First Aid 4 Souls – Deathstep * review at Brutal Resonance

Brutal Resonsnce

Deathstep (2011)
First Aid 4 Souls
Electro Arc
Electro Ambient Industrial
Reader’s rate: 10/10 (1 votes)

Despite forming in the 2nd half of the 00’s, the members of First Aid 4 Souls have had quite the history. You may be familiar with Vacuum from the early 90s, a significant name in Hungarian industrial. For all intents and purposes, First Aid 4 Souls is the successor to Vacuum. Emerging onto the scene in 2009 with the ‚Brutpop‚ album, FA4S return in 2011 with their sophomore effort ‚Deathstep‚, a concept album about how ‚Western civilization is marching step by step, from day to day closer to apocalypse‘.

Robotic vocals meet trance leads greet me in the pounding opener ‚You Are In A Box‚. During the album’s 78 (!) minute duration, we meet many different elements of contemporary electronic and industrial music from the classic EBM inspired ‚Among Strangers‚ to the punchy & energetic industrial rock of ‚Agony‚. Other tracks like ‚Sekuhara‚ introduce subtle hints of house music. This house influence also creeps into ‚Watchmans Circle I‚, a track that also contains some very nice tribal sounds. We also get more traditional industrial tracks like the Skinny Puppy-ish ‚Lifeforce‚ and ‚House Harkonnen‚, a track that did nothing for me when it began but builds up to be one of my standouts from the album. Actually, the trio of ‚House Harkonnen‘, ‚Notes From Underground‘ and ‚Wrong Call To God‘ is where this album really shines and First Aid 4 Souls‚ potential is fully realized.

As they did with ‚Brutpop‚, ‚Deathstep‚ introduces several guest vocalists. Here we can find members of Impurfekt, KIFOTH and I Am One lending their voice to multiple tracks. I am particularly impressed with the dreamier tracks featuring Mark of I Am One. The strongest of these is the previously mentioned ‚Wrong Call To God‚ evoking similar spacey soundscapes and images as the legendary Mind.In.A.Box.

As a whole, I feel that First Aid 4 Souls need to further define their sound. ‚Deathstep‘ could be too schizophrenic for the pickier listener. An enjoyable listen nonetheless!

Josh Guinan
11 May 2011


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