Various Artists - New Horizon
Released off label 2023
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
I always like to make a little speech about compilations; yes, they’re fun to explore. And, also, yes, they’re a big fat fucking pain in my ears to explore. The reason being is that there are always a few acts that I’ll fall in love with, and there are (more often than not) a bunch of other bands that I either can’t stand or find mediocre. And that’s the case with ‘New Horizon’, a compilation focusing on electro-industrial music within Hungary. I won’t be covering every song on the album but I will be pointing out the songs that I loved on the album and the songs that I didn’t. So, here goes!
Tenno Pop comes in with a pretty fun song titled ‘Japanese Phoenix (Junko lyrics Edition)’. This is a fun little, stompy dance single that sticks with industrial clangs on percussion and a rather stompy beat. A minor complaint is that the song does go on a bit too long, heading into the six-minute and thirty-some second range. I think it could have been two or three minutes shorter to keep it nice and sweet; the length makes it a bit stale at the end.
One of the best things to come out of this compilation is Celina’s brand-new single ‘Hurt You More’. In a compilation primarily consisting of industrial beats comes some of the finest dark synth beats in Eastern Europe. A fantastic understanding of audio engineering and club-centered beats. Celina utilizes her vocals in several aspects, from whispering nodes that send shivers down my spine to simple breaths that add an additional cyberpunk twist, as if a netrunner just came out of cyberspace. A five-minute and eleven second single complete with an ambient breakdown ready to shatter floors around the world. Loved the final couple of minutes where she spits out attitude filled lyrics.
Right after this song is another decent track. Well, almost decent. CMC’s ‘A kérdés’ has some seriously impressive industrial beats and ambient synths melding together. A warped reality of the modern world in a sense, twisting and turning throughout with plenty of samples keeping it together. But the vocals aren’t the best and were rather unnecessary; nobody wants to hear you monologue over these stellar beats. Next time, get a pro vocalist or stick to instrumentals. Still, a song where the pros outweigh the cons.
The final song is also an interesting piece of industrial music done by ARAS FOCUM. ‘DATA1’ should have been placed either as the intro track or as an intermission. It’s a one-minute and eighteen-second piece that divulges from industrial into noise and tape loops that sounds better than at least half of what else is on the compilation.
And now we move onto what I consider the worst of the worst.
What Planetdamage’s song ‘EXOCOMM’ could have been is a beat driven, primarily instrumental single but it’s half that, and half a robot talking to you. The robot vocals are fairly bad; they are on top of the mix shoved in our face; they don’t sound great and don’t go with the beat. Regardless if this was intentional or not, it just doesn’t fit that well together. I would have preferred a full instrumental of this song instead with heavier bass.
Another song that I couldn’t return to on this compilation is 3.N.D.’s ‘Victims of Ourselves’. To call it a demo is putting it lightly; it doesn’t sound finished and cranking up the bass on the percussion doesn’t hide the fact that the rest of the track sounds unfinished. The vocals are particularly bad, trying to pull some influence from raw black metal that doesn’t sound great.
Worker’s track ‘Ordits!’ also falls into that category of songs that just aren’t finished. Feedback filled shouting into a mic with a minimal beat for six-and a half minutes. Kudos to them for sticking with their theme as what sounds like a hammer hitting a metal plate serves as the primary bassline.
Every other track on the album that I didn’t cover I would consider mediocre to average, (the average score being anywhere from a 5 to a 6.5 out of 10).
So, this compilation stands below average for me. I love the idea behind ‘New Horizon’, and I’d love to see more of these pop up for different countries other than Hungary. A bit of international flavor, so to speak. But, as it stands, there are only four songs on the compilation that I walked away from smiling; most of them were songs that I felt were alright, but nothing I would return to. And the other three that I talked about I wouldn’t dare return to. An less than average score for a less than average compilation.Sep 25 2023
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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