ALBUM SPV, METROPOLIS, PLAYGROUND RELEASE:
JANUARY 20, 2004 (USA), JANUARY 26, 2004 REVIEW: JANUARY 16,
I’ll say it again: Wow!
Not only is Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb back together again. They have also
made the best album with Front Line Assembly since "Tactical Neural
Implant". And where fellow legends Front 242 stretch themselves to
the limit, and missing the goal, in trying to sound as new as possible,
FLA succeed in creating an album that is definitely Fulber/Leeb as well
as it is sounding contemporary and exciting within the genre.
"Civilization" kicks of with phenomenal "Psychosomatic",
complete with trademark chorus, but also with female background vocals.
Old and new, at the same time. And "Civilization" continues
in that vein. Traces of the song-writing craftsmanship learnt in Delerium
can be heard throughout, as well as lessons learnt from ambient artists.
All this creates a very moody, dark and almost cinematic album at times.
Apart from single "Maniacal" it is not that fast paced but thoroughly
superb and very FLA. You can tell Leeb and Fulber are older now, than
they where when they put out "Caustic Grip" and "Tactical
Neural Implant" – the most essential FLA albums. They are still
curious and love music, but they have experience and craftsmanship, learnt
from all their years in the music business.
would really, really like to give this almost perfect piece of heavy electronics
and at times danceable ambient album the highest grade. But a few things
hold me back. It’s not the fact that "Civilization" is
slow paced. It’s more that it sometimes feels like Fulber/Leeb could
have made even greater songs (which bodes good for the future). I also
don’t quite like the guitars in "Maniacal" and "Parasite"
– even though the songs are great – but that’s a personal
reflection. Apart from that, "Civilization" definitely is the
FLA-album you have been waiting for – with highlights in
the title-song and the strange, calm "Transmitter" – and
it’s also proof that FLA has very much more to offer.