| The name may sound familiar; Mr. Empire was the founding member of Atari Teenage Riot. After 2 years of intense writing and development, Alec Empire resurfaces with his new album intelligence and sacrifice (I & S). |
I&S picks up pretty much where his previous contribution "The Destroyer" left off, for anyone who doesn't know of "The Destroyer" the album was apparently made on a dare, when it was completed, Empire was afraid the record he had created was too extreme to listen to (and it's quite easy to understand his concerns). The Destroyer is full of super-fast, super hard break beats, and virtually every sound in the entire recording is in some way broken up or distorted. Picture a drum-machine with no sense of propriety, bulldozing its way right through the middle of a pile of Marshall Stacks. Some people, found it was too heavy to stomach, but others craved it. It has the same effect as a triple-espresso first thing in the morning. There's the potted history over with, now let's move on
I&S is recorded and produced with the help of Nic Endo a member of empires "band", Endo has stretched and morphed the Empire sound in many new directions, and created a nihilistic underground
sound-scape which makes for an album with even more impact than his previous intense offerings.
The album begins with an anger infused head on collision "Path of destruction" this MAKES you sit up and listen. This is followed by "The Ride" on which the vocals could be Mark E Smith from the Fall fronting for the Sisters Of Mercy or even Prodigy, then follows the straight up punk of "Tear It Out" & "Everything starts with a f**k".
The first single released from I & S named "Addicted To You" has a dance metal feel, inter-spliced with futuristic samples, kind of Gary Numan high on angel dust, the single is also accompanied by an excellent Matrix / Blade style vamp video. This is perhaps one of the more accessible although shallow moments on this album.
The first half rounds up with the 14 minute long "New World Order (Finale)" which is on a total destruction down a microphone kind of vibe. Empire couldn't have concluded the first section in a better way; this leads you through to the quite contrasting part 2. As strange as it may sound, the second half of the album can only be described as a dark electronic unwritten - unspoken emotion. Or in his own words "The Cycle that never ends". Starting off with a track called "2641998" the longest track on the album (29 Minutes) and without a doubt the most crazy, a meandering wonder through some very strange noises and sonic climates, this is followed by" The Cat Woman Of The Moon" this helps you wind down after the previous onslaught of angst.
Apparently Empire spent most of his studio time, working on the second part of this album, the music has a lighter feel but still manages to remain edgy and keep your attention while you float through an interesting mixture of dark electro sound effects.
All in all, I & S must be described as an intense listening experience. This could be what the World of music has been missing for sometime now, sure we have had the Nu Metal bubblegum aggression but with no real depth or reason. Empire's power-crazed electro-punk sensibility, make for a 'Killer' if not 'Classic' combination.
This is an INTENSE LISTENING EXPERIENCE for the 21st century, and therefore absolutely essential.