sitemap / team /  search the site here


Review  by 

dalia di giacomo


more under 






Deathstars: "Synthetic Generation"



Synthetic Generation
New Dead Nation
Modern Death
Little Angel
The Revolution Exodus
Damn Me
The Rape
No Light (to shun)
bonus track  - White Wedding






live extras

SKINNY - bass

MABE - electronic supervisor



preview- review   by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____    

 release date 03.11.2003

Mixed by Stefan Glaumann (Rammstein, Clawfinger, Def Leppard) and recorded in Fredman Studios by Anders Fridén and Deathstars.


To review Deathstars isn't easy at all my dear metalheads, cause they seem to be launched in a massive way , their music has many starting points,  important spotlights are on them , and anyway  there are still many  people who surely don't know a single thing about them. And now, that the world release of their album Synthetic Generation is on the threshold under the flag of Nuclear Blast, and that they have shortly been announced to play as supporters for Paradise Lost, replacing Godhead , it's more than natural that those people are asking loudly "who the hell are they?" So there is a good quantity of responsibility from the moment they are defined from many sources as the best newcomers since years. First thing they come from Sweden, and their Synthetic Generation was already released in their fatherland on March 2002. So, for many Swedes they are not unknown, but what about the rest of Europe (and of the world of course?). Well on 3rd November all the questions will be answered cause you will find their CD in stores. But let's try a bit to help you with this preview review for what i can , and believe me , my feelings are mixed. Like i'm usually doing with every CD, i've listened to Synthetic Generation very well and more times. Let's tell at once that production, mixing , recording is of course excellent, maybe too much excellent cause it's able to give a bombastic emphasis to all tracks and the worst ones under the spell of this make up are fleas who become elephants. The sound is super, believe me, the impact on your hi-fi's , walkman, autoradios and whatever is impressive, the stuff seems, consequently,  very heavy cause the soundscape has been "heavi-zed" indeed in a way that a better  one couldn't exist. But let's consider also all the rest. They play a kind of electro-gothic semi-industrial rock with a hidden touch of Black atmosphere which comes to surface in the musical synth background and in the "backvocals". and i don't know why we should use all those evolutions of words when there is one word that could picture all this  tout court: Cyber rock, accompanied, from time to time, by metal intensities. There is lately a strange run towards  the cyber dream , a kind of search for the gold. But my honest opinion is that nowadays on the market there is only one band that has centered the goal of the Cyber metal : The Kovenant.  These young and new synthetic little vampires of the future, with mansonian glance and some latent Black attitude, are very talented: the atmospheres they create is gloomy and heavy, their vocals are based on 2 tonalities, deep low and  biting   supported by a second channel, more screaming and scratching  , all in all  breathtaking. But ehy the fact is that they are simply The Kovenant for the poor. You can read that they present a sophisticated brutality. sophisticated yes, but brutality? Sorry, no trace of brutality in this album (though i can say that there is a kind of hidden aggressive attack in their musical message). You can read that they showcase Rammstein- Ministry and Fields of Nephilim influences , yes there is a bit of these bands , but one thing is towering above all other considerations: there is TOO MUCH The Kovenant.  Listen to SETI, no matter if you like it or not, and then listen to Synthetic Generation: and you can only say honestly one thing:"pity, The Kovenant have just done it" , in particular concerning some instrumental and vocal techniques , echo effects and so on. But anyway this is not the problem. The real problem is that 4 tracks are really very good and the rest is for the cats (or the discos) imo.  Their music is dark , round , emotional , OBSCURE, they transfer  feelings and nightmares of our soul and life in a hypothetical  decadent world, their vocals are the hammer, the lyrics are not banal, but the originality of the musical phrase in itself ah bah, sorry only few traces . 2 questions come out obvious: but who has composed these tracks , the same person? (And we speak about Nightmare Industries , who according with the official site "has written all the infernal music") Infernal? and however, why a full length debut album (taken from the Swedish edition) and not a debut EP with the best tracks only, in this case?

