Numb...Reborn |SmokeDogg Productions, 2010|
1. Penetrate, 2. Broken (ft. Jim Chaffin and Mike Phillips), 3. No Answers / No Reasons, 4. God?, 5. D.F.L., 6. The Rules (ft. Jim Chaffin), 7. Numb, 8. Bleed Me Dry, 9. Don't Count Me Out (ft. Jim Chaffin and Larry Farkas), 10. Blind, 11. Don't Like, 12. So Very Real, 13. Can You (Scream Out Loud Mix), 14. Numb (Crazy Mix), 15. Blind (Void Of Sight Mix)
When one of the best industrial metal bands - Circle of Dust was breaking up in 1995, there was no certainty of whether its leader, and amazing guitarist, Daren Diolosa would continue his music passions with any other band. Fortunately Daren formed a new band, Klank just right after COD split up, and has been moving on with his music creativity ever since.
There have been three full album releases up to 2010, while the third, Numb, was put out three times. First, by Klank’s own label SmokeDogg Productions (1999). The second re-release contained two more songs and was backed through Progressive Arts Music a year later. The third & final version, complete with fifteen songs (including three remixes) was published in 2010.
Daren hired additional musicians to refresh the third release of Numb, so the line-up includes Jim Chaffin (crossover-trash The Crucified), Larry Farkas (Deliverance, Venegance Rasing) and Mike Phillips (co-working with Deliverance and Fasedown before). Their input, as well as guitar driven music attitude suits them extremely well and has resulted in putting brutal accents to heavier tunes, since the original Numb album was the weakest in their discography in my opinion, due to an overdose of electronica.
"Numb...Reborn" begins with "Penetrate"; its repetitive guitar riffs & hook driven choruses collide with additional synths (however, sometimes over-pervasive). Other than that, "Broken" is pure metal, with great guitar solos and guest appearances by Mike Phillips on guitar and Jim Chaffin on drums.
"No Answers / No Reasons" has a rock feel in a metal state with intriguing choruses. It can be compared to Prong with it's impact & capture ratio. Similarities of depth can be found in "God?", but in this case the vocals don't seem to match all the arrangements. The listener is then taken for a trip into atmospheres, dark & metropolitan with a "Post-Punk" feel. Additional electronics appear once again in "D.F.L.", while "The Rules" (with Jim Chaffin on drums) comes out with guitar & bass riffs flaunting dynamics as comparative & innovative as Rage Against The Machine.
The title song "Numb" is symbolic for solid cooperation among all of the musicians involved, and should be greatly appreciated by Tommy Victor fans. I liked "Bleed Me Dry" as well, however, when it comes to simple song structures, the repetitive chorus makes the track more than a little too long.
Ministry fans should find the song "Don't Count Me Out" easy to swallow, since it contains a wall of guitars courtesy of Larry Farkas. Also, the involvement of Jim Chaffin (drums) made this track so good that Klank should show it off most often. Additionally, professional guitar solos make it the perfect song for live shows as well.
Similar moods are brought on by "Blind" and "Don't Like", where guitar driven rhythms and aggressive vocals are mixed with digital samples. However, "Blind" seems to touch nu-metal music in its vocal parts, while "Don't Like" reminds me of The Union Underground, a band which marked its existence in the late 90s, unfortunately with only one record.
8-bit like sounds (similar to those used in the 80’s Atari or Commodore video games) open the song "So Very Real", but then quite promising guitar riffs come along and the song construction changes, making the track sound like alternative rock, similar to the moods of new Metallica songs. However, I do prefer Klank with its industrial metal attitude much better ;)
Finally, we come to the three additional remixes ending the album. "Can You (Scream Out Loud Mix)" is kept in a Rap/Hip Hop motif. Daren provides fast & aggressive vocals, however, not fast enough in some parts. There are violins, piano and synths used as well, but the song returns to its previous structure after a brief interlude.
A subsequent remix, "Numb (Crazy Mix)" is kept in raw Hip Hop form too, but sounds really cool considering industrial rock or industrial metal musicians are remixing their tracks into indigestible synths and electronic driven pulp. The same thing unfortunately happened to the last remix, "Blind (Void Of Sight Mix)". The numb marching tempo categorizes itself as typical for electro or EBM scenes and dominated the remix no matter how heavy the guitar riffs were. However, it was rescued by aggressive vocals (fortunately, with no additional distortion/effects).
Those who have heard the "Still Suffering" album would know that Klank started off with rough, heavy music as found in Circle of Dust. This third and refreshed version of "Numb...Reborn" sounds much better than its predecessors; recorded in a spirit seemingly of New York's hardest music, spiced up with little electronic accents, but it doesn’t topple "Still Suffering". However, it may happen that the upcoming album Klank has been working on for some time, may sound even heavier and more aggressive than their masterpiece that was released in 1995.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, 05/10/2010. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)