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Front Line Assembly - Discografia (1986-2013)
This is the story of a band that has been labelled as pioneers and as an influence on a generation of new upstarts. A band who has seen fame and fortune as a distant dream, whilst others around them had found commercial success.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyXi-ObqX8I
A band whose underground cult status was seen as the zenith of their career. A band that suddenly found them catapulted into the mainstream. This is also the story of one man with a musical vision that has crossed the boundaries of electronic music. This is the story of Bill Leeb and Front Line Assembly, a tale of pioneering electronic musicianship and more side projects than you can shake a stick at.
Front Line Assembly (FLA) began when Bill Leeb, decided to part company with Canadian Industrial pioneers Skinny Puppy under alleged controversial circumstances and set out of his own musical quest. Whilst Bill trading under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder had real little influence in Skinny Puppy, but it was the place where he learnt his trade and saw him germinate some of the ideas that would form the back bone of FLA's music.
Following two self released demo tapes ?Total Terror? and ?Nerve War? ,(which are like gold dust to the hardcore FLA fan although Total Terror was re-released as part of the two CD ?Total Terror 1 and 2 in 1993) FLA in 1987 released their first album ?The Initial Command?. On this album Bill was joined by Michael Balch with help from a young Rhys (pronounced Reece) Fulber on several tracks. ?Initial Command? set the sound for early FLA a combination of heavy sequenced bass lines, earth shaking beats and an overdose of synthesizers and samples. Elements that have remained at the core of the FLA sound throughout their history, although the application and (mis)use of these ingredients has developed and metamorphosed over time. The FLA sound then fitted in snugly with the burgeoning European EBM scene as well with the growth of the American Industrial scene, with it?s combination of heavy beats , complex layered melodies and harsh distorted vocals .
?The Initial Command? was quickly followed by the release of FLA's second album ?State of Mind? (1988) and two mini albums Corrosion (1988) and Disorder (1988) . The two mini albums were later compiled on the album ?Convergence? (1988) and later repackaged with additional tracks as Corroded Disorder (1995).These releases saw FLA produce music that was not only heavy on rhythmic dominance but also rich in dark ambient textures. At this time FLA stood alone in the field of Industrial music, neither really heading towards the dance floors like their European counterparts or disappearing into the realms of experimentation that many bands had fallen into.
However things were about to change as FLA decided to move on to a more dance floor friendlier direction with the release of their next album ?Gashed Senses and Crossfire? (1989). ?Gashed senses? saw FLA dropping the dark atmospherics of their earlier releases and create and album based on a more beat and bass driven sound. Tracks like ?No Limits? and ?Digital Tension Dementia? forced you to move your feet while at the same time destroying your mind. FLA had began the move from being outsiders of the Industrial scene straight into it?s pulsating mechanical heart.
1989 also saw the first of many FLA side project releases in the shape of the first Delerium albums ?Faces, Forms and Illusions? and ?Morpheus? which continued the dark ambience of early FLA but adding more tribal and classical influence to the band?s sound. Also released at the same time was Bill?s collaboration with Klinik member Marc Verhaeghen under the name Noise Unit .The product of this partnership was the album ?Grinding into Emptiness? and the single ?Deceit?. This year also saw the release of the rare ?Live? album and the departure of Michael Balch and the full time employment of Rhys Fulber.
If ?Gashed Senses? had seen a step forward for FLA then it?s follow up ?Caustic Grip? (1990) saw FLA running head first into the cybernetic future. ?Caustic Grip? saw FLA adding a highly complex mesh of sounds to beats that threaten to tear the world apart. The singles ?Provision? and ?Iceolate? were FLA trump cards receiving singles of the week in Melody Maker and Sounds and trampling over all FLA?s Industrial dance rivals. Electronic music had never sounded so heavy and complex before and yet still maintaining it?s structure. ?Caustic Grip? was my introduction to Industrial music and it still holds a special place in my heart. On ?Caustic Grip? FLA had shown me that the future was electronic and dance music could be heavier than any rock band out there.
If the release of ?Caustic Grip? wasn't enough for Bill and Rhys they also released albums as Cyberaktif ( Bill?s collaboration with Skinny Puppy members Cevin Key and Dwayne Goettel) ?Tenebrae Vision? (1990),Will (Rhy?s Medievil Hard beat side project with future FLA member Chris Peterson and vocalist John McRae) ?Pearl Of Great Price? and ?Word Flesh Stone? (1991), Intermix (FLA?s techno/house side project) Intermix (1991) as well as four further Delerium releases ?Syrophenikan? and ?Stone Tower? (1990) ?Spiritual Archives? and ?Euphoric? (1991) and another Noise Unit ?Response Frequency, (1990). All showing FLA on top form and amazingly busy.
