13th Hour

Demons & Angels

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In the liner notes to Demons & Angels, there is a quote from Meister Eckhart, "If you're frightened of dying and you're holding on, you'll see demons tearing your life away. If you've made your peace, then the demons are really angels, freeing you from the earth." And this is perhaps the best framework through which to view this album. Jason Snell (aka 13th Hour, Bombardier) has created a collection of dirty electro-industrial beats and bass that may initially be perceived as ugly, noisy, and violent. But, submitting to the power of the record, making one's peace, as it were, the beauty underneath the surface rises, and is a wonder to behold. And like most hardcore breakbeat artists, it sounds great loud. Opener "Pandora's Box" is a remix, of a sort, of Venetian Snares' "Intense Demonic Attacks," and sets the mood of the record off right, with its crashing metallic percussion and descending bass riff battling each other for the high ground in the mix. The album contains no lyrics, but there are samples from which to grasp at Snell's intent, such as the ever popular source for ominous samples, Apocalypse Now, which provides Martin Sheen's existential musings from the beginning of the film as a lead-in to the highlight of the album, "Less Than Zero." The intense, driving rhythm of the track echoes Brad Fiedel's main theme to The Terminator, but updated for 2002 with a little hardcore drum'n'bass action thrown into the mix. Recommended for fans of Venetian Snares and Pan sonic.

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