Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, comes a new aura of synthesized bliss: an aural landscape that engulfs the mind, body and spirit. Welcome to Voyeur, the latest sonic blast from Canada’s established duo Noise Unit. Here veteran musician Bill Leeb — best known for his work with Delerium and Front Line Assembly — regroups with Chris Peterson to present the next avenue of their evolving musical journey. Voyeur finds Noise Unit in full form, displaying their unique programming and songwriting talent. The album’s opener, “Illicit Dreams,” is a syncopated soundscape with dreamlike qualities. An instrumental, yet emotional track that will accompany you to any destination. “Seclusion” follows with a smooth groove and vocoder-style vocals. The chorus is beautifully executed in cinematic style. The brooding “Surveillance” contains throbbing deep space sounds with steady percussion, slowly building to reveal a universe of wonder. The vocal sampling here is superb. “Paranoid” is next, with a slow-paced tempo and slick robotic speech. Wonderful analog bass oozes from the speakers at the midpoint.
Total sound manipulation never sounded so satisfying. A hip-hop/funk style blurs from “Liberation.” Here Leeb breaks out into a frenzied rap-style vocal delivery. Expansion into new fields of creation suits this song quite well. Dark atmospheres are found on “Strapdown,” with deep bass lines flowing from the speakers. This one sounds best when played at maximum volume. “Submerged” is the highlight of this album. Here Leeb and Peterson combine inter-stellar sounds with soothing oceanic treatments, painting a rhythmic portrait. I am thankful for the nearly seven minute duration, since I can’t seem to get enough of this brilliant piece. Delicate metallic percussion and voice effects fill the air with utter bliss. Reminiscent of early Delerium, “Submerged” looks back at the past with a vision into the future. Goose bumps cover me with each listen. With its extended build-up and eerie textures, “Monolith” is culled straight from early Delerium works — an ideal contender for a dark movie soundtrack that will leave audiences in awe.
In the history of electronic music, no other team of sculptors has delivered such quality work as Bill Leeb and Chris Peterson. Their combined talents have given the industry the best programmed music imaginable. With Voyeur, Noise Unit are poised at the forefront once more, leaving imitators playing catch-up.
Metropolis Records: www.metropolis-records.com