The quick and dirty intro to this album “Genesis” is an impressive little orchestral piece, acoustic, with some synth added to enrich the sound. It lasts only long enough to suggest something magic is going to happen, and then we’re plunged right into the double your daily intake of caffeine, bass heavy raver groove “Salt in the Wounds”. “Salt in the Wounds” drags on a little too long (at 6:39 minutes I usually end up skipping through part of the track) and then we are introduced to the first single of the album “Watercolour”. Watercolour is epic. It’s scale is just larger than a regular rock song should be. It plays like it should be a chase scene in a space-age rock opera, or anime. But the actual music video, although it starts out pretty cool with a glowing space rock making its way through the cosmos, resolves all the dramatic possibilities of the song by shooting the band playing in the rain while a strobe light flashes over a dancing audience. It’s just a little tacky. “Under the Waves” is a theme that is consistent throughout the album. Underwater or out in the cold vaccuum of space. “Set Me On Fire” has a trip-hop element to it as it features some stellar reggae vocals. The effect reminds me of Massive Attack, and is one of the stronger songs of this part of the album. “Immunize” featuring Liam Howlett from The Prodigy is a high octane, heavy metal last stand before the second half of the album starts.
If the first half the album is reminscent of electronic sounds to come out of the 90’s, (rave music, trip-hop, and heavy-metal infused electronica)”The Island”, a song in two parts (dawn and dusk) brings the album up to date with some much needed electro. My favourite two songs off the album come at a point when the sound almost starts to get stale, and I begin getting bored with how seriously the album takes itself. But if the first half of the album could use some condensing, the second half is more solid. The rock/metal/electronic sound on this half reminds me less of Linkin Park, until we get to the whining vocals on “Witchcraft”, but the short-lived heaviness of “Comprachicos” is spot on. And I can confidently say the build of “Vulture” has the dancefloor credibility of The Chemical Brothers. “Self Vs Self” featuring In Flames is a little too Alexisonfire for me, and is another song I would probably cut from the album. It’s a long album with 15 songs, and clocking in at over an hour in length. Some of the material is overkill, and I feel like could’ve been left out of this epic electronic rock project spanning decades- but when the album comes to its apex at it’s last song “Encoder”, which has Genesis elements to it interestingly enough, the verdict comes down. And if you like that darker side of the electronic playground, then this heavy metal dance party is a disc that you should add to your collection.
© Natascha Malta, Music Vice