Cynical Existence – Erase, Evolve and Rebuild

1377461_581607598568194_1941485548_n

It only took a minute of the opening track to Erase, Evolve and Rebuild to hear and feel something has stirred and evolved within Cynical Existence. The band’s second album it is a riveting collection of distinct and diverse soundscapes soaked in a maturity and craft which sees the project at a level only hinted at previously. It is a hypnotic web of invention and exploration which embraces the darkest shadows but also the most acidic and caustic light, the result a release which stalks, rampages through, and dances with senses and thoughts whilst seducing the emotions, though not always in that permutation.

Formed by Fredrik Croona (ex- Project Rotten/ Menschdefekt) as a solo project, Cynical Existence as evolved into a startling and formidable beast which has continued to impress across EPs and earlier this year the project’s debut album Come Out And Play, not long after followed by the Beholder EP. For most bands this frequency of releases leads to the occasional less than endearing or potent encounters but this is definitely not the case with Croona and co, in fact it has to be said that Erase, Evolve and Rebuild leaves much of what came before pale in its company despite their also impressive declarations. The depth and strength unleashed by the new album suggests that maybe the other recent releases have consisted of older written material or simply the striking evolution sculpted by Croona and Steve Alton of UK project System:FX who joined the band late last year, the pair now joined by third member George Klontzas of Pre Emptive Strike 0.1, is that dramatic a sudden leap. Erase, Evolve and Rebuild certainly does nothing to diminish the sizeable impression and quality forged by A Familiar Kind of Pain, Come Out And Play, etc. though instead it just breeds another wave of striking accomplishment by Cynical Existence.

Released via Belgium label Alfa Matrix, Erase, Evolve and Rebuild has little problem in having feet and thoughts in eager frontmovement through opener Something Strange. Synths instantly cast a festivity of sound over the ears, an ambience which is welcoming and almost devilish especially with the darker feisty electro stomp which keenly joys the invitation. The vocals of Croona squall with the caustic breath and malevolent lure which we have come to know and enjoy but the song also shows the appetite to infuse a cleaner darker gothic tone to the narrative which only excites. There is a lighter essence and buoyancy to the track compared to certainly the Beholder EP, but shadows and dark menaces still have room to toy with the listeners thoughts. A track sure to add fire to the dancefloor, it makes a compelling start to the album.

The following Erase Me is equally as potent and effective in rousing up the passions, its electro caress of a dawning soon a bulbous beckoning moving into an electro punk confrontation through the guitar of Alton. A riotous snarl coats the song from vocals through to the causticity breeding an irresistible temptation and wrapped in another waltz of electronic sedition which invites limbs and a voracious hunger to enlist in the track’s insatiable incitement, it is a rivetingly sculpted pinnacle of the album and further evidence of the evolution at work.

    My Decadence, Your Sins which features Rave the Reqviem has an absorbing eighties temptation to its thrilling landscape, a scenery which is like Depeche Mode does industrial at times and at other moments like Celldweller on a distinct mission to taunt the songbook of Fad Gadget. Despite those thoughts the track is still uniquely Cynical Existence in its stance and enterprise with the fact that the three minutes plus are over far too soon the only niggle. The feast of invention continues the scintillating presence of the album with ease, passing its heady presence on to the magnetic searing electro quickstep of Imperfect followed by the evocatively hued The Divine. Elegant classically wrapped keys open up the second of the two songs, its gentle radiant coaxing leading thoughts into the haunting melancholic caresses at the heart of the track. It is a masterful provocation of emotion and shadow cloaked climes, the gravelly vocals as on all songs that rasping texture which tempers and compliments the clean delivery and the melodic rays of sonic beauty.

The album from this point on immerses in even darker wells of malevolent rapture and predacious intent. The imagination consuming Falling with its thumping heartbeat the centre of a tempestuous emotional cloud and the pulsating heavy booted yet still irresistibly charming Deus Ex Complex are both unafraid to stalk the blackest corners within especially in the second of the two, shards of irrepressible electro romping whilst Our Bright Future is a twisted riotous incendiary tango of sound and energy which is prone to long breaths and pleasing unpredictability. This new energised character of a dance also reaps and offers its rewards through Sins Of Your Flesh and though the trio of songs maybe lack the final knock-out punch of their predecessors all leave satisfaction full.

