Wednesday, July 14, 2010

REVIEW: The M.E.M.O.R.Y. Lab Reviewed at

"Modern Expressing Machines of Revolutionary Youth" possesses nothing truly revolutionary or cutting edge, but that's mainly because it took over 10 years to finally surface. Canada's D-Trash Records has jumped at the opportunity to release The M.E.M.O.R.Y. Lab's first and last full-length self-titled compilation, Modern Expressing Machines of Revolutionary Youth. The long delayed amalgamation of music spanning The M.E.M.O.R.Y. Lab's catalogue of music from 1994-1999 gives us a look at their somewhat unique take on the industrial metal sound of the time...

Highlighting the talents of present day three-time Grammy award winner Marc Urselli as well as those of vocalist Nicola "the Old Nick" Curri, Modern Expressing Machines of Revolutionary Youth merely scratches the surface of what the genre holds today.

The general flow of the album is consistent, remaining confidently obscure with a hollow reverberation that loosely baits you as you listen. This hollowness is mainly attributed to the fact that the recordings were originally created through analog recording methods. Having said this, revitalization and modern remastering techniques unfortunately remain limited and the music becomes a strangely claustrophobic abundance of sound. From the menacing siren and dialogue riddled "Cambia," there is an immediate brooding attitude that unravels. It's a sound that openly screams early '90s industrial music with its almost trying-too-hard approach to dark, foreboding song making. Imagine an early Front Line Assembly or a mid-career Ministry and you will immediately hear comparable electronic/metal-infused industrial methods paralleled. The then-modern electronic injection into the metal sound comes forward in tracks such as "Another Nail into the Cross" or "To Go All the Way," offering a glimpse into the genre fusion that bands of that time were widely experimenting with. Retro sounding industrial rock tracks such as "Divine Eating" or "My Little World" ground the sound to a much more raw electric state, exposing Urselli's capabilities as an anarchistic sound engineer and musician. Offsetting this, Curri's vocal styling ranges on the disc widely from that of a haunting, anti-melodic whisper to gut-wrenching screams of angst and passion. The culmination of music that results is as much broken as it is united and creates a collection of music that comes across a bit muddled yet somehow vaguely connected. Through some clever sampling, proficient musicianship, and an oddly electric dynamism, many hidden gem moments are exposed in one shape or another on Modern Expressing Machines of Revolutionary Youth. Modern industrial music listeners should still consider an auditory walk down memory lane by way of The M.E.M.O.R.Y. Lab. Even though the group had officially disbanded over 10 years ago, it never hurts to be reminded of the bands from earlier eras that have helped to shape the modern industrial sound of today. Modern Expressing Machines of Revolutionary Youth might not ooze with pure originality, but this debut/final release from The M.E.M.O.R.Y. Lab deserves acknowledgment for illuminating the band's position in the ever developing industrial music scene.

Posted: Thursday, July 08, 2010
By: Stephen Lussier
Contributing Writer

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