REVIEW: Beauty - "Automatic Killfest"

By Wilde

Chain Border

Automatic KillfestWashington D.C. outfit Beauty, aka Scott Evans, is a purveyor of the now fairly standard "industrial metal" (aka nu-metal or Al-school industrial). That, while severely overexposed over the years, has become the hard music equivalent of a cheeseburger. At this point it's not about basic changes in the cheeseburger's makeup, it's about who can turn out a good quality cheeseburger and keep 'em coming back for more. This disc, while not being the most inventive on the block, still manages to be a solid product, and that's nothing to sneeze at. On to the meat of the issue:

Mute - Slow, measured industrial crunch interspersed with quieter electronic/organ passages. The vocals are the standard distorted yelling made so familiar over the years to fans of Al-school industrial.

Rewind - This is more or less the same animal as the first track, albeit with a slightly different beat and chanted passages. Less organ, too.

Fragment - Michelle Kunz stands in on soprano in this track, which features a slightly nonlinear technoesque beat. Of course, this is interspersed with distorted yelling and industrial crunch, with a sprinkling of samples here and there.

Time to Failure - Here's a fast thrash track with chunks of high-speed FLA-style industrial beeping interspersed among the guitars. The chorus is a bit slower. This is a pretty short track.

Perforated - This track starts out fairly swirly, albeit with a fast, irregular beat. Continuing on, we're faced with whispered chanting, beeping, and samples. Somewhat later in the track we have some heavily processed vox and a bit of crunch, although it quiets down for a bit after that.

Exit Wound - Here's a crunch track with a rather syncopated beat and some thoughtful keyboarding. There's some rather amusing use of vocal flanging in the second half.

Serenity - This one's pretty quiet for this album. It's mostly keyboards, samples, and a bass hum.

Outpatient - Consisting mostly of low vocal samples and electronics, this has a yelled chorus. There's a protracted shouty bit at the end.

Dead Air - Here's a fast-paced crunch track. This is the "cyborg killing machine" track required for this genre. The beat is somewhat reminiscent of NIN's March of the Pigs, but a little less irregular.

All in all, it's not exactly scintillating, but it's a pretty good example of its genre. If you're into loud guitars, distorted yelling, and drum machines, well, there's enough beef here to keep you occupied for a while.

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