CD Review Leather Strip _Science_for_the_Satanic_Citizen_ .+quot; Zoth Ommog ZOT13CD 1. Zy

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CD Review Leather Strip _Science_for_the_Satanic_Citizen_ *** """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Zoth Ommog // ZOT13CD 1. Zyclon B [5:19] 5. What's Hell Really Like? [3:50] 2. G.A.W.M. [5:23] 6. Law of Jante [2:35] 3. Rotation (Axis Off) [4:51] 7. Cast-Away [5:33] 4. Satanic Citizen [5:57] 8. Torment Me [5:16] I first encountered Leather Strip on the _Technopolis_ and _Body_Rapture_ compilation discs. Even alongside the other quality "hard techno" (read: industrial dance music) tracks, this material stands out as particularly powerful and aggressive. I rejoiced to finally get my hands on an import copy of this German act's newest (and only) full-length CD. The best way I can describe this album is thus: 40 minutes of pure hell, but in a good way. Leather Strip is the creation of one Claus Larsen, the apparent antichrist of the analog synthesizer. Larsen favours distorted vocals, dissonant synth lines, and driving electronic ostenatos grafted onto rhythms ranging from straight-ahead dance beats to clangorous, syncopated grinds. The overall effect is something like an angry Front 242 or a stripped-down Front Line Assembly. Some high points: "Zyclon B," the album opener, is dark and ominous, a low-tempo electronic death march of metallic percussion and sweeping, atmospheric synths. "G.A.W.M." appears on the _Technopolis_3_ sampler disc, and remains a superb dance track. It is militaristic and relentless. This is rather a different version than appeared on the sampler; it has different vocals, different dialog samples (Larsen uses thankfully few of these), and a very different mix. "Law of Jante" is a tour-de-force of mechanical noises. True industrial music. Low points: "Cast-Away" and "Torment," dreamlike synth tunes along the lines of early Signal Aout 42, are marred by silly attempts at "normal" singing. Why do bands like this always feel the need to try this? Even through the buzzy, distorted vocals and enigmatic imagery of this disc, a common thread becomes apparent: This is a concept album about hell. "Satanic Citizen" (which sounds like some kind of techno Laibach) is an observation on Dark Ages religious ideas that are still with us: "The sickness is the devil and the drug is the Lord." "G.A.W.M." is about the kind of hell we create for ourselves here on Earth, with its nightmarish images of war, Nazis, etc. "What's Hell Really Like?" questions whether any biblical netherworld could really be worse than mankind's own work. Claus Larsen, "Satanic Citizen," has created quite a work. The disc is far more intelligent and less homogenous than those of his dance-music counterparts. I recommend it to fans of Front Line Assembly, Front 242, and "hard techno" enthusiasts looking for more depth and variety.

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