Uchronopolis |BlackRain, 2010|
01. Welcome To Uchronopolis, 02. Black Flash, 03. Tainted Cortex, 04. Revenge, 05. Totalitarize Me, 06. The Great Parade for Monkeys, 07. Birth, 08. Ex Utero, 09. Exodus, 10. Exile, 11. Day Of The Hatred, 12. Lock Down, 13. No Tears, 14. Nero's Dream, 15. Hyper-Nation, 16. Uchronopolis
An intriguing screenplay, perfectly designed CD artwork and the previous achievements of this French band caused me to wait impatiently for the Uchronopolis album ever since the very first news was published about the upcoming release in late 2009. Fortunately, the waiting didn't last forever.
Dexy Corp_ belongs to a category of bands which are driven by visual art. This is done in a similar fashion to bands for instance such as Punish Yourself
. However, Dexy Corp_ doesn't concentrate so much on their appearance, but rather on accessories. Their ingeniously designed microphone stand emulates a female cyborg
torso (kind of like something from H.R. Giger's aliens) and stays burned into ones memory for a long time.
This band presents an attractive, industrial metal sound, based on guitars, bass, drums and vocals which is dominated by aggressive energy, even though the songs were arranged as regular tracks including verses and choruses. The tracklist on the newest album consists of several songs mixed with short instrumental passages.
The listener is invited to enter a virtual city in the opening track “Welcome To Uchronopolis”. According to the band, the album screenplay is about a mysterious city, comparable to those featured in movies like The Dark City or Brazil, full of surprises, hidden away with unwritten rules, covered with a cloud of secrets and choking on its own miasmas.
The band shows what heavy guitar driven music means to them in “Black Flash” after a vaudevillian or circus like introduction. Similar heavy music is presented in “Tainted Cortex” with a wall of guitar riffs mixed amongst quieter moments based on vocals and samples. Such twisted rhythms reminds me of the mad music of the Australian band Jerk.
“Revenge” is a 43 second long track kept in the mood of roadhouse music. The following song, named “Totalitarize Me”, reminded me of the sound of Orgy. However, Dexy Corp_ included more guitar riffs set in contrast to the songs dynamic sampling. Other than that, “The Great Parade for Monkeys” exemplified the aesthetics personified by the music of Punish Yourself (screamed vocals and female choruses in the background) as well as 16Volt (vocal parts, basslines and sampling arrangements).
I do recommend paying attention to “Birth”, which seems to be a suggestive story-tale wrapped in sound. It is about 'an alien' being born in the sewers of the city, surrounded by buzzing flies and jazz music coming from the clubs on the surface streets. Then, this new born or awakening 'thing' rushes like a rocket into a direction only it knows, splashing stagnant water around with something that sounds like the turbine of a naval vessel.
Now, it's time to explain why I have chosen Uchronopolis to be the best album of 2010. In fact, the song “Ex Utero” solidified my decision after the first listen. The song is arranged with tightly cut guitar riffs, huge dynamics, harmonic structures and professionally designed parts written for each instrument that fully match the samples. As a result, the song quickly earned our support and permission was quickly given from Dexy Corp_ to incorporate it into Fabryka Podcast no. 9
The following track “Exodus” brings on a heavier, metal sound. However, it still includes industrial samples and would most likely appeal to the fans of Ministry as well as Treponem Pal.
An instrumental passage entitled “Exile” sounded like a 1950's nightclub. It is like jazz music mixed with the use of modern sampling that becomes intense with repetitive guitar riffs that make the listener enter an aggressive and heavy song called “Day Of The Hatred”.
“Lock Down” sounds a bit boring to me, since it was built mainly on vocals and synthesizers, but regardless of guitar riffs, the melody makes it similar to music by Filter.
“No Tears” is a song that brought me back to the music of Punish Yourself once again; very alive and catchy, but still made in a predatory context that ended with classic jazz music.
“Nero's Dream” wasn't arranged very well either, but that doesn't mean it was lacking in passion. However, it is the next song called “Hyper-Nation” that made my ears completely happy. There are coldwave synth tones set in the style of the UK Sheffield scene of the 80's that are layered next to guitar riffs and bass lines underneath. It is also an instrumental track, though it is the longest amongst all the songs on the tracklist.
The title track “Uchronopolis” comes last. It sounds very good and finishes the album with dynamic bass lines and guitar riffs mixed together.
This release has everything necessary; the screenplay, good ideas, energy, original arrangements, high quality production and an eye-catching packaging design. For some listeners, Psalm 69 is the most meaningful album from Ministry
, just as The Downward Spiral
is for Nine Inch Nails
. If this is the case, then it seems to me that Uchronopolis may be a turning point for Dexy Corp_ in the same manner. This French powerhouse showed their best abilities applied to what they can accomplish. I hope that this album is going to bring them the attention they deserve from suitable fans and promoters. The album also supports my opinion that the best quality industrial metal music is coming exclusively from France these days.
Rating? Maximum! Uchronopolis
is the best album of 2010 endorsed by Fabryka Industrial Rock Magazine.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, 01/05/2011. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)