Album Review – Front Line Assembly “Improvised Electronic Device” 2010

  While no one would deny that Artificial Soldier is a loud, abrasive and intentionally industrial record, follow-up IED marks the significant return of metallic guitars to FLA’s arsenal. Single “Shifting Through the Lens” has the group doing their best Haujobb impersonation for dance floor accessibility, but much of the album is punchier, with an almost polite mixture of breakbeats and crunch reminiscent of Implode or Civilization. Mid-record tracks “Laws of Deception” and “Pressure Wave” skew even heavier, reaching back to grasp Millennium levels of thrash whallop.

What’s nice about these proceedings is the economy and restraint that has been applied to the release; FLA fans used to wading through hundreds of hours of material to find the gems will be pleasantly surprised by the solidity of IED as a start-to-finish listen. Another bonus is the collaboration with Al Jourgensen on “Stupidity”, a hyperkinetic tantrum (as expected) with some of the rough edges on the ride smoothed out by the Canadian crew.

Improvised Electronic Device is highly recommended for both millennium nostalgics and the new generation of artificial soldiers. 8 out of 10


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