SHOCK OF REALITY

Album: "Abysmal Devotion" (2000)
Label: Zoth Ommog
Style: Electroindustrial
Songs: 10

B
 

Reviewed by: Darklight

When I think of bands on the Zoth Ommog label; I think of dark aggressive European Electro-industrial with growling distorted vocals. This Shock Of Reality CD really surprised me because it sounds nothing like what I have come to expect from Zoth Ommog. This is the type of band that you need to listen to a few times to really enjoy because at first you wonít know what to make of what youíre hearing. Thatís because Shock Of Reality is quite original bringing their own unique sound to the electro-industrial/EBM scene. Instead of simply doing what has already been done before, Shock Of Reality does their own thing. This results in something that takes a while to get use to as itís rather unusual. But itís their uniqueness that allows them to grow on you and become a band that you will want to listen to often just for the fact that theyíre different.

The first thing that you will notice about the songs on this CD are their long playing times. The songs all clock in at about six, seven and eight minutes. The reason for their long lengths is due to the fact that they include long dark ambient beginnings that slowly build into fast paced energetic electronic rhythms and beats. This adds a lot of emotion to the songs mixing in different moods. The songs feature dark beauty combined with futuristic electro sounds to create varied song structures that contain a lot of diversity. The vocals are another unique aspect of this band. Theyíre clean, somewhat high-pitched, male vocals that talk out the lyrics quickly as opposed to actually singing with melody. On rare occasions the vocalist does put harmony into his delivery. He is also sometimes joined by a female singer that really adds a nice touch to the tracks. At first I didnít really care for the male vocals, and felt that they took away from the music. But after a few listens to this CD I felt that his vocals blended well with the music giving these songs their unique sound.

This CD is full of melody and never gets brutal or harsh. A lot of the songs have a dark synth-pop sound to them making this an overall relaxed audio experience. But the electronic programming is fast paced preventing anything from ever putting you to sleep. This music seems like it was designed more for personal enjoyment as opposed to being played in clubs. While some tracks here could work in clubs, nothing really seems to be appropriate for the dance floor. Overall, the songs present a dark and orchestrated feel combined with multi-layered effects programming and sampling. There isnít a bad track here. Each one is good. They are placed in a nice order as well allowing the CD to play smoothly from beginning to end. Their long playing times are nice as well since the time is used wisely including a lot of twists and turns. The lyrics are fairly well written as well making you pay close attention to what is being said.

This is a very good debut CD for this band. However, things such as a lot of the songs sounding the same and not enough power or emotion in the vocals does bring it down a notch. Also, while the music is good, itís still not quite as full, layered, or textured as it could be. But these are minor gripes considering the overall quality of the songs delivered here. Iím sure that these issues will be addressed for their next album. For now, fans of electro-industrial, EBM and even dark synth-pop should definitely give this album a spin. Give it a few listens and Iím sure you will be hooked.