Forget Morgan Freeman, I want Bill Leeb to narrate every inane facet of my life! With biting tones laid out so smooth, can you really think of anyone else who delivers messages of chaos prophesying the end of days so well? For now, though, I’ll settle by hearing Leeb recite mechanically-tinged raspy rhymes on the latest Front Line Assembly record. For now.
Mechanical Soul is the name of FLA’s seventeenth (!!!) studio album which hearkens back to Tactical Neural Implant and Caustic Grip, sounding as vital and thirsty as those earlier works. The second with Rhys Fulber back in the fold and first since the untimely passing of Jeremy Inkel, Mechanical Soul is almost a rebirth of sorts while going back to basics at the same time.
“Purge” is supersized FLA for the new world having the feel of Millennium as it perpetually pulsates with these Brad Fiedel-like synth tones ominously warning of a coming apocalypse (Sorry, I was watching Terminator 2 just before sitting down with this). “Glass and Leather” is punctuated perfection and a true dancefloor stomp while “Unknown” is ominous and epic, creating a sense of urgency within its’ synthetic walls.
“New World” is morose and somber with tender electronic oscillations echoing the robotic-tinged vocals by Leeb, “Rubber Tube Gag” is from another world heralding alien life forms breaching our atmosphere with these Fulber-designed soundscapes, and then “Stifle” puffs out its’ chest like King Kong making his first grand appearance for a song that’s beastly, cathartic, and crushing thanks to Fear Factory’s Dino Cazares and his crunchy riffage.
“Barbarians” welcomes Front 242’s Jean-Luc de Meyer to the mic stand and later, “Komm, stirbt mit mir” is a straight banger featuring ALL the bleeps and boops before the swirling synths of “Time Lapse” and the combined Electronic might of Fulber and Leeb close the curtain on the latest FLA mechanical masterpiece.
Mechanical Soul, the first must have Industrial album of 2021, arrives on January 15th through Metropolis Records. Pre-orders are up now and can be checked out by heading here or here. For the latest on Front Line Assembly, follow them across the information superhighway by clicking here, here, or here.