Filament 38 Unstable
By Marcus Pan
I remember only being vaguely impressed
with Filament 38's last release(1). It was lacking in that elusive "spark" that
separates the best from the good. Unstable is much stronger than their
previous release with powerful electronics, complicated but not mish-mashed
arrangements and, yes, possibly that missing spark from before.
Right from the start, Contempt opens Unstable with
strength and power. Smoothly controlled synthetics and stompy percussion move
the track swiftly along with tell-tale bass-box score stylings. Dissect
(Infekt) uses similar means but the lighter synthesizer notes hold the
track from becoming another dark segue. The combination is subtle, appropriate
and well arranged.
Interface is a bit lighter in its make up and
appearance, relying on higher octave keyboard movements but keeping the rhythm
swift and in the high BPM range. Real Kraftwerk style computeresque bubbles
open Uplink (TerraMachine) very appropriately. The chord hits are great
additions to the song giving it a more EBM flair to the older skool industrial
Relapse explores nuclear holocaust and is one of the
more powerful songs on the (much visited) subject I've found. Blood has
a very strong climactic sound to it with it's powerful heavy synth-chord washes
and strong instrumentation. By the end of the album, tracks 11 through 13, we
have some remixes of originals previously on Unstable. Imperative
Reaction mix up Dissect crunchily. Terrorfakt add some seriously heavy
handed rhythm to Uplink on track 12 and mix it into a very stompy
static-laden experimental dirge.
In many instances it's hard for me to determine what "spark"
is missing (especially in all the industrial/electronic releases of the day)
from a band that differentiates it. But I think in a lot of instances this
spark comes from maturity, and Filament 38 have reached that point. They've
previously, to me anyway, stayed just under the radar.
But this time around with the release of
Unstable through the right use of subtle arrangements, the
complicated rhythms and music and most likely the right amount of wisdom and
maturity, Filament 38 have found that spark and I now confidently say that they
are one of today's better EBM/industrial acts. The only suggestion I might make
is that Ash use his voice more...the vocals of Filament 38 are steady and
strong, but I'd like to see what kind of range he has.
Post: 109 N. 3rd St., Apt. B, Geneva, IL, 60134, USA
(1) Fractured was
reviewed in Legends #144.
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