Assemblage 23/Storm

Yes….still dwelling in my Assemblage 23 fixation. This release, issued in 2004, finds Tom as his most assessable and dance oriented. Assemblage 23 remains the best selling EBM oriented act in the US. A special thanks to blogsurfer and condron/us for featuring my blog.

Human—-Swirling with sound and emotion, Shear kicks to mood into high gear by the second bar. The song is really bass heavy and moves at a good 115 BPM’s. The vocal never fails, Tom delivers a voice that is just full of emotion and calculated coldness all at the same time. This is wonderfully constructed, the melody of the song is unforgettable. And…the heavy bass line is unforgiving.

Skin—-Beginning a bit more erratic and staccato, the song develops nicely as it progresses. The musical sounds are heavily layered and once shear lets loos of the sedate key, the song evolves into a pure masterpieces of Assemblage 23. The message delivered through the lyrics is empowering and though provoking. this is not lazy man music…you must think about what you are listening to and grasp it….this is incredible!

Ground—-The onset of the song is reminiscent of classic 80’s style synthlines…but the trademark sound quickly reminds you of who you are listening to. Once Shear begins to sing, you hear the familiar strains of a best friend. The song is accented by some female vocals that work really well. The lyrical content is intense as usual and not to be simply dismissed. Shear sings about all the things that we all experience. This is real life.

Let The Wind Erase Me—-Beginning with a more industrial sound, that is quickly pushed aside for the heavy, heavy bass beats that draw people to the dance floors in dark and dank clubs. The vocal is so damn accessible and accepting that you can no help but get sucked in. I just discovered this band about a year ago and wondered what the hell was going on in my brain. This is the best….and hard to believe American music. Superb…..I Love You, Tom Shear!!!!

Infinite—-welcomed by a bevy of choir like voices, the song builds to a masterful pace behind them. As sounds continue to develop, the choir fades and you are left with the purest form of synth perfection available. The vocal is so welcoming and familiar, you wonder how he manages to keep his tone set to this pace of music. Perhaps he lays vocal tracks before. You would never be able to record over these lines in such a masterful way. This is damn near perfection….why is this band not huge?

Complacent—-This is a much more sedate track at the onset…the vocal is morose and serious. As the song progresses, the pace build a tad but nowhere near the pace of previous tracks. Shear sings of things that mattered in 2004 and ……surprise….still matter in 2009. This man is genius…I am dying to have the new release in my ears!!

You Haven’t Earned It—-A slight return to the dance floor mayhem of other tracks, this song is better than anything Depeche Mode could ever hope to produce. This is an introspective, danceable and disturbing song…it speaks of life, elitism and ego-centric hooligans….wonderful!

Regret—-Heavy on synth and a darker tone, the vocal is like a best friend once again. The pace of the song is incredible, while the vocal remains at an even and sedate tone. Shear is a master at what he does. The lyrical content is something that every human being can relate to and should investigate. At times the tone is almost spiritual. I love this!!!!!

Apart—-Heavily layered and full of hyper synth beats, Shear delivers an almost industrialized version of his voice at times. This was reminiscent of the early days. By the chorus, the vocal clears and the dance rhythms are brutal. This is incredible. Why has Tom never worked with Trent? Imagine what they could create together!!! WOW!

30 KFT—-Man…..disturbing and beautiful, the music is a beautiful swell of orchestration and sound effects. The vocal is a muted sound of despair and sadness as a man is on a plane that is about to crash and he makes a last minute phone call. It is chilling and haunting……the music fits the mood masterfully….the string arrangements will chill you and the hidden desperation of the vocal is incredible….the songs ends suddenly before the call is finished and you are left with an over whelming sadness….Incredible!

***** out of 5


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