Sep 2013 04

Frontier Guards - InterfaceFrontier Guards
Category: IDM / Noise
Album: Interface
Stars: 4
Blurb: This sui generis mix of darkwave sensibilities, electro rhythms, and cacophonous intensity is not to be missed, regardless of your investment in any particular influence that helped shape it.


You will be forgiven for underestimating Interface at face value. In fact, the Signifier label has in the recent past delivered an array of above average, hard-hitting, and noise driven records. So from the somewhat undistinguished cover art to the band’s hazy origins (just how many Czech industrial acts can you name?), nothing might prepare you for the sheer brilliance and the undeniable nuance of the tapestry of sounds and distortions that Frontier Guards delivers with this latest release.

The opening track funnels the listener into the dark passages of Frontier Guards’ method and the soundtrack to the haunting vision is rich in the predictable tropes of the genre – blaring synths and the blunt clunking of metallic clutter. Beyond the veneer of impenetrable, uninviting cold aura, “Four Ways” is rich in soft electronic melodies and powerful tribal percussion that set both the tone and the rhythm. In many ways, with the addition of ominous samples and constantly shifting ambient elements, Interface’s first composition establishes the unpredictable, enticing mood for the rest of the record and its rich, moody instrumentation jumpstarts the listener’s imagination. The unravelling images might be projections of your own stimulated psyche but the impulses that dark, reverberating tracks like the mystical “Doppelgänger” or the free flowing “Narrowest Path” permeate are potent and perfectly integrated into the entire aural experience. While there are no complaints regarding the cohesiveness of Interface’s overall structure and climate, Frontier Guards never ceases to broaden the means of expression, if only within the self-inflicted confinement of oppressive industrial darkness. “Dark Age” to great effect intertwines harsh vocal lines with crisp electro; a fusion that is perfected on “Behind the Tunnel,” which bursts with the complexity of Nitzer Ebb with the derived elegance of beats, darkwave intensity, and the simplicity of its overall structure. It is no surprise that the division of the creative responsibilities finds Tomas Galle in charge of the visual manifestation of Martin Pavlík’s musical vision. The compositions on Interface invite almost immediate connections with cinematic imagery but work outside of this illustrative property, self sustained and capable of satisfying even the most demanding audience with the perfect blend of raw noise and thoughtful dark electronica.

Only rarely do noise albums manage to transcend the cacophonous formula and animate the seemingly blind collision of dense soundscapes into a rhythmical heart beat. Alive with force of industrial anger but also gently melodic and overwhelmingly atmospheric, Interface should not be dismissed or neglected. It is, in fact, an album that should put Frontier Guards on the radar of all aficionados of intelligently executed electro grit and hopefully a prelude to the act’s grand future success.
Track list:

  1. Four Ways
  2. Doppelgänger
  3. Dark Age
  4. At the End
  5. Narrowest Path
  6. Behind the Tunnel
  7. Interface
  8. Civitas Dei
  9. Cum Spiro Spero
  10. Narrowest Path (Wyvern Origin Remix)

Frontier Guards Website
Frontier Guards Facebook
Signifier Website
Signifier Facebook
Signifier Twitter
Signifier Bandcamp
Aliens Production Website
Aliens Production Facebook
Purchase at:
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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