Cease2Xist - WIYGN? EP
Harsh EBM, Electro-Industrial On April 18th, 2014 Cease2Xist followed up their highly acclaimed debut album You Are Expendable--given the average score of 9.0 here on Brutal Resonance--with an EP that has even-more-swag-than it's predecessor. WIYGN? (Where Is Your God Now?) is quite possibly the longest EP you will ever hear, if you pre-ordered the EP through their new label, Juggernaut Music Group. The combined length of the EP - 13 tracks - plus the 4 bonus pre-order tracks comes out to 88 minutes and 14 seconds -- which can't fit on any compact disc that I've heard of. Albums usually aren't even anywhere near that length, let alone EP's. The price of this EP was almost like being given permission to steal, thanks JMG!

That leads me to express one of the things I wasn't too keen on about the release, which was the 4 bonus digital tracks that come with pre-orders only. Not gonna lie though, it did get me to pre-order the EP faster, so... they won!..but I digress.. It's not that I don't love the bonus tracks - because I really do, I rated them each 5/5 stars - but because the tracks are only available in digital format (for now). The 4 tracks included with pre-orders only come from the group's debut release, "Living by the Bullet EP," except they're "Reloaded." Re-recorded to breathe new life into old songs, showcase the growth in songwriting - in the middle of last year, the songs were voted upon by fans, with the four most popular songs amongst fans being: Xistence, Living By The Bullet, Control Rebirth Delete, & The Unbearable Thought Of Defeat.

Part of me thinks it would have been better to have the first 6 tracks and then the 4 bonus tracks intermixed and make that one release - kind of like Cradle of Filth's "Bitter Suites to Succubi" mini LP if you will, where it featured 6 new tracks and 4 rerecorded tracks from their first released album - then make a single for a selected track, then add the remixes and maybe get a little more if needed. I mean looking back at the debut, only 1 track was remixed - by their future label mates, Juggernaut Music Group - and surely fans & DJ's alike would love to hear some of the classics from LBTB manipulated by other favorites or potentially, the label could introduce new acts through remixes.

The only other thing that didn't blow me away was the track You've Got Us Now feat. Juggernaut Music Group - but I do love the fact that they included it and there's multiple reasons for that. One of those reasons being, during the EP's writing sessions I was privileged with the opportunity to hear the demos and rough mixes of what would become WIYGN? As they became ready and when this track was uploaded I was like, "WTF is this?!" It was completely different from every C2X track prior - which is a good thing for them, shows willingness to experiment, learn new things/ try new things, they're not repeating themselves - it was really trancey, good composition, but I just couldn't get past the vocals. However, once I received the lyrics and read them, I felt a little different about the song because they're great lyrics.

Okay, so the EP has 5 orginal tracks - the title track, a re-envisioning of a track previously released in 2013, two collaborations with Juggernaut Music Group and then Dreams Divide (on separate tracks), and then the band dug up an old cover of the Stooges "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and gave it a much needed update. Not that the original version was bad, just that Dayve has come a long way in his song writing skills since 2011.

The first original material from WIYGN? was debuted by DWA on the official soundtrack for Resistanz 2013 with, "Incinerator." An instant anthem, so good that - it could be utilized as an official anthem for Resistanz or an anthem for C2X, either way it would just fit - with the first lyrics belted out of Dayve's mouth, "Burn!!!! Cease2Xist! Resistanz is futile! Come On!!!" I also can't get over that really big sounding screechy synth. That sawtooth was layered, detuned & given the most complimentary effects to bring that "signature Cease2Xist sound" that I have grown to love over the years. Once the leaked tracklist was premiered for WIYGN?, I was really stoked - as this was a really banging track from C2X and quickly grew to become one of my favorites from them. I bought the soundtrack for Resistanz 2013 immediately when the first version of this track was premeired/ announced. The ending of the track is probably my favorite part and those lyrics! "Bow down and meet the illustrator, The pain and mercy advocator, Burnt flesh, the true illuminator, All chant for the incinerator!"

