Cesium: 137

Advanced Decay

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Advanced Decay launches Cesium: 137's electro sound into a set of acts that both deviate from the typical methods of EBM (electric body music) and retain the hard synth sensibility that forms the core of the genre. Cesium: 137's debut calls on a refreshing EBM distinctiveness that is reminiscent of other genre-benders such as Ivory Frequency and Tankt. Initial impressions from the lead track and single, "The Fall," do not point in this direction. Instead, "The Fall" manipulates clear, layered synths and flexes them through a standard dance beat that is effective and efficient without being overly notable -- a very solid and standard EBM practice. It is in subsequent tracks that Cesium: 137's character begins to shine through. "End Game" builds drive with a grounded harsh beat and a contrast between high synth melody and hard bass that scales up and down in intensity. Once established, the Cesium: 137 system works -- the mix of moodiness and light synths in "Regrets" is both energetic and reflective, and "Darkest Dream" takes its time in exploring interwoven melodies that build up to a harsh climax. The sounds are always well separated, the voices clear and refined. No matter what is happening in these tracks, it is easy to single out each sound and relish the track's construction. Beat for beat, Cesium: 137's sound falls squarely into the EBM realm, but the tones set and some of the structures employed are not. When the dancefloor orientation returns in tracks such as "Effigy," the members of Cesium: 137 remain competent musicians, but it becomes clear that their true voice is elsewhere. Many electro acts stem from beginnings that are not as characteristic as Advanced Decay. There is enough of the expected to be generically pleasing, but the real strength of Advanced Decay is in the tracks made for the album rather than the dancefloor. This debut is worth investigation.

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