Cryo - In Your Eyes EP
EBM, Electronics My attention was first drawn to Cryo when I heard them described as being like 'Sequencer-era Covenant'. That guaranteed my attention given that the production style of that album was somewhat unique in the canon of mid-90's industrial, being an album similarly laden with noise yet unusually melodic at the same time (i.e. damn near impossible for a reviewer to describe). And on hearing Cryo's material for the first time, I generally thought the description was pretty close, at least in terms of defining who might like this, even if their songwriting wasn't up to the standards of their fellow Swedes.

This 5-track EP is intended as a precursor to a forthcoming album 'Retropia'. The title track appears in three versions, with the "Club Version" the most definitive. The mid-tempo kick drums, bassline throb and Euro-snarl vocals ensure this song classes at the harder end of Cryo's spectrum, with a synth in the chorus that hints at the darker fringes of 90s rave. Whilst it falls short of being a dead-cert anthem, this is certainly good enough for the club play the title suggests, and flies a flag for a production style that is often sidelined in the 'Oontz Arms Race' that seems to be going on in some quarters.

Two remixes are provided, and as an established project, they've secured two relatively big names in Haujobb and Leaether Strip to handle the task, even if they are also two serial industrial scene remixers that seems to crop up on B-sides and remix albums all the time. Haujobb's remixes unfortunately falls into the same trap as many of his mixes, cutting every fourth measure from the bassline and stripping down the original to deliver a percussion-dominated mix that is technically sound in Daniel Myer's beard-stroking production-meister manner, but somewhat dry and static in terms of artistic merit.

The 'Strip put on a stronger showing, replacing the original basssline with a slow, sludgy crawl but avoiding any temptation to mess with the song structure, thus producing what sounds like a Leaether Strip song with a guest vocalist. It is therefore a competent showing, but ultimately I still get the impression that the presence of these remixers in name does more for the validation of this release in the eyes of the industrial-music buying public (yes, many of us still spend money on this kind of thing!) than they do for the musical qualities of the EP.

Two other tracks are present. "Higher" followed the same lines as the titles track but is lyrically repetitive and adds nothing to EP. The real gem is "The Portal". Shuffle rhythms always offer a safe path to synthetic success, but with the trippy synth hits and a vocal that harks back to golden-era Apoptygma Berzerk (as in 'I had to check Stephan Groth wasn't guesting on vocals'), this is a composition indicative of the quality level I hope to find on Cryo's next album. It's the step forward they need to take, and might well make it with tracks like this.
4
Brutal Resonance

Cryo - In Your Eyes EP

7.0
"Good"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2013 by Progress Productions
My attention was first drawn to Cryo when I heard them described as being like 'Sequencer-era Covenant'. That guaranteed my attention given that the production style of that album was somewhat unique in the canon of mid-90's industrial, being an album similarly laden with noise yet unusually melodic at the same time (i.e. damn near impossible for a reviewer to describe). And on hearing Cryo's material for the first time, I generally thought the description was pretty close, at least in terms of defining who might like this, even if their songwriting wasn't up to the standards of their fellow Swedes.

This 5-track EP is intended as a precursor to a forthcoming album 'Retropia'. The title track appears in three versions, with the "Club Version" the most definitive. The mid-tempo kick drums, bassline throb and Euro-snarl vocals ensure this song classes at the harder end of Cryo's spectrum, with a synth in the chorus that hints at the darker fringes of 90s rave. Whilst it falls short of being a dead-cert anthem, this is certainly good enough for the club play the title suggests, and flies a flag for a production style that is often sidelined in the 'Oontz Arms Race' that seems to be going on in some quarters.

Two remixes are provided, and as an established project, they've secured two relatively big names in Haujobb and Leaether Strip to handle the task, even if they are also two serial industrial scene remixers that seems to crop up on B-sides and remix albums all the time. Haujobb's remixes unfortunately falls into the same trap as many of his mixes, cutting every fourth measure from the bassline and stripping down the original to deliver a percussion-dominated mix that is technically sound in Daniel Myer's beard-stroking production-meister manner, but somewhat dry and static in terms of artistic merit.

The 'Strip put on a stronger showing, replacing the original basssline with a slow, sludgy crawl but avoiding any temptation to mess with the song structure, thus producing what sounds like a Leaether Strip song with a guest vocalist. It is therefore a competent showing, but ultimately I still get the impression that the presence of these remixers in name does more for the validation of this release in the eyes of the industrial-music buying public (yes, many of us still spend money on this kind of thing!) than they do for the musical qualities of the EP.

Two other tracks are present. "Higher" followed the same lines as the titles track but is lyrically repetitive and adds nothing to EP. The real gem is "The Portal". Shuffle rhythms always offer a safe path to synthetic success, but with the trippy synth hits and a vocal that harks back to golden-era Apoptygma Berzerk (as in 'I had to check Stephan Groth wasn't guesting on vocals'), this is a composition indicative of the quality level I hope to find on Cryo's next album. It's the step forward they need to take, and might well make it with tracks like this. Sep 10 2013

Jonny Hall

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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