Overall Score: 8/10 Variety: 9/10 Length: 5/10 Replay Value: 8/10 Pros: Strong industrial beats | Manages to keep its sound varied and interesting Cons: 150 minute playtime makes it near impossible to listen to in one sitting, and is rather daunting for new listeners.
Cyanotic are one of the central players in the US industrial scene. Although still firmly in the underground, their collective Glitch Mode has helped propel many industrial acts into the scene and has led to a tight relationship with acts such as Rabbit Junk. At the start of the year they released their new album, Worst Case Scenario, Vol. 1, to a hugely positive reception, and now they’ve remastered the whole thing and partnered it with Vol. 2 for over two and a half hours of industrial insanity.
It’s clear that Cyanotic take influences from a wide range of industrial acts. There are some clear nods to Ministry and even Nailbomb (see “The Signs of Struggle”) and even some Massive Attack-esque moments in Vol. 2, showcasing the range that Cyanotic can offer. The riffs, provided primarily by Chris Hryniewiecki and JP Anderson, are crunching and violent, complementing the feelings of struggle, oppression and despair that Worst Case Scenario aims to portray. Everything has a clear flow from one track to the next, with no real lulls in spite of the ever changing pace of the record (from the thrash-driven “The Signs of Struggle” to the more atmospheric and electronically inclined “Cause + Effect”). The fuzziness that some fans saw as an issue with the original release of Vol. 1 is essentially gone (although in industrial music a little bit of fuzz is always welcome) and Sean Payne’s vocal delivery is restrained, yet somehow still feeling unhinged among the dystopian backdrop of the music.
Once we finish Vol. 1 of the album, we see ourselves treated to a vast range of remixes from friends and other members of the Glitch Mode collective, such as Mangadrive, Randolph & Mortimer and STRNGR. Every remix provides a unique take on the tracks they have chosen, such as Randolph & Mortimer’s very 80s influenced approach to “Signal the Machines” and STRNGR’s somewhat more danceable, EBM take on “Pressure”. We’re also treated to a handful of new tracks, such as a modern re-recording of the Cyanotic classic “Stages of Grief” and the aforementioned Massive Attack influenced “Another Sombre Outcome”, breaking out the trip-hop beats among dark industrial atmosphere.
When it comes to variety, we’re spoilt for choice on this album. With the amount of remixes available you’ll find Cyanotic’s core industrial sound mixed with all kinds of electronic and metal influences, but if you want something you can easily digest in less than an hour then this may not be for you. With all the remixes and additional tracks thrown in, this album clocks in at nearly 150 minutes (or two and a half hours), making it a real challenge to listen to in one sitting. Obviously this was made as something where listeners are actively encouraged to take the tracks they like into their own custom playlists but this is an awful lot of music to go through, even for that.
Overall, however, the remixes should be treated as bonus material, in which case you’ll be left with around 15 original tracks full of dark, aggressive industrial music that is sure to appease any fans of the style.