The newest album from Flesh Field, a duo consisting of producer and vocalist Ian Ross and new female singer Wendy Yanko, shows off a versatility that’s uncommon in the industrial scene. The songs are in the vein of such coldwave acts as Acumen Nation or Hate Department, but with a unique classical sensibility thrown into the mix of sneering vocals and cutting electric guitars. Unlike other bands that integrate classical and industrial, Flesh Field’s work doesn’t bare much of a resemblance to either the gothic chamber music of Attrition or the nationalistic anthems of Laibach. It’s more like a futuristic film soundtrack, with minor key piano arpeggios suggesting horror movie creepiness on “Haven” and bouncing orchestral strings conjuring up futuristic chase scenes on the excellent “Recoil.” A sampled brass section adds gravitas to the aggressive chorus of “Reflect the Enemy,” and cinematic interludes set off the catchy punk-inspired guitars of “Amoeba.” Even without the symphonic elements, though, Flesh Field is first-rate. This album ranges from the familiar cyberpunk combination of chopped up beats, heavy guitars, and computerized vocals on “Beneath Contempt” to the harsh EBM-inspired beats of “Seethe.” It’s the album’s last two songs, though, that really show off the band’s range. “Epiphany” starts off slow and almost gentle, with Yanko singing over pianos and violins, but then builds into a rage fueled by equal measures of harsh drum machines, combative vocals, and martial strings. “This Broken Dream,” on the other hand, starts off angry, with Ross bellowing like a singer for a hardcore band, but melts into more dramatic moments of Yanko’s voice soaring over down-tempo beats and strings. Like the rest of the disk, it offers a surprisingly deep listening experience underneath all the surface aggression. Whether you’re into EBM, coldwave, or even metal, there’s enough on this album to please any industrial fan.
Go to www.flesh-field.com to visit Ian and Wendy online.
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