Front Line Assembly
Echoes


3.0
good

Review

by KevinKC USER (17 Reviews)
February 21st, 2015 | 5 replies


Release Date: 05/13/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Do you want more of the same ?

Did it ever happen that a remix album was made out of a bad one and ended up being relevant when the original piece of work wasn’t " Maybe. But generally, remix albums are only an attempt at stretching the longevity of an album that was already good in the first place. Hence their bad reputation of being made only to milk the cow a little more. Economical considerations put aside, it is hard to dislike a remix album as if it's bad it will not feel like a real misstep from the band and you will forget its existence, and if it’s great it will give you more of what you already like.

Echoes strangely found a way to be frustrating without being bad. The main problem with the album is that it bears its name too well. The first thing that one would expect from a remix album is that the songs were different from their original counterparts. Here they really don't stray away that much from the original tracks. Atmospheric layers of synths are replaced by atmospheric layers of synths, strong electronic beats are replaced by strong electronic beats and on the whole it blurs the limits between songs that were sometimes already hard to distinguish, even more so when some of them are remixed several times.

The treatment of Killing Grounds is a good example of the problem. Rhys Fulbers’ remix of the song is great and truly gives it a new vibe whereas Greg Reely’s is so similar to the original mix that it nearly demands some back to back listening to be able to distinguish them. When the remixed track isn’t too similar to its original version, it sometimes fails to bring anything new to it on a more general level. Comaduster’s version of Ghost is a good example of that: the track is great but fails to truly renew the interest we could have had for Front Line Assembly’s version.

What makes Echoes bear his name so well is that it feels like a giant electronic blended repetition of the whole album. Tracks could have been called Ghosts (Deadened Remix), Leveled (Heartquake remix), Echogenetic (Ghosts remix) etc…

Now, all these nasty things being said, the album is still pretty good and if you’ve listened to Echogenetic enough, you’ll still be able to hear the differences and appreciate them. Plus, there still are several tracks that strongly departs from their original version (Youth Code's, Sligther's, Blush Response's) and manage to bring something to it, and there also are Contagion and Next War… two new cool songs which feel like they already were on Echogenetic.

In the end there’s nothing seriously wrong about this album, it only asks for an active listen and would have benefited from a more radical approach. All in all, there are eighteen tracks on this and it is easy to find a lot of satisfying content.



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user ratings (6)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
deyp
February 22nd 2015


106 Comments


Nice review. I've only heard Echogenetic from Front Line Assembly. I did quite like it but it kinda seems like some of their earlier stuff might be a bit more interesting to check out next.

KevinKC
February 22nd 2015


848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, to me Echogenetic was a good departure from their sound from Improvised Electronic Device and Artificial Soldier which is harsher, more aggressive, more industrial and just a little bit more guitar oriented. Both albums are very similar, I slightly prefer Artificial Soldier. If you wanna try earlier works, Tactical Neural Implant feels a bit like a stripped down version of Echogenetic, and Millennium like the 90s counterpart to I.E.D and Artifical Soldier. Both are landmarks in their discography.

But if you liked Echogenetic, I think the closest thing they've done is the Airmech soundtrack which I found myself listening to a lot.

deyp
February 22nd 2015


106 Comments


Sweet, I think I might have to give a listen to all of those. Didn't really dawn on me that there's like, 30 years of discography to look into haha.

KevinKC
February 23rd 2015


848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, they're a landmark in Industrial music, with Skinny Puppy, KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails. Rhys Fulber, one of the two founding members (with Bill Leed), also is the guy behind the industrial sound of Fear Factory.

deyp
February 23rd 2015


106 Comments


Nice. I heard bits and pieces of those, and KMFDM's WWIII got a bit of play on a metal/hard rock radio show I used to listen to. I'm looking forward to rounding out my listening experiences with industrial/electronic music so thanks for the recs!



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