CD Review

Angel Theory – “Fatal Condition”

By Marcus Pan

Fatal ConditionRight off the bat Angel Theory bring the noise with the stompy and effervescent Resolutions. Released by Ground Under Productions, Angel Theory's Fatal Condition is actually one of the few industrial CDs that can stand out and be noticed among the deluge. Solidly created, harkening as far back as early eighties wave and synthpop yet modernized with recent equipment, it's a fine release.

By the third track, Ease the Pain, Angel Theory take us skyward with their trance stylings. Through most tracks the rhythm is unmistakable and sometimes mundane, but utilized well to anchor all the other surrounding aural breathings to a solid grounding point. Saviour grinds in like a nightmare trip with heavy handed bass clips and dragging vocals.

Cold Fire slides us smoothly into Evolve, which picks up dark and ominous – if Nox Arcana(1) or Midnight Syndicate(2) did more industrial work, they might sound a bit like this. Gone takes up slot seven and brings back the vocals (the previous having been instrumental). It shows some interesting lyrical work to reopen the vocals – and we can hear the human behind the voice now. The track moves fluidly, similar to the previous Ease the Pain, but still imbues its listener with the darker effects that seem to spill over from Evolve.

Damaged shimmies slowly in and brings back the rhythms. Not quite getting up to the opening speed of Resolutions (has Angel Theory blown their proverbial wad early?) at the outset, it begins to nudge the BPM counter up a few nods. Transmission adds its own grooves to Fatal Condition and keeps the rhythms moving now, taking us on another skyward trip through a blue vibe.

As we near Fatal Condition's close we get thoroughly spacey with the split rhythm effects on Into Infinity. A seven armed robot plays castanets for us as Angel Theory get strange and unusual. Then they close with Where Did I Go Wrong? Searching for the answer to an unnamed question, "Is anybody out there?" is crooned and brings back memories of my discovery of Pink Floyd inasfar as the lyrics go.

The verdict? Angel Theory's Fatal Condition is easily one of the better albums of the industrial-electro genre to land on my desk. That's saying a huge hell of a lot considering the amount that has actually been going through my players. I tend to think that it's their use of a related plethora of styles. As we traversed Fatal Condition we were tranced, vibed, grooved to, new waved and electro-bodied. Even spoken to darkly at one point. Considering the mix, they've put this one together quite well.

(1) The most recent Nox Arcana review, for Darklore Manor, appeared in Legends #146.
(2) We interviewed them in Legends #108.
Contact Information:
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