IMPERATIVE REACTION

Album: "Redemption"
Label: Metropolis Records (2004)
Style: Industrial / EBM / Synth-pop
Songs: 11

A
 

Reviewed by: Darklight

Imperative Reaction (IR) is without a doubt one of the best American bands making industrial, EBM and synth-pop hybrid music right now. They keep getting better with each new release, and this is their best yet.

As soon as you press play on your audio player of choice, the first track "Arrogance" will blow you away. But this is just the beginning. The rest of the CD will continue to blow you away until it's over. And then you will want to listen to it all over again.

This CD is packed with variety. There's aggressive industrial rock type songs (guitarless), EBM dance tracks, and upbeat synth-pop. Each song is well designed and of the highest quality. The music is energetic and driving with layers upon layers of varied electro sounds and beats. The keyboard melodies are well orchestrated and dramatic. And the vocals are clean and clear sung with true power and emotion. If you don't feel something while listening to these songs; check your pulse. They're so emotionally charged that even the most jaded industrial music fan won't be able to ignore them.

This CD will appeal to a large listening audience as it offers so much variety. I could even see it having crossover appeal. If any song from this recording was played on an alternative, rock, or pop radio station, they would be a hit. If any band could bring more listeners to industrial music, and sub genres of industrial music, it would most likely be IR. You won't be able to resist listening to this CD over and over again. You'll recommend it to friends, family and strangers on the street. It's that good.

 

Album: "Ruined"
Label: Metropolis Records (2002)
Style: Dark EBM
Songs: 10

A

Reviewed by: Darklight

Anyone familiar with Imperative Reaction from their 1999 debut Eulogy For The Sick Child wonít recognize them on this release. The band has matured greatly as musicians leaving the rather typical aggressive distorted old school electro-industrial sound behind and going in a completely new direction. The band is still entirely electronic, but incorporate much more structure, melody and catchiness into their songs now. This is a very modern recording blending current sounding EBM with slight synth-pop elements for an outcome that is impressive. But donít think that the band has turned into a bright and happy electro-pop band, because they havenít. Theyíre still very dark with a serious and bitter edge that bites.

The electronic programming is energetic with well formed layering including powerful beats over great melodies. The singer no longer distorts his vocals, and lets his true voice be heard. And this is a good thing as he has an emotional voice and sings with great intensity. The lyrics are well written and have something to actually say. Theyíre written from a personal perspective, and I found myself relating to a lot of what theyíre about.

Thereís a lot of variety delivered here. Some tracks are rather straight forward and aggressive, some are more calm and melodic, and there are even a few nice dark ambient instrumentals. One track, "Disoriented", even features beautifully haunting female vocals. The song "Rift" sounds somewhat similar to the bandís original material. Itís pure heavy and aggressive pissed off electro-industrial with slightly altered vocals. Itís so intense that I am literally exhausted after listening to it. It would have been nice to have a couple more songs like it here, but everything else is so good that this one pure angst driven track works well on its own.

My only complaint with the album is that it feels a bit short. There are ten tracks total. Seven include vocals, and three are instrumentals. Some of the songs with vocals, and all of the instrumentals, are rather short making the album go by rather quickly. But itís definitely an album that can be played over and over again.

While this album is a rather big departure from the bandís original work, I personally feel that itís a change in the right direction. If you like dark EBM with a hint of synth-pop, you will most likely enjoy this CD.

 

Album: "Eulogy For the Sick Child"
Label: Pendragon Records (1999)

Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 11

A

Reviewed by: Darklight

This is one of the most refreshing dark electro industrial CDs that I've heard in a while. This band does everything right. They make pure electronic music with a dark and aggressive edge. The electronic programming / sequencing / sampling is energetic and creative, the synth melodies are orchestrated with drama, the drum beats are catchy and the vocals are angry and distorted. While there are a lot of bands that make similar music, Imperative Reaction are some of the best at it. They're as good (if not better) than a lot of the more popular European electro industrial acts out there. The songs on this CD hook you right from the start, but keep throwing interesting changes in the music that make you want to keep listening. The vocals are rough and growl with passion along to the music perfectly. The blend of darkness, aggression and melody combined with driving rhythms and beats make this music entertaining to listen to. Every song here could be a club hit. They're very energetic with dance floor hooks. There are three instrumentals here, and while I usually don't care for instrumentals, these are excellent. They are extremely fast paced dark techno that work on their own without vocals. They add even more variety to this already diverse and quality CD. Each track is placed perfectly allowing everything to flow fluidly and smoothly from the very beginning. If you're a fan of dark electro industrial music, this CD can't be missed.