Website: Front Line Assembly
The Inside Pulse:
While electro-industrial stalwarts Front Line Assembly have come and gone over the years with a prolific but scattered catalog, Artificial Soldier brings them back to the forefront of the industrial realm. Being forefathers of the genre, one would expect a maintained sound over the years; however, this latest release shows more growth in one project than hundreds of current industrial acts combined. Applying more of a pop and rock-structured aesthetic, Artificial Soldier is a pleasant surprise in a class that tends to repeat itself far too often.
Positives: Right from the opening track “Unleashed,” a high energy is thrown at the listener that’s as invigorating as any dance floor classic. Even as several songs stand out strongly as unique pieces, like “Dopamine” and “Future Fail,” the album remains cohesive and unstoppable. It’s an album that industrial folks could share with their non-stompy friends, and that’s always a plus.
Negatives: There’s a lot of very slow introduction before the energy kicks in. That’s a tradition done across the board in the world of electro (with good reason, as hardware generally takes more than one button press to create the entirety of the hook), but it stands out like a sore thumb when combined with so much energy.
Cross-breed: FLA like always, but heavy on the Skinny Puppy side of the spectrum with a tight NIN-esque writing style.
Reason To Buy: Club-goers, even those into more happy and bright genres, will appreciate the intricacies and power within. And if you were one of those kids in the mid-’90s listening to Stabbing Westward or God Lives Underwater, you will eat this up like candy.