Electronica has never been my cup o’ tea. I’ve never been a big fan of the most popular bands in the genre. In fact, I probably couldn’t name a single one. The closest I have ever come to jamming out to electronica was some of the early NIN stuff or the fact that Fear Factory had some electronic elements in their borderline death metal oeuvre. Then I heard this:
This version of the two songs remixed together is simply amazing and it put Celldweller on my map. Imagine my surprise when I heard the title track off of End of an Empire (Chapter 01: Time) and it had almost Fear Factory heavy guitar work. I was stunned and even more intrigued.
When I listened to the review copy, I was struck by how it casually wove the amazingly heavy guitar work and metal vocals with more quiet, introspective elements that thoroughly reminded me of Blade Runner. While the album doesn’t sound like the ’80’s electronic score from the film, Klayton’s work on this album brought forth images of a sci-fi wasteland, a dark dystopian future that this music would be home in. Dune and Dredd sprang to mind. I was transported to a sci-fi world of deserts and crumbling cities under siege. This is the soundtrack to a film unmade, a film that lives only in my mind; a film that lives only in the mind of the composer. It is a staggering album that has not convinced me that I like electronica, but convinced me that there is actually a place for it in the metal world, when done well.
End of an Empire (Chapter 01: Time) is clearly a concept album. From the opening track, Faction 01, it is clear the Klayton is telling a story through music. It is also clear that he is telling a science fiction story, which would explain the thoughts above. I find myself waiting to be transported again when we finally get Chapter 02.
This album is actually an EP, with five new tracks, then a plethora of remixes from the likes of Breathe Carolina, Comaduster, KJ Sawka and OCTiV. Honestly, I have no idea who any of those artists are, and I have not listened to any of the remixes. I am strictly reviewing the 5 new tracks, as I am not usually a fan of remixes. I never have been. Pantera actually had a few CD singles (remember those?) which featured remixes, and I never dug those remixes so I have intentionally avoided them ever since.
I like this album a lot! I had considered holding this review for my upcoming Halloween Horror Celebration III, but due to the sci-fi elements, I am publishing it now. I want you to read this review and pick up this amazing album. Even if you are not a fan of electronica, I think you will dig this album. I am strictly a metal guy, and I REALLY DIG this album! There is enough metal to convince you that Klayton knows what he is doing, and that he is a metal fan. If you are a metal fan, do yourself a favor and give this album a shot! You will be pleasantly surprised!