Wednesday 30 October 2013

Review: Cynical Existence – 'Erase, Evolve And Rebuild'

'Erase, Evolve And Rebuild' 

Fredrik Croona, the man behind harsh ebm outfit Cynical Existence, is on a rampage. In less than a year he has given us an exciting début album, plus an EP, and is already following it up with album number two. The first full-length Cynical Existence outing on 'Come Out And Play' showed off a well rounded approach to creating hard dance tracks that channelled the previous experiences of its creator with his other bands Project Rotten and Menschdefekt and infusing an almost metal edge to them. Fast forward several months and another EP and the second album continues the path set out on 'Come And Play' and refined further on the 'A Familiar Kind Of Pain' EP.

There is no genuine aim at creating anything other than a varied approach to harsh ebm that is both dance orientated – in the vein of acts such as Suicide Commando, Grendel and SITD – but also carries some emotional resonance. It's a simple and honest ambition, and one that continues to bear fruit.

The snarled metal vocals, industrial guitar, hard beats and scathing synth melodies give the album it's backbone. But the clever use of clean vocals, as well as sparring use of glitch and even dubstep elements give the album a fresh and experimental edge. The likes of 'Something Strange', 'Falling', 'Our Bright Future', 'No Compromise' and 'Transformation (Search For A Change)' provide the strongest cuts from the track listing. Each one incorporating and refining new and interesting elements into the Cynical Existence palette.

They don’t' always get it quite right, though. Too often Steve Alton's excellent guitar work gets lost in the mix, and sometimes there is just too much vying for the listener's attention, such as with 'Erase Me'.

'Erase, Evolve And Rebuild' is a mantra for Croona and his collaborators. Cynical Existence is a band that grows for the better with every release. The band don't descend into the cliché of genre conventions. Instead they take that early diversity of the harsh ebm sound and continue to tinker with it to suit themselves

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