Jun 2011 16

Cover Image
X Marks the Pedwalk
Category: Industrial / EBM
Album: Inner Zone Journey
Stars: 4
Blurb: Prolific in their prime during the late ‘90s and still managing to remain current, X Marks the Pedwalk’s return is like that of an old friend.


Inner Zone Journey Marks Sevren Ni-Arb and brother Raive Yarx’s return to the underground music scene after quite an extensive leave of absence. By putting on an almost 15 year hiatus shortly after the 1996 release of Drawback, X Marks the Pedwalk left quite a void in the electronic music community. The resurfacing XMtP come back full throttle and show us that the talent and dedication to the music has simply never tapered. Being such a prolific producer and songwriter, Ni-Arb easily nestles himself back on the map with an album that could literally have been released back-to-back with their last. Sullenly introducing the album is the foreboding “Lifeline,” a song with a subtle drive that insists upon you to listen and lyrics that speak at you, not sing with you. This piece returns us to the XMtP that we never really forgot about, and the reunion between fan/listener and artist is a most enjoyable one. From this point, the band takes steps away from the darkness and into the more up-tempo and optimistic realm of EBM/electronic dance music with “Runaway.” This lighter vein of electronica marks the now trademark sound of the band and is what drives most of the album. A notable signature piece is the track “Seventeen,” a track that regales of the band’s earliest EBM/dance efforts with a slightly bolder push towards electro-pop. Lyrically memorable with a chorus that quickly and feverishly takes you in, this is the type of song that Ni-Arb was once condemned for when first making XMtP’s transition away from harder industrial music towards a more lighthearted and club-friendly style. Now, as it was then, this directional decision proves to be successful through the obvious efforts that are put behind each of the songs on Inner Zone Journey. “Obscure Reason” and “Clean Hearts” are great examples of the integration of male/female vocals in a song; a choice that many similar artists are driving towards with the aim of creating strong radio-play music. The two songs are wonderfully balanced between the two vocalists on every level, and the end result is a harmonious bout of electronica that holds massive appeal in and out of the clubs. “Satellite” is a contrarily softer number that holds introspective qualities with a down-tempo rhythm that highlights the somber timbre of Ni-Arb’s vocals. Another diversion from the electronic pop qualities of the album occurs with “Distant Rain” as it washes over you in and out of synthesized sound waves. The reflective sensation of this last track drives your mind back to the infectious sounds that led you to this point on the album, inevitably prompting you to return to the beginning and give the album another listen.

The return of XMtP might have fallen flat if not for the fact that these two brothers et al hold incredibly strong productive talents and a great knack for creating memorable and captivating electronica. Leaving the scene obviously hasn’t hurt them as a band, and the only negative result from their hiatus is the lack of more XMtP that we might have been subjected to over this time.
Track list:

  1. Lifeline
  2. Runaway
  3. Obscure Reason
  4. Satellite
  5. Seventeen
  6. Winter Comes Tomorrow
  7. Human Scientists
  8. Clean Hearts
  9. Stripped by Tears
  10. Snapshots in a Dark Room
  11. Distant Rain

X Marks the Pedwalk Website http://www.xmtp.de
X Marks the Pedwalk MySpace http://www.myspace.com/xmarksthepedwalk
X Marks the Pedwalk Facbeook http://www.facebook.com/xmarksthepedwalk
X Marks the Pedwalk Twitter http://www.twitter.com/xmtp_sevren
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Stephen Lussier (ioweyouacoke)

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