Jan 2018 07

16volt - Dead On Arrivals16volt
Category: Coldwave / Industrial / Rock
Album: Dead On Arrivals
Blurb: Anything but dead on arrival, the new EP from the maestros of machine/rock packs more punch in six tracks than most bands can achieve in a full-length album.


 

It’s not often that a band has a second revival period, but after the return of 16volt with 2016’s The Negative Space, the band’s third era effectively began. The album presented a mix of the machine/rock sound that the band had been known for since the early ‘90s combined with the more alt. rock sensibilities that informed front man Eric Powell’s interlude in Black December; it may not have been the ideal 16volt aesthetic for many fans, but they need not worry as Powell has now delivered Dead On Arrivals. Produced and mixed by Powell with band mate Steve Hickey, this six track EP presents the hard hitting coldwave style that 16volt helped to create.

A mélange of distant radio chatter, rhythmic stabs of guitar and electronic noise, and then “The Lamb” explodes into a mid-tempo onslaught of industrialized rock with Powell’s acerbic voice cutting through the speakers like an angry jackhammer. The melodic chorus kicks in amid sustained riffs and dynamic drumbeats, and now you know it’s unmistakably 16volt! “The Favor of Mercy” then enters with a forceful marching beat, the squelches of dissonant electronics and staccato guitar riffs topped off by Powell’s throaty and harmonic roars create a venomous anthem for the disaffected, while “For Violence With You” screeches monstrously with feedback and growls of distorted synths, Powell seething with his inimitable blend of catchy melody and unbridled rage. On the other hand, “Something Is Coming” plunges the listener into a miasma of tension and frightened anticipation with a slow buildup of persistent bass, caustic beats, and eerie synths before erupting into abrasive layers of lush choral harmony. Similarly, “Pushing Scars” alternates between the thrashing assault of whiplash beats and guttural riffs in the verses with the distorted ambience and eerie harmony of the chorus, like switching between Slayer and David Bowie; it sounds like it shouldn’t work, and likely wouldn’t in the hands of anyone other than 16volt. “In the Thaw” ends the proceedings with robust synth sequences and sharpened drumbeats, the anxious buildup of bass and guitars finally resulting in an explosive climax of darkly mechanical and melodic release.

While this writer had enjoyed The Negative Space for its idiosyncrasies, Dead On Arrivals is an aggressive return to form for 16volt, providing in six songs more punch than most bands can deliver in a full-length album. The partnership between Eric Powell and Steve Hickey, along with guest performances from alumni Erik Gustafson and Eric Bergen, is readily apparent as each track delivers a pure shot of mechanized vitriol as only 16volt can, signifying the band’s third era to be on the right trajectory to coldwave magnificence.
 
Track list:

  1. The Lamb
  2. The Favor of Mercy
  3. Pushing Scars
  4. Something Is Coming
  5. For Violence With You
  6. In the Thaw

 
16volt
Website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp
 
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Bandcamp
 
2017-10-26
 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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