Category: Noise / Industrial
Album: Don’t be Scared, It’s About Life
Blurb: Drawing too heavily on its influences with only the slightest glimmers of individual identity, this French trio sets out to offend and traumatize you.
While it’s a common story for many, it’s quite an accomplishment when any band releases an album on its own and manages to gain enough attention and notoriety to be signed by a label and have that album be rereleased in a more professional capacity. However, upon listening to Don’t be Scared, It’s About Life, the debut album from French cyberpunk trio Chrysalide, this writer has to wonder just what was so impressive to warrant such a signing. The album is brutal and intense, and for that the band deserves much credit for creating a singularly consistent sound – a vicious array of industrial and electronic noise that leaves little room for notions of standard musicality.
Above all, Chrysalide’s approach is very much based on traumatizing the listener with caustic sound comprised of various disparate elements. A good example of this is “I Do Not Divert Eyes” with its combination of chunky guitars evocative of extreme metal, but chopped up and stuttered with the now familiar tropes of modern dubstep, complete with the wobbly bass lines. It’s rather reminiscent of bands like The Browning or Exageist while the gabber-like assault of “Freak Out” lives up to its title and comes across as a lost Atari Teenage Riot track. And then you have the songs that betray Chrysalide’s all-too-obvious Skinny Puppy influence, as the mournful piano and foreboding atmosphere so akin to cEvin Key with the atonal, sometimes melodic, but very creepy vocals so similar to Nivek Ogre give “Fucking Doubt” a feel that will take listeners back to the Too Dark Park or Last Rites era. Similarly, “Not My World” with its aggressively danceable rhythms and stutter/rap style vocal that is taken right out of the playbook of a latter day album like Mythmaker, and the equally rhythmic and scathing “We Are Food for Worms” simply make Chrysalide sound too much like a Skinny Puppy rip-off.
All of this is not to say that the band is not capable of showcasing a good sense of its own musical identity, with “2010” once again incorporating dubstep textures, but this time meshed with some sinister pianos and a harsh atmosphere, and “Gemini” presents a blistering display of IDM beats and organs that eventually give rise to a chaotic breakdown of distorted sound. “LoveTape” deserves credit as an actually enjoyable ambient melody with the sound of a film reel running throughout, but this is where the album’s high points end, with “Lizzie and the Charming Prince” being a particularly cringe worthy track with vocals that sound like a poor man’s version of KoRn’s Jonathan Davis, while the ending cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” is simply terrible. Composed of various samples from the trailer for the film version of The Wall, along with bits from the original song(s), Chrysalide simply can’t help but to destroy the song and send it spiraling into sonic decay and agony.
To hear Don’t be Scared, It’s About Life, it would be easy to assume that Chrysalide must put on one hell of a live performance; no doubt some form of audiovisual chaos along the lines of Terrorfakt if joined onstage by Slayer. The music, if it can be called such, is clearly an acquired taste suitable for a very specific audience, making the prospect for mass consumption all but impossible. Not that there’s anything wrong with catering to a particular market, and Chrysalide clearly thrives on aesthetic anarchy, much in the way that early pioneers like Throbbing Gristle did. Still, one has to wonder as to whether Chrysalide can achieve such an offensive goal on its own merits rather than skimping off the backs of those that preceded them.
Chrysalide Website http://www.noize-guerilla.org
Chrysalide MySpace http://www.myspace.com/chrysalideaudiotrauma#!
Chrysalide Facebook https://www.facebook.com/chrysalide.audiotrauma
Chrysalide Twitter https://twitter.com/noize_guerilla
Chrysalide ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/chrysalide
Artoffact Records Website http://www.artoffact.com
Artoffact Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/artoffactrecords
Artoffact Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/artoffact
Artoffact Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/artoffact
Audiotrauma Website http://www.audiotrauma.org
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)