Helalyn Flowers combine a strong, beautiful female singer and a strong electro metal-tinged male rock beast, so it’d be hard to go wrong, yes? Well, no. It’s easy to be a filler band, but when talent and personality sparkle through like this, and all the details are addressed, a band can really shine.
Looks to be 11 new tracks and 11 remixes here on Essence of Mind’s third full-length. Norway’s answer to anthemic synth pop, while there’s nothing here to topple Apotygma Berzerk or Zeromancer, there are many potential single here, faves to play on dark, late night drives, or singing along cleaning your apartment.
The Belgian duo Implant have been around since the late ’90s, and it shows. The 12 songs streamed raise the pulse like the cold, classic, harsh EBM of old, complete with distorted vocals, news samples, plenty of trance-inducing repetition, and harsh keyboards replacing the crunch of “metal guitars.”
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.
Upstart Swedish band Cynical Existence has some serious trouble with this concept on their debut album. Their stone-faced nü metal-style lyrics (misanthropy, questioning religion, heartbreak) and growling Luna Vachon delivery is completely at odds with the dance-happy “dark” beats of their electro sound.
Blaqk Audio is the electro side project of AFI frontman Davey Havok and guitarist/keyboardist Jade Puget. The duo don’t treat this as too radical a departure from their day jobs, since they bring over the tight song structures and pop sensibilities from latter-day AFI and give it a danceable synthpop sheen.
It’s odd that The Industrialist, Fear Factory’s eighth album, sounds so much like a “band” album along the lines of FF landmarks like Demanufacture and Obsolete. Who knows what level of collaboration amongst the four band members actually occurred during the making of those two late ’90’s classics, but they sound like The Industrialist does: Energized, angry, and with something to prove.
“Suicide Inside stands for an eclectic blend of aggressive electronic music and furious industrial rock, with heavy breakbeats, rhythmic noise, and Natasha’s razor-sharp provocative female vocals. An exploding cocktail of acid-house styled synths, distorted bass-lines, dramatic sound fx, and loud, powerful vox.”