September 2007 was quite a monumental month for the Harsh EBM movement.
It marked the release of the debut album "Distress", by (Arguably) the
most well known and popular French act, A7IE. (Pronounced "Aseptie")
A brief History lesson here, to introduce this review. Prior to
the release of "Distress", Gyom had put out a compilation track on
various albums, and the official first track to be released was "Pray
(This Agony)". If you are one of those people who owns the mp3 albums
"No Final", or "Evilization", then I am sorry to tell you that neither
The new album, "The Shattering" nearly didn't happen. It was due
to be released back in 2008/2009, under the name "Words of Violence",
but due to a Computer error, the tracks were lost forever.
It is easy to see how much A7IE has evolved since the release of "Distress".
Opening track "Scars" is just as catchy as "The Cage", which remains to this day one of the acts most well known tracks.
As regular readers will know, I'm not a fan of track-by-track
reviews, and the album has as many great moments as it does surprising
and controversial ones (to be discussed later).
Like you would expect from a release of this genre, the lyrics,
titles, and themes range from Hatred and Religious themes, to Medical
references and Remorseful Rhetoric. "Inner Hate" and "Scars" are very
much songs composed unter the abrasive hatred of oneself, and whether
literal or metaphorical, the theme very much fits in with the title and
concept of the album.
"Words of Violence" is a nod to the doomed album that this would
have been if the aforementioned system error hadn't have occured.
"Neuroleptics" appears to be a first official release of a track that
has been circling around on the 2007 demo, and one of the albums finest
As seems to be the trademark A7IE Style, just when you think you
understand where the album is going, something changes to steer you off
the road - take for example "Angels (Dancing In the Dust)" - the title
has nothing to do with the theme or overview of the album, but maybe the
more romantic listeners will see it as some sort of post-suicidal
moment of fleeting bliss.
The one thing that people come away from the album with, is the
memory of controversial track "I, Liar". It almost suggests that the
composer is asking to not be trusted, and when halfway through the
track, the music is replaced by Suicide Commando's "Hellraiser", you can
almost feel the bile of 10,000 enraged Industrial fans. Seriously - I
have seen pages of people bitching about this. Gyom made it obvious
from the song title that this was intentional to get people talking.
Good job he did too!
Sending the album off, we have 4 remixes, and for the first
time, I feel inclined to discuss them. Greek act PreEmptive Strike 0.1
have taken "Some Kind of Hate", fellow Advoxya act Sadiztik:Injektion
has "Neuroleptics", Advoxya act AktiveHate has "Angels", and the final
remix (also of Angels) is of unsigned, but potentially excellent
Bolivian act Adeonesis.
Ultimately, despite the promise and talent of "Distress", the
three year absence has produced a more refined, ambitious, and downright
cheeky album. Everything that has previously been criticised seems to
have been improved on, and if you can push aside your own feelings about
the controversy of "I,Liar" (which I honestly think is fuss about
nothing), then you can pick up one of the best albums of 2010 for a good
Evolution is Key. A7IE is the lock.Nick
21 Mar 2011