Songs for the Damned EBM, Industrial Worsaw I appreciate it when an album really has something to say. Sure, I love a driving beat, a mix of bass-centric and melodic synths, and aggressive vocals, but I take my (imaginary) hat off to an act that combines these with a real message. Worsaw has accomplished all of this with 'Songs for the Damned', a self-released debut. Formed in 2010 as a solo project by Montreal-based musician Tim Delury, Worsaw provides an interesting blend of genres, weaving industrial, EBM, and noise together to create songs that walk the line between genres, and walk it well. With lyrics that rail against the current political climate, the abuse of religion, and more, Delury handles his vocals nicely, managing to make them harsh, while reigning them in a bit so they can easily be sent down a melodic - yet aggressive - path. The injection of guitar riffs - which can be risky in these genres - is pulled off with finesse, and the noise-based foundation on some of the tracks serves to drive the songs forward and add a unique twist to them. There's a difference between the way the driving force of a harsh EBM track is structured versus the ever-present driving force in noise, and there's no mistaking the noise influence in these tracks. I found the first four tracks on the album to be the strongest, and honestly can't decide which is my favorite - they're all great - but it's probably either "Police State" or "The Fallen". The album opens with "All My Pain", which has a great buildup that begins with echoey synths and layers on a solid beat with a deep synth overlay, followed by an additional bass beat and a melodic synth line. Then the vocals kick in, and the song defies the rules a bit by maintaining all of the elements that were already present. Songs are generally structured such that when the vocals arrive, the artist cuts back on the complexity of the instrumentals. That's not the case here, and it got my attention. There's an excellent contrast in vocal styling here between the verse and chorus, with an aggressive (but never screamy) verse followed by a melodic chorus. The balance between the harsh and mild sides of EBM is well done. Track two, "Antichrist", is the second single from the album, and provides a great commentary on religion, layering multiple synth lines with guitar riffs and a heavy, driving beat. Harsh, muffled vocals that transition into something slightly more melodic during the chorus are handled well, as is an instrumental break that scales things back, then rebuilds, increasing the tension until the vocals resume. Following that is one of my favorites, "The Fallen", which makes excellent use of sampling of Agent Smith flatteringly (and accurately) comparing humans to viruses in The Matrix. As the song unfolds, this sampling is joined by tinny synths and a broad offering of bass beats, including a solid, traditional electronic beat, a drum, and cymbals. The harsh vocals pair interestingly with a melodic synth line, flowing especially well throughout the chorus. The first single (and another favorite of mine), "Police State", with lyrics dealing with the rise of fascism throughout the world, comes next. This track makes particularly good use of guitar work, amping up during the chorus and making its presence known. The vocals match the instrumentals well in this song, with excellent interplay between vocals and synths during the chorus. Now to condense things a bit. For the noise fans out there, you'll appreciate "Collapsing" and "Systematic Control", which both feature intense, pounding beats supported by quick synths that keep driving the songs forward. Inserted between these tracks is "Fallout", another song that makes good use of guitar riffs, which really take off during the chorus, supported by synth lines that adeptly twine among the vocals and guitar work. Switching back to noise, "Human Disgrace", also has some good noise elements, but this one is handled especially interestingly, featuring a unique buildup that includes various voice clips and sounds and layers of heavy synths. I find the vocal styling on this track to be particularly reminiscent of Skinny Puppy, which I like, and I have to give additional props to this song for dealing with a subject matter close to my heart, animal testing. An abrupt change occurs after this, as the final track, "Some Days" scales way back on the intensity. Wildly different from the other tracks on the album, "Some Days" is minimal and mellow, with vocals that are only slightly distorted, and are delivered in a more traditional EBM manner. It's a good wind-down to the album. 'Songs for the Damned' is a very good debut, impressively well-polished for a self-released album, which might be due to the mastering performed by Jan of X-Fusion and Noisuf-X. Worsaw really has something to say - in more ways than one. I can't imagine that a record deal isn't in this act's future. There'd better be. I want to hear more, and this is an act that deserves the support of a label to make that happen. 450
Brutal Resonance

Worsaw - Songs for the Damned

7.0
"Good"
N/A
Electroracle
Released off label 2011
I appreciate it when an album really has something to say. Sure, I love a driving beat, a mix of bass-centric and melodic synths, and aggressive vocals, but I take my (imaginary) hat off to an act that combines these with a real message. Worsaw has accomplished all of this with 'Songs for the Damned', a self-released debut.

