Metalycée

Another White Album

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The history of music is a history of fusions between traditions. That being said, heavy metal and electronica have not been made to intersect very often. And in any case, Metalycée's Another White Album presents little crossover appeal for the masses. On the other hand, it offers a fresh take on the electro-pop format. Behind the name Metalycée hide two thirds of the Viennese experimental electronica outfit Thilges 3. There is very little here giving up their identity: the screeching guitars, beatboxes, and song formats are miles away from the textural interplays of Thilges 3. Another White Album consists mostly of beat-driven left-field electronica made from samples and loops of metal-esque electric guitar. Had Armin Steiner and Nik Hummer wanted to, they could have gone much further inside the metal theme, by featuring harsher riffs and putting more emphasis on drumming. Instead, the guitar provides a unifying color more than an actual topic, while beats are mostly electronic in nature. Some of the other instruments used, like piano, double bass, and saxophone, have nothing to do with the genre. The two tracks exploring the metal/electronica cannibalism to the fullest are "Slaughterdijk" and "Slaughtered, Cut and Filleted," both strong achievements in manic genre deconstruction/reconstruction, replete with electric guitar clicks + cuts and breakbeat-style drum fragmentation. The other pieces, while being very well done, fall much closer to the bin of run-of-the-mill left-field electro with a glitchy vibe. Two exceptions are worth noting: "21h39" is a pop song interpreted by Fuckhead's Didi Bruckmayr (smooth, intelligent, and strongly reminiscent of David Sylvian), and "Lost in Castings" is a very strange and attention-grabbing rhythmical collage featuring voice samples that seem to belong to the Nihilist Spasm Band's Bill Exley (one might go so far as guessing they are taken from "Hesitation"), which produces a comical interlude. If you are looking for a challenging beat-heavy (but not dance-oriented) experimental electro CD, Another White Album makes a very fine pick. But it is not the missing link between metal and electro that it could have been.