Thursday, 30th March 2017. 6:43:55am ET

Artist: Sonik Fondry

Album: Chaos

Label: Nilaihah

Genre: EBM, Industrial

Release Date: September 3rd, 2013

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Sonik Foundry, Brainchild of Maine based industrialist polymath Nikademus offer this fifth full-length release, following up 2012’s Explosive.

The album opens with the sort of apocalypticly misanthropic lyrics and harsh synths typical to the industrial genre. Textures soon begin to emerge over this template however, and diverse sounds and themes start being melded together while still molten, making the name Sonik Foundry seem especially appropriate – the sonic world is bent to Nikademus’ will as metal is to a blacksmith’s.

“Forlorn Tirades” suddenly turn on a sixpence into more alive, less desolate tracks. Manic upper-pitch synth melodies sweep in almost unnoticed as the percussive pace winds up subtly.   In some tracks there can be quite stark comparisons made to Combichrist’s faced-paced hellektro stylings, although Nikademus seems a little less. . . ‘nasty’ than la Pluega! In other tracks there are no clues as to these aggrotech leanings and the electronics are less aggressive, more- smooth. The album also has moments of etheric, soaring soundscapes backed by multi-tonal androgynous chanting, at other times some quite shocking and challenging static screams and electronic wails shake your existence.  

Ok, so don’t worry; there are also moments when the album settles down into generic, yet satisfying, interludes of four-to-the floor, beat-and-bleep interplay to bounce off the walls to.

The vocals seem to me to be very reminiscent of turn-of-the-century nu-metal pioneer David Draiman’s (Disturbed) growl-wail-groan. It took me a while for these vocals and the instrumentation to gel in my head, but once it did, it felt perfectly natural.

The paradox of morose, down-pitch and tempo vocals duelling with vicious, fast paced squelchy synths is no more prominent than on “Liar” and “Placate Me”

These vocals are, unlike many in the genre, totally comprehensible (that is a word, I checked!), despite the layers of twisted distortion, which is refreshing.

At times, the electronics’ mid register, upper tempo EBM vibe is reminiscent of outfits such as Imperative Reaction or Informatik. Nikademus provides a tableau, a chronology, of EBM influences which are so diverse, the fact that they are sometimes starkly reminiscent of other outfits, does nothing to distract from the fact that the album is most certainly its own beast.

Weighty beats and loony melodies pervade throughout and while it will consistently have you nodding your head, there are only some moments when you’ll feel yourself actually using it!

Chaos is by turns phat and uber-paced (particularly satisfying on Mind Twister), then yearning, introspective and mellow. There are even moments of churning metal-distorted guitars surging in the background.

The multi-faceted, vocal-led full frontal assault is as intense as it is varied, and there is no corner of the mind to which it will not take you, if you let it.

 

 


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