Uchronopolis |BlackRain, 2010|
01. Welcome To Uchronopolis, 02. Black Flash, 03. Tainted Cortex, 04. Revenge, 05. Totalitarize Me, 06. The Great Parade for Monkeys, 07. Birth, 08. Ex Utero, 09. Exodus, 10. Exile, 11. Day Of The Hatred, 12. Lock Down, 13. No Tears, 14. Nero's Dream, 15. Hyper-Nation, 16. Uchronopolis
An intriguing screenplay, perfectly designed CD artwork and the previous achievements of this French band caused me to wait impatiently for the Uchronopolis album ever since the very first news was published about the upcoming release in late 2009. Fortunately, the waiting didn't last forever.
Dexy Corp_ belongs to a category of bands which are driven by visual art. This is done in a similar fashion to bands for instance such as Punish Yourself
. However, Dexy Corp_ doesn't concentrate so much on their appearance, but rather on accessories. Their ingeniously designed microphone stand emulates a female cyborg
torso (kind of like something from H.R. Giger's aliens) and stays burned into ones memory for a long time.
This band presents an attractive, industrial metal sound, based on guitars, bass, drums and vocals which is dominated by aggressive energy, even though the songs were arranged as regular tracks including verses and choruses. The tracklist on the newest album consists of several songs mixed with short instrumental passages.
The listener is invited to enter a virtual city in the opening track “Welcome To Uchronopolis”. According to the band, the album screenplay is about a mysterious city, comparable to those featured in movies like The Dark City or Brazil, full of surprises, hidden away with unwritten rules, covered with a cloud of secrets and choking on its own miasmas.
The band shows what heavy guitar driven music means to them in “Black Flash” after a vaudevillian or circus like introduction. Similar heavy music is presented in “Tainted Cortex” with a wall of guitar riffs mixed amongst quieter moments based on vocals and samples. Such twisted rhythms reminds me of the mad music of the Australian band Jerk.
“Revenge” is a 43 second long track kept in the mood of roadhouse music. The following song, named “Totalitarize Me”, reminded me of the sound of Orgy. However, Dexy Corp_ included more guitar riffs set in contrast to the songs dynamic sampling. Other than that, “The Great Parade for Monkeys” exemplified the aesthetics personified by the music of Punish Yourself (screamed vocals and female choruses in the background) as well as 16Volt (vocal parts, basslines and sampling arrangements).
I do recommend paying attention to “Birth”, which seems to be a suggestive story-tale wrapped in sound. It is about 'an alien' being born in the sewers of the city, surrounded by buzzing flies and jazz music coming from the clubs on the surface streets. Then, this new born or awakening 'thing' rushes like a rocket into a direction only it knows, splashing stagnant water around with something that sounds like the turbine of a naval vessel.
Now, it's time to explain why I have chosen Uchronopolis to be the best album of 2010. In fact, the song “Ex Utero” solidified my decision after the first listen. The song is arranged with tightly cut guitar riffs, huge dynamics, harmonic structures and professionally designed parts written for each instrument that fully match the samples. As a result, the song quickly earned our support and permission was quickly given from Dexy Corp_ to incorporate it into Fabryka Podcast no. 9
The following track “Exodus” brings on a heavier, metal sound. However, it still includes industrial samples and would most likely appeal to the fans of Ministry as well as Treponem Pal.
An instrumental passage entitled “Exile” sounded like a 1950's nightclub. It is like jazz music mixed with the use of modern sampling that becomes intense with repetitive guitar riffs that make the listener enter an aggressive and heavy song called “Day Of The Hatred”.
“Lock Down” sounds a bit boring to me, since it was built mainly on vocals and synthesizers, but regardless of guitar riffs, the melody makes it similar to music by Filter.
“No Tears” is a song that brought me back to the music of Punish Yourself once again; very alive and catchy, but still made in a predatory context that ended with classic jazz music.
“Nero's Dream” wasn't arranged very well either, but that doesn't mean it was lacking in passion. However, it is the next song called “Hyper-Nation” that made my ears completely happy. There are coldwave synth tones set in the style of the UK Sheffield scene of the 80's that are layered next to guitar riffs and bass lines underneath. It is also an instrumental track, though it is the longest amongst all the songs on the tracklist.
The title track “Uchronopolis” comes last. It sounds very good and finishes the album with dynamic bass lines and guitar riffs mixed together.
This release has everything necessary; the screenplay, good ideas, energy, original arrangements, high quality production and an eye-catching packaging design. For some listeners, Psalm 69 is the most meaningful album from Ministry
, just as The Downward Spiral
is for Nine Inch Nails
. If this is the case, then it seems to me that Uchronopolis may be a turning point for Dexy Corp_ in the same manner. This French powerhouse showed their best abilities applied to what they can accomplish. I hope that this album is going to bring them the attention they deserve from suitable fans and promoters. The album also supports my opinion that the best quality industrial metal music is coming exclusively from France these days.
Rating? Maximum! Uchronopolis
is the best album of 2010 endorsed by Fabryka Industrial Rock Magazine.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, 01/05/2011. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)
Fragmentation |Under Class, 2008|
1. Overlord, 2. Proselytes, 3. A Needle In Each Arm, 4. Anhedonie, 5. Beat Me, 6. Faceless, 7. Dark Bliss, 8. Lie is Life, 9. Incandescent World, 10. Ghost Connection, 11. Death Plastic Surgery
French band Dexy Corp have released a pretty heavy album in "Fragmentation". This record is a no nonsense ride through all of the things you love about industrial metal: shredding guitars, heavy beats, distorted vocals and slick synths. There is certainly a lot of energy and talent on display here, and the band clearly enjoys treating listeners to something hard and loud.
