When dance music and industrial first began working together, it was under tense and bizarre circumstances drummed up by artists like Front Line Assembly and Front 242. What made it even weirder was as time went by, this sound not only shook the creepy and cold vibes it gave off but became a bit of a generic side of the genre. Despite the eerie cover art and excellent record label pedigree, In Strict Confidence jumps headfirst into this sound on "Dementia," the first song on Cryogenix. The drum machine kicks out a dance-friendly beat as the synths begin to fill the air, followed soon by the Jourgenson-lite vocals of Dennis Ostermann. But when the Evil Dead samples come out, that is when the whole affair becomes blatantly derivitive. Skinny Puppy's classic VIVIsect VI utilized every one of these elements (even sampling the same movie!) without ever sounding like any other music before or after, but ten years later In Strict Confidence manages to lose the listener's interest halfway through the first track. Admittedly, the next few songs gain back a lot of ground by being quality darkwave songs that concentrate more on the songwriting and less on the "sound" of everything. But almost every song is reminiscent of a more popular industrial artist, from the creepy religious sexuality of Sleep Chamber ("Burning Angel") to the campy pop metal of KMFDM ("Beautiful Pain"). Even the nine-minute cover of Depeche Mode's "Stripped" never quite lifts off, despite possibly being the most experimental track here. Do not be fooled by the artwork, there is little to recommend inside beyond some decent industrial pop that is easily forgettable.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano