"The Noble Rot"

By Dark Starr

I really like this band. Their dark blend of metal and electronic has plenty of techno and industrial built into it. Gothic edges complete the picture. This new release is just what you'd expect from them, yet it's also fresh and new. It's quite an effective release and a great addition to the catalog. 

They waste no time, pounding in with a fast and furious jam on the opening "Cannibal Killers That Kill Everyone.". It drops to a more stripped back arrangement for the vocals. It is a killer industrial metal stomper that does a great job of opening the set in style. Next up is "Brave New World." I dig the dramatic, almost theatrical vibe to it. Electronic elements are merged with rawer hard rock ones. The number has some killer hooks and a great energy. As strong as the opener was, I think I prefer the second one. 

"Play God or Play Dead" serves almost as an interlude between rockers with a rhythmic element bringing it in and a techno vocal movement filling in the picture.  "Black Lipstick" feels more like a straight rocker. It calls to mind INXS to some degree. That said, this is definitely POWERMAN 5000. I love the reference to "Bela Lugosi's Dead." The cut has a real gothic vibe to it and includes a melodic break. The piece is one of my favorites of the set. 

"Special Effects" is one of the highlights of the set.  I dig the contrast between the more electronic sections and the driving metallic ones. The song is high-energy and compelling techno-metal. The chorus on "Let the Insects Rule" is catchy, and the tune really rocks. It's actually one of my favorites on the disc. 

Starting mellower and more electronic, "Movie Blood" powers out into some serious metal from there. It is catchy and powerful. It has a great balance between more screaming and metallic zones.  The chorus on "Strange People Doing Strange Things" is particularly catchy. The whole tune rocks out with a great techno meets metal sound. This is a highlight of the set. There are some hints of things like GARY NUMAN on the later portions of the number. 

If you had POWERMAN 5000 covering THE GO-GO'S on your 2020 bingo card, you can mark that one off. They turn "We Got the Beat" into a dark and moody techno song. It really is trippy and metallic, and barely recognizable. My motto is that if you are going to cover a song, you should make it your own, and they did. The essentially close the set with the electric piece of gloom titled "VHS," but it's not over. There is an un-listed eleventh song on the set, their classic tune "When Worlds Collide." All in all, it's a cool way to end a strong disc. This disc might not change any conceptions you have about the band, but it entertains all the way through.