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:Retrowerks: Various Artists – Πίστις Σοφία: Esoterica for a Fallen Age

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Various Artists Πίστις Σοφία: Esoterica for a Fallen Age
Label: Engraved Ritual
Release Date: March 1, 2013

Review by Jaymie Burzette

Esoterica For a Fallen Age is a collection of rare tracks and previously unreleased mixes by Engraved Ritual artists. Chances are if you’ve spoken to me at all in the past month or so, you’ve probably heard me prattle on about how full of awesome this album is. Usually, I have one or two criticisms on every album I review, but not this one. This album is pure punch-yourself-in-the-face greatness. Most of the tracks on this album are full of clubby goodness and are great for dancing, while still being quite harsh and dark.

This album opens with Degeneración Debraye’s “Body & Simphony (Single Mix),” a thumping, stomping, dance-inducing masterpiece with catchy synthesizer melodies that are guaranteed to become stuck in your head for days. This isn’t a bad thing, as this song is totally badass and rocks my socks off. This track will make you want to get up and dance and sets an excellent tone for the rest of the album; definitely one of my favorites. “Watch Them Suffer (Single Mix)” by Asylum Black follows, another great track with distorted vocals and a thumping beat. This one isn’t quite as danceable as the other tracks, but that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t totally rock. Up next is “Crown Thy Sinner” by Necroleptic, a fantastically dark track with distorted vocals, great synth melodies and stompy awesomeness (another favorite track of mine). I just love the beat and the music, it all just blends together perfectly for me. Fear Project’s “Infection (Whore Remix)” is another great track, this one reminiscent of an earlier industrial sound in its beats and musical styling.

The next track is F.T.C.’s “Sadomasochist (Loving Hate Remix by Corroded Master),” with a good beat, watery-sounding vocal distortion, and good danceability. “Nine Times with the Devil’s Knife” by Viscera Drip is a great harsh track with thumping beats, harshly distorted vocals and good synth melodies. This track is deliciously dark and my synesthesia seems to love it what with the visual display this gives me. Up next is Angels of Suicide’s “Cock Slut (Dirty Trance Remix by Subliminal Code)” that brings the stomp, along with great synth melodies and distorted vocals. This one kind of makes me want to dance around all crazy punching stuff in my living room. “Frozen Ashes” by Code : Red Core is up next, with dance-inducing thumpy stomps and synth melodies. Yet another track with excellent club potential. “Where Angels Rise (Project Rotten Remix)” by Tactical Module is another track with great danceability, great beats, and catchy synth melodies.

Up next is a great “Hellraiser” cover by Andro-Dioxin. This track was originally performed by Suicide Commando and was previously covered by VNV Nation. Andro-Dioxin adds their harshness, sped up the tempo of this track a bit, and changed some of the synth effects resulting in a great dance track. Subliminal Code follows with “Electro Suicide (Destructed by Ðetuned Ðestruction). It has a great galloping pace in its beats and synth melodies, and also features heavily distorted vocals that seem to be the hallmark of harsh EBM. Terrortek X is up next with “Bio-Chemical Warfare (Re:\Legion remix)”; harsh and dark, an excellent club track with excellent synth work and catchy melodies. Closing out the album is “Angel With the Scabbed Wings,” a fantastic Marilyn Manson cover by God Destruction. I’ve always loved this track and I think it’s an excellent cover. Much of the original music has been retained, but the use of synths is different and it sounds like a drum machine is being used here, as opposed to live drums. The vocals here are harsher than Manson’s original vocals as well.

If you like your industrial and EBM on the harsh side, this album is definitely for you. If not, it’s still worth a listen as there is a lot of tremendous talent on this compilation. I strongly believe that Engraved Ritual is putting out a lot of the best music the scene currently has to offer and this compilation is a sound demonstration of that fact. A collection of great rhythms, great beats, great melodies, and full-on stomp action. All the tracks on this album make me want to perform some kind of physical action; it just varies from jumping around, running around, punching stuff, dancing, etc. Regardless, this album will make you want to get up and move and when it’s over you’ll want to listen to it again. It’s just that awesome.

Track Listing
01. Degeneración Debraye – Body & Simphony (Single Mix)
02. Asylum Black – Watch Them Suffer (Single Mix)
03. Necroleptic – Crown Thy Sinner
04. Fear Project – Infection (Whore Remix)
05. F.T.C. – Sadomasochist (Loving Hate Remix by Corroded Master)
06. Viscera Drip – Nine Times with the Devil’s Knife
07. Angels of Suicide – Cock Slut (Dirty Trance Remix by Subliminal Code)
08. Code : Red Core – Frozen Ashes
09. Tactical Module – Where Angels Rise (Project Rotten Remix)
10. Andro-Dioxin – Hellraiser
11. Subliminal Code – Electro Suicide (Destructed by Ðetuned Ðestruction)
12. Terrortek X – Bio-Chemical Warfare (Re:\Legion Remix)
13. God Destruction – Angel With the Scabbed Wings

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