ALBUM REVIEW: Genghis Tron – Dream Weapon

Release Date: March 26th 2021
Label: Relapse Records
Website: None available
Facebook: www.facebook.com/genghistron
Twitter: www.twitter.com/genghistronband

Rating:

Upon their initial inception, Genghis Tron garnered much attention for an incomparable vision and style. While the term “cyber-grind” may feel outdated, or even derogatory at this point, it was an apt description for a trio who managed to fluidly meld and simultaneously smash aspects of extreme grindcore and pulsing electronica together in serene cacophony.

Over the course of a debut EP and two albums, the band showcased a seemingly endless progression, which started with noise-bangers like ‘Laser Bitch’, but would eventually culminate in their 2008 opus, ‘Board Up The House’; a staggering, cinematic achievement that fused alternative and extreme metal with undercurrents of ambient, drone, glitch, and electro-gazing.

With years of inactivity, as well as vocalist/keyboardist Mookie Singerman operating as full-time manager for acts such as HEALTH and Purity Ring, it was of no great shock to learn that he would be absent for ‘Dream Weapon’, the third full-length Genghis Tron project. The great shock was the announcement of ‘Dream Weapon’ itself, with founding members Hamilton Jordan and Michael Sochynsky enlisting the help of vocalist Tony Wolski and Sumac drummer Nick Yacyshyn to round out what is easily their most complex, layered, dynamic, challenging, yet welcoming work to date, and the first to forgo their iconic spazzed out drum-machine paps in favour of live percussion.

A vast departure from the abrasive, overwhelming stimulus attack of earlier material, there’s a far more nuanced form of audible tapestry being weaved here, from the industrial clatter-haze of ‘Pyrocene’ echoing ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ era Nine Inch Nails, only if it were mixed by Four Tet, to the dizzying, hypnotic barrage of the title-track. Where confrontation was originally key, ‘Dream Weapon’ takes a gentler, slyer approach, like that of a subtle poison, slowly coursing its way through your system, dosing you more with each second you listen. Such is the case on ‘Ritual Circle’, a ten-minute trip through endless loops and sonic portals.

The tepid, robotic vocals buried almost further in the mix than ever before, the layers upon layers of looping soundscapes that can only be unpacked upon repeat listens, and the rigid yet organic drumming all feel distinctly like the Genghis Tron of old, but with newfound clarity, dynamics and a sense of purpose.

Where ‘Board Up The House’ touched on the eventual end of the world and extinction of man, the thirteen years that have gone by since not only feel vital to the artists, but the art. ‘Dream Weapon’ is the soundtrack to whatever lifeforms eventually claim this barren earth, attempting to terraform, adapt, and not make the same mistakes we did. It’s alien, unnerving, hypnotic, hopeful, and oddly beautiful.