Category: Industrial / Electro / EBM
Album: Close II Death
Blurb: Wynardtage’s latest offering contains a few great moments, but many long stretches of music that will fail to grab your attention.
Wynardtage has been very active, releasing six full-length albums and several EPs since 2005. The music tends towards the harsher style of electro, and while the act’s production skills are on par and clearly possessing of some talent, there is little to set the music apart from other, more established bands in the genre.
If someone played the first track of Close II Death, “Salvation,” for you and didn’t tell you what it was, you may easily be fooled into thinking it was an old unreleased Tactical Sekt track as it features all of the hallmarks. If this is your first time hearing something like this, the raw power of this style is very appealing. However, those of us who have been listening to harsh electro for some time now have already heard dozens of albums in this style and would like to see it finally evolve. “One Last Magazine” continues in the same vein and the introduction even continues the same form – a stripped down intro with a vocal sample followed by an empty measure with a reverse snare that brings you into the verse. Faults aside, this song has an excellent melody in the chorus and one could easily imagine it filling a dance floor. “Missed for a Lifetime” changes things up a little bit with its softer edge and sung, female vocals. Like much of the rest of this album, this track is competent, but other artists are making better music in this style. “Circle of Sadness” is another track in the harsh style and also has a decent melody in the chorus, but one notices that the melody is in much the same fashion as “One Last Magazine.” Yes, this is idiomatic of the genre, but an album should have more variety lest it become a simple collection of tracks. The biggest surprise and standout of the album is “Ohne Dich,” a piano ballad with sung vocals and a touching melody. This song may come as a surprise to fans of harsh electro and may even turn a few of them off, but Wynardtage displays a real talent in this track and the singer is well suited to it. At this point in the album, the remixes take over, with many of the remix artists, such as Amduscia, Blutengel, Suicide Commando, and Alien Vampires, being regulars in the harsh electro world. Among the top remixes are Suicide Commando’s remix of “Salvation,” to which Johan van Roy lends his signature groove and excellent taste in timbre and minimalist arrangement, and the Alien Vampires trance remix of “Sea of Agony,” which is originally found on Wynardtage’s Sleepless in Heaven. The final original track is “Home,” an instrumental in a more uplifting style. This track is one of the more enjoyable on the album and one begins to think that perhaps Wynardtage’s forte is pretty melodies.
Wynardtage is undeniably talented, but many of their tracks give the impression that Close II Death was quickly produced and do not give us anything that we have not already gotten somewhere else. The band has a gift for melody, but the prime focus seems to be in the realm of harsh music, which tends to eschew pretty melodies. Despite a prolific output, one wishes that it would be reduced in favor of higher quality and a focus on bringing the music to the next level.
Wynardtage Website http://www.wynardtage.de
Wynardtage MySpace http://www.myspace.com/wynardtage
Wynardtage Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Wynardtage
Wynardtage Bandcamp https://wynardtage.bandcamp.com
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John Imperiale – (mzrt)