Artist :: Imperative Reaction
Album :: As We Fall
Label :: Metropolis
Play this cut first :: As We Fall
In a word :: Slammin’
I’ll freely admit it, growing up in Detroit I developed a taste for both rock music and dance music with the same enthusiasm. The two often come together quite nicely in industrial music and EBM. The degree to which they play well off of each other, however, tends to vary a lot.
I find industrial artists usually fall into one of two primary categories: guitar-driven and synth driven. While I tend to favor the songwriting approach in guitar-driven industrial, the sonic exploration and attention dancefloor application of synth-driven industrial is also appealing.
Enter Imperative Reaction’s latest effort: As We Fall
Imperative Reaction would certainly fall into the synth-driven category, but their approach has a uniquely guitar-driven approach with HUGE synth riffs that would be right at home on a detuned guitar. Sure, they augment that sound lots of interesting quirps and clicks, but those riffs are what this album is all about.
Song structures are also familiar, if a little predictable at times. But these familiar song structures require less orientation for new listeners and put the focus squarely back on those huge riffs.
As the brain child of Ted Phelps, all of the ingredients come together to accent his voice perfectly. And he has a great voice that he uses to actually sing with, rather than bury it behind walls of distortion. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never met distortion I didn’t like; but the brother’s got pipes and he does well to show them off, even if he does tail off on the ends of notes the way Robert Smith of The Cure does when he is feeling especially overcome with woe. Still, it adds to the overall clean feel of As We Fall.
This album, as a whole, works perfectly on the dancefloor moving hardcore goth kids as close as they’ll get to happiness. Of course, if you want to turn it up and just rock it out, that’s just fine, too. As We Fall covers all the bases.
Best cuts on the album are :: “As We Fall”, “Closed In”, and “Further to Fall”
The Bottom Line :: As We Fall is a remarkably consistent album. If you like one song, you will most likely enjoy the whole album. This is the best EBM I’ve heard since Skinny Puppy’s The Greater Wrong of the Right.