Jul 2012 22

PreEmptive Strike 0.1 - T.A.L.O.S.PreEmptive Strike 0.1
Category: EBM
Album: T.A.L.O.S.
Stars: 4
Blurb: As if an EBM album stumbled into the world music section, T.A.L.O.S. is defined by some unexpected ethnic flavors and flawless execution of the aggrotech principal.


When a band comes along and applies a twist on a well cemented, usually formulaic genre, one takes notice. When they do it again and again, besting and perfecting their style, one has little choice but to become a fan. PreEmptive Strike 0.1 releases its third album in 10 years since the band’s inception on the Greek island of Crete and although elements of the national background were always present in their work, T.A.L.O.S. is easily the most accomplished and fully realized record they’ve delivered so far.

A range of acoustic instruments and classic Greek motifs add an unexpected depth to an otherwise deceptively uninspired EBM sound. Whether it’s a choir haunting the background or a sound of a bouzouki, PreEmptive Strike 0.1 strives to preserve those subtle elements that help elevate them from the sea of similar, proficient EBM artists and render them an act with identity and a discernible style. Much more than amusing gimmickry, hints of the national heritage are a meaningful, fully realized part of the package and they are integrated into the tracks so well that by the end of your experience with T.A.L.O.S., it will be difficult to imagine them arranged without the crying strings of the Cretan lyre. Even more so, you might be glancing at the work of other electro acts craving the presence of a similar exotic quality. This is apparent from the few opening moments when on the extended version of “T.A.L.O.S.,” this obscure instrument’s sound blends with the all out electronic assault that is immediately danceable and stimulating. The opening track only slows down for a moment to further celebrate the band’s roots in brief spoken inserts and continues in the unstoppable, awe inspiring fashion that despite inducing a clubbing frenzy manages to incorporate melodic, albeit appropriately aggravated, vocals.

Less complex but still hugely satisfying is “Bedingungslose Kapitulation” that runs confidently on the sustained tempo without a single misplaced beat. “Hubris (Infinite)” is more playful with a strong Mediterranean influence running throughout the entire track, taking turns with the pure dark electro that later dominates tracks like “Omnivorous Lurkers” and “Raketenschlag.” Lyrics contain elements of Greek mythology and although these numerous references to the pantheon of ancient deities might seem goofy and obvious, they all serve the uniformity of the work that has a strong mainstream appeal but remains distinctly unique and always oscillates within the context of PreEmptive Strike’s cultural belonging. Sadly, the vocal parts were given an unremarkable growling treatment that fails to match the novelty of the musical content; they are often indiscernible and on several occasions in Greek. However, incomprehensible or not, they clearly play a secondary role to the rhythm of drum machines. Those few parts kept in Jim’s and Cryon’s native language help distinguish the band as a committed and uncompromising force and their music as playful and original. Other album highlights must include “Pierce the Husk,” which could easily stand in for any of Front Line Assembly’s techno/industrial pieces, and “The Scorcher,” which is at once gothic and steeped in an oddly traditional, chanting mood. It’s on the latter where, supported by Argentinian Raven Wings, PreEmptive Strike 0.1 reveals the extent of their interests that easily reaches beyond the EBM tumult and hints at exciting, still untapped potential.

T.A.L.O.S. successfully fulfils the primary function of this particular brand of industrial; from start to finish, it remains energetic and pleasurable. That is, of course, if you associate pleasure with a wave of unstoppable harsh beats capable of crushing your eardrums. I’d like to believe that after T.A.L.O.S., PreEmptive Strike 0.1 has nothing left to prove to the audience and critics alike and that their, hopefully inevitable, fourth release will grant them well deserved place among the EBM giants. With this release, they sure as hell showed that they deserve it.
Track list:

  1. T.A.L.O.S. (Extended)
  2. Bedingungslose Kapitulation
  3. Hubris (Infinite)
  4. Omnivorous Lurkers
  5. Titans Awake
  6. Raketenschlag (featuring Phosgore)
  7. Pierce Their Husk (featuring Niklas Kvarforth)
  8. Seasons in the Abyss
  9. The Scorcher (featuring Raven Wings)
  10. Zeitgeist (Sub Specie Aeternitatis)
  11. Invisible Invaders
  12. Bedingungslose Kapitulation (Sleepwalk Remix)
  13. T.A.L.O.S. (Second Disease Edit)

PreEmptive Strike 0.1 MySpace http://www.myspace.com/preemptivestrike01
PreEmptive Strike 0.1 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/PreEmptive-Strike-01/167777559940
PreEmptive Strike 0.1 ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/preemptivestrike01
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter https://twitter.com/metropolisrec
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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