Debut album from this American solo artist signed to the newly formed Cohaagen Music. An artist that needs no introduction to American Synthpoppers or those with an interest in the lighter and more pop orientated style of Industrial music. This debut album for Ross W Beall features ten tracks of mainly instrumental music featuring hard-edged synth pop with light industrial rhythms and the addition of Brand New Idol’s Frank J Freda as a guest vocalist on two of the tracks featured along Rachel Cicci on the remix of the ‘Regression’.
The absence of a vocalist on most of the tracks featured acts more as a limitation than a restriction, but it does and unintentionally so give the listener more work to do in forming an opinion on each track and the album in general. The best track here is the second track ‘Revelation’, the track later appears in a remixed version with additional vocals from Frank J Freda, despite being mainly excellent this remix lacks the strength and weight of the original. Other excellent tracks of note include the mid-paced tracks ‘Illusion’, ‘Dark Horizon’ complete with its string section and vocal samples & ‘Nevermore’ while slower tracks like ‘Progression’, ‘Regression’ & ‘Realm’ are all tracks of interest.
‘Progression’, its another track that later appears in a remixed version with the addition of the vocals of Rachel Cicci, those vocals almost and quietly so fade into the background of the track itself. Like the other remixed track (‘Revelation’) I once again prefer the original to this remixed version.
Other than by name and a couple of tracks on their website I’m not over familiar with the work and releases of Brand New Idol. But their vocalist Frank J Freda appears on two tracks here while also writing the lyrics for both the tracks. Both are excellent especially ‘The Ghost Of You’ while both tracks through the inclusion of the vocals add something different to the album itself.
Despite being an instrumental artist, I don’t know if Simulator has done more harm than good with the addition of the vocals of Frank J Freda to two of the tracks featured or the vocals of Rachel Cicci to the remixed version of ‘Regression’. The addition of these vocalists can unintentionally lead to the listeners conclusion that an album full of instrumental tracks can’t stand on its on without a vocalist on a number of tracks or in turn that the tracks need a vocalist to draw out their full strength and quality. That is purely down to each individual listener to form his or her own opinion. But in adding vocalists it does unintentionally draw the listener’s attention to those tracks that do feature vocals.
‘Enter The Unknown’ is very much the type of album that will appeal to those with an affection for the darker, moody and atmospheric side of Depeche Mode, especially in their ‘Violator’ days combined with the lighter and more polished side of the present Industrial scene. This album has already been warmly and favourable received on Electrogarden and seemly through out American in general and is very much another interesting release from the ‘Cohaagen Music’ label.
Artist Link: http://www.simulator-music.com