Formed in 2010 as a solo project by Montreal-based musician Tim Delury, Worsaw provides an interesting blend of genres, weaving industrial, EBM, and noise together to create songs that walk the line between genres, and walk it well. With lyrics that rail against the current political climate, the abuse of religion, and more, Delury handles his vocals nicely, managing to make them harsh, while reigning them in a bit so they can easily be sent down a melodic - yet aggressive - path. The injection of guitar riffs - which can be risky in these genres - is pulled off with finesse, and the noise-based foundation on some of the tracks serves to drive the songs forward and add a unique twist to them. There's a difference between the way the driving force of a harsh EBM track is structured versus the ever-present driving force in noise, and there's no mistaking the noise influence in these tracks.

I found the first four tracks on the album to be the strongest, and honestly can't decide which is my favorite - they're all great - but it's probably either "Police State" or "The Fallen". The album opens with "All My Pain", which has a great buildup that begins with echoey synths and layers on a solid beat with a deep synth overlay, followed by an additional bass beat and a melodic synth line. Then the vocals kick in, and the song defies the rules a bit by maintaining all of the elements that were already present. Songs are generally structured such that when the vocals arrive, the artist cuts back on the complexity of the instrumentals. That's not the case here, and it got my attention. There's an excellent contrast in vocal styling here between the verse and chorus, with an aggressive (but never screamy) verse followed by a melodic chorus. The balance between the harsh and mild sides of EBM is well done.

Track two, "Antichrist", is the second single from the album, and provides a great commentary on religion, layering multiple synth lines with guitar riffs and a heavy, driving beat. Harsh, muffled vocals that transition into something slightly more melodic during the chorus are handled well, as is an instrumental break that scales things back, then rebuilds, increasing the tension until the vocals resume.

Following that is one of my favorites, "The Fallen", which makes excellent use of sampling of Agent Smith flatteringly (and accurately) comparing humans to viruses in The Matrix. As the song unfolds, this sampling is joined by tinny synths and a broad offering of bass beats, including a solid, traditional electronic beat, a drum, and cymbals. The harsh vocals pair interestingly with a melodic synth line, flowing especially well throughout the chorus.

The first single (and another favorite of mine), "Police State", with lyrics dealing with the rise of fascism throughout the world, comes next. This track makes particularly good use of guitar work, amping up during the chorus and making its presence known. The vocals match the instrumentals well in this song, with excellent interplay between vocals and synths during the chorus.

Now to condense things a bit. For the noise fans out there, you'll appreciate "Collapsing" and "Systematic Control", which both feature intense, pounding beats supported by quick synths that keep driving the songs forward. Inserted between these tracks is "Fallout", another song that makes good use of guitar riffs, which really take off during the chorus, supported by synth lines that adeptly twine among the vocals and guitar work. Switching back to noise, "Human Disgrace", also has some good noise elements, but this one is handled especially interestingly, featuring a unique buildup that includes various voice clips and sounds and layers of heavy synths. I find the vocal styling on this track to be particularly reminiscent of Skinny Puppy, which I like, and I have to give additional props to this song for dealing with a subject matter close to my heart, animal testing. An abrupt change occurs after this, as the final track, "Some Days" scales way back on the intensity. Wildly different from the other tracks on the album, "Some Days" is minimal and mellow, with vocals that are only slightly distorted, and are delivered in a more traditional EBM manner. It's a good wind-down to the album.

'Songs for the Damned' is a very good debut, impressively well-polished for a self-released album, which might be due to the mastering performed by Jan of X-Fusion and Noisuf-X. Worsaw really has something to say - in more ways than one. I can't imagine that a record deal isn't in this act's future. There'd better be. I want to hear more, and this is an act that deserves the support of a label to make that happen. Jul 18 2012

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Jessica S

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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