Kind of jumping around in tracks, but I'm covering all my bases. First I introduced the release - in case you haven't heard of it/ about it yet - then I got the 'bad' stuff out of the way first. Some people want to hear the bad first and then the good shit - with that guideline to base off of, it would have the reader finish and leave the review with positive thoughts. Then in my reviewing process I started with the first songs premiered.

So here's the good shit - that title track is perfect example of some good shit! Starts off with an excerpt from an interview with Charles Manson. "Well God, seems you're my best friend - being that I invented ya.." For original source, look up "Charlie Manson - Jesus Returns," on YouTube. then you can barely hear the part where Charlie is mumbling on about all the different Jesuses, and then BAM! Another excerpt, this time it's a sample from Stephen Fry where he made an appearance on BigThink.com talking about Humanism, I definitely recommend watching the video, you can YouTube it by typing in "God Is Everywhere." Stephen beckons with such conviction when he says, "Where Is Your God Now?"

The second track starts off with the robotic sounding female voice saying "3..2..1..GO!" which was a cliche way start to Generation WTF - but because Cease2Xist isn't very conventional, it came to me unexpectedly. I would not imagine them doing something so cliche. It works with the song though and with that popular technique fused into the song - it could be advantageous to them for any alternative electronic music lover that runs across their music, because it holds that already familiar element to the listener. ...or it could be the opposite and the listener could pass it off from being so desensitized to the technique.

Then comes a ridiculous, yet hilarious excerpt that may or may not need some explaining. I for one completely missed this 'internet sensation' so I figured I'd give readers the source of this excerpt. "OH MY GOD! I I WILL KILL YOU AND EAT YOUR FIRST BORN CHILD!!" comes from a YouTube video series of this kid filming his ridiculous brother who is a teenager and still throws temper tantrums. Look up, "Greatest Freakout Ever Compilation," on YouTube. Anyways, I thought that was hilarious that they inserted that excerpt in the song - it gives you a little insight to their sense of humor, even though the song's guest, Gerry Hawkins (Cryogenic Echelon, Avarice In Audio [formerly known as Hope Estheim]) found it, obviously Dayve has a similar sense of humor. The lyrics to this song are also purely golden and I applaud Gerry & Dayve for their collaborative effort and I agree, this generation is completely fucked. Not sure who to thank for that, and by thank I mean hit the reset button on their cranium.

When C2X announced they would be bringing back their old cover of the Stooges classic, "I Wanna Be Your Dog.", we were ecstatic! Already a solid cover, Dayve updated the sound design with what he's learned and the new techniques he's picked up from fellow colleagues and gave it a much needed uplifting. Definitely the best industrial cover of this song in my opinion, I think it could have used more guitar, but overall this cover will appeal to the electronic crown more than the industrial crowd; you can shake your ass to this one, and who doesn't like watching asses shake at the club?

Closing out the new, original material of this EP is a track by the name of, "This is My Design..." Carrying off of the experimental nature of You've Got Us Now, C2X explores new soundscapes within this beautiful instrumental. Another fitting excerpt, this one comes from the Hannibal TV Series has been inserted, it's the clip where Will Graham goes into the killer's mind at a crime scene. Starting off with this steampunk vibe, and these heavily manipulated sample of operatic female vocals that are somewhat reminiscent of Danielle McKay of Sirus fame. The song is 6 minutes and 55 seconds in length - a little bit longer for a C2X track - but not one minute of the song leaves a bad taste on the palette. The song gradually builds itself up for minutes, eventually climaxing and mellowing back out.

Now that I'm finished with the original material, I can move on to the remixes that were carefully selected from friends and colleagues. I was also excited about this line-up of remixes once the artwork was announced. Dayve chose all the remixes, except for the Kill the Sleeper remix - which was chosen by the label - but Dayve wanted a remix by them anyways, so it worked out perfectly.