The next release FLA release was 1992?s ?Tactical Neural Implant? (TNI) which again saw FLA pushing their sound forward. ?TNI? saw Bill and Rhys adding elements of the techno sound that had experimented with on the ?Intermix? album. Gone were the heavy beats of ?Caustic Grip? replaced with hip hop and techno influenced rhythms. ?TNI? is a album of sublime vision that conjures up images of the cyberpunk dystopia of the writings of William Gibson and the film Bladerunner. Amongst FLA fans ?TNI? is regarded by many as FLA finest moments and acts as a superb introduction for the novice to the music of Bill Leeb.
Again Bill and Rhys were busy with other projects including remixing Fear Factory on the ?Fear is the Mindkiller? (1992). This was the first time Rhys was to work with Fear Factory, later becoming their unofficial fifth member and producing their following albums. They also released another album as Intermix ?Phaze 2 (1992).
The period of 1993/94 saw another transitional period for FLA. One album was shelved (later to be released under the Noise Unit tag ?Strategy Of Violence? (1994)) as being out of synch with what the band wanted to create as FLA, and a new album was recorded.
The new album was ?Millennium? and was released in 1994. Once more FLA's sound had mutated. This time and a big shock to many FLA fans, the band had added a heavy guitar sound to the mix. Many fans saw this time as FLA selling out and an attempt by the band to cash in on the ascendancy of Industrial bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. Maybe it was the influence of new record label Roadrunner forcing FLA?s hands, but ?Millennium? was still an awesome album. Guitar riffs from Slayer and Pantera along with live guitars from Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad) where added to FLA?s pummelling technoid beats and sweeping strings to create a monster of an album. It may have pissed off a lot of purists but at least FLA weren?t standing stationary .
1994 also saw the development of Delerium from being a FLA side project into a entity in it?s own rights. The opening chapter of the book according to Delerium was closed by the release of ?Sphere? ands Spheres 2? both albums of cold spatial ambience. Then Delerium was genetically re-engineered with the release of the ?Flowers become Screens? single and the album ?Semantic Spaces? got was the dark ambience of early Delerium to be replaced with a rich textural sound that nodded in the direction of Enigma and Deep Forest but without the cheesy histrionics.
Also released around this time was the Delerium junior of the last Intermix album ?Future Primitives? (1994) and the Synaesthesia album ?Embody? (1995). Both albums seem to consist of material that hadn?t made it onto the Delerium album. The Synaesthesia album was even credited to R. Deckard (Harrison Ford?s character in Bladerunner) in an attempt to pass it off as a non FLA related release and to escape from record contract obligations.
1996 bought the next FLA album in the shape of ?Hard Wired? which saw FLA combining the guitar elements of ?Millennium? with the cyberpunk sound of ? Tactical Neural Implant?. ?Hard Wired? was the first album that really saw FLA treading water and is probably the FLA album I have listened to the least. The release of ?Hard Wired? was meet with a world tour by the band which was captured on the ??Live Wired? CD and Video box set. The live site is an exhilarating ride through the history of FLA taking it all periods of their musical history. ?Hard Wired? was also met by the release of a ?Remix Wars? album where FLA and German Industrialists Die Krupps remixed each others tracks.
The period following the release of ?Hard Wired? was also another busy period. Rhys announced he was to leave and concentrate on production and later his own project Conjure 12. Whilst Bill concentrated on more side projects including new projects Equinox ?Holon? (1998) and Pro- Tech ?Orbiting Cathedrals? (1997) which saw Bill experimenting with electonica and break beats . Another two Noise Unit albums ?Decoder? (1996) and ?Drill (1997) two more Synaesthesia albums ?Desideratum? (1996) and ?Ephemeral? (1997) and the big one and his last (to date) collaboration with Rhys Delerium?s ?Karma? (1997).
It was ?Karma? that would see the turning point in Bill and Rhy?s careers. The album featured a collaboration with singer Sarah McLachlan under the name of ?Silence?. ?Silence? would later be remixed by a host of name DJ?s and then flew into the Top Ten of chart?s around the world under the guise of a DJ Tiesto remix. FLA or rather Delerium had come from cult obscurity to have one of the biggest dance hits of 2000. Strange how the power of a bad trance remix can alter a band?s destiny.
But before the chart success of ?Silence? , Bill alongside new partner Chris ?Corndog? Peterson released three further FLA albums. First off was the stunning ?FLAvour of the Weak?(1998)which saw FLA combining the more break beat and techno influences of their Pro -Tech and Equinox side projects to their sound. Where as previous album ?Hard Wired? had seen FLA standing still ?FLAvour? saw FLA creating a new year zero for Industrial music. Sweeping away all the old clichés and creating a new environment where Industrial music could once more challenge the music that was being created by the dominance of trance culture. ?FLAvour? was quickly followed by a remix companion in the shape of ?Re- Wind? that featuring one disc of remixes by the band themselves and a disc of remixes by the likes of Front 242, Fini Tribe, Tim Schultz and Eat Static.
