Hysteresis Industrial, Synthwave Fermion Eric Shans and Augustine Backer are the duo that makes up industrial and synthwave influenced project Fermion. The project seems to have started in 2019 as that is when their debut EP "We Are Nowhere" came out. The duo did not take long to develop their debut album as, after a cover of New Order's 'Vanishing Point' released in December of 2019, they dropped "Elegiac" in June of 2020. After a cover of OMD's 'Messages' was released, they were presumably picked up by their current record label Somewherecold Records. 2021 sees the duo release their second full-length album "Hysteresis". A dark ambient journey into the stars above begins off the album, and it is called 'Erosion'. For as peaceful and serene as the track makes itself out to be, buzzing sounds as if an alarm is trying to go off or a warning is trying to be sent through digital space destroys that illusion. It sets up the tone of the album and lasts for only two-minutes and eleven seconds before dissipating. It makes me wonder what Fermion could do if they tried their hand at a sci-fi driven ambient album. Hysteresis by FermionLo-fi like synths with a slight rumble begin 'Butcher' alongside muffled vocals that sound like they're being played in reverse. A percussion instrument makes a ticking-like sound that adds an ode of tension to the music. All the while, a hit of bass drops every two seconds; it's as if a bomb is about to go off. While all the instruments work together well, I believe the vocals and the backing vocals, whether procured through manmade or digital means, are a bit too faded and off in the background. Bringing them up front in the mix a bit more would have allowed them to jump out. 'Alarms Will Sound' brings out a space disco sounds; synthpop is on full display with this single complete with sci-fi synths and enough dance beats to keep the train rolling. Eric Shans, the man responsible for the vocals, does his best to carry on the song. However, I do think he sounds a bit flat and his voice lacks enough emotive presence to match the electronic energy coming from the song. Further synthetic energy comes forth in 'Messages' and I believe its here that Shans finds a decent set of chords. Thanks to digital touches, his voice sounds almost robotic which goes along well with that sci-fi element. The additional vocals from Kelly Jackson, though slight as they might be, are a wonderful touch. 'The March' shows off Fermion's instrumental ability as, though there are vocals in the song, it's by far taken over by music than it is voice. Minimal beats start off the song stirring through a steady bassline, futuristic boops, and other odd sounds. It's steady, calming, and chill. On my first play of the song, I hadn't realized that six minutes had gone by so quickly. Well done on this one. I felt as if 'Gyrating Razor' belonged as the soundtrack to a forest on an undocumented planet. The beats are quirky and weird and, honestly, I find it hard to explain exactly what I'm hearing each time it plays. The beats are low, it sounds like there's an electronic didgeridoo mixed somewhere in the music, and samples play over it all. The following song, 'Into the Depths', brings back a synthpop beat but I once again feel as Shans vocals need work; they are mediocre at best and fail to follow as much energy as the music produces. 'Time Not Being There' utilized thumps of bass and atmospheric sounds to create the feeling of being in an enormous space. Epic backing synths come later in the song and only add to the cosmic feeling the song produces. 'All One' is a fancy little song that seems to take a bit of inspiration from Italo Disco. It's a fun little dance tune, but once again Shans voice isn't the best. 'Trapped in Amber' goes to darker territory to tell its story, climbing on moodier synths and some industrial tech to convey a dire situation. Shans spoken word delivery on this song works wonders as well. The final song on the album is a six-minute and forty-four second finale though I find it to be the weakest on the album; it sounds unproduced and raw while some of the samples, such as the computer blips, sound crisp and clear. I also found the vocals to be way too faded and off in the distance; they are barely coherent. While I do have a fair share of complaints about "Hysteresis", that does not mean I do not enjoy what is presented in front of me. For the most part, the instrumentals on "Hysteresis" are wonderful and convey a futuristic world filled with space travel and alien planets. On the downside, though, the vocals need a lot of work in order to match the same energy and melody that the instrumentals give off. With a bit of work, I feel as if Fermion can become a great band in due time; as of right now, they leave me optimistic with a positive remark about their music, despite some flaws. Six-and-a-half out of ten. This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 350
Brutal Resonance

Fermion - Hysteresis

6.5
"Alright"
Released 2021 by Somewherecold Records
Eric Shans and Augustine Backer are the duo that makes up industrial and synthwave influenced project Fermion. The project seems to have started in 2019 as that is when their debut EP "We Are Nowhere" came out. The duo did not take long to develop their debut album as, after a cover of New Order's 'Vanishing Point' released in December of 2019, they dropped "Elegiac" in June of 2020. After a cover of OMD's 'Messages' was released, they were presumably picked up by their current record label Somewherecold Records. 2021 sees the duo release their second full-length album "Hysteresis". 

