Review Summary: A come-back album that is highly successful at re-establishing 16 Volt's place in the upper echelon of industrial acts.
16 Volt quietly dropped off the map without releasing a full album of original material (9 years to be exact) before releasing FullBlackHabit. They had made some minor waves in the industrial scene in the early to mid 90’s with a few albums. However, in retrospect, none of those albums lived up to the full potential or ability of the talent that FullBlackHabit showcases.
This album may have been quite a while in the making but it was well worth the wait. Musically it would have been right at home in the 90’s with pseudo-industrial acts such as Stabbing Westward or NIN, but the album still sounds fresh even by today’s standards. The album is a wonderful listen for those who enjoy more commercial acts such as NIN, offering music that is brooding and dark, yet very accessible with some great programming and solid hooks.
The album doesn’t really offer up anything new or groundbreaking but sounds just as good or better than most acts out there within the same genre. For the un-initiated, 16 Volt is slightly heavier at points than some of the aforementioned acts mainly due to a more ‘metal’ sounding guitar tone, but never so far that it reaches into Rammstein territory.
Beginning with the trippy opener ‘I’m Just a Mess’ and moving straight into the very aggressive and driving nature of ‘Come For You’, it really opens with a bang. From there the album moves in many directions shifting from an almost Prodigy styled ‘Cables and Wires’ to a very chill and dreamy ‘The End of It All’. Whether it was done purposely or not, 16 Volt moves in so many directions that sometimes it almost has the feel that they are trying to cover all their bases, with songs that cater to every sub-genre of industrial music out there. This approach works and fails at the same time. For someone expecting an album with an extremely defined approach with most of the songs maintaining a similar sound this album could potentially disappoint.
However, the variety that is rendered on this album is actually refreshing. While some songs feel weak, such as ‘Feel It Through’ or more of a b-side type of song, ‘Whisper Cure’, most of the songs successfully capture the vibe that they are going for. It is a little long with 13 tracks with a few that could have been put to the side, but overall, an extremely satisfying album for fans of industrial rock.