Front Line Assembly – Reclamation – Review

Front Line Assembly

Reclamation (Roadrunner)
by Rowan-Morrison

The “industrial” movement, in the eyes and ears of the mainstream public, consists of Nine Inch Nails, Gravity Kills, Stabbing Westward and Marilyn Manson. Oddly enough, these bands are all stylistic disciples, albeit slight hybrids, of Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, Ministry, Front 242, and Front Line Assembly. The question then becomes, why do more people – gearheads excluded – recognize the first group over the second? The answer is simple enough: accessibility. FLA might know how to pack a dancefloor with their drum machine beats and Teutonic programming, but Bill Leeb’s vocals are delivered in a dark, cyborg-like fashion that’s cold and sinister, as opposed to the overtly emotive approach showcased by their more successful predecessors. Puppy, KMFDM, and 242 are also stuck on FLA’s side of the moat due to their abrasive throatwork. Fortunately, there is a large enough market beneath the mainstream circuit to embrace these synthcore composers. Reclamation is not a new album, it’s a “best-of” collection that documents most of their 11 year career, starting with their singles circa ’89 . All of FLA’s classic electro-driven cuts are showcased, from “Digital Tension Dementia” to “Iceolate,” in addition to their more recent guitar-augmented juggernauts like “Millennium.” In order to make things more interesting, half the tracks are remixed versions. Sadly missed is “Plasticity,” their current club-convulser, as well as some of the other material released on Metropolis. In any case, Reclamation is the perfect gift for any cyberpunk fan who missed out on Wax Trax! in the late ’80s.
(9229 W. Sunset Blvd. #705 West Hollywood, CA 90069)