Tuesday 10 June 2014

Review: Fatal Casualties – 'Psalm'


Despite being founded 28 years ago. Swedish idustrial-tinged ebm duo Fatal Casualties released their first EP last year. And it was a damn impressive effort. Their gritty minimalist style of electronics was reminiscent of The Klinik, Skinny Puppy and Cabaret Voltaire and was still inherently dance-friendly. This time the duo of Stefan Ljungdahl and Ivan Hirvonen return with nine brand new tracks to secure their newly carved out place in the annals of electronic music.

With vocals sounding like a cross between Andy Sex Gang and Blixa Bargeld throughout the band will be attractive to fans of the avant garde while their dark and gritty musical backdrop with it's proto-ebm slant will stimulate the fancies of fans of the old school sounds. Yet, as songs like 'Misantropisk Filth', 'Dod Man', 'Jag Slowburn', 'New' and 'Missfostret' prove, they're more than an exercise in nostalgia. They can break out an addictive dance beat just as easily as they can get downright weird.

As you'd expect there is still a roughness to the production that isn't altogether unpleasant. It still has a nice up-to-date slant to it but it adequately reflects their mid-80s without sounding like it's ripped from a second generation demo tape found in a damp attic.

Although there are some very strong songs, and some even more intriguing arty tracks. It does feel somewhat scattered in its approach. Which is a shame as Ljungdahl and Hirvonen are obviously a pair of very talented musicians who aren't afraid to experiment with their sound.

'Psalm' may prove to be somewhat of an acquired taste, but if you're adventurous, it does definitely pay off. The duo would do well to come back with a more focussed approach maybe next time, but this is a good stepping stone for them from what they achieved on last year's 'Paria' EP.

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