Vapor Transmission

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In 1998, Orgy made an impressive entrance with their cover of New Order's "Blue Monday." Their follow-up single, "Stitches," was enough of a hit to give them the push they needed to remain mainstays on radio and MTV. With their second album Vapor Transmission, they return to deliver another set of electronic-laden rockers, but this time out they do so with slicker production and improved songwriting. Although proving to not be an album of innovation, what the sci-fi tinged Vapor Transmission does accomplish is showcasing more of the "pop" in Orgy's self-labeled "death pop" music by mixing an energetic blend of soaring singalong choruses, catchy hooks, layered guitars, and polished production techniques. Their signature guitar-synth drones are still present in the majority of the tracks, but this time out they share the limelight with Jay Gordon's improved vocal stylings and Ryan Shuck's more ambitious guitar work. Rather than repeating themselves or simply pairing heavy riffs with electro filler, there is a better sense of melody throughout Vapor's 13 tracks. One of the best examples of this is on "Opticon," a track with one of the most memorable choruses the band has delivered. Orgy has also raised the intensity level here. Mixing tones of Marilyn Manson, Gravity Kills, and even mentors Korn, they seem to be more comfortable experimenting with different dynamics, balancing delicate verses with thundering choruses, most notably on "Eva" and the album's first single, "Fiction (Dreams in Digital)." Although Vapor Transmission doesn't venture far from its roots in alt-metal and industrial rock, it is a worthy follow-up to 1998's Candyass and establishes Orgy as more than just a flash in the pan. [The initial shipment of albums sent out to stores contains a hidden track, located at 6:11 of track 13.]

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