Front Line Assembly – Fallout Review

Remix albums are always something of a catch-all: the songs on them are most likely songs you’ve listened to already, only this time the quality of the songs is dependant on someone who ISN’T the title artist. A good remix can rejuvenate interest in a song you’ve listened to a billion times, but a bad one can make you hate a song you used to love. Which brings us to Fallout, an album of remixes from the album Artificial Soldier. One would certainly expect that Front Line Assembly would be able to produce a solid remix album; aside from their over two decades of musical experience, FLA consistently makes music that is enjoyable, and in more than a few cases shows off a surprise or two (“Victim of a Criminal”).

Fallout, as it turns out, fulfills that expectation well. Clocking in at just over 70 minutes, Fallout is crammed full with solid, well done remix tracks, as well as three all-new tracks (“Unconscious”, “Electronic Dreams”, and “Armageddon”). The three new tracks themselves work well enough; “Electric Dreams” and “Armageddon” are both strong FLA tracks, though “Unconscious” is little more than a “samples” track. The nine remixes that make up the rest of the disc are mostly quite good as well, and they alternate between FLA remixes (of which there are three) and remixes by other musicians, most of which come off very well.

There’s actually a weird sort of synchronicity to the album, in fact; three tracks are brand new FLA tracks, three tracks are FLA remixes that are remixed by FLA members, three of the remixes are handled by musical acts (Covenant, Combichrist, and Portion Control), and three are handled by DJ’s/producers (Dan Kearley, Jason Novak of DJ Acucrack and Sebastian Komor). It doesn’t really affect anything, but it makes one wonder if that was intentional or just an accident. In any case, the remixes themselves are mostly good, the highlights of which include the Combichrist remix of “Beneath the Rubble”, a fast-paced frantic remix that’s not at all overdone, and the Sebastian Komor remix of “Unleashed”, which has a very dance-industrial feel to it and comes off well. Honestly, the only tracks that were below expectation were the Portion Control remix of “Low Life”, which felt too distortion heavy and messy, and the Dan Kearley remix of “Humanity”, which isn’t bad so much as it’s very minimalist and uninteresting.

Fallout, for a remix CD, is an overall strong disc that’s well worth the effort put into it. It’s a great industrial-techno disc that’s full of strong tracks and features very few weak links. Fans of FLA and industrial in general would be well advised to pick this up; you won’t be disappointed.

Website: Front Line Assembly on Myspace

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