[Imago sleeve]"Imago" (Album, 2004)


As home to Velvet Acid Christ and Suicide Commando, Dependent's decision to sign up industrial act Interlace (under licence from Swedish label Memento Materia) was clearly intended to expand a popular tradition. Well, they've managed that, and in some style too. If its harsh 'n' heavy your after then look no further. However, if you demand more than the obvious from your harsh 'n' heavy, something with a little more thought than most, then be prepared for a rush.

Whilst we're in name-dropping mode, then I'm gonna chuck in Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly into the mix too. Particularly the latter, for the production styling and varied structures. They even share the same sleeve artist in Dave Mckean. There's a knowledgeable and intelligent approach to the songwriting that's rare in this field. Which is a shame as in hands as strong as these we are reminded just how multi-layered and rewarding dark industrial music can really be. Opening track (and single) Master provides a (excuse the pun) masterclass in harsh industrial.

But its tracks like the terrific Crystalline Hush (a perfectly descriptive title) that really inspire and excite. The harsh vocal delivery forsaken in favour of a cleaner and exhilarating voice (also evident on Candle Burns Blue). The result is a beautiful combination of emotions and music that manages to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Original highlights like this mean some of the other tracks, though certainly above average for the genre, simply fade in the memory in comparison. Turning in fourteen tracks probably means they could have afforded to loose a few of the lesser entries and the finished result might have been more punchy. As it is, in parts, this is borderline brilliance. 8/10

Rob Dyer (July, 2006)

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