Jan 2013 29

Rein[Forced] - X Amount of Stab Wounds in the BackRein[Forced]
Category: EBM
Album: X Amount of Stab Wounds in the Back
Stars: 4
Blurb: Synthesizer aficionados may weep with joy as Rein[Forced] has created a perfect EBM playground for club-goers to dance upon.


It had been nearly six years between albums for Jim Semonik’s Rein[Forced], but don’t you dare call it a hiatus. Tragedy struck a month after the band’s previous album, Futile Longings of a Condescending Man was released in March of 2006 as keyboardist/programmer Ben Bloom passed away. The band took some time off from music and felt ready to come back to the scene in 2007. Shortly after the band got some new momentum, Semonik was diagnosed with stage 2B colorectal cancer. The new album was put on hold until Semonik could recover. And despite brutal chemotherapy and radiation treatments as well as a near death experience with a pancreatitis attack, Semonik has returned with X Amount of Stab Wound in the Back.

With the vast amount of time spent in hospitals and doctor’s offices, it’s no surprise that a majority of the lyrical content captured in this album dabbles in medical terminology. However, this is no whiney, mopey, “feel sorry for me” tragedy story. X Amount of Stab Wounds in the Back is a different type of dark that only someone who has actually flirted with death, as Semonik has, can capture. Despite the dooming undertones in the lyrics, the album is rich with anthems for an industrial dance floor. Things get going with the slamming track “Nausea,” its rampant pace and aggressive vocals creating an in-your-face opening to this unrepentant album. The party really gets going with “Malignancy.” Clever and catchy synth hooks turn this sinister track into something you can bust a move to. “Embodiment of Hope” features the poetic vocals of Alea Christ. The duet between Semonik and Christ is rough and beautiful like brightly painted sandpaper. The addition of female vocals gives character and variety to an album that is dominated by brash vocals and pulsating synth hooks. In this reviewer’s opinion, “Convalescence” is the best track on the album. It’s not an overwhelming track compared to the rest of the album, but there seems to be more soul captured in this song. The mood of the music fits with the lyrics and spirit of the song perfectly. Also, there is a soothing 40 second synthesizer solo in the middle of the track; consider it “Chicken Soup for the Industrial/EBM Soul.” Skip ahead a bit to the end and you might be familiar with the final track, “Dichotomy,” as it was released as a single a couple months before the album and reignited the interest in Rein[Forced]; rightfully so, as this song is easily the catchiest on the album. The synths are vastly layered and at times sound harsh, crunchy, and severe, but then break into smooth, bouncy, and danceable riffs. The title is accurate considering the split personality of the music.

There are very few negatives for this album. Even the instrumental track, “Core Catcher” doesn’t fall into the throwaway category that most instrumental tracks do. At times, Semonik’s vocals were a bit whispery and difficult to hear, but other than that, this album produced 12 stellar tracks full of synth greatness. For its near-perfect usage and blend of synths and wide array of danceable yet dark tracks, this album is a must own for EBM enthusiasts.
Track list:

  1. Nausea
  2. Zen Manipulation
  3. Deck of Trick Cards
  4. Malignancy
  5. 2 x Pain
  6. Lethargic
  7. Core Catcher
  8. Embodiment of Hope featuring Alea Christ
  9. Convalescence
  10. Amplified
  11. Pure Unadulterated Anger
  12. Dichotomy

Rein[Forced] / Distortion Productions Website http://distortionprod.com
Rein[Forced] / Distortion Productions Facebook https://www.facebook.com/reinforced66
Rein[Forced] / Distortion Productions Twitter https://twitter.com/distortionprod
WTII Records Website http://www.wtiirecords.com
WTII Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/wtIIrecords
WTII Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/WTII-Records-LLC/118624595174
WTII Records Twitter http://twitter.com/WTIIRecordshttp://www.myspace.com/distortionproductions
WTII Records Bandcamp http://wtiirecords.bandcamp.com
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)


  1. Damian G. says:

    ‘Dichotomy’ is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard last year. Great work from Rein[Forced] indeed.

  2. Glad you agree! Thank you so much for reading, Damian.

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