Zeromancer
The Death of Romance


3.5
great

Review

by Coma1996 USER (5 Reviews)
August 25th, 2011 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Zeromancer come in from the cold.

‘I used to like them till they changed/got big/went mainstream…’ is the saying of disenchanted fan, alienated from a band they once admired. Unfortunately over the course of a bands career, a body of their fan base will utter these words. I was one of these fans, and Zeromancer was the band. Following the bands 2003 release, Zzyzx, which saw a departure from the dark-angst ridden industrial rock sound I had adored, I felt as if I had lost a good friend. It wasn’t that Zzyzx is a terrible album; it is more that the album moves away from the core elements that firstly attracted me to the band. Thankfully, 7 years later my friend has returned. Borrowing emotionally from NIN’s ‘Broken EP’ and Orgy’s ‘Candyass’, and combining it with the seductive appeal of Marilyn Manson’s ‘Mechanical Animals’, ‘The Death of Romance’ is Zeromancer returning to a sound that initially gained the band the attention of Trent Reznor and Nothing Records over a decade ago.

The chilling opening track, 2.6.25, features a sample from a female cellmate of a former member of the Manson family. The grotesque description of an individual’s derived pleasure sets the scene for the upcoming themes of the album. ‘Industrypeople’ and ‘The Hate Alphabet’ together are a cathartic release of anger from someone burnt. Infectious hooks, ‘Wont let this stand in our way’ (Industrypeople) and anthemic choruses ‘I hate you in a loving way, but I bet you don’t feel that way’ (The Hate Alphabet), both backed by hypnotic synth, driving drums and seductive guitar licks, provided a 1-2 combo and show a return to the bands core elements. These musical and lyrical qualities are continued through ‘Murder Sound’ and the relentless, ‘Revenge***’.

Interestingly, in much the same mould of industrial rock pioneer NIN, Zeromancer are accustomed to a two tiered song writing approach; combining all out aggressive tracks with slow burning, yet just-as-aggressive tracks. Moklebust delivers his most impressive vocal performance on the contemplative ‘Mint’. The unsheathing of his vocals from the number of filters/modulators the audience has grown accustomed too creates a vulnerability and sincerity that is reminiscent of NIN’s epic ‘The Day The World Went Away’.

However what stops ‘The Death of Romance’ from a truly great album appears to be a lack of commitment. High energy, driving tracks accompanied by well-constructed ballad-esqe numbers, is Zeromancer to a tea. It is when the band falls between these that issues arise. The mid-paced album closer, ‘V’ is a prime example. In a track in which it feels as if no instrument wants to actually take the lead, Moklebust gives us enough horrible word play to make Marilyn Manson cringe. You want to dance along, but the beat isn’t full enough, you want to sing along but the lyrics are bland, shallow and derived, leaving you with just the skip button. Similar, the albums title track feels like a number of leftover pieces clicked together eventually into a song which struggles to find the right tempo and flow. And again, lyrically the hooks don’t hook and leave you wanting to skip to the next track. The worst thing about these tracks though is that they both disrupt the flow of the album and leave a sour taste in the audience’s mouth. The lesson to take away is: Never finish an album on your weakest number.
Overall though, The Death to Romance is a positive step back in the right direction for such an influential band. While many of their contempories have since moved on Zeromancer decided they still had what was needed to craft a good album. Reconnecting with the core elements that brought them respect and a cult like fan base shows that no matter what fans should never lose faith.


user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
August 25th 2011


9545 Comments


I enjoy some tracks from Eurotrash, might have to listen to this.

Also in the last paragraph you last few sentences are offset, might want to fix that.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

bloc
August 25th 2011


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Oh man what a disaster this was

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Acanthus
August 25th 2011


9545 Comments


Yeah I see that rating (also read the sound off too) - giving "Industrypeople" a listen now. I can definitely see your gripe with the band overall however.

bloc
August 25th 2011


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Zeromancer certainly isn't awful (I like at least a couple of songs from each album previous to this) but THIS is a new beast entirely.

Acanthus
August 25th 2011


9545 Comments


I find the hook on "Industrypeople" quite catchy in a subtle way (more the distortion of his voice mixed with the instrumentation than the lyrics). I don't think this warrants getting so far.

bloc
August 25th 2011


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

But to be fair, I listened to this just once more than a year ago. Perhaps I was simply in a bad mood?

Acanthus
August 25th 2011


9545 Comments


To be fair : ) I highly consider your opinion on most things (Psyborg Corp not withstanding) and can definitely say you needn't listen to this again, and more than likely neither shall I.

Coma1996
August 25th 2011


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Revengefuck is defineatly the stand out track. For me the first 3 tracks run together. Give Mint and Revenge.... a chance. I think too that Zeromancer represent a dying genre which can colour the way you look at band/album.

Acanthus
August 25th 2011


9545 Comments


I listened to "Revengef*ck and found "Industrypeople" to be more solid lyrically and musically; while you nailed the Manson-esque sound right on the head in your review it pales when placed to his sound.

bloc
August 25th 2011


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I appreciate the kind words Acanthus.

I'm still saddened by the fact that this genre of industrial rock never really was that popular. Several acts have defined and modernized the genre (hell, Zeromancer is one of them) but I feel as though there just wasn't enough love from the world.

Coma1996
August 25th 2011


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Too true bloc.... too true. I think that when NIN stepped away that was the final nail in the coffin. If the biggest act in
the genre doesn't believe in it then what is there for the rest.

bloc
August 25th 2011


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Yep, that was definitely one of the monumental moments in the genre. But of course there must have been some breakthrough albums that have inevitably slipped under the radar.

Acanthus
August 25th 2011


9545 Comments


Indeed the must have been somewhere, luckily the genre isn't dead yet!

bloc
August 25th 2011


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

NOT AS LONG AS THERE IS BREATH IN THESE LUNGS

Dryden
August 25th 2011


13149 Comments


well start smokin hurry



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