Category: Coldwave / Industrial / Rock
Album: Worst Case Scenario Vol.01
Blurb: Perhaps the band’s strongest set of music to date with poignant lyrics and an aggressively diverse range of sounds and styles, Cyanotic stands at the top of today’s underground music.
Over the course of the last decade, Cyanotic has grown from a hot young Chicago act to becoming one of the leaders of modern coldwave. The band has toured numerous times, sharing the stage and even collaborating with some of the industrial and metal scene’s most revered acts, as well as forming the Glitch Mode Recordings imprint and receiving widespread acclaim for its varied discography. Adding to that is the band’s latest full-length album, Worst Case Scenario Vol.01, an album that finds Cyanotic taking further steps out of the shade of past influences and carving out the band’s own inimitable sound and style – equal parts industrial, metal, drum & bass, with elements of hip-hop and even modern EDM, making for perhaps the band’s most viciously accomplished material yet.
After the thunderous introduction of “Force.Resistance.Stress.Reaction,” “Reflex Action” immediately sinks its sonic claws into the listener with some of the band’s catchiest synth hooks and cutting guitar riffs yet. Throughout Worst Case Scenario are repeated references to emotional shutdown and moving forward – all elements familiar to Cyanotic’s repertoire thus far, but with the added gravitas of the circumstances of the last two years, making “Coping Mechanisms” one of the more lyrically weighty tracks on the album, acting as a counterpoint to the colder and more confrontational “Disconnect Me.” Both tracks are heavily rhythmic, with “Disconnect Me” being especially noteworthy for its drum & bass predilections and the effective use of an android’s dying words from Alien3, which along with the clever use of a familiar phrase from the Terminator series on “Coping Mechanisms” will certainly please fans of the band’s past output. However, it is the brooding and sullen piano-driven interlude of “Cause+Effect” that hits the saddest note, the minimal guitar melody courtesy of Rabbit Junk’s JP Anderson providing an added dimension of mournful introspection, while on a similar note, the dramatic percussion of Matt James on “Alternating Dilemmas” augments the track’s apocalyptic properties. Other tracks like “Signs of Struggle” with its mechanically breakneck beats and scathing electronic passages and “Signal the Machines” with its insistent marching percussion and powerful use of cybernetic samples are trademark Cyanotic, the latter having already made an impression as a killer live anthem, but perhaps the greatest indication of the band’s musical development comes in the form of “Futurist Leisure Pursuits,” as glitch-laden beats underscore a lush mélange of synthesized ambient melodies and sampled vocalizations; a truly cinematic and simply beautiful standout song.
It cannot be understated the level to which Sean Payne has progressed in all aspects; his programming and production abilities continue to evolve with each release, while his diminished reliance on vocal effects in favor of a more tasteful balance with his natural tonality makes for a most aggressive performance. Similarly, Chris Hryniewiecki’s guitars in conjunction with the heavy electronics remains at the core of Cyanotic’s machine rock sound while still leaving space to explore other sonic territories. With several other guest performers, including on-and-off members Drew Rosander and Kevin Barron, and mastering by the legendary Wade Alin, Cyanotic has presented some of the band’s strongest music to date on Worst Case Scenario Vol.01.