Kill the Sleeper's remix of WIYGN? comes out as a very sinister sounding, dark electro styled remix. It was actually the winner in a remix contest that was held, and rightfully so. It lends itself to being played in darker themed sets. Biomechanimal & Ruinizer were specifically chosen for Generation WTF and This is My Design... respectively. That 1984 remix by Biomech is amazing, really fond of that swaying lead synth used throughout the remix. Definitely lends itself to the melody of the song and makes it dance worthy. The Ruinizer remix is obviously golden, but you may not know that because for some reason Ruinizer isn't on Brutal Resonance yet - don't worry, that's being fixed. The Instigator remix of Incinerator by Cryogenic Echelon sounds like one for the clubs with it's upbeat tempo. Unfortunately, it's the only remix of the song, but who knows, there just may be more remixes of it coming soon (hopefully not very many more of WIYGN? as there was four remixes on this EP.) Not sure, but I think the 4x4 Loko remix by Kill the Sleeper is their first remix under the moniker, and I love it! The remix that excited me most about seeing was the C2X vs. BlackLava remix. BlackLava is a side project of Cease2Xist, and of Paresis. Enjoy a blackened version of WIYGN?, yes black metal industrial! Personal favorite remix is done by the mastering Engineer, Mr. Gary Walker of Defeat fame. I think it's my favorite because it strayed the most from original and for some reason, the lyrics are more audible during the remix.

The mastering on this is great, unfortunately though, if you build a Cease2Xist playlist, songs from You Are Expendable are noticeably louder than WIYGN? - which leads to the presumption that UK Mastering is all about that loudness. Here's to hoping that You Are Expendable sells out soon, and that the album receives a proper mastering job and is pressed on a physical format.

I'm leaving the bonus tracks off, as they aren't available anymore as pre-orders have closed and you can't listen to them. Upset? Beckon Juggernaut for a physical release of Living By The Bullet: Reloaded!

Overall I give this release a rare 9.5 out of 10. The amount and length of music provided with the EP has been unmatched. Cease2Xist searched for their identity on Living By The Bullet, created their own signature sound on You Are Expendable - one that could be recognized within any 2-4 seconds of any song - that brought along rave reviews and a loyal fanbase. Now with WIYGN? they take that signature sound they created and expand on it, experimenting with songwriting and incorporating elements of other genres previously unused in their music, all the while continuing to polish on their already addictive sound. I applaud Dayve for the inclusion of You've Got Us Now, even though I'm not particular about. He did what he wanted to do, and that's key.
5
Brutal Resonance

Cease2Xist - WIYGN? EP

On April 18th, 2014 Cease2Xist followed up their highly acclaimed debut album You Are Expendable--given the average score of 9.0 here on Brutal Resonance--with an EP that has even-more-swag-than it's predecessor. WIYGN? (Where Is Your God Now?) is quite possibly the longest EP you will ever hear, if you pre-ordered the EP through their new label, Juggernaut Music Group. The combined length of the EP - 13 tracks - plus the 4 bonus pre-order tracks comes out to 88 minutes and 14 seconds -- which can't fit on any compact disc that I've heard of. Albums usually aren't even anywhere near that length, let alone EP's. The price of this EP was almost like being given permission to steal, thanks JMG!

That leads me to express one of the things I wasn't too keen on about the release, which was the 4 bonus digital tracks that come with pre-orders only. Not gonna lie though, it did get me to pre-order the EP faster, so... they won!..but I digress.. It's not that I don't love the bonus tracks - because I really do, I rated them each 5/5 stars - but because the tracks are only available in digital format (for now). The 4 tracks included with pre-orders only come from the group's debut release, "Living by the Bullet EP," except they're "Reloaded." Re-recorded to breathe new life into old songs, showcase the growth in songwriting - in the middle of last year, the songs were voted upon by fans, with the four most popular songs amongst fans being: Xistence, Living By The Bullet, Control Rebirth Delete, & The Unbearable Thought Of Defeat.

Part of me thinks it would have been better to have the first 6 tracks and then the 4 bonus tracks intermixed and make that one release - kind of like Cradle of Filth's "Bitter Suites to Succubi" mini LP if you will, where it featured 6 new tracks and 4 rerecorded tracks from their first released album - then make a single for a selected track, then add the remixes and maybe get a little more if needed. I mean looking back at the debut, only 1 track was remixed - by their future label mates, Juggernaut Music Group - and surely fans & DJ's alike would love to hear some of the classics from LBTB manipulated by other favorites or potentially, the label could introduce new acts through remixes.

