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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Erode - "Horizon"

Artist: Erode
Album: Horizon
Year: 2011
Label: Tympanik
Genre: Atmospheric IDM
Website: www.erodemusic.com
this album on discogs: here



Erode is the IDM project from Alexander Dietz. What's interesting is that Dietz is one of the guitarists for the german metalcore band Heaven Shall Burn. I actually enjoy that band a lot, so I was excited to see what he would bring to the table with an electronic album. To be honest, this really is not something I would expect from a metal guy. Either way, this album was co-produced by Mike Cadoo of gridlock/bitcrush/dryft and is another fine addition to Tympanik's ranks of emotional IDM.

Good stuff:
+ As I mentioned, Mike Cadoo was a producer on this and you can certainly hear the influence. The album is reminiscent of Cadoo's work, with the huge pads, driving melodies and steady uptempo beats. There are a number of very Cadoo-esque pads in here (think Dryft), and some of the beats could be straight off the first Bitcrush album. These are great elements and I'm very glad to hear another musician working with this style.
+ The album intro track '10950' starts off slow, but it builds to an interesting crescendo and, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I really love the guitar work on it. It sounds like the interlude to a well-crafted melodic metal track and just works so well. I honestly would have liked to hear him try this more. Apart from this track there are no other noticeably guitar-esque sounds on the album (excluding one of the remixes).
+ Most of the album follows a standard formula and uses the same types of sounds in basically every song; however, the style presented here is great and it's cool to have that consistency to be able to know that each successive song will contain some elements you enjoy. The tracks are generally focused around a (or a stack of) large, somber pad(s), coupled with a steady, industrial-tinged, beat (think early Bitcrush). The beats are linear, though composed well, and there is enough variety in the tracks structures to keep things interesting. The tracks tend to have several interludes and different segments, and occasionally a dominate melody will surface. Some of the tracks, such as 'Overcome' and 'Disengage', feature long, moody ambient sections before breaking into percussive, melodic fervor.
+ One other thing that I want to mention is the packaging. It is in the usual, good quality, matte, 1-fold digipak, but it comes with an 8-page booklet as well. The art on here is very beautiful (digitally enhanced photos of rainy landscapes) and aptly conveys the mood of the album. I wish more albums had this level of packaging.

Bad stuff:
- The two remixes on this cd. The kadrage remix is absolutely terrible. I have no idea what he is going for (droning ambient maybe?), but it just sounds like a hollow, directionless mess of the same, poorly chosen, loops ad nauseum. I love ambient. This album has a lot of good ambient sections...and this is not one. The final track is Erode's remix of another german metalcore band called Deadlock. For that reason alone, it's an interesting idea, but when it comes down to it, it's not a very good song. The female sung vocals and the male growls clash comically with the upbeat, lighthearted IDM sentiments. Overall it's not terrible, and it's definitely worth at least one listen, but the actual album songs are much better.

This album is basically the second coming of Bitcrush - "Enarc" (but sadder!), so there isn't much here that is not to like. Though straightforward, it definitely delivers. If you like heavily emotional IDM with a trace of industrial influence (and not much in the way of glitching or DSP craziness) than don't miss this! Will definitely please fans of Tympanik. Can't wait to hear what he does next.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

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