Review Everything : Part 7 : I'm Not Done Yet
Ari Mason : Prodrome : 8.5 out of 10
Well, damn. It’s been a little over six years since I’ve covered something from Ari Mason, the sensational pop producer that I first discovered with her album “Creatures” over on Negative Gain Productions. Reading back on the initial review I have to laugh; while my feelings toward the album have not dwindled, my writing skills were mediocre at best and the review didn’t properly convey my appreciation. Nonetheless, we’re not here to discuss “Creatures”, rather we’re here to discuss her brand-new album “Prodrome”. This eight track album is every bit as magical as I expect Ari Mason to be at this point in her career. Electro basslines have a smooth sail through dreampop waters as Mason uses her extensive vocal range to ebb and flow from one song to the next. While not every song on this album will appeal to our dedicated dark electronic crowd, it appeals to me, and that’s all that matters.
Zero A.D. : Consistency : 5 out of 10
The first song on this album sounds as if it was made using pre-generated beats as its extremely generic for the scene. The vocals? Mediocre. Can’t really hold a tune and don’t follow the beat. And that’s starting with ‘Only a Dream’. It doesn’t get much better from that point going forward, however. Each of the fifteen tracks on the album sound a bit raw, unproduced, as if they needed more time to bake in the oven. Skip to any song on the album and that’ll be the case; ‘No Choice’, ‘Line’, so on and so forth. It’s rough, not terrible, but extremely rough.
Naxal Protocol : Divergent Margins : 4 out of 10
Wow. Color me shocked. Another noise project that fails to deliver anything noteworthy. I think what I can come off this album is that the noise on here does, indeed, sound crisp. And some of the themes are fitting. Sometimes I’ll get a song called ‘Throat Ripped Out of Mother’ and then it’ll just be the same bland, boring noise wall everyone else has used in the past. On here, at least there’s somewhat of a dedicated effort to bring ‘Artifacts of Alien Barbarism’ to the forefront, for example. But, still, it’s noise, and it’s not that great, and each minute that passes on this EP is a minute I could spend elsewhere.
Kuma : You Cannot Cheat the Muse : 4.5 out of 10
Before I clicked on this one I was generally excited seeing how in the Bandcamp description of the album there’s a list of genres such as ambient, electronic, cinematic, downtempo, etc. – all of which could add some new, decent elements to ambient music. But, hey, if you can press a key on a synth, shift it’s pitch every once in a while, and then add the bare minimum to the background to make an album, then why should you even bother? Sure, I could see this being used as someone’s study music, but as a sole listen? Nah, it’s nothing but boring rubbish and cheap ambient tactics that have been deployed a thousand times elsewhere.
Mentallo & The Fixer : No Rest For The Wicked : 8 out of 10
Y’know, I was going to be cheeky with this one and just write, “It’s sold out. Of everything. Need I say more?” And have the rating do the talking. But I suppose that would be rather foolish of me and I need to say something. Mentallo & The Fixer are staples in the industrial scene, though it’s quite funny that I’ve only recently read up on them and had no idea who they really were until Re:Mission Entertainment brought them to life. And I find it kind of funny, and sad, that this thirty year old album kills it in comparison to what we see from the modern industrial scene in most instances. At times melancholic electronic beats will take the main stage and at others hardened, classic industrial beats will kill the dancefloor. Masters in their craft presented in a gorgeous package.
Nokken + The Grim : Blight (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) : 5.5 out of 10
While I’m taking into consideration that this piece was made for a movie I also am obliged to go into it with an unbiased account. There are some songs on here that are fairly generic for the type of pagan / folk music Nokken makes; the first track is an example of that for sure. Others are genuine pieces with horror elements spread throughout, making them tense and superstitious such as ‘We’ve Been Here Before’. A mixed bag of music that can both amaze and bore. Polarizing to say the very least.
D.R.A.G. : All Is Lost : 5.5 out of 10
A shoddy effort at an industrial rock piece. I’m not a huge fan of whatever effects they put on the vocals as it sounds off and too robotic in a sense; perhaps that was to cover up bad natural vocals. There are some cleaner vox on here as well and they don’t sound that grand; it’s not powerful, rather feeble. The industrial rock elements are by-the-books with some interesting riffs here and there and dance beats. Definitely needs better mixing and mastering and perhaps a different vocalist.
Hergerth : Fakir : 5.5 out of 10
I suppose I understand what Hergerth is after here; trying to fuse as many genres into their craft to create something exciting for the listener. But I’m not enjoying it much. The first song sounds like a failed attempt at making something that would be at home in a modern Doom video game without any of the robust sound design. It’s technically not that great and rather boring. ‘Wave’ is a bit better with its fusion of beats. Regular experimental sounds riddle the background of an ominous electronic beat; there’s a tension held in the air around this song that’s pretty good. Again, not masterful, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Vaein : Discipline : 7 out of 10
This is a fun little EBM dancefloor single. If you couldn’t tell by the cover art and title combination, perhaps the lyrics will alert you to this being a rather dirty and NSFW (depending on your profession) song. Sleazy but fun with a vocalist who isn’t taking this too seriously – which makes the song better. I’ve listened to a dozen songs like this where the vocalist tries to be as serious as possible; Vaein’s just in it for the fun, or so it sounds like it. There could be some better production behind the music and when he stutters out the word ‘Discipline’ it doesn’t flow too well with the beat, but it’s still a solid showing for Vaein.
May 13 2023
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
Share this review