|Clear your mind of all Beyond Dawn precedents and enter this review with a clean slate. 'Electric Sulking Machine' is unlike any of the band's releases to date. The first major difference to make an impact is the obvious absence of 'In Reverie's blatant sense of utter despair.|
It is safe to say that Beyond Dawn's style is difficult to contain within one, or even a combination of musical genres, but it is unarguably rooted in metal and accompanied by a definitive eclectic twist. ESM.'s hallmark lies in its incorporation of an idiosyncratic experimental pop aspect over and above Beyond Dawn's typical trademark sound. In short, 'Electric Sulking Machine' is an assortment of quietly melancholic beat-driven pop music.
Using a combination of traditional metal instrumentation in a highly unique way, and less common trombone (as well as intermittent drum-loops and other electronic wizardry), the band has evolved, via atmospheric doom metal, from their original and undeniable death metal roots to their present guise as an exceedingly awkward-to-describe, laid back yet enigmatically driven act, producing jazzed up, quasi-ambient music with profound lyrics and phenomenal delivery. If I had to namedrop, bands such as Soundgarden would feature in the foreground.
Beyond Dawn has always been headstrong and keen to stand out from their competitive peers; this album is no different in that respect. They tactfully balance the merits of subtle quasi-doom and pronounced pop elements with their own innovative touches such as the use of trombone overlays - take a listen to 'Aagé' in particular for a perfect example of this. But the almost inconceivable mixture of such differing elements is in no way forced. On the contrary, they mirror the lyrical intention smoothly and effectively. 'Violence Heals' is a prime example of the combination of cutting edge lyrics supported by the clean vox that run throughout the release, and cynical expressionism emphasised by purposeful guitar strumming, cleverly articulated drum beats and memorable bass-lines that are reminiscent of The 3rd and the Mortal. In general however, the percussion as a whole has become minimalist in comparison to its former density.
As much as Beyond Dawn's style alters with each release, they haven't once disappointed fans, or "sold out" to the ever hungry music moguls of mainstream labels despite introducing mainstream elements to their music, such as trip-hop (particularly in 'Fairy Liquid' and 'Addictions Are Private'). They draw a fine line between crass commercialism and outlandish innovativeness with panache, evolving along a natural course rather than a contrived one and, as far as I'm concerned, 'Electric Sulking Machine' is a tight album in all respects; it confirms the band's musical and lyrical talent and is definitely a cd worth investing in!
1. Violence Heals
2. Addictions Are Private
3. On The Subject Of Turning Insane
4. Certain Qualities
5. Fairy Liquid
7. Pop Ist Verboten
9. Pacific Blue Disorder
10. Hairy Liquor (Mer Kraft I Hver Draabe)*
10. Hairy Liquor (More Power In Every Drop) (from Danish)
Duration : Approx. 48 minutes
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