Review Summary: Killing cancer one beat at a time.
In a world where music piracy is surging, some people fail to see a reason to buy physical copies of music. The people that do, the diehard fans, are the ones that some bands owe their existence to. When a chance comes along to purchase some great music where the money goes to a fantastic cause, such an opportunity should not be wasted. Electronic Saviors
is a 5 disc box set released by Metropolis Records to help support cancer research and awareness. Jim Semonek, the front man for Rein[forced] has assembled 83 tracks from some of industrials greatest acts, some unreleased songs, some written specifically for this project and some remixes of popular songs throughout the genre. Packaged in a DVD digipack with four physical CD’s and one drop card for the fifth digital disc, Electronic Saviors proceeds go to the Foundation for Cancer Research and Awareness. So whether you’re family has been stricken with cancer in the present or past, you know someone who has had to battle the disease, or you just want some great industrial music at a low price, look no further than Electronic Saviors.
The first disc starts out strong with 4 great tracks. “Stay Sick” is the opening track and it pounds. It’s a great industrial track with samples and distortion abound. With the chorus featuring the sound of a DJ scratching records, it might not be the most versatile, but it is one of the most fun tracks featured on the massive track list. Stromkern’s contribution to this compilation starts out with an airy, dark piano solo. Delving more into the industrial realm of music, “Notes From A War” is the epitome of the strength of this compilation as a whole. The vocal delivery is rather fast, almost as if the singer wanted to deliver by almost rapping. The beats are dark and the overall production is stellar. With the piano playing in the background it really helps complete this song and get this album off to a stupendous start. While some of the songs do venture into other genres such as straight electro, aggrotech, EBM and IDM, the central industrial premise stays current. The highlight off the first two discs of the compilation is “Never Say Farewell” by Interface. The song has some dark beats and a sweet little electro-pop backdrop beats (that sound similar to a small stringed instrument) just barely grace your ears. The vocal delivery can be interpreted as monotone, but it’s very strong and rather emotional. CHEMLAB is also featured on this compilation during the first disc which is correctly labeled as Diagnosis and Insurance, but their song doesn’t warrant more than a small mention.
For those fans of I:Scintillia and Unter Null aching for a female vocals look no further than “Goodbye” by Bow Down Ever. Kim Kornmeier of Bow Down Ever sings her heavenly words over some electro-industrial beats. The song is your basic goodbye song, but when combined with the previous two elements it makes for a surprisingly heartfelt track. The next song could be described as Psychostick or Insane Clown Posse turned industrial. The title of the song “Jim, Let Me Know When You Can Drink Again” doesn’t need much more of an explanation than the title implies. Filled with solid beats and corny lyrics this song takes the cake for corniest, but funniest song on the first 2 discs. It’s definitely one of those “you have to hear it for yourself” tracks. The rest of disc one isn’t memorable to any extent. With a couple instrumental tracks, a mediocre song by 16volt and one by Cyanotic, the honorable mention goes to Rein[forced]’s song which ironically is the band of whose front man spawned this gargantuan project in the first place.
The second disc opener “Beat It, Kill It” is an obvious anthem to beating cancer. The next song is another great female vocal track. Bogged down by a lackluster and monotonous beat, “Search and Destroy” by The Azoic is still a highly enjoyable track whilst not being the best of the batch. One track that stands out from the bunch of the second disc is “Malignant Disco” by Prometheus Burning. It captures more of the electro-terror genre that sadly, is almost never mentioned. Featuring some almost inaudible samples, it might be more successful as a standalone track to the album. While the first disc did supply some serious gems, the second disc is better rounded as a whole than a supplement of fantastic tracks. The addition of I:Scintillia made this compilation all the better. For those of you not well versed in female fronted industrial music, I:Scintillia is one of the forerunners of the genre. With a very talented vocalist and some great aesthetics in their songs, they are one of the best female fronted industrial acts of the coming of age. There is a generous new Combichrist track that was added to the track list called “Nosepad.” It pretty much follows the line of everything that Andy LePlegua is doing with the band at this time, no room for variation here. The rest of the track list for disc 2 is pretty bland. The remaining songs just mesh together to create a borderline enjoyable, but droning listening experience. The second disc ends with a song that gambles its way into the ambient genre. Nothing more than “noise” is here to accompany on your way to the third disc entitled “Surgery.”
Disc three titled “Surgery” could be seen in the light of a genre disc because it contains mostly aggrotech/EBM and futurepop/electro pop songs. Tracks by Suicide Commando, Aesthetic Perfection and Mordacious meld well with the lighter side of Null Device, Encoder and backandtotheleft. This disc contains a couple of the outlined “themed” songs such as “Jim’s Song” and “I Sold Your Organs On The Black Market” but overall the production of the songs and theme of them doesn’t bring its quality down at all. “Until We Die” is Suicide Commando’s lone contribution to the album and it’s very unusual compared to their normal sound. Containing mostly high pitched synths and completely devoid of heavy beats it’s not your normal Suicide Commando affair. Other than a few songs left on here to listen to a couple times, disc three is left with not much more than a subpar performance.
The beginning the fourth set of songs shows promise. Noisuf-X, power noise side project of aggrotech artist X-Fusion contributed a track that can be played over again without guilt. Distorted beats and eerie samples about Jim Semonek help create the compilations first worthy terror influenced EBM track. “Transmission” is one of the standout tracks of the entire group and for great reason. Sweet down tempo beats and angelic vocals come together to create a trip hop vibe that works well when played softly over a slow piano solo. Disc four is filled with cookie cutter EBM songs that don’t differ in structure or melody enough to be noticed or recognized for greatness sadly. With more synthpop songs and a few artists using more organic beats, the eventual end of the compilation begins to weaken.
Bonus Medication is the name of the fifth disc which was a downloadable card included with the purchased music. Here we are greeted with our first drum and bass influenced track by The Molecule Party from Pittsburgh. “Riser” combines drum and bass with an industrial backdrop and twisted beats during the verses. One of the more attention grabbing songs on this disc is “Extra Lives” by Retar-D2 which is more of an 8-bit electronic track, and is entirely instrumental. Their sound is described as Nintendo on the dancefloor and that’s not too far from right if your listen close enough it sounds like a mix of Mario, Zelda and progressive house. Ambient makes its return for one last time with the second to last song “With Heavy Hands” by TowerOpensFire. The drone ambient track sounds more like terror influenced noise with a hint of martial industrial in the background at the end. The last song on the album too is ambient, but not in the same fashion. Sporting beats and glitch ones at that, “Please Let Me Go” is a fitting way to end such a massive compilation of so many genres into one. The only downfall of this disc was that there were far too many instrumental tracks present and the ones at hand weren’t quality at all.
With 83 songs and just over six hours worth the music you definitely get your money’s worth if you’ve purchased this. Featuring some of the genres most well known artists and some entirely unknown ones, Electronic Saviors was an opportunity for one to get recognition and for the other to tighten its fan base. While not every song is going to be “the best song you’ve ever heard”, there are enough quality songs and plenty songs that will grow on you to make this easily one of the best compilation purchases a fan of industrial music can buy.