Virgin Birth - The Forest
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
Though this is the debut album of synth rock project Virgin Birth, I think they’re going to soar farther than most in this niche little scene. They take the experimental of industrial electronics and kick them in teeth with a punk attitude. Raw energy permeates the album through and through and offers a fascinating thrill ride.
While I have decent things to say about most of the songs on “The Forest”, I’d like to focus on a few of my favorites. This is going to start with the title track ‘The Forest’. A blistering guitar riff that’s cut to the steady tick of a rapid drum beat forms the base as underlying kickdrums provide a thumping, marching rhythm. The vocals range from sarcastic, attitude driven clean singing with backing vocals, to shouting, and general singing. It’s a grand song that’s minimal in a sense but industrial at its heart. Simplicity can work and Virgin Birth understands that. The song lasts around two-minutes and forty-some seconds which is a perfect length; Virgin Birth does not overstay their welcome on this single and that’s something most artists overlook.
‘All For Show’ also popped out to me from the get go. Building up tension through instrumental work is something that a lot of artists attempt but usually fail at. Virgin Birth showcase their talent by exceeding that; the rhythm isn’t ominous as in a horror movie, but like a clock ticking down; a violent ass kicking that’s bound to break open. But rather going in the direction of an all out rock’n’roll blast during the chorus, Virgin Birth subverts expectations by rolling out a melancholic beat. Quite lovely and addictive.
The last song that I would like to point out is ‘Your Name’. This riveting track sees Virgin Birth going hard. Dirty industrial beats reign supreme in this all out blast. Punchy percussion, experimental breakdowns, and crisp production are awaiting in the meat of the track. It’s down and dirty electronics at their finest, and it’s something I’d love to see performed live. Knocks me right off my feet.
Alas, there is but one song on “The Forest” that wasn’t quite up to par for me. That being the introductory track ‘Waiting’. As much as I was getting into the initial percussive industrial groove, I felt as if I was waiting for a payoff for far too long. The vocal samples that they use throughout the single got a bit too repetitive for my tastes, such as the phrase “I don’t belong in the world” stated four or five times over before going away. In comparison to the punk edge that Virgin Birth delivers with their other songs, I think this one fell short.
Virgin Birth’s debut is a fantastic thrill ride through synthetic mayhem, badass industrial domination, and pure raw chaos that’s thrilling to listen to from start to finish. Never losing their identity along the way, this is an album that’s worth the time.
May 27 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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