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Reviews Music / Front Line Assembly

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07/07/2010 03:39:47 •••


Front Line Assembly have had a long career making Industrial and IndustrialMetal and have always managed to differentiate themselves from their peers by freely incorporating influences from other genres, most notably Breakbeat, Drum 'n Bass and IDM.

Their latest album, Improvised.Electronic.Device., is certainly a significant improvement compared to the previous two albums Artificial Soldier (which was overly cheerful and overly breakbeat-filled) and Civilization (which was excessively organic and insufficiently angry). This album is much more metallic than usual; several songs are Industrial Metal and one even contains vocals by Al Jourgensen of Ministry. Overall, the album sounds cybernetic but very dry, it brings to mind lots of wastelands and deserts. Sampling is extensive and the atmospheres are very detailed. Alongside the Industrial Metal, you can hear influences from Ambient and Breakbeat/IDM. So this album is by no means simple.

What lets it down is few genuinely striking Ear Worm melodies. There are some, surely, but few that really stick in your head. Also, the basslines (usually Leeb's best area) are less prominent than usual. Additionally, the production is less Record Of Loudness War than Artificial Soldier but still sounds somewhat thin. Finally, the songs of the second half of the album aren't as good as those on the first half.

Overall, it is an improvement from the previous two albums, but it isn't another Epitaph, Tactical or Hard Wired. Still, fans of the band will enjoy this album.

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