I've often wondered whether or not Dependent have been looking for replacements for their two big names VNV Nation and Covenant. If that's the case then they've probably found them in the shape of Norwegian duo of Sigve Monsen and Per Waagen, who make up Pride and Fall. Although this is a fine debut for the duo it's hard to get away from the feeling that, rather than try to forge their own style they've simply taken the bits they like most from their mentors, most noticeably VNV Nation, who are an obvious influence on the opening double act of "The Approach" (which resembles rhythmless tracks such as "Forsaken" (from "PTF") to a great degree but lacks the same sense of drama) and the surefire dancefloor hit "Inside", which also owes a debt to Assemblage 23.
Pretty much very tried and tested 'future pop' cliche in the book is present and correct although the duo do know how to use them well with the powerful rhythms of the pacey "Paragon" which soon proves itself one of the album's highlights and the 'unmuffling effect' of the chorus of "December" which has been used by everyone from Apoptygma Berzerk to Sash and works as well in this case as it ever has done, raising the tension nicely for the anthemic chorus. The thumping rhythms of "Construct" are reminiscent of T.O.Y. (just to add another comparison!) while the cosmic opening of "Omniscient" is another nice touch, contrasting well with the main part of this lively track.
There are also a number of short instrumentals, including the warm and lush "Serenade Of Dreams" (which, luckily, isn't anything like as sappy as the title makes it sound!) and the heavier rhythmic "Matriarch" although it'a pity that the EBM break that is "Delusion" is so short, it would have made for a nice diversion if it had been developed beyond it's 1.40 duration.
I've probably made this album sound a lot less enjoyable than it actually is. It is a VERY good debut with a lot of good durable songs that are bound to prove popular and stand them in good stead for the future. Hopefully future releases will see them putting more of themselves into their music and fully realising their undoubted talent rather than evoking their peers so obviously, if so then we'll have something to get really excited about!
Artist Link: http://www.dependent.de