Front Line Assembly
Hard Wired


3.5
great

Review

by Simon.K CONTRIBUTOR (153 Reviews)
September 18th, 2016 | 46 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hard Wired does a great job of carrying on from where Millennium ends.

It's rare that you get to witness an artist or band pump out great material for such an enduring amount of time. Sure, Front Line Assembly doesn't have an exceptional discography, but they have had some really stellar albums and, at worst, some decent ones; and that is a difficult thing to maintain. Front Line Assembly is the brain child of one Billy Leeb, and has managed to create a consistent array of music of this sort for nearly 30 years. Originally starting out as a synth player, under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder, in Skinny Puppy, he left the band to pursue other ventures and thus created Front Line Assembly; the project has had countless line up changes and has spawned 14 LPs -- with Hard Wired being made at a weird time where grunge died, NU-metal was becoming a "thing" and industrial -- especially industrial metal -- was flourishing.

Hard Wired continues to move forward with the additions Millennium added a year previous; seeing the band's introduction of guitars to add a new aesthetic for the band in the future. Which is what I was saying about the time period, Hard Wired sits nicely with the stuff bands like Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy and KMFDM were doing at the time. The album has a decent control of electronic dance and trance beats, with an industrial crunch helped by the guitars, it also brings out a raw heaviness to the album. What Front Line Assembly do on here is a little more accessible and less dark than the competition though; tracks like "Re-Birth" and "Modus Operandi" have an upbeat energy with melodic undertones, but one that will crush anything in its way.

The problem with Hard Wired is that it can occasionally ramble on; fat could be trimmed here and there, despite it only being 10 tracks. "Mortal" is a nice mood setter, but the song overall feels a little lacklustre and pointless, especially when the track in question weighs in at nearly 6 minutes and there isn't much merit to the time given. Another minor problem is a lot of the album's core sound can be a little repetitive and samey at times, which I feel is down to every song being at least 5 1/2 minutes long; if the band trimmed a couple of the tracks down by a minute of two it would have made the album a much more engaging and concise experience.

Having said that, this is still a thoroughly enjoyable album, and one that should definitely be recognized as a highlight in the band's career. If you're a fan of industrial this will certainly bring enjoyment, it just has a tendency not to quit while it's ahead at times.

Great.



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user ratings (90)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As always, constructive criticism welcome.

Flugmorph
September 18th 2016


17553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what a suprise that someone reviewed this.

Decent review, although a bit short on the content. You could've described the overall sound and themes of this album more. Also this may be upbeat but its still pretty dang dark in its atmosphere.



Also you probably meant to write "traNce beats" in the second paragraph there.

Flugmorph
September 18th 2016


17553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

also i cannot possibly understand how u gave the new combichrist a 4.5 and this a 3.5 lolwat

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers Flugmorph, corrected.



Aye, I just wanted to do a nice easy review today, and thought it would good to do one on this since it didn't have a review. And yeah, it's dank, but that's a given considering the genre of music. lol But taking other artists into consideration, this is pretty upbeat in comparison to some of the stuff at the time.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a different kettle of fish bud. This is more EBM etc, which I enjoy, but I love industrial metal more.

Flugmorph
September 18th 2016


17553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i 2 like industrial metal but that album was hit and miss for me.

Anyway im still planning on reviewing tactical neural implant so this might give me enough motivation to start with that soon.

I also really like your first paragraph man, sets the tone nicely.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fair one. I know I'm definitely the minority with liking Combi's latest album haha. Everyone seems to hate it.



Yeah, do it! Look forward to reading it, it's probably my fave album by these guys.

Flugmorph
September 18th 2016


17553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

im no native speaker but i might've found one or two mistakes.

last word in the summary ended or ends instead of end.



Also in the first paragraph: "has managed to create", not created.



"but they have had some really stellar moments, and, at worst, some decent moments"

You may find another word for moments since this reads kinda awkward.





Flugmorph
September 18th 2016


17553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

also whats your fav track on here? Mine is infra red combat. That bass synth line is just inescapable.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers bud. Sorted.



Barcode or Infa Red also, probably. Really dig them tracks. In fact the last 3 tracks slay.

Flugmorph
September 18th 2016


17553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes they do. Its still funny to me that devin townsend played the guitar on millenium.

Toondude10
September 18th 2016


11714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this band is amazing

Digging: Machine Head - The Blackening

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Did he? Did not know that!



They are Toon.

Toondude10
September 18th 2016


11714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah he played guitar for three tracks on millennium



Tactical Neural Implant will always be their best for me.

Ocean of Noise
September 18th 2016


9814 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. This album is pretty samey, but it's still enjoyable.

Digging: Carbon Based Lifeforms - Derelicts

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2016


13683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think we can all agree on that toon.



And totally agreed ocean

Willie
Moderator
September 18th 2016


17310 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I liked the albums before this and most the stuff after it, but this one just never clicked for me. Still glad to see an FLA review, though.

LifeFeedsOnLife
September 18th 2016


462 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice write up man.. FLA was pretty good at working the industrial guitar and I kinda wish they'd stuck with the formula they had going with Millennium. This one just didn't pack enough punch for me.

Ocean of Noise
September 18th 2016


9814 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea it would have been cool to hear them continue in the industrial metal vein

TVC15
September 18th 2016


8968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

About time this got reviewed

Digging: Alkaline Trio - Alkaline Trio



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