Apr 2014 13

Sonik Foundry - ChaosSonik Foundry
Category: EBM / Electro
Album: Chaos
Stars: 3
Blurb: Doing well to adhere to the conventions of electro/EBM with only a few fanciful flourishes, the latest album from Sonik Foundry is rather good, if not essential.


Chaos may not aptly describe the music heard on Sonik Foundry’s fifth album, but the New England electro/EBM sensation certainly puts forth an effort to keep the energy and the emotional intensity on high. While incorporating guitars and live drums in a concert setting, those elements have more often than not been subdued on the band’s albums, with Nikademus employing a straightforward EBM assault throughout his music that works well within the conventions of the genre, but given added weight simply by excellent production.

With Chaos, his sense of melodic songwriting is also further emphasized, first and best indicated by the opening track, “Mind Twister.” A gyrating synth bass line enters, distorted and guttural, kicking into high gear with a pulsating beat and Nikademus’ slightly raspy voice. The song is rather monotonous except for a deviation in the melody on the bridge that would’ve been a nice throughway to a more dynamic musical passage; as it stands, it’s a rough and ready dance floor filler whose only weakness is its familiarity. In fact, such is the case throughout all of Chaos, from the vicious bass and beat of such songs as “Undead” and “Dreamland” to the slower, more menacing rhythms of “In Exile” aided by a rather catchy melodic progression that makes it one of the more enjoyable tracks on the album. “Sadness” moves at a languid and unrelenting pace in its intro, the clamor of metallic percussion hinting at more industrial leanings that do not quite pan out once the highly energetic beats kick in, although the vocoders and vocal melody do give the song an almost Duran Duran-esque feel in the verses. Even as “The Aftermath” promises to be one of the more impressive tracks with its slower rhythm and ambient swells, it never really elevates itself above the standards of electro/EBM. And then tracks like “House of Fear” and “Placate Me” do just that, with the latter track’s guitar adding just enough malevolent atmosphere to an already aggressive track, while “House of Fear” dances around a virulent bass line, the synth leads complementing the vocals quite nicely as Nikademus’ layered and impassioned approach is given its best treatment on this song.

Like the preceding album, Chaos comes with some bonus remixes. The Bella Morte remix of the title track slows the tempo and gives the song an appropriately gothic flair, swells of chorale-like synths servicing the lyrics quite well, more so than on the original version. With “Dreamland,” Alkemic Generator overwhelms the straightforward simplicity of the original with a much more epic and noisy arrangement that lives up to the album title better than any other track. On past releases, Sonik Foundry’s music has done well to maintain a constant balance of catchy pop hooks with electrified dance floor ready EBM, allowing the songwriting to overtake any desire for a more innovative style. Chaos is no different, which is not in itself a bad thing. Credit must once again be given for the production sheen, especially with added attention paid to Nikademus’ vocal treatments; even at his most monotonic, there is a harmonious power that enhances his heartfelt lyrics. Beyond that, Chaos is a good album, if only that.
Track list:

  1. Mind Twister
  2. Chaos
  3. Undead
  4. Into the Storm
  5. Impact
  6. Sadness
  7. Dreamland
  8. Liar
  9. In Exile
  10. The Aftermath
  11. House of Fear
  12. Placate Me
  13. Chaos (Bella Morte Remix)
  14. Dreamland (Alkemic Generator Remix)

Sonik Foundry Website http://www.sonikfoundry.com
Sonik Foundry MySpace https://myspace.com/sonikfoundry
Sonik Foundry Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SonikFoundry
Sonik Foundry Twitter http://www.twitter.com/SonikFoundry
Sonik Foundry ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/sonikfoundry
Sonik Foundry SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/sonikfoundry
Nilaihah Records Website http://www.nilaihah.com
Nilaihah Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/nilaihahrecords
Nilaihah Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Nilaihah
Nilaihah Records Twitter http://twitter.com/nilaihahrecords
Nilaihah Records Bandcamp http://nilaihahrecords.bandcamp.com
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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