Engelmacher's new CD starts out predictably enough, seemingly another entry in the glut of competent if not overwhelming terror EBM acts. "Retribution" features the expected pounding drum machine and distorted vocals, this time in a whispered rasp rather than a distorted scream, backed by tense synths and lots of reverb. "Circumstance" is more of the same, with a touch more futuristic atmosphere and a touch less spookiness. By the time third track "Bypass" kicks in, though, things start to display a surprising amount of variety. While Engelmacher never departs from the basic themes of EBM, at the very least the project manages to avoid sticking with the formulas of a specific subgenre. "Bypass" is bouncier, with melodic vocals straining to burst out from under raw club beats and buzzing synths, and "Thrust" manages to evoke some real emotion by playing bittersweet major key arpeggios with haunting minor key harmonies. Title track "Birds of a Feather" moves back into terror EBM territory, but this time with hints of ethereal pads and computer-generated choirs for a darkly majestic effect that calls to mind Psyclon Nine, while "Devotion" ends things with more creepy whispers set to a pulsing electro kick. As promised by recent appearances on compilations from Alfa Matrix and BLC Productions, Engelmacher has delivered a solid debut, sure to appeal club regulars and casual fans alike.
Visit Engelmacher's website at www.engelmacher.com.
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