Album: "Forever, Neverafter"
Label: Nilaihah Records (2003)
Style: Dark EBM/Synth-pop
Songs: 11


Reviewed by: Darklight

Fiction 8 return with their follow-up to Chaotica. They continue with a similar sound on this album, but with a slightly darker tone.

What I like about Fiction 8 is they create a sound unique to them. When you hear Fiction 8, you know it's them and not some other band. This is mainly due to the singing of Michael Smith. He has a distinct voice all his own with a somewhat deep raspy tone. The music isn't typical for the genre, either. The electronic programming, beats and melodies blend an industrial, EBM, darkwave, rock and pop sound that is serious and upbeat. The addition of guitars is a nice touch as well. Mardi Salazar adds even more to the Fiction 8 sound with her singing. She shines on the songs "The Dark Room" and "Around and Around".

This album offers a lot of variety with some songs standing out a lot more than others. Most of the tracks are quite catchy, but there are few that just aren't very exciting. My favorite songs are "Too Late", "Crash", "The Dark Room", "Around and Around", "Forgive Me", "Nothing More", "Stranger in My Skin" and "Winding Down". I don't like the songs "Winter Rain", "Save Me From Myself", and "Silent".

It was a bad decision to put the boring instrumental "Silent" before the song "Winding Down". "Silent" would have worked as a closing song, but nowhere else. Having Steven Hart sing instead of Michael Smith on the song "Save Me From Myself" was another bad decision. Steven Hart isn't a bad singer, but he's not nearly as appealing as Michael Smith.

This is a good album that could have been better if some different choices were made. While there's some catchy songs here, nothing comes close to being as addicting as "Let Go" from their Chaotica album. Also, there's a few tracks here that just aren't very good. I liked Chaotica more than this album. While this is a good album, it lacks any really memorable songs.


Album: "Chaotica"
Label: Nilaihah Records (2000)
Style: EBM/Synth-pop
Songs: 13


Reviewed by: Darklight

I was rather impressed with Fiction 8's debut CD "Dissonance Indifference". It was an EBM/darkwave hybrid that featured well programmed music, beautiful synths and superb male vocals. I wasn't aware until recently that a second Fiction 8 CD came out entitled "Spirits". I, unfortunately, missed that one entirely. However, thanks to Nilaihah Records, I didn't have to miss this latest Fiction 8 release entitled "Chaotica". This CD shows a lot of growth for the band with slickly constructed songs that are both energetic and catchy. The songs on this CD combine the hard hitting floor stomping electronic beats of EBM with the smoothness of synth-pop. There is even great guitar work in the mix at times as well. The disc opens with the mesmerizing instrumental "Chaotica" that morphs into the song "Let Go" which is easily one of the best songs on this album. The CD continues strong with the songs "Sister Illusion", "Set You Free", "Somnabule", "It's Over Now" and "Break The Line". Most of these songs blend both male and female vocals with upbeat music and dance hooks. Unfortunately, the album slows down a bit with the out of place uplifting ambient instrumental "Stasis". While it is a beautiful soundscape, it should have been placed as the ending track to the CD as it doesn't work as track eight. Actually, there is a bonus remix of the song that is the ending track to this CD. The band should have just left the original version off the disc entirely and kept the remix as the only version here. Anyway, things pick up again with the tracks "Neverwhere", "I Scare Myself", "Nothing Undone" and "Isolation". After listening to this CD several times it was very apparent to me that this band really has it together and creates some of the best EBM/synth-pop music the scene has to offer. Each and every song here plays at a good pace and includes cathy chorus' that will have you singing along. There is an excellent blend of variety on this CD that delivers a combination of rough aggressive songs with guitar and angry male vocals to melodic songs with beautiful harmonies and female singing. If you enjoy clean well structured electronic music with a dash of EBM and synth-pop, as well as a combination of male and female vocals, this CD can't be missed.


Album: "Dissonance Indifference"
Label: Discordia (1995)
Style: Electro industrial
Songs: 13


Reviewed by: Darklight

This is very well done and quality electro industrial music. It's very melodic and gothic. The music is very catchy, and danceable at times. The electronics are very upbeat, and the synths are haunting. The vocals are not distorted, and sing extremely well with the music. There is a mix between fast, medium, and slow paced songs. But the songs are medium paced for the most part. This is very dark and moody music. But the electronic rhythms and beats keep it energetic. There isn't a bad song to be found here. They all sound fairly similar, but do have subtle differences that allow them to stand apart. This album will appeal to both electro industrial and goth music fans.