As the title suggests this album brings together the first four years of music from German solo act Dead Turns Alive. No dates are given for the tracks so I don't know whether they are presented in any kind of chronological order.
Rather than aping the established musical luminaries with easily remembered dancefloor fillers (only the melodic chorus of "Subliminal Slave" shows any real similarity to such luminaries) Dead Turns Alive opt for an altogether darker, slightly more abstract sound that skillfully avoids the pitfalls of overindulgence, keeping the more accessable song structures firmly in place.
The variation of styles between the darker tracks such as the industrial dance of "Thrillseekers" (as well as the harder hitting "Full Gravity" mix which closes the album) and the darker soundscapes of "Influence" should be familar enough with most electro fans but it's the more melodic trip hop-styled offerings such as "Rain" and "Demon's Intention" where an upliftingly melodic chorus breaks through the established darker elements that are most encouraging in that they show the artist is striking out for his own style that incorporates many modern ingredients.The drum and bass influences of "Hard To Swallow" and "Secret Borderline" and the dancey industrial techno of "Satan On Earth" and "Radiant Hate" are further examples of this although the fact that they are incorporated into the dark framework of the music rather than becoming the focal point make for a more homogenous feel.
The vocals on "Psalm 115" are one slight let down in that they don't seem to fit with the music too well but such is the nature of the beast.Lyrically speaking the subject of religion comes up again and again although, unlike many bands this is seen here as a cause for celebration with "Destiny" telling the story of the artist's conversion as the line "When I made the decision to give my life to God" states most clearly (the pseudonym,inspired by Christ's crucifixion and resurrection also relates to this).
Being less immediate than many releases and devoid of catchy melodies, it might take a few listens to really appreciate the full scope of the music but,despite seeming to get a bit lost in places (although,in fairness the tracks are pretty long,nearly all over 5 minutes duration) perseverence pays off eventually so it's well worth sticking with.
Artist Link: http://www.sonic-x.de