ARTIST: New Critical Illness
ALBUM: In the Eye of the Controller
LABEL: Deserving Victim Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
Canadian trio New Critical Illness have debuted with an ambitious collection of industrial-inspired tracks that ultimately transcends genres. From the beginning of the album, tracks like "Medicate" and "All the Few" make the band's industrial influences clear with chugging metal guitar riffs and earth-shattering programmed rhythms, but synthesizer arrangements that tend toward the symphonic rather than the electronic offer an early hint of the more expansive sonic exploration that is to come. On the latter half of the album, there's more than a few hints of classic gothic rock, especially on "Reflection," with its slow piano and chiming guitar, but there's none of the stereotypical melancholy often associated with the genre; more along the lines of The Sisters of Mercy's "Dominion/Mother Russia" than anything by The Cure, this is politically charged stuff under its veneer of brooding strings and rumbling baritone vocals. Further on, "Through Reality" is less goth or industrial than alternative metal in the vein of Korn, complete with vocals that alternate between wavering snarl and throaty bellow. By final track "How Does It End," we've gotten back to industrial again, with quiet synths and bleak vocals giving way to multi-layered hard rock backed by rich electronics. New Critical Illness have aimed high with this release, and their intriguing blend of gothic, industrial, and metal elements will probably offend purists of all three genres, but open-minded fans of everything from KMFDM to Fields of the Nephilim will find something to like on this impressive debut.
Check out www.newcriticalillness.com to learn more.
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