Alec Empire – Golden Foretaste Of Heaven

He can still raise the hounds of hell

Berlin noisenik Alec Empire led Atari Teenage Riot on a flame-filled journey across the world, inspiring a huge cult following as well as outright fear and loathing from the uninitiated.

His blend of the two ‘hardcore’ strands of music, punk and techno, has followed him from the Atari days into his solo career. It is possible, however, to detect a mellowing in the fellow – for example, on Soft Cell aping opener “New Man” when he opines ‘it’s better to die with love than live without it’. Empire hasn’t exactly reached for his pipe and slippers yet, though, since ‘songs’ such as “Death Trap In 3D” suggest he can still raise the hounds of hell if he wished.

Promising to define the sound of Berlin in the post-techno era, “The Golden Foretaste of Heaven” has many of the usual touchstones of Empire’s career: the Iggy Pop-style vocals, the Suicide synths of “ICE” and the No-Wave screeching of “On Fire” are all reminiscent of past work. However, the dancefloor friendly beats lend this album some crossover appeal that was distinctly lacking in some of Alec Empire’s previous projects. Ultimately, “The Golden Foretaste of Heaven” is so forward-thinking it suggests an afterlife composed of people not even born yet.

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