Black Strobe

By - Jun 1st, 2007 02:52 pm
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By Ally Berndt

Norwegian death metal. Gothic French electro. ‘80s electronic body music. Something totally different. Any or all of the above can be ways used to describe Black Strobe.

Burn Your Own Church – “Brenn Di Ega Kjerke” in Norwegian – is Black Strobe’s latest album, and while all 11 tracks reflect the group’s Depeche Mode and ‘80s rock influences, most also represent a darker, trance-like mood.

The sound is good, but probably best appreciated if you’re hopped up at a Euro rave. “Blood Shot Eyes” is a quirky song that’s mixed well and puts the synthesizer to great use, yet sounds oddly reminiscent of the Super Mario Brothers theme if set against Norwegian metal.

Included on the album is a cover of Bo Diddly’s “I’m a Man.” It’s bluesy but more hyped up – a little bit out there, but enjoyable nonetheless. And if Rammstein put together an ‘80s house mix, I’m pretty sure it would sound very much like “Not What I Need,” with its deep half-spoken lyrics in Euro-metal drag.

The last two tracks – “Last Club on Earth” and “Crave for Speed” – are by far the best, featuring not only the strongest vocals, but also some great piano work. It’s a welcome switch from synth and showcases Black Strobe’s low-key side.

Burn Your Own Church is a decent album with a lot of great production work; the mixes are actually the best part. There could’ve been a little more guitar and a little less of the often over-powering keyboards and synthesizers, but overall Black Strobe has put together a well-rounded record that pulls elements from many styles of music and then lays them over acid-infused beats. Americans should definitely check it out, if only for the fact that it’s just not your everyday electro mix. VS

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