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Album Review: Damage Control - Ultranoia

Not sure what I was to quite expect when I opened up my copy of Damage Control's debut release Ultranoia, I knew I was going to get something industrial but I wasn't quite sure the direction I was getting. With some bleakly presented high definition pictures of some bombs ready to drop, I felt I was getting into something apocalyptic. And boy was I right in that regard! However, instead of VST driven minimalist EBM arpeggios and whisper vocals put through layers of vocoding to sound "harsh" (which I had heard all to much from other modern bands presenting such nihilistic imagery), I got something far more mature and and dynamic sounding. Warm and crisp sounding synthesizer grooves and squelches, moving and evolving sonic textures, and melodic lines that have depth and movement.

Each song on this album stands it's own ground, drawing from a similar industrial aesthetic while still managing to provide it's own tone and emotion. And tone and emotion is actually something that I really want to point out. Contrary to the machine like nature of the synthesizer sounds that guide the music and the wartime imagery presented from this band, the whole release contains a great deal of flow and emotional contrast, which guides the tracks from a flaring intensity to a drawing pull. It's nice to hear well executed humanistic compositions. Matching the engaging and evolving music is a truly talented vocalist who knows how to capture the power of Industrial music harshness without treading into monotone conformity or aggressive obscurity. Switching up his tone and style to fit song to song, or moment to moment, he definitily shows just enough versatility to keep the album entertaining, but enough consistency to keep the release coherent. Taking inspiration from vocalized harsh-sung contemporaries like Grendel, Aesthetic Perfection, and Front Line Assembly, he mixes a perfect amount of melodic structure, vocoded backing vocals, and harsh vocal tones to invoke a truly apocalyptic war call.

All in all, I'd highly recommend Damage Control to anybody looking for a modern industrial album that balances melody, intensity, and emotion. You can find the album in a wide variety of different formats.

Follow the band on their official Facebook:

Purchase a physical CD on Poponaut:

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Stream it on their official Spotify:

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