Nov 2016 23

Decoded Feedback - Dark PassengerDecoded Feedback
Category: Electro / Industrial
Album: Dark Passenger
Stars: 3
Blurb: This successful longtime duo is back with its tenth studio album, which hypnotizes and mesmerizes with dark melodies and relevant lyrics.


For the past 23 years, Canadian based duo Yone Dudas and Marco Biagiotti – known collectively as Decoded Feedback – has wowed fans with their lusciously dark and rich electro/industrial sound. The band’s tenth album, Dark Passenger continues the trend of combining steady, driving beats, distorted, sweeping synths, and powerful lyrics.

Dark Passenger, through lyric and sound, explores the duality of human nature and the struggle of repressing, balancing, and ultimately accepting the inevitable darkness within. On the opening title track “Dark Passenger,” Biagiotti sings that he “is the one who decides” and vows to not lose himself again. However, the sinister melody leaves one questioning whether he or his dark passenger is truly the one snarling behind the mic. “Waiting for the Storm,” the first single released off the record, begins with a rapid-fire, fuzzed out synth and explodes into a heavy beat that sounds like an impending squall approaching rapidly. The accompanying music video by filmmaker Rogelio Salinas, shows our brave duo standing high upon a cliff stoically bracing themselves for the storm to come. The video is also interspersed with the tragic story of a family who endures a frightening and violent home invasion by three mysterious masked intruders. The song inspired Salinas to create a full-length feature film of the same name in which Decoded Feedback will provide the soundtrack.

The gentler, more upbeat “Behind My Smile,” which taps into the vein of ‘80s new wave pop, allows the listener to come up for a breath of fresh air after the harder, murkier opening songs. “Now and Forever” returns to a darker, atmospheric soundscape, but lyrically focuses on the hopeful ideal of living in the moment and not floundering in the woes of the past or the anxiety of the future. A cover of The Normal’s “Warm Leatherette” breaks the hypnotic tempo of the first few tracks. The music stays true to the seething synths of the original, but some additional layers of sound add warmth to the tone of this version. In contrast, Dudas provides the vocals in a deadpan, robotic manner that perfectly captures the spirit of the original vocal performance, discussing a horrific car wreck and a subsequent sexual fetish for the carnage in the most disturbingly passé manner. Both “Duality” and “Kill the Hate” channel the sound and feel of Skinny Puppy’s The Process by utilizing echoing vocals set back in the mix to create a fuzzy, dreamlike sound sequence. Biagiotti shows wider vocal range and in turn, more vulnerability on the sensual and sentimental ballad “When I Lose Myself.” The dark and driving beat returns again on “Strange Times,” which examines the current violent and unstable state of the world. A symphonic layer builds gradually over the tension of the driving drum and bass to evoke sensations of despair mixed with a glimmer of hope.

The duo certainly did not skimp on the number and length of the songs on Dark Passenger. With 13 tracks on the standard edition of the album, and an additional seven on the deluxe edition, it still could have easily been split into two separate LPs. The length of the album creates a welcome escape that puts the listener into a hypnotic state that just may lead to one dancing the night away. However, the disadvantage to such a long album is that several of the songs sound similar and blur together as indistinct background music. A variation of drumbeats and catchier hooks would be welcomed to make these songs stand out and shine. With that said, Decoded Feedback has mastered its unique sound over the years, which has led to another solid, well produced album that features beautifully haunting melodies, deliciously dark sounds, and thoughtfully crafted lyrics.
Track list:
01. Dark Passenger
02. Waiting for the Storm
03. Behind My Smile
04. Now and Forever
05. A Lonely Place
06. Warm Leatherette
07. Dead Inside
08. Nowhere
09. Duality
10. How to Destroy a Planet
11. We Fade to Grey
12. Kill the Hate
13. Electric Tsunami
14. Pulse Code Attack
15. When I Lose Myself
16. Falling Down
17. Damaged Goods
18. Terrible Instincts
19. Strange Times
20. Bloodfield
Decoded Feedback
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, SoundCloud
Metropolis Records
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Bandcamp (Standard)
Bandcamp (Deluxe)
Storming the Base CD
Sarah Heiber (SHeiber)

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