"Artificial Soldier" was a return to form, of sorts. At least it sounded like FLA again, which - I never thought I'd say this - I missed. The boys were so inspired by their recent album and aggressive tour, they chose to do this EP, "Fallout". It's a massive undertaking, the kind they have not attempted since their double remix album "Re-Wind." The results are mixed. We are treated a barrage of remixes and three new songs.
Leading the charge we start with Sebastian Komor's "Mindless Mix" of "Unleashed" that just appears to exist for the promotion of a steady beat; it's not very impressive. Following this, DJ? Acucrack provide a version of "Buried Alive" that if you listen to drum'n'bass artists like Teebee or Black Sun Empire, isn't that memorable. I've heard these breaks executed better hundreds of times, but for the EBM/industrial crowd, this will probably be considered a brave outing. To me it's 2001.
Now for the highlights, the reasons why Release readers will want to maim people for this thing, two words: Portion Control. Why they don't execute more remixes I just cannot understand. Their version of "Lowlife" goes places FLA never would, or for that matter could. This is forward-facing futuristic electronic music that Bill Leeb would be wise to take heed of. I think we've found their new production team. Re-named "Reprobate", long suffering production master Greg Reely gives his version of "Lowlife" a potent, malicious bent. He really knows how to bring out the detail in a Front Line track and it's no surprise to me that in numerous interviews, the band have rather frankly admitted how influential and vital he is to Front Line Assembly's recording process.
The three new works are all nice enough but it is "Armageddon" that sticks in my mind as it takes us back to a different era of this act, when they were releasing truly revelatory works such as "Flavour of the Weak", "Re-Wind" and "Implode". The lyrics contain a humourous aside to Rammstein with Wilhelm barking out the hook to their single "Links 2-3-4". "Electric Dreams" reminds me of their "Hard Wired" era rarity "Hydrogen", one of my all time favourite FLA compositions. This is a somewhat solid remix album; sadly most part of it is spent looking back which is as wordsmith Leeb would probably state: digital murder, the language of machines.
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