy pulsating synths really creates a great foundation for this piece.
The remixes presented on the album fit well with the overall style of the band and the rest of the tracks on the album. They don't really add much to the original, though a couple of pieces were deconstructed pretty well and then put back together with a slightly different twist or subtle loops.
Overall it's a good album with some nice gems that fans can enjoy. Personally I would have stuck with just the harsh male vocals as the backing vocals detract from the overall quality and style of the music. Though I'm sure fans of varied tastes will have different opinions. The quality of the music is great and the hard-hitting dance-friendly tracks are a great addition to any library for this style of music.
Wipe Out, Burn Down, Annihilate - Review
is the Swedish project of Jens and Christer, also known as Jesus and Christ and combine many aspects of EBM, Industrial and Metal. This is their latest work and embarks on a hard-hitting journey through just over ten tracks.
It's no surprise that a band from Sweden would include metal influences in their music, as it seems this area is the metal capital of the world. This is evident throughout the EBM-laiden dance tracks of "Kiss of Death" which kicks off the album with some cool samples and thoughtful lyrics. The electronic elements really come to the forefront on most tracks while the guitars remain evident and punctuate the music while the dance-friendly beat moves it along. "I Feel Sick" drives all of this home and brings out more of the guitar driven industrial and shouting vocals.
As the music moves along, these elements form the overall style of the album. Like I stated about the guitar elements punctuating the electronic dance music, there are further variables in different tracks such as some samples that accent certain pieces of the music or variations in musical pace and beats. A nice piece and example of this is "Stitches" which brings out some bombastic elements and chants like you might expect from Nitzer Ebb
or related EBM bands. Along these same lines, is the title track from the album with additional driving elements and the shouting vocals. While I really enjoy the music, dance-friendly electronics and so on, but overall the harsh, shouting vocals can start to wear on the listener a little bit.
Like many industrial projects this band includes plenty of political lyrics and messages. With tracks like "Suits Politics and Money", "Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die" and "Bomb the Rich", you can imagine what the related lyrical content is like, all driven home to the listener by the harsh electro-industrial music. Overall it's a nice mix of this style of music and fans will most likely enjoy it, while still quite homogenous with the onslaught of this style of music being released today, it does manage to stand out a little from the masses with their powerful style.
Label: COP International