FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY
ALBUM ZOTH OMMOG, ENERGY RELEASE: MAY 3, 1999 REVIEW: JUNE 1, 1999
Some of my interest in Front Line Assembly died with their last album, "FLAvour of the Weak". A former favourite band became one of many average ones. I guess the same goes for a lot of other people. You can have high expectations from someone at FLA's level of skill and experience.
Thankfully, things have now improved. Even though "Implode" is far from their best piece of work. This time Bill Leeb and Chris Peterson have focused more on classic FLA elements - with other words on things which once made the band famous. They are true masters of hightech, heavy and modern EBM and when they stick to that they are without a doubt among the elite. "Implode" reminds us about classic albums like "Tactical Neural Implant" - and that is a good thing indeed. I don't dare to speak about the need for change and development after their last album. To stick to the proven and safe is a good choice for FLA. In a music world where a lot of so called dance acts desperately tries out new ways of developing their music it's nice with artists who are true to their old style. And a lot of bands have done just that lately: Ministry, Orbital and Mesh, to name a few.
A positive aspect of "Implode" is the atmospheric, filmic qualities. "Implode" reminds me of the "Psycho" soundtrack, released last winter. Maybe FLA are inspired by that sound - or maybe they even tried to participate?
A couple of songs are beautiful Delerium-like, instrumental soundscapes. This varies the overall picture and makes the album more interesting as a whole. But will there be FLA-like songs here and there on the next Delerium album? I once again wonder - why all these confusing projects? Although I must admit that if Leeb released all his music under the FLA flag, three, four or even five albums some years would just be too much, wouldn't it? Why not release the best songs on one FLA and one Delerium album every year and forget about all the average tracks - all the Pro-techs, Equinoxes and whatever they're called?
But FLA isn't only about cool soundscapes. There are already too many artists out there who do quite slow, heavy and laidback electronic music. I would have appriciated more energy, ass-kicking and catchieness on "Implode". Perhaps Leeb and Peterson are tired? Or the studio environment is just too comfortable to produce any real fast, angry tracks?
But I won't complain too much. It's great that they're back with a typical FLA album.