cEvin Key
Resonance


4.3
superb

Review

by Simon K. STAFF
February 18th, 2021 | 17 replies


Release Date: 02/19/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A wonderfully crafted album, made by one of industrial's legends.

I hold a special amount of adulation for cEvin Key, as the guy is responsible for some of the greatest industrial albums ever made. Admittedly, I’d never listened to any of his works outside of Skinny Puppy up until now, but it’s hard to argue with the fact he’s played a very prominent role in the genre’s forty-some-year development. And honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect from Resonance going into it, but I can wholeheartedly say it’s an impressive project to say the least. It’s a sprawling, beautifully produced album that plays more like an abstract soundtrack than an outright conventional record. It’s an LP filled with gorgeous synthetic vistas – a brace of industrialised thickets flowing freely in a vibrantly coloured meadow. In short, it’s a juxtaposition of nature-meets-machinery in the most engaging way possible. “Thirteen” opens in an odd fashion, as it presents a comical linchpin melody that sounds like the theme tune to a satirical spy movie, eliciting a “what the hell am I actually listening to?” moment from me, but as the track progressed the more intricate and interesting the instrumental became. It’s a testament to Key’s knowledge and skills as a composer at this point. That silly, sashaying melody quickly became blanketed in a myriad of layers: countermelodies and magnificent, washy synths enveloping the track to make it a greater sum of its parts. If nothing else, the song stands to bolster just how good the production is on this thing going forward.

However, the biggest surprise to come from Resonance was its uplifting and placid disposition. To me, I associate Key with uncompromising clinical misery, but on here there’s a consistent optimism present – even while you’re sat listening to “Anger is an Acid” lament, there’s an ethereal, grandiose happiness to its sadness. This is, of course, knocked out of the park by IAMX’s excellent vocal take which really drives the song’s tone home. Which, while we’re on the topic, now is probably a good time to mention that Resonance is chockful of respectable names in the industrial-EDM game. All these guests solidify the LP’s heterogeneous quality, which in turn ramps up the engagement tremendously. It’s a good job too, because this thing runs at just under an hour and thankfully, it doesn’t feel as such. Suffice to say, each guest brings their own individuality to the tracks, leaving a distinct mark on their section of the album while Key ensures everything melds together seamlessly. It’s hard to really pick fault with what the album tries to do in all honesty. I got a Solar Fields kind of vibe from how the album handles its tranquil aesthetics, but there’s enough of cEvin’s signature style imprinted on here to make it sound very much like its own thing.

I guess for the type of album it is, Resonance will be something you’ll need to be in the mood for, due to its approach in style and length. However, the aim and execution of Resonance is second to none. According to Key, this is a very internalised and personal project, and the music certainly emits that kind of isolated, self-reflecting vibe. If you’re still in need of more excuses to check this out, just listening to an electronic wizard like cEvin Key – as he takes you down a very vivid, excellently produced journey with a boatload of talented and charismatic guests – should be ample reason enough. One thing is for sure: we’re off to a great start for music in 2021.

FORMAT//EDITIONS:
DIGITAL//VINYL//CD//BUNDLE

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE:
https://brap.bandcamp.com/album/resonance




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user ratings (9)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
DadKungFu
February 18th 2021


961 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This sounds dated and stale out of the gate imo. It's a fun nostalgia piece but I wouldn't go further than that

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2021


13561 Comments


---One thing is for sure: we’re off to a great start for music in 2021.---

This hits home the most. Nice casual read Simon.

Digging: Stargazer (AUS) - Psychic Secretions

quetzal
February 19th 2021


149 Comments


Pretty clear that you haven't listened to Key's other projects with some of your generalizations here. Try the Download song Yoni. That's one of my favorite Key songs.

quetzal
February 19th 2021


149 Comments


also the Download album The Eyes of Stanley Pain is better than probably half the Skinny Puppy albums.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2021


5368 Comments


I never checked cEvin's solo stuff or even Download actually. I should do that asap.

Digging: Chevelle - NIRATIAS

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2021


16796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

"Pretty clear that you haven't listened to Key's other projects with some of your generalizations here."



"Admittedly, I’d never listened to any of his works outside of Skinny Puppy up until now"



Is this not apparent enough that I haven't checked out his stuff? lol That said, after hearing this I'll be checking out his other works. I'll definitely start with your recommendations.

Digging: Black Sheep Wall - Songs for the Enamel Queen

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 19th 2021


66741 Comments


Looking at pictures of this dude now is hilarious

DadKungFu
February 20th 2021


961 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dude's aging slightly better than Al Jourgensen I'll give him that

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 20th 2021


66741 Comments


Hahahab barely tho

Both those dudes look like they cary a bottle of straight GHB to the all ages rave

XyphDryne
February 20th 2021


96 Comments


Aging is not hilarious, but shitty and depressing. And we all know it.

DadKungFu
February 20th 2021


961 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

We do but humor is a pretty classic way of coping with shitty depressing things.

y87arrow
February 20th 2021


627 Comments


I only know his first album "Music For Cats" a very weird (in a positive way) album with very colourful sounds but not easy to get into.
Other than that I only know him with Nivek Ogre and Dwayne Goettel in Skinny Puppy (Last Rights (1992) being the last album I have of them) where he was best.

Digging: Integral - Rise

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 20th 2021


66741 Comments


Its not the fact that they are aging so much as that they haven't aged out of their juvenile industrial raver swag and it looks super goofy and absurd on senior citizens, you soggy blanket

Men often age well anyway, chin up stud.

XyphDryne
February 20th 2021


96 Comments


I am writing all of this with a wink, of course. Though that aspect is sad, too. Maybe they just don´t want to change and stay as they were. It looks especially painful with a full painted Dani Filth whose head is round like a ball these days.

@y87arrow: Cool that you are currently digging Integral. Hardly known...

y87arrow
February 21st 2021


627 Comments


@XyphDryne:

Yeah I love the Integral album, but there are also 6 other newly discovered albums I recently dig, two other IDM artists are among them: Subheim and Totakeke. And finally my second Sleepmakeswaves album.
And my first Poison The Well album.

XyphDryne
February 21st 2021


96 Comments


@y87: Did you stumble upon this already? If not, you can now spend one hour with downloading stuff: https://tympanikaudio.bandcamp.com/
It´s name your price. The whole catalogue. But I guess you already know that :3

y87arrow
February 21st 2021


627 Comments


Yeah I already know that site, and I already have many albums from the tympanik-label. Can't stop discovering!
But I'll stop discovering for now, I have 7 newly discovered albums I want to enjoy as long as possible.
From time to time I love to take it slow. I already have over 900 albums I love so I'm not in a hurry.



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