Tuesday 1 April 2014

Review: Cryo – 'Retropia'


Sweden makes me think of the synthpop band Covenant. Cryo makes me think of a place where you fall in a dead lake. You will not come out the same innocent, working human you thought you once were. 'Retropia' is a composition by Martin Rudefelt vocals and production work, with the live hitting of drums by Tony Gottberg when on stage echoing from Malmö.

‘In your eyes’ awakens the album with old electro body pulses and a flanger at the wheel. Then right on 1 minute, the beat hits third gear and we are falling down a concrete staircase. The EBM of Cryo is already breeding darkness like cigarette fumes in a badly lit basement. Torture spelt in black & white upon dirty grey cement walls, mixed in with a dance floor cocktail.

‘Believer’ is dark pound of fast steel distortion and the scraping of angle grinders and muscle movement on stone floors.  No one knows what’s happening down there, maybe iron filings hitting naked flesh from that addictive sound.

A rupture in the reflections of both victim and persecutor with the trauma that both suffer is experienced in ‘The Portal’. The engine is slowed down completely with 'Common Man'. The melancholy of Cryo is very apparent. A living breathing organ of the band, in a similar way to what Adrian Hates is able to produce with Diary of Dreams. To put on the scale of 1-10 this album is a dark no hope 9 .

Back with a thud the lampshade starts to swing as that body is lifted up on a reel and sprayed with cold water. Then thrown into a black bag with drum slams and defiling slow base,  the process of ‘I Use You’ flows with electronic smiles. That melancholy hasn't gone anywhere just turned unwillingly evil.

It feels a bit‘Too Much’, our narrator is questioning his role as he walks round town, with an 80s synth montage with an addictive beat. Remembering what he has locked up, and thinking of his revolving circle.

We’re back in the basement and it’s to observe the 'Shelter' of the captive. You are looking far too long at her, so with a split decision you throw her out of her blackout cage and throw her in rubber and lock her in the boot of the car as we go for a drive on the EBM Motorväg.

‘So Close- Part 1’ and we are going down that route in our brain, where we know that at the other end we are not coming out. With a rhythm at heart rate, those thoughts of the former life flash past and then back to that first memory of the new life with the swinging light. Soon being bound in a new skin with blunt metal tools, you take a last look at your old skin as it is sealed shut.

‘Part 2’ and the chaotic voice is back to wake you and remind you the process is not finished, as bright whiteness drifts in and out of your suffocated vision, as if in a white dessert, you know that things are happening to you, with a light tingling hidden in the background, but at the moment you are in this dark white dessert, that keeps you lost in dizziness of insomnia. By the end of the track you don’t know if you’re alive.
Smash we can hear the roar of the car engine, we are back in the boot and on the main road with the speed.

In the front seat, Absolut and smoke with a blasting stereo for props and a disillusioned menace at the wheel. The car stops; he runs to open the boot,the darkness you are so used to, the night is perfect. But as soon as he lets you out the police are back with bright lights and gun shots fire. The distorted mind voice is back, and your captor falls to the ground, though confusion hits, as you don’t know whether to run to the police or stay at his side. You stay, until dragged; that is ‘Part 3’

Cryo is a reptile of poison, it's EBM, though a level of toxic corrosion that peals the skin away of normal old style, into a web of destructive energy and despair. Seeing as the duo is Swedish, it can only be suited to considering this album as a story of Stockholm syndrome.

Reviewed by Dominic Lynch aka LX-E

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