Category: Digital Hardcore / Industrial
Album: Human Rage
Blurb: As vicious as anything Ambassador21 has released in the past, the Belarusian duo continues its campaign to confront listeners with an uncompromisingly noisy digital hardcore assault.
The duo of Alexey Protasov and Natasha A Twentyone – collectively known as Ambassador21 – has never known the meaning of the word compromise. Their music has presented for 15 years a relentless brand of politically charged industrialized noise that has heralded them as the Belarusian equivalent of Atari Teenage Riot. With Human Rage, the pair continues on the path of audio onslaught, offering up a dynamic brand of digital hardcore that threatens to destroy the earplugs of the uninitiated.
As aggressive as ever, Human Rage hits the listener hard, with a track like “Empire Must Fall” being one of the best examples of the band’s power; sampled guitars and stabs of synth overlaying spastic beats and grating noises and in-your-face lyrics make for a decidedly confrontational sound. The same can be said of tracks like “Do Or Die Time,” and especially “Cannibals,” which cleverly samples Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” to make for an almost anthemic rallying march against a self destructive society on the brink. Even amid the harsh barrage of noisy textures, tracks like “Fear Level Red” and “Revelation” appear with symphonic textures to ground them in some sense of actual songwriting, indicating the band’s attention to detail – noisy though it may be, every second is carefully arranged and produced on this album. Other tracks opt for a slower burn, gradually building from ominous quiet to desperate mania, like the haunting title track with its distant, almost ghostly vocal distortions amid a pulsating march of light beats and bass, “Metal” with its noisy vocal refrains and mechanical groove reminiscent of Chu Ishikawa’s score to Tetsuo: The Iron Man, and “Before We Die,” which begins with an almost mournful procession of hollow ambience before punching into a high gear dance track. Traces of EDM abound throughout the album as warbles of bass and synth augment the cacophony of shattering industrial clanks and howls, proving that Ambassador21 is not above updating its methods to achieve its goals.
To say that Human Rage, or Ambassador21’s music in general, is not for all tastes would be quite the understatement, for while digital hardcore has its charms and its strengths, it is a brand of music not suited to mass consumption… and really, that’s part of the point. It’s a style that is meant to tackle uncomfortable topics and make the listener address that discomfort, all the while allowing for the artists to simultaneously exorcise and fuel their rage. For this alone, Human Rage stands as a fine outing from Ambassador21; it may not break the mold the band has set for itself, but then again, with the world constantly in a state of strife and succumbing to the perils of corporatism, terrorism, and political agendas that only serve to subjugate the populace, why should it? Like the Strange Days sample says, “Maybe it’s time for a war.”
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)