Artist: Cynical Existence
CD Title: Come Out and Play
Label: Alfa Matrix
Genre: EBM/harsh/Dark electro
It all began in 2006 in a small town in Sweden, called Gothenburg. Fredrik Croona and a German artist Dominik Ridder, formed the band Menschdefekt. After several releases from 2006 to 2010, Menschdefekt had built a name for themselves in the dark music scene. In July of 2009, Fredrik Croona decided to start his own solo project called Project Rotten. Not long after, he was joined by the androgynous Kettil S. (Syndrome X/209).
Project Rotten was an instant hit in the growing EBM/industrial scene. They released a slew of records that were well received by fans and critics alike. Fredrik found himself once again looking to explore new territory. On December 31, 2011 as the new year was about to begin, so was a brand new chapter in Fredrik's musical career. He formed the solo project Cynical Existence. Fredrik describes his new direction best "the goal was to create something more close to “old school” harsh EBM and industrial with a more personal touch and emotions infused into it. It's simple and yet powerful and doesn't intend to create something new and unique, just something personal". By 2012, Fredrik was ready to unleash his first solo release as Cynical Existence unto the world with his debut A Familiar Kind Of Pain EP. It did not take long for Belgium's infamous industrial label Alfa-Matrix to take notice and pick up the release. Fredrik had managed to not only find the fans of his former projects Menschdefekt and Project Rotten, but had discovered a new audience with Cynical Existence, which had now become well known internationally. US label Engraved Ritual, saw the potential of a North American release and quickly swept it up. Soon after the release of A Familiar Kind Of Pain EP, Fredrik was at the ready with a 7 track EP, Ruined Portrait, also released on Alfa-Matrix. With baited breath, we now introduce the much anticipated 11 track CD release of Come Out and Play.
Fredrik 's vocals are somewhat of an acquired taste, as they fluctuate from a deeper Gothic drone, to more of a guttural shout. Cynical Existence isn't doing anything new, fresh or breaking new ground. Fredrik seems comfortable in the sound he has perfected with this project. Come Out and Play seems to teeter between classic EBM and a more club friendly euro sound.
If you have enjoyed Cynical Existence's previous releases, then I think you will be happy with Come Out and Play, as it's simply more of the same. If you are a fan of the Project Rotten sound like myself, you might be slightly disappointed with Cynical Existence. I think that it lacks the power and the allure that Project Rotten has perfected. I personally don't like Fredrik's voice on this record and find it hard to get past it. I prefered his voice on Project Rotten.
To sum up..It's pretty standard EBM fare here, bubbling arpeggiated synths, galloping bass lines, squelchy techno synth stabs. Most of the songs sound the same and seem to melt together like one long remix. I prefer Fredrik's deeper voice on tracks like "Pick Your Poison", "A Scar On Your Mind", and "Reign Supreme". Unfortunately there is not a track where you don't have to endure that guttural shout. If Fredrik made a project that was more sing, less shout, I think he might find a bigger and more appreciative audience. Until that day, I'm going to pass on Cynical Existence and stay with Project Rotten.
For fans of Cynical Existence, don't forget to pick up your copy of the 2 CD, Limited Edition, Cardboard Box. It is chocked full of remixes by Project Rotten,C-Lekktor,Subliminal Code, Nolongerhuman, Kant Kino, and more, plus 3 non LP tracks I Hate You ,The Wrong Turn (Tragic Fall Edit) and My Downfall (Feat. Detroit Diesel).
Listen to the teaser trailer for Cynical Existence- Come Out and Play
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