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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Grendel – Timewave Zero

If you ever fancy some sample driven techno with an element of aggrotech  and a nod to Infected Mushroom then look no further than Holland’s leading exponents of industrial electronic action; Grendel. I’d already heard the excellent ‘Harsh Generation’ and enjoyed the tracks with the more up front sampling most. Sadly ‘Timewave Zero’ uses the samples more as embellishments and relies on gravel tonsiled vocals and pulsating rhythms for the entertainment factor.

That’s no bad thing, but the album definitely lurches towards a darker feel to proceedings not unlike a pumped up version of Aesthetic Perfection but not quite so seedy. It’s a pounding tour de force with just enough melody, hooks and singalongability to keep you interested, but not enough to sweeten the sour atmosphere.
I enjoyed all the tracks but worthy of special attention are the high octane rush of ‘Neon City Lights’ (which sounds not unlike X-Cabs, which is praise indeed), the shouty meets mellow vocal of ‘Chemicals + Circuitry’ and the eighties throwback charms of ‘Wheels in Motion’. Best of all  is the mid-tempo electro of ‘Deep Waters’ with its starkly contrasted lush arrangement and squeaky yet gorgeous vocal.

I doubt it’s to everyone’s taste but seriously, what’s not to like? Funky, trance driven techno with contrasting gritty/smooth vocals and a lovely android with an exploding head on the CD cover!

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