If you are looking for the best new bands and sounds of a dark electro/industrial/harsh EBM flavouring then your first port of call is without doubt Engraved Ritual. The Colorado based record label has dedicated itself to searching for and bringing forth outstanding bands to the ears of the world, taking a defined emphasis towards the talent within America and the Latin America.
Synthetic Rage Volume 1 is the label’s first compilation album mixing artists on their label with other raw and extremely promising bands on the verge of making very distinctive marks. The release sums up Engraved Ritual’s aim and intent in unveiling and helping underground artists and sounds find new homes in the ears of the masses, its sixteen tracks and bands a vibrant kaleidoscope of striking and future essential sounds.
The first impressive thing about the album as a whole is the high consistency of quality across its pulsating electro breadth. Though there is always going to be through personal tastes tracks that step out from the line-up with extra distinction it has to be stated that every track here offers something energising and invigorating to the ears. Most compilations have a weak link or two in its aural chain but Synthetic Rage is an impressive brute with a unflinching strength from the blistering sonic creations of all the artists within.
Four of the opening tracks come from bands signed to the label starting with Andro-Dioxin. From Mexico the industrial/ harsh EBM project of Everth Dioxin offers up ‘Suicidal’ its striking sounds permeating and twisting through ear and head from the album’s opening seconds. From this impressive start the album, manipulates and stretches the senses through varied and often defiantly intrusive intensity. The opener’s label mates, Chile’s Say No Words with ‘The Perfect Killer (Andro-Dioxin Rmx)’ and the excellent Angels of Suicide and ‘Dark Lust (Hex’d Mix)’ soon get the pulse rate sprinting with their mesmeric sounds and the second of the two with its incessant siren veined nerve pinching beats and grooves refuses to accept anything than mental, emotional and physical surrender.
The emotions stomping ear invasive sounds of God Destruction and their track ‘Anticristo’ are the first major sonic highlight amongst all the irresistible tunes on display, with dark and perverting black metal vocal scathing and mind tripping unrelenting electro probing. The track bursts and burns like an aural flare and stands as one of the brightest beacons for the album, the label itself and what Engraved Ritual do.
Before one can take a breath after the last note of the track another sonic explosion thrashes the senses in the intense shape of Brazilians Nahtaivel and ‘The Storm is Coming’. The track is like a teasing metallic predator provoking and taunting the ear and beyond. Wonderfully diverse its industrial muscles are wrapped and coated in varied tones of wanton electro insidiousness. Synthetic Rage has already proven its worth and value, and we are only six tracks into its depths.
Surrounding these stunning tracks bands like Wire Vein, Sodomy Down the Cross, Mas-Si-Osare and from Portugal Aktivehate keep the harsh and fascinating sounds at full on satisfaction mode. The consuming dark nightmarish and slightly invidious sounds of Bind.Torture.Kill with ‘A Madman’s Lullaby’ attached itself deeply within the senses next it’s imposing almost resentful venomous tendrils merciless in their captivating and violating power. This excellent track’s intensity is openly contrasted by the following ‘Suicide Girl’ from Miami based trio Cyanide Regime. To be honest this was the one track that took some extra work to bring into the fold, its light pop like weaves sounding like a harsher industrial mutated offspring of Aqua. It soon proves to be a grower though and soon shows it is a worthy part of the release.
Two more tracks to rival God Destruction and Nahtaivel for best track come in the majestic ‘Spirits of the Night’ from Antemortem and Cold Sequence with ‘This is Not’. The first brings a gothic flavoured theatrical presence bringing a feel of Bauhaus, Marilyn Mansion and symphonic metal veined with electro urgency and creativity. It is grand, mischievous and irresistible. The second of the two is another relentless sonic intrusion, its hypnotic beats and grooves punctured with original industrial crashes, drilling and vibrant starkness. Both tracks are completely different but united in satisfying and pleasing dark hearts.
Anamadim, the one man instrumental electronic music project from Yugao (Javier M.N.) with Synthetic Salvation (featuring Fredrik Croona of Project Rotten), Alienoxir and Euphorbia complete the massive and thoroughly enjoyable line-up. They all keep the level so high it is almost a shock that a compilation of this size can be so strong but that shows how effective and highly selective Engraved Ritual is, if you seen their name on something it is without doubt worth checking out.
Mixed by DSBP’s Tommy T Rapisardi (Diverje) Synthetic Rage Volume 1 is an essential release for anyone looking for great industrial/EBM sounds. If you cannot find anything to please within its muscular corridors then you are in the wrong genre. Engraved Ritual have with this album introduced us to some of our new best friends musically here’s to Volume 2 it has a lot to live up to but as its Engraved Ritual it is unlikely to disappoint either.
1. Andro-Dioxin- Suicidal
2. Wire Vein- We Burn
3. Angels of Suicide- Dark Lust (Hex’d Mix)
4. Say Just Words- The Perfect Killer (Andro-Dioxin Rmx)
5. God Destruction- Anticristo
6. Nahtaivel-The Storm is Coming
7. Sodomy Down the Cross- Angra Mainyu
8. Aktivehate- The Walking Dead
9. Mas-Si-Osare- [C.M.S.]
10. Bind.Torture.Kill- A Madman’s Lullaby
11. Cyanide Regime- Suicide Girl
12. Antemortem- Spirits of the Night
13. Cold Sequence- This is Not…
14. Anamadim (featuring Fredrik Croona) – Synthetic Salvation
16. Euphorbia- Achromatopsia