CD Review

Stochastic Theory – “Opposite Extremes”

By Marcus Pan

Opposite ExtremesStochastic Theory are one of the better industrial/EBM outfits I've found in a little while, using interesting complicated rhythms and humanesque vocals that create a hybrid between a man and machine sound. Most are fast paced, thought not always driven by punching beats. Conditional, for example, is moved by bright melodic keys more often than not and No Illusions uses similar synthetic melody means of propulsion; the percussion becoming either a stabilizer to the wall of sound or an element of the music itself rather than just a metronome as you might hear elsewhere.

Cranked out on Sonic Mainline, Opposite Extremes is only marginally less dark than music by brethren acts like PTI[1], Boole[2], or The Azoic[3]. It's Chuck Spencer's choice of unusually bright synth and key melodies that keep this at bay, creating an excellent collage of a mind on the very edge of disaster - the lightning flash just before the engulfing storm hits.

Ok is a favorite with its muffled bass movements and, again, bright melodies combined with a behind the scenes guitar strain. Rhythms here are brilliantly concocted and far from your normal fare of percussive movement. The cover of R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion is brilliant.

Price of a Lifetime shows some of the more funky rhythms Chuck can create, pretending to be a drum ‘n’ bass track up until a minute or so in when the well made melodies lay it down. Opposite Extremes closes with remixes of Simple Choices and Here, found elsewhere on the album – a nicer way to divulge remixes rather than pound them down your fans throats and release albums of nothing but[4].

Stochastic Theory are strictly EBM and industrial in every sense of the genre, mimicking forebears. But this album, Opposite Extremes, is easily one of the best examples of it that I've listened to. It's very well made, complicated, filled with very interesting rhythms and collaborations between brighter scores and ingenious percussion. Even if EBM and industrial style outfits have tired your ears out, give this one a try as it represents some of the best the genre has to offer.

Contact Information:
Stochastic Theory
Post: 54 Craig Ave., Madison, WE, 53705
[1] Exhaust was reviewed in Legends #155.
[2] Boole’s Pheromones was reviewed in Legends #132.
[3] Their last (that I’m aware of), Conflict, was reviewed in Legends #140.
[4] See my review of Provision’s Ideal Warfare for more on this.

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