Album Review: Front Line Assembly ‘Improvised Electronic Device’

Once in a while, I come out of my shell and decide to cut loose for an evening. Being that I’m not really into the whole sports bar scene or the house party idea, I make my way to a little place in Southeast Michigan called Necto for Factory Monday. It’s a night devoted to Industrial, EBM and Synthpop and is reminiscient to the dance scene at the beginning of Blade, sans the blood of course.
flaiedcover
Anyways, I bring this up because I expect the new Front Line Assembly album, ‘Improvised Electronic Device’, to become a staple there, be it remixes or originals. Check after the jump for a full review.

Front Line Assembly is considered to be one of the godfathers of industrial music, and for very good reason: FLA has been around for 24 years and is led by Bill Leeb (interview HERE), who has worked with Skinny Puppy, Delerium, Conjure One and more. The sound of FLA is very processed, very digital and always makes you want to move some part of your body. ‘Improvised Electronic Device’ continues this with flying colors. 
The album starts off with the title track, ‘I.E.D.’, which starts with about 1:45 to build an atmosphere of unease and tension through various sonic effects and subtle note shifting. Then comes in a very military-esque snare intro, which leads into a full on industrial-techno assault. As usual, FLA uses intriguing synth patches and programs overlaid atop one another to create haunting sonic landscapes as well as highly processed, digital guitars that often sound like machines working rather than a musical instrument (I say this in the best way possible). This is a very aggressive track and does a great job at getting your blood pumping.
flamasks
The production of ‘I.E.D.’ is beautifully done. With so much going on, I was worried that I would experience some muddiness but I didn’t notice much of that at all. The only concern that I had was that when I pumped up the bass in my car, the vocals got a bit buried. However, when listening on my headphones or my sound system, things cleared up neatly. 
Overall, ‘Improvised Electronic Device’ is a fantastic addition to the already extensive Front Line Assembly library. This album is destined to be spun endlessly on dance floors. Just make sure your glow sticks last through the night. 
4.5 out of 5 skulls