Army of the Universe
Category: Industrial / Electro
Album: The Hipster Sacrifice
Blurb: The Italian sensation’s sophomore release doesn’t match the rookie effort, but still creates a good album to add to the collection.
Italy’s Army of the Universe came out of nowhere in 2011 to kick some eardrums in with the original EP release Lovedead. This track singlehandedly gave new and classic industrial fans something to look forward to – that something became AOU’s album Mother Ignorance, which drew decent numbers for Metropolis Records. After a couple of EPs previewing this newest album, The Hipster Sacrifice finally arrives.
Based on the title alone, a lot of listeners will want to buy this album. However, some better than average music accompanies the hilarious and fitting album title. Right away on the opening title track, the listener is introduced to a new variety of electronic music. One can’t simply classify it as just industrial or just electro because so many different elements of electronic music are found within this track as well as the rest of the album. “The Hipster Sacrifice” slowly builds up with some well paced glitch synths and sharp guitars to match, and after a few verses from vocalist Lord K, a dubstep breakdown enters the song. Now, before you stop reading or write this album off, this style of dubstep is actually quite decent as it follows a good rhythm and flows with the song nicely rather than sounding like a robot giving a toaster a lap dance like most of the genre sounds like. AOU finds a way to reinvent dubstep in a way that will sate even the harshest of critics, such as the author of this review. Following up is “A Visionary Story,” which is a less chaotic and more fluid track. Lord K’s vocals shine through and create a soothing harmony with the subtle synths. Then “Pretty Unconsciousness” comes on and gives yet another tame side to AOU; a good track that becomes repetitive aside from some loud and sudden interludes that come in and break the monotony. Next up is the single “Until the End,” featuring Chibi from the Birthday Massacre. It starts out well with some intense buildup, but the release doesn’t go anywhere. Lord K and Chibi are talented, but don’t mesh together, and because of this poor chemistry, especially for a single, it falls flat. “In Another Place” is another run-of-the-mill but solid track, but the next standout doesn’t happen until “Coin Operated Girl.” Whether or not it’s the response to “Coin Operated Boy” by the Dresden Dolls, it’s a rather succulent song with an element of video game inspired music with 8-bit sound effects. It also returns AOU to the glitchy and grinding synth noise that gives the band a sly, sensual, and sleazy sound. This track truly emphasizes the strength of what makes AOU an electronic act to be reckoned with. As far as this writer is concerned, the album could have stopped here. The last track, “Mine” doesn’t go anywhere or add anything to the album.
Overall, this album is decent. It doesn’t live up to the first album, but in no way would this be considered a sophomore slump. Army of the Universe is one of the brightest spots for new industrial/electro music and as long as the band can keep concocting various electro elements, they will find a niche that might blow up this music world. The potential for this band is almost limitless. For the standout tracks alone, this album should be something to own by industrial and electro enthusiasts.
Army of the Universe Website http://www.armyoftheuniverse.com
Army of the Universe Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ArmyOfTheUniverse
Army of the Universe Twitter https://twitter.com/AOUMusic
Army of the Universe SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/army-of-the-universe
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)