CD, Memento Materia, 2004
Released on the Memento Materia/Prototyp label, “Walk the Psyco[path]” is the second full-length release of the Swedish electro-industrial project Run Level Zero, after their debut album “Symbol of Submission” and the MCD “In Between”. This latest release shows a definite evolution in Run Level Zero’s sound, which was probably caused in part by the departure of one of the band’s members, Fredrik Solenberg, leaving Run Level Zero as the solo project of Hans Åkerman.
The music in “Walk the Psycho[path]” is more fast paced and aggressive as well as more melodic than in the previous album. It is also somehow more complex going beyond the raw EBM of before. There is still a palpable oppressiveness permeating this album but, this time, the feeling is extremely direct and the attitude is very in-your-face rather than insidious as in the previous album. Interestingly, the overall sound to this album seems to me to be somewhat close to one of their unreleased tracks, “Cleansing Heat”, which was rejected from the debut album, “Symbol of Submission”, but without the guitars. Not a ‘return to basics’ but rather exploring paths not taken before and incorporating the experiences into this new journey.
The evolution and feeling is also noticeable in the lyrical content in which there appears to be a different improvement (and increase in quantity!). Despite a definite degree of introspective reflection, “Walk the Psycho[path]” seems to be somewhat more ‘outwards looking’ than its predecessor. Like before, the overall thematic is still an exploration of the darkest corners of the human psyche but, this time, Run Level Zero also look at the impact that the ‘darkness’ has in the real/outside world.
While songs like “Headless” and “Yellow Paper” are somewhat introspective, it is quite obvious, from songs like “CNN of Worms”, “Under the Gun”, “Somnium Ex Machina” and even “farFnir enDjinn”, that developments in the world situation since the previous album had a definite impact in Hans Åkerman’s song-writing. Songs like “Human Equation” fall somewhere in between and a song like the excelent “K.A.D.O.” has a definite Lovecraftian charge and symbolism to it (the video to this song can also be downloaded from the band’s site).
“Walk the Psycho[path]” follows the ‘tradition’ established with Run Level Zero’s previous releases which is meant as an incentive to buying their album. By purchasing the disc, you are supplied with a personal code which will grant access to the ‘premium’ section of their website. There you can download some of their unreleased tracks, remixes and even videos.
— Miguel de Sousa