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Reviews CD Reviews Industrial Doomsday Virus- Drink the Kool-Aid


ARTIST: Doomsday Virus

ALBUM: Drink the Kool-Aid

LABEL: Self-released

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 12-2-08

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The most divisive thing about Doomsday Virus has always been the band's sound, a blend of low-fi guitars, distorted vocals, and vintage keyboards that is, depending on how you look at it, either refreshingly old-school or distractingly amateur. The sound on their latest album doesn't depart from that aesthetic, but it does strip it down to focus on exactly what works for the band. There's no attempt to sound modern or aim at the latest trends, nor is there any outright pandering to old-school fans. Instead, it's a distillation of everything the band has done in the past -- still crunchy, still raw, still informed by classic industrial rock -- just tighter and more focused than ever before. The beats on tracks like "Where Is Your God?" and "Failure" are bass-heavy and stomp-ready, weighty enough to propel bodies on the dance floor but not so heavy that they take center stage. The electronics show a propensity for electronic organ sequences that add a deliberately spooky B-movie flavor to songs like "Persistent Vegetative State" and the goth-tinged "It's You," while the vocals are imbued with a punk edge that works especially well on the shout-and-response chorus of "Divine Whore" or the multi-layered "The Cruelest Joke." Holding everything together are the guitars, which range from the serviceable industrial rock chords of "Create Your Own Disaster" to moody overdriven wails on "Nothing Left to Live For" and work especially well dancing back and forth with the sneering vocals and jagged synthesizers of "Life Sux (And Then You Die)." This album isn't the sort of drastic overhaul that will suddenly win Doomsday Virus a bunch of mainstream fans or tons of plays in the trendiest clubs, but what it will do is eliminate any lingering questions as to whether the band's raw, low-fi sound is a deliberate stylistic choice or merely the best they could do. This album is so tight and cohesive, there's no way its in-your-face attitude could be anything but intentional, and if you're a fan of old-school industrial rock and coldwave, this'll take you back to the first time you saw Hate Dept. or Chemlab in concert.

Check the band out online at www.doomsdayvirus.com.


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