The Endless Stride has a structure and contagion which feels closely akin to the first album without any definition as to why or to which offering whilst the effulgence of An Eternity Stuck On Repeat bewitches from its first glassy elegant touch, seducing with a wantonness which is refined yet brazenly uncompromising. The songs bring more open variation to the album as does the guitar grazing company of No Compromise and the industrialised rapacious crowding of the senses from Transformation (a search for change), both tracks successful conspirators in a slavery of the passions.

Completed by the outstanding smouldering cinematic instrumental of At the end (Outro), Cynical Existence has thrust themselves to the very fore of electro/industrial mastery with the transfixing Erase, Evolve and Rebuild. Arguably top heavy with its first selection of tracks a more vigorous exploit for feet and energy though the latter is no less an accomplished instigator of darker emotions and realms, the album takes the existing successes and sounds of the band into new breath-taking adventures of imagination and craft.

https://www.facebook.com/cynical.existence.official

9/10

RingMaster 21/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Cynical Existence: Come Out And Play

AM1187CD

Released on February 22nd via Alfa Matrix, Come Out And Play the debut album from Swedish band Cynical Existence has been a highly anticipated proposition amongst fans of harsh EBM/industrial/dark electro fans. Last year saw two EPs from the band which lit up the genre and ventured to the darkest corners of the human condition through a melodic abrasion which was as refreshing and enthralling as it was imaginative and emotive. The solo project of Fredrik Croona, founder and one half of the excellent aggrotech/industrial act Project Rotten and former vocalist of dark electro/industrial band Menschdefekt, Cynical Existence has delved deeper in to its heart to create its darkest engagement  yet, a compelling caustic encounter which provokes and evokes the sharpest reactions alongside the fullest pleasure.

A Familiar Kind of Pain, the first EP from Croona, rampaged and stomped over the senses with a near viral infectiousness to a presence drawn on the personal heart and shadows of the artist. It was an impressive introduction to the project which was then equalled by second EP Ruined Portrait, a collection of tracks which breathed with a darker shadow than its predecessor without losing the contagion rife on the first record. It also suggested what is realised on Come Out And Play, a further depth of reflective inspirations which have evolved into a more intense and malevolent creativity. The album is challenging and arguably less infectious than previous releases but with a maturer energy and craft is just as contagious and impressive. It is an intriguing release which asks for more attention than maybe one initially expected but offers even greater rewards.

As the dawning opening atmosphere on A Scar On My Mind envelops the ear there is an immediate sense of darker energies emerging The vocals of Croona are less caustic than expected initially before his usual pleasing squalls of emotion are unleashed. It is an instant variation which grabs the attention and adds depth to the presence of the track. Melodic beckoning caresses weave their way through the chilled ambience of the song brewing a rich mix of light and dark aurally and emotionally. The sonic manipulation through addictive hooks and melodic teases are more of a loud whisper than an open invitation and makes for a fluid and thrilling veining to the track.

The following Deception is a lighter chord of inner investigation, its airy melodics and sun fuelled glow a warm expanse over the waiting shadows. It is with the glorious and unexpected ‘nintendo dance’ which breaks out that the track just soars further in the heart. It is an imaginative and again intriguing pleasure, an open sensation marking the evolution in the composing and invention of Croona. Without the denseness of the first song the track also declares a diversity to Come Out And Play which was possibly missing on the previous EPs and leaves one greedy for more.

The variety is continued through songs like I’m Broken which fuses the crystalline flavours found in New Order to an angst driven dancefloor expulsion of emotion, GDI, and the serpent spawn Face Of God. The middle song of the three licks the senses with its sonic tongue to intimidate and ignite the deepest rapture whilst offering an insidious and compelling melodic wash which command feet and passion. It is the perfect companion to Face Of God, a track which leads one on a dance of sinister intent and vibrant violation. Again light and dark is the invading emotion and once more the track is an angelic evil which leaves one drooling in hunger and desire.

The further in the release the greater the heights of ardour sparked. Pick Your Poison is another where Croona mixes his vocal delivery wonderfully and unleashes a raptorial elegance which is as corrosive and dangerous as you could wish but equally warm and reassuring. The outstanding Reign Supreme and The Sexual Game both leave their tortured touches on the senses with magnetic charm and disturbed emotion, the pair leaving one enlightened and shadowed in personal emotive thoughts, with the latter song inciting within a pair of familiar tracks. We make no apologies for drooling over Paradox and Insecure, two songs which first made their appearance on A Familiar Kind of Pain and stand as our favourite conjurations from the man, though they are seriously challenged elsewhere on this album. The duo return to unleash their hypnotic mordant dazzling and captivating anthemic riots adding a familiar but again open variation to the release.

