Asmodeus X Morningstar
By Marcus Pan
Based out of Houstan, Texas,
Asmodeus X are made up of Paul Fredric and Marshal. Stepping into the mix to
handle percussion and sampling is Joel 313. They've won the Houston Press
Critics Choice for Best Industrial/Noise act in 2000. Their previous full
length, Wolf Age, added a bit of a heavier flair to it, and now with
Morningstar they've backed it up to a closer pure electronic format and
are telling a story. An epic "fall from grace," drawing parallels to the
age-old story of Satan, the "morningstar" created by God who turned against
him. This by no means should scare you off it's just a story they're
telling. Then again, the rest of that book is too but I digress.
A few singles off of Morningstar show off their flair
for instrumentation. All of the tracks are solid, but some of them stand out as
interesting enough to merit special attention and highlight. Voices of the
Fallen, for example, utilizes very subtle synthetic melodies that trickle
about during chorus areas, adding a very computeresque feel to the work that
harkens back to Kraftwerk era electronics. A good breather from the old days.
Asmodeus X keep their arrangements simple for the most part,
but the danger of this sort of arranging is that the music can coalesce
together and become indistinguishable. And some songs can drag, quickly
becoming monotonous such as the standard-fare and up front rhythm of Sons of
Midnight which, even long before the three minute mark, was already becoming
droning and blase. The song itself lasts beyond six minutes which makes
the whole thing nearly a chore.
Against the Moon notches up the interesting bar
somewhat with its computerlike metalesque vox. And I really dig the following
Kreislauf. Funky percussion and bass combine into a great rhythm that
carries the song. Vocals are spoken solidly, at a bass level with a little bit
of echo, and actually becomes part of the rhythm. Kreislauf is easily one of
the best songs off of Morningstar.
S.E.T.I. is expectantly spacey and moves swiftly.
Interesting samples of female spoken word and telephones are interspersed
throughout. Mostly an instrumental piece. Roman P keeps this feeling, and once
again laces the vocals with Kraftwerk era vox. Catchy and upbeat. The following
Crucified Serpent gets right up front with who the story is about
just in case you may not know who the "morningstar" is that gives the album
it's name. It's also similar to Sons of Midnight, in that before two
minutes has arrived you're bored.
What we have here is another synthpop low-key electronic
industrial thing. Again, it's synthpop month here in the underground music
scene, and again this was probably not a great time for me to get
Morningstar because I'm more inclined to dismiss it as "another
synthpop/electro album." This is regardless of the fact that it is pretty good
all things considered. This is a common revisited dilemma.
Latex Records, LLC
Post: 5857 Brookstone Walk, Acworth, GA, 30101-8473, USA