CD Review

Steril – “400 Years of Electronic Music”

By Marcus Pan

400 Years of Electronic MusicGermany’s Steril crosses the Atlantic with ArtOfFact Records in late 2005 to release their special edition greatest hits collection, 400 Years of Electronic Music. Four albums are represented in this collection and there’s two versions of the cover that you can turn and swap depending on your mood. The trio mix up a combination of trancey openings, heavier industrial beats and occasionally slice their tracks with guitar to add punch and meaning.

Egoist is one of Steril’s most remembered tracks, found here on slot 2. A swift fast paced tune punctured by stab wounds of guitar, yowling vocals and pushing the stomp-heavy beats that any hard edged floor will dig, Egoist moves like few tracks do. No Remission slows it down just a tad, lacing cursing samples and very electro-bleep synthetics against what might be considered a blasé rhythm and bass track. The continuous looping of the “shut the fuck up” sample unfortunately dumbs down the track a bit however, so let’s move along…though I find myself digging the fat-back drum breakdown loops later on in this one.

Deep is an interesting track with washy melodies combined with very fast BPMs that will switch between cloudy movements with off kilter vocals and metal-laced slices. Guess is a ripping tune with strong consistent guitars that slide into very surreal and unusual vocals. Connected gets a bit strange and far away and Zap! breaks into a rather funky rhythm with what can only be described as a Kraftwerkian version of scratching and loops before it gets otherworldly with its slow trance sections.

Temper ups the bar on angry quite a bit with screaming lyricals, slamming guitar riffwork sure to explode any skull at the seams. Thereafter a remix of Deep moves swiftly but has weird vocal effects and seems to come together with an underwater or far out sound that closes 400 Years of Electronic Music with a very weird vibe.

Steril has an interesting groove and I’d recommend 400 Years of Electronic Music to anyone who likes the heavier EBM and metal-fusion genre and style. What Steril brings to the table is a bit more surreal and strange than your usual straight laced bitter industrial. It’s like EBM in a strange dreamworld, surely interesting.

Contact Information:
ArtOfFact Records
Post: Box 68039, RPO Osborne Village, Winnipeg, MB, R3L 2V9, Canada
Phone: (905) 707-6283
E-Mail: distribution@artoffact.com
Web: www.artoffact.com

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