CD, Black Rain/Noitekk, 2003
It’s a label sampler from Noitekk/Black Rain. I hear you cry “surely we can pretty much guess what this is gonna be like!” Well, you’d be right, this compilation is pretty derivative of other harsh-electro compilations already available; it has the same lyrical subject matter and same production values.
As you would expect it gives a pretty comprehensive overview of the label’s wares but very few of the bands manage to stand out at all. The ones that make the best fist of things would be Dioxyde, who opt for a clearer sounding mid-tempo track; Davantage, whose use of melody sets them apart as does Solitary Experiments who are the only band on this disc not to go for the ultra-distorted “Cookie Monster” vocals and the singer is actually fairly talented. Flint Glass are an anomaly on this compilation as it is the sole track that doesn’t deal in “terror EBM”, instead choosing to purvey industrial soundscapes. It’s a very nice track but completely at odds with the rest of the track listing. The Grendel track has undoubted dancefloor potential but suffers from the same muddy, distortion heavy production that affects so much this (sub)genre. The other bands invited only serve to reinforce stereotypes associated with this music, so Tactical Sekt, Cyborg Attack, Side 3, Hioctan, Aslan Faction, Necro Facility and IWR all need to try harder (something tells me that they probably would on their own discs). Even the normally mighty Feindflug turn in a track that is bland to the extreme.
Ultimately this disc would probably make a handy tool for DJS who deal with this type of music but anyone thinking of picking it up for home listening would be best advised to look elsewhere.
— Michael Hinchliffe