& THE FIXER
"Return to Grimpen Ward"
Label: Metropolis Records
is a best-of collection with a slight twist. Instead of simply taking
the same exact versions of their songs from past albums and putting
them on this compilation, Mentallo & The Fixer decided
to remix and revamp the songs and give them a slightly more current
up-to-date sound. The outcome is quite impressive.
Mentallo & The Fixer started out as a dark and aggressive electro-industrial/EBM
band that featured angry distorted male vocals. However, over time they
started moving more toward experimental and dark ambient music without
vocals. That is when I lost interest in them. Thankfully, this best-of
collection mainly delivers songs from their earlier years that focused
on their powerful dark EBM sound. These songs are excellent and show
exactly why Mentallo & The Fixer is one of the most popular and respected
American electro-industrial/EBM bands recording music today.
The music is very layered, textured and complex with a lot of interesting
things to experience. Mentallo & The Fixer definitely have a way of
combining and mixing different sounds, beats and samples together to
create a thrilling outcome. They also produce enchanting dark dramatic
melodies that haunt you in the background. The vocals are slightly treated
and growl with anger and emotion. They sound quite sinister and compliment
the music perfectly. Basically, this is extremely quality and interesting
dark EBM that stands out of the crowd offering unique and diverse elements.
Each and every song offered on this recording is excellent and will
hook you right from the start. These songs are entertaining to listen
to because there is so much happening within them. They are placed in
a good order as well. However, I did find one aspect of this recording
extremely unexpected and unfortunate. Some songs are recorded at different
volume levels. This really messes up the flow of the CD as you will
need to adjust the volume while listening to this album as some songs
are recorded loud and others are recorded quiet. Considering the fact
that the band put a lot of time and effort into remixing and revamping
the material here, I would have also expected them to output it all
at the same volume level. Thankfully, most of the songs do play at the
same volume, but there are a couple of occasions where you will need
to reach for the volume control and adjust it. This is a slight annoyance
that brings the album down a bit.
If you want a collection of some of the best material Mentallo & The
Fixer has recorded before all on one CD, this is it. There are some
really great songs to be found here, and no fan of electro-industrial/EBM
should miss out on them.
"Vengeance Is Mine"
Label: Metropolis Records (2001)
& The Fixer is the electro-industrial/EBM project of brothers Gary
and Dwayne Dassing. Their first three releases “No Rest For The Wicked”,
“Revelations 23” and “Where Angels Fear To Tread” were excellent
dark EBM albums packed full of energetic clubfloor music and angry aggressive
vocals. But they changed their style after those releases and went in
more of an instrumental experimental direction leaving the structured
EBM energy and vocals behind. That is when I lost interest in the band
and thought that I would never purchase an album released by them again.
That thought especially came true when they decided to end the project.
But it was recently collaborating on a best of remix CD entitled “Return
To Grimpen Ward” that got the brothers interested in releasing a
new Mentallo & The Fixer album that went back to their early sound.
“Vengeance Is Mine” is the end result, and it’s the best album
they have put out in years.
The CD kicks off strong with “Palestine” which features hard
and heavy beats mixed with multi-layered electronic sound effects, floating
synths and deep untreated angry male vocals. This instantly reminded
me of the Mentallo & The Fixer I have missed for so long. And while
I was expecting some instrumentals to come in and ruin the fun, they
never did. Each and every track here does have vocals.
The songs fit a similar style throughout this entire CD, and a couple
of them do sound too much alike. But in the end, there really isn’t
a bad track here. The music is structured clubfloor EBM colliding with
frantic experimental noise while haunting orchestrations creep in the
distance as angry vocals shout out the lyrics.
While the songs are creative and interesting with a lot happening in
them, they do drag on a little longer than they should causing them
to get a little repetitive before they end. Since most of the songs
are good, this really isn’t a problem. But some songs are a little more
simplistic in their structure making them get old quicker. When you
start wondering when a song is going to end, that is when you know there
is a problem.
I like the somewhat original approach that the band has taken with the
music here by making it both EBM and experimental with a lot of different
ideas in the mix. But I would have also liked a few more club hits like
“Palestine” included here. Sometimes the songs just get a little
too weird and experimental for my tastes such as hearing a sample of
a man vomiting over and over again. When the ideas go from being creative
to annoying, that is when I have a problem. Unfortunately, that does
happen quite a lot throughout this release.
Another complaint I have is with the length of lyrics in most of these
songs. I like the fact that there are vocals in each one, but the lyrics
aren’t very long. So the same words and sentences get repeated too often
in some of the songs. This makes them more redundant than they should
Even with all of my complaints, this is still an album that I listen
to often just for the fact that it is well done and different. It has
just the right amount of structure and experimention to hold it together.
And the vocals do sound strong and menacing and fit in well with the
When all is said and done, this is definitely one of the best albums
that Mentallo & The Fixer has released in some time. While it’s not
the perfect release that I was hoping for, it’s still very solid with
a lot of interesting tracks to listen to.
"Where Angels Fear To Tread"
Label: Metropolis Records (1995)
Style: Electro industrial
album is slightly different from Mentallo & The Fixer's previous album
"Revelations 23". This album is more dark and moody. I would almost
consider it electro goth. The vocals are deep and clear on a lot of
the songs. I like this approach a lot. The music is very electronic
with haunting synths. The samples used here sound like they are from
horror movies. All of these elements combined make for some extremely
well done music. The songs are all very catchy with rhythms and beats
that grab you and pull you into their twisted world. There are ten songs
with vocals and four instrumentals. Some of the songs with vocals are
extremely scratchy, noisy, and distorted. I prefer the clean sounding
songs to the scratchy, noisy ones. Regardless, there isn't a bad song
to be found here.
"Revelations 23" (1994)
Label: Metropolis Records
Style: Electro industrial
is some of the best electronic music that I have heard. The music takes
center stage here on most of the songs. The vocals are muffled and extremely
distorted. They seem to be more in the background as well. There are
a lot of samples in this music. This is all electronic and synth music
that lacks any guitars. It's pure electro industrial. It has a dark
and moody feel to it similar to Leæther Strip. This could almost
be considered electro goth music. But some of the music here is fast
paced and catchy enough to dance to. If you like electro industrial
music, this album should be at the top of your list. This band knows
what they are doing, and they do it well.