Front Line Assembly

Front Line Assembly

Flavour of the Weak

Columbian Necktie

Metropolis

Everyone in my circle of friends is talking about this release as the most skewed and different Front Line Assembly album to date. I’ve been told it’s techno, ambient, weird, and even drum and bass. So with only a few days before deadlines, I convinced our Publisher to let me bring them home for further investigation. All right, they sampled the hell out of the Chemical Brothers and Future Sounds of London, but that does not make them techno. The best way to describe this release is FLA minus guitars. I am probably one of small minority that believes that FLA should not have ventured into the realm of heavy guitars. Imagine Tactical Neural Implant with very brief “techno” samples substituted for the guitars. Don’t fear. The samples are all around one to three seconds (since copyright infringement kicks in at seven seconds) and provide only transitions and breaks. To further the mutate these samples, FLA processes them through heavy flanging, phasing, distortion, pitch shifting, and time compression/expansion. Only the last track, “Predator” leaves me a little irritated because of its heavy use of FSOL samples from Dead Cities. Vocals are left to a minimum and offer forth another texture. Probably the best FLA album in years, and if I knew they wouldn’t play the guitar-based music live, I’d probably attempt to catch the entire Southeast tour. Metropolis Records, P.O. Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105; http://www.metropolis-records.com

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