Posts Tagged ‘Front Line Assembly’

Metropolis Records – 8th February 2019

Christopher Nosnibor

In a sense, I was raised on so-called ‘industrial’. It was the very early 90s and I was in my mid-late teens: Ministry had broken through to the MTV major league with ‘Psalm 69’ and I worked weekends in a second-hand record shop. The other hired hand, who worked when the owner wasn’t around and drove the van carrying the shop’s contents to record fairs on Sundays, was around 15 years older than me, and was massively into all sorts, but particularly punk, new wave, and industrial shit. He’d feed me stuff like Pigface and Lard. Records and CD had a pretty rapid turnover, so recent releases often landed with us for resale within a few weeks of release after a rush of ‘mistake’ purchases off the back of reviews in the music press, and at record fair, it was possible to swipe Wax Trax! remainder12” – which included albums, often still sealed – for a pound apiece.

The fact there was a certain similarity of sound across many of the releases was, in a sense, part of the appeal: the uniformity of industrial civilisation and its attendant culture, reflected in musical from echoed a blank nihilism that simultaneously accepted and confronted the grim harshness of daily reality.

But it’s 2019 and many of the old bands are still cranking out the same trudging grind, and there don’t really seem to be that many emerging bands in the field, making for a genre that’s increasingly stagnant, continually cross-feeding from within itself without drawing inspiration or air from outside its hermetic grey-hued space. The additional contributors featured here is a case in point: the album features contributions from Robert Gorl (DAF), Nick Holmes (Paradise Lost), and Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Cocksure). As a catalogue of luminaries from the scene, it’s cool, but it’s the same catalogue as you might have seen as far back as twenty years ago

Wake Up the Coma isn’t bad by any means, and it certainly has its standout moments. It’s brimming with thumping industrial-strength disco beats, bubbling basslines and stabbing synths, and in this field, songs like ‘Hatevol’ are exemplary. The minimalist slow grind of ‘Tilt’ sounds very like PIG with its woozy, grimy, stop / start synth bass and snarling vocals, fuzzed at the edges with a metallic distortion. Then again, their cover of Falco’s ‘Rock Me Amadeus’ (with Jimmy Urine) stands out for less good reasons: it’s 100% straight, with negligible deviations from the original save for a more industrial beat. And I can’t help but think ‘what’s the point?’ there have been plenty of inspired industrial covers, and I will always cite RevCo’s take on ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’ as an example of irreverent and inventive adaptation.

No-one looking for a solid Front Line Assembly album is going to be disappointed by this. And since FLA, now thirty-three years and almost twenty albums into their existence, are always likely to be preaching to the choir, they’ve delivered firmly with Wake Up the Coma.

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Front Line Assembly – Wake Up The Coma

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Black Needle Noise has unveiled the new video for ‘Shiver of Want’ with Bill Leeb of Front Line Assembly and worldwide charting dreampop collective Delerium.  In the world of post-punk and industrial music, thesee are two key personalities that have consistently been putting out quality music.

Legendary artist-producer John Fryer, the mastermind behind this project, met up with Bill Leeb in Norway after a Front Line Assembly gig.  They hit it off right away and found a really good friendship in the making. While it did take over a year or so for the stars to line up, they eventually did. The new video was shot in 3 countries: Norway, Germany and the USA. 

"This track made history for me because, even though I have worked with countless artists over the years and really value the concept of collaborating, I personally had never sung on a one-off collaboration. I have said no to quite a few offers over the years. But when John approached me, it just felt right. With his background I thought we could do something interesting without having to worry that we were looking for a radio hit, but rather make it a journey into an artistic creation," says Bill Leeb.

"To me, the lyrics are like you are peering through a looking glass at your life, as if it were a third person.  You are trying to grasp its fluidity as it slips through your mind and soul, having absolutely no control of where it is truly taking you on its final journey. Somehow one tries to come to terms with this, but it never gives you a clear picture or resolves in your subliminal state or dreams.  Everyone knows it will end, but I do hope somehow a realm of consciousness will arise and we can all dream for eternity through our spirits.  Yes maybe this sounds a bit optimistic, but we need to find hope in one form or another. A shiver of want."

This new video follows up videos for ‘And Nothing Remains’ with Ana Breton (Dead Leaf Echo) and ‘Neon Noir’ with Dr. Strangefryer, which matched 80s-style synthpop with retro-fitted video colorama graphics courtesy of Alisa Akay.

Watch the video here:

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John_Fryer_and_Bill_Leeb_2_-_photo_credit_Adam_Scott