Review Summary: Acylum have crafted a thing of noise, sounds of torture, pain, and German sensibilities.
Acylum have crafted a thing of noise, sounds of torture, pain, and German sensibilities. This thing is the bands third album The Enemy
, and it's a ride through madness.
Band members Pedro and Nadine Engel hold no punches, right away The Enemy
opens with the aptly titled “The Enemy [Kopf durch die Wand];” a hauntingly atmospheric track that uses interweaving female high vocals and a rather stompy delayed beat to instantly grab the listener. Spoken word lines are spit out in German while off in the distance a woman wails as the beat pounds through the speakers. The only recognizable line in English is a harsh distorted hiss: The Enemy
Pedro proclaims, The Enemy
! The track lets the brief beauty of a piano interlude color the drab black/gray soundscape but once before dragging the listener down again.
Moments like this are found throughout the album, and if the reader finds themselves fist pumping and salivating for more know then they've more than likely found their new favorite band. The harsh commanding lines of “Raise Your Fist” are adrenalin enducing, while the borderline noise static of “Hetzjagt” is a nice home away from home for the industrial noise fan. This will be the drawback that many find upon listening to The Enemy
; its unabashed noise/dark industrial pacing can be hard to stomach, especially at the albums 15 track length. Brief respites can be found, but nothing completely drops the bands signature atmosphere and it can become unrelenting if the audience is not prepared.
Adding to the albums repertoire are the Engel's; they make a perfect duo. Pedro normally uses the harsh distortion favored in aggrotech acts while Nadine uses her vocal beauty and feminitiy to deadly effect, gracing the listener with both cleans and moments as dark as her partners. Surprisingly there are some truly catchy synth lines to be found here (see “Crazy”), but they can be overlooked quite easily once the dark vocals and hard-to-make-out samples are added into the mix. Tracks like “Lightning Child” show that the duo isn't a one trick pony, accomplishing softer, more beautifully haunting tracks with the same ease and grace which they go about making utter musical insanity.
Fit for the club or dark abode The Enemy
is an album that surprises. With so much going on at once finding new moments and elements to each track is assured on future listens, if the audience wants to revisit. Though the atmosphere is a big selling point many will be put off by its sensibilities and dim setting, although that just helps secure the albums uniqueness. Acylum have gone slightly softer on their latest release, Karzinom
, but The Enemy
shows that the band has a long way to go before they can ever be accused of “selling out.”