Angels on Acid
Category: EBM / Industrial
Blurb: Measuring up to but hardly surpassing previous albums, Angels on Acid continue to impress with an effective mix of horror-themed EBM, melodic synthpop, and guttural metal.
Since the formation of Angels on Acid almost a decade ago, Michael Banks has taken the band through an impressive evolution of style and sound. Hitting hard right out of the gate with 2007’s Eyes Behind the Curtain and the 2010 follow up Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Angels on Acid has maintained a steadily danceable momentum, adhering to the tropes of modern EBM/electro while incorporating a variety of different modes, not the least of which being heavy metal guitars and catchy melody befitting the most saccharine of synthpop. Exile shows the band further continuing down this path to great effect, blasting the listener with darkly aggressive atmosphere too enticing to ignore.
In many ways, Exile is exactly the kind of album one would expect from Angels on Acid. Take a song like “Unholyone” with its juxtaposition of enraged screaming verses akin to the harsh EBM of Psyclon Nine or Suicide Commando with the clean baritone of the chorus that will surely bring to mind the likes of Clan of Xymox; throw in some crunchy guitars courtesy of new band member Michael Lewis, along with some spooky synth leads and tightly knit beats, and you have the Angels on Acid formula in full swing. Similarly, “Into the Dark” follows with a slower pace and Banks singing with gothic bravado as the melancholy pads and the chunky guitars chug mercilessly, while “Martyr” launches at full throttle with a rhythm and moderate lead that almost sounds like a video game soundtrack, Banks offsetting his sardonic melody with whispered screams that glitch in tandem with the squelching synths and keep the song in a distinctly gritty mindset that runs counter to the clean production. The “Oblivion” interlude slows the pace down and induces a terrified state with a brutal display of glitch-laden minor-key progressions suitable for any fan of electro/horror, as a newer and more cleanly produced version of “Epitaph” from Blood, Sweat, and Tears follows slowly with a mournful tone, the distorted vocals meshing seamlessly with the sullen melody to make for one of Exile’s grimmer, more lovely moments. The title track and “Sacrifice” count as the album’s poppier moments, immediately engaging with their pumping rhythms and slinky leads and tuneful vocals that will undoubtedly have listeners singing along as they are beckoned to the dance floor.
Amid a sea of imitators, Angels on Acid still stands out among the myriad and appealing to a wide range of tastes without sacrificing coherence. Metalheads rejoice in the virulent riffs while electro fans are sated by the seamless blend of styles from glitch to EBM, all topped off by darkly melodic songwriting to keep the songs consistently engaging. The vocals are clearer and demonstrate Banks’ ever improving abilities as a singer, and the production overall is dynamic and clean, making Exile a rather excellent album on its own. As stated, it’s exactly what one would expect and want from Angels on Acid, measuring up to but hardly surpassing the precedent set by previous releases. If anything, Exile assures audiences that this is a band that will do well not to fade into obscurity or complacency and keep giving us some of the best music the genre has to offer.
Angels on Acid Website http://www.angelsonacid.com
Angels on Acid MySpace http://www.myspace.com/angelsonacid666
Angels on Acid Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angels-On-Acid/110264275656469
Angels on Acid Twitter https://twitter.com/angelsonacid
Angels on Acid ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/angelsonacid1
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)