Throbbing Gristle came and went. Cabaret Voltaire furthered TG's grimy rhythmic onslaughts. Even SPK abandoned the cacophonous death noise of earlier records for the allure of the dance floor. But it was Canada's Skinny Puppy that paved the way for guys like Trent Reznor and Ministry. REMISSION, SP's first EP, remains the Puppy's finest hour. The breadth of vision and amazing instrumental prowess of vocalist Nivek Ogre and sound-designer Cevin Key will likely never be transcended.
Though their modus operandi revolved around the darker subjects of this world, Ogre and Key were world-class synthesists and programmers. These multi-talented sound manipulators couched their ruminations about man's shadowy side in mind-bending whorls of haunted rhythm boxes, spooky, galvanizing synths, and various unidentifiable shards of noise. Get past Ogre's hoarse, dying dinosaur of a voice, and you'll find the beat-box banshee thrust of "Glass Houses," the primal industrial techno of "Far Too Frail," and the Kraftwerk-gone-netherworld beats and rippling electronics of "Sleeping Beast." Skinny Puppy was certainly confrontational. But unlike their spawn, Key and Ogre knew how to craft tunes and marry them to the most ingenious of sound patterns. Nettwerk's CD issue of REMISSION augments the EP with additional material.