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July 13, 2024

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Shockwave (Metropolis Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

Hard to imagine with the combination of sounds taking place here there are only two people at the controls. "Shockwave" shows further maturation for the duo who have developed remarkably well since their decidedly more "aggro" origins. "Shockwave" builds on the Industrial framework that's existed since the beginning, continuing to provide the steadying backbone for their elegant synthwork, effectively weaving ambient fluidity amongst otherwise dark, derisive passages and Marco's throatier vox. "Phoenix" and "Bondage" make for powerful opening moments lyrically unbound and long on instrumentality, soon giving way to the biting "Democracy" and EBM-friendly "The Fruit Of Wisdom," which was lyrically inspired by the movie, "Organs," and similar to Covenant's "We Stand Alone." "Heaven" is amongst the most moving pieces where percussive elements, while present, yield to pleasantly intrusive and continuous symphonic melodies that rarely break step, save for the second long verse. "Mechanical Horizon" was a tremendous leap forward for DF as they merged tradition with technology and solidified their reputation among the EBM/Industrial greats like a Front Line, Funker or Wumpscut. "Shockwave" hasn't the advantage of a great leap as before, nor does it follow a previous flaw, yet in spite of its space in time, comes away as one of the great Electronic records of the year thus far. It's absolutely electric, magnetic, and inviting with not a single note wasted -- read "loops and samples." Yet it's every design, every move, calculated and carried out splendidly. A well-varied record, "Shockwave" is more atmosphere than grind; it's valiant and vibratory, without, and surprisingly so, falling for the trap of too much is not enough. They stay within themselves and the songs take on a life of their own -- "Nothingness" and "Shockwave," are bottom ended numbers, and both come away as some of the most intense and attractive music of their careers! A booming version of The Swans' "Love Will Save You" at the close proves as domineering and heavy Industrial as DF's done in recent years -- akin to a Massive Attack meets Depeche Mode for the grand finale.
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