Released: 2005, Dynamic Arts Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
Beginning with a vigorous chug and heaving thrust like so much sodomy, this reviewer found himself digging this immediately, even if he did fear for his bunghole at times. (To be fair, they did all look like gimps).
The guitars were thick with bludgeon and menace. The keyboards were tasteful, and “futuristic” enough—if anything can truly be so in the 21st Century. Perhaps, in this sense, it is better to say that they are “retro-futuristic,” insomuch as they represent what many in the 1980’s assumed the future would sound like. The drums were pock-marked by programming, but given the subgenre, they were surprising organic—more so than, say, Fear Factory or Godflesh.
Then they started rapping. Shit.
Shit. Shit, Shit.
Fortuately, it seems to only happen once—late into the otherwise-impressive opener, “24-7 Hell”—but it was just faux-urban enough to merit a solid eye-roll and wanking motion. I have to wonder what brought that on—especially since the band never revisits it. But ‘tis best to let it pass, no?
Further tracks seem bent on capturing the sort of effect The Amenta tried and failed at last year: Post-Industrial Death Metal. The title cut is highly reminiscent of that approach, albeit a notch or two more listenable. Indeed, this is actually a lot better than The Amenta—it’s more honest, if nothing else. It’s also less gimmicky than The Berzerker. This music is based in Thrash Metal, and if you strip away the keyboards, more times than not, you still have decent songs.
At times, they try almost too hard to make things “different.” It’s as if the band is torn between thrashy Post-Machine Metal like Red Harvest and Total Devastation, and experimental What-the-Hell, like Sturmgeist and Ewigkeit. This is more than evident on tracks like “Blank” and “Flesh Means Pain,” the latter of which has a truly inspiring breakdown section toward the end. The keyboards have a near-Wumpscut feel that haunted even as it thrashed.
“Killing Breed” pulls a fast one—it pulls a number of them, actually. It starts out like will be a Neoclassical track—like Ministry devouring Apocalyptica. Then it reverts immediately back to German-sounding Speed Metal pounding, layered over the odd Rob Zombie stomp beats. Then the keyboards pipe back up, as if in defiance—again, with the almost Wumpscut-like ambience. Then the drums kick in again—this time faster, like something Kreator might have pulled. The whole episode is really out of nowhere, and nearly out of whack—but the sequencing holds it all together. Score another for the Ewigkeit/Sturmgeist crowd.
“4D Religion” is back to Thrash. Again, the comparison to Total Devastation or Red Harvest is inevitable. The vocals ease the comparison. Like The Amenta, vocals are an Achilles Heel for this band. Similar to the shitty sneer of a German 80’s act or some 2nd-tier British Thrash troop, they sometime try to be “Blackened,” ala The Kovenant, Pain, or a chicken sandwich.
The “Bukkake Mix” (giggle) of “New Paradise” is much akin to the aforementioned Peter Tatgren project—especially with its thick, coiling riffs, Marilyn Manson gothbeats, and sampling that manages to lick the collective taints of both Charlie Clouser (NIN) and Die Krupps.
“Dawn Of Hypocrite God” is somewhere between the aforementioned Kovenant, and any number of Euro Death Metal bands. You’ve heard these riffs before. That doesn’t make them bad; it just makes all the DJ scratching and Nu-Metal club-beats seem that much more out of place.
This is not a bad release. It will not appeal to the Velvet Acid Christ crowd in any way, but Euro-Thrash junkies might find it fun to Robo-trip to. Ultimately, fans of Industrial Metal, bored off their asses waiting for the new Ministry, and sick to death of Strapping Young Lad, might want to give this one a chance. It doesn’t always work—but when it does (“Flesh Means Pain,” “No Funeral For The Last”), it’s PC-raping magic. Is it “futuristic”? No. But it’s heavy, loud, and reasonably creative; I don’t know about The Future, but by the standards of The Present, that still ain’t halfway bad.