Nov 2013 11

Tactical Module - Into ExileTactical Module
Category: Electro / Industrial
Album: Into Exile
Stars: 2
Blurb: Better production than past releases, but still lacking in anything to distinguish this act as anything other than an imitator.


At first glance, one might assume Tactical Module to be just another band in the current wave of electro/industrial acts; and the name certainly doesn’t help to dissuade this assumption, although it can almost certainly be used as a reference for what Tactical Module actually sounds like. After releasing a handful of EPs with Engraved Ritual, Michael Davis has decided to continue down his “darker and more aggressive side of electronic music” by signing with Juggernaut Media Group and releasing his first full-length album, Into Exile, in physical as well as digital format. Unfortunately, while this does indeed indicate the artist’s willingness to step up his game on a professional level, it simply doesn’t measure up in any creative sense.

From the dubstep warbles and chugging guitars of “Awaken,” Davis’ aimless shouts meant to evoke a punk-like mentality, the album is sure to be a mixed bag of styles that, while well produced, fail to form a cohesive whole. While this is not necessarily a weakness in itself as it does indicate the album’s variety, it does make for a rather jarring listen. With drum & bass featuring prominently in such tracks as “Outer City Limits,” “Hellfire,” and “Cypher 2.0,” and then shifting to more electro/EBM modes on the title track, “Downpour,” and “Breathless,” Into Exile seems unwilling to commit to a single style, alternating between the two without much to transition or even connect one to the other, aside from some of the lead synth tones and Davis’ vocals. Herein lies the album’s greatest downfall, especially on “Unbreakable” as Davis attempts to infuse some melody into his singing, resulting in a rather tone deaf performance that is simply grueling to listen to.

Closing out the album are a series of remixes, with Knife Fight’s remix of “Breathless” transforming the original’s marching EBM into a blistering array of drum & bass breaks and resonant piano melodies; this track perhaps helps to achieve the cohesion that is so lacking amid the originals, but only marginally does so. There is little to distinguish Ruinizer’s version of “Awaken” from the original other than it simply presenting a different arrangement, while the Defeat remix of “Into Exile” follows in the same electro/EBM knitting as the original, albeit with slightly more enjoyable results. The G-Mix of “Into Exile” opts for a darker dubstep version that once again indicates the album’s overall variety.

As on past release by Tactical Module, the inherent problem with Into Exile is that the music offers very little that one hasn’t received from numerous other bands. Credit should be given to Michael Davis for at the very least taking the production end seriously enough to give his music better sound quality, but it still is not enough to hide the shortcomings of musicianship and lack of vocal ability.
Track list:

  1. Awaken
  2. Into Exile
  3. Outer City Limits
  4. Breathless
  5. Cypher 2.0
  6. Downpour
  7. Hellfire
  8. Unbreakable
  9. Into Exile (Defeat Remix)
  10. Into Exile (G-Mix)
  11. Breathless (Knife Fight Remix)
  12. Awaken (Ruinizer Remix)

Tactical Module MySpace
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Tactical Module Reverbnation
Tactical Module Bandcamp
Juggernaut Media Group Website
Juggernaut Media Group Facebook
Juggernaut Media Group Bandcamp
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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