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?
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
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.
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?