Artist: Front Line Assembly
Vocal Style: Male, Distorted
Label: Metropolis Records
Parental Advisory: No
Recommended if You Like: Fear Factory, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Left Spine Down, Millennium Era FLA
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Front Line Assembly and have been for years. Being the Wax Trax fan that I am how can I not be a fan of FLA. I even had the opportunity to interview Rhys Fulber on the Hard Wired tour and spent some time hanging out with Jeremy Inkle on the MidiGhetto Tour in La Crosse Wisconsin with Chemlab, 16Volt and Left Spine Down (Jeremy’s other band). I even got to spend some time chatting with Chris DeMarcus who also worked on this album on that tour. So I guess I’m starting out this review pretty biased since I know a lot of the people that personally worked on this album and have spent time joking with them about a bag of genitals on the tour bus. But a couple of weeks ago Metropolis Records sent me an advance on this album and I’ve been listening to it non-stop for weeks now. I’m absolutely blown away by it. Often times Caustic Grip or Tactical Neural Implant are called the best FLA albums since they were the first albums to really cross-over and make them the stars they are today in the industrial music scene. But for me Millennium hit at the perfect time. It was the bridge between Ministry and Skinny Puppy and remains one of my all time favorite records ever. So when I popped this album on the iPod and I was greeted by the same tones, the same style as Millennium I was immediately hooked.
During the mid to late 90′s Rhys Fulber stepped out of FLA to take some time to work in the Metal genre, something that he has always done producing and working on albums by bands like Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad and Nailbomb, at that time Bill Leeb brought in other collaborators to work with and the sound of FLA shifted to a more EBM or IDM feel. The guitars were kind of lost and so was the aggression of the previous records. The dark lyrics remained but the music shifted a bit. It felt less aggressive to me. Artificial Soldier was a step back towards the FLA that I fell in love with but finally Improvised.Electronic.Device is right back to the FLA that I love.
Pounding beats. Brooding and extremely dark lyrics. Metal guitars and some of the best production out there in the industrial genre. This is Front Line Assembly at the top of their collective game. Perfect timing too cause the genre needs a good kick in the pants and who better to do it than one of the pioneers who influenced all of us to do what we do today. Before I wrap this up I must mention the two stand out tracks for me on the record. Angriff stands head and shoulders about the rest and the Al Jourgensen track Stupidity (which could easily fit on a Ministry record) is just devastatingly awesome. The album dropped on iTunes and in stores yesterday, do yourself a favor and just run out and buy it now. You won’t be sorry.
4 1/2 Stars out of 5
Front Line Assembly – Improvised.Electronic.Device courtesy of Metropolis Records.
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This post was written by Gabe Wilkinson on June 23, 2010