Apr 2012 24

[:SITD:] - Icon:Koru[:SITD:]
Category: EBM / Industrial
Album: Icon:Koru
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Urban, apocalyptic, and apathetic – three code words for an exceptionally brutal and interesting release.


 

[:SITD:], with their apocalyptic and ravaging approach to electro/industrial, have stated themselves to be somewhat of a ruling class in this genre, having received a number of awards from 2003 to 2007. With Icon:Koru, the band sets out to take the listener on a massive if somewhat inconsistent journey.

Starting off with “Extrajudical Punishment,” the listener is introduced into a layered framework of an abandoned soundscape, with the buildup of something sinister by way of living electronics. “Code:Red” enters with similar synth sound and a sample from A Few Good Men, but the martial industrial sounding percussion is much more digital sounding, inducing the EBM elements and sounds. “Periculär (Richtsfest II)” then surpasses, bearing a character of an infuriating brawl and the epitome of mindless violence, despite entering at a similar tempo and structure as the chaotic preceding song. However, the track exchanges the EBM elements for a harsher approach, including a slow-paced and monotone synth. Impressively enough, the themes change radically from singing in English moving on to German, which makes the vocals stand out even more. “State of Tyranny” explores the political themes much better, representing how the world operates without disguise as the singer howls in apathy, “Where’s freedom of choice?” As seen within other realms of this type of music, they surely have been reviving the political themes of the past, continuing on with a more psychedelic approach sounding almost as a harder version of psy-trance as exemplified in “Beacon of Hope.” The song evokes a more gracious and almost otherworldly inspired sound, developing into a more anthemic and club-like trance song throughout.

“Atemlos” starts off in the same vein as “Periculär (Richtsfest II),” but adds the more trancelike feel of the later tracks with a little more melody and synthesized soundscape rather than ultra-distorted drums. As the song gradually fades out, the harsher “Dystopie” slowly manages to deliver a virtual brass knuckle, in-your-face wall of distortion. But as the tempo keeps itself in the slower regions, the attitude and immense distortion doesn’t reach as far either. “Dark Defender” keeps the formula but gradually develops the up-tempo feeling that “Dystopie” lacked, calling for a more breakcore and glitch-oriented soundscape, in need of no vocals as the machinery expresses the themes indirectly. It waltzes perfectly on its own with the extreme industrial bass drum and stop/go pattern of glitches. After the dizziness, the more anthemic trance sound reenters the picture once again, but with a more careful and less sinister approach as “Tarnfabe” mixes the best elements of both distortion and trance at the same time. The vocals fit in very well with the overall soundscape and this could potentially be one of the better tracks on the album, in good company with “State of Tyranny,” “Beacon of Hope,” and “Dark Defender.” Clearly, the force has been disturbing as clean vocals appear on this album for the first time with “Sonic Barrier,” the intro building up with melancholic lyrics amid a well tempered and not too distorted EBM drumbeat. Then we are calmly waddled into safety by the outro, “Zephyr.” With no less than divine brass instruments and a dripping soundscape worthy of a real tearjerker, the listener’s journey is complete with sanity intact.

This album is very well done and doesn’t compromise. Considering the interesting progression of the band’s sound, it doesn’t leave anything to wish for other than an even more consistent set of songs. Sometimes the apocalyptic themes accompanied by the two-dimensional approach are too monotonous. If they’d move on to a more three-dimensional one, the path forward would be even wider. With that said, [:SITD:] has progressed enormously and their path will be ever widening.
 
Track list:

  1. Extrajudical Punishment
  2. Code:Red
  3. Periculär (Richtsfest II)
  4. State of Tyranny
  5. Beacon of Hope
  6. Atemlos
  7. Dystopie
  8. Dark Defender
  9. Tarnfarbe
  10. Sonic Barrier
  11. Zephyr

 
[:SITD:] Website http://www.sitd.de
[:SITD:] MySpace http://www.myspace.com/xsitdx
[:SITD:] Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SITDofficial
[:SITD:] Twitter https://twitter.com/sitdfm
[:SITD:] ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/sitd
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2011-12-13
 
Jonas Larsson (InvisibleGuy)

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