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Returning to the industrial/goth programming of Chris Brantley and the wraithlike electronic violins of Rachel McDonnell, the Crüxshadows' fifth full-length re-established the North Florida band's admired dark dance-pop intent. Fronted again by a traditional haunted monotone, the music was tenser than on earlier outings -- with a fuller approach -- and consequently a little more overbearing. Rogue's voice played up the callous seriousness of the band, but in a way that sounded well-rehearsed rather than born from believable personal misfortune. Standouts like the Top 20 European hit "Tears" were still strong -- a moody, shimmering thing of electro-house and stadium rock overkill, like an exclusively new wave Wall of Voodoo, and an unlocking of a whole new possible direction for the band.

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