Ending with a final tempestuous molestation of delicious sonic foment in Seeping Through, the album leaves one on a high and with an irresistible itch to dive back into the cathartic encounter once again. Cynical Existence just gets better and better and one wonders if it will eventually be a bigger beast than the ‘day job’ for Croona. Released as a single album or limited carton box with a second full album of remixes, Come Out And Play is an essential investigation for all electro/EBM/industrial fans and especially those of bands such as Suicide Commando, SITD, Grendel, and Virtual Embrace.

https://www.facebook.com/cynical.existence.official

RingMaster 17/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cynical Existence: Ruined Portrait

It seems like mere weeks ago that one of the best harsh ebm/ industrial releases to tease and provoke the senses this year arrived in the shape of A Familiar Kind of Pain, the debut EP from Swedish band Cynical Existence. The solo project of Fredrik Croona (Project Rotten) easily enflamed the passions and set a new benchmark for electro imagination. Now he returns with follow up release the Ruined Portrait EP. It continues the impressive blend of old school EBM with abrasive industrial invention found on his first EP whilst offering a rawer even more intensive breath. The teaser for the highly anticipated full length album Come Out And Play scheduled for an early 2013 release, the EP like its predecessor leaves an invigorating and decisive pleasure in its wake.

As soon as Misery stretches out its mesmeric arms, melodic pulses splashing upon the ear, the sense that the song and release is set to leave an imprint on the heart is immediate, the sonic seduction full and strong from the off. The serpentine vocals of Croona wrap around the shafts of aural light with the man again unleashing personal emotions into his compositions. His delivery is not as venomous as many but soaked in unmistakable shadows which add extra depth to the power of tracks and temper the often dazzling sonic radiance. Though arguably not a major departure from the tracks on A Familiar Kind of Pain, it feels darker, carrying a more abusive or abused energy in what is a vibrant and compulsive presence.

If the opener is a darker proposition the following Am I Alive is a definite plunge into sinister shadows, the vocals bordering on insidious and the accompanying whispers intimidating. The track is magnetic, the lure of acidic melodies irresistible whilst the caustic tones of the song just ignite further contagious entrapments. The best track on Ruined Portrait; it is a taunting combative glory to immerse within and succumb to.

Next up My Shining Halo initially weaves predatory sonic hooks before the ear, their attractive beckoning a wanton mischief,  before rampaging with further heavy touches and salty rubs to form a raw surface to the insatiable melodic swagger of the song. Approaching midway the track goes into a ‘stall’, its eager pace shifting into a prowling sizing up of the prey before erupting swiftly back to the hunger and rampant onslaught which started the corruption. It is another sensational seizing of thoughts and emotions whilst simultaneously, along with its predecessors, inspiring an intense impatience for the forthcoming album.

Let’s Play Dead featuring Polish band Reactor7x, wraps blistering tendrils of sound around the ear whilst the alternating vocals expose extremes of shadows within the sonic softening up of the senses. It is less immediate than other tracks but equally as impactful in its individual way. The jabbing beats cage emotions as the song lays its erosive harmonic caresses and caustic malevolence upon their ethereal flesh, their power cutting off any escape from the almost disorientating experience.

The release is completed firstly by a reinterpreted version of Face Of God by Moscow based industrial project Freaky Mind, and then by two remixes of tracks from A Familiar Kind of Pain. What the difference is between a reinterpreted version and a remix we will have to find out, but the first of the trio is an excited swarm of energy and sonic manipulation, the sounds swamping yet igniting the vocals of Croona for a dance track which fires up good reactions. The other two tracks are remixes of the best and our favourite two songs on the debut EP, and as such were on a hiding for nothing.  Both Insecure (IMPLANTed fear mix) and Paradox (Filtered through MIND:STATE), remixed by Implant and Mind:state (fellow Swede Per Holmström) respectively, are impressive reworkings which open up new thoughts and visions within the tracks but both pale against the brilliance of the originals for us. As always we admit the valid purpose of remixes still generally eludes us, especially when the source is almost untouchable, but given some time to make their case both tracks certainly gave food for thought, especially the jazzy exploits of the first of the two.

Released via  Alfa Matrix with  impressive cover artwork from one of teh best emerging artists in OneTwoTree Designs,  Ruined Portrait is excellent, a release which not only cements Croona as one of the essential contributors to the landscape of industrial but ensures next year and the release of his album cannot come soon enough

https://www.facebook.com/cynical.existence.official

RingMaster 30/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright