Frontline Assembly shows promise

Frontline is a bit repetitive but contains a great deal of imagery.

Many images came to mind after listening to Frontline Assembly's latest release "Epitaph," but one in particular stood out clearly.

"Haloed," the first track on the CD, created an unexpected image. After the first listen, I pictured a crude, poverty-stricken, futuristic town, something like Mad Max encounters when he stumbles upon Bartertown in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." This track possessed beat-driven and electronic synthesized background music, which is portrayed throughout the entire CD. This melodic atmosphere gives the right amount of flavor and originality to the work as a whole.

The following two tracks, "Dead Planet" and "Backlash" would be perfect for any fast-paced racing video game. They had the catchy beats and foot tapping rhythms to keep a person interested.

One problem with most of the songs on the CD was that much of the vocal line was so heavily influenced by electronics that it was difficult to tell if Canadian vocalist Bill Leeb has a good voice.

But Leeb proved that he has vocal talent in the first single, "Everything Must Perish." He had a pleasant, almost sexy voice that showed an aspect of his humanity that tends to stay hidden in the other songs.

"Conscience" was the next song and had a slightly different mood from the others before it. This track had piano parts mixed in with hard electric sound effects, and the contrast made the song work really well. It kept the same hard-core style of many of the other songs, but the piano was a nice touch.

Lyrics in general were simple and repetitive, but they touched on issues most people face, issues of love and frustrations with life. For that, they were effective, but such complicated and intricately woven music would work much better with lyrics that match the tone.

An example of these redundant lyrics from "Everything Must Perish" would be, "a bird takes flight now out of sight. The sun catches a shadow."

This line is repeated throughout the six-minute song. These lyrics are easy for listeners to catch on to, but at the same time these bland lyrics contrast too greatly with the complexity of the music.

Anyone wanting to purchase this CD would not be wasting any money. In fact, this would be a great choice for any vigorous workout or any time stress needs to be relieved.


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