7/5/11

Blue Stahli - Blue Stahli (Review & Download)

Artist: Blue Stahli
Album: Blue Stahli
Release Date: March 2, 2011
Genre: Industrial Rock
Faze Grade: A

Review
Industrial rock is the supposed marriage of techno/electronic elements and rock. Since the inception of this genre, thanks in large part to the mainstream success of Nine Inch Nails, several sub-genres have popped up- most dominated by gothic elements. My persona listening journey with Industrial, or its plethora of sub-genres, has been limited to the occasional replaying of Celldweller (especially the song “Switchback”) or something from the realm of Rob Zombie. But while my trips may be less-than-common, I can still appreciate the work and talent put into the array of artists. While listeners of purely techno music find it hard to make the transition over, rock fans might enjoy the change of pace. With glitchy noises and heart-pounding drums, industrial rock combines the best of both worlds, and the album Blue Stahli is a perfect example of such.

Blue Stahli’s self-titled release hit the airwaves this past March, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago I first heard him. Stahli’s alter ego, Bret Autry, is labelmates with industrial patriarch Klayton, the man behind what seems like a dozen industrial bands from the early 1990’s till today (and the man behind Celldweller). So it would be no one’s surprise to find that both artists sound very similar. While the sounds are close, there is a distinctive youthful feel about Stahli’s tracks. This can be noticed from the opening moments of the starter track “ULTRAnumb,” which delivers a cataclysmic shock of grizzly guitars and skittering glitch-laced beats. There is certainly enough adrenaline to appease even the most mind-wandering listener. “ULTRAnumb” is the perfect opener, loudly showcasing what’s to come. The second track, “Scrape,” is distinctly darker, increasing at breakneck speed thirty seconds in. Relying more on rock then techno to deliver the lyrical bombshell, this is the fraternal twin of the first track. You either get industrial with more techno, or industrial with more rock. Either way you get Blue Stahli.


“Anti-You” is a frolicking industrial kicker, typical with the thrust-first, kick-second beat. “Doubt” is progressive mash of break beat symphonics and rock, the same kind that is often heard in spy or suspense films. “Corner” reminds me of an unheard of track from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, gunning for the mix of pulsating guitars, drained away by haunting vocals and gutting beats. “Takedown” is a frisky mix of original rock and roll with, of course, the synths and spattering drums. Also included on “Takedown” is the inclusion of (surprise!) female vocals. Anytime you want to improve a song, in any genre, you throw in female vocals (more please?). The success of industrial with female vocals is evident, just listen to any album from Shiny Toy Guns or The Birthday Massacre. Track 7 “You Kill Me Every Time” slows things down, relying on a underlining bass and groove to carry the song. “Throw Away” is a bit too slow for my tastes, considering the 160+ BPM on every other track. “Metamorphosis” is another ballad-like industrial song with few moments to get that excited about. The album concludes with “Give Me Everything You Got.” Rather than end on a slow note, like many artists choose to do, Stahli takes the listener right back to the top of the Ferris wheel, a blindingly aggressive track to close it out.

Though industrial music may not be in my repertoire, I can’t help but appreciating, and recommending, Blue Stahli’s full-length debut. If you're into faced-paced, melt-your-face-off, aggressive rock fused with the thumping and grinding of techno electricity - then this album is for you. With enough adrenaline to power a small army, this is the ideal get-up-and-go soundtrack for the inner awesome inside each of us. A

Blue Stahli - ULTRAnumb.MP3

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