X Marks The Pedwalk – Inner Zone Journey (CD Infacted Recordings)Posted on 05/03/10
XMTP was without a shadow of a doubt one of the leading EBM bands from the 90s and the now gone Zoth Ommog label. After the “Drawback”-album released in 1996 Sevren Ni-Arb stopped all activities. And even if the album “Experiences” being released in 2003 revealed a few previously unreleased songs this was nothing more than a kind of ‘best of’-album. At the end of 2009 XMTP finally emerged from a long hibernation launching his “Seventeen”-EP. It was a real strong comeback and having listened to the new (and 7th full length) album I can only say that it all sounds like this project has been never away. According to me Sevren Ni-Arb has been always a kind of EBM genius. His production skills, arrangements and originality in composing EBM have been always one of the highest references in the genre… and I think it was not a coincidence if back in the 90s an impressive number of bands have been produced by the man. But what might we expect after such a long hiatus? Sevren Ni-Arb even sold his famous TGIF studio and had to start everything again. I guess the EBM-virus and probably the support of some die-hard fans brought the project back alive. “Inner Zone Journey” is a cool album with the song “Seventeen” as the absolute masterpiece. It still sounds in the EBM vein, but became quite poppy-minded as well. It’s catchy and the carrying chorus line is irresistible. All songs aren’t in a similar style, but songs like “Runaway” and “Winter Comes” are both quite linked to this style. The bleeps and tones plus refined arrangements are once again terrific. Just like on the last albums several songs also bring female backing vocals creating a magnificent harmony with Sevren’s timbre of voice. His voice is quite clear (while he started in the early 90s with distorted vocals), but much rougher than a pure pop singer. I would say that this album sounds definitely ‘quieter’ than what we’ve been used to hear from XMTP, but leaded by some noticeable danceable songs. “Obscure Reason” is one of these quieter pieces leaded by a nice duo in vocals. It’s more into atmospheric parts and delicate sound treatments although you can perceive some EBM-vibes as well. “Satellite” is into pure down tempo and for sure the calmest track from the list. “Clean Hearts” brings again a typical XMTP-song. Leaded by a deep and impressive bass line this song sounds like built up with several layers of sounds ending in a real apotheosis. The male-female vocals are once again adding a magic touch to the song. This is for sure one more song to tip as a potential ‘hit’. After numerous come backs from famous 80s and 90s band I became quiet skeptical about the credibility of those former ‘stars’, but there’re always some exceptions to the rule and X Marks The Pedwalk is definitely one of them!
Band: http://www.xmtp.de/index.html / www.myspace.com/xmarksthepedwalk
Label: www.infacted-recordings.de / www.myspace.com/infacted
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