Like Marilyn Manson, Fanoe is both the name of the band and the name of its founder. Also like Marilyn Manson, Fanoe’s music is rock and roll with an industrial edge, not the other way around, but it works. The first few tracks on this album are like a more dissonant Nine Inch Nails, with pulsing drum machine breakbeats, chopped snippets of electric guitars, and whispery vocals that burst into a tortured, gravelly shout on the chorus. Things really pick up by third track “Naked,” which is deliciously sleazy in the vein of the Revolting Cocks despite the occasional misuse of English language slang (in the chorus, Fanoe encourages that “Everybody have a good fuck tonight!”). A number of songs hint at a Ministry influence, from the industrialized speed metal of “Battlefield” to the slow but heavy reverb-drenched “Mistress.” Title track “Empire Dirt” is also a standout; it’s great music for high-speed freeway driving the same way that White Zombie’s “Thunderkiss 69” is. Fanoe is capable of more than just drum machines and thrash guitar, however, and shows a particular talent with piano arrangements; “Invisible” creaks and squeaks, with minor key arpeggios adding sinister depth, while the instrumental outro “Zero” creates a dark orchestral feel with low-octave pianos and sampled string orchestration. This album might be a little too radio-friendly for some industrial purists – “Part” is particularly accessible – but be that as it may, every single song on the disc is perfectly crafted. It’s altogether possible that Fanoe is well on his way to replacing HIM’s Ville Valo as the Hot Topic crowd’s favorite European import.
Learn more about Fanoe at http://fanoe.ch
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