Mar 2013 06

Shadow System - Dark by DesignShadow System
Category: Dance / Electro / EBM
Album: Dark by Design
Stars: 4
Blurb: This album will make you dance no matter how hard you try to resist.


Industrial/EBM is one of the most diverse and multinational genres in all of music and no one may prove that more than Shadow System whose members are from Australia, Italy, and Northern Ireland. Together, the trio puts their backgrounds into one collective brainchild and called it Dark by Design. No matter what genre of underground dance you are into, you are most likely going to find something to dance to on this album as it reaches deep into the bowels of gritty industrial stomp scenes as well as disco-happy dance floors to find beats everyone can move to. It begins with “Shadow Dancer,” an excellent track just to dive right in and get your oontz on – it gets the blood flowing and the boots stomping. It’s industrial enough to rivet to and techno enough to whip out the glow sticks. Afterward, you’re hit with a major mood swing as “Twisted Sex Malfunction” sounds way too happy to be what it’s titled. It’s a groovy dance tune though and maybe too disco for this album, but it’s one of the strongest tracks on Dark by Design. It probably would have been better somewhere else on the album as the mood swing is pretty abrupt, though. “The Nihilist Machine” returns the album to a darker tone, which will delight those who were unimpressed with the previous track. It’s not quite as danceable as the previous two, but has great personality and a unique dark undertone. The next three tracks are uneventful compared to the rest of the album; although they aren’t bad tracks, they just don’t get this dance floor jumping. However, “Drug Fuelled and Better than You” gets everything back on track. It’s repetitive but in all the right ways. The lyrical content is simple and allows you to focus on swinging your hips or pumping your fists. “Cold and Double Bladed” could easily be a track on a new Mortal Kombat video game because it makes you want to dance or punch something – either way, arms will be flailing. Following up is the title track, which is the sexiest tune Shadow System has to offer thus far. It maintains a grinding yet timid pace with synths down low that rumble your organs in all the right ways. It’s an interesting choice for a title track as it doesn’t necessarily go with the flow of the album, but then again, this album contains a multitude of different ways to get your industrial boogie on. The album is befittingly ended with “Coded Shame” as it sounds like dramatic credit or outro music. The music encompasses the walls closing in and ends the night on a pleasant beat and a perfect pace. For its dance fueled, bass injected dandies, Dark by Design should be heard in nightclubs and on dance floors everywhere very soon.
Track list:

  1. Shadow Dancer
  2. Twisted Sex Malfunction
  3. The Nihilist Machine
  4. L’Art de Moi Destruction
  5. Nailed
  6. Feel Me Fuck Me
  7. Drug Fuelled and Better than You
  8. Cold and Double Bladed
  9. Dark by Design
  10. Coded Shame

Shadow System Website
Shadow System MySpace
Shadow System Facebook
Shadow System ReverbNation
Shadow System SoundCloud
Shadow System Bandcamp
Cloud 9 Studios
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)

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