Jun 2011 13

Cover Image
To Avoid
Category: EBM / Industrial
Album: Passion and Pain
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: To Avoid join the ranks of many who’ve crafted a spirited homage to the EBM of the ’80s and ’90s.

 

Germany and EBM are so often associated that they’ve nearly become synonymous in the industrial music world. To Avoid is no exception, beginning their tenure of crafting high quality danceable tunes in Berlin in 1999. The core of To Avoid consists of grandT (instrumentation) and m.a.r.c. (lyrics and vocals), who initially began the project as a duo. A few years later they were soon joined by Cheffee (further instrumentation and production) and Jean, who focuses on the band’s visual presentation. Their latest offering, Passion and Pain, their fifth overall release is a full-length EP featuring several new tracks and includes new remixes of songs originally featured on their second album, Voyage into the Past! and their EP Aggressive Conglomerations. Many of the band’s prior recordings were self-released; Passion and Pain marks their first disc for Germany’s TAMB-Media GBR, and is that label’s inaugural release.

The sound and style of To Avoid’s music is very much in the old-school EBM vein, and the band appropriately cites bands like Front Line Assembly, Leæther Strip, Nitzer Ebb, Mentallo & the Fixer, and XMTP among their many influences. The band also declares that their music is more derivative than imitative, using the questionably and comically translated slogan of “100% Terror Banana Free!” to drive this point home. While not decidedly unfamiliar with terror fruit, Passion and Pain is one of the better EBM records this writer has heard in awhile, fusing hard beats and pumping bass lines in a very palatable and dynamic way. Following the sampling montage of “GET,” “Passion and Pain” is the disc’s first full-length song, and the track oozes with club affability. Quickly noticeable is To Avoid’s abandonment of their native tongue in favor of English, in spite of their poor grasp of the language. While the lyrics are simple, they are actually more thoughtful than most of the poetic garbage being spewed out today. “War Nurse” is another all-new track and likely the most splendid on the whole disc. Featuring ‘40s era sampling and some of the best beats to be found on Passion and Pain, this track has possibly the greatest chance of club play in the United States.

Remixes on the album consist of various versions of “Passion and Pain,” “Against the Current,” and “Instrument of the Death.” Each remix explores drastically different territory, from focusing on the more prevalent electronic style of today to experimental to almost entirely new interpretations. Amnistia’s version of “Passion and Pain” in particular shines above the rest. Passion and Pain is a solid recording throughout avoiding repetition among the tracks, and the film samples they’ve used are well chosen, utilized in appropriate segments and aren’t overused. While it would be nice to see more bands expand beyond the limiting scope of EBM, To Avoid does accomplish rather capably what they’ve set out to do. One can hope in the future that they will pursue more avenues in the creation of their music and not rely on the methods and style laid down decades ago by other more original acts.

 

Track list:

  1. GET (German Electronic Terrorists)
  2. Passion and Pain
  3. Lying Eyes
  4. Do You Know
  5. War Nurse
  6. Instrument of the Death (Re-Work 2009)
  7. Passion and Pain (CrucifiEd-It by Amnistia)
  8. Against the Current (Necroremix by Necro Facility)
  9. Passion and Pain (RMX by Cephalgy)
  10. Against the Current (RMX by Second Disease)
  11. Passion and Pain (Remake by Stin Scatzor)

 

To Avoid Website http://www.toavoid.de
To Avoid MySpace http://www.myspace.com/toavoid
To Avoid Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/To-Avoid/58645951852
To Avoid ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/toavoid
TAMB – Media GBR Website http://tamb-media.com

 

Purchase at:
Amazon MP3

 

2009-12-14

 

Brian Backlash (BrianBacklash)

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