By Rick Ecker
Echogenetic marks a return to Front Line Assembly‘s earlier all-synth phase, losing the industrial metal sound that had become a huge part of their sound. Bill Leeb is the sole founding member on this album, with returning players Jeremy Inkel and Jared Slingerland joined here by Sasha Kevil and Craig Johnsen. They take the sound and update it with some modern electronic influences. Thankfully, they don’t go all dubstep, but there are a lot of sounds that will shock some older fans.
The band gives the fans what they love: Some dance-y songs for the clubs, like “Killing Ground,” “Deadened,” “Exhale,” and “Heartquake,” and also songs that are more industrial and moody like “Blood,” “Ghosts,” “Prototype,” and “Exo.” The band has really taken a look at their past and fused it with the modern sounds, creating a mixture of sounds and textures. Upbeat songs mixed with downbeat songs, songs with moody parts sometimes mixed with high energy beats, and vocals that are smooth and gripping all at once. It makes for a collection of songs that will stand out as a high point in their large catalog of recordings.
This album is a nice “welcome back” to what I loved about FLA from the beginning — some experimenting, lots of synths, and song after song that makes you come back for more. It’s always a treat to hear a band that’s been around for this length of time pushing to do something new that sounds familiar and fresh at the same time.