Breach the Void
The Monochromatic Era

Starting out originally under the name Etna, the Swiss group Breach the Void takes on a style of synth infused Cyber-Metal that brings them into the ranks of bands such as Sonic Syndicate, Mnemic, Threat Signal, In Flames, Scar Symmetry and Fear Factory. The band’s inception came with Alex Anxionna, whom after his time drumming in Sybreed, wanted to pursue a style he was a little more in control of.   After bringing the right pieces of the puzzle together, Anxionna recruited Fabian Ferraglia (Last Warning) on bass, Marko Romero (Nevent) on vocals and Frederic De Cecco on guitar.  Together the band seems to have come together to write an album that combines heavy off-time predominantly palm muted rhythms with attacking verses, melodic choruses, while mixing a fair amount of brutality with harmonial clarity.  Recorded in Switzerland at Taurus Studios (Sybreed, Samael) under Coroner Records (Destrage, Rise to Fall); Breach the Void emerges with their debut album The Monochromatic Era.

The opening track, “Propagate”, enters in with a fade in of synthesizer keys and falls into a heavy rhythm that’s less-than-complimentary to anything too terribly complicated but definitely does the job in getting you set for the album. Romero’s barking style of scream enters the scene for the first verse but then turns around and becomes a very clean and overlaid chorus. The first thing I noticed was his cleans seemed to be turned down compared to everything else, plus it takes a second to really take in the heavier set music accompanying the much smoother set chorus. Which is basically the writing formula used with every track on the album: Screaming on the verse, singing in the chorus, repeat. Now I’m personally a fan of mixing the two vocals in a song, but generally not when it’s in the same process each time in every track.

A few other notable tracks in Monochromatic Era would include “EC-10” in which you can really pick up the heavy Fear Factory influence in the opening riffs and even kind of in the vocal melody used throughout the song. Another would be “Ruins” in which I could catch some pretty relative In Flames guitar work. One more track worth mentioning would definitely be “Digital Structure” where in the very beginning, Anxionna definitely shows a little more of what he can do with his blasting double bass that carries on into about 35 seconds of the song, more or less making it the heaviest track on the album. Keep in mind however that the same blasts are used in the chorus which is inevitably gone hand-in-hand with some really clean overlaid vocals yet again. I don’t mean to bash on this concept of their music so much but I like my heavier music to have heavier vocals as well.

So overall, Breach the Void has made a very decent album, my only concern for it has to be that the song structures are just a little too similar. Marko Romero can definitely pull off the two extremes with the vocals; he just doesn’t seem to be able to transition anything in between. Frederic De Cecco’s guitar work is definitely a lot more rhythm orientated so the only solo that’s not done by the synths occurs in “Ruins”. Then again it’s the rhythm that’s usually more of what the genre tends to call for, not so much relying on face melting solos or insanely complicated tremolo picking and/or sweeping, but at the same time is definitely an album worth checking out for fans of the aforementioned artists listed throughout.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Derek Taylor
February 14th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: faust666

    Gonna check this out. Good review.


  2. Commented by: Plasmaterial

    This is (no surprise) very similar to Sybreed’s debut Slave Design.


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