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A [[CanadaEh Canadian]] {{Industrial}} [[CanadianMusic music]] project formed by Bill Leeb in 1986.

Bill Leeb (under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder) worked with {{Industrial}} [[TropeCodifier Codifier]] SkinnyPuppy during the mid-eighties on a few tracks, and provided live support on their early tours. He left the band and decided to start his own project.

His idea was simple: make SkinnyPuppy more accessible without losing its edge. In order to do this, he structured his songs in a similar manner to Electronic Body Music bands like {{Front 242}}; i.e. he used the verse-bridge-chorus song structure and built his music around [[EarWorm infuriatingly catchy]] bass lines and rousing, anthemic choruses. He also kicked Skuppy's horror-punk attitude and replaced it with a CyberPunk aesthetic.

During the early days (from 1986 to 1990), the project (composed of Leeb ([[IAmTheBand the only constant member]]), Michael Balch and Rhys Fulber) released a few small albums and demo tapes. But they first began to receive mainstream attention in 1990; after their album ''Caustic Grip'' was released. The single "Iceolate" received airplay on [=MTV=] (!).

The sound of Caustic Grip was, for the most part, quite minimal like Electronic Body Music, but with lots of complex drumming and varied sampler manipulations which kept up the sonic variation and made things interesting. Take, for instance, "Resist" (first song on the album, which essentially sounds like Nitzer Ebb with a hyperactive sampler and a catchy chorus). However, there were more complex and atmospheric tracks like "Provision" and "Threshold."

Michael Balch left (hopping aboard Music/{{Ministry}} instead for ''Psalm 69''), and Leeb and Fulber set to work on delivering a sequel to Caustic Grip. The result was ''Tactical Neural Implant'' (1992) which, to this day, is often considered the project's best work. The album increased the complexity of the sampling and also moved in a much more atmospheric direction; the sonic textures and atmospheres are highly detailed. The drum sounds were slightly less scathing (in general) than Caustic's, the songwriting was much more catchy and choruses more rousing. The album has an extremely CyberPunk sound and aesthetic (as the title should make clear).

In 1994, the band decided to [[FollowTheLeader hop on the bandwagon]] of IndustrialMetal and as such filled their NewSoundAlbum ''Millennium'' with Music/HeavyMetal guitar riffs, most of them sampled from established metal bands. The band was never shy of using electric guitars from time to time, but Millenium's sound is clearly much more metallic than before (or since). Needless to say their usual fanbase (who of course [[ItsPopularNowItSucks hate]] [[NineInchNails Trent Reznor]] [[ItsPopularNowItSucks for daring to make industrial-ish music that sold copies]]) cried "Sell Out!" In this case, the attempt to sell out failed and Front Line Assembly had to remain underground.

In 1995, the band basically [[PanderingToTheBase gave the fans what they wanted]] and in the process actually created what many fans hold to be at least their equal-best album; ''Hard Wired''. Why is it so beloved? Because its Tactical Neural Implant... but DarkerAndEdgier! Gloomy, [[{{Goth}} gothic]] synths and strings share space with hard CyberPunk samples and basslines, harsh drumming and ''tasteful'', ''moderate'' use of Music/HeavyMetal guitar on ''some'' tracks.

Then Rhys Fulber left and was replaced by Chris Peterson. NewSoundAlbum time, again! Oh we all know how the last one went... but hey, change in artistic direction and all that..

Bring on 1997 and the release of ''[=FLAvour Of The Weak=]'', which was considerably influenced by breakbeat and drum-n-bass and [=IDM=]. And by "considerably," what we mean is "it did not sound like Front Line Assembly." Indeed, it is arguably a fully-fledged case of GenreAdultery.

By 1999, the band had began to integrate their experiments with breakbeats and electronica back into their old sound. The album ''Implode'' still contained plenty of [=IDM=], drum-n-bass and distorted breakbeats, and ambient soundscapes, however it managed to bring back the aggression and catchy basslines of the past (at least in some songs). The single ''Prophecy'' is one of the project's {{Signature Song}}s; containing an ominous-technological atmosphere and combining it with distorted breakbeats and dramatic strings, whilst still wrapping all of those elements around catchy melodies.

2001 marked a more complete return to form with the badly-named ''Epitaph'' album. It had a very [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic]] and mysterious atmosphere whilst further refining [=FLA's=] electronica/drum-n-bass influences and integrating them into the {{Industrial}} base of the sound. This album involved quite a bit of lush melody, and whilst the lyrics could be {{narm}}licious at times, the album as a whole was very atmospheric and cohesive.

Due to the title of the last album, and the fact Chris Peterson left the project, breakup rumors began.

You already know that they were quickly disproven.

2004 saw the release of ''Civilization''. Rhys Fulber had returned to the project. The sound kept with the post-apocalyptic feel, comfort with melody, and the distorted breakbeats, but also incorporated more rock elements and had a much more organic feel with extensive sampling of acoustic instruments on several tracks.

