This was the first Skinny Puppy album I got and it put me off them for about three years. But understand however that this is not because it is a bad album, quite the opposite. It was that this sprawling mass of deranged electronics just overwhelmed me. It is safe to say that this is puppy at their most deranged and drug fuelled. A far cry from the dissonant beat driven electro of ‘The mind and the perpetual intercourse‘. This is one disturbing warped trip of an album, but now having experienced all of the puppy back catalogue this is one of my favourites.
The album begins with ‘Love in vein‘, sounding at first like the CD is playing at half speed before the song kicks into a creepy beat driven hell trip. Strange vocal samples from TV shows, and light but highly effective synth work make this one of the best tracks here. ‘Killing game’ is something of a classic Puppy cut, showcasing the bands great mix of pseudo industrial balladry and bizarre song structure. Some nice guitar work too. Ogre’s vocals move from soft and mournful to epic screams. ‘Knowhere?’ And ‘Mirror saw’ are a double whammy of crushing electronic madness, the sound becoming at times like a dense torrent of electronic manipulations and Ogres constant rants.
The single ‘Inquisition’ is a brief foray into more traditional industrial techno areas and comes across as the albums most straight forward track. It is a brief break from the madness through as ‘Scrapyard’ rips through your speakers with it’s almost cutup approach and then ‘Riverz End’ presents a beautiful string led apocalyptic Soundscape that really does show off Puppy’s sound sculpturing brilliance. ‘Lust chance’ is similar in approach to ‘Scrapyard’ with driving percussion and strange cutup samples and effects. ‘Circustance’ is another ranging noise fest with Ogres vocals sounding on the end of oblivion. The last track ‘Download’ is where most causal fans would turn off. The track is part noise excursion part experimental musique concrete and part backwards rerun of the album. Either way fans of “proper” industrial will lap this up, others as I said will reach for the off button. A truly brilliant piece of dark genius.