Going straight for the throat from its opening moments and never removing its antagonistic bared teeth from there on in, Sweet Violence the new album from German electronic predator Electric Breathing is one of those scintillating releases which you do not really realise just how good it is until lying in its wake, reflecting in your own fevered waste. The ten track fury is a breath-taking, senses violating tempest of industrial, techno, and harsh ebm goodness or should that be pestilence? Nevertheless it is one invigorating voracious fire of sonic contempt and carnivorous passion soaked in a melodic toxicity you just cannot switch off from.
Electric Breathing is the solo project of Göttingen artist Maik Grohs, and Sweet Violence his fourth full-length rampage into the psyche. Since starting up in 2006, the band has captured strong, if not yet widespread, attention for its unorthodox sequencing and unrelenting aggression. The new album takes it to another level, merging that predatory stance and invention with an urgent techno seeded energy, the result an invasive proposition which snarls and seduces with rigorous voracity in both. Released via Juggernaut Music Group digitally and for the first time for the band, on CD which is limited to just 50 copies, Sweet Violence attacks the world and its political agenda with the tenacity and aggression of a tornado.
Blindfold kicks off the storm, low lying atmospheric coaxing and shards of electro tempting merging into a flume of sonic persistence for a restrained yet imposing invitation. Soon the song is striding with rhythmic muscles pushing air and intensely heated flames of electronic persuasion searing the senses. The pressure is increased once the caustic tones of Grohs unleash the start of a vitriolic narrative, his delivery varied as if from two sources and as magnetic as the nagging sounds around him. It is a rousing of the imagination and passions providing an exhaustive and inventive confrontation to devour with greed.
As soon as the opener departs a teasing electro beckoning marks the arrival of Suck It Dry, again a song which is in no rush to explode in the ears but keen to offer a menace and pressure to keep an already bred hungry appetite awake and impatiently waiting. There is a harsher industrial intent to the track which is tempered by the melodic acidity spearing the prowling thrust of the encounter. Having pressed and niggled submission into place, the song than explodes into a contagious toxicity of imagination and sound which is as anthemic as it is inventively twisted. It launches the album up another level, a height reinforced right away with the following title track. The third song from a great agitated and unsettling opening stretch relaxes into an incendiary antagonistic stance with sounds and lyrical incitement to match. Like its predecessor the track easily recruits the listener into its anthem like attack, thoughts and emotions forcibly engaged and willing from start to riotous finish.
An insidious vocal attack leads the thrust of No Sense, No Solution, No Way Out next; rasping serpentine squalls and spoken malice drenched provocation driving the sonic web of intrusive rabidity through the ears. The track also unveils a sirenesque vocal call to seduce the imagination mid-stream into the torrential flood of riveting electro spite. Not as strong as the previous trio, the track certainly ignites a greed for its offering whilst its successor Brain Reset exploits that need with its bright and vivacious electronic waltz within the clutches of a hostile industrial climate. Again using that irresistible vocal bait within its enthralling enterprise the track leaves satisfaction overfed if passions like its predecessor not quite inflamed.
That early plateau is unreservedly returned to with the next couple of tracks, first up through the demonically sculpted seduction of The Devils Whore. Warning calls and industrial sirens punctuate the incendiary sonic cyclone whilst scorching acid bred melodies entwine around the ferocious animation of song and energy. There is also a punk like brawl to the heart of the proposition which only increases the depth of it textures and malignancy. It is a scintillating conflict but soon left in the shade of Lord’s Prayer. From its first vibrating bounce of rhythmic enticement the song unleashes a mouthwatering twisted and persistently shifting intimidation of sound and vocal rancor, but within a stimulus of transfixing invention and unbridled experimentation. The song never stands still, every second leading into new ventures which barely get repeated across its sensational and imagination drenched charge. It is easily the best track on the release despite being amongst so many which would easily steal the spotlight in any other release.
The only draw-back about the sonic alchemy that is Lord’s Prayer is that the still impressive and pleasing MK Ultra and Psycho In Me have too much to contend with as a comparison and ultimately suffer, though both, and certainly the first, also lack the spark and toxicity to launch the emotions as those first few songs. All the same both are ravenous protagonists with vitality and invention which grabs attention with an inspiring craft ensuring a full recommendation is the only course.
The album comes to a close with the violence and ominous conclusion of Beautiful Sacrifice, the track a savage yet enchanting mesh of sonic beauty and rhythmic barbarism. Exhaustingly unrelenting with a pulsating fermentation of anger and venom within a bloody melodic blizzard, it is a towering end to a thoroughly compelling and destructive triumph. Sweet Violence is addictive and anthemic musically and in its invention; undeniably one of the early major releases in electronic/industrial music. Electric Breathing is a project which you know will only get stronger, a thrilling thought.
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