Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Dark Music Review – Deinonychus

Dark Music Review – Deinonychus

Review Written By Casey Douglass


Deinonychus Cover Art

Stateslaver Zero returns with his first full-length collection of cinematic, breakbeat-infused industrial music: Deinonychus!

The album contains six diverse pieces that blend multi-layered breaks with dreary soundscapes.

This should be a fun thrill ride! Deinonychus ends with an enhanced version of Stateslaver Zero’s signature piece I’m Going Home.

Reviewing Deinonychus is a bit of a departure for me from my usual dark ambient and heavy metal reviews, as it probably contains more beats per minute than anything I have listened to recently, but with Deinonychus, that is very much the point. At its heart, Deinonychus is an album that revolves around the beat, be it breakbeats, drum and bass or its more electronic sounds.

Things open with the smooth Future Warlord, an easy going track that eases the listener into the album with a relatively relaxed rhythm that is scattered with harsher sounds around it. Mental Wolves follows, a composition that begins with gentle high notes before frenetic, almost bubble popping notes emerge, soon to be joined by a fast paced beat. Hydross is next, a more relaxed track in which space opens up and the beat, along with its bassier slower cousin, can frolic in a more expansive way.

Deinonychus is up next, a mid-tempo track (when compared with those that came before it), spiraling electronic sounds lift and fall above a pleasing beat, the final third of the track seeing the beat ramp up and become more aggressive. Temple Enforcer is up next, a track that opens with ominous whispered voices and a creaking bass that meets the beat with a sense of dark embrace. Around the midpoint sacral chant/vocals merge with a gong-like sound and moments of quietude that then launch back into the previous beat. I’d say that Temple Enforcer was probably my favourite track, it just seemed darker and had more elements that appealed to me personally.

The final track: I’m Going Home, is another track that seems somewhere in the middle of the scale when it comes to tempo. It also features what sounds like violin notes turning into vocals, or vocals that sound like some kind of string instrument. It's quite catchy and the dark swells of deeper sound that blares around them just makes a great rhythm. The track changes at intervals, the last third in particular taking on a more plucky, fluty tone for some moments, that sets up a nice contrast to the darker sounds that came before them.

So there we have it, six tracks that all feature plenty of drumbeats of various speeds, a nice range of other notes and sounds, and a variety of tones, from the light and airy ending of I’m Going Home to the darker and more sinister Temple Enforcer. I would say that these last two tracks are my favourites but the others were certainly likeable in their own way too.

If you are a fan of breakbeat-infused industrial music, I think you will enjoy Deinonychus. As far as myself and my limited exposure to this genre of music, I found a lot to like and little to criticise, although I will say that I am not sure if it is really a genre for me, besides some of the elements that I also came across that are also in my beloved dark ambient. If I was forced to give it a rating, I would say it would be a 3.5/5, based more on the fact that only two tracks really grabbed me in a noteworthy way, but as I said above, its a nice listening experience and one that I urge you to check out if you think it is in line with your own music tastes.

Check out Deinonychus on bandcamp at this link.

I was given a free copy of this album to review.

Album Title: Deinonychus
Artists: Stateslaver Zero
Label : Nakrikal Records
Released: October 1, 2015

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