Halo Effect are back! Three years have passed since “The Fourth Zone” was released and since then, the band have more or less been hiding in the dark. This Italian Synthpop/EBM act are back with the new album “Recoding”.
Some things have happened since last album. The band have found a new home with EK Product, a label I think will suit the band really well. Next, is the sound. Right away from the start on “Cold Front” you will notice a more mature sound. The And One influences are still there and noticed right away on the following “Burning Chrome”. Yet, I feel they do it really well and of course have found there own touch to it. “Pulsar” take another part and deliver somehow a mix of 80′s and 90′s influenced sound with fresh beats. Very entertaining, and definitely one of the best tracks on the album. With driving beats and great vocals, Halo Effect deliver a really outstanding track. The sound reminds me a bit of Depeche Mode or even the great UK act Hurts.
But it doesn’t stop there. John Andrew Peverieri’s voice have really improved since “The Fourth Zone” and what only appeared on a few selected tracks back then, now stay for the entire album. Really great vocals. The love for the 80′s is well awared, though, the band prove that they can create strong futurepop tracks in which “Fiction” and “Spaceman” show pretty well. It’s faster, stronger beats and catchy melodies. But then, halfway through it seems something happens.
The songs gets darker. Some into the more raw EBM sound, and other with a gloomy and emotional setting. Although, here you will find another masterpiece. “Neon Metropolis” is a mid-tempo track with dark, yet catchy and with a strong melody. It has this tension that kind of keep you floating on these beautiful soundscapes. “New Body Machine” once again deliver the raw EBM sound, but this time John is joined by Mika Rossi (Endless Shame/Autodafeh) on vocals, who is behind the production of this album by the way. “Dying Star” goes in the same vein as “Neon Metropolis” with this intriguing sound. Tracks like these grow more the more you listen to them. Their sound, as I mentioned before, feels very mature and worked out. Something these tracks probably show the most. But before the end we are back to the Futurepop sound with yet another strong melodic piece in “Total Recall” and the mid-tempo track “The Big Lie”.
If “The Fourth Zone” told about the past, then “Recoding” is telling you about the future. With lyrics about, machines, androids, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, “Recoding” deliver an energetic and fresh album with lots of catchy melodies and strong constellations. The tracklist could have been shortened down with a few tracks though, but still I think Halo Effect keep a very high standard throughout the entire album and really keep it together, even if it presents a few different styles.