The third album is tricky. Especially when you have released two such complete albums as Ravenous has. "Mass Mental Cruelty" and "No Retreat and No Surrender" both had what is so often missing in the electropop genre: depth, emotion and vocal strength. In fact, I'd like to nominate Tim Fockenbrock in the "best singer" class in the electro category. He possesses a complete voice register, to both howl like Andy Bell or just churn out doomsday vocals in true Sisters of Mercy style.
"Phoenix" offers slightly dark, heavy techno influenced electropop, with very catchy choruses in most tracks. The downside of the album reveals a too suppressed set of sounds. They seem to believe in recycling many sounds, which is annoying if you think about it, given the first two albums great variety and surprise filled content. Still "Phoenix" may have some of their best songs to date, with "Soulless", "What Would It Be Like…?" and "Heart of Stone" as well as nicely executed techno coloured elements. Gerritt Thomas and Björn Böttcher, the two composers, may want to extend their machine park next time, but it's still some of the best electronic pop out there.
I'm still in love with Ravenous.