Thursday 28 August 2014

Review: Asmodeus X – 'The Bright Ones'

'The Bright Ones'

It may have been around for a few years now but this release from veteran US trance influenced ebm outfit Asmodeus X is still worth a review. Recorded between 2008 and 2010 and filled with compelling dance leads, entrancing synth melodies and a heavy dose of esoterica, 'The Bright Ones' is a strong club-friendly record that sees some of the bands strongest material to date.

It's a high energy assault that channels the likes of ebm pioneers such as Front 242 through a very modern trance framework to create a high energy dance floor assault. Songs such as 'Destination Calling', 'Grosser Haus', 'Seasons Without End' , 'The Bright Ones' and 'Theos' bring the fast pace, big beats and memorable leads that can't help but get bodies moving. The use of samples gives the album a nice old school flavour as well that is further emphasised by the distinctive vocal style.

Though the vocals are well performed the way they're mixed does occasionally hit the ear wrong. Amongst the big synths and beats it's not as noticeable, but on some of the quieter portions of the songs they sound a bit tinny and raw compared to the more polished musical backing. It isn't a huge sticking point though as the songs have a lot of energy behind them to carry them through. Other than that the album is very well produced and maintains a nice balance between the band's classic and modern leanings.

'The Bright Ones' is a solid album full of tracks that would be a welcome addition to any deejay's setlist. It's by no means a perfect album but in terms of songwriting it is a very strong offering with all ten songs a potential single, but in particular the final two tracks 'Theo' and 'Power Factory'. It's been a while since we've had some brand new music from the trio, so it will be interesting to see what they have been brewing since they released this.

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