The only other thing that didn't blow me away was the track You've Got Us Now feat. Juggernaut Music Group - but I do love the fact that they included it and there's multiple reasons for that. One of those reasons being, during the EP's writing sessions I was privileged with the opportunity to hear the demos and rough mixes of what would become WIYGN? As they became ready and when this track was uploaded I was like, "WTF is this?!" It was completely different from every C2X track prior - which is a good thing for them, shows willingness to experiment, learn new things/ try new things, they're not repeating themselves - it was really trancey, good composition, but I just couldn't get past the vocals. However, once I received the lyrics and read them, I felt a little different about the song because they're great lyrics.

Okay, so the EP has 5 orginal tracks - the title track, a re-envisioning of a track previously released in 2013, two collaborations with Juggernaut Music Group and then Dreams Divide (on separate tracks), and then the band dug up an old cover of the Stooges "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and gave it a much needed update. Not that the original version was bad, just that Dayve has come a long way in his song writing skills since 2011.

The first original material from WIYGN? was debuted by DWA on the official soundtrack for Resistanz 2013 with, "Incinerator." An instant anthem, so good that - it could be utilized as an official anthem for Resistanz or an anthem for C2X, either way it would just fit - with the first lyrics belted out of Dayve's mouth, "Burn!!!! Cease2Xist! Resistanz is futile! Come On!!!" I also can't get over that really big sounding screechy synth. That sawtooth was layered, detuned & given the most complimentary effects to bring that "signature Cease2Xist sound" that I have grown to love over the years. Once the leaked tracklist was premiered for WIYGN?, I was really stoked - as this was a really banging track from C2X and quickly grew to become one of my favorites from them. I bought the soundtrack for Resistanz 2013 immediately when the first version of this track was premeired/ announced. The ending of the track is probably my favorite part and those lyrics! "Bow down and meet the illustrator, The pain and mercy advocator, Burnt flesh, the true illuminator, All chant for the incinerator!"

Kind of jumping around in tracks, but I'm covering all my bases. First I introduced the release - in case you haven't heard of it/ about it yet - then I got the 'bad' stuff out of the way first. Some people want to hear the bad first and then the good shit - with that guideline to base off of, it would have the reader finish and leave the review with positive thoughts. Then in my reviewing process I started with the first songs premiered.

So here's the good shit - that title track is perfect example of some good shit! Starts off with an excerpt from an interview with Charles Manson. "Well God, seems you're my best friend - being that I invented ya.." For original source, look up "Charlie Manson - Jesus Returns," on YouTube. then you can barely hear the part where Charlie is mumbling on about all the different Jesuses, and then BAM! Another excerpt, this time it's a sample from Stephen Fry where he made an appearance on BigThink.com talking about Humanism, I definitely recommend watching the video, you can YouTube it by typing in "God Is Everywhere." Stephen beckons with such conviction when he says, "Where Is Your God Now?"

The second track starts off with the robotic sounding female voice saying "3..2..1..GO!" which was a cliche way start to Generation WTF - but because Cease2Xist isn't very conventional, it came to me unexpectedly. I would not imagine them doing something so cliche. It works with the song though and with that popular technique fused into the song - it could be advantageous to them for any alternative electronic music lover that runs across their music, because it holds that already familiar element to the listener. ...or it could be the opposite and the listener could pass it off from being so desensitized to the technique.

Then comes a ridiculous, yet hilarious excerpt that may or may not need some explaining. I for one completely missed this 'internet sensation' so I figured I'd give readers the source of this excerpt. "OH MY GOD! I I WILL KILL YOU AND EAT YOUR FIRST BORN CHILD!!" comes from a YouTube video series of this kid filming his ridiculous brother who is a teenager and still throws temper tantrums. Look up, "Greatest Freakout Ever Compilation," on YouTube. Anyways, I thought that was hilarious that they inserted that excerpt in the song - it gives you a little insight to their sense of humor, even though the song's guest, Gerry Hawkins (Cryogenic Echelon, Avarice In Audio [formerly known as Hope Estheim]) found it, obviously Dayve has a similar sense of humor. The lyrics to this song are also purely golden and I applaud Gerry & Dayve for their collaborative effort and I agree, this generation is completely fucked. Not sure who to thank for that, and by thank I mean hit the reset button on their cranium.

