I first got into Front Line Assembly in the ’90s when I would pretty much buy anything that was put out by Roadrunner Records. Luckily FLA was signed to the label and I happened upon Millennium, the riff-laden Pantera-sampling industrial masterpiece that was my essential gateway drug into the world of Front Line Assembly. Cut to twenty years later and I’m still voraciously eating up everything they have to offer. With Rhys Fulber. Without Rhys Fulber. With guitars. Without guitars. As is the case with their latest, ECHOGENETIC.

That’s right, guitarless FLA is back and Bill Leeb is still an underrated industrial GOD! Anyone who has ever stated that in industrial music you need guitars to be truly aggressive has never heard Leeb’s menacing effects laden snarl, that’s for sure! Taking another step into the future with the latest iteration of the band, FLA still continue to surprise and amaze at this stage of their career.

“Blood” is this evil sounding mindwarp that starts as one thing and turns into something completely different on the chorus. The same rings true on the title track which switches gears almost instantaneously but is never jarring making the finale of the song exquisite. “Deadened” is a synth-heavy industrial march and “Exhale” is this electro-dance odyssey that is primed to set dance floors ablaze. Then there’s a track like the epic “Exo” which is a potent electronic journey or “Killing Grounds” which infuses dub step (And pops up again during “Prototype”) into FLA’s 21st Century repertoire. Through all the different sonic styles presented here, ECHOGENETIC remains one of the most solid albums FLA has released to date.

ECHOGENETIC is available through Metropolis Records on July 9th. You can buy your very own copy here.

Grade: A



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