Dread Risks - Automated Disappointment
Dread Risks have been making quite a name for themselves in the underground industrial scene for quite some time – and they deserve the attention that they’ve been getting. Working hard and spreading their name through both self-promotion and by supporting their fellow industrial underground folks, Dread Risks is a name that’s getting tattooed on the tongues of many individuals. Their journey with Re:Mission Entertainment began when they released the “Obliteration Complex” EP which started the teaser for their forthcoming sophomore album. After releasing the “Trauma Ties” maxi-single, it was only a matter of time until “Automated Disappointment” dropped. Well, a few months later “Automated Disappointment” is (almost) here. This ten track album harkens to electro-industrial, dark electro, and the nuances of aggrotech all the same. While Dread Risks maintains a solid direction in some of the songs, there’s a couple of flaws in “Automated Disappointment” which prevents it from breaching the barrier.
There’s a lot going on in “Automated Disappointment” and some of it I absolutely adore and some of it is less than stellar. I’m going to cover the grandiose bits of “Automated Disappointment”. The first song I’d like to point out on the album is the first track on the album. ‘Bound Limbs’ sounds like something taken out of a Hellraiser film, and it equally emerges with horrific intent due to the ominous ambiance and piano keys that kick it off. It’s a three-minute and forty-one second electro-industrial bout complete with growling vocals and menacing synths. The mid-tempo pace is perfect and takes its time injecting every synthetic beat into my veins.
I also heavily enjoyed ‘Trace Amounts’ which, in contrast to much of the rest of “Automated Disappointment”, focuses on melancholy beats and tones. The viciousness found in the other tracks are gone and replaced with cleaner, though still digitally altered vocals, and faded percussive passion. ‘Extinction Form’ is another standout track on “Automated Disappointment” that flies right into electro-industrial and basks in it. While the sound bank is never abandoned, the amount of variation within the song provides an entertaining four-minute and twenty-four second romp.
Where the negatives start coming in is with the overabundant distortion effect or what have you on the vocals. Taking a look at what I was given on ‘Bound Limbs’ and ‘Trace Amounts’, for example, are well crafted takes on an emotional response. ‘Bound Limbs’ has a combination of both guttural cries and clean chords. And when the distorted voice does come in, its in a slower pace that makes it palatable. However, ‘Trauma Ties’ has the distortion sounding off like someone’s shouting in a voice changer that I can pick up from Spirit Halloween for ten bucks. And, in a professional recording, that’s not the best ideal to have.
At this point I would like to turn my attention to the production of the album. Whether purposeful or not to fit within the mantra or dark electronic, aggrotech, or industrial elements, some of the songs sound rather sludgy. Again, this is not for the songs I pointed out earlier that I loved. This goes for songs such as ‘Comadose’, ‘Trauma Ties’, and ‘Obliteration Complex’ as examples. Often times I find myself struggling to make out the layers in each song. If you’re throwing sounds into a song, I believe that each layer should be distinct and heard from one another. At points, Dread Risks fails to accomplish this and it makes a rather frustrating listen.
This all makes “Automated Disappointment” a hard album to judge. Whenever I write a review, I always think about how I would introduce an album to friends who are into these types of genres. And what I would do when in a conversation about Dread Risks’ latest album is flip shit about ‘Bound Limbs’ as it’s Dread Risks’ at their absolute peak. But then we go on a downward spiral talking about what is versus what could have been. At the end of the day, “Automated Disappointment” is not a bad album by any means necessary, but it is one that has a couple of flaws that are hard to see past. Luckily, what’s right about it is so right that I find myself wanting to recommend it. Six-and-a-half out of ten.
This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Mar 14 2022
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.
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