Detroit Diesel
Terre Humaine


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
March 30th, 2011 | 52 replies | 8,049 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Detroit Diesel aren't going to win any awards for their typical harsh EBM sound or their steadfast adherence to a specific formula, but at the end of the day this is still a great album.

Detroit Diesel are a relatively new electro/industrial band out of Canada (the land of great electro/industrial). The band formed in 2006 and in just four years they had already released their first full-length album, Terre Humaine. Terre Humaine had initially been the band’s 10-song demo, but it was deemed good enough to simply re-release. It’s hard to disagree with that decision as Terre Humaine is a solid album with a powerfully crisp sound. It is an album that seems to have a single goal: to get your body moving with a continuous barrage of pounding beats, pulsating synths, fleeting melodies and dissonant vocals.

The best way to describe the band would be to call them harsh EBM (which it seems that most do), but more specifically they could also be referred to as harsh TBM. Although the differences can generally be considered minor, EBM is known for creating a groove whereas TBM is much more straightforward and mechanical. Detroit Diesel’s use of a simple ‘four-on-the-floor’ dance beat on every track places them firmly in the latter category, and also severely limits the album’s diversity. The band’s use of distorted vocals only contributes to the album’s homogeneous sound and leaves the synths and samples with the job of creating any kind of variation between the songs. It would be nice to say that this is where the band truly shines and that the synth pushes them to the next level, but it simply isn’t true. The synth pulls from a very limited pool of sounds for the duration of the album and is more likely to be pulsating with the beat than to be creating anything truly memorable. So, with diversity and innovation out the window the only real question is whether or not this is good anyway. The answer is yes.

It was mentioned earlier that the album’s sound is full, powerful and crisp and that helps to deliver each track with maximum efficiency. The beats, too, are full and powerful and can truly shake the room with a good enough system. I mention these things because music like this is truly meant for the clubs, driving or even a bit of cardio and it fits the bill perfectly. The synths, while nothing out of the ordinary, deliver their undulating melodies with command and even occasionally drop a surprise or two through the use of a quick, catchy harmony or a new sound that hadn’t previously been heard on the album. Also, there are quick sections or sequences within most of the songs that provide the slightest bit of diversity, although they are almost always short lived and tough to grasp during an initial listen. Terre Humaine’s shining moment is the track, “All Lost Before Dawn”. “All Lost Before Dawn” deviates from the album’s formula by utilizing a wailing female backing vocal (think Program 2 or Electric Skychurch), a strong melody and even a slightly different rhythm in a few parts. These might seem like minor differences but in an album with a very set formula, it is enough to make it stand out.

While Detroit Diesel aren’t going to win any innovation contests or wow people with the diversity found on Terre Humaine, it still turned out to be a great album. What they lack in ‘extras’ is more than made up for with a singular commitment to the beat and an infectious synth delivery that is very appealing despite its homogenous nature. The thing that should keep people coming back for more are the subtle nuances that make only brief or fleeting appearances during certain songs, but end up becoming the standout elements during subsequent listens. When everything is said and done, Terre Humaine can be thrown on during a long run or drive and there isn’t a single thing that feels out of place – from the unrelenting beats and shrill synth to the dissonant vocals, the album just seems to work at the right times.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
March 30th 2011



15960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This was done for WeepingBanana's 'review something random' thing:

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?memberid=428565&listid=69319

So, I had never heard this before (or even heard of them) but it turned out to be a good surprise.

Digging: Necropoli - I

bloc
March 30th 2011



34839 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

OMG

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Willie
Moderator
March 30th 2011



15960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ha ha. For liking the same genres, we really don't like the same stuff ;)

bloc
March 30th 2011



34839 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think our opinions on Hocico established that haha

Willie
Moderator
March 30th 2011



15960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Funny, I always thought it was established with Acylum -- ooh, too scary ;)

bloc
March 30th 2011



34839 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

SORRY MR. ARMY MAN.

That stuff sends shivers down my spine. I listen to a lot of harsh ebm and love it in general but Acylum is like...like...terror ebm.

Acanthus
March 30th 2011



9541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So I'm inclined to believe that this is a solid release and the small parts make it enjoyable; sounds like I'll give it a listen.

Edit: While I have yet to own it I did enjoy what I heard from Acylum

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

cvlts
March 30th 2011



8954 Comments


been listening to the album WeepingBanana spent me. Really good, but suffering massive writers block again so it'll have to wait.

WeepingBanana
March 30th 2011



10134 Comments


aww yeah people takin my game seriously

ButcheredChildren
March 30th 2011



5591 Comments


THANK YOU

I will have the review for The God Machine up hopefully my saturday night.
Also I knew you would enjoy it once I saw the album was assigned to you :D

Willie
Moderator
March 30th 2011



15960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That stuff sends shivers down my spine. I listen to a lot of harsh ebm and love it in general but Acylum is like...like...terror ebm.
That's the perfect description for that Acylum CD. If I had been thinking about it, that would have been the album that I picked to have someone else review.

So I'm inclined to believe that this is a solid release and the small parts make it enjoyable; sounds like I'll give it a listen.
Yep. Exactly. It's basically one long song with small breaks between each section.

been listening to the album WeepingBanana spent me. Really good, but suffering massive writers block again so it'll have to wait.
What do you have?

aww yeah people takin my game seriously
Of course... right?

ButcheredChildren
March 30th 2011



5591 Comments


Oh and in your face bloc, this album is NOT average.

Next i'll ask for a review for ESC just to crush your balls about them as well!

Acanthus
March 30th 2011



9541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy shit this is catchy as hell! .... now that I'm done with that I'm going to find this in it's entirety as it is far to wonderful (somehow I forgot/glazed over the "harsh" notifier in the review, so it was a pleasant surprise).

I can see where the one long song bit comes into play, and I definitely agree with the long drive part - I might have to use that idea.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2011



31145 Comments


(think Program 2[/i] or [l]Electric Skychruch)


Digging: Banks - Goddess

ButcheredChildren
March 30th 2011



5591 Comments


I already knew this would explode once Willie reviewed it. I had this planned out when I suggested it on that list ;) I knew either Willie or Deviant would get it and then it was only a matter of time before they gave it a good review and people looked into Detroit Diesel.

bloc
March 30th 2011



34839 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hah, Butch finally makes his appearance! ESC is exactly like this, but they have a couple of songs I enjoy.

I knew out of anybody, Williamfisterbut would enjoy this but Deviant? I am very skeptical.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2011



31145 Comments


I knew either Willie or Deviant would get it and then it was only a matter of time before they gave it a good review and people looked into Detroit Diesel.


Why me?

ButcheredChildren
March 30th 2011



5591 Comments


I have our EBM uprising all figured out my fellow Torontonian friend, just leave it to me; muaha.

ButcheredChildren
March 30th 2011



5591 Comments


Why me?

I listen to a lot of techno as well and I knew this was an awesome album and that anyone interested would enjoy it. I am not very authoritative on this site (obviously) and I know Willie is the industrial guy and your the everything else guy. SO my real challenge was convincing one of you to give this the time of day without shutting me down, and that list was perfect.

Now I just have to review The God Machine and keep my end of the bargain.

Jruined
March 31st 2011



1299 Comments


That's sooo cute. It's like you are looking up to these guys like they are the big brothers you might not have ever had.

Amazing.

You did rec this to me and I like it a lot. See you aren't as bad as everyone says.

Digging: Earth - Primitive and Deadly



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