Informatik
Arena


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
August 14th, 2009 | 39 replies | 9,856 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While the band’s self-appointed “electronic arena rock” title might be a little misleading, the actual music is still a solid conglomeration of EBM and pop fundamentals.

Informatik began life as a relatively primitive harsh EBM band. The sounds they used on their debut were pretty standard and generic even fourteen years ago when it was released. The thing that set them apart was their excellent use of melody and an above-average ability (within the electro/industrial genre) to craft memorable songs. As the band progressed, they slowly started playing more to their strengths and removing elements that conflicted with them. By the time of their third album, Nymphomatik, the band had entirely phased out the processed vocals and mechanical rhythms in favor of real singing and a rock aesthetic. The band eventually started referring to this sound as electronic arena rock, and this album is another step in that direction.

For the average music listener, the term “electronic arena rock” probably means very little. If there is any band that could be forced into that genre it would probably be Depeche Mode, but even that is a stretch. In reality, the term is just a broad description that the band (or record label?) have come up with that means very little. There are actually only two songs that even remotely fit that portrayal – “Come Together” and to a lesser extent “The World Belongs to Us”. These two songs come close by focusing on big 80s rock choruses, simple (yet effective) guitar riffs, and a sustained groove. Of course, this is all filtered through classic programmed beats and a layer of synth. The end result is still basically electronic music with a few additional elements but it’s enjoyable, if a bit cheesy at times.

Despite the hype surrounding this band’s occasional forays into rock territory, it’s the remaining ten songs that are the real gems of the album. The remaining tracks move the electronic elements back to the forefront and are better off for it. The various electronic elements combine to form the most prominent feature of these songs, the abundance of melodies. However, unlike a lot of EBM albums, these melodies aren’t dark, angry or mechanical in any way. The tracks all flirt with an undercurrent of pop fundamentals that keeps things light, upbeat and very easy to sing along to. These pop influences have even filtered into the electronics, allowing them to achieve a very warm and full sound that is reminiscent of new age electronic artists such as Delerium and Enigma. The main holdover from traditional EBM is the vocals. The vocals still contain some gothic influences due to their deep, slightly monotone delivery and could very well end up being the main sticking point for some people.

So, the band aren’t exactly Bon Jovi mixed with Skinny Puppy, but they’ve still released a great album. The pop influence that is injected into every song takes them beyond your typical cold, underdeveloped EBM tracks and provides them with a fuller, more human impression. The few rock influences only serve to further distance this album from the majority of similar bands, even if those songs have a tendency to sound a bit overdone. Beyond the album’s defining characteristics is the simple fact that the songs themselves are very well-written, and provide a very enjoyable experience. Here’s hoping the band don’t ever abandon their roots completely, because they’re too good at this style of music to simply dismiss it.



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user ratings (6)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
August 14th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

EBM: [a]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_body_music

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

rotterdog
August 14th 2009



486 Comments


Sounds interesting. Would you expect your average Depeche Mode fan to like this?

Willie
Moderator
August 14th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes. That would be the main type of person this would appeal to. I thought about putting that into the review but I decided I wasn't trying to "sell" the band to people, just do a review.

rotterdog
August 14th 2009



486 Comments


K, I'll have to check it out then. I've been on a DM binge lately.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2009



8221 Comments


good review, to me this sounds uninteresting though. Also just I'll bring up what everyone is thinking anyway: Bon Jovi mixed with Skinny Puppy would be HORRIBLE hahahahaaha.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

Willie
Moderator
August 14th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No, you won't like this at all. I agree that the combination would be horrible, but that's what I imagined when I read the description before listening to the promo.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2009



8221 Comments


yeah i know, your sentence works very well in this review, I just thought I'll mention it :-).

OH and check your last.fm shoutbox pretty please

bloc
August 14th 2009



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

DUDE. i didn't even see this review up yet. album is so good.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

charlesfishowitz
August 15th 2009



1794 Comments


does this have any groove?

Willie
Moderator
August 15th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Enough to make a llama reconsider where to place his swimming pool.

MisterBeefy
August 15th 2009



244 Comments


This actually sounds very interesting. I might just look into this, great review as usual Willie.

charlesfishowitz
August 15th 2009



1794 Comments


"Enough to make a llama reconsider where to place his swimming pool."










wat

Meatplow
August 16th 2009



5524 Comments


sounds fascinating, i'll check this one out

bloc
August 16th 2009



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

when i think about it, it actually does sound very arena-like; like everything sounds very open with tons of reverb for some reason.

Willie
Moderator
August 17th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sounds fascinating, i'll check this one out
Did you check this out?
when i think about it, it actually does sound very arena-like; like everything sounds very open with tons of reverb for some reason.
Yeah, it definitely doesn't have a typical electronic sound to it. In that regard it could be considered "arena" music, but the rock part still doesn't really fit.

Meatplow
August 17th 2009



5524 Comments


i have a copy, i've got so much stuff to get through atm but i'll listen to it soon ;]

Willie
Moderator
August 17th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool. I've got another review coming up (not until Sept 8th, though) for a band you'd probably love called Psyclon Nine.

Meatplow
August 17th 2009



5524 Comments


ah yes, i've heard some Psyclon Nine i've never been particular impressed by them to be honest :[

Willie
Moderator
August 17th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Their old stuff is ok, but the upcoming album... awesome.

Meatplow
August 17th 2009



5524 Comments


interesting, they tend to get a pretty bad rap in industrial circles from what i've seen and it'd be cool if they came out with a kickass album



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