Forces at Work

1. The Mind Slavery
2. Nothing
3. 3 Logic Dead
4. Be Machine
5. Keep Marchin´
6. Virtual Fuhrer
7. Colours
8. Dharma
9. Sickness
10. Straight Into The Odd

Adrian Weiss - Guitar
Marcel Willnat - Bass
Sebastian Wischermann - Vocals
Mischa - Guitar, backing vocals
S. Sabir-Bosanac - Drums



Recorded and mixed by mf-c at Downward Studios, Düsseldorf
mastered by Eroc at EMR.
Produced by mf-c and Forces At Work
artwork by Björn Goosses

Released 27/4-2012
Reviewed 10/9-2012

hands of blue records

Five guys from Wuppertal in Germany are putting their musical forces together to make them work in a musical sense, and so they have done for twelve years now. During those twelve years they have managed to produce zero full length albums before this one which is called straight. They have released a few EPs or demos before this one but this is the debut album for what can be said to be a rather experienced debuting band. They come recommended for their instrumental skills by none other than Victor Smolski according to the press info that accompanied the album. So, what about this first album we receive from the label Hands of Blue who is looking to promote music outside the mainstream, is it anything to have?

Well, I can say that when I first heard the opening track The Mind Slavery I figured that their name sounds quite accurate considering the different forces of music that is at work here. Through the songs there is like tidal forces of different musical influences that is running through this album. The musical styles runs in all kinds of directions at the same time, it may be difficult to take it all in because it has so many layers and so many dimensions that travels through those ten tracks and fifty three minutes. Very well produced it is and the musical styles range from jazz, rock, pop, heavy metal to the more extreme kinds like for instance hardcore. Hardcore is by the way a quite prominent part of this album, but it is so much more than that and maybe most of all it is a showcasing of clever and skilled musicianship.

Complex is something you can say about this, good is another thing you can say about it. I think as I said that this is an impressive showcase of musical prowess but also of ideas and how to wove together strands of many different musical styles. I think that most of the time they bind it together well, on other occasions they do not really succeed. I think that at times they try to squeeze in a bit too much into the songs making them a bit messy, at other times though when the elements fall into place they make almost perfect songs. I think they could most of the time have toned down the hardcore singing a bit as it does not fully agree with me and I would say that it is the weakest part of this album.

I think that the opening song The Mind Slavery is brilliant not only as an opener but as a song where complexity also becomes greatness as it is not only complex and exciting but also quite catchy and with some nice poppy elements. Then we have the instrumental third track 3 Logic Dead which is probably the straightest song on the album which makes it not only a good song but a nice little break from the rest of the complexity of the album, kind of like a breathing space or an island amongst the tidal waves of musical styles. Then I must add my favourite song of the album which is called Dharma which is not only a quite different song but it is also a fantastic and thought provoking one, sort of like a small adventure in a song.

I would say that despite the fact that this album is not amongst the best ones of the year, it is still one of the most interesting. The musical adventure of this album makes it well worth exploring for everyone into a progressive kind of music, unfortunately it does not stand up all the way through the album as they try to do a little too much at times which makes for a bit of a messy result but when they are at their prime it is amazing. So this may be one band to look out for when they start to kill a little more darlings and tone down the hardcore stuff a little bit. Exciting, crazy, impressive and all of that, check this out if you are into progressive music.



Label: Hands of Blue Records
Three similar bands: Animals as Leaders/Raw/Thought Sphere
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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