Nov 2012 23

BlakOPz - Blood, Sweat, and FearBlakOPz
Category: Industrial
Album: Blood, Sweat, and Fear
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: The grinding dance floor synths and unapologetic in-your-face electro mantras make this debut album a Rookie of the Year candidate for the industrial scene.


 

When Arizona’s BlakOPz appeared with Aesthetic Perfection and [x]-Rx in Dallas, Texas, they took on the challenge of not only being an opening act, but also playing to a scene crowd that is usually timid and unforgiving. By the end of BlakOPz’s set, the dance floor was completely packed with stomping rivetheads and serpentine dancing girls. Vocalist, programmer, and lyricist Alex King (Kill the Alex) along with producer, programmer, and engineer M. Weir (Mindbender) left a permanent mark on a crowd that was primarily there to watch the other bands. And like most industrial based music, it’s usually better live. So how does BlakOPz’s debut album Blood, Sweat, and Fear sound when you’re alone at your computer with your headphones?

BSF begins with the atypical and generic instrumental/movie quote opening. Jumping right in with both feet would have been the best course of action because the opening song “Brainwashed” assaults the auditory senses immediately. Instantly, rhythmic synths and electronic drums make for a “kick over your seat and bust a move” mood. The album maintains a steady pace until the fourth track when “Who Drugged Me?,” featuring Mighty Mike Saga, takes it up a notch. This may be the most danceable track on the album. It goes against the mindset of BSF by being a tad more repetitive, but vocally more approachable. King’s vocals throughout the album are harsh and mesh well with the music, but Saga’s tame robotic vocal style creates a friendly dance floor vibe. King returns on vocals with “Domino (One by One).” This is a song that makes a statement with politics and synthesizers. Lyrically, it’s an anthem for a new world order and musically, it’s a tune to grind hips by. Of the 12 album tracks, there are two impactful instrumental tracks. “Hunted” and “It’s Not Human V2.0” sacrifice BlakOPz’s intimidating vocals and thought-provoking messages for some good old dance the night away music. The track lineup could have been improved had the instrumentals been spaced further apart and used as interludes for those who are listening to this intense piece of work all the way through.

The weak spots, although few, were glaring. The guest appearance of Rexx Arkana from FGFC820 took away from BSF. The harsh vocals on “United” did not fit with the song. What can be appreciated about BlakOPz overall is its ability to not sound like other aggrotech bands, which are becoming a dime a dozen. Also, “Hell Inside” and “Injustice for All” respectively, made for a less than stellar ending to the album. “Hell Inside” doesn’t go anywhere or invoke any type of reaction like the other tracks do. It’s a slowly paced track compared to the rest of the album and impedes on the flow. “Injustice for All” is not a bad track, but it’s generic among the many standout tracks. Finally, of the six available remix tracks, the North American Version of BSF trumps the Deathwatch Asia version. Phosgore’s remix of “Injustice for All” actually redeems the original version.

All in all, BlakOPz will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. The band has some areas to clean up as all new bands do, but is already many steps ahead of most bands in the genre. For its unique musical substance that sets it apart from other acts and frantic yet danceable pace, Blood, Sweat, and Fear should be a must own for industrial enthusiasts.
 
Track list:

  1. The Assignment
  2. Brainwashed
  3. Hunted
  4. Pretty Lies
  5. Who Drugged Me? (feat. Mighty Mike Saga)
  6. Domino (One by One)
  7. It’s Not Human V2.0
  8. Blakout
  9. United (feat. Rexx Arkana of FGFC820)
  10. Hell Inside
  11. March of the Unknown
  12. Injustice for All
  13. Brainwashed (Studio X Remix)
  14. Blakout (Die Sektor Remix)
  15. Injustice for All (Terrorkode Remix)
  16. Brainwashed (Imperative Reaction Remix)
  17. Domino (Caustic Remix)
  18. Injustice for All (Phosgore Remix)

 
BlakOPz Website http://www.BlakOPz.com
BlakOPz MySpace http://www.myspace.com/BlakOPz
BlakOPz Facebook http://www.facebook.com/BlakOPzBand
BlakOPz Twitter http://twitter.com/BlakOPz
BlakOPz ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/BlakOPz#!
BlakOPz SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/BlakOPz
Vendetta Music Website http://vendetta-music.com
Vendetta Music MySpace http://www.myspace.com/vendettamusicthelabel
Vendetta Music Facebook http://www.facebook.com/vendetta.music.label
Vendetta Music Twitter http://www.twitter.com/vendetta_music
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD (Vendetta Music Edition)
Amazon CD (Deathwatch Asia Edition)
Amazon MP3
 
2012-09-11
 
Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)

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