plus tracks
Ok,  4 tracks are saving a sad situation, 4 tracks that you will listen and listen and listen cause they are so beautiful : 4 - Syndrome;  6- Little Angel; 11- No Light (to shun) and the bonus track 12 - White Wedding.  Think! a cover (the hundredth i presume) of Billy Idol's White Wedding. There are songs that i dislike or even detest, and when coverized , even if by superb bands, the situation doesn't change for me, after all. Example Small Town Boy: a pop stupidity IMO that even  in the hands of PL unfortunately remains basically the same . Rockish and famous White Wedding is better but at the end of story is another song i don't like at all. Well, Deathstars have done the miracle: a superb cover that takes this "little sister" ,  without spoiling anything, and  transform "her" in a more than enjoyable dark , crunch excellent thing. Another White Wedding sung a bit in   Black. Amazing. Cannot believe: all the lack of originality in composing the biggest part of the own music has been put, on the contrary, into this cover. 
And now back to Syndrome, IMO the best track of the whole CD. Don't be down, you can listen to Syndrome and even watch the related videoclip on Deatstars official site, in the download section and now ask yourself why , together with the title track,  they have chosen Syndrome as visit card... Like you can experience in preview , Syndrome is an impressive song , heavy melodic , dark, tormenting , catchy not too cyber, with round effective synth. Imagine it in your stereos. Shivers , shivers: a sophisticated and biting song, which offers melody,  as well as wounds  to your heart. a gothic synth-metal elegance of the future, with a good use of guitars too. 
track 6 Supreme heaviness and horror atmospheric for a mystic  nightmare, well worth  the Republic of Weimar , it is sung in English but sounds German, the latent lyricism of the vocals is emphasized and underlined .The background atmosphere has  a Black touch, as well as the back vocals. Crunchy metal riffing. Emotional "female" chorus. Impressive.  It is moreover a growing powerful track so it can be possible that it will  dethronize Syndrome one day or another in my personal preferences concerning this album.

watch the 
track 11 No Light , oh a light again !  there is another vein  of good music here.

the minus tracks
and the rest ? forget them!, only enjoyable at  the very instant for a consumistic world of business, rhythmed , pushing , yes , with cyber and industrial effect, bombastic mighty soundscapes but nothing new after SETI and Company,  and, to tell the truth, when i listened to this album the fist time, with the exception of the 4 tracks seen above , there was no other track that remained clear in my mind. So now the list of the awful (disco-commercial) clones.

Semi Automatic is an atmospheric synthetic mighty mid tempo cyber, with vampire horror synth inserts that tries to be something in the midway between Rammstein and The Kovenant without telling nothing new, proposing nothing but a simple refrain and becoming nothing than a disco track in spite of the wonderful bombastic mixing. It seems massive and impressive but there is really no substance inside. Track 2 : Synthetic Generation, the picture doesn't change : a  bombastic and artificial heavy shell that wraps up  the Nothing, and moreover it seems  so similar  to the opener.   Track 5 Modern Death offers yes some crunching guitars but for more details go to what said for the track 1 and 2. Track 7 The Revolution Exodus , again crunchy guitars mixed with bombastic atmospheric and even a bit exotic soundscapes and for the rest read again track 1 and 2. with one particular more: the chorus here is only pathetic. Track 8 Damn me the most inane silly  expectable synth intro you can imagine opens a song of a such dull catchiness masked with a lot of artificial powerful effects. Track 9 The Rape, the worst one: we are always in the same waters, such an easy refrain packaged in so a stroboscophic envelop,but  if you listen with attention , you can even find  a flat pop touch under all this mammuth make up. Track 10 Genocide opens with rock guitar and fades very soon in a  typical under -product of The Kovenant. 


and the track 3? - New Dead Nation has a good ryhtmic which  supports a musical content of better quality. But the characteristic are the same seen till now ; there is a bit of stuff biting here, but we don't take off completely. 

so put everything on the scales, we have to consider 1)that  vocals appear to be as  ones of the best in the genre, and will penetrate you to the bones (absolutely wasted ability if you think of   all the trash tracks included in this Synthetic Generation. 2)less than half good (4 brilliant tracks beautiful cover included+ 1 in average) more than half bad in which  the originality is  really hard to be found, 3) good heaviness, sometimes even with metal tones, provided by deep tuned pushing guitars too, though not in the clear way done by  The Kovenant  4) a powerful production which masks and fills everything  but is often suffocating  the crunchy guitar riffing so much that practically we come to the paradox that  it has done more damages than merits,  so what should we do? Are we allowed to pay this album half price? Anyway  let's give to Deathstars a chance again attending their live performances. A fat pass mark as rating but, unfortunately, nothing more. One thing stays strong and granitic: the adjective synthetic is more than correct ...unfortunately. One question comes obvious ...but is it possible to take 4 wonderful tracks and violate them so much  putting them in such a bad commercial company?

rating:  6.8/10 


by dalia di giacomo


PO Box 137 - CH 5443 Niederrohrdorf    Postfach 201367 - D Waldshut- Tiengen

©  2001-2014 Niederrohrdorf - Switzerland contact   web: dalia di giacomo