Review Summary: Bill Leeb creates a poem without words and an artistic and very influential industrial masterpiece.
-my first review-
What is painted in an extremely detailed way in the concept industrial masterpiece State Of Mind, is a distopian planet without man and without God, where the cold and monstrously accurate machines rule and get on undisturbed with their job. They build, put together, assemble and produce undaunted, in an apocalyptic world nearly devoid of life forms.
The occasional, distorted and out of range Leeb’s voice, even if emitted by a human figure, even contributes to the dehumanization of an already exaggeratedly gloomy atmosphere.
Even if the magnificent and marvelous Consequence is governed by melodic and endearing piano and basslines, the next Burnt Soul lacks musical harmony and the melodies are non-existent: drum machine clatters and screeches foreground, with a background of an also automated bassline that expands the decadent and unhealthy ambience, of which this poem is permeated, by using muffled, fragmented, smothered and not melodic at all sonorities.
The impaction of the macabre mechanisms from Burnt Soul vanishes to make room for one of the dark ambient tracks of the composition: Testimony. The beats are far away and alien, as if the listener has moved away from the chaotic factories, in order to take a breath by moving to a rare non-industrialized zone. Here, to the accompaniment of sounds that evoke natural landscapes, there appears to be some hope of recovering an almost devastated world; however, the sudden transition to the dark dance Landslide, snatches any possible bright vision.
Malignant Fracture represents the extremes of brutality expressed during the album. The layers of beats are by themselves rhythmic, but out of phase, discordant and at different speeds, and it highlights the precision, but at the same time the machines’, seemingly infallible and perfect, possibility of error. The listener can only surrender and get carried through the ruthless production’s worn and never weak meanders.
After the unstoppable, but at the same time velvety and synth-driven Sustain Upright there is one of the better managed tracks of the album: No Tomorrow. A lugubrious melody goes hand in hand with excruciating shouting and samples that make the auditor’s skin crawl and that cause the listener to begin to regret machines, which are almost ubiquitous during the rest of the work; at some point the listener’s wish is granted; however the drum machines’ rhythms are not so vigorous as in the previous tracks: they seem to be nearly suffocated by pain that identifies the screams, which are easily the only human element in the whole album.
At some point the agony ends and the machines’ power is re-elected in the closure of the album And They Shall Bow; here the drum machines begin again to build straight-ahead rhythms accompanied by mournful tunes that resound in the now exhausted hearer’s mind. The melodies, as in the rest of the work, act almost as a counterpoint, constituting the gentler but also the darkest side in the perfectly successful construction of the macabre atmosphere.
An extremely complex and evocative concept album that catapults the listener in a world that no one would like to see, but towards which humanity is possibly heading.