Paradise of Depravity Harsh EBM, Dark Electro Vondage There are two kinds of people involved in the underground Dark Electro movement. People who LOVE Mexican and Spanish bands like they're the renaissance, and people who really couldn't give any less of a shit. The less jaded among you may just recognize the name of Vondage, for in 2009 there was quite an air of urgency and hyperbole surrounding this Spanish duo. One immediate thing I notice, before even listening to this album is that two of the demo tracks that I heard ("Inside My Mind" and "Poisoned") are omitted. I'm personally surprised at this move, but consider it a wise one. "Inside My Mind" was a perfect indicator of how to make a band unique and marketable. It had a nice brooding Dark Electro sound, with a refrain halfway through, where Mark Berserk (Vocals, Samples, Lyrics) bursts out into Rap, and Raps in Spanish for a good portion of the song, while song continues on it's bleak and distorted rampage. It worked! Rap and Harsh Ebm is extremely rare, and it is this kind of idea and risk that makes Vondage very ,very investable. Anyway, I'm not reviewing the demo, I'm reviewing the debut album, and it goes without saying that the hallmarks of a rare, original album are on display. I've been told that this is a concept album, and It isn't immediately evident what the concept is (but this is in no part the band's fault - the CD was sent out to me by the label in Mexico, but never arrived - allegedly due to an issue with Customs. Instead, I had to settle for a digital copy being given urgently to me.) After a generic intro that doesn't do anything for me - as usual, the album opens its account with "Adict of Faith" (sic). The track is very much a highly-defined, textbook quality example of Harsh EBM. It has the "oontz" factor (whoever termed that, seriously, needs a slap) - in which the Drum programming is very high in the mix and stands out like a sore thumb. It has an actual melody to it, nice periods where all the instrumentation and programming compliment each other. They all slow down and speed up together, at the right time, in agreeable tempo and structured programming. "The Family Manson", despite the terrible Yoda-esque grammar, is immediately one of those tracks that kicks you in the head and delivers perversion and disgust to you with aplomb. It features samples by... well, look at the title - you can work this one out. It's another fast paced, workout inducing, lesson in sick and abrasive Electronica. On listening to this, it is easily as enjoyable as the average album by Hocico, A7IE, or any of the more well known and loved bands from the genre. I talked earlier about the role of Mark Berserk in the band, but at this point it's worth mentioning the other cog in the machine : Pikotto Goth (keyboards, synths, programming) - why would you call yourself "Goth"? Further along this release, people are treated to one of the demo tracks, (and most well known song by the project, "Rotten Apples"), the obligatory "does what it says on the tin" track, "Drums of War", the eerie named "Bizarre Sex", and in case this hasn't sold itself enough to you, it even comes complete with remixes by the Spanish act Larva, and the masters of remixing, C-Lekktor. Really impressive debut, enough potential to be put out on a label that can promote it beyond Mexico (which MG's Army is struggling to do, essentially), and clear evidence of knowledge of the software. However, I cannot give this a 9/10, or a 10/10, as I don't feel in my gut that it is of the caliber to make every fan agree with me. Each track has it's own sound, and there's clear willingness to experiment with different sounds, styles, and influences. 450
Brutal Resonance

Vondage - Paradise of Depravity

7.0
"Good"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2010 by MG's Army
There are two kinds of people involved in the underground Dark Electro movement. People who LOVE Mexican and Spanish bands like they're the renaissance, and people who really couldn't give any less of a shit. The less jaded among you may just recognize the name of Vondage, for in 2009 there was quite an air of urgency and hyperbole surrounding this Spanish duo.

One immediate thing I notice, before even listening to this album is that two of the demo tracks that I heard ("Inside My Mind" and "Poisoned") are omitted. I'm personally surprised at this move, but consider it a wise one. "Inside My Mind" was a perfect indicator of how to make a band unique and marketable. It had a nice brooding Dark Electro sound, with a refrain halfway through, where Mark Berserk (Vocals, Samples, Lyrics) bursts out into Rap, and Raps in Spanish for a good portion of the song, while song continues on it's bleak and distorted rampage. It worked! Rap and Harsh Ebm is extremely rare, and it is this kind of idea and risk that makes Vondage very ,very investable.

Anyway, I'm not reviewing the demo, I'm reviewing the debut album, and it goes without saying that the hallmarks of a rare, original album are on display. I've been told that this is a concept album, and It isn't immediately evident what the concept is (but this is in no part the band's fault - the CD was sent out to me by the label in Mexico, but never arrived - allegedly due to an issue with Customs. Instead, I had to settle for a digital copy being given urgently to me.)

After a generic intro that doesn't do anything for me - as usual, the album opens its account with "Adict of Faith" (sic). The track is very much a highly-defined, textbook quality example of Harsh EBM. It has the "oontz" factor (whoever termed that, seriously, needs a slap) - in which the Drum programming is very high in the mix and stands out like a sore thumb. It has an actual melody to it, nice periods where all the instrumentation and programming compliment each other. They all slow down and speed up together, at the right time, in agreeable tempo and structured programming.

"The Family Manson", despite the terrible Yoda-esque grammar, is immediately one of those tracks that kicks you in the head and delivers perversion and disgust to you with aplomb. It features samples by... well, look at the title - you can work this one out. It's another fast paced, workout inducing, lesson in sick and abrasive Electronica. On listening to this, it is easily as enjoyable as the average album by Hocico, A7IE, or any of the more well known and loved bands from the genre.

I talked earlier about the role of Mark Berserk in the band, but at this point it's worth mentioning the other cog in the machine : Pikotto Goth (keyboards, synths, programming) - why would you call yourself "Goth"?

Further along this release, people are treated to one of the demo tracks, (and most well known song by the project, "Rotten Apples"), the obligatory "does what it says on the tin" track, "Drums of War", the eerie named "Bizarre Sex", and in case this hasn't sold itself enough to you, it even comes complete with remixes by the Spanish act Larva, and the masters of remixing, C-Lekktor.

Really impressive debut, enough potential to be put out on a label that can promote it beyond Mexico (which MG's Army is struggling to do, essentially), and clear evidence of knowledge of the software.

However, I cannot give this a 9/10, or a 10/10, as I don't feel in my gut that it is of the caliber to make every fan agree with me. Each track has it's own sound, and there's clear willingness to experiment with different sounds, styles, and influences.
Mar 12 2011

Nick Quarm

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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