Jun 2011 17

Cover Image
Leæther Strip
Category: EBM / Industrial / Darkwave
Album: Mental Slavery
Stars: 3
Blurb: Leæther Strip holds its ground and pumps out another astonishing double album.


A double album is a difficult piece of work. The artist must be entirely certain that enough engaging content exists in their library to entertain and captivate the audience for not one album length but two. Some artists release only one or two double albums in the span of their career – this is Leæther Strip’s fifth double album. Needless to say, Leæther Strip has mastered the art of the double album, a feat few artists can successfully pull off. Mental Slavery is two discs of pure Leæther Strip goodness, blending industrial, dark EBM, and darkwave. Claus Larsen is introspective and harsh in lyrics and intensive in music as always. While it may not hold up to the connectivity and grit of previous double album Ængelmaker, Mental Slavery is another solid step in the Leæther Strip path.

Most of Mental Slavery is hard and heavy, with throbbing, driving beats, harsh synth stabs, and pulsing bass lines. Larsen carries the energy from the opening track of “Introvert” all the way through to the end of the first disc with catchy hooks abounding. Guttural and raw vocals complement bitter and critical lyrics. Larsen lets his sexuality ooze through the lyrics in songs such as “Invade My Body,” while his more revolutionary side pierces through in “Turmoil (Fuel for Fascism).” The lyrics of Larsen’s songs are simple but strong, riding atop the heavy beat with nothing lost in the sound. Simplicity sometimes garners the best results.

Disc two brings things down a bit with slower-paced music and more insidious lyrics. Larsen brings orchestral and ambient pads, more airy synths, and a steadier, somber tone to the music. The inclusion of guest artists Andi Sex Gang on “What Have I Done?” make for a decisively disturbing sound, and Jim Cookas on guitar for the acoustic version of “Song for Pia” creates a soft and soothing atmosphere for a touching song. However, disc two packs just as much punch as disc one, with pounding songs such as “Battle Mind,” “H. C. Ørsted,” and the hypersexual “The Bears Aren’t Sleeping Tonight.” The second disc begins to drag after some time, but there’s enough engaging content to power through some poor pacing.

Leæther Strip is a figurehead of the genre and continually proves it through his music. Mental Slavery is not the best album that Larsen has to offer, but it is a solid addition to the discography and a must-hear for all Leæther Strip fans, old and new.
Track list:
Disc 1

  1. Introvert
  2. Turmoil (Fuel for Fascism)
  3. My Shadow is Your Home
  4. I Feel Human
  5. State of Mind Control
  6. Invade My Body
  7. Out There
  8. Abusive
  9. Your God Has Left You Tonight
  10. Closer to the Pulse Beat
  11. It’s the End
  12. No Entry No Exit
  13. Thirty-Seven Point One
  14. Strobe Lights
  15. Frankfurt Noir
  16. Invade My Body (Bær Body Music Mix)

Disc 2

  1. Grab It Now
  2. We Build the Walls
  3. Slow
  4. Battle Mind
  5. Dead Soil
  6. Song for Pia
  7. What Have I Done? (feat. Andi Sex Gang)
  8. H. C. Ørsted
  9. Out There (Tunguska Version)
  10. My Funeral
  11. I Watch You Fall
  12. Abscido
  13. Song for Pia (Acoustic Version feat. Jim Cookas)
  14. The Bears Aren’t Sleeping Tonight (Dance Mix)

Leæther Strip MySpace http://www.myspace.com/leaetherstrip
Leæther Strip Facebook http://www.facebook.com/leaetherstrip.clauslarsen
Alfa Matrix Website http://alfa-matrix.com
Alfa Matrix MySpace http://www.myspace.com/alfamatrix
Alfa Matrix Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Alfa.Matrix
Alfa Matrix Twitter http://twitter.com/alfamatrix
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)

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