Wednesday, 17th October 2018. 1:35:45am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Caustic Pleasures- Division of the Mind


Artist: Caustic Pleasures
CD Title: Division of Mind
Label: self-released
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 6/26/04

Taking their name from the concept that pleasure can often be derived from something which is harmful, the members of Canadian band Caustic Pleasures blend goth rock, industrial, art rock, and experimental tendencies into an interesting, effective, and fairly original dark electronic rock sound on their debut CD, Division of Mind. Centered on the processed old-school industrial vocals of lead singer and main instrumentalist Matthew Shepard, the band's sound is filled out by the keyboard work and sampling of Zer0 and the distorted riffing and less frequent clean lead work of guitarist Malachi. The result is an excellent 10-track album that, while a bit short at under 40 minutes, is consistently strong and sonically interesting.

The album kicks off with the unsettling processed noise intro of "Caged Mind" before the song quickly evolves into dark rhythmic eletro rock with processed vocals. "Poisoned Dreams", like the disc's opener, starts out with samples and processed noise and then turns into a great groovy moody number driven by a crunchy synth bass riff and carried by deep vocals and interesting production. It also features an excellent drum breakdown. "Faint Heart" is anchored by analog synth bass and driven by an interesting clean guitar riff and a distorted, energetic chorus. "Shadows" is a toe-tapping old-school goth electro-rock dirge with a great chorus, while the more laid back "Fatalist" features what is probably the catchiest, grooviest synth bass riff on the album. "A Token for those that are Broken", boasting the album's most interesting song title, is a plodding dark number accented by odd but cool processed synth/guitar noise, while "Vacant" is a more straightforward industrial goth rock track driven by distorted guitar riffing. "Petite Morte" is another of the album's highlights, a short up-tempo number with great drums based around a heartbeat rhythm and a relatively heavy chorus. "Midian" is another great industrial rock track with pulsing electronic rhythmic elements giving way to a sinister heavy guitar riff, eerie keyboards, and delayed vocals, while "Attenuation" ends the album with an interesting and effective experimental soundscape.

In the end, Division of Mind is a very solid debut that's both accessible and inventive. The production is often unique and interesting, while the underlying compositions are well written and contain strong melodies and catchy riffs. Encompassing elements of everything from 80s post-punk to 90s industrial, Caustic Pleasures' debut is sure to appeal to goth/industrial fans looking for something a bit different.

 

Caustic Pleasures website: www.causticpleasures.com

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