Tuesday 8 December 2015

Review: Dead When I Found Her – 'All The Way Down'

'All The Way Down'

Portland-based electro-industrial act Dead When I Found Her continue the wave of recent bands that manage to blend the old with the new in a successful way. Taking their cues from bands like Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, Nine Inch Nails, and the more melodic and accessible end of Coil's repertoire the band blend gritty old-school flavours with a modern twist that keeps the spirit without trading off the quality. The band's third album 'All The Way Down' continues to see Dead When I Found Her, AKA Michael Holloway, expand his palette of layered dark electronics this time in a softer and more methodical direction than his previous outings.

The opening track, 'Expiring Time' is a malevolently atmospheric introduction to the album that recalls Skinny Puppy at their most sinister and instantly grams your attention with its slow and considered execution. The likes of 'The Unclean', 'Gathering Fear', 'Downpour', and 'Blood Lesson' go on to form the back bone of the album with a blend of steady intelligent rhythms, richly layered electronics, samples, and old-school electro bite that retain their dance-quality while still going deep. While 'Threadbare', 'Misericordia', 'Seeing Red', and 'At Rest' descend into darker and more intricate realms of song writing.

The production is excellent. It has an undeniable old-school dimension in terms of its influences and atmospheres, however it isn't hampered by retro for the sake of it production. Instead we get a clean clear mix that is as thoughtful as the song writing. The vocals don't get swamped by the electronics and despite the multiple layers everything retains a sense of space and doesn't just amalgamate into a wall of sound.

'All The Way Down' is a great album that will appeal to both older and newer industrial fans. It has those nods to classic bands yes, but it is very much its own beast. It's an intelligently put together that builds a sense of intensity and tension without resorting to outright aggression and instead becomes record that you can easily get lost in.  

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