CD-R, self-released, 2007
The initial, but hastily re-evaluated, reaction to The Chaos Industry’s “Karoshi” is one of interest – radio static and stabs of stations changing, intriguingly displayed as sine waves on the CD insert, make for an unexpected introduction to a song. This happening before each track of the album without any real evidence of change in concept or content, gets tiresome, however. Also, although classified as “industrial”, this digital-only promo cavorts wildly between a number of electronic dance music styles: the industrial influence is hardly noticeable, only coming through in the occasional distorted drumbeat, but otherwise unseen in an uninspired rhythm section. This area lacks the focus that an industrial release should typically display in its percussive processes. Instead, the emphasis shifts to melody and, while the bassline synthesizer work is accomplished and even catchy (displaying a strong electro leaning) at times, the remainder of the generated instrumentation is hardly thrilling. The atmospheric pad work, in particular, is mixed in far stronger than it should be and, rather than adding ambience, destroys it utterly.
High points on the album are the very danceable “Sinner” and “Pandemoniac”. These, like the title track, “Karoshi”, start well, but fall prey to a common ailment across the recording: lack of dynamism. Tracks tend to begin with all guns blazing and try (unsuccessfully for the most part) to maintain that level, where they should start simpler and build layers of sound as the song progresses, with clearly defined breaks to add interest.
All in all, a clumsily constructed recording, deficient in power, emotion or excitement. Kudos to The Chaos Industry for attempting to bring the live music element into a predominantly virtual genre, but I feel far more growth is still needed.
— David vander Merwe