Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Review: Cesium_137 – 'Rise To Conquer'

'Rise To Conquer'

Futurepop duo Cesium_137 return with their seventh full-length studio album (and first since 2012's 'Science And Sound') in the form of 'Rise To Conquer'. The band's core formula of emotion-stirring EBM, trance, synthpop and IDM that they've grown into since 2004's 'Elemental' remains fairly unchanged with the strong dance beats, trance leads, and soaring pop vocals at the helm. It's a formula that has always served them well in the past, and should still continue to do.

Unfortunately though, 'Rise To Conquer' a mixed-bag at best. Let down by it's steadfast adherence to a formula that has begun to sound dated and a disjointed construction that leaves the album sounding unfinished. That being said there are still some genuinely infectious and catchy songs to hold the album together such as 'Shiver', 'No Contact', 'Killing Time', 'Diver', and 'Consequence' that give the album a nice backbone of dance-friendly beats and sing-a-long choruses.

However the albums suffers from dated sounds, cookie-cutter construction that comes off as early 2000s VNV Nation meets Apoptygma Berzerk. There is also quite a few points where the vocals just don't seem to match the music – as though they were recorded for the demo versions of the songs and not redone for the final compositions.

In terms of production the album ultimately sounds rough and dated. There seems to be a disconnect between the vocals and the rest of the music in a lot of places and when compared to 'Science And Sound' the drop in quality is all the more noticeable.

It's a shame as there is some real potential on this album, but it ultimately misses its mark. Long-time fans may still find solace in the stronger tracks, but it's unlikely to convert many others beyond that.

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