FOSSIL FUEL - RETRIBUTION
This review was commissioned through Ko-fi. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
FOSSIL FUEL is an independent dark electronic musician who founded his project in 2016. Based in Colorado Springs in the USA, FOSSIL FUEL is his escape to explore various soundscapes. While his biography is limited, his only other release aside from the one I’m speaking of Is his 2018 self-titled debut EP which was recorded between 2017 and 2018. “RETRIBUTION” is his follow-up to that and contains five tracks in total. What can easily be mistaken for a dark ambient piece swiftly turns into a crossfading electro-industrial EP that’s an overall solid work.
‘Recoiled’ begins the album and it’s a three-minute and forty-seven second dark ambient piece. While the main synth note in the track is pretty standard for the genre, the surrounding samples reminisced Blade Runner in a sense. I swore that some of the sweeping synths sounded like spinners taking off and landing. Nonetheless, I was fairly intrigued by ‘Recoiled’ as it dragged me into the midst of FOSSIL FUEL’s world. However, the sci-fi world I found myself within was swiftly evaporated when I hit the title track. Though some semblance of the ambiance in ‘Recoiled’ carries over as background noise, ‘Retribution’ is a fast-paced electro-industrial bout. While the bassline can be a bit repetitive, the two-minute and fifty-second run is a good time for it.
After this, we head into ‘Drafted’. Light militaristic drums play out and then fade in this forty-four second piece. It serves more as a transition than anything else and gives the EP a thematic appeal. Raw electronics come in on ‘Delay and Decay’. Deep pitched synths fly over the song as FOSSIL FUEL vocally gives off a Skinny Puppy vibe. I think amped up bass would have done the song a favor to add in a stompy element, but otherwise it’s fairly solid. The final song on the EP fails to find a balance, however. It seems as if everything is off note, off put, and can’t meld quite together. From the computer like button pushes, to the rolling bassline, and even the ambiance in the background, nothing sticks together well enough. It’s a climactic mess that’s unhinged in the wrong ways.
As much as I wasn’t a fan of the final track on “RETRIBUTION”, my overall impression from this piece is that FOSSIL FUEL should continue moving forward. It’s clear that he takes inspiration from the golden age of electro-industrial, but moving closer to cleaner production values would do no harm. I also wonder what it would be like to experience an entire dark ambient piece from FOSSIL FUEL as ‘Recoiled’ is my favorite track (by far) on “RETRIBUTION”. Nonetheless, those idle thoughts must be put to rest for now. Seven out of ten.
Apr 12 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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