SPARK! - Maskiner
Released 2016 by Progress ProductionsAlbum of the Month June 2016 Album of the Year #16 2016
For one reason or another, I've always found it hard to get into older EBM sensations such as Front 242. I've heard praise left and right for them and while with no doubt I hold the group with great honor and esteem for their contribution to the scene in general, I could never help but find myself enjoying a couple of their songs here and there. Perhaps it's just old school EBM in general that I can't find myself enjoying, but everyone has their personal tastes and someone will read this and will most likely cure and hate me for it. Nonetheless, I can't help but find myself completely hypnotized by Swedish EBM act SPARK!'s brand new album Maskiner.
It's shocking to me, really, simply because the album is full of tasty old school styled EBM as well as SPARK!'s unique, humorous approach to song writing. Pair that with the new vocalist/lyricist/mixer Christer Hermodsson flexing his creative muscles alongside Mattias Ziessow's riveting electronic beats and I swear you will find yourself engorged with this album.
THe album art is fairly decent; while the background of it looks to be a piece of parchment paper or an old map that's been abused to Hell and back, up front is a person with half of his bald head holding numbers. On top of his head are all these mechanical contraptions and what not; it fits the EBM style SPARK! thrusts out.
'Alla På En Gang' starts off the album with a ominous sounding rhythm with vocals to match. However, that changes as soon as a synth line leads us into the body of the song at the 0:28 mark. A more friendly beat comes forth and shifts in slight manners - whether it's through drums or slower moments - to keep the song attractive throughout.
'Brinner Som Vackrast' is as EBM as EBM can get; it has a moving rhythm followed up by synths that almost sound like horns throughout the song. Deep pitched accompany the song every now and again that sound like they're ready to praise some sort of deity. The title track 'Maskiner' picks up the pace but it fashioned quite like the prior song, although the electronic lines stand out more on the electro side.
While 'Monolog' brings back a tougher, grittier side of SPARK!, 'Vansinn-E' is perhaps the first club friendly song you'll find. There is a speedy and constant bass line that never gives up throughout the song and drums will pair with it ever now and then; it gives the song a bit of a tribal vibe. Everyone by now should know of the following song 'Zombie' as it was premiered as a music video via hymn.se. It's another song that will get your boots stomping. The same can be said for 'Vi Faller'.
However, up next is by far my favorite song on the album 'Stå Emot!'. The absolutely crushing militaristic attitude and tough as nails delivery of each lyric completely drug me into the sound. This is a song that could be played alongside revolutions to increase morale.
'Monster' and 'Liket Lever' are presented as two more club crushers that any DJ could probably put in their set to get feet moving and arms swinging. The final song on the album 'Utan Oss' went half and half on the EBM/electro front. There are a lot more elements from electro present in this song than any other and gave Maskiner a good variation.
Maskiner is the type of album that will make you come back wanting more like a drug starved dope fiend. Ever since I've gotten my ears plugged into 'Stå Emot!' and 'Brinner Som Vackrast' I have not been able to stop listening to the tracks. This is one of those CDs that I would be glad to have on my shelf and I can't wait to own a copy myself. And neither should you.
Jun 23 2016
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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SPARK! - Maskiner is available at POPONAUT from 14,95€