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Mythmaker (Digi-Pak) (CD Slipcase)
Veteran industrial outfit Skinny Puppy have weathered plenty of storms since they formed in Vancouver 25 years ago. Internal rifts, lineup changes, even a drug overdose death have kept them on anything but an even keel. And yet, all the obstacles they've faced have failed to negatively impact the quality of their work. Mythmaker once again shows what this band can do and suggests that they're far from done as a creative force.
Founding members Nivek Ogre (aka Kevin Ogilvie) and cEvin Key (aka Kevin Crompton) are still the mainstays of the group and on their latest release they've adhered to the hybrid signature sound that has made the band a favorite in the industrial genre: mixing dance, electronic and goth elements to the harsher sonics of the industrial base. This is the formula that separates them from their contemporaries... and they do it well.
Unlike some of their harder-edged counterparts, there are some great dance cuts here. "Dal" alternates a blurting, squirting synth -- which is a total dance floor magnet -- with smoother expanses. The track "Ambiantz," meanwhile, would best be described as techno-industrial with lots of electro tricks thrown in. But it has a definite Euro-dance feel.
On the weightier end of the spectrum are tracks like "Politikil" (which is also very danceable) with its heavy-static synth and Puppy's trademark voice distortion. This one melts down into a gorgeous aural tangle that you don't want to extricate yourself from.
The contrasts are terrific. "Lestiduz" is an up-tempo electronic battle, "Haze" goes the loud-soft route, and "Pedafly" has Marilyn Manson-like sardonic fury. And yet things really quiet down on "Jaher," which builds from an acoustic guitar opening into a simmering electro brew that has its roots in the stylings of pioneer synth exponent Gary Numan.
Where the band really crosses swords with its more angry brethren is in the disturbing closer "Ugli." Its nervous electro opening devolves into a hell-born conflict of synth bullets and bombs. The title is apt but this is an ugliness that draws you in with its hypnotic loops and sudden shifts.
Mythmaker is true alternative music: both cerebral and visceral, untethered and unapologetic, vitally creative, and somewhat unnerving. For all of that it has an accessibility beyond the usual industrial fare which ensures it will find its way into many CD collections.
By Adrian Zupp
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|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H):||5.00 x 0.42 x 5.63 Inches|
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