Reactor7x - Illusion of Chaos
Aggrotech and Dark Electro alike seem to be laughed at in the neo-age of industrial where old-school sounds are driving the movement forward and bands who use distorted vocals and heavier layered but club friendly synths are being laughed at. Industrial can be very trendy and whereas everyone loved that sound at one point now finds it annoying and shame themselves and everyone around them for even being part of that movement from just a few years ago.
I'm not one of those people, however, and I still love good aggrotech when it crosses me. However, the fact is that aggrotech - or at least good aggrotech in the vein of old Psyclon Nine and the like - is a dying breed. I've come across two acts this year - Parasite of God and Seraphim System - who manage to create some damned fine electronic mayhem, but other than that most of it just sounds like the same washed up bands that don't really have an identity all their own.
That's where Reactor7x steps in. This aggrotech act from Poland was first discovered by us in 2010 where a reviewer found their album Disorder. Being a free album available via last.fm, he found the music good but the vocals fairly underwhelming. When they released their next single Sick of it all, it was my turn to take a gander at them. I found the title track very good and it rotated on my playlist for quite a bit. However, I wanted to see what they could do on their own without eight other remixes attached. Finally, Advoxya Records picked them up and released their debut album Illusion of Chaos.
After the introductory track plays out, 'Mass For The Dead' broke in and delivered well. The screaming, somewhat distorted vocals are set in place, the beat thumps along, and the sound is aggressive and unforgiving. 'Helter Skelter' was pretty much metal meeting dark electro with heavy electronic riffs destroying everything in their path.
'Outburst' brought on metallic clanging and experimental segments where factory like sounds played out. Taking away from the dance friendly songs and ushering in a slower, sci-fi inspired metal melody, 'When We Fall' was a welcome deviation from the standard. 'Neuron' is a quick, percussion driven intermission but it doesn't keep the harsh electronics away for long.
'Daydream Nation' started off quietly but quickly smashed expectations left and right. This makes me want to put on my cyber gear and dance horribly. The second set of clean vocals that come in on this song whereas they were previously just a whisper harkens back to their single Sick Of It All. Nonetheless, the second set of vocals brings out a sort of punk feel to the music. 'Schism' continued using the second set of vocals to great effect and kept up the harsh attitude of the album. While I don't have much to say of 'Dysfunctional', it keeps up the heavy flux that Reactor7x provides.
'Elegy' moves slower and gives off a bit of an ancient vibe with fluttering choral samples. A bit of a standard title that's been used by hundreds of bands over the years, 'On Your Knees' was decent aggrotech that slammed home. The last track was a good cinematic album ender with great slamming percussion.
Reactor7x takes good production to heart when creating music. Whereas most newfound harsh EBM/aggrotech acts sound like they had their dog piss on their laptop before they created their music and shout with shit lodged in their throat, Reactor7x creates wonderfully produced music with quality at their heart. This is good aggrotech or dark electro or whatever you wish to call it. The genre is stretched thin at this point, but bands such as Reactor7x are helping keep the genre alive.
Aug 20 2016
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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