FICTIONAL

Album: "Fiction"
Label: Metropolis Records (2003)
Style: Synth-pop
Songs: 14

C
 

Reviewed by: Darklight

When I reviewed the previous Fictional release Fictitious [+], I had nothing but good things to say about it. As I listened to it more, the less it appealed to me. Part of this was due to me realizing just how laughably bad some of the lyrics were. But musically and vocally it had variety. However, after repeated listens; only a few tracks such as "Blue Lights" and "Dream of God" really stood out, leaving everything else somewhat forgettable. Basically, it was one of those rare occasions where a CD sounded less interesting the more I listened to it. And it was for this reason that I wasnít really all that excited about this follow-up entitled Fiction. But I figured since songs such as "Blue Lights" and "Dream of God" were so popular, the band would want to deliver more songs of that same magnitude on this recording. Also, since those songs featured the vocals of Tim Fockenbrock (Ravenous), I thought he would be the main vocalist on this release as well. But I was wrong. Not only is this overall CD a much more mellow and relaxed recording than Fictitious [+], but it also only features one vocalist (Jason Bainbridge).

All of the music here is once again done by Gerrit Thomas. Heís best known for doing the music for both Funker Vogt and Ravenous. And while I like his music; heís starting to fall into a rut. Basically, if the vocals on this CD were provided by Jens Kastel this could be a Funker Vogt release; and if the vocals were provided by Tim Fockenbrock, this could be a Ravenous release. Gerritís music is starting to sound the same on every project he works on, and this is preventing his newer music from sounding fresh. He really needs to try some new and interesting things with his music, because his current sound is getting redundant.

Vocally, Jason Bainbridge is competent enough when it comes to delivering the singing for these songs. While heís no Jens Kastel or Tim Fockenbrock, his voice does lend well to Gerritís music. The problem is that he doesnít have a lot of range, and ends up sounding the same on most of the songs. And since the music sounds similar for most of the songs as well, it almost seems like youíre listening to the same song a lot of the time.

This is a long CD offering fourteen songs. Unfortunately, most of them are rather mellow making this album drag along a lot more slowly than I would have liked. Actually, this CD doesnít pick up in pace until it reaches track seven "Hunting Machine". This is one of the best songs offered here with its energetic music and emotional singing. Itís definitely a club track that would get the dance floor moving. The only other song here that I would consider a club track is "Perfect Stranger". Everything else plays too slowly for the dance floor.

The music is 100% electronic with sci-fi trance sounds mixed with heavy bass beats over cold melodies. Most of itís mid-tempo, but it slows down at times as well. Thereís an overall relaxed and laid-back sound delivered throughout this entire CD. And itís for this reason that I find it to be rather dull.

While the quality of this album is quite good, I donít think itís going to appeal to the same audience who enjoyed the more club friendly Fictitious [+]. Thereís not one track here that even remotely comes close to matching the catchiness of "Blue Lights". This recording will appeal much more to those who enjoy the music of Ravenous.

 

Album: "Fictitious [+]" (2001)
Label: Metropolis Records
Style: EBM / Synth-pop
Songs: 12

A

Reviewed by: Darklight

Fictional is a Gerrit Thomas project. This explains why this band offers music similar to that of both Funker Vogt and Ravenous.

All of the songs delivered on this CD are extremely catchy with music that instantly grabs you by mixing upbeat futuristic electronic programming, dark dramatic synth melodies and hard driving bass beats along with both clean and altered passionate male vocals.

This is modern EBM containing all of the elements that makes this genre of music so superb. This overall disc is very polished and well produced with the songs all delivered in a fantastic order. Once you begin listening you are hooked and enjoy this ablum as much from the beginning as to the end.

Thre is a lot of variety offered throughout this CD. This is due to the great blending of EBM with synth-pop; and making it work so well. Each track manages to stand out on its own as a hit. So you get a good blend of clubfloor songs as well as more melodic songs. Basically, if Funker Vogt and Ravenous were mixed together, Fictional would be the end result. Thatís not a bad combination if you ask me.

Exclusive to this domestic release of the album are two live tracks for the songs ďDream Of GodĒ and ďBlue LightsĒ. I could have personally done without these as I donít really care for live music. I would have much prefered remixes.

The bottom line is that if you like bands such as Funker Vogt, Lights Of Euphoria, Neuroticfish, Project-X and Ravenous; this CD is for you.