When C2X announced they would be bringing back their old cover of the Stooges classic, "I Wanna Be Your Dog.", we were ecstatic! Already a solid cover, Dayve updated the sound design with what he's learned and the new techniques he's picked up from fellow colleagues and gave it a much needed uplifting. Definitely the best industrial cover of this song in my opinion, I think it could have used more guitar, but overall this cover will appeal to the electronic crown more than the industrial crowd; you can shake your ass to this one, and who doesn't like watching asses shake at the club?

Closing out the new, original material of this EP is a track by the name of, "This is My Design..." Carrying off of the experimental nature of You've Got Us Now, C2X explores new soundscapes within this beautiful instrumental. Another fitting excerpt, this one comes from the Hannibal TV Series has been inserted, it's the clip where Will Graham goes into the killer's mind at a crime scene. Starting off with this steampunk vibe, and these heavily manipulated sample of operatic female vocals that are somewhat reminiscent of Danielle McKay of Sirus fame. The song is 6 minutes and 55 seconds in length - a little bit longer for a C2X track - but not one minute of the song leaves a bad taste on the palette. The song gradually builds itself up for minutes, eventually climaxing and mellowing back out.

Now that I'm finished with the original material, I can move on to the remixes that were carefully selected from friends and colleagues. I was also excited about this line-up of remixes once the artwork was announced. Dayve chose all the remixes, except for the Kill the Sleeper remix - which was chosen by the label - but Dayve wanted a remix by them anyways, so it worked out perfectly.

Kill the Sleeper's remix of WIYGN? comes out as a very sinister sounding, dark electro styled remix. It was actually the winner in a remix contest that was held, and rightfully so. It lends itself to being played in darker themed sets. Biomechanimal & Ruinizer were specifically chosen for Generation WTF and This is My Design... respectively. That 1984 remix by Biomech is amazing, really fond of that swaying lead synth used throughout the remix. Definitely lends itself to the melody of the song and makes it dance worthy. The Ruinizer remix is obviously golden, but you may not know that because for some reason Ruinizer isn't on Brutal Resonance yet - don't worry, that's being fixed. The Instigator remix of Incinerator by Cryogenic Echelon sounds like one for the clubs with it's upbeat tempo. Unfortunately, it's the only remix of the song, but who knows, there just may be more remixes of it coming soon (hopefully not very many more of WIYGN? as there was four remixes on this EP.) Not sure, but I think the 4x4 Loko remix by Kill the Sleeper is their first remix under the moniker, and I love it! The remix that excited me most about seeing was the C2X vs. BlackLava remix. BlackLava is a side project of Cease2Xist, and of Paresis. Enjoy a blackened version of WIYGN?, yes black metal industrial! Personal favorite remix is done by the mastering Engineer, Mr. Gary Walker of Defeat fame. I think it's my favorite because it strayed the most from original and for some reason, the lyrics are more audible during the remix.

The mastering on this is great, unfortunately though, if you build a Cease2Xist playlist, songs from You Are Expendable are noticeably louder than WIYGN? - which leads to the presumption that UK Mastering is all about that loudness. Here's to hoping that You Are Expendable sells out soon, and that the album receives a proper mastering job and is pressed on a physical format.

I'm leaving the bonus tracks off, as they aren't available anymore as pre-orders have closed and you can't listen to them. Upset? Beckon Juggernaut for a physical release of Living By The Bullet: Reloaded!

Overall I give this release a rare 9.5 out of 10. The amount and length of music provided with the EP has been unmatched. Cease2Xist searched for their identity on Living By The Bullet, created their own signature sound on You Are Expendable - one that could be recognized within any 2-4 seconds of any song - that brought along rave reviews and a loyal fanbase. Now with WIYGN? they take that signature sound they created and expand on it, experimenting with songwriting and incorporating elements of other genres previously unused in their music, all the while continuing to polish on their already addictive sound. I applaud Dayve for the inclusion of You've Got Us Now, even though I'm not particular about. He did what he wanted to do, and that's key. Apr 18 2014

Miles Jones

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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