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Assemblage 23
Metropolis Records/ Ascension

The ever eloquent Tom Shear has mastered it yet again. In Assemblage 23's newest release, Storm, he has managed to make me feel. The lyrics flow from a place I'm not sure I want to revisit.

Keeping its EBM/synthpop music background a stable and constant link to reality, the lyrics just take on their own life form. - such as, from "Let The Wind Erase Me": "I need a respite from this noise/The distant roar of static oceans/Give me a haven from this bedlam/And let my senses rust away". Yeah, me too, buddy.

But wait, the fun doesn't end there… The entire CD is chock full o' deeper meanings, enough to completely overpower the music if you let it. I don't think I'd want to visit Shears' head for these ideas, because I'm afraid I couldn't afford the therapy when I returned. Not that they're so vile or vulgar and unintelligible, but because they seem to touch on way too many nerves, enough of them to make me ask him what he is thinking when he writes them… Or… maybe not… Maybe someone should just ask him if he's ok.

In the last track, "30kft," I found myself weeping openly, not because it was the last song from this wonderful piece, but because of the surprise it was. See, it's written as a man calling his loved one from 30 thousand feet above, in an airplane going down. I can't say too much else about it, because I refuse to be a spoiler for those who haven't heard it… however, it was too realistic for me to not be unfazed.

This whole work takes you from every possible emotional level straight onto the inevitable end, (have I said too much?) But it has, per Shear's norm, a way of making you think way too much while listening to great music.

I always look forward to music that makes my mind travel, and this is definitely something you need to sit down and absorb, not to plug in and tune out.


Track Listing

1. Human
2. Skin
3. Ground
4. Let the Wind Erase Me
5. Infinite
6. Complacent
7. You Haven't Earned It
8. Regret
9. Apart
10. 30kft

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