Protectorate – S.T. | Review by Vox Empirea

By Maxymox | 2016, December 1 |

EBM / industrial one-act since 2005 impersonated by Kalle Lindberg (vox / lyrics / programming / lead guitar / lead bass). The Finnish artist originally comes from the industrial-metal scene: in fact the protagonist has founded in 1997, with the guitarist Lasse Alander – who’s also the Protectorate’s live collaborator – the band called Republic Of Desire, in which Kalle was the vocalist and the responsible of programming, while since more recent times he’s part, always with Lasse Alander, of the electro / industrial / EBM duo Cardinal Noire. Protectorate incorporates in a single, solid paradigm, factory rumorism and industrial 80’s / 90’s sonorities, always applying the criterion of “quality over quantity”, avoiding an excessive number music products but focusing mainly on the uniqueness of each song, taking care minutely their technical form and the tracklist details.

The success factors that characterize the project’s sound system are first of all the original combination between refinement and extreme attention to the most catchy electro-dance strategies, through which Kalle plans simultaneously exclusive technological modulations like Front Line Assembly / Front 242 / Skinny Puppy / Portion Control, combined with exquisite mainstream formulations inspired to Depeche Mode, plus certain rock-oriented references near Fields Of The Nephilim. After a long period of demo-experiments, Protectorate concretely began its production in 2011 and publishing in 2012 the self-produced EP “Come Fall” which contains four electro / industrial / dark ambient songs, followed in 2016 by the long waited and namesake debut album “Protecorate” now analyzed by Vox Empirea, licensed by the formidable Italian label EK Product; the measured number of tracks included in the release, eight in all, once again confirms the principles of high selectivity and focus on the substantial requirements on which it bases the musician’s discography, that is maximum essentiality, maximum efficiency. Aggressive vocals, timbrically cruel and abrasive, drumming arithmetically dissected by the drum-programming, linear sequencing and murky synth coverages are the prerogatives of this great full-length suitable to liven up the most avant garde dancefloors; the first episode, “Exile”, openly expresses its menacing EBM / industrial aura cadencing powerful midtempo bpm’s on the lethal Kalle’s voice, while all around the keyboards propagate gloomy chords which giving the track a solemn authoritativeness, as well as the EBM / industrial scheme of the subsequent “Infocon” is dominated by a disturbing skittishness built using harsh vocals, so bristling and sharp like blades, together with a midtempo rhythm precisely scanned, turbid flows of synths and sequenced particles. “Clean Break” is filled with explosive EBM / industrial vitality generated through the vehemence of midtempo drum-machine beats similar to an implacable flagellation, caustic vocalizations, electric guitar riffs and dark synth emissions. The following “Neoreaktion” is an EBM / industrial track in which the adverse and hoarse tones pronounced by Kalle they amalgamate to a toxic keyboard, fluttering nervously above a midtempo drum-programming, in a swirl of alienation, sonic tensions and atmospheres sinisterly apocalyptical. The following “Proconsul” is punctuated by downtempo mechanical synchronies, which driving with obsessive slowness hallucinated vocals, a biting guitar stridency in the background and obscure symphonies of keyboard, thus composing an EBM / industrial radiated of cold rage, the same one audible even in “Overproduction”, a dark-electro / EBM / industrial downtempo that emphasizes, especially in the uptempo impetuous refrain, the Kalle’s chant, perpetually angry, venomous, surrounded by spectral keyboard fluorescences. The dark-electro / EBM / industrial structures of “Severed Heads” configure heavy sound masses, perturbing rhythmically our senses through downtempo rectilinear cycles of drum-machine and sequencing, grim voice, dark saturations of synths and dissonant guitar shocks. “Empty Faces” concludes the title track proposing a superb song executed with impeccable art, by vocal roughness overlying on rational downtempo drumming, symmetrical sequencing and magnificent orchestrations of keyboard, all elements that make this song a true dark-electro / EBM / industrial monument.

Protectorate certifies definitively his style made of exasperatingly hard, monochrome sounds, created through advanced technicalities and solid pride; the album “Protectorate” is a seismic-electronic wave of huge proportions, which force inhibits the body each any staticity imposing on it a perpetual rhythmic motion. Kalle Lindberg not only reinterprets the classic EBM / industrial models, but he radically breaks down their concepts for then reassembling them by winning logics, all until the achieving of an advanced musicality that spreads vibrating sensations and large doses of energy. This debut release greatly increases the evaluation of Protectorate, classifying him with full honors as a talented phenomenon projected at full speed toward the contemporary technological universe. If you feel real electro-fans able to go beyond the convention, don’t give up this album! Listen carefully to it and you’ll understand why.

Vox Empirea

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