Brimming with potential club hits, XP8’s latest release cements the Italian band as one of the EBM scene’s most promising up-and-comers. Incorporating elements of trance and pop, such tracks as “Bleed and Shout” and “Purity” layer irresistible vocal hooks over hard but upbeat techno rhythms and symphonic synthesizers. “Dreamt of Blue” is slower but still thumping, a bit reminiscent of Covenant, while “Escape Velocity” is more like Covenant on amphetamines, with the dramatic vocals intact but the tempo cranked up to a frantic pace. XP8 are also huge Nitzer Ebb fans, and recently teamed up with Icon of Coil’s Sebastian R. Komor to release a tribute album to the EBM legends. The influence is pretty subtle on most of Hrs:Min:Sec, but becomes glaringly apparent on “Cuttin ‘n’ Drinkin,” right down to the reverberating shouted vocal work. “Flatline” also reveals a more classic EBM aesthetic, but despite a plethora of computerized analog bleeps and electro rhythms, it doesn’t sound at all dated. Less derivative of many of their peers in the scene, XP8 have already developed a unique but accessible sound. If you enjoy such artists as Covenant and Apoptygma Berzerk but are sick to death of all the bands imitating them, check this album out for a refreshingly different take on dark electronic dance.
Visit www.xp8.org for more information.
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