|I don't believe this is the only future of music, but I am sure it's one of the possible ways to bring to life something new without completely forgetting the lessons of the masters of the past.|
Don't be deceived by the title and the cover of this north-American solo artist's debut album (to be precise with the help of other like-minded musicians), because the real feelings, sounds and atmospheres provoked have nothing to do with jihad, Muslim, Arabian, Mediterranean or other terroristic cultures. This is, like he correctly states, Goth Industrial music, the noise of war, depression and everything is taken from a streetlife perspective; the premises are therefore extremely interesting and the long record is not going to disappoint you! Kevin really went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as veteran Eliot, so he's been drowned by the damned aura present in those areas and won't get rid of them easily. One effective way is by music, a healthy manner to release stress and haunting memories, and here comes the explanation of a title and a cover like that. The circle is closed.
The opening is entrusted with a track that is not even so somber, "To Begin", whose framework is based on keys lines, beats and loops, between DJ Shadow, Dj Spooky and Aphex Twin as to the menacious vocals. "Beyond" is decidedly more noisy but also catchier, whereas "The Bodes" is melanchonic, yet at the same time pretty magnetic and wicked; needless to say it is my favourite thanks to background sounds that almost seem demonic vocals; indeed they are effected from a synth but damn, aren't they wicked mixing the coldness of today's technology and the devil's soul? Who wins the final battle for 'the most frightening and hellish creation'? Man or Satan? This track remains beatless for the most, just using croaking sounds and loops, and when the beats begin one might be misled and think of an acid remix of a Marylin Manson's B-side.
Tho this is music looking to the future, "Digital Spirit" contains a few 80's reminiscences in the way of Public Enemy and the likes, Nine Inch Nailsian beats and a guitar riffing from a far corner, and in the low-fi Dark electro "I Will Remain" are Kraftwerk's and KMDFM's traces.
"Government Is the Problem", however repetitive it is, keeps the excitement and the concentration high, owing to an excellent blend of delayed bass sounds, scratches and tight beats.
"Crunch Pop" and "Deception" shift and bounce, acting as a cop interlude till the frantic ending; between lies "Your Lies", a composition you're going to love when you hear its deep and throbbing bass pulsations; it stirs up sounds and vocals in a way the result is unique once again. It feels like traveling on a spacecraft in which a shortcircuit occurs and some unknown voices herald a third-kind encounter whose outcome is uncertain.
"Fortunate Son" is the almost unrecognizable cover version by Creedence Clearwater Revival's classic, of which there's also a videoclip available on RPG Magnet's website; the song has turned to a machine-gun shooting psychedelic bullets.
Fans of Canadian Electro rock in the vein of Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly and Numb are bound to real appreciate - if not drool - "Less Home", while Vampire Rodents' esteemers will be pricking up their ears after hearing the sad violin in "Softly Spoken".
The least electronic track (and consequently the most Rock one) of the list, "On Your Hands", is followed by "Stranded", the last interlude of the album; after all rather chilling, especially since it has been inserted just before "What Evil Is", the equivalent in psychiatry of what crosses the mind of a distinguished gentleman slicing the throat of the nth ball-breaking alien passer-by interrupting his walk to try and sell him trash.
I was born with Rock and Metal and still adore them, those who know me well know; what almost nobody knows is that later, at the right moment of music taste maturation, I have granted Dark/Electronic music time and a chance and have thus ampled my listening horizons, seeing that artists such as RPG Magnet walk on my same planet to extinguish my thirst for harshness and obscurity expressed in other forms. Many songs are first person narratives of events and emotions that many will never have to face: holding a dying child, struggling as a homeless teen, struggling with post-war trauma, and much much more. Everyone has their own nightmares, with this record you can get something more than the old boring battle videos you can find on the Internet or the now old Abu Grahib photos.
Underground out-of-the-scheme EBM/Industrial/Noise/Hard Trance well worth the money...And now I'm looking forward to listening to the sophomore release by the Californian wizard and his collaborators!
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 2nd July 2008