Volatile Times

1. I Salute You Christopher
2. Music People
3. Volatile Times
4. Fire and Whispers
5. Dance with Me
6. Bernadette
7. Ghosts of Utopia
8. Commanded by Voices
9. Into Asylum
10. Cold Red Light
11. Oh Beautiful Town

Chris Corner

Kiss + Swallow (2004)
The Alternative (2006)
IAMIXED (2008)
Kingdom of Welcome Addiction (2009)


Produced, mixed and mastered by Chris Corner

Released 18/3-2011
Reviewed 31/3-2011


Cryptic name and a title that might as well reflect on times in the middle east or many other places around, maybe it just is that for the man who is the band. The man who is the band is called Chris Corner and is known from Sneaker Pimps, this is his project. "There seems to be a point in life when you open a door and you can never close it again. The door is open, I hate what I see and I write about it." are the words of this Chris about his music and song writing and this is not really that difficult to notice in the lyrics or the music. Volatile Times is the sixth album by IAMX if I am correctly informed and it is a musical concoction of many different elements and moods, electronic is one thing that is prominent but there is much more depth than just that simple explanation. The music is varied and atmospheric a bit of dark carnival mixed with pitch black moods that leave you somewhere in space or lost in between moments. It is like sitting on a fluffy cloud of darkness with electric discharges going upwards, something like that.

When comparing I come to think of bands/artists like Dead Sould Tribe’s first album and the first part of the Migrator duo from Ayreon when listening to this album, the atmospheres are quite similar between these. Still, it is difficult to really describe what it sounds like in words, it is a bit too complex for that. What I can say for certain is that it lasts for 49 minutes and that it has eleven tracks, all of these tracks have different names which is quite clever since it makes it much easier to tell them apart. Another striking thing is the cover artwork which actually could be mixed up with a Shadow vessel but I suppose most people would describe it like Ken Hensley who stumbled and spilled some black paint on a white sheet of paper, I would and just did.

The track that is the opening one of this album is called I Salute You Christopher which is a quite long title for the opening track but it is also an excellent song with such a great atmosphere that I just get carried away with it, just falling into this musical trance that really great songs put off in me. “The man in the sky is a tyrant a lonely psychopath, dreamed up to steal your mind” is one great quote from this song but there are several more which I will not tell you. This track of course puts a lot of pressure on the rest and also builds up expectations which are immediately met with the second track that is called music people which is a track quite different from the opener in that it has more tempo and also a lot more instrumental sounds and a lot more going on and the goings on really make this song another great one and at this moment the thoughts of the really illusive ratings come into my mind, the sixes and sevens that I rarely give away and then only to those really fantastic albums that there are not too many in a year (four last year from me and one this year if we count the ones released this year otherwise it is somewhat different). Even the third track which is the title track support this feeling with its fantastic sound and atmosphere but then later on there are a few tracks that feel too much like fillers for my taste and I lower the rating a little bit because of this. There would have been a really simple way to solve this filler problem, just remove them and we would have a 40 minute record which kicked ass, literally.

Before moving on, there is one more track worth plussing a bit extra for and that is the video track Ghosts of Utopia which is another one of those at the level of Music People or the title track, what great songs there are on this album to be honest, too bad some are just taking space rather than doing something. I think there are some that call this guy a genius and in the field of music he could be described as one if all was like Music People or opening I Salute You Christopher but for me he is a gifted musician not a genius. Still there is a lot to salute on this album.

I think this is one of the real highlights of the year so far, there have been many but there are a few tracks on this album that kick so much ass that it is almost scary. I just have to mention that I really enjoy going back to I Salute You Christopher so why not start over again?


Label - BMG/Triada
Three similar bands - Dead Soul Tribe/Ayreon/Sneaker Pimps
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm