16Volt – Beating Dead Horses (2011)

I stumbled into a handful of incredible industrial bands at the beginning of the 90s thanks to Cleopatra Records and two of their compilations, collections of cover songs, I guess it was an AC/DC tribute and another one with The Cure songs. Later I had listen also some nice Smashing Pumpkins, Siouxsie and the Banshees, New Order, The Sisters of Mercy, Pink Floyd, Guns N’ Roses, Dead Can Dance  and Skinny Puppy tribute/cover albums. Well, through that records I discovered bands such 16Volt, Razed in Black, Spahn Ranch, Sheep on Drugs, Electric Hellfire Club and so on.
16Volt reminded me of Ministry and it’s the project created by Eric Powell and Mike Peoples in 1988 and “Beating Dead Horses” is the eight studio album of the band. There is still few reminiscences of the Ministry sound like EBM/industrial sound, but 16Volt developed their own sound and unique approach. “Beating Dead Horses” is actually an absolutely beautiful album.
Noisy, contorted layers of samplers and synthesizers with heavy back-up of crushing drums, cutting edge guitar riffs and raw vocals are merged with spacy, melodious themes and vocals, sensitive and subtle harmonic constructions. While the title track sounds like an industrial-rock anthem with roots back to punk (“Flogging a Dead Hors” the Sex Pistols compilation album from 1980 vs. “Beating Dead Horses” – as a parallel), in the very next track, “The Wasteland That Is Me”, 16Volt managed to melt together the industrial noises and incisive sounds with extremely colorful and surprisingly beautiful melodies. And the whole album balancing perfectly between this two extremes, heavy stuffs are mixed with ingenious melodies, smooth harmonies and inspired, surprising solutions. I just love songs like “Fight Or Flight”, “Burn”, “You Will Go Down”, “Ghost” and actually I just can name all the 13 songs including the beautiful ending with “Somewhere New”.
Excellent work from a grinding, pulsing, innovating band.

16Volt – Official Site
16Volt – on MySpace

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