Necro Facility
Wintermute


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
June 10th, 2011 | 34 replies | 9,669 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Necro Facility merge the best parts of old-school Skinny Puppy with a dominating synthpop edge, and come away with an album that is memorable and engaging.

Industrial and pop can go together like chocolate and peanut butter or peanut butter and dog shit. The problem is that it’s hard to tell which one you’re going to get until you take a bite. If it is done right, the pairing can result in a seamless mixture of cold electronics and harsh beats with warm melodies and infectious hooks. More often than not, though, it seems that industrial artists have a hard time getting the pop part of the equation to work and the results are usually a mess of undeveloped ideas, cheesy choruses, and a total lack of execution – and that’s the risk Necro Facility were apparently willing to take. The band began their career writing songs that were basically modern and accessible versions of Skinny Puppy’s early sound, and although they were pretty good at it, they never really displayed a propensity to do much more. That’s why it’s such a surprise that Necro Facility have not only moved so far away from their initial direction (and so suddenly), but that they have actually succeed in releasing an excellent hybrid of electro pop and Puppy-ish industrial on the very first try.

Despite this abrupt move to a more accessible sound, the band’s core foundation is still based on old-school Skinny Puppy worship. For one, the main vocal style still owes a lot to the atonal, distorted delivery of Ogre’s “Addiction” days. Granted, Henrik Bäckström’s vocals never become as frantic or grating as Ogre’s, but they’re definitely influenced by those processed shouts that seem to arbitrarily choose when to utilize voice inflection and often come at odd meters. Musically, too, the Puppy influence is still pretty apparent, but with minor differences there as well. Much of the electronics on Wintermute display an obvious inspiration from the sparse, desolate sounds of Skinny Puppy’s early period, but Necro Facility never end up indulging in the large amount of layering which allows their songs to be much more instant. Even though the band have always had a lot of Skinny Puppy references thrown their way (and for good reason), on Wintermute they have finally integrated them into their own sound.

In the past, the band have always worn their influences on their sleeves, but that’s not entirely the case this time. The most basic way that they accomplished this was by simply throttling back on their use of dark electronic sounds, and by also limiting the abrasive qualities of the music as a whole. This has laid the foundation for them to introduce electronics that are much more memorable, and also to present a dominating ‘mainstream’ edge to the music that is now the band’s defining characteristic. Musically, this mainstream influence is mainly found in the blanket of synth melodies that now envelope much of the electronics. These melodies come in the form of piano, strings and strange sci-fi sounds help to really lend the album a diverse feel. The final piece of the band’s new formula is the inclusion of clean singing during the choruses. In industrial it’s often the vocals that ruin an album, and clean singing increases those odds exponentially. Fortunately, the band somehow pulled them off on the very first try. They’re clear and catchy without being overbearing, and they’re the main element setting this album apart from your average industrial release.

On Wintermute, Necro Facility have moved away from their blatant Skinny Puppy-lite approach and towards a sound that they can call their own. Granted, it’s a sound that still owes much to the Puppy blueprint, but it’s also much more than that. The band’s integration of synthpop into their dark industrial arsenal has given them a new life, and a sound that can still feel dark and desolate while being hooky and smooth at the same time. The beats are solid and varied, and the electronics provide a cold, yet memorable, foundation that the band’s synthpop is able to weave through seamlessly. Industrial artists are often lambasted for their lack of creativity, and overall it’s a fair criticism, so it’s a total breath of fresh air to hear something as bright and engaging as Necro Facility’s Wintermute.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
June 10th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

http://www.myspace.com/necrofacility

Also, a 'preview' stream here:

http://soundcloud.com/progressproductions/necro-facility-wintermute

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

pizzamachine
June 11th 2011



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, this is my kind of thing. Btw, the opening simile is a boss.

Willie
Moderator
June 11th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah. I had never heard these guys and was definitely surprised by what I heard... especially, considering how 'conventional' their older albums were.

Acanthus
June 11th 2011



9537 Comments


Looking forward to giving this a try, it sounds interesting.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 11th 2011



30882 Comments


Get your peanut butter out of my chocolate

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

TheSpirit
June 11th 2011



17184 Comments


the name of the group made me think this is really awful black metal

Digging: vhmnt / blsphm - vhmnt / blsphm

Willie
Moderator
June 11th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yes. Definitely an unfortunate name choice, especially considering their new direction.

Blindsided
June 11th 2011



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck this was on my to-do list.
I took too long. Good review though man.

Willie
Moderator
June 11th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I took too long too, actually. I thought I would have this done on Monday. Are you doing the Omega Lithium album?

Blindsided
June 11th 2011



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jesus I totally forgot about that one. Idk for sure but I'm working on #50 and then one probably for the new Fractured album.

Willie
Moderator
June 11th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Cool. I'm moving away from industrial for my next few reviews. If you look at my "Recent reviews by this author" section it's all industrial (and Sarah Fimm).

Anyway, I just re-wrote the review to give it more substance.

Blindsided
June 11th 2011



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There we go that's more Trey-like.
Yeah my 50th is going to be non-industrial (secret) and you should check out that Fractured album.

Psychopathologist
June 11th 2011



1924 Comments


thought this was a haemorrhage side project wtf

MassiveAttack
June 11th 2011



2688 Comments


Trey your avatar made me laugh after I read this review.

bloc
June 12th 2011



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

BOOOOOOO

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

bloc
June 12th 2011



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Holy crap I just realized this is the same Necro Facility who is in that Covenant song I really like

Blindsided
June 12th 2011



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Movie rules.

Willie
Moderator
June 12th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

What Covenant song? Is it a bad thing.

bloc
June 12th 2011



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's on their new album that came out in January, the song is called Lightbringer.

And dammit Blind, that Covenant movie was terrible!

Blindsided
June 13th 2011



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck bloc like something for once in your life that isn't EBM.

Fine I'll go watch The Shining...better?



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