Friday 11 August 2017

Review: Suicide Commando – 'Forest Of The Impaled'

'Forest Of The Impaled'

It has been a while since harsh ebm pioneer Johan van Roy last unleashed Suicide Commando to terrorise unsuspecting electronic music fans. 2013's 'When Evil Speaks', saw van Roy continue to refine his unique formula and even add a couple of hints of his more experimental past. With his new offering 'Forest Of The Impaled', however we see a much more focused effort, concise in it's approach and all the sharper for it.

Suicide Commando has a pretty strict structure that has served van Roy very well. Whereas a lot of his imitators sound derivative, van Roy has avoided falling into any kind of self-parodied. He knows when to look back, and subtly tweak things to keep things interesting. And most importantly he knows what his fan-base wants, and is more than happy to deliver.

'Forest Of the Impaled' is a strong collection of savage dance floor eviscerating tracks that ooze sinister atmospheres and and infectious melodies. Tracks like 'My New Christ', 'Too Far Gone', 'The Pain That You Like', 'The Devil', 'Schiz[o]topia', and 'We Are Transitory' feature the classic Suicide Ccommando hallmarks and will undoubtedly be ravenously consumed by fans and casual club-goers alike.

As with 'When Evil Speaks' there are the odd nods to previous sounds and a little experimenting with his style going on to keep things from sounding too relentless. The likes of 'Death Lies Waiting', 'Chasm Of Emptiness', and 'Crack Up' keep things interesting with their little unexpected twists.

Production-wise the album is of the quality we expect from a 31-year veteran. Van Roy's expert craftsmanship has this album sounding as high-end as anything from a major label release, and with his twisted imagination behind it, far more interesting.

On the surface it might be perplexing to some as to how van Roy's steadfast dedication to his core sound has actually kept him relevant through a myriad of musical trends coming and going. But it is his artistic integrity that fans respond to. In the case of 'Forest Of The Impaled' with the additional trimming of the fat compared to some of his previous releases, the songs sound stronger and more impactful, even when things get a bit repetitive or safe sounding, you can't help but be drawn in.  

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