2006 saw ''Artificial Soldier'', and the band's lineup had expanded to include Peterson, Fulber, Leeb and newcomer Jeremy Inkel. The album had a more cybernetic feel than Civilization; distorted breakbeats (again) and it could be generally described as a faster, less gloomy Epitaph. Which would be wonderful if ''we could hear it under the [[LoudnessWar extremely loud mastering]]''. WordOfGod says that the mastering was a deliberate artistic choice to enhance the rough and distorted sound of the album, but over-compression also ''thins out the drum sounds'' and adds clipping to the sound. Needless to say, the album has been criticized by some for the mastering.

In 2010, the band released ''[[RippedFromTheHeadlines Improvised.Electronic.Device]]''. Bearing a more IndustrialMetal sound than usual, it certainly is a change from the previous three albums.

The latest album from the band is ''Echogenetic''. Following in the footsteps of their soundtrack for the game ''AirMech'', it is heavily influenced by {{Dubstep}}, and lacks the IndustrialMetal edge of their last album, as it has no guitars at all.

!Tropes Applicable To Front Line Assembly
* ConceptAlbum - ''Tactical Neural Implant'' certainly has the thematic consistency and structure to qualify.
* CyberPunk - And how!
* [[CyberPunkIsTechno Cyber Punk Is]] FrontLineAssembly
* DarkerAndEdgier - ''Hard Wired'' is this to ''Tactical Neural Implant'', ''Epitaph'' is this to ''[=FLAvour Of The Weak=]'' and (most of) ''Implode''.
* DyeHard - Bill Leeb's natural hair color is black-he went blonde around the time ''Millenium'' was recorded.
* ElectronicMusic
* FollowTheLeader - ''Millenium'' is often considered an attempt to cash in on the commercial success of IndustrialMetal. For context, ''[[NineInchNails The Downward Spiral]]'' was released in the same year. However, Millenium didn't sell nearly as well.
** And on the other side of the same coin, [=FLA=] have inspired a lot of imitators.
* GenreAdultery - ''[=FLAvour Of The Weak=]'' was basically a pure [=IDM=]/Drum 'n' Bass album. The sound began to return to {{Industrial}} territory for several tracks on ''Implode'' and they managed to more fully integrate their [=IDM=] influences back into their older sound for ''Epitaph''. Also, ''Millenium'' was much more metallic than usual, but the band had consistently (if sparingly) used guitars on previous albums (and future albums).
* HarshVocals - Used from ''Caustic Grip'' onward.
* IAmTheBand - Bill Leeb basically controls the project
* {{Industrial}} - Started out as an [=EBM=] band with lots of {{Sampling}}, then became TropeCodifier for early 90's Industrial
* IndustrialMetal - Guitars are used heavily on ''Millenium'', several songs on ''Hard Wired'' and ''Improvised.Electronic.Device'' have significant guitar use, and usually one or two songs per album have some metal guitar.
* LighterAndSofter - ''[=FLAvour Of The Weak=]'' compared to their earlier (and most of their later) work. Also, whilst it is by no means softer, ''Artificial Soldier'' has a much less gloomy mood than usual.
* LoudnessWar - ''Artificial Soldier''
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Pretty much everywhere, but their main material is a borderline 11.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly - Whilst generally an {{Industrial}} act, over time, [=FLA=] have incorporated {{Industrial}} and IndustrialMetal along with {{Ambient}}, [=IDM=], Drum 'n' Bass, and even elements of HipHop and World music on some tracks. ''Civilization'' is probably the most blatant example of genre blending (pretty much containing a little bit of everything the band has done before).
* NewSoundAlbum - ''Millenium'' was a full-blown IndustrialMetal album, and ''[=FLAvour Of The Weak=]'' was Breakbeat/Drum 'n' Bass/[=IDM=] with very little Industrialism. In the first case, the new sound was merely an increase in the Music/HeavyMetal component of the old sound (i.e. much more electric guitar than usual). In the second case, the new sound was a very significant departure from any previous work the project had done, although the project retained [=IDM=] influences in their following works.
* {{Sampling}} - Of movies, other songs, and anything that sounds interesting. Bang some pots and pans and sample it, add a catchy bassline, and you've got a good base for an [=FLA=] ripoff.
** This [[http://web.archive.org/web/20040724082554/www.sloth.org/samples/grouplist.txt sample list]] has Front Line listed as the second highest sampling group in the list, with nearly ''two hundred'' different samples.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong - The video game BlastCorps has a song called "Tempest City" which is an utterly blatant ripoff of FLA's "Circuitry."
** Due to sampling, Millenium is full of this. It's not hard to notice where the guitars came from (mostly from Pantera or Slayer song).
* TitleOnlyChorus - ''Iceolate''. Otherwise, generally averted with most of their music.
* XMeetsY - Their sound is arguably SkinnyPuppy meets {{Front 242}}.
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