Army of the Universe
Category: Electro / Rock / Industrial
Album: 1999 & The Aftershow
Blurb: Staying true to the identity the band has established for itself, Army of the Universe’s third album presents a signature blend of aggressively sleazy party-friendly electro/rock, with a large hint of introspection and irony to boot.
In a few short years, Milan, Italy’s Army of the Universe has garnered quite a reputation for the band’s blend of alternative rock hooks with high powered electro, with a hearty helping of industrial beats for added force. With two albums and several single/EP releases, numerous remixes, and tours with heavyweights like Skinny Puppy and KMFDM under their belts, the trio of vocalist Lord Kalidon, programmer Albert “Trebla” Vorne, and guitarist Davide Tavecchia have risen to the upper echelon of today’s electro/industrial scene. With this third album, 1999 & The Aftershow, the band puts all of its creative energies to the test to produce an album that can only be called Army of the Universe.
As to be expected, there is a certain punk-like energy in the band’s incorporation of crunchy guitar riffs amid equally scathing electro inspired by the current waves of EDM and dubstep, with a touch of added grittiness to land Army of the Universe in the industrial/rock camp. Such is the case with the opening title track, “1999,” the chorus a catchy chant that is sure to get any underground party started, while the accompanying “The Aftershow” adds a bit of lurid irony that reminds this writer of the more sleazily erotic moments of the Mother Ignorance debut, driven by the grinding guitar riffs and Lord K.’s sultry yet menacing vocals. Tracks like “Late Detroit Nights” with its striking thrums of bass and urban dance beats, “Digital Slag” and “Nobody 2.0” with their guttural, siren-like riffs amid flashy disco beats and bouncy bass lines, and the scratchy synth and guitar arpeggios of “Zeus (My Own Rebel)” all bear a punk rock mentality that meshes quite well with Trebla’s DJ sensibilities. Those elements to his approach are even more apparent on tracks like “Down Till Dusk” and “Snake Was Right,” while “The Albert Hotel” and “Little Paranoia” slow the pace down for some more introspective moments that allow for Lord K. to explore his fullest melodic range, making for some of the album’s more satisfying moments.
It’s difficult to establish a unique identity with such a hodgepodge of styles, but Army of the Universe manages to achieve this with seemingly little effort. As such, 1999 & The Aftershow presents all of the ingredients of the band’s sound that audiences are by now coming to expect, which may seem disappointing on first listen to some. However, there are numerous subtleties at play in the band’s very particular blend of styles, all of which culminates in a sound that is distinct to this group and sounds like no other. For this, 1999 & The Aftershow is a strong entry in the Army of the Universe catalog, full of the band’s top-notch production and aggressive, energetic, and rocking fun songwriting.
Army of the Universe
Website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube
Storming the Base CD
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)