ARTIST: Third Realm
ALBUM: Love Is the Devil
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
While owing a lot to the heavily processed vocals and high-BPM programming of terror EBM, the new release from Third Realm features enough musical diversity to hold up to repeat listening on and off the dance floor. Though tracks like the sharp-edged "Pseudo-Death Wish" and the coolly pulsing "Reap What You Sow" are more or less straight club fodder, they're slickly produced and solidly crafted. Project mastermind Nathan Reiner also manages to inject a lot of unexpected diversions into his material, as on "Like a Moth to a Flame," which breaks things up nicely with moments of pure industrial atmosphere, and "The Horror Within You," which lays the brooding ambiance on so thick that the beats recede into the background. Reiner's best work takes things even further outside the box. "Manic Panic," for example, pairs classic rasping vocals with dark drum 'n' bass rhythms, "Sleeping Beauty" sees him singing instead of rasping and features enough dark melody to appeal to goths without alienating EBM purists, and both "My Tortured Soul" and "Colder Than Your Heart" are almost darkwave ballads, the former all spooky whispers and haunting pianos, the latter a moody trip-hop number. Title track "Love Is the Devil" also borders on darkwave; built around a synthesized harp sequence, it pairs Reiner's guttural, demonic growls with soft female vocals; a remix by Val Cain is also included, filling out the stark emptiness of the original with additional synths and downtempo breakbeats. With enough club tracks to keep the dance floors filled, this album's real attraction is Reiner's musical depth. He's proven himself here not only as a dance music producer, but also as a songwriter.
Visit Reiner on MySpace at www.myspace.com/thirdrealmfor more information.
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