Front Line Assembly

Improvised. Electronic. Device.

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With longtime on-again, off-again member Rhys Fulber falling into the latter category, Front Line Assembly’s 2010 effort is the kind of “evolution” -- or maybe “growing pains” -- album that will be familiar to veteran fans. Here FLA constant Bill Leeb is joined by Jeremy Inkel, Chris Peterson, and Jared Slingerland for a four-piece “band” version of the project. It makes complete sense on numbers like “Angriff,” “Release,” and “Pressure Wave,” all of which could be passed off as metal-industrial juggernauts Rammstein singing in English. While these guitar-heavy and lurching tracks are satisfying, the best moments are either rooted in classic FLA formula (the electro-industrial club monster “Shifting Through the Lens,” the icy cold landscape “Downfall”) or come from the band’s returning appreciation of both the experimental and difficult (the spooky robot anthem “I.E.D.,” the shotgun blast called “Stupidity” with guest vocalist Al Jourgensen). Having navigated these mixed bags before, longtime listeners should be more than willing to dive in. They’ll be rewarded with a heavy handful of reminders of why they signed on in the first place.

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