A dark ambient journey into the stars above begins off the album, and it is called 'Erosion'. For as peaceful and serene as the track makes itself out to be, buzzing sounds as if an alarm is trying to go off or a warning is trying to be sent through digital space destroys that illusion. It sets up the tone of the album and lasts for only two-minutes and eleven seconds before dissipating. It makes me wonder what Fermion could do if they tried their hand at a sci-fi driven ambient album. 



Lo-fi like synths with a slight rumble begin 'Butcher' alongside muffled vocals that sound like they're being played in reverse. A percussion instrument makes a ticking-like sound that adds an ode of tension to the music. All the while, a hit of bass drops every two seconds; it's as if a bomb is about to go off. While all the instruments work together well, I believe the vocals and the backing vocals, whether procured through manmade or digital means, are a bit too faded and off in the background. Bringing them up front in the mix a bit more would have allowed them to jump out. 

'Alarms Will Sound' brings out a space disco sounds; synthpop is on full display with this single complete with sci-fi synths and enough dance beats to keep the train rolling. Eric Shans, the man responsible for the vocals, does his best to carry on the song. However, I do think he sounds a bit flat and his voice lacks enough emotive presence to match the electronic energy coming from the song. Further synthetic energy comes forth in 'Messages' and I believe its here that Shans finds a decent set of chords. Thanks to digital touches, his voice sounds almost robotic which goes along well with that sci-fi element. The additional vocals from Kelly Jackson, though slight as they might be, are a wonderful touch. 

'The March' shows off Fermion's instrumental ability as, though there are vocals in the song, it's by far taken over by music than it is voice. Minimal beats start off the song stirring through a steady bassline, futuristic boops, and other odd sounds. It's steady, calming, and chill. On my first play of the song, I hadn't realized that six minutes had gone by so quickly. Well done on this one. 

I felt as if 'Gyrating Razor' belonged as the soundtrack to a forest on an undocumented planet. The beats are quirky and weird and, honestly, I find it hard to explain exactly what I'm hearing each time it plays. The beats are low, it sounds like there's an electronic didgeridoo mixed somewhere in the music, and samples play over it all. The following song, 'Into the Depths', brings back a synthpop beat but I once again feel as Shans vocals need work; they are mediocre at best and fail to follow as much energy as the music produces. 

'Time Not Being There' utilized thumps of bass and atmospheric sounds to create the feeling of being in an enormous space. Epic backing synths come later in the song and only add to the cosmic feeling the song produces. 'All One' is a fancy little song that seems to take a bit of inspiration from Italo Disco. It's a fun little dance tune, but once again Shans voice isn't the best. 'Trapped in Amber' goes to darker territory to tell its story, climbing on moodier synths and some industrial tech to convey a dire situation. Shans spoken word delivery on this song works wonders as well. The final song on the album is a six-minute and forty-four second finale though I find it to be the weakest on the album; it sounds unproduced and raw while some of the samples, such as the computer blips, sound crisp and clear. I also found the vocals to be way too faded and off in the distance; they are barely coherent. 

While I do have a fair share of complaints about "Hysteresis", that does not mean I do not enjoy what is presented in front of me. For the most part, the instrumentals on "Hysteresis" are wonderful and convey a futuristic world filled with space travel and alien planets. On the downside, though, the vocals need a lot of work in order to match the same energy and melody that the instrumentals give off. With a bit of work, I feel as if Fermion can become a great band in due time; as of right now, they leave me optimistic with a positive remark about their music, despite some flaws. Six-and-a-half out of ten. 

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Nov 01 2021

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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