HEAVY WATER FACTORY

Album: "Translucent Amber" (1999)
Label: No-Substance Records
Style: Electro-industrial/dark ambient
Songs: 12
B

Reviewed by: Darklight

Heavy Water Factory is the electro-industrial/EBM/dark ambient duo of Jesse James McClear (programming/vocals) and Scott Hixton (vocals). Jesse provides vocals for only two tracks here, while Scott provides vocals for five tracks. The remaining five tracks are all short dark ambient instrumentals.

The songs are placed in an order where an instrumental is given, then a track with vocals, and then an instrumental again so on and so forth throughout this entire CD. This is really odd and does hinder the overall flow of the disc as having a dark ambient experimental track after each more structured angry and aggressive electro-industrial track featuring vocals throws too many variations at you by delivering a mellow instrumental and then a clubfloor track. Itís as if the band isnít quite clear as to what kind of music they really want to make.

The songs with Scott singing are the best offered here, and are all quite impressive. Jesse is a good electro musician offering songs with chaotic programming and heavy bass beats over dark dramatic orchestrated synthscapes. Scott has a deep clean powerful voice that sings with a lot of passion and emotion. The two forces combined make for some excellent music.

Unfortunately, with only seven songs with vocals and five instrumentals, this album just doesnít work for me. The instrumentals are decent, but are out of place when mixed with structured songs with vocals.

This album proves that Heavy Water Factory can indeed make some of the most impressive heavy electro-industrial songs today, but now they need to deliver an album that only features those songs and leave the instrumentals for a side project.

 

Album: "Cries From Hell" (1997)
Label: Energy Records
Style: Electroindustrial
Songs: 12
B

Reviewed by: Darklight

This band's debut release "Author Of Pain" really didn't do a lot for me. It seemed like standard generic electro industrial music with too many instrumentals flooding it. Well, this is a remix album of songs from their debut album as well as a few un-released songs as an added bonus. All of these songs come alive now. They are full of excellent layering techniques, passion and emotion. Well programmed electronics, beautiful synth melodies and well placed samples make up the music here. Sampled guitar makes an appearance on some of the songs to give them even more of an aggressive edge. There are vocals on most of the tracks delivered here and they are different on each song. Sometimes they are growling distorted anger while on others they are clean and deep and sing more melodically. There are even female vocals on the dark and moody track "Vampire". What I like about this album is that there is a lot of variety to be found here. There are high energy packed dance club songs, dark gothic songs and some melodic ambient instrumentals. I like this aspect of the album. The only song out of place here is "Better Than Dead". It's a lame funky jazz song that just doesn't fit the overall mood of this album. Also, there is an extended remix of "Place Of Torment" placed after the beautiful "Everyone's In Heaven". It would have been better just to make "Everyone's In Heaven" the ending song. But these are my only complaints. This is a quality album with some very enjoyable music. Now I can't wait to see what this band comes up with next.

 

Album: "Author Of Pain" (1997)
Label: Energy Records
Style: Electroindustrial
Songs: 18
C

Reviewed by: Darklight

Heavy Water Factory is one guy with a few guest vocalists. Now as you know it's nothing new for an industrial band to be just one person that does everything. But this guy kind of shoves it in your face a little too much in my opinion. His name appears more times than I would care to count in the CD booklet, and there are three photos of him and the equipment that he uses included as well. But none of this really matters. You just want to know if the music is good or not. Well, yes and no. It's well constructed, but generic. It's the typical electro industrial music that you've heard many times before. The electronics have a sci-fi techno edge mixed with a lot of samples, while dark haunting keyboard harmonies play in the background. Eight of the tracks include distorted angry growling male vocals, while the other ten tracks are all instrumentals. Some songs are fast, some are medium, and some are slow. So there is some variety to be found here. But most of the instrumentals do tend to sound the same. Also, the music sounds as if it's missing something. It doesn't have a full sound to it. It does seem a bit amateurish at times. The bottom line is that this isn't bad music. It's just nothing new or different.