Artist: The Synthetic Dream Foundation
Album: Behind the Gates of Horn and Ivory
Label: Mythical Records
Reviewer: Matthew J.
Pay no mind to the fairy on the album cover or, for that matter, the dreaminess evoked by this album's title. Despite evidence to the contrary, The Synthetic Dream Foundation's latest album is by far the coldest, hardest, fastest thing the project has ever produced, abandoning the Coil-inspired experimentalism of earlier albums almost entirely in favor of a much more club-friendly sound. Several tracks even feature distorted vocals; "Eine Dunkle Spharische Widerstand" and "Eine Schone Ruine" are straight-up European-style terror EBM, with barely intelligible lyrics grumbling over haunting choral synths and pulse-pounding four-on-the-floor drumbeats, while "Formless Speech" goes for something more purely electronic with robotic speech effects. The instrumental offerings are similarly cold and stark, for the most part, with "Hammers out of the Unutterable Palace" and "O' Dead Armoured Sky" in particular recalling classic Haujobb with their mechanical precision, though bits of sampled choir and strings adds a sense of grandiosity more in keeping with The Synthetic Dream Foundation's earlier albums. Final track "Construction of the Underworld" really cranks up that grandiosity, gussying up a classic EBM stomp not only with strings but also the bombast of an entire brass section. Another huge step in this project's career, this album is apt to confuse long-time followers of the project while at the same time attracting plenty of new EBM fans. All things considered, it's another accomplished effort, serving once more to remind fans that the enigmatic composer behind The Synthetic Dream Foundation is capable of cranking out serviceable music in just about any genre he sets his mind to.
Visit www.tsdf.net for more information about this project.
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