Emergence - The Science of Suffering &
By Marcus Pan
Emergence's last two releases
showcase a possible powerhouse in the electro-EBM-industrial genre. With The
Science of Suffering in 2003 and the follow-up Eschaton, both on the
Negative Gain Productions label, the band continues to expand on their
progressive rock, electro and even trance-similar styles. With solid
electronics and heavy riff work but only when necessary unlike many
outfits that will ramp up the mayhem just because they think it sounds good
Emergence add a lot to the shelf of any industrial fan's collection.
Opening The Science of Suffering with a light
electronic melody that immediately reminded me of Tubular Bells,
Scarred is a solid five and a half minute song that combines elements of
trance, guitar-laced industrial and powerful vocals. Already you can tell that
the make-up of the instrumentals here are well layered and well played without
losing itself in too-heavy and overdone guitar overtones. All facets of the
instruments are given solid scores here to uphold their own workings within the
Blue Muse opens with an interesting electronic/EBM
and trancelike score. Alternating between dark and dismal and bright and
mysterious, it's easily a highlight to The Science of Suffering. Vocals
draw out over background heavy-handed rhythms keeping the two sections separate
but not getting lost against one another like others might find being a
problem. At over five minutes, you'd expect Blue Muse to get boring. But
it's fast paced fat-back percussion just keeps it alive.
Good old fashioned background electro bubbles open The
Tower as it flows into a heavier guitar-driven format that Ministry lovers
will enjoy. As the future-pop style of Human Anthem steps in, you'll
easily think a drum 'n bass outfit has joined the fray. This is where Emergence
shines with it's progressive creation style take simple ideas and
continue to add more simple ideas to it as it builds. Eventually what you have
is a highly complicated and swiftly moving track that has its roots in modern
The Arabian influence of Shahada and the well layed
drum 'n bass style of Ashes in Winter are excellent. Blackened
Earth is somewhat standard fare, but a good dancefloor stomper nonetheless.
Vocals of Blackened Earth somehow gets EBM-like, really throw away the
monotone you'd expect with industro-stompyness...well done on second thought.
The Vigil showcases more fat back percussive elements for Emergence
masters of percussion they prove themselves to be time and again.
A few remixes close the album on tracks 11 and 12. The
Blue Muse (RIB Remix) from Razed in Black infuses the original with a
rhythmic groove that adds much to the original trance style score. Creating a
swirly piece that is very enjoyable, I'm going to replace the original Blue
Muse track with this one for the Legends Net.Radio project.
The Eschaton album kicked out a year later. The
excellent rhythmic tracks continues within their work, but on Slow Burn
the outfit lays more electronic overtones and a more melodically subdued style.
Turnabout continues this trend, as Emergence seem to have future-popped
their earlier sound. Vocal scores are held back a bit as well, touched with a
bit of metallic laced winds to further modernize and subtle-ize Emergence's
Orouboros has a crunchy bass-laden flavor. Chorus
licks are growly and invite guitars back heavy into the mix, creating a
highlight of Eschaton. Defenestration is also a good track, sure
to get a rise out of old-skool industrial lovers like Laether Strip, Armageddon
Dildos and other Zoth Ommog favorites.
The final outburst on Emergence goes like this: they're
quite solid and quite good. Interesting music, complicated instrumental work
and excellent production. Emergence may not yet be the next Front Line
Assembly, but they sure as hell should feel at home sharing a stage with them.
I'm hard pressed to recommend The Science of Suffering over
Eschaton or vice versa they're both quite good. I might say that
heavier guitar laced industrial fans might like The Science of Suffering
moreso than the laid-back EBM work on Eschaton, but that's about the
most I could say. I do believe I will hold on to these two CDs at least for a
while before passing it along to my DJ friends.
Post: 109 N. 3rd St., Apt. B, Geneva, IL, 60134, USA