Overall the album has an emphasis on ultra heaviness with its shredding guitar riffs that wouldn't be out of place on any Ministry album (or Pantera for that matter). There is a distorted aggression here that gets the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing. The aggressive vocals by Doctorkrank (Jean-Baptiste Dropsy) really add to the industrial feel of the band, as his distorted voice seems to fit right into the fray of electronic ass kickery. I particularly enjoyed the screaming chorus of the CD's opener, "Overlord". My only wish is that the vocal tracks had been slightly raised as I had trouble understanding some of the lyrics.
There is also a lot of cool programming on this record as well. The intro to "Anhedonie" caught my attention right away with it's cool filtered loops, and phat drum tones. I also really enjoyed the rockin' outro to "Proselytes" in all it's head banging glitchiness. Throughout the record there are moments of digital manipulation like this that sound really cool and tickle the eardrums. Also I must say I am a big fan of the drum tones. I just can't get enough of tracks like "Ghost Connection", and "Beat Me" for their hard as nails stadium rock kits.
For those that love to thrash out, there is certainly much here to feast on. The drums are banging, the tones are phat, and there is certain loudness to the album that makes it pound out of the speakers even when you have it turned down low. There may even be a little too much heaviness to the album, as it is in the quieter more refined moments that Dexy Corp really shine. These mellower moments make the heavy parts even cooler and balance the album out in a nice way. It also gets difficult to differentiate between some of the tracks after awhile when the dial is constantly set to 11.
This is the band's first full-length release, and overall it is a very strong effort. I look forward to hearing how the band will refine their sound on their future albums. Also, I'm very curious to see how they will turn it up to 12.
(James Chapple. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)
Fragmentation |Under Class, 2008|
1. Overlord, 2. Proselytes, 3. A Needle In Each Arm, 4. Anhedonie, 5. Beat Me, 6. Faceless, 7. Dark Bliss, 8. Lie Is Life, 9. Incandescent World, 10. Ghost Connection, 11. Death Plastic Surgery
Dexy Corp proves once again industrial metal music can be well done in Europe too.
Fragmentation it's the second album by this band giving a reason to place them next to the best French industrial rock or industrial metal fames kind of Punish Yourself, Obszon Geschopf
, Prime Sinister
or Treponem Pal
reunited in 2007.
I had a variety of associations while listening to this album so thus I gave examples in this review to let you compare and get interested in Dexy Corp tunes.
The album begins with the song 'Overlord', which in fact introduces a listener to music filling the whole CD in. There are some samples similar to those used by Ministry in the song intro and the beginning of the next song features something I came across listening to a Skrew track tho it's all kept in a digital hardcore style. Same as A Needle In Each Arm. You'll find a lot of chaos, noises and fast rate in this track. I can hear some possible automatic drums, very fast and somewhat pushy. I wish there was some rock influenced drummer to help the song get a deeper & powerful meaning with a real drum kit!
'Anhedonie' sounds like if inspired by Acumen Nation music with its drum'n'bass dynamics and characteristic vocals. 'Beat Me' is angry and burning like most of old Bile songs with incurable speed and a bit distorted vocals.
My ear was attracted somewhere in the middle of 'Faceless' song thanks to its heavier and looped guitars with kind of demonic atmosphere. It recalls echoes of music by Numb
, The Sect
or at least Quake 2 soundtrack! ;) Reverb adds a deeper vibe to the refrains but repetitive phrases get some infinity effect. Heavy metal guitars and trance rhythm will make you come back to the song to listen to it again. It's my first favourite on the CD.
'Dark Bliss' reminds me some Out Out tunes but much more aggressive with addition of things you've heard from Punish Yourself for the nearest comparison.
'Lie Is Life' has Bile-like atmosphere as well, yelled aloud and based on quick rhythm. The next song contains a bite of music typical for Acumen Nation
, so the new wave of industrial music or even digital hardcore. 'Incandescent World' should draw attention because it's both melodic and harsh with a catchy refrain. A front runner number 2.
Then 'Ghost Connection' comes out and to me it's the best industrial metal drive on this CD. Tight song construction and powerful meaning. Fat beat with rave samples and a cloud of guitar riffs and drums filling the gapes remind me tunes by Bile
a bit too. It's definitely the best song on the album and a reason of why you should put an interest into Dexy Corp's music right away! I listen to such songs most often privately and they stand at the top of my interest. Great track for an industrial metal party too.
People who prefer more... ehm... electro tunes but still with guitar riffs interlaced may like 'Death Plastic Surgery'. Reminds me some Suicide Commando track empowered with guitars and somewhat growled vocals. I guess Acumen Nation fans will be satisfied as well.
There's a hidden track (#12) on the album too kept in a digital hardcore style, very aggressive but it's not caused by guitar riffs but quick beat of the drums. There's Acumen Nation on my mind again! ;)
Dexy Corp is a band well known in both Europe and overseas. They promote this new album playing shows on French club stages. The band improves with every song so I hope to hear more good stuff in the future. The recent shows with Punish Yourself might have made a mark on their tunes so that you can hear a fusion of drums, guitars and vocals in Dexy Corp songs so characteristic for PY. The tracks are short (less than 5 minutes) and the whole CD is worth of a listen so don't hesitate and visit the band at their Myspace profile to stream the songs and decide if you want them!
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below.)