Wednesday 24 May 2017

Review: The State – 'Ministry Of Truth'

'Ministry Of Truth'

Industrial rock power duo The State return with sophomore outing in the form of 'Ministry Of Truth'. The band are quickly amassing an impressive amount of material that references acts such as Killing Joke, Sulpher, Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, and Rammstein and dragging the gritty minimalistic post-punk leanings of industrial rock into the 21st century.

The album opens with the claustrophobic call to arms 'Public Service Announcement' with its slow bludgeoning guitars and martial dance beats. They follow this up with the more up-tempo post-punk flavoured 'Ghost' before diving into the album's second single 'Fairy Tales', which see's a grander arrangement with it's piano intro giving way to gothic-edged electronic rock. 'Inevitability' then slips in with a bit of a 90s NDH feel to it that recalls the heyday of Ooomph! and Eisbrecher, albeit with English vocals.

'Living, Quietly Bleeding' brings back a darker atmosphere with its sinister synths and the return of the slow methodical combination of guitars and drums for another strong example of the band's sound. 'End Game' once again goes a bit more up-tempo with it's guitar and synth combination recalling Cubanate flirting with ebm. 'Ever Of Late' continues the 90s feel with it's upbeat melancholia before giving way to the ebm tinged rock of 'Best Laid Plans'.

In terms of production, 'Ministry Of Truth' is pretty rough and ready. The vocals in particular have a tendency to fade into the mix and there are a few times where the songs feel like they're building to a big kick of energy that never quite materialises. Which is a shame as the songwriting and performances in and of themselves are pretty solid.

On the whole, 'Ministry Of Truth' is a pretty good record with some great tracks, in particular 'Public Sercvice Announcement', 'Fairy Tales', and 'Living, Quietly Bleeding'. There is still some work to try and get the best out of the songs production-wise without losing that satisfyingly gritty post-punk vibe that is ever present. But this album definitely proves that The State have the goods.  

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