ARTIST: Life Cried
ALBUM: Banished Psalms
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
Terror EBM has become almost a laughingstock within the larger EBM scene, thanks to its overuse of simplistic beats, horror film samples, incomprehensible vocals and demonic imagery campy enough to rival the worst excesses of the black metal scene. Thankfully there are artists like Life Cried mastermind Chris Reject to inject some dignity back into the movement. The second album from the project makes use of most of the scene's recognizable tropes, but he keeps them reigned in; tracks like "Dressed in Filth" utilize plenty of rasping vocoder effects, but it's not so overdone that you can't make out actual lyrics. Reject's real talent, though, is his ability to inject classically-tinged atmospheres without coming off as a second-rate horror movie soundtrack composer. This album is full of Baroque touches, like the synthesized harpsichord motif on "Bound in Hate" and the symphonic strings phrases on "Preacher," that blend perfectly with the harder electronic elements. None of which is to say, of course, that these tracks aren't still perfect club-killers; apart from the elegant instrumental interludes like "Alone" and "Procession, Rigor Mortis," his compositions here are as solid as the best dance offerings from Psyclon Nine, evil in terms of atmosphere but thunderous in terms of bass groove. This isn't a great release because Reject steps outside of terror EBM's boundaries, but because he stays so firmly within them while still delivering such perfectly crafted album.
For more information about Life Cried, visit www.life-cried.net.
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