Apr 2012 24

Encephalon - The Transhuman ConditionEncephalon
Category: Industrial
Album: The Transhuman Condition
Stars: 4
Blurb: A stunning and complex debut that proves a band can show shades of other acts while maintaining a completely unique voice.


 

Active since 2005 with singles appearing on a variety of compilations, this Canadian outfit has finally released a debut album, The Transhuman Condition. Showing a keen sense for rich, synth heavy, classic industrial and mixing more modern EBM structures while still putting their own unique flavor into the mix, Encephalon’s debut is a wonderful surprise. While still more than suitable for the dance floor, there’s a very deliberate and careful progression infused into their work that makes each track feel more like an unfolding story than a simple beat and hook delivery method.

Apparently benefiting from their patience before releasing their debut, Encephalon shows a variety of abilities not normally found on freshman efforts. First and foremost, Encephalon definitely feels like a product of its influences, showing traces of a large variety of acts past and present. Yet despite some occasional familiarity, they never fall into the trap of blatant emulation, and instead using these influences to lay a foundation to build upon. Throughout the album, Encephalon’s vocal delivery tends to be somewhat hit or miss, but they also seem to have harnessed the ability to accentuate their strengths and downplay or support their weaknesses to a point where they feel more like strengths. In cases such as “Daylight” and “The Killing Horizon,” the group completely covers any vocal problems with fantastic synth hooks, haunting piano, or acoustic guitar accents, and riveting composition that ebbs and flows like a thrill ride, leaving the potential weakness feeling more like a charming piece of the package. Proving that even they still belong among the realm of the mortals, there are tracks such as “Garden” and “A Lifetime of Puppetry” that aren’t as engaging, and the latter half of the album tends to bleed together a bit, but these do not at all prevent the album from impressing.

While not without its flaws, The Transhuman Condition absolutely acts as a bold statement for Encephalon, planting its flag firmly in the scene and announcing their arrival. Coming out of the gate with such a solid and well crafted debut, this is a release that should absolutely make everyone stand up and take notice. Now the only thing that remains to be seen is if Encephalon can recapture the magic on their eventual follow-up, which many will immediately be begging for.
 
Track list:

  1. Rise
  2. The Transhuman Condition
  3. Daylight
  4. Garden
  5. The Killing Horizon
  6. Mariana’s Trench
  7. Drop Dead
  8. Scar on Scar on Scar
  9. A Lifetime of Puppetry
  10. Human Shield
  11. Face First
  12. Past the Grave

 
Encephalon Website http://www.encephalon.ca
Encephalon MySpace http://www.myspace.com/encephalon
Encephalon Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Encephalon/8185479036
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
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2011-11-08
 
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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