Fan Review: DOWNLOAD – LingAM

User Rating: 5

This is, not or Download might’ve realised that before they sent us their new album LingAM.

Thankfully, I’m not that annoyed, as I’m actually a big fan of electronic music, and there’s just enough electro-industrial left over from cEvin Key’s work in Skinny Puppy for me to justify reviewing this.

That’s a good thing, because LingAM is ten tracks of really great IDM (intelligent dance music) and industrial beats. There are also particularly uncontrollable melodic twitches and tics in the music that one might associate with Shpongle‘s otherworldly mesmerisms (INAGE MAntra), or Aphex Twin‘s insane acid breaks (AAARD). Mostly though, this album centres itself around a post-industrial style which make great use of melody, alongside some complementing ambient synths and fizzing electronics.

The album is a rather calm affair, offering a chilled-out take on IDM, a style which has led to the band being labelled ‘ambient techno.’ There’s certainly a dark atmosphere surrounding the album, which is sustained by the use of drawn-out synths hovering in the background, somewhere behind the drums and bass lines. These are occasionally pulled out to the front to create some really dark moments, but for the most part drone comfortably along with the rest of the song.

JirAFFE From The Planet Sanders might have one of the stupidest titles I’ve ever heard, but then again, so does Aphex‘s fantastic jynweythek ylow (for those unfamiliar with his work, no, I’m not just making that one up). Despite the title, the track is absolutely wonderful (not metal in the slightest – again, I’m sorry), matching beautifully synthesised choir vocals with a pulsing electronic drum kit and shuddering electro-industrial overlays and glitchy pops and stutters.

Duppy sees the group head in the opposite direction, with its repetitive techno whirrings, which could stir up most dancefloors. As a track to just listen to, however, it’s not all that great. This type of track is made for live events, and Duppy gets pretty dull if you’re just lazing around listening to it.

And Saw Crust is just weird.

The closest Download really get to heavy music is in the industrial-flavoured KUNDI, which sounds like Nine Inch Nails on a bad acid trip. Its bleak synth surges would feel at home in video games such as the Metroid series, as it reeks of danger and dislocation; but it does lack the punch that would push it over the edge into aggression.

If you came looking for a metal review, my apologies. I was considering whether or not to actually write this one up, but I figured it was just close enough to the mark to run.

This is a great album – if you like relatively heavy electronic music. 

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