Wednesday, 13th December 2017. 12:31:28am ET


ARTIST: Chiasm

ALBUM: Reform

LABEL: COP International

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 2-23-09

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On her third album, Chiasm's Emileigh Rohn moves into more atmospheric territory; the foundation is still EBM and industrial dance music, but the mood is less aggression than thoughtful melancholy. "Deny" starts things off with one of the album's harder moments, but then moves into something that's fast but light on its feet, Rohn's wispy vocals spinning in multiple loops across an uptempo drum sequence. Both "Unity" and "The Caffeine Cycle" do an excellent job bridging Rohn's hard electronic roots with her softer side; the first uses bleak synths and a slow mournful beat, but augment it with clanking metallic effects for an industrial edge, while the latter contrasts a classic dark EBM sound, all drenched in reverb, with deliberately feminine singing. Title track "Reform" is similar, the rhythm a brooding stomp, the vocals delicate and girlish. Where Rohn's work really takes off, however, is when she integrates more organic-sounding instrument patches into the arrangements. The album's highlight, "A Section of Time," pairs glassy harp-like arpeggios with rich synthesizers and haunting vocals; it's ethereal music made by machines, rather like Android Lust's quieter moments. Likewise, "Won" brings in warm organs, pianos, and string patches for a sense of quiet grandeur, and closing track "Extinguish" ends things on a dreamy note, with softened pianos, synthesized violins, and delicate glitch effects. Rohn's most mature album yet, this release still has enough of that classic feel to keep fans happy while adding more melody and emotion for a broader appeal. Fans of Yendri, Android Lust, and Diary of Dreams should especially enjoy this one.

Check out Emileigh Rohn's work online at www.chiasm.org.


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