Since the last full-length album of the SEVERE ILLUSION side-project INSTANS has found a possibility to get released via the Hungarian label Advoxya Records, Ulf Lundblad and Fredrik Djurfeldt are now on returning with their main project. I hear already the tacky comments of some freaks like “why not releasing this through the DSBP label?” or related because of possible problems of availability. Well, I guess it depends on a “business” decision and DSBP has already confirmed somewhere else, not to release EP’s out of cost-wise reasons. At least and with respect to the last happenings, I’m very sure that Tommy T. will offer this item as soon as it is available in his mail order. “Armed Evolution” finally features nevertheless more than 61 minutes of new and unreleased tracks, several remix works by friends and label comrades, and a re-interpretation of a fan favorite recording, “Trust”, originally released on their first full-length album “Discipline Isn’t Reward Enough”.
The CD starts with the track “I Wish I was Dead” – a typically SI smasher with a really simple bass line, that “special” feeling and so the winning point lays as so often in the use of their distortion effects, in which also the vocals are woven in. “And Some Other Dead Stuff” is available in both, original and extendet version. SI are setting a crown on this track to their lately discovered tendency to simplify their arrangements – this is purest minimalism. Not that harsh like the opener, the vocals are also calmer provided, also the distortion effects are generally reduced. It follows the revamped version of their classic track “Trust”. Compared to the original track I tend to rate this version as being darker arranged. Two more previously unreleased tracks rather provided in their current minimal arranged style follow, until the remix marathon starts with a contribution of the BLC recording act THE PAIN MACHINERY. The work on “I Wish I was Dead” really kicks ass – the only flaw I see in the fact, that the vocals got too much hidden in the mix – otherwise it could grab more attention. Three remix works on the track “And Some Other Dead Stuff” are following, provided by THIRTEENTH EXILE, the Advoxya-recording act MULPHIA and the US-based “Mattman”, CAUSTIC aka Matt Fanale. From the idea to create a rather Dark Electro-inspired atmosphere I tend to rate the MULPHIA work as being surprisingly the best work here. Two more remix works are following on the track “Trust” (SPETSNAZ are doing what they can do best: providing NEP-like bass lines...), until you’ll get finally another unreleased track entitled “Eight Minutes Is A Long Time” – which at least is only 4 minutes long. This track is a strange sample-driven collage.
A SEVERE ILLUSION release is always a candidate to reach the 4/5 stars rating and this release isn’t an exception. But at least I have the impression that they’ve reached an end of the rope regarding their current dedication to reduce their arrangements and textures. I don’t criticize this development, since their style still remains authentic and unique in the world-wide Electro/Industrial scene. But at least I like to ask, how to jump out of a possible musically death valley?