Recorded at studio Machinerie 28 during January to August 2006. Engineered by Kalle Lindberg. Drum engineering by Teemu Velin. Mixed at Astia Studios by Anssi Kippo. Mastered at Sonic House TM by Teemu Myyrylöinen. Produced by K Lindberg and The Republic of Desire. Released on Aural Music, 2007.
This is perhaps the album that I’ve listened to the most during this project. This is simply because it was scheduled to be reviewed the week after I moved house and into the university halls of residence of which I am now warden. And life really hasn’t slowed down any. So I am currently sitting on the Virgin Trains east coast service to London Kings Cross reviewing as many albums as I can to play catch-up.
This album has a very death metal meets industrial vibe. I’m sure there is probably a sub-genre to neatly accommodate this (industrial death?)
This is one heavy album. Thrashing guitars; fast, double-kick drums; with gruff ‘cookie monster’ vocals. This is the kind of album that can easily go wrong for me but The Republic of Desire pull if off perfectly.
The songs are interesting and dynamic. They are homogeneous enough to be recognisably by the same band and on the same album, but not so much that things get boring.
With the underlying bed of kick drums, snare cracks and thundering bass the only option for dynamism is in the guitars, keyboards and vocals, plus the various other effects, industrial beats and sounds they drop in around the album. Plus the stop. Start. Twists and turns. Of the. Music.
While many of the songs begin differently — some launch straight into the carnage, others dance around it with delicate keyboard riffs — they all end up in a familar dark and poundingly heavy place.
As the album progresses it seems to sound more and more lamentful. “Mouth of the beast” (track 9) in particular sounds distressingly sad. Like the mournful screams of a soul in torment. It quietly comes to an end and segues beautifully into “Gethsemane” which sounds like the wistful morning after the night before, the sun rising on a new day. It sounds more like a resurrection moment rather than Gethsemane (where Jesus was arrested ahead of his trial and crucifixion). But then perhaps both are simply opposite sides of the same coin.
From start to finish the album hardly lets up. But I have to admire it for that. There are some albums that just get under your skin, and this for me is one of those. Perhaps it’s bcause I’ve listened to it for so long. Perhaps it’s just a great album. I’d like to thing it’s both. I’ve put the time in and it has rewarded me.
Whatever it is, this has been the soundtrack to the start of the dissolution of my marriage. And with a band name of The Republic of Desire, ironically, that seems somehow altogether appropriate.
Review score: 100%