Dec 2013 24

Kevorkian Death Cycle - God Am IKevorkian Death Cycle
Category: Industrial / Metal
Album: God Am I
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Time did not stand still while LA’s underground stars were gone, but this return finds the band shedding neither the raw metal aesthetic nor the electro element that defined it two decades ago.


12 years feels hardly like a hiatus – more like a deep space hibernation or a suddenly imposed state of coma. And indeed, Kevorkian Death Cycle seemed to have stopped in its tracks back in the beginning of this millennium, escalating the act’s status of rising stars of the American industrial underground to that of a band lost in the bowels of the scene. The reunion of Ryan Gribbin and Roger Jarvis for a few veterans will be a welcome comeback, but for many a listener, God Am I might be an introduction to the band that vanished prematurely. The record not only juggles both functions fluently, but it introduces some unexpected flavors that allow the band to reach out towards the creative pools previously unknown.

It doesn’t take long to understand and assimilate the method that KDC utilizes throughout the 11 tracks, even if the soft electronica and the cosmic ambience of “Star Chaser” lead listeners astray. “Mind Decay” is propelled by its raw, distorted textures, made up of the aggression of loud guitars and the whirling synths that entangle the scruffy vocals. On “God Am I,” the brutal instrumentation dominates over the blare of the electronics, but even then, the digital melodies retain their integral role. Elsewhere, KDC is more determined to separate both musical impulses and the record branches out in two distinct directions. The likes of “Blood of Faust” or “Tangled Souls” indulge in the metallic angst, while “Light Fields” gloats over them thanks to the passages of bleeping synthesized purity. The role of “It’s a Sin,” a cover of the seminal Pet Shop Boys hit, might be initially obscured, but the epic, echoing vocals and guitars gel satisfyingly with the majestic chorus of “Destroyer of Worlds,” while the pop dynamic of the song helps pinpoint the interest of KDC in lighter, more melodic forms like that of the catchy, sensual “Children of Chaos,” a song that like an amber relic is a romantic pop tune embedded within a menacing metal cast. Although the actual, musical aspect of the album is largely accomplished, some details and intricacies of the intertwined synthesizers and acoustics are lost in production. Beyond the initial pleasures of such unintended mimicry of D.I.Y. mastering of the mid ‘90s, this obvious fault often prevents the tracks from blossoming with their full potential and their vicious barbwire beauty.

Kevorkian Death Cycle is still indebted to the cold rock sensibility that defined most of the American industrial bands that began their careers in parallel to Gribbin’s and Jarvis’ outfit. However, it is the symbiotic electro ingredient that allows the pair to shape God Am I into a record that taps into the past, nostalgic even, tropes of dirty guitar-driven alternative and the current, reemerging crop of electro artists. It’s good that they’re back because Kevorkian Death Cycle’s revival is an industrial/metal assault with a surprising surplus of soothing and bouncing melodies.
Track list:

  1. Star Chaser
  2. Mind Decay
  3. Children of Chaos
  4. It’s a Sin
  5. Destroyer of Worlds
  6. God Am I
  7. Shadow
  8. Blood of Faust
  9. Tangled Souls
  10. Light Fields
  11. Mind Decay (Radio Edit)

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Negative Gain Productions Website
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Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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