CD, COP International/NoiTekk, 2011
On “Swallowing the Sun”, Distorted Memory took the basic industrial/EBM formula and infused it with a wide variety of tribal and ethnic features, presenting a sound not often heard in this genre. Unfortunately, however, the standard industrial vocal effects diminish this release.
On “Swallowing the Sun” you will find the inclusion of musical styles from all different regions of the world – African, Middle Eastern/Arabic, and even Latin American flavors are melded into the songs. Some Tuvan throat samples are even heard on a few tracks. These tribal components show up on just about every track, seamlessly woven into the non-organic electronic aspects of the music.
However, apart from these tribal ingredients, there is not a lot that sets this album apart from other releases in the industrial/EBM category. The songs are well crafted and each track contains solid structures, but they sound very similar to any number of compositions in this genre. Distorted Memory does try and change up the songs a bit with “Awake Sleeping Giants”, showcasing a very soundtrackish quality, and “Seven Voices of Hate”, which brings a rave ingredient into the music.
The vocals are the weakest aspect of “Swallowing the Sun”. They are delivered in the generic method found in most releases of this type – distorted, screaming vocals. Ultimately, they really detract from the beauty of the music. I often found myself wishing that the album was entirely an instrumental one. The vocal styling, while normal for this genre, is much more jarring in this release, as it doesn’t mesh well with the ethnic elements.
Die Sektor provides quite a remix of “Hand of God” as the last track on “Swallowing the Sun”. The band removes the tribal and ethnic elements, and jacks up the adrenaline and pace of the song about five times more than the original. It’s a very strong and powerful recreation that provides the song with a different energy than the original, and while it doesn’t really fit with the mood of the rest of the album, it is still a very solid track on its own.
This is a good release, but it’s not a superb one. The addition of ethnic components is definitely a high point, but the generic, distorted vocals throughout dampens enjoyment while listening to the album.
— Kevin Congdon