Review Summary: A massive laser lights show on a distant satellite....
My initial introduction to the group Count to Altek was strange, to say the least, and at that time I really was not a fan at all. In fact it made me cringe. It was 'Simulating Contact Against Thraxus' and I could not even fathom what I was hearing. For the life of me I could not decide if the music was a little interesting or just plainly the worst thing I've ever heard in my life. Turns out it was a bit of both. There's those swirling guitars and keyboards that never seemed to stay in key or create anything one could dub 'music', or the chaotic drums and vocals which seemed to ferment in this gurgling void of compression that reminded me of drowning. It was a jarring experience I won't forget, and one that isn't necessary to revisit any time soon. Though with 'Imodius Forms: Millenium Flux', the band seems to perpetuate themselves as if they're an entirely different artist... and it works.
'Imodius Forms: Millenium Flux' falls into some form of of ambient or electronic . Not sure which. Make no mistake about it, the record still sometimes has that chaotic feel of other CtA releases, due to the heavy layering of instrements and the drum work. But here we have virtually no traces of the metal genre at all, and are offered a sparkling array of lush synthpop-sounding tracks for the most part, but with instrumentation that is almost indescribable. Imagine a massive laser lights show on a distant satellite and you'd have a good foundation for how this sounds.
Part of what makes this such an immersive and impressive thing is how it unfolds. It starts off with 'They Constructed the Supernetwork Using Only Sound', introducing the listener to Myles Oliver's almost hushed, monotone style of singing (which is mostly drenched in vocal effects the entire time) and the flurry of ethereal synths and pounding electric drumming that literally have an acoustic resonance to them, something that I can't say I've heard in other electronic offerings. The lyrics of this song sets the otherworldly and almost poetic tonal mood for the rest of the album with Oliver crooning out lines about a mysterious female figure ('She lives as a passenger in my spirit...') and about the cyber-themed world itself ('Coded, colored action takes road upon road before those flying shapes go...'). Despite a lot of the ambiguity in these lines they're put into an interesting context that makes them only add to the album. Apparently the main story arc deals with a kind of video game-ish story about a group of heroes who have to defend their home against a digital infection. But with profound sentiments along the way ('You carved your life like it was a computer'), youre left with a narrative that doesn't feel too forced, but more-so mysterious and alluring. Other songs like 'Coded Access Point from Project-K' and 'Breaching the Network Opening' offer up some of the catchiest synthpop moments I've ever heard, and tracks like 'This Is Why Stars Glitter Through Your Presence' just shower you in gorgeous keyboard moments that make a grown ass man want to shed serious tears. Legit.
Everything mentioned above still makes this album an oddball release compared to most music out there, and it will probably only ever really appeal to a small group of individuals because of how specific the sound is on here. Nevertheless this album floored me and I listen to it at least once a week. I don't think any other CtA releases I've heard so far can even compare, but that's just me. It did amaze me that an artist I thought was totally anti-musical could make something like this. If you really love electronica, and a mix of old and new styles, then 'Imodius Forms' is something to look into.