Elektrikill - Monsters
Released off label 2023
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
I remember one time stating that every time I listen to industrial music, ninety-percent of the time I’m enjoying the song up until the vocals start. While I won’t say this is the case for the entirety of industrial producer Elektrikill’s new album “Monsters”, I will say it does apply to the earlier mentioned ninety-percent of the time. You take a look at the starting song ‘Ravenous’ and you’ll get a taste of what I mean. In this track, we hear him attempting to sing along to the beat but it’s just not very in tune. During verse, he’s just talking and changing his pitch every so often; a beat seemingly forms with his voice but it’s not great. During chorus it’s not that much better. However, the music within that song is decent. I appreciate the electro-industrial approach and the tribal like breakdown that occurs around the two-minute and fifty-second mark. While the music won’t shatter and break the scene, it’s not bad.
This trend continues throughout most of the album where I absolutely adore the music but fall out of love with the vocals. ‘Drugs and Candy’ has a really, really wicked instrumental portion featuring blistering synths and punchy percussion. But, the vocals are either sounding strained or unharmonious when clean. ‘Everything Looks Better On Fire’ taps into some classic EBM rhythms and basslines, but the vocals can’t match the feverish energy of the beat. And the chill atmosphere of ‘My One Big Mistake’ doesn’t go well with the faded out vox that Elektrikill performs.
Despite everything I stated before, I do think there’s at least one song where everything comes together in such a perfect fashion and that would be ‘The Fallen Angel’. This single is a blend of cinematic synths, rapid and intense militaristic percussion, and somewhat distorted vocals. And I think this is why I enjoyed this song more than the rest; rather than relying on a lack of raw talent, Elektrikill plays with his vocals and digitally alters them to fit the beat. He does do some clean singing, but it’s not as bad as what we’ve heard elsewhere and fits with the epic scope of the single. Well done in my opinion and something I’d like to see from him more.
My other stand-out track on the album is ‘Your Browser Is’ – and by this I mean in terms of instrumental, not vocals. I love the slow, creepy, crawly tone that the song gives out only to destroy that premise with an all-out war of experimental industrial electronics that sounds like a shattered arcade cabinet. Musically sound.
So, when it comes down to scoring the album I come into a bit of a problem. While I adore the music, the vocals just don’t do it for me for most of the album. And considering that the vox are just as present as the music on “Monsters”, it’s tough. I will say that Elektrikill has a ton of potential; I see it time and time again in his arrangements. But he needs to either take vocal lessons or get another bandmate who knows how to use their chords. Because, as of right now, this isn’t cutting it.Jun 17 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.
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