A year later and FLA released the album ?Implode? (1999) which while not as groundbreaking as ?FLAvour? saw FLA consolidated their position as one of the leading forces in the world of Industrial music. ?Implode is one of those albums that demands repeat listening to really appreciate the sonic depths. It also proves that the gathering success of the more commercial Delerium sound didn?t mean that Bill would sell out with FLA.
So after 15 years FLA are still going from strength to strength. Bill is finally getting the financial rewards for his hard work with the commercial success of Delerium. (Karma has supposedly sold more copies that all the FLA album sales put together). 2001 sees the UK release of the new Delerium album ?Poem? which features collaborations with Leigh Nash (Sixpence none the Richer), Matthew Sweet and The Medieval Babes and looks likely to repeat the success of Karma. Whilst us FLA fans are wetting our lips for the release of FLA?s latest masterpiece ?Epitaph? and Rhys Fulber?s Conjure One project later this year. Another busy year for FLA again.
Front Line Assembly At MySpace
02. Singles & EPs
03. Official Live Releases
05. Other Versions, Reissues, Limited Editions
07. Unofficial Releases
08. Live Bootlegs
10. Rare, Remixed, Unreleased Tracks
11. Cryogenic Studios
Of all the electro-industrial/industrial metal bands that have enjoyed success and wide exposure towards the end of the 80s and, subsequently, in the early to mid 90s, Front Line Assembly have always been one of the most underrated and overlooked. At some point, Skinny Puppy, Ministry and later Nine Inch Nails were plagued by several addictions and turmoil, while Godflesh or KMFDM enjoyed a good run, ultimately disbanding, only to reform years later. Even though mastermind Bill Leeb and his army of collaborators soldiered on, creating a couple of genre classics such as 1992's Tactical Neural Implant and 1995's Hard Wired, they mostly flew under the radar, thus gaining more of a cult following.
A few years later, Leeb and his then main contributor Rhys Fulber's side project, Delerium, became more commercially successful, at one point influencing Front Line Assembly's own direction, as evidenced on Epitaph and Civilization. However, with Artificial Soldier, the band returned to the aggressive, guitar leaned sound, managing to remain relevant throughout the 00s by constant updates to their overall sound, lately adding new influences like dubstep on the video game soundtrack AirMech, out last year.
Now, with a new release behind them, Front Line Assembly returned to the early 90s mindset, getting rid of all guitars to create a pure electronic record. As a result, Echogenetic is less manic in terms of approach, becoming in some ways an updated, more atmospheric counterpart to Tactical Neural Implant. Unwilling to rely solely on previously covered grounds, the rather fresh dubstep influences are present mainly on tracks like 'Killing Grounds' and 'Prototype'. The former mixes Leeb's distorted, urgent rants with pungent, dance floor-oriented grooves, turning into one of their most accomplished tracks in over 15 years, while the latter is a moody, mid-tempo instrumental, akin to the material found on AirMech.
Keeping the disaster prone, nihilistic attitude, Leeb manages to sound mournful on 'Exo', 'Blood' or 'Ghosts'. All these have melodic moments where it feels as if Delerium crossed once more the sonic boundaries into the FLA world. It suits the album's undiluted electronic nature, becoming a natural expansion that portrays our civilization's impending doom in a nostalgic, yet beautiful way. Merging these moments with the menacing, brooding soundscapes and vocal delivery is something the band has improved in time. Another highlight, 'Exo', expands this melancholic side, adding at some point a blissful Massive Attack-meets-Delerium coda. Much like the whole record, the track is meticulously arranged, juxtaposing various layers to create a complete musical journey.
Even if the album is fairly encompassing, showing most of the band's various facets, the hyperactive, industrial metal edge is sometimes missing. If FLA had selectively inserted the distorted guitars, they might have boosted some of the songs' power. That way, the record would've been an excellent run through their 27-year career. Besides that, Leeb's monotone voice and sometimes rudimentary lyrics were never strong points, so those who can't get past his delivery, will be slightly turned off again.
Nevertheless, Echogenetic is an important addition to the band's vast discography. It does not only show how much they have grown over the years and the great attention given to sonic details, but also reveals how interesting and relevant they still are to the genre. Constantly updating the sound, while searching for new grounds in the meantime, Bill Leeb and his latest co-workers, Jeremy Inkel and Jared Slingerland have proved to be one of the most reliable bands these days.
Bitrate of most official releases is 320k, some in 192, bootlegs and unofficial releases between 64-192k. If requestor not satisfied, should reject the request fill!
Size: 9.80 GB