Front 242
Front By Front


4.0
excellent

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
April 29th, 2009 | 7 replies | 3,734 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Front 242 is a Belgian electronic music act credited with helping pioneer the electronic body music scene (or EBM for short), a spinoff of industrial music which sprung up around the 1980's. Their fusion of pulsating, repetitive beats, intricate percussion and nihilistic, subversive themes would see them become a huge influence over electronic artists and industrial acts alike, 1988's Front By Front often lauded as one of their best works.

From the opening track Until Death (Us Do Part) to the albums closer Work 242 the bands mission is made clear, to offer a thick slab of uniform material that doesn't change all that much throughout but remains interesting enough to captivate the listeners attention. Indeed, Front by Front is very rhythmic centered, every track built around clunky, square basslines weaving in and out of repetitive percussion whilst electronic synths and samples provide the musical dynamics. The band manages to keep this sounding fresh for the most part, whilst vocalist Jean-Luc De Meyer's vocals are delivered in a gravelly english that recalls other european acts such as Laibach (yet not quite so pronounced). With it's undeniable (and occasionally cheesy) old school groove the feel of the album sounds more then a little like something what the bridge between Kraftwerk and Skinny Puppy might be, the endlessly creative potential of electronic music finding it's foot in the realms of post-modern angst. It works.

Headhunter was the big single from the album (two versions appear on the 1992 reissue, since it's release it has been subject to over 20 remixes), and whilst every track has it's merit the standout to me is Welcome to Paradise, perhaps the most poignant use of subversive criticism on the album as it ridicules the church through abusing samples of televangalist Farrell Griswold. It is a thrilling listen, and an industrial classic in it's own right. Some of the tracks here are weaker then others, but the album flows along pretty well for its entire duration.

Front by Front is an essential listen to those wanting to broaden their horizons in the realms of electronic and industrial music by looking at one of the bigger names to claim real influence, which unfortunately may perhaps outweigh the actual value of their output by todays standards for some. For others who believe certain eras of music are timeless however, and dislike the idea that music could ever sound dated Front By Front will be a satisfying listen.



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
April 29th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Great review. There is some awesome stuff on this album. Unfortunately, the chances of it appealing to most people at Sputnik is probably slim (even the ones trying to get into industrial and especially the ones claiming they like it and then rattle off Fear Factory, White Zombie, and NIN as the genre's best).

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Meatplow
April 29th 2009



5524 Comments


That is unfortunate. Hopefully, we can reach some people

Merkaba33
April 29th 2009



702 Comments


Saw this last week. Was about to buy it but didn't know if it was their best so I held off.

joshuatree
Emeritus
April 29th 2009



3743 Comments


great review, review more, etc
also plow im looking to get into foetus what should i start with?

Meatplow
April 30th 2009



5524 Comments


Thanks. As usual i'll suggest Hole and Nail, and if you dig somewhat branch out from there.

Meatplow
October 24th 2009



5524 Comments


Welcome To Paradise rules so hard

No....

Sex

Until

Marriage


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osQMG9f0HC0

someguest
February 20th 2014



18859 Comments


fantastic record

Digging: BABYMETAL - Babymetal



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