Katarzyna Draconina Górnisiewicz
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Retaliate of Anger – Final Echo (album review) |Machine Man Records, 2018|
1. I Don't Like You Too Much, 2. Gunslinger, 3. Fuck In Question, 4. The Deep Ones (Part 1), 5. Autotopsyturvy, 6. The Color Of The Enemy (Part 2), 7. Pyre Of Absolution
Josh Lamison (Schwenksville, Pennsylvania) is the sole musician behind Retaliate of Anger but he's also involved in another project, Dizzolve
. However, in contrast to the latter band which provides electronic and guitar driven music, ROA brings sterile EBM, glitch, and electro-industrial vibes of high audio quality.
Every song on the album clocks in no longer than at around 4 minutes. That's totally enough since the tracks are based on repetitive, beat-oriented schemes; thus, if they lasted longer they would have sounded overwhelming.
It should be noted that the lyrical themes of the songs were inspired by literature - Stephen King's The Dark Tower
series or H.P. Lovecraft's works amongst others, as well as MMORPG games such as Secret World
The first track, "I Don't Like You Too Much" gives a taste of the sounds to come – architecturally structured electronic tunes, supported by angry vocals processed through distorted voice effects. There are usually many different sounds to be found in the background of cues, which smoothly become a big part of the composition.
The dynamics develop further in "Gunslinger" which sounds more entertaining than the previous song. The vocals are distorted through the use of a voice filter, varying between demonic and robotic.
"Fuck In Question" offers a solid beat supported by vocals and synths. Lyrics are well matched within the composition next to instrumental parts yet each section is restricted by assigned time frames. The uneasy atmosphere brings a feel of a danger as if a predator was on the lookout for its prey.
A slightly gothic vibe opens "The Deep Ones (Part 1)" thanks to an automatic beat and repetitive synth, quickly replaced with lighter, entertaining, and modern beats. Digitized voices and electronic sounds are mixed in here yet again, so the composition develops around a scheme similar to the ones we've heard already on the release.
"Autotopsyturvy" is characterized by a complex, sturdy beat, and swirling dynamics. There's a lot of electro-aggression put into it yet there is also tight control for both arrangements and the general mood. This song would probably sound very powerful with edgy guitars added to it. This would let the anger flow and be blasted onto the listeners better.
Stepping dynamics brought by "The Color Of The Enemy (Part 2)" should make you move as the rhythm dictates. It's a good track for dancefloors as it encourages to release one's energy through a few good cardio exercises. Listening to the song made me think of a spiral bouncing up and down within a glassy container as if in an animated gif image.
The last song, "Pyre Of Absolution", brings a faster beat, pitched synths, and notorious vocals perfectly fitting itself into the EBM genre. It's another great track for the dancefloor, to let the rushing thoughts stop and let the body process its energy in a state of detachment.
Combative electronic music allows for a passive-aggressive anger release only, in contrast to guitar driven music which allows for a wider range of emotions to be catapulted through. Electronic music feels restrictive, as if it couldn't express that what a human energy field holds within – feelings, traumas, frustration, confusion, love, etc. It certainly allows energy to flow but simultaneously holds it within a 'circuit'; what needs to be released, bounces back to the source in a loop. In a way, a person who tries to get rid of negative emotions gets back to what was supposed to be released.
The tracks on the album are restricted in their form, probably due to a lack of meaningful contrasts between high and low tunes, unlike the arrangements found in, for example, psy-trance music. Nevertheless, the audio quality, mathematical precision, and overall dynamics should be enjoyed by fans of EBM and electro genres and the album is definitely a recommended listen for those groups.
(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'Draconina' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, December 8th, 2018. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
| Machine Man Records
Buy on: Bandcamp